So you’ve decided that you want to start an online boutique, now you’re wondering “How do I actually order clothes for my boutique?” I get it, there is a ton of information online to wade through. So, I’ve created a quick overview of how boutique owners actually purchase merchandise for their stores.
Licensing & Permits
Like any business, it is important to make sure you have the proper licensing and permits. Check your state and local city websites for further information. In most cases, it is necessary to receive a reseller/sales tax permit. Getting this permit is one of the key steps that will allow you to do business with wholesale vendors.
Set your Purchasing Budget BEFORE Ordering Clothes for Your Boutique
When starting an online boutique, you can start with as little as $1,000 set aside for inventory purchasing.
When choosing your wholesale vendor, you will need to decide between a domestic supplier or an overseas supplier. While going overseas may be cheaper, it comes with its own set of challenges such as a language barrier, clothing quality, getting your shipment through customs in a timely manner (there have been horror stories), and lots of added taxes and fees for importing goods.
My wholesaler lists feature American based vendors that are trusted by some of the biggest fast fashion brands in the world. That means no language barriers or exorbitant shipping fees. Yes, you are very welcome 😉
Where to Order Clothes for Your Boutique
Many retail buyers attend trade shows and wholesale marketplaces multiple times a year to place product orders. These MASSIVE gatherings can be overwhelming and expensive for a new boutique owner to attend (flight, hotel, meals, transportation, etc).
If you’re just getting started in the world of retail buying as a boutique owner, I highly suggest purchasing 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.
For those of you interested in starting a home decor and gifts online boutique, I’ve compiled a list of 50+ home goods vendors trusted by companies such as Wayfair, Joss & Main and Hayneedle.
You can visit the vendor websites and place product orders from the comfort of your couch.
Saving Money When Ordering Clothes for Your Boutique
Many brands offer discounts on special items or certain styles of a product. These items can help your online boutique offer interesting inventory to your customers and also increase your profit margin. You want to make sure you join the vendor’s email list so you can be notified of any specials that may be happening.
Timing Product Deliveries with Seasons/Holidays
The fashion industry generally goes through two main seasons: Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter. Depending on the target market you have chosen, you will have to purchase your biggest stock of inventory two to four times per year with minor purchases in between to readjust to your customers’ tastes.
Make sure to schedule your inventory delivery to coincide with major buying seasons. Gift cycles typically begin with delivery before the major winter holidays, beginning in October.