Did you know that a woman’s dress is sold on eBay every 14 seconds, and a pair of shoes are sent out to a happy eBay buyer every 4 seconds? Wholesale fashion is huge and so is its market potential.
Fashion is a great market because:
If this sounds like your kind of market then read on for some important tips on how to get started and what to do once you are up and running.
How to Get Started with Wholesale Fashion
1. Practice selling
Before you start out in any new market, you should first sell a few things from the back of your wardrobe to get familiar with how to sell fashion. You will quickly learn what works and what doesn’t! For my first ever wholesale project, I ordered a shipment of mascara and after proudly making my first listing, I was bombarded with questions about whether or not it was waterproof – an important detail which I had foolishly left out. Luckily I still had 99 mascaras left to list the right way. Case in point, practice makes perfect and selling your old clothing (although, if you are like me, some of it might still be new with tags attached!) is a great way for you to learn the ropes without too much risk.
2. Find a niche
Wholesale fashion is dripping with great niches from children's dance wear to swim wear and comfort footwear. Find something you are interested in and do some research into whether it will sell by checking out eBay's Completed Listings (found under Advanced Search) and see how many items sold (listed in green) in relation to the number that didn't (listed in red). You can also complete a simple internet keyword search via the Google Keyword tool to find out how many internet users are searching for red polka-dot shoes or vintage children’s wear (for example). If your product name generates more than 10,000 global searches a month, there is a good chance you’ll be able to get enough traffic to your ecommerce website to be profitable.
How to Make More Fashion Sales
1. Keep your customers happy. The biggest concern for online clothing buyers is whether the item they will receive looks like the one in the picture and if it will fit them OK. There is nothing worse than buying a new shirt from eBay, but then after trying it on, realizing that it wouldn't even fit Posh Spice. And then finding that, no, you weren't sent the wrong size - it's just that the tiny Chinese sizing system was totally out to lunch. Therefore, it's important for sellers to offer as much information as possible. It's not enough to tell potential buyers what size the garment is, so in each listing, make sure you give them measurements such as armpit to armpit and top to bottom.
You should also offer some kind of return system to buyers. At the very least, offer buyers the opportunity to return the item (at their expense) and have another sent out in a different size. This will definitely ease the minds of buyers and give them more confidence in buying from you. If you are selling staple wardrobe items like jeans, expect to spend some time dealing with returns and refunds.
2. Take great pictures and ensure the photos look like the real thing. Is the color the same in the picture? Does it show the quality of the fabric? Make sure you get someone to model the garments for your pictures, rather than using coat hangers, which won't do your garments any justice at all! If you can't get a model to help out, a mannequin is the next-best thing. Some suppliers will even offer you their pictures (which are often done professionally by big suppliers) to use in your listings. Just make sure they are free of the supplier’s watermark before you upload them.
3. Sell easy to fit items like ties, scarves and hats which will fit just about everyone and guarantee a low return-rate, saving you time and lost sales.
4. Keep up with trends by reading fashion blogs and online magazines. Keep an eye out for articles on 'next season’s big trend' so you can suss out what you should be ordering in for the following season. Following color trends is easy and can be cheap when you get in early.
5. Customize your listings for each garment. In each listing, show potential buyers how they can wear the item and what they can wear it with. For example, 'the perfect dress for a summer barbecue' or 'this top would look great with skinny jeans and your favorite boots, or make it a mini-dress by wearing it with leggings and heels'.
Selling wholesale fashion online is great fun and very rewarding, but sellers must place a high priority on excellent presentation and solid business practices to get the most out of it. These tips are a great way to start, but they are by no means an exhaustive list. Let us know if you have any experience in the industry you’d like to share! We’d love to hear your comments.
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