What is MOQ and How Does it Affect Your Business?

December 7, 2023

Eoin Horgan

Managing inventory is crucial for the success of any eCommerce business. Striking the right balance between meeting customer demand and avoiding excess stock is a delicate task. To complicate matters further, many manufacturers and suppliers implement a concept known as Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ).

In this article, we will explore the meaning of MOQ, its importance, how to calculate it accurately, and more.

What is MOQ

MOQ stands for Minimum Order Quantity. When an eCommerce business buys raw materials from a manufacturer, the ideal scenario is to purchase the exact quantity needed.

However, a common practice among many manufacturers is the implementation of a Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ). This means that businesses are required to purchase a specific minimum quantity of stock from the manufacturer.

The rationale behind this practice is the cost-effectiveness associated with mass production of materials.

Types of MOQs

MOQs can be categorised into two types: simple MOQs and complex MOQs.

Simple MOQs are easy to understand and typically involve a minimum spend or minimum quantity requirement before placing an order. For example, a supplier of personalised merchandise may require a minimum order of a certain number of items to justify the resources needed for customisation.

Complex MOQs, on the other hand, have multiple requirements that must be met simultaneously. These requirements may include minimum quantities of units, minimum order values, or minimum measurements of materials. For instance, when sourcing fabric for a clothing line, a supplier may require a specific minimum quantity of yards or metres per colour.

Benefits of MOQ for Suppliers and Buyers

When it comes to MOQ, there are benefits for both suppliers and buyers.

Benefits for Suppliers

Efficient Production Planning

By setting a minimum order quantity, suppliers can optimise their production processes by reducing setup and changeover times. This allows them to utilise their resources more efficiently.

Cost Optimisation through Economies of Scale

MOQ enables suppliers to produce goods in larger quantities, which often leads to cost savings through bulk purchasing, reduced per-unit manufacturing costs, and better negotiation power with suppliers.

Benefits for Buyers

Access to Competitive Pricing and Discounts

By ordering goods in larger quantities, buyers can often access bulk pricing and enjoy discounts offered by suppliers. This can help reduce procurement costs and improve overall profitability.

Lower Inventory Carrying Costs

Buying in larger quantities allows buyers to reduce their inventory carrying costs by minimising the frequency of orders and optimising storage space.

Streamlined Supply Chain and Improved Logistics

Consolidating orders into larger quantities helps streamline the entire supply chain, resulting in improved logistics efficiency and faster order fulfillment.

More Control over Production Schedules

By adhering to the supplier's minimum order quantity, buyers can secure their position in the production schedule. This gives them more control over the timing of their orders and ensures timely product availability.

4 Factors to Consider when Determining MOQ

Several factors influence the determination of MOQ. Each business needs to carefully consider these factors to establish an appropriate minimum order quantity that aligns with their production and supply chain capabilities. The key factors to consider include:

01Demand Forecast

Analysing historical data and market trends helps determine the anticipated demand for a product. By understanding customer preferences and accurately forecasting demand, businesses can set an MOQ that meets customer needs without leading to excessive inventory or stockouts.

02Production Capacity

Evaluating the supplier's production capacity and limitations is crucial when setting MOQ. Suppliers need to ensure they can meet the minimum order quantity without straining their resources or disrupting ongoing production.

03Inventory Costs

Calculating storage costs, holding costs, and obsolescence risks helps strike a balance between inventory investment and demand. Businesses need to evaluate the cost implications associated with holding inventory for longer periods and ensure that the MOQ is economically viable.

04Supplier's Terms and Conditions

Understanding the supplier's requirements, constraints, and policies is vital before finalising MOQ terms. Some suppliers may have specific MOQ requirements to justify their production processes or offer more favourable pricing. It's essential to align with these terms to maintain a healthy supplier relationship.

By carefully considering these factors, businesses can determine a reasonable and profitable MOQ that aligns with their unique circumstances and objectives.

Calculate Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ)

Determining the MOQ is a vital decision for businesses, but there's no universal MOQ that suits everyone. eCommerce brands and suppliers often face a trade-off: higher MOQs at lower unit costs or lower MOQs at higher unit prices. While there's no one-size-fits-all formula for MOQ calculation, consider these steps:


Assess Demand:

  • Estimate sales volume considering factors like product type, competition, and seasonality.
  • Align your MOQ with your sales forecast. If you expect to sell 300 units, an MOQ of 400 units is workable.
  • If your suppliers MOQ is much higher than you expect to sell, you will need to negotiate with your supplier.

Calculate the Breakeven Point

  • Identify the per-unit price where your business neither profits nor loses, known as your break-even point.
  • Set your MOQ above this point to ensure profitability.

Consider Holding Costs

  • Account for storage costs based on product size, storage duration, and special requirements.
  • Suppliers may delay purchasing raw materials until orders are confirmed, while merchants should be cautious when agreeing to high MOQs.

Determine Your MOQ

  • Say you anticipate selling 250 units, with a breakeven point of €5 and €2 quarterly storage costs per unit, you need to sell each unit for over €7.
  • Align your MOQ with your sales forecast. If you expect to sell 300 units, an MOQ of 400 units is workable. Set your price to match your sales goals. For instance, charging €10 per unit would require selling at least 150 units to break even, so consider setting an MOQ slightly above that for maximum profit.

5 Practical Tips for Managing MOQ Effectively

1. Understand Customer Demand

Continuously analysing customer demand patterns helps optimise MOQ and avoid overstocking or stockouts. By monitoring demand closely, businesses can adjust their MOQ accordingly and align their supply with customer expectations.

2. Negotiate with Suppliers

Engage in productive conversations with your suppliers to find mutually beneficial MOQ terms and conditions. By understanding their requirements and constraints, businesses can negotiate MOQ terms that strike a balance between their own needs and the supplier's capabilities.

3. Strategic Inventory Planning

Implement inventory management practices such as Just-in-Time (JIT) to minimise costs while meeting customer demand. By synchronising production and inventory with demand, businesses can reduce the need for high MOQs and minimise inventory-related risks.

4. Monitor Market Trends

Stay updated with changing market dynamics and adjust MOQ accordingly to align with demand variations. By staying informed about market trends and customer preferences, businesses can proactively adapt their MOQ strategies and remain competitive.

5. Collaborate with a Fulfillment Partner

Working with Fulfillment for Europe can streamline your business operations and provide expertise in managing MOQ efficiently. With our comprehensive efulfillment services, you can optimise your inventory management, reduce lead times, and improve order fulfillment processes.


MOQ is a crucial concept in supply chain management that drives efficient production planning, inventory management, and pricing. By understanding the meaning, importance, and calculation methods of MOQ, businesses can optimise their operations and enhance profitability.

Implementing effective MOQ strategies can not only save costs but also contribute to improved customer satisfaction. Consider partnering with Fulfillment for Europe and leverage our expertise in streamlining your business operations and optimising MOQ.

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