When you purchase Clothing wholesale, you're usually able to get it at much cheaper prices than consumers would at store. However, buying wholesale typically means buying in bulk, which is why it's usually only done if you plan to resell the items in a store or online store. Buying clothing wholesale usually requires having a wholesale license and involves tracking down wholesalers who provide the type of clothing that you're interested in. Once you've found the wholesalers, though, coming up with the right purchasing strategy is key if you want a successful business.
EditGetting a Wholesale License
- Determine whether you need a wholesale license. In some countries or jurisdictions, you need a license to purchase wholesale clothing and other items. However, you only really need the license if you’ll be making large wholesale clothing purchases on a regular basis, such as for a store or online shop.
- Check with your region’s department of taxation to determine what the requirements are for a license and how to apply for one.
- If you don’t plan to sell the clothing that you buy wholesale, you usually don’t need a wholesale license.
- Register your business. In most jurisdictions, you’ll need to have an official business before you’re granted a wholesale license. Contact your country’s department of taxation to determine what the necessary steps are, so you’re legally allowed to conduct business.
- If you’re unsure where to start when it comes to registering your business, it may help to talk to a lawyer.
- In many areas, you can register your business online, so the process takes 10 minutes or less. However, the registration for more complicated business structures may take 1 to 3 months to process.
- Check to see if you need a sales tax license. If you plan to sell the clothing that you buy, you may need to get a sales tax license before you can obtain a wholesale license. Check with your local department of taxation for sales tax requirements and how to apply for a sales tax license.
- While you can often apply for a sales tax license online, it can take 1 to 4 weeks for the application to be processed.
- There is usually a fee for a sales tax license.
- Apply for a wholesale license. Once your company is registered and you’re legally able to sell goods, contact your local department of taxation to officially apply for a wholesale license. You’ll usually need to supply the name of your business and its taxation information, as well as pay a fee.
- Purchase from online wholesale marketplaces. There are a wide range of online marketplaces that specialize in wholesale clothing and fashion. You’ll have access to a large variety of online clothing styles, colors, and sizes without having to leave your home. Most sites require membership to purchase the clothing, but sign-up is usually free.
- You can use a general search engine, such as Google, to search for terms like “wholesale clothing marketplace,” and track down a wide variety of options.
- You can also visit search engines or directories specifically for wholesalers, such as Wholesale Central, which usually have a section dedicated to clothing.
- Visit your region’s fashion district. If you prefer to shop for wholesale clothing in person, check to see if your area has a fashion district. They are often found in big cities, such as New York or Los Angeles, and feature hundreds of clothing wholesalers and manufacturers in a condensed area. Not only can you pick out premade clothing to buy, you can have manufacturers custom make clothing items for wholesale.
- Shopping in person allows you to check out the quality and appearance of the clothing before you commit to purchasing it.
- Depending on where you live, wholesale clothing made locally may be more expensive than other options. For example, if you live in the U.S., wholesale clothing made locally typically costs more than options purchased from other countries.
- Visiting wholesalers in person allows you to establish a relationship with the sellers, which can help you buy clothing wholesale going forward.
- Attend trade shows. If you want to have a wider range of wholesale clothing options but still shop in person, a trade show is good option. Wholesalers set up booths with their clothing options, and you can place orders for the items that you like.
- Websites such as Wholesale Central often have calendars with trade shows that are of interest to people looking to buy wholesale. Check the calendar for apparel or fashion trade shows taking place in your area that you can attend.
- Search for overseas wholesalers for lower prices. If you’re looking to save money, finding wholesalers in other countries can mean lower prices. For example, there are a wide variety of wholesale clothing companies in China where you may be able to get a good deal. Search engines such as GlobalSources.com and Alibaba.com can help you identify overseas clothing manufacturers.
- When you're dealing with wholesalers in other countries, there may be a language barrier. It may be easier to use written communication to talk to your contacts because you can use translation software to help you.
- Set up a Skype account to communicate with wholesalers. Whether you're dealing with overseas wholesalers or domestic options that are located across the country, a Skype account allows for face to face communication. This can often help improve your business relationships, which can help with future purchases.
- Keep in mind that if you’re dealing with wholesalers and manufacturers in other countries, you’ll have to deal with time zone differences when discussing business.
- Shop at closeout companies if you don't have a wholesale license. You can often purchase clothing at wholesale prices from closeout companies, which typically sell stock that manufacturers are looking to get rid of at greatly reduced prices. You may have a local closeout company warehouse that you can shop at in person, but there are a variety of online closeout companies as well.
- You can find closeout companies by doing a basic internet search. It helps to use “clothing” or “apparel” as key words in your search as well.
EditDevising a Buying Strategy
- Study the sales and return policies. Before you buy any wholesale clothing, make sure that you know what the seller’s sale and return policies are. You don’t want to be stuck with a bunch of clothes that you can’t sell, so ask the wholesaler questions if they allow returns and what the terms are before purchasing anything.
- Buy ahead of time. If you’re stocking a brick and mortar store or a website, it’s a good idea to plan what types of clothing you’ll want for each season ahead of time. Purchase at least one season ahead, so you’ll always have the right items in stock.
- For example, don’t try to buy shorts at the beginning summer when there probably won’t be as many options available and you might have to pay more. Buy summer clothing in fall, winter, or spring.
- Choose a variety of styles. When you’re shopping for wholesale clothing, don’t just purchase items that you would wear. You’ll want your inventory to appeal to as many people as possible, so buy clothing that will work for people with a variety of different tastes.
- Determine the wholesaler's sizing information. When you’re dealing with a new wholesaler, make sure that you familiarize yourself with their sizing measurements. If items run small, you’ll probably want to purchase a greater number of larger sizes to ensure that the inventory will fit the majority of potential customers.
- Consider quality and price. Don’t just purchase a certain set of shirts because they’re really cheap and you think you can make a good profit. Very inexpensive items may not be good quality, which can leave you with unhappy customers.
- It's often worth it to purchase some designer wholesale clothing if you want to ensure that your inventory can appeal to customers who are looking for higher quality items.
- Purchase only what you need. When you’re buying wholesale clothing, you’ll often get a better price if you purchase a larger quantity. However, if you don’t sell all of the items, you’ll wind up losing money in the long run. Buy only the amount of clothing that you expect to sell to avoid having unsold inventory.
- If you’re thinking of buying clothing wholesale to sell, it’s best to start small. Consider setting up a store on a site like eBay or Etsy to get some experience before starting your own webstore.