As you think about starting an online clothing boutique of your own, you may wonder where do online boutiques get their clothes? where to buy clothes to start a boutique? If you are also troubled by these questions, don't worry, you are not the only one who wants to know where boutiques get their clothes.
In this article, I have compiled a list of 10 sources for buying wholesale clothing for a boutique, such as online wholesale clothing websites for boutiques, offline clothing wholesale marketplaces, etc. I will teach you how to get your boutique clothing inventory easily from the 10 sourecs and I will also figure out the Pros and Cons of each source. You can decide which source fits you best for buying wholesale clothing for your online clothing boutique.
Let's dive in.
Where to Buy Wholesale Clothes for A Boutique
Source #1. Online Wholesale Clothing Websites (Recommended)
When it comes to buying wholesale clothing, online wholesalers are the most preferred medium for most boutique owners.
There are many benefits to working with an online supplier. First of all, you can browse the pages from the comfort of your home instead of running around. This will also save you a lot of money. What's more, online suppliers may come from all over the world, so you can greatly enrich your boutique's product range. If you find the right wholesaler clothing platform, you only need to browse one website to deal with all suppliers.
- Access to a wide range of products
- Easy: You may buy merchandise for your online boutique whenever you need it without having to travel to trade exhibitions.
- Best prices: You can find the greatest pricing online.
- Quick turnaround time
- Risky (from product quality & delivery point of view): Because you won't know the quality of the goods until you get them, and there are many scam sites you need to avoid.
How to Buy Clothes for a Boutique from Online Wholesale Clothing Websites?
How to buy boutique wholesale inventory online? Just starting your online boutique and not quite ready to take on these large marketplaces yet? Purchase my wholesaler lists and begin stocking your online boutique right from the comfort of your home with online boutique vendors in these lists.
Here is a list of 45 Best Wholesale Clothing Websites You Need to Know. Many of them are trusted by companies such as Red Dress Boutique, Nasty Gal, Fashion Nova, and Boohoo.
Take FondMart as an example, you can get clothing inventory for your boutique by following the steps below.
FondMart is a 100% factory wholesale platform where you can find a large selection of wholesale clothing for your online boutique.
After clicking on the website, you will find that the website has already organized the latest arrivals, the most popular and the most popular clothes for you. You can select the tags you are interested in and browse.
NEW ARRIVAL#: The products under the NEW ARRIVAL tab are the latest clothing updates to the site. If you are not satisfied with other styles on the site, you can come to this tab to browse and buy clothes for your boutique.
TRENDING#: Under the TRENDING label are the most popular outfits of the moment. These clothes are inspired by the season's fashion shows. If you want to buy some cutting-edge fashion boutique clothing for your clothing store, look under this tab.
HOT#: The Hot tab lists the top selling apparel across the site. If you are buying online wholesale apparel for your boutique for the first time, you can click on this tab to find inspiration from these top sellers.
Step2: Browse Category
Next, you can browse category according to your need.
You can also use the filtering tool "Sort by" on the side to filter out the most advantageous clothes for your boutique.
You can sort by "Most Popular, Best Sellers, Newest, Price Low-High, Price High-Low".
Step3: Pick Out the Clothes You Like
Pick out all the trendy and fashion clothes you want.
If you want to check the clothing details, such as material, shipping time, you can refer to the product description.
Step4: Checkout & Complete The Order
If everything is perfect, you can add them to your shopping cart and place your order.
Pro tip: To get a hands-on with the latest trending fashion, schedule weekly purchases with online wholesalers. Stocking & replenishing latest fashion can give your store a massive edge over your competitors. Therefore, I would highly recommend this option for beginners.
Click here to follow the latest fashion on FondMart.
Source #2. Wholesale Trade Shows / Garment Events & Conferences
Apparel trade shows are a great place to find your latest apparel clothing and design inspiration. Suppliers are often there to showcase the latest clothing for professionals and consumers in the industry, you can find some unique boutique clothing wholesale easily.
· Going to market allows you to meet vendors directly. Very effective in developing trade relationship.
· To see the quality, to touch and feel products, and to get inspired.
· To see how venders are styling the products and see how others are styling the latest trends through displays.
