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How to find wholesale fashion suppliers

Updated on October 10, 2016
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Letitiah Obiri is an experienced and seasoned freelance content marketer and copywriter, who has worked with some of the UK’s biggest brands

If you are hoping to launch an ecommerce fashion business, the internet can often suggest an overwhelming amount of wholesale clothing suppliers to choose from, not to mention drown you in advice and guidance. The question is, how do you know which is the right wholesale fashion supplier for your online store or boutique? By following these practical steps, you can find the best B2B wholesale resellers and the ideal fashion suppliers for when you're ready to buy wholesale clothing online.

Conduct some research into your sector

Customers are now spoilt for choice with the dearth of online retailers from giants like Ebay who have branched out into fashion to smaller boutiques like those on Etsy. To stay competitive, conduct extensive research into your chosen sector by signing up to fashion trade publications like Drapers, WGSN and Business of Fashion to keep ahead of their trend forecasts and analysis. This will go some way in helping you determine what key trends are being dictated by top fashion houses ahead of the new season. You will also need to have your ear to the ground to find out what trends customers are engaging with so make sure to follow key fashion influencers on Instagram, subscribe to their blogs and read fashion bibles like Vogue, Elle and Cosmopolitan regularly.

Narrow down the most suitable suppliers

If you’re launching a new women’s fashion boutique looking to only sell vintage women’s clothing, you will need to find a specific set of wholesale distributors. Perhaps you want to target the mainstream fashion audience in the UK for example? A quick Google search reveals some of the leading wholesale resellers who sell directly to online retailers include the likes of Fashion Book who manufacture and sell their garments in Great Britain. Many of the reputable B2B wholesalers manufacture in house, so you can at least guarantee the quality of the product and be confident sweatshop labour hasn’t been employed. Decide whether you want to buy wholesale items in bulk to shift quickly, or if you only have the budget for smaller quantities. Some resellers will allow for minimum orders which is perfect for new online retailers, so ensure you shop around.

Choose your wholesale supplier

If you have decided on a shortlist of potential suppliers, you may want to consult others in the industry to verify you a legitimate list to begin approaching. There are a multitude of wholesale forums offering practical advice and reviews to help you make your decision on a wholesaler. Some of the most reputable sites to seek guidance include Esources and Wholesale Forum. To further aid the decision making process, request samples from your shortlist of suppliers so you can compare the quality and get a feel of the craftsmanship. When you have finally decided on the right supplier for your boutique or online store, build a lasting business relationship with them so you can guarantee an efficient service for your customers. Often for new or loyal customers, some suppliers will be more than happy to negotiate on bulk orders and provide special discounts, so relationship building can go a long way.


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