This Article Was Last Updated: April 2020
Seriously, I don’t know about you, but I don’t think finding the best fashion and accessory wholesale suppliers for you, should be the arduous, time wasting affair it currently is.
I can’t lie, when I first got started in the Ecommerce business I was actually shocked and a little disheartened by how long it took to find good wholesale suppliers.
Maybe you can relate?
….well I know the feeling too!
And I found the stock advice of ‘just check Google’ to be particularly unhelpful.
In fact, it seemed the more I searched for boutique clothing vendors in this way, the more questionable the ones I found turned out to be!
So I decided to get a little bit creative.
And in doing so, I discovered a way to smoke out credible fashion wholesale suppliers and drop-shippers who love to work with small businesses.
I even found some wholesale sites with no minimum orders.
It’s actually quite simple, but it took me a while to work it out. And…
.. in this extensive guide I’m excited to share my top tips and tricks for finding and working with high quality boutique wholesale clothing suppliers, both domestic and abroad.
And if you’re tired of searching and really just want to start selling?
You can also access my list of 70+ verified fashion wholesale suppliers, I call it my Black Book, but first let’s dive into the system.
How To Find Fashion Wholesale Suppliers
The gurus make finding wholesale women’s boutique clothing look easy.
But the fact is, if you don’t know where to look or what to say, finding enough wholesale boutique suppliers to help you offer a good selection of products can take months.
Yes, you can short-cut that process by joining a large wholesale directory company for a hefty fee. But oftentimes you won’t even want or need 80% of the information offered, yet you’ll still have to pay for it.
5 Tips To Help You Find Fashion Wholesale Suppliers Quickly & For Free!
1. Find a product you want to stock then do a Google reverse image search. Many people use the manufacturers images, this means you can also see which wholesaler is stocking the line.
2. See a brand you like? Go to the website footer and see if they have a wholesale/drop-ship/affiliate link. Don’t find anything? Type their name into your search engine then add (wholesale/manufacturer/distributor/vendor) Some brands don’t make this info public, but if they have a page with this information this will bring it up.
3. When searching for wholesalers online don’t just look at the first 2-3 pages of online results. Many great online boutique suppliers can be found on pages 7/8/9. They don’t have great SEO or lots of online traffic so they won’t have high online results, but many of these companies have been established offline for decades.
4. Look for local trade shows that you can attend. Nothing beats seeing, touching and trying on the items you plan to sell. There is a certain relief that comes from knowing what you send to your customers is good quality.
5. Reach out to brands even if you can find nothing about their resale opportunities. Some brands don’t have an official channel that they promote their wholesale or drop-shipping arrangements, but that doesn’t mean they don’t do it, you just need to reach out. I love starting on Instagram and Pinterest to find what’s hot now.
Types of fashion wholesale suppliers to avoid
- Those fashion wholesaler suppliers who are actually retailers, and will happily steal your customers!
- Those fashion wholesale suppliers who take great pictures and sell crappy low-quality products (Rosegal anyone)
- Those fashion wholesalers who constantly mess up your order causing you to lose customers and cash and permanently feel stressed out
- Those fashion wholesalers who treat you as ‘less than’ simply because you’re just starting out
You’ll find none of these types within my fashion wholesale supplier list. They’re all verified and vigorously checked, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do your due diligence.
When it comes to deciding on your business partners (and that’s what your supplier is, a business partner) then it’s wise to do your research and ask questions.
Building Relationships With Fashion Wholesale Suppliers
It’s important to establish a great relationship with your wholesale clothing vendor from the very beginning. The problem is, for many, this type of business outreach is entirely new to them.
So it’s perfectly understandable you don’t know what to say (or why). Saying that, you can end up feeling a little helpless when the 50 emails you send out get no response.
I was in the same boat.
I’d send out countless emails and get nothing back.
So I turned detective, looking to email marketing experts for tips and advice, and I pulled apart my contact email before finally coming up with a few versions that consistently got a response within just a few days.
**I’ve made these available to all store owners who get the BPL fashion wholesale supplier black book, as these will save you a lot of time and frustration.
Simply edit either the fashion wholesale supplier or drop-shipper email outreach template, and use it for your very first contact.
Domestic vs. Overseas Suppliers – pros & cons
While 85% of the wholesalers in the BPL black book are USA based, you may also want to work with overseas fashion wholesale suppliers and dropshippers to give you access to a wider range of stock.
This is a great idea and can be done successfully, but you do need to be aware of the challenges that can pop up.
Manufacturing costs in Asian countries like China, India and Bali are generally much lower. But unless you’re there in person or have someone on the ground doing quality assurance, you can’t really avoid the fact that you might get a less-than-great shipment.
Should I work with domestic fashion wholesale suppliers?
- Product quality tends to be higher as do labor standards
- Stress free communication as there’s no language barrier
- Branding and positioning possibilities for selling products being made in North America
- Checking whether a supplier is legit is far easier
- Shorter shipping times and less shipping costs
- Increased payment security and legal protection in the event something goes wrong
- Higher manufacturing and product costs
- Reduced inventory selection (North America may not produce the item you wish to sell)
Should I work with overseas fashion wholesale suppliers?