· An efficient way to find many brands in one place by showroom in market.
· Some markets have options for you to buy on-site and bring the goods home with you that day.
· Flexible in terms of pricing & other terms
· Unique clothing
· Some exhibitions are only open to corporate clients.
· Cumbersome for beginners
This purchase option is recommended only for experienced boutique owners. Finding, shortlisting & negotiating with manufacturers or suppliers requires serious skills. Also, manufacturers will require a commitment of a certain volume which isn’t possible for new entrants.
Some of the most popular wholesale trade shows globally for boutique clothing are listed below.
A massive year round marketplace spread out in three buildings. They showcase apparel, gift, and home goods wholesale vendors.
Location: Las Vegas, New York City, Nashville
Occurs twice a year over a 3-day period. An insanely large tradeshow with hundreds of women’s, men’s and children’s wholesale vendors.
Location: Atlanta, GA
Elevated women’s contemporary apparel,accessories,and footwear spanning premium to affordable luxury price points.
Contemporary men’s and women’s apparel, footwear and accessories, ranging from mid-market to premium price points.
Held in Chicago’s massive Merchandise Mart, Stylemax is a women's apparel and accessory trade show, where you can shop thousands of today's best sellers and most unique lines—over 4,000 in all! This event is spread out over 3 days.
Location: Chicago, IL
Miami's top fashion trade expo, COAST, is held there four times a year. In this juried exhibition, collections from both well-known and up-and-coming designers are featured.
The event links New York City and online shoppers from across the world with the top womenswear brands, including clothing, accessories, and footwear.
Location: New York, NY
·Pure London (UK)
This twice-yearly fashion trade expo in London features brands for women's, men's, and kids' clothing.
·Texworld Paris (France)
The show is a major business and inspiration platform thanks to its wide international offer, thematic forums and its trendbook.
·MICAM Milano (Italy)
MICAM Milano, the world’s leading footwear fair promoted by Assocalzaturifici, is one of a kind: a benchmark event for dealers from all over the world.
·International Apparel & Textile Fair (UAE)
The International Apparel & Textile Fair features an annual three-day interactive speaker forum featuring apparel exhibits and collectibles.
Pro tip: Before attending, make sure to have your business license on hand. This can literally be the difference between being welcomed and getting to buy items or being shown the exit. Wholesalers need to know that you’re legit.
As you gain experience, don’t shy away from trying this sourcing method. It’s very effective from the brand-building point of view.
Source #3. Offline Wholesale Clothing Marketplaces
As well as online wholesale vendors, offline wholesalers are also great answers to " Where to Buy Clothes to Start a Boutique?" To buy wholesale clothing offline, there are always several cities where you can find local wholesale clothing wholesale boutique clothing. These places are usually open all year round and you can get a feel for the quality of the clothes for boutique and how they look on you in person.
- All the advantages of a trade exhibition
- Available all year long. This implies that you can plan visits as needed.
- Direct contact with the seller & product
- Fairly simple process
- Fewer chances of error or fraud
- Lack of latest fashion
- Not enough range of products
Some of the best offline wholesale clothing marketplaces where you can find the best wholesale clothing prices.
·Atlanta American Market
Featuring the widest variety of gifts in the country, also to a wide range of home. The Atlanta market is home to more than 8,000 brands.This brands from a variety of different categories. Such as apparel, food, outdoor and more.
Location: Atlanta, GA
·LA Fashion Market
Year round wholesale marketplace where you can view women’s, men’s and children’s apparel. The Los Angeles Fashion District business district brings together clothing suppliers from all over the United States.
Location: Los Angeles, CA
·Dallas Market Center
Dallas Market Center is a large wholesale market from Dallas. Not only can support you to go offline shopping but also can support mobile app shopping.
Location: Dallas, TX
·Fashion Industry Gallery
A year-round wholesale online boutique wholesale that showcases women’s, men’s, and children’s apparel alongside accessories & footwear.
Location: Dallas, TX
Even if you decide on some other sourcing method, its advisable to visit nearby clothing wholesale market. Why? Because you get to know more about the market, industry & the eco-system.
