As a middleman, wholesale clothing distributors purchase goods from manufacturers and distribute them to other businesses. Rather than running a retail store, the wholesaler acts as a supplier, providing inventory for small businesses to sell to their customers.
Whether a traditional brick-and-mortar establishment or an online store, wholesale clothing distributors play a crucial role in linking manufacturers with store proprietors.
Identifying the products you intend to sell is a crucial step before seeking suitable wholesale clothing distributors to partner with. With a clear understanding of what you need, you can then commence your search for the ideal wholesaler to support your business.
There are various paths a product can take from its manufacturer to a retailer. Not all wholesalers cater to the same market segment. Familiarizing yourself with the distribution channels and supply chains specific to your industry will assist you in finding the appropriate wholesale partner for your e-commerce business. Some of the different types of wholesalers include:
Manufacturer Direct: Some products can be purchased directly from the manufacturer, especially by boutique stores that source from smaller, one-person manufacturers.
Importer/Exclusive Distributor: An organization may hold the sole rights to import and distribute a product within a certain region. They may sell directly to retailers or to smaller local wholesalers for further distribution to stores.
Regional Wholesaler/Distributor: Regional wholesalers typically receive large quantities and distribute to local wholesalers, who then supply small businesses.
Jobbers: These professionals make daily deliveries to local grocery stores and brick-and-mortar retail locations.
Dealing with wholesalers incurs additional expenses that eat into your profits. To eliminate intermediaries, consider going straight to the source.
If you're selling branded items, reach out to the clothing manufacturer directly. They may be willing to sell to you, depending on their minimum order requirements. If you are too small for them or they only work through established distribution channels, request a list of reliable distributors from them. The more intermediaries involved in the supply chain, the higher the cost, a phenomenon commonly referred to as "margin stacking."
Minimizing the number of links in the supply chain can result in lower costs, enabling you to be more competitive in the market.
Start reaching out to wholesale distributors using the list from the manufacturer, phonebook entries, or a wholesale directory. Your goal is to determine:
Initially, you can make contact via phone or email, then follow up with a phone call if additional information is needed or you're ready to proceed. To secure the best match for your business, be transparent about your needs and don't attempt to seem larger than you are.
Don't hesitate to inform the people you communicate with that you are conducting research and exploring other options. This approach can help you secure better prices, even if your business is just starting out.
When conducting an online search, don't limit yourself to searching for general wholesalers or distributors. Instead, make sure to incorporate keywords related to your products or niche, such as product names, model numbers, and brand names. If any of the potential distributors you come across don't have a readily available email or phone number, you can perform a WHOIS search to obtain the website owner's contact information.
The more potential wholesalers you discover, the better equipped you will be to compare and find the best prices and quotes in the industry. This will give you a clearer understanding of what is considered normal in the industry.
Davi & Dani understands the importance of keeping your boutique updated with the latest fashion trends. To make things easier, they offer a hassle-free online shopping platform where you can browse through a wide selection of trendy wholesale women's clothing from the convenience of your own space.
They understand that quality is key, which is why they offer wholesale clothing samples and smaller bundles (sets of three items) so you can be confident that you are receiving top-notch products for your retail stores. As the leading wholesale clothing brand in America, their goal is to provide their customers with the best possible service and products of the highest quality.
There are numerous online B2B marketplaces that offer the opportunity to purchase large quantities of products at affordable prices. One of the biggest and most well-known is Alibaba.com, which connects buyers with manufacturers, importers, and wholesale distributors.
Other B2B marketplaces to consider include:
When choosing a marketplace, make sure to select one that serves your specific country or region. Additionally, there are industry-specific B2B marketplaces available, which may cater to either a single country or a global community of retailers.
Small business owners with more experience in your industry or niche are often the best sources of information about wholesale clothing distributors. However, other retailers may not be willing to share supplier information with competitors. It's essential to invest time in networking to develop the trust and connections that will lead you to the ideal wholesale suppliers for your small business.
Take advantage of online forums, which are a valuable source of free information and assistance from those with experience in your market or industry. You can also enhance your LinkedIn profile, subscribe to industry newsletters, and join your local Chamber of Commerce or small business networking groups to expand your professional network.
Trade magazines are a treasure trove of information about businesses and relationships within your industry. Nearly every advertiser in the magazine is a product manufacturer or distributor seeking to connect with you, and a single issue of a trade magazine can reveal the names of numerous wholesalers or small manufacturers.
Aside from magazines, consider subscribing to online newsletters and blogs. These are frequently the best way to stay informed about daily or weekly industry news and developments.
Trade shows are a highly effective way to establish and expand your business. These events are tailored for retailers to connect with distributors and manufacturers.
Trade shows provide an opportunity for you to meet and communicate with numerous wholesalers or manufacturers in a single day. Face-to-face conversations at these events can help avoid misunderstandings or communication issues that may arise when contacting people online.
Your initial wholesale supplier may not necessarily be a vendor you work with in the long run. Building your ideal supply chain is a process of evolution that involves a considerable amount of experimentation and learning from mistakes.
Your primary objective is to successfully deliver a product. As you progress and expand your business, you can improve your profitability by experimenting with other wholesale suppliers.