As a future online boutique owner, one of the most exciting parts of the process is buying inventory for online boutique! It’s like shopping at your favorite mall…x1000!
Once you’ve filed your LLC, received your EIN number, created your business bank account and gotten your reseller’s permit, you’ll have access to more vendors than you can count. If you’re at a trade show (or if you’ve purchased one of my wholesaler lists) it can be tempting to want a peek at everything!
But here’s the thing: buying inventory is not a shopping spree! That’s because you’re not buying for yourself, you’re buying for your customer. If you don’t know who you’re selling to, you’ll end up with boxes and boxes of product piled up in your living room full of clothes that you can’t sell. That’s every boutique owner’s nightmare.
In order to make your dream business into a real business, you have to be able to sell the inventory you buy. And you can only do that if you buy the right way. There are three keys on how to get inventory for online boutique correctly when starting an online boutique. So let’s start from square one.
WHO IS YOUR TARGET CUSTOMER?
Most new online boutique owners skip this VERY important step before launching their boutique. But it’s one of the most expensive mistakes you can make. If you don’t have a clear picture of your target customer, you won’t know what to buy or what to sell it for. And you never want to play the guessing game with your money!
Answering this question will be a big step in clearing any confusion. It will help you focus your buying budget, create a buying, and know which vendors to contact (and those to skip). That way, you’ll save money, time and energy— and you’ll only buy things that your target customer will be attracted to.
You don’t want someone to just pick up a piece here and there from your boutique. You want to organize your inventory cohesively so that a shopper could easily buy everything you’re offering.
That’s the power of creating collections, when you know your customer. The right way on how to get inventory for online boutique means curating pieces that work well together, from apparel to accessories. You want to take into account every aspect of your target customers’ style so you can cater to her.
Your online boutique should be her favorite place to shop. And that’s because she should be able to create multiple looks from the pieces she purchases. The easier you make it for her to shop, the more she’ll spend. That’s a win-win!
BUY THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF INVENTORY
Inventory is an investment. So you want to be strategic, not only with what you purchase but how you purchase. When you are starting out, I recommend buying a case pack per style.
As you get more customers, you’ll get an even better idea of what sizes are more in demand. When you know the size range of your customer, you’ll know if you should stick with the vendor you currently have or switch to one who offers quantities in their case packs that suit your customer’s needs. Having the right supplier will help you get more bang for your buck.
Maybe you still have questions like:
How do I place an order at a trade show?
What can I expect as a new boutique owner working with vendors?
or How exactly do I create collections that sell?
As a new boutique owner, you’ll have to communicate with vendors, manage different lead times, catalog inventory, design collections and calculate profit margins — things that can take months to learn and years of experience to get right.
It can be overwhelming to be the one making all the big decisions. And as a former fashion buyer for a national retailer where my decisions directly impacted millions of dollars of inventory and sales, I want to teach you how to buy like a pro!
In my In Stock to Sold Out masterclass, you’ll learn to create a collection that sells (instead of choosing random products that you ‘like’), what to actually do at a trade show, how to price for profit and more!
But let’s quickly review what happens when you DON’T buy inventory the right way: you get stuck with unsold inventory that’s getting older and older with each passing day and you’ll go into destash groups on Facebook to sell the products at cost (instead of making a profit) to other boutique owners who are also NOT buying correctly. 🤦
It becomes a vicious cycle.
INSTEAD, by joining In Stock to Sold Out you’ll be able to go through a powerful training that will empower you with the practical knowledge and strategies to buy with confidence — instead of crossing your fingers and hoping items sell!
You’ll be able to:
- Save money and avoid mistakes common that new online boutique owners make (like having a living room full of stuff you can’t sell)
- Make more money from every customer you get (and be able to upsell, cross sell + charge the right retail price)
- Be confident in any buying situation and be regarded as a professional in the industry (even if you are a complete newbie)
PLUS, get access to my updated pricing calculator and extended buying glossary for online boutique owners