You’re ready to start your online store. Firing on all cylinders. Up burning the midnight oil instead of getting your beauty sleep. Yet despite all your efforts, you’re still struggling to find the right fashion wholesale suppliers, and it’s beginning to seriously hold you back.
Don’t worry I know the feeling.
And I can’t lie, I found the advice of ‘just check Google’ to be particularly unhelpful. In fact, it seemed the more I searched for fashion wholesale suppliers 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 quality fashion wholesaler suppliers and drop-shippers who love to work with small businesses. Then, through trial and lots of error, I learned what it takes to build a great relationship with them from the outset.
In this extensive guide, I’m excited to share my top tips and tricks for finding and working with fashion wholesale suppliers both domestic and abroad. You can also download the top tips from the post as a PDF for your quick reference.
And if you’re tired of searching and really just want to start selling? You can also access my list of my top verified 50+ fashion/jewelry/kids/infants suppliers, I call it my black book, but first let’s dive in.
How to find fashion wholesale suppliers
The gurus makes finding suppliers look easy. But the fact is, if you don’t know where to look or what to say, finding enough suppliers to help you offer a good selection of products can take months.
Yes, you can short cut that 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, but you’ll still have to pay for it.
5 Top Tips To Help You Find Suppliers Quickly & For Free!
- When you find a product you want to stock, do a Google reverse image search. Many people use the manufacturers images, which means you’ll not only be able to see who else is stocking this line, but if you search on enough pages, you’ll likely find the wholesaler or manufacturer.
- 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 information public, but if they have a page with this information, this will bring it up.
- When searching for suppliers online don’t just look at the first 2-3 pages of online results. Many great 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.
- Look for local trade shows that you can attend. Nothing beats seeing, touching and trying the items you plan to sell. There is a certain relief that comes from knowing what you send to your customers is good quality.
- 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 wholesalers who are actually retailers, and will happily steal your customers!
- Those fashion wholesalers 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 suppliers black book as they’re all verified and vigourously checked, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do your due diligence. When it comes to find 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 your wholesale supplier
It’s important to establish a great relationship with your wholesaler 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). But 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 sent out countless emails and get nothing back. So I turned detective, looking to email marketing experts, and I pulled apart my contact email and finally came 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 wholesaler or drop-shipper email out reach template, and use 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 wholesaler suppliers and drop-shippers to give you a wider access to more stock. This is a great idea and can be done successfully, but you do need to be aware on the challenges that can pop up.
Manufacturing in Asian countries like China, India and Bali is 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 then great shipment.
Should I work with Domestic 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 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 wholesale suppliers?
- Heavily reduced manufacturing and labor costs
- Increased number of wholesalers, manufactures and drop-shippers to select from
- Services like Ali-express make it easy to identify and contact suppliers
- Customers make perceive the quality as being lower.
- Lower manufacturing and labor standards
- Zero intellectual property protection, accept 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.
fashion wholesale supplier black book
**The Black Book was recently updated with new suppliers May 2017***
When you have the right wholesale and drop-ship vendor list at your disposal, you know 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 50+ verified distributors of women’s fashion, accessory, jewellery kids and infant products within handy spreadsheet. This wholesale directory doesn’t only give you their website, but also their email and first name.
How to use the fashion wholesale 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 in 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 you 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 World Wide Brands.
But if what you really want is quick and easy access to a list of quality wholesale suppliers without watching training videos, filling in forms and learning a whole new platform, then you’ll love the BPL fashion wholesale supplier listing.
- One spreadsheet containing two pages of 60+ verified quality US/UK based wholesale vendors and drop-ship suppliers
- Two done-for-you email templates to help make outreach a doodle
- Access to the Black Milk Report: Learn how this company built a multi-million dollar brand from their garage
- Digital day planner – the most successful business owners are great at managing their time. With my editable daily planner, you will be too
- Wholesaler and drop-shipper quick guide. More key tips and tricks for working successfully with great wholesale suppliers.
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 (usually) $27, good for 50 downloads
- Check your inbox to see your downloads and get access to your materials
- Come and join the Shopify success group to join a group of supportive store owners. It’s free.
Looking for 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.