What is Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ)

Surya SK
February 17, 2022

Table of Contents

Some manufacturers and wholesalers have minimum order quantities that must be met when placing an order (MOQ). That means that if a consumer is unwilling or unable to satisfy the minimum order quantity, manufacturers, suppliers, and distributors may turn them away.

While it may seem odd that turning away business could result in increased profits, it's critical to understand how minimum order quantities work and why some suppliers use them, especially in low-margin or highly specialized firms. Minimum order numbers, if managed properly, can help you boost your profits.

What Is Minimum Order Quantity?

As a business person, whether you are a customer or a seller, you are likely to have come across this abbreviation, but your odds of understanding what it means are slim. MOQ is one of a thousand different terms that you should be aware of as a buyer or seller to help you be more profitable.

Starting with the acronym MOQ, which stands for Minimum Order Quantity. It's also known as MQO, which stands for minimum quantity order. It's the quantity that's used as a starting point for orders. In simpler terms, it is the unit of goods that, if sold, would cover the producer's manufacturing costs and, at the very least, guarantee a break-even.

Here is an example that will help you understand.

You approach a furniture maker, negotiate the price per unit, and place an order for ten tables, but you don't understand why he demands on producing no fewer than twenty tables at a time.

You've probably come across manufacturers who claim they can't produce anything less than a specific number of units. That is, in fact, their Minimum Order Quantity.

The Valuation of Minimum Order Quantity – MOQ

The minimum order quantity that a company can function with can be valued in a number of different ways.

MOQs are also assessed in monetary worth of the order rather than units of items bought. For example, a chef's company policy may prohibit her from accepting assignments that pay less than a thousand dollars. So it's not always about quantity, but about the order's actual value.

  • MOQs are valued based on a number of factors.

MOQs are an important idea for manufacturers and businesses to understand. The determination of a MOQ is based on two things. The first is the producer, and the second is the manufacturing cost.

When determining MOQs based on production costs, the manufacturer must take into account all production costs, compute a per-head cost, and determine the quantity of goods required to pay his production costs and break even. This figure can then be used as his MOQ.

For example, suppose a sweets producer pays an average of $50 each pack of cutes, but it costs $700 to set up his machinery, pay labor, pay for distribution, and other expenses.

Because he will suffer fixed costs regardless of the number produced, his MOQ will be fixed at 14 packs to ensure that he at least pulls even.

MOQs depending on manufacturers, on the other hand, are determined by a variety of different criteria. These variables influence how manufacturing organizations make decisions.

MOQs are critical in guiding manufacturers' actions so that they only accept orders that are lucrative for them.

Types of MOQs

Manufacturers and retailers have two sorts of MOQs to choose from. The low MOQ and the high MOQ are as follows.

1. High MOQ

In contrast to the low MOQ, the high MOQ does not have a set value. It differs depending on the industry and the type of goods. However, regardless of the business, a high MOQ is one that allows just the top 20% of stores to patronize it. Many huge multi-chained stores, for example, are unable to buy from certain manufacturers. This is due to the fact that their minimum order quantities (MOQs) limit access to many large retailers, allowing only around 20% of the buying public to participate. And the stores that make up this 20% frequently cater to the most affluent customers. 

2. Low MOQ

A low Minimum Order Quantity of 1 to 50 units is specified. Start-up suppliers who set this type of MOQ are usually new to the sector and looking to carve out a niche for themselves. These minimum order quantities do not always ensure a profit, but they would rather lose money than lose potential consumers.

The fact that MOQs are set doesn't really mean that they are not changeable; manufacturers can occasionally adjust these figures to meet the needs of both parties. The minimum order quantity (MOQ) varies depending on the source. There may be significant MOQ discrepancies across suppliers in the same industry.

If the manufacturer with whom you're dealing gives you a MOQ that's too high for you as a small business, ask for consideration, and if that doesn't work, look for alternative options. MOQs fluctuate amongst stores, as I already indicated.

MOQ isn't the only factor to consider when choosing which store or manufacturer to support. You should think about the following factors:

The product safety criteria for the industry in which you work.

