How to Find GOOD Wholesale Products for your Online Boutique
Starting an online boutique is so fun! Once you have the money saved up & the foundation of your company built you need to find products to sell.
It is important when you do this that you decide what kind of person you want to target. When I was starting my boutique I went to other boutiques that I loved & that I want to have the same style as. I often find that being unique is important, so taking your top 3 & combining them into one boutique is the best route!
Keep it unique, but find what others do & make it your own!
I often find that being unique is important, so taking your top 3 & combining them into one boutique is the best route!
Find Product YOU like!
I would pick a style that you know a lot about or that you enjoy wearing. It’s hard to be looking at clothes & trying to find clothes that fit a certain style if you yourself don’t like that style. It can be done, but I personally love buying clothes for my boutique because I love shopping. So being able to pick clothes that I love helps motivate me to get digging through websites to find clothes I can sell.
It’s also important to make sure you have a wholesale license or sales tax license before you start this process. Many of the wholesale companies require you to share this information in order to get membership to their shops. So I would go to my other blog post that talks about building your foundation for your boutique linked here!
Find wholesale platforms
After you have this information finding a company that doesn’t require a receipt of a different wholesale purchase is necessary. Alibaba is one of these companies. But getting a couple purchases that are things like jewelry or scrunchies is important. With these receipts you can then apply for other bigger online wholesale markets like OrangeShine, or LAshowroom. There are so many different companies that I looked into! Here’s a list of the different wholesale markets I applied to that I felt was worth the time!
Sadie & Sage
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Some of these places, like the LA showroom, have tons of other shops inside of them. After you apply then it is time for the search. I spend a little bit of time daily looking for different styles I like on pinterest & instagram.
Finding inspiration always helps me narrow down my search on the big wholesale sites.
Now... How much?
Something to keep in mind when buying wholesale is how many of that item you are buying. Some of the companies require you to buy a certain amount of that item, while others allow you to have a spending restriction such as you must spend $100.
I found that at the beginning of my boutique one of the biggest mistakes I made was buying too many of the same product. When you’re just starting out getting one of each item is plenty! Plus you can always go back and buy more if that item is in high demand.
Find the BEST rates!
What I always tend to do is go through the smaller sites & see what is available & then I jump to the bigger sites to see if I can find similar styles at a better rate. It's crazy sometimes what one company will charge wholesale & you can find the exact same item at a cheaper price.
When selling clothing on a boutique site you want to be making double if not more than what you originally bought that item for. When it comes down to the numbers if you sell for anything less you won’t make money. Every boutique is different, and how you handle finances will be different than your neighboring boutique. But when you are spending money on shipping (because you are offering free shipping), or you are paying for thank you cards & tissue paper & cute polybags. You need to be making money in order to spend more money.
Finding that balance is important. But more on finances in your boutique in my next blog!
Find Unique Products!!
After you have spent time digging through pinterest, instagram and smaller sites for inspiration, go to the BIG site! When I first started it was overwhelming. I didn’t know what to search for. All the searches I was doing ended up in clothing that I wouldn’t want to sell. I went through & found some of the brands that I knew from other boutiques & that helped me. But I wanted to find new unique things. The products that I get that are unique always do better in my shop!
What to type in & creating your products page & style
When you are searching in the search box, don’t just type “dress”. Don’t even type “floral dress”. You need to pinpoint specific styles you want. For example, instead of putting “hats” you could put “fedora”. This might take time as you learn what different styles are called. But if there is a type of dress you like, go to google & try to describe it. Then look & see what other boutiques will call that style of dress. Like midi dress, or bell sleeves. I found that this helps me pinpoint exactly the style I am looking for.
The search engine in the wholesale sites works by the phrases the company puts in to go along with the style. If you think about it, it makes sense. If they were selling a super cute white dress with bell sleeves at a midi length, they wouldn’t describe it as a “white dress” they would say the things that are unique about that style!
Most wholesale sites allow you to heart certain items. I found that if I found a product I loved that company produced other products that I loved as well. So once you find a product you love you might find a company you love.
Get the snowball going!
Finding products that fit your style takes a lot of time, so be discouraged if you have to spend time scrolling through hundreds of pages. But once you get the ball rolling it has a snowball effect. It gets easier & easier! Wholesale websites will start to pick up on what you look at and show you more & more of that style.
I hope this helps to get that snowball going. Let me know if these steps are helpful to you & as always be anything but basic!
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