Have you ever wondered “where do boutiques get their clothes?”. While some of you may already know the answer to this, I will provide tips I have learned throughout the years that will benefit both experienced and inexperienced buyers. If you want to see success for your brand, buying wholesale women’s clothing shouldn’t be as simple as buying for your personal wardrobe.
DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH
Too often do I see aspiring boutique owners fall for the trap of buying vendor lists. This is one thing most of you will learn early on, but these lists are nothing more than repackaged content from pre-existing lists sold elsewhere.
Doing your own research on brands can be time-consuming, but you want what’s best for your customers and it’s completely worth the time.
Don’t go cheap, go affordable. Quality and comfort are what keeps customers coming back to buy more clothes. Remember to do your research and price match! Some wholesalers are buying from manufacturers and selling them for a higher price, but if you look hard enough you can buy straight from the source. FashionGo has a cool new feature that allows you to style match and find similar or same styles at different price points.
You can see the vendor names in FashionGo under the “Vendors” tab and LA Showroom under the “Member Directory”, but you just can’t look at their storefront. Most of these companies will have their own websites so you can just search for them and sign up. Signing up as a buyer for these wholesale supplier sites are easier than the marketplaces because these companies tend to be more lenient in accepting buyers when it comes to their personal website.
The best thing about buying from their website is that you will often find that prices are cheaper than their listed prices on FashionGo, LAShowroom, or Orangeshine.
FORM A RELATIONSHIP
Forming a friendly relationship with your wholesale clothing supplier can have many positive benefits. For example, don’t treat these companies badly if you have one bad experience with a damaged item. Instead, kindly bring up your issues with your order details and they will always replace or refund it for you. Having a good relationship with your supplier is an overlooked part of owning a boutique, but something everyone will eventually need to learn.
Want new styles before any other boutiques can get them? This is one of the many perks of having a good relationship with your supplier. If you are a trusted buyer, many of these wholesale women’s clothing manufacturers or suppliers will let you know about upcoming styles before they’re even released. It sounds crazy, but it’s that easy and you can get them before some of the biggest buyers. Having new styles as soon as they release will have other boutique owners wondering how you managed to find and have them shipped to you so fast.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK
If there are any doubts you have about certain items, ask the apparel supplier questions. If you want to know more about the length of the sleeves or their model’s height and weight, JUST ASK.
If you plan to buy in large amounts, ask for bulk discounts. Bulk discounts are something almost all sellers will provide with their offline clients and all you need to do is ask. FG has started to implement bulk discounts on their listings and many more manufacturers and suppliers are beginning to offer them.
Keep in mind, this works better with smaller companies because their customer service is often more responsive while offering faster shipping or better prices .
Remember when I said you shouldn’t buy vendor lists? That’s because I believe you should grow your own list naturally. Stay organized with a spreadsheet that contains all the necessary information you need. Keep track of things like addresses, delivery times, e-mails (sometimes you’ll need to talk to multiple people in the same company), your past orders, and what styles you think certain suppliers excel in and what styles they don’t.
One thing I like to keep a note of on my lists is what manufacturers sell to other companies and wholesalers. If you like a style one wholesaler sells, see if you’ve linked them with a manufacturer in the past and check that manufacturer’s website directly. This will take time and you won’t have a list built overnight, but don’t cut corners if you want to succeed.
EXTRA TIP: DON’T NEGLECT YOUR WEBSITE
You can do everything correctly when it comes to buying wholesale clothing, but in the end, a large amount or all your sales will come from your website. Making sure your website loads quickly is a large factor in acquiring sales and having customers stay on your website. Focusing on your website is now more important than ever. Storefront foot traffic is slowing down at considerable rates so make sure you research best website practices!
Browse your website as if you were a customer. Look at your listings and placement of styles and see if everything is placed ideally. Sometimes some styles will do better in different places on your website so just remember to test and tweak every so often.