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
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
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
like Wholesalecentral.com, CloseoutCentral.com,
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
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.