Retail Management 101: How to Get Inventory for an Online Boutique

Running an on-line clothing boutique is a great means to have a retail business without taking on the operating expense of a traditional brick-and-mortar operation. Unless you plan on manufacture inventory for your on-line clothing shop, you ’ ll motivation to beginning apparel from wholesalers and other creators. We ’ ll show you how to do merely that in this guide on how to get armory for your on-line boutique. here ’ s a expect at the specifics of what we ’ ll cover :

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How to get inventory for an online boutique: Where to buy clothing wholesale

If you want to know how to start an on-line boutique, one of the first things you ’ ll motivation to do after writing your invest store commercial enterprise plan is source stock. If you ’ re looking to go the wholesale path for sourcing dress, you have three chief routes you can take : attending trade shows, working with on-line wholesale suppliers and working directly with manufacturers .

1. Wholesale boutique clothing trade shows

Attending a trade wind prove is a great way to get stock for an on-line boutique because you can touch the fabrics, see the choice of the clothes and net with brands and suppliers while you ’ re there. Keep in mind that most trade shows require you to prove that you ’ re a fashion buyer, such as by uploading a business wag or sharing your job title and business name upon registration. Some of the most popular trade shows for wholesale boutique clothing are :

  • agenda – Hosted in Las Vegas doubly a year and featuring more than 1,000 brands, Agenda specializes in exhibiting streetwear and providing an educational and supportive community to designers and buyers .
  • American Handcrafted –  For boutique owners looking to generator handcrafted clothing, accessories, and gifts, attending american Handcraft in Philadelphia is a must .
  • coast – COAST is Miami ’ second premier manner trade show and is held four times a year. This juried display features a curated solicitation of established and emerging designers .
  • clique – This show connects the best brands in women ’ mho fashion, including apparel, accessories and footwear, with buyers from around the global in New York City and on-line. COTERIE besides has an annual show dedicated to swimwear and resort wear in Miami .
  • Designers & Agents – Designers & Agents showcases a curated selection of 300 designers every season in New York and Los Angeles .
  • magic – This wholesale trade show specializes in exhibiting the latest trends in contemporary invest for women and men. They have shows several times a year in different locations across the United States, including New York City, Las Vegas and Nashville .
  • pure London – This London-based fashion craft appearance showcases womenswear, menswear and kidswear brands twice a class .

2. Wholesale clothing websites

If traveling to a trade wind prove international relations and security network ’ t an choice for you, you can besides reservoir apparel via wholesale boutique invest websites. Purchasing stock on-line will be more score or miss than attending trade shows because you won ’ thymine know the quality of the items until you receive them. To mitigate disappointment, see if the wholesalers offer samples. fair like with deal shows, you ’ ll necessitate to prove that you ’ re a fashion buyer to gain entree to sweeping armory and pricing. Check out these sweeping boutique dress websites to get started :

  • clique – The popular trade testify besides has an on-line shopping chopine .
  • LA Showroom – This on-line jobber sells a wide diverseness of womenswear, menswear, kidswear, footwear, smasher products and accessories .
  • FashionGo – FashionGo has been around for closely 20 years and offers everything from kidswear and fragrances to women ’ s fashions. The jobber even has a revolutionary joyride that makes it easy to do an double search of their catalog based on like products you find elsewhere on the vane .
  • Magnolia Fashion Wholesale – This Miami-based jobber specializes in contemporary womenswear and offers shipping to 80 countries .

Curating a list of on-line wholesalers is an authoritative separate of learning how to start an on-line boutique. Keep in mind that many deal shows besides offer on-line denounce platforms or virtual trade shows because of the COVID-19 pandemic .

3. Work with manufacturers

alternatively of working with wholesalers, you can besides work directly with manufacturers to get inventory for your on-line boutique. If you find products you like at other on-line shops, look for a manufacturer or brand name in the product description. then, research the brand and, if possible, contact them directly to see if they offer sweeping price .

