According to the U.S. Census Bureau, clothing retailers saw a 38% increase in sales compared to August last year. So it looks like things are slowly making their way back to normal after last year’s retail downturn.
If you want to get your clothing store back on track or gear up your online store with the latest trends, now’s the time to start your search for bulk clothing and stock up.
Here’s how to buy clothes wholesale if you’re looking for high-quality goods to boost your sales.
If you’re starting a new venture, you will need to meet some legal criteria before you can buy wholesale goods. Find out what’s needed in your area.
You might require both city and state business licenses and a tax number to buy bulk clothing where you live. Some wholesalers may ask you to provide these as proof that you’re operating a legal business.
You can contact the Small Business Administration for guidance and assistance with all this red tape.
Know Your Target Market
As the saying goes, ‘there’s no accounting for people’s taste’. Different people like different clothing.
Some embrace the latest trends no matter what, others aim for comfort or want classic timeless pieces. Then there are different age groups to consider as well as workwear, sports gear, and formal clothing.
If you cast your net too wide, you could end up with good sales in some areas, and unused inventory in another.
It’s best to conduct some market research in your area to see what clothing people are buying and make that your target market. There’s no shame in sneaking a peek at what some of your competitors are selling, either.
Once you’ve tracked down your likely customer segment, you need to get to know them intimately. Some things to find out include:
- How much can they afford to spend on clothing?
- Are there any major trends in this market?
- How can I maximize my profits in this niche?
For instance, if you notice that most millennial males in your area seem to prefer T-shirts and casual wear, you could focus on men’s fashion wholesale purchases to satisfy this demand.
Make a list of how many of each item you want, common sizes, and colors before you commence looking for wholesalers.
Start Your Search for the Best Bulk Clothing
In modern times, the internet is your best friend when it comes to finding clothes for sale. You can find a wealth of information online about clothes for sale and where to find them.
Don’t expect to find the latest greatest stores on the front page of Google. These rankings on the search engine depend more on marketing skills than the quality of anyone’s goods.
So, refine your searches according to the following:
Overseas Suppliers vs Domestic Suppliers
If you look at wholesalers in India and China, you’ll find their prices a lot cheaper than those in the USA. Treat carefully, some of these operators cut costs by engaging in unfair labor practices and producing inferior products.
Since it’s difficult to check the quality of the items from afar, and travel’s off the cards, for now, it’s best to stick with domestic suppliers for now.
That’s not to say all Indian and Chinese goods are a no-no. If you’re familiar with the clothing supplied by a particular supplier and satisfied with their quality, you can order with confidence.
It does take a lot longer for your items to arrive, though.
Domestically produced goods come at a slightly higher price, but the reasons for this are all good. The US has stringent quality controls in place as well as labor laws to protect workers.
You’ll also receive your shipment a lot quicker when you purchase bulk clothing from a local wholesaler.
Online directories like ThomasNet, Maker’s Row, Alibaba, or AliExpress can help you find the best suppliers worldwide.
You don’t need to head to Paris or Milan to find the top fashions in bulk. Look for localized fashion expos and events.
These are a great opportunity to glean advice from other store owners, meet some designers, and vet the items for sale before you buy them.
The Off Price Show, Magic Show, and ASD shows are good places to start. You can find these events on websites like Trade Show News Network and 10times.
The LA Fashion District
If you’re up for a road trip, the LA Fashion District will open your eyes to a wealth of opportunities. You’ll find all the top US boutique distributors in this area.
Here, you can get to interact personally with vendors and check the quality of the clothing. Be sure to make an appointment to see each one, so you have their undivided attention.
Online wholesalers are one of the most convenient places to stock your shelves. It’s a quick and easy process, and you’ll receive your items as quickly as can be.
Are concerned about buying items without viewing them first? Look up online reviews about each wholesaler to see how their previous customers rate their clothes.
Many reputable businesses operate online nowadays. Even big players like Nike are onboard with e-commerce in 2021.
Getting Back in Business
Armed with this knowledge about buying bulk clothing, you’re all set to get back on track, or embark on your new chapter. Now all that’s left to do is to get going with some irresistible marketing initiatives to create some hype before you open your doors.
Make sure you amp up your website and your social media pages with information about your gorgeous new stock and update your online store with all the details.
Would you like some more good business tips? Browse our website for more of the best business advice.
Iskra Banović is our seasoned Editor-in-Chief at BlueFashion. She has been steering the website's content and editorial direction since 2013. With a rich background in fashion design, Iskra's expertise spans across fashion, interior design, beauty, lifestyle, travel, and culture.