How to Start a Clothing Business with Buying Wholesale

How to Start a Clothing Business with Buying Wholesale

Starting a clothing business can be thrilling, especially with fashion reigning supreme and individual styles becoming a more powerful means of self-expression.

So, whether you’re a fashion enthusiast with an eye for trends or an aspiring entrepreneur, buying clothes in bulk is the secret to establishing a thriving clothing business.

This article will equip you with tools and insights to help you start your clothing business with buying wholesale.

Understanding Wholesale Clothing Vendors

Simply put, wholesale clothing vendors sell clothing items in bulk quantities to retailers. Although they often act as intermediaries between clothing manufacturers and retailers, some wholesalers manufacture their products in-house.

More importantly, wholesale clothing vendors play a crucial role in the fashion supply chain, providing a wide range of clothing at competitive prices. Some may specialize in specific clothing types, like casual wear, athletic apparel, or formal attire.

The main idea behind purchasing from wholesale vendors is to benefit from bulk pricing. In this regard, you can obtain high-quality clothing products at a lower cost per unit. As a result, you can mark up the items and generate profit when selling them to your end users.

How to Buy Wholesale Clothing Step by Step

Regardless of your preferred industry, one of the most essential parts of running a successful clothing business is buying wholesale. Although it may seem tricky on your first try, it’ll get easier with time.

Keep reading to see the step-by-step guide on how to buy wholesale clothing.

1. Craft a Solid Business Plan

As a startup entrepreneur, having a clear action plan is the key to transforming your dreams into reality. It’s not enough to merely wish for success; you have to devise a strategic roadmap that paves the way for success and profitability.

Whether your vision is to create a boutique brand or an online empire, developing a comprehensive business plan is the foundation for your success. Your action plan should define your business identity, determine if it will be a brick-and-mortar or online venture, examine your competitive advantage, and decide on your clothing niche.

Once you know what you want, you can start executing it step by step.

2. Satisfy Your Business’s Legal Requirements

Managing the legal aspects of a business is paramount, if not the most critical aspect, of setting up a clothing business.

You can’t start a physical business without acquiring all the necessary permits and licenses within the designated area. If you want to run an online store, ensure you obtain the necessary legal documents specific to that domain.

Additionally, you must operate the website securely, ensuring it adheres to all legal protocols.

3. Choose Your Target Audience

Identify your target customers and tailor strategies and products to meet their needs. For instance, if your primary consumers are environmentalists, you should direct your sourcing efforts towards environmentally friendly and sustainable wholesalers.

4. Partner with Suitable Wholesalers

The wholesaler you choose can be the reason for your success or cause many problems for your business. Hence, it’s essential to complete several actions when partnering with a wholesaler, like conducting thorough research, establishing solid relationships, and physically inspecting available stock.

5. Set Your Prices

After completing the initial launching steps for your business, it’s time to kick off with sales. Remember to prioritize product quality and profitability when reselling bulk-purchased clothing. Always set prices that will make profits without appearing excessive to customers.

Striking a balance helps to avoid consumers feeling like you’re overcharging or taking advantage of them.

Where to Buy Clothes in Bulk for Resale

There are several options available for buying clothes in bulk for resale. Here are some common sources:

  • Wholesale Marketplaces: Online platforms like Alibaba, DHgate, and WholesaleCentral are some of the best marketplaces to find diverse clothing products at wholesale prices.
  • Trade Shows: Attending trade shows and fashion expos can connect you directly with clothing wholesalers and manufacturers. These events often feature exhibitors showcasing their products, allowing you to negotiate deals and establish relationships with potential suppliers.
  • Wholesale Clothing Districts: Many cities have specific districts or areas famous for wholesale clothing. They typically house numerous wholesalers and suppliers nearby, so you can explore different options while comparing prices and products.
  • Directly from Manufacturers: Contacting clothing manufacturers and inquiring about their wholesale options is another way to purchase clothes in bulk for resale. Some manufacturers may have minimum order quantities but can provide competitive prices and unique product offerings.

Learn more: How to Find The Best Clothing Manufacturer For Your Business >>

Should You Buy Wholesale Clothing From Domestic or Overseas Suppliers?

Choosing between domestic and overseas suppliers is one of the most critical decisions you'll make as a startup clothing business. Domestic suppliers offer the obvious advantage of being in the same country, and they also provide high-quality garments, better service, and faster delivery.

Domestic suppliers are particularly beneficial when time-sensitivity and meeting specific legal requirements are necessary. However, they have a significant disadvantage: higher prices. Domestic suppliers often charge more than their overseas counterparts. So you'll need higher sales volumes to make profits.

On the other hand, overseas suppliers are attractive due to their cost advantages, ability to create customized designs, and willingness to accept small-batch orders. They are cost-effective options for small businesses and startups looking to minimize upfront expenses and access extensive inventories.

However, overseas suppliers may have potential delays in product delivery due to shipping logistics and may show poor quality control sometimes.

Tips for Vetting Clothing Suppliers

Here are some helpful tips to remember when vetting clothing suppliers:

  • Request for a Quotation: When contacting a supplier for the first time, your initial communication will likely involve an RFQ (Request for Quotation). Requesting a quotation allows you to see the supplier’s pricing information.

    Usually, an RFQ involves crafting an email to inquire about a specific item's price based on the desired purchase quantity. However, you must approach this professionally, treating it as formal business communication instead of a casual chat.

  • Minimum Order Quantity: Making informed decisions requires gathering specific information from the supplier, starting with their MOQ (minimum order quantity).

    Each supplier sets its own MOQ, and it can vary significantly. For this reason, it’s important to determine if you can afford and manage the minimum quantity required for purchase.

    On this note, asking about product costs is also necessary. Many suppliers offer discounts for larger quantities.

  • Shipping Times: Inquire about the supplier’s delivery time and shipping terms. Timing is essential in every eCommerce business, making this aspect equally important.

    Remember to ask for the supplier’s payment terms, ensuring you’re comfortable with how they charge for the products.

  • Sample Orders: Lastly, you need to inspect the supplier’s quality, and the best way to do that is by asking for samples. Some suppliers may send you samples at discounted rates, while others provide them at regular prices.

    Always order samples to know the product quality to expect and market to your customers.

Try Appareify Today

Appareify is the ultimate solution for businesses seeking top-notch apparel services. We cater to the diverse requirements of our clients by offering a comprehensive range of services encompassing everything from product design to production.


We take pride in our cutting-edge production facilities and extensive sourcing options, enabling us to deliver exceptional-quality products. Appareify also ensures all products adhere to stringent standards while maintaining competitive pricing and swift turnaround times.

So, no matter what your needs are, at Appareify, we’ve got you covered with the best wholesale prices and superior-quality products. Startup clothing businesses can also enjoy lower inventory risks with our incredibly low MOQ.

Final Words

Buying wholesale can be the secret ingredient to kickstarting your successful clothing business. By understanding the advantages, establishing solid relationships with suppliers, and strategically managing inventory, you can unlock a world of profitability and growth.

This article explored everything you need to source high-quality products at competitive prices, streamline your operations, and cater to the ever-evolving demands of your customers.

If you're still confused about which wholesale vendor to choose, contact Appareify today to enjoy premium services at the best prices.

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