The Internet is an excellent place sell clothing. Online, small designers and retailers are able to reach a global market and compete with large department stores. This allows niche stores to reach their desired consumer. Starting your company is as simple has having your product, website and getting known. Selling clothing online requires detailed descriptions for size and texture as well as lots of pictures. Will you model the clothing yourself, hire someone else or use a mannequin? Showing how clothing looks on a person is important for an online clothing company, as the customer cannot try on the garment before purchasing it.
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Contact wholesalers of the type of clothing you wish to sell. Wholesale is a business term, meaning you buy it at a cheaper price than the price at which you sell it. The difference is called markup and this is your profit margin. The price per article of clothing at wholesale is reduced if you buy in bulk. You can use online directories to find wholesalers of specific types of clothing (see Resources).
Send an e-mail to the wholesaler. Outline what you are interested in and ask when you should call to further discuss. Include your own phone number and contact details.
Consider running a drop-ship company. This means that you work closely with a manufacturer, or drop-shipping company, that holds the products for you. When you receive an order, you pass it on to the company that then directly ships the order to the customer. This means you do not need to keep an inventory and items can be shipped quickly. The downside is that the other company takes a cut from the sale.
Use your own clothing logo/picture designs by contacting print-on-demand printers. They will be able to print your logos and pictures onto clothing. Find print-on-demand printers through online search engines or in phone books, located under "Printers."
Create your website. Use an existing online template, design your own, or hire a professional to design your website.
Set up an e-commerce account, and upload your product details to it. You will also need to place the checkout links onto your website. This will allow your customers to pay online with a debit or credit card.
Host your website online. There are many hosting services available and they all charge different rates for different services. Choose the one that suits your needs best. Once you have hosted your website it is live. Register with search engines.
Tips and warnings
- Write a blog about your store to draw attention.
- The more you purchase at once from print-on-demand printers, the cheaper the printing will be.
- Consider using search engine optimisation when creating your website. This means using keywords to make it easier for a search engine to find your website.
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