How to start an online women's retail clothing business

Written by melinda gaines
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Women's fashion retailers tend to do very well on the Internet. This model of owning a clothing store has significantly less overhead, so you'll be able to offer your customers the same merchandise they can find in a store for a lower price. Opening an online women's clothing store requires a bit of planning, but it can be quite lucrative.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Wholesale clothes
  • DBA
  • Tax ID number
  • EIN
  • Domain name
  • Storage
  • Photos
  • Packaging

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  1. 1

    Determine a niche for your clothing store -- just planning to sell clothes to women is not concrete enough. Possible niches: petite clothing, swimwear, lingerie, junior clothing, luxury brands, plus-sized clothing, ethnic clothing (saris, pashminas, etc.), urban brands.

  2. 2

    Choose a name for your clothing store that caters to your target market. For example, if you are trying to sell luxury clothing to middle-aged women, a name such as "Classic Couture" would work. If you are selling trendy, plus-sized clothing, a name such as "Stylish Curves" is appropriate.

  3. 3

    Register an assumed name certificate (DBA) with your county clerk, and obtain a tax identification number from your state. If you plan to have employees, you can get an employer identification number (EIN) from the IRS.

  4. 4

    Purchase a domain name for a company, such as Go Daddy or Register, and pick an e-commerce solution, such as eBay, Pro Stores, Core Commerce, Big Commerce or Shopify.

  5. 5

    Decide where you will store your inventory. You can use an empty closet if you have one available, rent a warehouse, or rent space from a private storage facility such as Public Storage.

  6. 6

    Buy wholesale clothing from a supplier such as Wholesale Fashion Square, Clothing Showroom, Apparel US, Red Tag Clothing or Clothing Island.

  7. 7

    Take photos of your clothing laid on a white background or on a model. Get front and back views, and provide measurement and sizing information. Alternatively, many wholesale suppliers allow retailers to use their images -- check with your suppliers to see what they allow.

  8. 8

    Choose packaging for your orders. For an inexpensive option, you can simply affix branded labels on your shipping boxes and invoices.

  9. 9

    Place targeted banner ads on fashion blogs and websites, Facebook and in niche women's fashion ezines to promote your store.

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