How to become a wholesale clothing distributor

Written by chris newton
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How to become a wholesale clothing distributor
Excellent customer service and product knowledge are important for wholesale clothing distributors. (Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

Wholesale clothing distributors are entrepreneurs who sell clothing merchandise to retailers and sellers. Most wholesale clothing distributors procure their merchandise from manufactures. In some cases, a wholesale distributor may also be the manufacturer, putting him in complete control over the distribution chain. Becoming a wholesale clothing distributor typically requires a high school diploma and an associate's or bachelor's degree in business or marketing.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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  1. 1

    Attain a high school diploma, as it is an essential qualification for a job in wholesale clothing distribution. Even though a high school diploma might be enough for some entry-level positions in wholesale clothing distribution, most employers are looking for candidates with an associate's or bachelor's degree.

  2. 2

    Enrol in an associate's or bachelor's degree program at a community college or four-year institution to obtain the business and/or marketing training required to become a wholesale clothing distributor. Specific courses regarding wholesale distribution are offered at some business schools. Wholesale clothing distributors are required to possess entrepreneur skills in order to understand the economic forces that drive the business world, so take entrepreneurial and economics courses as well.

  3. 3

    Decide on a specific type of clothing you want to distribute. Contact the clothing manufacturer and inquire about their wholesale rates and practices. Determine which products have the greatest profit potential by comparing retail rates and shipping and overhead expenses. In many cases, clothing manufacturers are found in third world countries or regional areas. High end clothing distributors should be especially careful to check the quality of the products.

  4. 4

    Launch your business. Draw up a business plan detailing specific products, the quantity of merchandise you are anticipating to sell and who you are planning to distribute it to. Cost, expenses, size of staff and profit projections should be detailed in the business plan as well.

  5. 5

    Establish a good credit score. Speak with banks about obtaining a business loan to obtain the necessary start-up capital. Those with poor credit history can expect difficulty obtaining such loans from banks and might want to consider a private investor instead.

  6. 6

    Know the current market, and understand your competition. Understanding current trends in the market help avoid being stuck with merchandise surplus that no one needs or wants. The key to understanding demand is to communicate with your customers on a regular basis and build good customer relationships from the start.

Tips and warnings

  • Beware of scams. Wholesale clothing distributors should be sure that manufacturers are legitimate and have all the proper licenses and legal permissions to avoid clothing shipments from becoming stuck in customs.

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