Check the store's or manufacturer's track record in terms of delivery timeliness and company honesty.

MOQ Wholesale

MOQ is most commonly required by wholesale suppliers and B2B enterprises who cannot afford to sell and ship small quantities or low-value orders. The right MOQ varies by industry and product, and it can be implemented in a number of ways:

1. Reduce the price of your typical order

Reduce the price of your typical order

When imposing a MOQ, you would not want to scare away your existing clients. Calculate your typical order size based on your past data. Then, just under that value, set your MOQ. It's important to remember that this might be either the dollar amount or the quantity of units per order. This will ensure that you do not lose important business while also avoiding minor requests.

2. Match your MOQ to the value of the product

Setting MOQs for specific products, while hard and time-consuming if you have a large number of SKUs, will help you optimize income and save shipping expenses. Customers will be pleased since they will not be compelled to order a huge number of more expensive stuff.

3. Use the cheapest product you have

Setting your MOQ depending on the cheapest product is a reasonable solution if there isn't a significant price difference among your cheapest and most costly products. Customers may no longer purchase a single low-cost item and incur a financial loss. Plus, because your more expensive things must sell the same quantity, you'll make more money.

4. It should be based on the stockpile of raw resources

It should be based on the stockpile of raw resources

If you're a manufacturer, you should figure out how many materials it takes to make a single product. Then, depending on these expenses, determine your minimum order quantity (MOQ) to ensure that you make a profit when delivering the finished goods. You can also accomplish this as a reseller by passing along the manufacturer's MOQ. If you're a caterer who needs to order steak in groups of 50, for example, you should also sell them as a MOQ. You probably won't need 50 steaks, but you might need 20 or more. As a result, your profit margin will be maximized.

What is the Difference Between MOQ and EOQ?

The minimum order quantity (MOQ) is the amount that a supplier is willing to provide. This can also be described in terms of the minimal number of units that the seller is willing to sell to the buyer. Setting a MOQ is extremely important if you are a supplier.

The minimum order quantity (MOQ) assists the supplier in making a profit at the very least. If the quantity supplied falls short of the MOQ, the supplier is unlikely to profit from the transaction.

Economic order quantity, on the other hand, is abbreviated as EOQ. The customer benefits greatly from the inexpensive order quantity. It represents a company's ideal purchase.EOQ aids in inventory cost reduction and increases the buyer's profit margin.

How Do You Calculate MOQ?

How Do You Calculate MOQ

To begin, divide your total revenue by the number of orders you receive in a given period of time to arrive at the Average Order Value for your goods. Your MOQ should be slightly higher than the AOV.

MOQ Pros and Cons

There are advantages and disadvantages to demanding a minimum order from your consumers. Here's a sample of some of them.


1. Save money on shipping and production costs. 

Save money on shipping and production costs

The whole point of having a minimum order quantity is to prevent losing money on your goods. When you're delivering a bunch of small orders or low-value products, fulfillment costs add up rapidly. You can select your own break-even point and profit margins by setting a MOQ.

Create strong bonds with others. Customers that buy your average order quantity or more are more likely to buy from you again. They're also more invested because their orders require more money.


1. Can be financially difficult to set.

If you sell things at a low price, your MOQ will almost certainly have to be high in order to make a profit. This can be challenging because most buyers will not want to purchase a large quantity of items. In this situation, kitting and selling these items in a package with more valuable ones would be a preferable option.

2. Entry roadblocks.

Small businesses and other clients, however, sometimes find MOQs unaffordable. When making their first purchase with a company, some clients choose to be cautious. You can miss out on opportunities to form long-term business relationships.


MOQs are frequently non-negotiable costs of conducting business. Suppliers establish minimum order quantities after taking into consideration the entire cost of inventory as well as any additional costs spent during the sourcing process. In essence, carefully designed MOQs assist suppliers in increasing earnings while fast selling off inventory. MOQs also assist suppliers in determining which shops they can work with.

MOQs are significant for retailers because they help them receive the greatest price per unit. This is typically the case when you buy things in bulk from your vendor because large purchases reduce the per unit cost, enabling you to maximize your profit when each unit is sold.