Operating a retail clothing boutique that specializes in ‘made in the USA’ clothing can be a challenge given the highly competitive nature of this market segment. This is especially true if one is engaged in eCommerce where the number of businesses engaged in online trading has skyrocketed in recent years. However, even those who operate ‘bricks and mortar’ boutiques need to be aware that there are pitfalls that can await the unwary – and that this is not a business that is forgiving of mistakes.
One of the most important decisions a boutique owner will take is their selection of a wholesale vendor. There are certain factors that must be taken into account prior to selecting a wholesale supplier – and this is one of those instances where research can spell the difference between success and failure of an enterprise.
Here are some hints and tips to ensure that the wholesaler that you choose as a supplier will meet and exceed your expectations – and ensure that your business flourishes.
Firstly it is well worth noting that the wholesale clothing supply sector is filled to the brim with companies that will promise the Earth as far as quality is concerned – but when it comes to delivery often falls short. This is especially true of those companies that claim to supply original brand clothing or pieces that are in exceptionally high demand. However many of these companies are in the business of supplying fakes. the online or main street boutique owner should always be especially wary of wholesalers who make offers that seem too good to be true – they often are.
The opposite is also true. Many unscrupulous wholesalers will offer what they claim are high-end goods at exorbitant prices – claiming that the market demand is sky-high. The boutique owner, after paying premium prices is then left with sub-standard goods and no recourse to the law.
The key is to shop around for the best price – and ask for samples and if possible references. It is always good to remember that there are no shortcuts to profit and success. Once again research and patience are key.
Always make sure that you are getting the best deal for the numbers of goods that you are purchasing – and make sure to gauge customer demand before placing an order. The key to great profit margins is to source wholesale clothing in bulk. However, the last thing that any boutique wants is to be left with excess inventory. Style is a fickle Mistress – and excess stock that is not sold within the short term will almost certainly have to be disposed of at a loss.
Do your homework (and legwork) in order to find the perfect trusted vendor. Often some of the most long-lasting relationships that you form will start off at an event such as a trade show. These are especially useful as you can meet face-to-face with the vendor and gauge the style and quality of the goods they have on offer.
When all is said and done, it is research that will be one of the most important factors (along with shrewd stock management) that will spell the difference between the success and failure of a boutique. Finding a trusted wholesale partner depends to a large extent on your dedication to doing that research and your patience when it comes to selecting that partner.