When you receive your bucket of tulips from me you might be surprised that the bulb is still attached and has dirt on it. I do this because the bulb continues to give life to its bloom and having some dirt on it makes the tulip think it's still in the ground.
They may also receive them in tight to bud form as this is how they are harvested. Many are even drooping or feel limp. Don't worry, when you cut the bulb off and place them in your vessel with cool clean water they will start perking up overnight.
So this is what you do:
Fill a basin or bucket with water to where you can submerge the bulb. Then cut off the bulb, leaving the stem underwater so it can get a quick drink. While the tip of the stem is under the water carefully remove the bottom leaves. Then place in your water-filled vessel.