First, you must bear in mind that no wholesaler will want to do business with you if your business is not properly set up within the law—because they are aware that if you run into problems with the law, they might not be spared. Use a business database such as the Better Business Bureau. DC Dwayne Clayburn Jun 24, This may change my mind on products.
As your sales volume grows, you can deal with bigger wholesalers and demand better wholesale volumes. Having set up your business correctly and understood wholesalers and their modes of operation, you can start finding the right wholesalers for your clothing retails store. If you know of reputable clothing retail stores in your locale, you should check their merchandise. This will give you an idea of what stock you need and which merchandise appears to be in vogue.
So, you can quickly figure out what their best selling stock is. And if you are not a direct competitor to that store, you can ask the business owner about where they source their stock and ask for wholesale recommendations. You can also find information about wholesalers by using search engines and online directories.
These offer good sources of information about wholesalers within your locality that you can contact and do business with. Trade magazines and other periodic publications are also good sources of information about clothing wholesalers.
Many of wholesalers use these magazines as media for placing ads. Once you have found a number of clothing wholesalers that you think will be a fit for your business, you should contact them. There are several questions you need to ask then before deciding whether to go ahead with them or not. Ask about minimum orders retailers can place.
That being said, drop shipping is an excellent way to fill in gaps in your overall product line. Instead of launching a store with only 3 products, I can fill out my selection with drop shipped goods. For those who are apprehensive about starting a business, drop shipping is also a good way to dip your toes in ecommerce without risking a lot of money.
While I would never base my online store solely on drop shipping, an easy way to find companies willing to drop ship is via a service called Worldwide Brands. That being said, most wholesalers will not want to drop ship for you unless you can demonstrate that you are a legit business that can drive sales.
For information on how to approach a dropship vendor, read my post on how to approach a new wholesale vendor when you are first starting out. Many people contact us about wholesale pricing and where to find wholesale products. Nothing could be further from the truth. Sure, they were cheaper than MSRP MSRP is just a made up number anyway , but the prices were sufficiently high that the profit margins would have been on the low end for the products we wanted to sell. To make things worse, there were already a large number of competitors carrying the exact same items in their stores at rock bottom prices.
So why buy from a wholesale vendor in the US? Because many products are not made in the United States anymore, wholesalers take care of all the hassle of importing and warehousing the goods from the manufacturer. You just place your order and the merchandise appears at your doorstep.
Buying wholesale domestically also saves you time from having to perform extensive quality control checks on your merchandise because presumably the wholesaler has gone through it all already. The simplest way to find wholesale vendors in the US is by Googling the company of the product you want to sell , going on their website, and finding out who their wholesale distributors are. And depending on the item and the brand, the minimum order can be as low as a hundred dollars.
Another great way to find wholesale vendors is by attending local trade shows. For example, a site called WholesaleCentral. If you live near a major city, you should definitely go and check out a trade show if you have the time. All you need is a sellers permit and in most cases admission is free.
Buying direct from the manufacturer is the holy grail of merchandising , but it also takes the most amount of work, dedication and time. These days, almost everything is manufactured overseas because labor costs are much cheaper.
Buying direct from the manufacturer or from overseas vendors is the best way to obtain the lowest prices , but it also presents the greatest upfront headaches. After reading about all of the hassles outlined above, is it really worth it?
The answer is a resounding yes. The prices are unbeatable and the upfront investment is worth it in the long run. You will be able to competitively price your products. You will be able to out price the larger chains and you will be able to differentiate yourself from the competition. Once you have confidence in your manufacturers, you can design your own custom products and that is where the big money starts to kick in.
If you can fabricate your own designs or make small improvements to existing ones, you have the potential to sell completely unique goods that no other store can offer. A great place to start is online. There are a variety of search engines for overseas manufacturers. And if you can, hop on a plane and visit them directly. Especially if you are dealing with Asian vendors, face to face communication is strongly preferred in order to establish a good relationship.
Two, you will get to see their entire inventory of products in person to judge their quality. And three, you will be able to place a face with a name and get to know them on a personal level.
Before meeting our first vendor face to face, I remember picturing him as a sleazy Asian dude wearing a wife beater and smoking a cigarette. Much to my surprise, our supplier was actually clean cut and a pleasant, honest looking fellow. After meeting him face to face, I had much more confidence in ordering from him. Because face to face communication is so important, my wife and I travel to China and Hong Kong every other year to visit our vendors. While finding and contacting vendors via Alibaba and Global Sources is fairly straightforward, it is a very slow and cumbersome process.
Add in the time difference and you only have a small window of time everyday to communicate. But what if you could contact and see sample products for thousands of Chinese vendors all at once in a single location? What if you could see and touch all of the merchandise without having to wait several weeks?
Because so many different vendors congregate at these fairs and bring their merchandise with them, you can easily cover hundreds of vendors in the span of just a few days. Everything is right there at your fingertips.
If you are finding your Asian vendors via Global Sources and Alibaba, keep in mind that these two services have different strengths.
