Buying wholesale dresses is a great way to

stock your boutique, flea market booth,

warehouse, or fashion website, with

merchandise that appeals to women and girls.

I would like to share with you

10 tips to help you maximize your wholesale

dress buying experience. I would recommend

that you see which of these tips is appropriate

for you, and then decide how to apply them 

since your business has its own qualities

and needs. What might 

work for one boutique might not be suitable for

another boutique, and on the other hand,

a tip that might not initially seem suitable might

be the best idea that you ever tried once you

implement it.

Buying Wholesale Dresses Tip #1

Know your market. This goes without saying,

it is really important to have a solid grasp

on the desires and needs of your customers.

I can't tell you how many businesses

faced financial challenges because they miscalculated the

fashion choices of their customers. On the positive

side, there are many great stories of designers

and retailers that made it really big because they

carefully based their decisions on the fashion preferences

of their customers. And remember fashion tastes

change frequently, so you need to stay up to date

on what people are wearing.

So how do you ensure that you select the right dresses?

The first step is to speak to your customers. Your customers

know what they want and they will be happy to tell you.

Your customers might be Nigerian bankers that need Tahari 

office dresses, they might be New York college students

that want BCBG club dresses, or Kenyan lawyers that

want Nine West corporate dresses, and so on.

Every market is different, and even within every markets there

are subcategories that consist of specific preferences and 

requirements. Just imagine all the different

styles that are popular in fashion capitals like

NYC, Lagos, Paris, or Los Angeles. Why reinvent the wheel? Just find out directly

from your customers which dresses they want you to carry. 

If your boutique is about to open and you

don't have customers yet, then you can visit the neighborhood

where you are planning on opening your shop and

speak to prospective shoppers. You can

also observe the dress styles

and brands that they are wearing. Are people wearing

R&M Richards evening gowns or Tally Taylor office dresses?

Window shopping is a great way to see the type

of dresses that are already being sold in a neighborhood.

Buying Wholesale Dresses Tip #2

Use social media to interact with prospective

and current customers. This is actually

one of the easiest ways to determine the 

type of dresses that your customers want.

You can take pictures of the wholesale dresses that you

are considering purchasing. You would then post the pictures

on Facebook, Instagram, and on Google Plus. You can then see

how people react to the dresses. If you receive positive feedback

then you know it makes sense to purchase those wholesale


Just remember that people might like the picture

for reasons unrelated to the actual dresses.

Perhaps they liked the picture to express support

for you, and not necessarily because they want to buy

the dresses. It's for this reason that it's important to

message the people who liked and commented

on your picture. You want to ask them them

if they liked the dresses, and if they would be

interested in purchasing them. 

Buying Wholesale Dresses Tip #3

Negotiate like a pro. You have every right to

negotiate for better prices, but you must do it 

like a professional. The difference between an amateur

and professional negotiator is that while the amateur

just focuses on asking for a lower price, the professional

negotiator has well prepared negotiation proposals that

will benefit both her and the dress wholesaler.

For example, an amateur negotiator will simply ask

for a 10% or 20% wholesale price reduction. The

wholesaler will either accept or decline, but chances

are that unless the wholesaler really needs to make the

sale he will simply say no.

But a professional negotiator will present the

wholesaler with valid reasons why she would like

a discount, and how the dress supplier can benefit

from her proposals. The buyer might be willing to

increase the quantity that she is willing to buy

in exchange for a discount, or might introduce

other customers to the wholesaler in order to

receive a lower wholesale price on the dresses.

The key to negotiating successfully when 

buying wholesale dresses is to create

a win-win situation for both the retailer

and wholesaler.

Buying Wholesale Dresses Tip #4

Ask your wholesale dress supplier if they

have any closeout or excess merchandise

that they are looking to move out. It's usually

this type of merchandise that gives you the 

best opportunity to purchase wholesale products

at the lowest possible prices. If the wholesaler

would like to closeout a certain selection of

dresses, or simply has too many dresses, then it

will be in his interest to give you a lower price

since he wants to move them out.

You can use the same strategy whether you

are purchasing your wholesale dresses directly

from a brand such as Calvin Klein, or from

a Chinese importer.

Buying Wholesale Dresses Tip #5

Focus your wholesale dress buying in one place.

If you spend your money among many wholesalers

then you will not demonstrate the same buying power

that you would if you concentrated your

buying by one specific wholesaler. Look at it this

way, if you are buying a total of 1,000 dresses,

but are buying them in equal amounts by 20 wholesalers, then 

you will only receive the wholesale price discount

for 50 dresses by each wholesaler. But if you

buy all 1,000 dresses by one specific wholesaler

then you can receive the price discount appropriate

for buying 1,000 dresses. 

Also consider the type of win-win relationship

that you will have with a dress supplier when

you are doing all your buying by him or her.

Knowing how many dresses you can purchase

at a time, the wholesaler will contact you

when he has a really good deal or received

a new shipment.

Buying Wholesale Dresses Tip #6

Look for deals on wholesale dresses online. 

We are at a point in global trade where a 

boutique in Nigeria can easily purchase 

designer dresses from a closeout warehouse

in Brooklyn. It is just a matter of finding

those sources and connecting with them.

You can do a search on Google or Yahoo,

or you can use wholesale specific search engines



You will still need to research the wholesalers

which you find to determine that they

can supply you with the closeout

fashion merchandise that you are searching for,

and that they ship internationally if needed.

Buying Wholesale Dresses Tip #7

Visit wholesale shopping districts in person.

If you take your time to visit and walk through

a wholesale district such as the New York Fashion District,

you will be able to see the merchandise in person,

and actually discover merchandise that you

might not have known about before. 

I have made some excellent fashion closeout purchases

by visiting the various wholesale showrooms in NYC.

You can also develop contacts that can provide you

with merchandise in the future, and find

customers that can buy products from you

as well.

Buying Wholesale Dresses Tip #8

Visit closeout warehouses that carry brand name

dresses. Warehouses, like my wholesale business in

Greenpoint Brooklyn, frequently update their

merchandise selection, enabling you to find

new dresses at below wholesale prices. 

Different closeout warehouses specialize

in different wholesale merchandise, so contact

them first to see what they carry. 

I would recommend visiting these types of

warehouses since you never know what closeouts

you might discover. 

Buying Wholesale Dresses Tip #9

Call the brands directly and set up an account

with them. For example, you can call Tahari and set up

an account to order dresses. You might pay a 

higher price than you would when buying

from wholesalers that carry closeout Tahari dresses,

but you will be able to order the specific

styles and colors that you want when dealing

directly with the fashion company. And as your

buying relationship increases with Tahari, 

or with whichever brand you are dealing with,

you should be able to get lower wholesale prices.

Buying Wholesale Dresses Tip #10

Lastly, take a chance. I know that this tip

might seem counter intuitive, and in a way it is.

But the reason I share this tip with you is

because at the end of the day you can only

sell dresses if you buy them. It's really easy

to doubt or question our plans, so it's important

to be able to go with our gut feelings and make a

buying decision when we feel it is the right course of

action to take.

So if you see a really good deal on designer dresses,

and you start second guessing yourself, remember

that you can only sell dresses if you have them

in the first place. Ultimately business

is about taking chances. As long as you

are taking an educated chance backed

by solid research you can proceed with confidence.