“How much inventory should I start with online boutique?” you ask? You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on racks and racks of clothing in starting an online boutique. Inventory is a liability and you never want to get stuck with more inventory than you can sell. You want to make the most out of every dollar you spend. That’s why I suggest starting with 1 case pack (also known as pre-pack) per style of item that you’ll offer.
What is a case pack?
When you purchase clothing from wholesalers, they usually pre-package their clothing styles. To place an order for an item, you’ll have to purchase a case pack. A case pack normally consists of 6 pieces. For example, a case pack of a particular top can be sold in 2-2-2 (2 Small, 2 Medium, 2 Large) or 3-2-1 (3 Small, 2 Medium, 1 Large).
If you will be selling jeans, sizes can range from Size 0 to Size 15. Pre-packs usually contain 12 pieces. A common pre-pack combination can be:
Ordering in packs makes it easy to track what styles and sizes you have and you can always restock when a size runs out.
It’s all about supply and demand. When you start selling pieces, your customers’ buying habits will help you decide on which sizes to stock more than others. For example, you may choose to buy from certain vendors who offer packs of 3-2-1 vs 2-2-2 because your customers purchase size small more often. That’s how to get the most money out of every pack.
Some Extra Tips
If a style is available in multiple colors DO NOT purchase all of the colors. Just choose a neutral color or one/two of the colors you think your customer will love the most.
Think about creating cohesive collections for your online boutique. You want to make it easy for your customer to shop by offering items that can be worn together. By stocking your boutique in this manner, you’ll be able to sell multiple items at once and encourage more repeat customers who trust your curation.
Now that you are more confident about how to stock your online boutique, you are ready to find the best wholesale vendors to partner with. To get started, buy one of my wholesaler lists. I’ve compiled a list of 100+ women’s clothing vendors trusted by companies such as Red Dress Boutique, Nasty Gal, Fashion Nova, and Boohoo.
Or if you’d like to start an infant/ children’s boutique, I’ve compiled a list of 50+ trustworthy infant & children’s fashion vendors.
You can visit the vendor websites and place product orders from the comfort of your couch.
You can also apply to attend trade shows.