- Heavily reduced manufacturing and labor costs
- Increased number of wholesalers, manufacturers and drop-shippers to select from
- Services like Ali-express make it easy to identify and contact suppliers
- Customers may perceive the quality as being lower
- Lower manufacturing and labor standards
- Zero intellectual property protection, except for the biggest brands
- Lots of room for communication issues due to the language barrier
- Hard to do your due diligence and verify their claims
- Longer shipping times and increased costs
- Vulnerability around payment security and support if something goes wrong
Okay, so now you have a clear understanding of the sort of red flags that should have you running for this hills. Maybe you’re wondering how to do your due diligence when you find some great fashion wholesale suppliers that you’d like to do business with.
Good question, but I warn you, if you do it my way, you’re about to turn into some sort of ecommerce spy.
13 Essential Questions To Ask Your Fashion Wholesale Supplier
- Which country are products made and manufactured in?
- How long will it take from my products to arrive?
- What’s the smallest amount I can buy – minimum order quantity (MOQ)?
- How long have you been operational?
- Do you work with overseas clients – which markets do you serve?
- Are your products available to the general buying public?
- Are you operational in Europe right now?
- How do I buy samples before making a purchase order?
- What are the payment terms for large purchase orders?
- What quantities do your price breaks begin at?
- Can I get a discount for full payment up front?
- Do you have a return policies for wholesale orders?
- What are your delivery fees and which shipping methods do you use?
- What happens if my shipment turns up late or not at all?
How much inventory should you really buy?
I can’t tell you how many times I get asked this question. For those people who are on board with the Authority Ecommerce method, I always recommend far less than they had in mind.
Below you’ll find a quick video where I share some tips and guidelines on how much inventory you should buy when you’re just starting out.
Fashion Wholesale Vendor listing
**The Black Book was recently updated with new suppliers April 2020***
When you have the right wholesale boutique clothing vendor list at your disposal, you no longer have to waste endless hours scouring the internet sourcing for products and supplier reviews.
You can go straight to the source, select your merchandise, then get busy working on other areas of your business – like marketing.
Of course, if you get a chance to visit your wholesaler or drop-shipper in-person or to attend any trade shows, you should do so.
Nothing builds a relationship like 1:1 contact, but if you’re not able to do that connecting with wholesale suppliers who come recommended by the people who use them, is the next best thing.
But if you want to win back hours of your time and stop searching and start selling online, then I think you’ll love my black book of fashion wholesale suppliers.
It contains 70+ verified distributors of women’s fashion in a handy database.
This wholesale boutique supplier directory doesn’t only give you their website, but also their email and first name (where possible).
How to use the fashion wholesale boutique suppliers list?
- There are two pages within the spreadsheet. On page one you’ll find wholesale vendors of children’s and infant products, clothes, accessories, educational toys, and other great products. On page two, you’ll find women’s fashion, jewellery, accessories, and other products
- Click through to the link of the site and take a look at the products available, if you like what you see, make a list of the items you’ll want to sell. I suggest creating a board on Pinterest.
- Take one of the email templates supplied with your wholesaler listing, edit it to fit your brand and requirements.
- C+P the name and email address of the wholesale vendor that you want to contact, and email them with a follow up scheduled for three days if they don’t reply.
- That’s it. You’re now one step closer to having a quality wholesaler or drop-shipper to supply products for your online store.
Be sure to pin this to your Pinterest board so you have an easy reference every time you contact a new fashion wholesale supplier.
7 Pro-tips for working with wholesale suppliers and drop-ship partners
- Make your initial approach professional (use the email templates supplied)
- Know what you want before you reach out to your wholesale vendor. Keep email back and forth to a minimum and respect their time.
- Keep communication open. Respect their time, but don’t be afraid to follow up if days go by with no response, suppliers are busy.
- Have more than one fashion wholesale supplier for your products. Relying purely on one vendor or drop-shipper leaves you and your business vulnerable.
- Don’t forget about currency and conversions and any other fees. While these costs seem small, they can soon add up if you don’t pay attention!
- Consider any shipping taxes or port fees? Make sure you ask questions about this and check out the information on their website.
- Be friendly and flexible. While you must stand your ground occasionally, be the sort of person who’s a pleasure to work with and more people will.
Get The brazen Profit Lab Fashion Wholesale Supplier and Drop-shipper Black Book today
This list doesn’t claim to be exhaustive. If you want access to the largest selection of verified wholesale vendors then check out WorldWide Brands.
But if what you really want is quick and easy access to a list of quality fashion wholesale suppliers without watching training videos, filling in forms and learning a whole new platform, then you’ll love the BPL fashion wholesale vendor listing.
- One spreadsheet containing two pages of 70+ verified quality US based wholesale vendors and dropship suppliers
- Two done-for-you email templates to help make outreach a doodle
1. Competitor analysis and social media analysis spreadsheet – when you understand the competition it’s easier to find your edge.
2. Focus digital day planner: which will help to keep you organised and on track as you build out your store
3. Two email outreach templates – One for wholesalers and one for dropshippers. You can edit these and use them for outreach with potential suppliers both domestically and abroad.
Here’s what you need to do if you want the Black Book:
- Click any of the purple buttons and then hit the I want this button
- Go the payment page *NOTE USE THE CODE BLACKBOOKVIP to get $10 and get your guide for just $17
- Check your inbox to see your downloads and get access to your materials
Looking for fashion wholesale suppliers but still not quite sure which Ecommerce platform you want to build your business on?
I absolutely love and 100% recommend Shopify, especially since they have a FREE 14-day trial that you can take advantage of to help you build your store cost free.
Just click the graphic below to see what they have to offer.