One of the most important parts of being a successful boutique owner is how you buy wholesale clothing and products for your boutique. Sourcing for great quality, trends and price will set you apart from the rest.
Here are the things to remember when buying wholesale and four key places to source for your boutique!
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Before you buy anything, know this…
You’re a boutique owner for a reason you’re not a big-box store.
Nobody else has is your ability to style your customers and give them the most personal service anywhere. So as you buy, buying with your customer’s unique tastes, your unique brand, and your ability to quickly turn key categories and make money is critical.
So while this post will tell you WHERE to shop, you will also want to take the time to know HOW. Another key training you can find in the Boutique Hub. Your profit is hiding not only in what you buy, but the numbers behind it all.
What brands will you source?
When you begin buying wholesale you need to be bringing in the right brands and building the right level of trust with your customers. Bringing in cheap brands, pricing your pieces just above wholesale, or not building enough margin will only hurt your business. Your prices can always go down, but you won’t be able to raise them back up.
Price suggests quality, and so does photography.
Quality products, styled with your unique taste & photographed beautifully will build your brand and trust with your customers.
Using stock photos suggest you’re one of the crowd. Build your brand with video, try on sessions, unique flat lays or model photos and re-style and shoot as products don’t turn as you’d like them to.
Now……where do you find the best products for your boutique?
Four Places to Buy Wholesale For Your Boutique:
1. Apparel & Gift Markets
Going to market allows you to meet vendors directly and to see the quality, to touch and feel products, and to get inspired. More than you can through photos, you’ll be given the opportunity to see how venders are styling the products and see how others are styling the latest trends through displays. Take that inspiration back to your boutique and put your own twist on it.
While at market, you’ll find several great vendors in the ‘temps’ or temporary booth section. These range from apparel, accessory, shoe and gift vendors. Every market has this type of section and is what you are most often shopping with.
The other type of option to shop at market is the showrooms. These are where one showroom owner has curated 3+ brands together to show you in one place. This is an efficient way for brands to penetrate the market in several key areas through trusted showroom owners. The showroom usually has like priced and customer demographic focused brands.
Finally, ask about the cash and carry. Some markets have options for you to buy on-site and bring the goods home with you that day. This is usually jewelry and accessories, but can also be samples of full apparel lines.
2. Buying Wholesale Online
Some of the more popular online platforms include Fashion Go, LA Showroom, OrangeShine, Tundra, and Faire. All of these platforms all serve a different corner of the market, so find what suits you best. For a higher-end or zip code protected options, there’s also NuOrder and Joor.
Each of these platforms are a little different in who they serve, but they all have great selections and unique terms.
3. Wholesale on the Boutique Hub – Hubventory
At The Boutique Hub, we partner with over 750 brands from around the world that are all vetted, ready to serve boutiques. Not only do you get to meet the brand and see the line, but you get to meet the people behind the brand inside of the Boutique Hub on a daily basis. Inside of our member groups at the Boutique Hub, you’ll get to see daily videos, line sheets, and new arrivals from all these brands as they drop. And because you are Hub member we negotiate pricing with tons of these brands to get you guys the best deals possible.
New in 2021 – we’re launching our own wholesale platform, Hubventory! It’s wholesale created by the industry, with your business put first. We have easy Shopify integrations & uploads, collaborative inventory planning boards, personalized feeds, honest pricing, instant member savings, and education.
4. Los Angeles
There are many wholesale options in LA, but more than likely you’re going directly to LA if you’re into fast fashion and ready to be shopping in a San Pedro area. It isn’t recommended to just buy a ticket to LA tomorrow and try to figure it out. There’s definitely some strategy when it comes to going to LA that you should know beforehand. In the Hub, we have tons of training information, tips, and videos on how to buy an LA, along with our LA Experience trip through Retail Bootcamp. All of this information can be found in our training library for all of our members at the Boutique Hub.
What else should you know?
Fit. Junior, missy, and curvy cuts all run a little different, so as you begin buying, knowing how each brand calls their sizing will make a huge difference in how you serve your customers. What’s medium in one brand will not be a medium in the other. You have to be the person that uncovers those best pieces and educates your customer on how the clothing will fit their unique body type.
Have wholesale questions?
Let us know anytime, or meet up with us at Market! Look for Boutique Hub signs at our partner brand booths, or for our next at market meet up for boutique owners!
Join the Hub for more training, information, and connections.