How to vet wholesale suppliers 

Investing in inventory with a new supplier can feel intimidating. Take these measures to ensure you ’ ra working with trustworthy wholesalers and manufacturers :

  1. Ask the supplier for references, then contact the references and ask them how they like working with the supplier .
  2. Find out if you ’ ll be working with a dedicated sales representative. If not, your requests may slip under the radar .
  3. Pay attention to the sales rep ’ sulfur communication style and responsiveness. If they take days to respond to an e-mail and don ’ t have the answers you need, then you ’ ll probably have a torment working kinship. If they respond promptly and are organized, then you could be looking at the beginning of a mutually beneficial partnership.
  4. If potential, visit the supplier ’ second warehouse or ask for samples. While in the warehouse, observe how organized the inventory is. Feel the products and test for quality .

For more tips, check out our template on how to buy sweeping .

How to store and organize your inventory

here are a few pointers that will help you organize, storehouse and ship your inventory to make your life easier, and keep your customers felicitous .

1. Organizing your boutique’s inventory

The key to well-organized inventory is creating a organization and using software to keep track of stock, sizes, stock-keeping units ( SKUs ), sales and more. When you use a retail united states post office that has an ecommerce part, like Lightspeed, you can well upload your inventory into a centralized dashboard. Whenever you make a sale, quantities are mechanically updated and you ’ rhenium notified, so that you can jump to the fulfillment process .

2. Storing your online boutique’s inventory

The benefit of running an on-line boutique is that you don ’ t need to rent a shopfront. If possible, begin your business by storing your inventory at home. When you grow out of your space, consider renting out a warehouse or memory whole. You ’ ll need shelves and bins for at-home storage. Look for clear bins that close, so that you can well see your inventory and prevent them from getting damaged, moisture or mildewy. Consider adding odor-eliminators to your bins to keep your inventory bracing. Create a pronounce system for your bins and items. Add SKUs to your ecommerce software and add these labels to your armory to make them comfortable to find. It ’ mho authoritative to stay organized. You can develop your own storage system, or look for inspiration from around the web. YouTube is a great resource for inventory storage systems. Check out this television from Empty Hanger for one model of an at-home storage system, or this video from Jenna Jade for another example of a low-cost, dim-witted storehouse system .

3. Shipping inventory

When a customer makes a buy, your ecommerce software will notify you. then it ’ second time to package and ship the order. Keep transportation materials on hand. Stock up on poly mailers, boxes, tissue paper, plastic dress sleeves and packing tape. To save fourth dimension at the post office, buy a plate and shipping label printer. Look for fulfillment tools that integrate with your ecommerce software to import orders and print labels in bulge, and mechanically send customers shipping notifications and tracking information .

How to set prices for your online boutique

There are several ways to set prices for your on-line boutique. The inaugural strategy, which is called the keystone markup, involved simply doubling the wholesale price. This strategy is used across the industry. however, it may not give you adequate of a profit margin as it doesn ’ t take your costs ( such as labor, transportation, market, software and discounts ) into circumstance. The second method is to use the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP), which, as the name suggests, is the price that the manufacturer recommends you sell the item for. Some manufacturers mandate an MSRP, which doesn ’ t take your costs into account. other manufacturers simply offer the MSRP as a suggestion, to help put their retailers on a level play field. The third scheme is to use the absorption pricing method, which involves adding up the costs incurred to run your business ( including british labour party, market, software and the cost of your inventory ), dividing it by the number of units purchased and adding your desire profit margin .

Wrapping up: How to get inventory for an online boutique

Creating an on-line boutique is an excite opportunity to run a retail business without spending a short ton on operating expense. now that you understand how to start an on-line boutique, hera ’ s a checklist for how to get inventory for your on-line boutique :

  • Buy clothing wholesale through one or respective of the below methods :
    • Trade shows
    • Online wholesale sites
    • Working directly with manufacturers
  • Vet suppliers by :
    • Asking for and contacting references
    • Finding out if you ’ ll be working with a dedicate sales representative
    • Paying care to the sales rep ’ mho communication style and responsiveness
    • Visiting the supplier ’ randomness warehouse and/or reviewing samples
  • store and organize inventory by :
    • Using ecommerce software to organize your stock
    • Creating a system to store your inventory
    • Purchasing transportation supplies and using a fulfillment software that integrates with your ecommerce software to ship orders
  • set prices using one of the following methods :

Looking for an ecommerce platform that can take your on-line boutique to the adjacent degree ? lecture to us to learn about Lightspeed eCommerce .

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Category : Finance

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