If you are sourcing electronics, then Global Sources is by far the better service. But on the flip side, the vendors on Global Sources are more established and prefer to work with companies with greater purchasing power. As a result, the minimum order quantities tend to be higher. Some companies on Alibaba are trading companies. Some listings are individuals doing wholesale arbitrage online. You can connect to manufacturers across the world so you can buy goods directly from places like China.
You can then place larger orders if you plan on reselling items. By using them, you can get price quotes and place orders without calling up a manufacturer. This means less worries about issues like language barriers or shipping. Choose products to buy that fit your needs. If you need a specific product for yourself at wholesale prices, your choice is easy.
If you want to resell a product, you also need to think about what you are able to store and sell. When starting out, stick to a few products you are knowledgeable about. If you know more about computers than beauty products, you might start with laptops instead. Compare prices between different sellers. You may be able to find the same product elsewhere for less money. This is because the price increases for every broker that handles the merchandise. Getting the product from its source will save you money.
Manufacturers have regional distributors that sell products in a certain area. Wholesale businesses often buy from distributors and sell to retailers. You will also hear about jobbers or brokers.
These are wholesalers who sell products to businesses in a small area. You can usually get better prices by speaking to their distributors.
Also consider branching out to similar products. If one type of laptop is too expensive to purchase, you may be able to find a different brand, for example. Ask for discounts and other perks from wholesale suppliers.
Other times, you get to save money because suppliers compete for your business and want you as a repeat customer. Discount, closeout, and liquidation offers are often listed there. You may have better luck asking for discounts after placing a few orders with the same supplier.
However, you can sometimes find good deals for new customers. Select an inexpensive way to have the items shipped to you. Generally, sticking with a trusted name in the freight business is recommended. The cheapest way to receive a shipment is by land through trucks or trains. Sea freight is a cheap but slow way to bring large shipments overseas, while air transport is the quickest but often the most expensive method. Use sites such as the Better Business Bureau in America.
Also, ask other wholesale shoppers what shipment companies they use. The shipping cost depends on how far away you are from the supplier.
You will end up paying less if you can find suppliers in your area. You can often choose how fast you need the product delivered. Faster shipping costs more money. The seller will most likely finalize this arrangement. Unless you place a large order, your product will end up in a truck with other orders. The costs of shipping may be split by everyone who placed an order. View the return policy before placing an order.
Make sure you also understand the cost of the order and the processing and shipping times. Many times the supplier will improve the return policy or lower the overall price, especially if you can get a better deal elsewhere. Get a business license if you plan on reselling wholesale items. In most areas, you need a business license with a valid tax ID before you can buy wholesale products. You will need to fill out an application explaining your business, such as what you are buying and your plans to resell the items to other customers.
Organizations such as the Small Business Administration in the U. Apply for a resale certificate with your government to avoid taxes. You will need to supply your business license, tax ID, and a description of your business. With a resale certificate, you can avoid paying for sales taxes. All you have to do is show the certificate to the seller. If you have a license, your customer has to pay the sales tax when they buy the item s from you. Like with business licenses, you do not need a resale certificate unless you plan on reselling wholesale items.
If you do plan on running a business, having a certificate saves you money. Find a place to store what you buy. Purchasing wholesale goods can take up a lot of space. If you plan on reselling merchandise and make frequent purchases, you may soon end up finding yourself overwhelmed. Clear out some space in your home, such as in your basement or attic, so that you can keep the items.
Count on having enough space to store items for a several months at a time. Many professional resellers rent out storage warehouses. Look for some empty storage buildings in your area. Start off with sample units until you want to buy more of a product. Instead of trying to hawk 1, units of something, try selling 20 units of the same thing first. Even though many wholesale suppliers operate by selling large quantities, some will let you buy sample or test units at discounted prices.
You can then keep or sell the units at your own pace without taking a big risk. If an item sells like hotcakes, you can easily purchase more of it. Order items in higher quantities to save money.
In wholesale, volume is very important. Companies offer you lower prices when you buy units in bulk. These types of purchases work well for retail stores. Request an itemized list of what's on the pallet or truckload. Often referred to as a "manifest", these listings describe the goods, quantity you receive, approximate retail value ARV , and item number assigned by the retailer or manufacturer.
This information is useful for recordkeeping and researching products.
The term ‘wholesale’ seems to imply that the price that you are going to get is going to be the lowest that you can find. Well guess what? Nothing could be further from the truth. When I was shopping for domestic vendors for our online store, all of the “wholesale” dealers in . Conduct Google searches for the words "wholesale" or "distributor," plus some keywords from your products or niche. Try product names, model numbers and brand names. Go through each result and look for the "wholesale account" link or an email address or . Sep 12, · Use keywords like wholesale boutique clothing, wholesale clothing distributors and other similar keywords to get introduced to some legitimate suppliers. Wholesale clothing directories are sites dedicated to archiving an up-to-date list of clothing suppliers.