How to Find and Buy High-Quality Boutique Wholesale Clothing

by Michelle Hoang June 17, 2019

boutique clothing store in a shopping center

It’s never been easier and more fun to create a fashion store! Whether you’re looking to make a name for yourself with a huge online business, or you just want to start small with a boutique, there are a few basics you need to cover. Finding and buying high-quality boutique wholesale clothing may sound like fun, and it certainly is! But there’s a lot of planning that needs to be done to make sure what you’re purchasing appeals to your customers season after season. With that in mind, let’s take a look at five easy tips for getting your fashion business off the ground.

Take Care of the Paperwork!

Before you get to the fun stuff, you’ll need to do a bit of paperwork. Make sure you have all the permits and licenses needed to operate your business. If you can afford it, hire an operations manager who can take care of these requirements. But if you’re going solo, you’ll need to be ready to wear a lot of hats at the same time! Like any business, starting a fashion company will require you to keep a level head and have strong attention to detail. You’ll need to be creative, strategic, and good with numbers if you really want your business to succeed.

After getting permits and licenses from your city or state, think about where you want to set up your store. Do you want a physical boutique on your town’s main street? Or, would you feel more comfortable starting an online store where you’d be sourcing high-quality wholesale boutique clothing and selling to customers all over the world? 

Identify Your Customers

a customer and cashier stand at the register at a store

After taking care of the ‘business’ part of setting up your store, you’ll need to think hard about who you want to sell to. A lot of people who start clothing and trendy accessories stores immediately tap into their own creative impulses for what they’d like to wear themselves. And that’s a good thing! If you’re bold and brave enough to start a fashion business, you likely have a great personal style already. But think about your customers, too. How you buy wholesale clothing affects what seasonal and annual sales look like.

At the end of the day, you’ll be the most successful you can be if you choose a niche or a specific target market. Think about this one carefully. Do some research and see who’s currently left out when it comes to cool clothing and accessories. Teens and women in their early to mid-twenties have TONS of options when it comes to shopping online. So, sourcing high-quality wholesale boutique clothing and selling to that market is incredibly competitive without a high marketing budget to get your name out there.

What about selling to women who are a little older, have families, and just want cute clothing and accessories, too? There aren’t as many boutiques out there covering this niche, so this could be a good way to go. This type of thinking is just one example for identifying your customers and can work no matter what type of store you’re setting up.

Shop Online for High-Quality Wholesale Boutique Clothing

Now that you’ve figured out who you’ll be selling to, it’s time to start shopping. How you buy wholesale clothing is a bit different than shopping for yourself. Oftentimes, you’ll only be able to buy wholesale clothing and accessories in bulk at discounted prices if you set up an account with wholesale vendors. This business is all about relationships, so be prepared to invest time and money to work with wholesalers who can supply the best high-quality wholesale clothing for your boutique.

Where to Find Wholesale Clothing Suppliers

person working on a laptop

These days, one of the easiest ways to find a wholesale clothing vendor is by simply searching for “high-quality wholesale boutique clothing” through Google or any search engine. Just do your research before you set up an account and start shopping. Read up on shipping fees, order minimums, and how fast products ship to your store or warehouse.

How to Contact Wholesalers

When you shop for wholesale clothing and accessories online, most sites will have a vendor portal where you can easily contact the sellers through email or chat. However, some wholesalers still prefer to do business over the phone or even in-person. This might sound a bit old fashioned, but remember that this side of the business is all about building and maintaining relationships. The better terms you’re on with suppliers, the better they’ll treat your business. You may even be able to get a good deal on some new clothing and accessories for your store!

How to Buy Wholesale Clothing

clothing in a wholesale warehouse

After finding and contacting a vendor who sells designs you like, read up on their order minimums. This could be the minimum number of pieces of any particular style a wholesaler typically requires you to buy. Or, it might be a minimum amount of money spent on a particular style or only on their website. For example, you might be required to buy at least six pieces of a wholesale women’s hat. Or, you could buy any quantity as long as it meets a $100 minimum a supplier sets. Order minimums are almost always set by suppliers. At Katydid Wholesale, for example, our wholesale order minimum is only $50.

Buying Tips From One Season to the Next

When it comes to wholesale buying, you’ll need to think about merchandising and seasonal trends, too. Generally, you’ll be buying six months in advance. That means thinking about wholesale women’s tees and cool tank tops for next spring as early as August or September of this year and shopping for jackets and outerwear in the middle of summer.

As you get your store off the ground, it’ll be important for you to look at your previous sales and see what was really popular with your customers. Go through the sales data and ask yourself some hard questions. Did size smalls and mediums of one top sell out almost instantly while larger sizes stuck around for months? Did you sell out of one type of hat? What about jewelry, bags, or cool accessories? Whatever your sell-through looks like, just keep in mind that buying the right, high-quality wholesale boutique clothing and accessories is just the start. To really succeed, you’ll need to keep promoting your store, marketing online and in local news outlets, and building relationships with your customers and suppliers. With all this in mind, you’ll be selling in no time!

Michelle Hoang
Michelle Hoang


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