Source #4. Wholesale Directories / Trade Catalogues
Trade literature in the fashion retail world is usually in the form of regularly published catalogs and wholesaler directories. Traditionally, these were printed magazines; today many have moved their business online. They can be updated weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually. For advice relating to the fashion retail world, you can usually refer to several catalogs and magazines that are regularly published by wholesalers. You can simultaneously read the paper copy offline and subscribe to the online version. Wholesalers are more than willing to provide you with resources, so you can easily find these online.
- A good number of manufacturers or brand owners
- Direct contact or visit
- Good for building a long-term relationship with manufacturers
- Time-consuming process
- Cumbersome for beginners
- Limited range of products
This purchase option is recommended only for experienced boutique owners. Finding, shortlisting & negotiating with manufacturers or suppliers requires serious skills.
Also, manufacturers will require a commitment of a certain volume which isn’t possible for new entrants.
If you want to browse trade catalogs and directories and use them to find places to buy wholesale clothing for boutiques, the following can help you.
The top B2B directory for wholesale suppliers and clothing is called Wholesale Central. Powerful purchasing tools are provided to help distributors find wholesalers.
To surf the website and shop for fantastic deals on wholesale clothing, no registration is necessary. For premium access and extra features, sign up for the FREE Buyers Network.
The best wholesalers for online retailers are identified by Worldwide Brands, who then adds them to our list. Worldwide Brands makes sure that its members only buy from trustworthy, safe wholesalers at the very top of the supply chain.
SaleHoo enables suppliers to focus more on building your online store and less on research. Give specific details about the clothing and sources.
· Independent Retailer
Independent Retailer is a retail information site that not only has many vendor listings but also needs related courses.
·Association of Textiles
The AATCC links the world's textile community in order to create a future that is creative, informed, and sustainable.
Pro tip: While browsing directories, make sure to read customer reviews. They can help identify reputable clothing vendors and the ones to avoid. You can also request information on the whereabouts of their production facility or showroom (credible wholesalers won’t hesitate to share these details with you).
Source #5. Sourcing Agents
Sourcing Agents can help you get expert advice on choosing the best suppliers from buying agents who specialize in the fashion industry.You can also use their experience to haggle hard with suppliers to get the best deal. Of course, they do want to pay for their expertise.
- Professional sourcing
- Better purchase price
- Professional fees: Professional advice can be expensive and it's not a good idea to go the extra cost until you have a large enough shop.
Here are some well-known sourcing agents in the US:
Apparel Sourcing Company (New York)-Since 1995, the Apparel Procurement Company has offered services for apparel sourcing and product development.
Apparel Agents (Chicago)-The Apparel Agency is a full-service custom apparel design agency that gets your design ideas factory production ready fast.
American Apparel Sourcing (Atlanta)-American Apparel Sourcing is one of the world's largest manufacturers of basic apparel, socks and legwear, and also provides supplier consulting services.
If you a beginner & still aren’t comfortable with purchasing stock online then try seeking help from sourcing agents.
Source #6. LinkedIn
LinkedIn is effectively a platform for connecting employers with job seekers. However, it is also used to develop professional networks or relationships.
The following individuals appear when I search "fashion sourcing" or "online boutique" on LinkedIn.
All you need to do is find people in the fashion industry and get in touch with them.
Once the discussion has started, you can request various information such as contact numbers, directories, factory addresses, etc.
Visit or talk to them over the phone and close the deal.
- Helps develop a professional network
- Time-consuming: You need to spend a long time communicating with professionals as they do not always get in touch with you on this software.
- Cumbersome for beginners: Beginners are more problematic and do not find the right person quickly.
LinkedIn is all about connecting with the people & developing the professional relationship for mutual benefit.
Source #7. Facebook Groups
This is a unique way to source stock for your online boutique.You may already know about Facebook groups. And, chances are, you are a member of a Facebook group that interests you.ll you have to do is search for Facebook groups related to boutiques and join them. Once you have joined, post messages on these groups detailing your stock requirements. When the supplier sees these posts, he or she may contact you.
