When it comes to selling clothing, a big part of the challenge when first setting up a business, is finding the right wholesale provider / supplier. Shopping for wholesale is very different to shopping normally, and there are lots of different things you’ll want to consider and take into account – especially when it comes to finding the right supplier for you and your brand.
Here we’ll talk about some of the things to look out for and some of the mistakes people often make when searching for wholesale items.
Know your quantity first
Knowing the quantity of your potential order will help you a lot when it comes to placing a wholesale order. Knowing your quantity isn’t just about knowing what price you’ll be charged, and being able to get an accurate quote (although this is definitely part of it). Knowing your quantity will also let you bargain for prices and get a better deal.
It’s possible to bargain
Lots of people forget this when buying wholesale. Remember that for many wholesale companies – it’s totally acceptable to make an offer and bargain a bit on pricing. Wholesale is different to regular retail shopping, and prices aren’t always fixed – especially if you plan on ordering large quantities of items. The more you order, the more likely you can get a discount.
Cheaper isn’t always better
When looking at wholesale stores and portals, it’s tempting to go for the cheapest option possible (because that means more profit for you!). But don’t be swayed by super cheap pricing, because it might mean that the quality suffers. Remember, that the product will end up going to your customers, so if the quality isn’t as good as you’d hope or expect, it could result in returns or even full refunds at a later stage.
Ask for samples
Samples are so important, and it’s really normal to ask for samples in the wholesale arena. If you’re going to be ordering 50 (or even 5000) items, it’s fair to request a sample of said item before placing the order. The same won’t be personalised or have any major customised features, but it should at least give you a good impression of what to expect, and put your mind at ease.
Trust your gut
With a lot of things in life, trusting your instincts can go a long way. If a deal seems too good to be true – it probably is. Or if you don’t get a good vibe from a website or company, make sure to dig a little deeper before investing your money into items. A lot of wholesale website can be a little confusing or daunting – so if you’re ever confused there should always been someone on a phone number who you can speak to.
A great way to ensure you’re going with a good company, is to find recommendation from friends or colleagues in the industry. If you know that a friend has previously used someone as their supplier, and they were really happy with the items – this is a great benchmark to their quality and service. Finding reviews online also helps validate any concerns or gut feelings. If a company has bad reviews online, it might be worth finding one that has positive ones instead.
Become familiar with the major players
Know who the big brands are within your wholesale industry and do a little research on what the top end prices are, before you go searching for the bargains. You might find that the reputable company / brand who you thought would be more expensive are actually really affordable and can offer you a better service / process too. Remember it’s not just about getting the items, it’s about having regular access to those items, how high quality they are, how regulated they are, etc.