You’ve spent hours Wholesale Apparel researching manufacturers, wholesalers, and individual artisans to find high-quality, trendy clothing at the right price. I learned that if you can buy products in bulk, you can buy directly from the manufacturer. Also many manufacturers are still outdated and just want to deal with wholesalers.
That’s okay, because wholesalers understand they offer the best margins, with the guarantees they need to succeed in retail businesses like on-time delivery and small orders.
Now you have to choose the best wholesaler. As a wholesale boutique clothing owner, you can edit the list of wholesalers until you’re right. Here are some questions to help you get the answers you need to make this important decision.
We deal with manufacturers indirectly through wholesalers. Read reviews, compliments and complaints from the manufacturer’s warehouse. You want to see if they have good clothes, meet the deadline, and if the prices are fair. The way you do business with wholesalers can affect your business.
Find out what you can do for each wholesaler you’re interested in before making a final decision. Read Office for Better Business’ websites, social media pages, US Customs Databases, or online reviews. You can also ask for references and feedback from current and past customers.
Join a social media group for boutique owners and wholesalers. Ask the supplier you are interested in. It’s okay to get feedback.
Please pay attention to the content of the review. Some may complain that it’s their fault, not the wholesalers’ fault. Others may express the positive qualities of the company. Make a list of words that come to mind when working with suppliers and compare them to your expectations.
Do an interview
If you can meet face-to-face with the wholesaler’s representative at a trade show, please arrange a meeting. If you are unable to meet face to face, please contact us via video chat or email with a list of questions. You hire a wholesaler as if you were an employee for your retail business.
Interview multiple people and compare their answers. Interview questions include:
- Where are you?
- Where are the products?
- What is their order process?
- What is your relationship with the manufacturer?
- Prices, shipping costs, batch sizes, etc. Do you want to bargain for?
- What are your policies and shipping terms?
- What is the return policy for damaged products?
- How often do you introduce new products?
- How do you know fashion trends?
- What does the customer service process look like?
- Do you provide samples?
Don’t take what they say
Many wholesalers do not have negative characteristics. Their job is to save you so you can become a customer. Therefore, we need to dig a little deeper to see if what he is saying is true. For example, if you claim to offer the best customer service, test it yourself. If you have any questions, please contact customer service.
Order and find out if they claim to have the best shipping policy and are always on time. If you have a small order, check the delivery date, check the quality of the garment upon arrival, if you have any questions or concerns and please contact customer service. Test the process and compare with other vendors.
There are good wholesalers outside of the United States, but for small boutique owners it can be beneficial to choose a wholesaler in the same country. Delivery is cheaper and easier to match the delivery time. It may also be easier to visit a wholesaler doing business in the United States.
This can be costly if the boutique item is pending customs clearance at the border or is suspended due to policy or the pandemic. There are other pitfalls when purchasing products from abroad.
- Attempts to communicate in different time zones.
- Longer delivery times depend on whether the shipment is by air or by sea.
- Language barriers make it difficult to navigate customer service.
- It is even more annoying if the item is damaged or ordered incorrectly.
Compare your boutique with the supplier’s requirements
Find your favorite wholesaler. They can have the most fashionable garments, the most versatility, the strongest seams and the lowest shipping costs. That doesn’t mean they’re right for you. Consider whether you can meet their needs.