- An easy way to connect with interested suppliers
- Opportunity for scams or fraud (scammers may pose as suppliers and contact you)
There are several Facebook groups dedicated to the boutique industry, such as boutique brands, designers, and suppliers. Try searching for more and joining them.
Source #8. Online Forums
Seasoned fashion entrepreneurs usually know a lot about wholesalers, but they don't share their experience with everyone and anyone. When picking their brains, your best bet is to engage in some networking. Search online forums where veteran boutique owners hang out and have conversations.
- You can network with fellow industry practitioners and find potential buyers from these groups.
- Most forums require a professional membership and the information in them is not screened and you need to judge the authenticity for yourself.
Some forums to join：
·The Fashion Spot
Source #9. Independent Designers
The work of independent designers will often make your fashion boutique more eye-catching and unique. You can find them on many blog sites and contact them directly to buy wholesale clothing for boutique.
These designs are not available from the usual large retailers and once you have established a good relationship with these independent designers, you will have access to a constant flow of unique designs.
- By working with these designers, you can get a unique inventory of boutique clothing.
- Independent designers' clothes tend to be more expensive and have higher minimum order sizes, so if you are on a budget, they may not be a good choice.
If you want to get in touch with some independent designers, then you can refer to the following websites.
Source #10. Collaboration with Manufacturers
Look for a manufacturer or brand name in the clothing description if you see something you like in other online stores. Then, look up the company online and, if at all possible, get in touch with them to see if they provide wholesale prices.
Rather than or in addition to collaborating with wholesalers, you can obtain inventory for your online boutique directly from the manufacturers. You can either buy pre-made goods from them directly, bypassing the wholesaler middleman, or order custom inventory for your online boutique. By eliminating the wholesaler middleman, inventory acquisition costs can be reduced.
- If you work with a manufacturer to create custom merchandise, you will have stock that no one else has.
- There is a purpose for wholesalers. It could be challenging to try and communicate with clothing directly. Not all manufacturers are willing to offer their clothing directly to shops because they often specialise in producing clothing rather than selling them. You'll encounter the same connection hurdles when wholesale their own clothing as with traditional wholesaling. You'll need to account for design and sample fees if you're ordering customised clothing.
Choosing the Right Supplier for Your Boutique
While it can be difficult to choose a good supplier from the many unknown suppliers, it is important to choose the right one. A good supplier tends to be reliable and consistent. They will not only be your strongest backing, but they will also provide you with better services. Therefore, when you are buying clothes wholesale for boutique, you can refer to the following keywords to determine whether the supplier is reliable or not.
As mentioned above, if you are approaching an unfamiliar supplier for the first time, it may not seem easy to find what you need. But often good suppliers have some common characteristics and you can judge them by the following.
If you want to judge whether your supplier is reliable, you can do so by looking at the expertise he possesses. You can get a lot of the most popular clothing from a good supplier, as well as access to the latest trends. Good suppliers also tend to have a good aesthetic.
Remember, you are opening a boutique and the quality of the clothes is always of paramount importance. A good supplier can provide you with high-quality clothing that may be slightly more expensive than the average, but trust me, it is the unique wholesale clothing that your boutique customers need.
Many middlemen will disguise themselves as wholesalers, they get cheap clothes from the source manufacturers and sell them to you at a higher price. They are often resistant to small orders because they know they can't offer quality goods. Look for genuine factory wholesale suppliers where you can find the quality inventory you need at low prices.
Do not rely on just one source of inventory. Try to mix up things & see what works the best.
Ideally, for a beginner, I would highly recommend the online wholesaler method. You can try to start solving the "where to buy clothes to start a boutique" problem with FondMart. Click here to register. A one-on-one sales manager will help you all the way.
With a few months of purchase experience, you can explore the wholesale markets. And, after having a few years of experience, you can go big by tying up with big fashion brands.
A few bonus tips to deal with clothing vendors:
· For very bulk quantity, enter into a legal contract
· Price negotiation is an art, master it with practice
· Increase volume & then negotiate other trade terms like credit, delivery time etc.
· Sell your vision to the supplier. That will help further with negotiation.
· Logistics is a huge operational pain. Let the vendor handle the same for a fee.
What do you think of the aforesaid ways to get inventory for your online clothing boutique?
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