Most stores and websites that sell apparel purchase their merchandise from wholesalers. This enables them to obtain the lowest prices for large quantities of products and sell them at a substantial markup, which earns them significant profits.
If you want to purchase apparel wholesale for your business, there are several factors to consider.
Choose a niche for your clothing business that will set you apart from the competition. You can choose to specialize in women’s, men’s, children’s, or plus size clothing, or other subcategories within the apparel industry. Identify the specific brands you would like to sell.
Obtain the permits required to operate a retail business. This will depend on your area and might include an assumed name certificate, resale permit, or sales tax permit. You will need this documentation to open wholesale accounts with apparel suppliers.
Choose the venue where you will sell your merchandise. This can be a traditional brick-and-mortar store, a kiosk at a mall, your own website, an online auction site, flea markets, or another location.
If you are not opening a traditional store, choose a location to store your inventory. The amount of space available will determine how much you can order at any given time.
Contact wholesale suppliers directly or through their websites to open wholesale accounts. You will need to fill out an application, place an initial order, and submit documentation to prove that you are a business.
Some retailers use drop shipping to obtain their merchandise. When a customer places an order, the retailer orders the product from the supplier, who sends the merchandise to the customer. The advantage to drop shipping is that the business owner who takes the order does not need to keep an inventory. The downside is that the business owner is responsible for customer service and quality issues that are the responsibility of the company shipping the product and therefore out of their control. Drop shipping also tends to have lower profit margins than ordering products directly from wholesalers.
If you are purchasing merchandise from an American wholesaler who orders products from overseas, the wholesaler can do quality checks and handle shipping and customs, which can save you time, travel, and money, but will give you a lower profit margin than you would get if you were to order from overseas suppliers directly.
Choosing the right wholesale apparel supplier is a critical first step in starting your business. Identify your niche and the products you want to sell, and contact several wholesale suppliers to find out who can give you the best prices so you can earn the greatest profits possible.
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