Can you remember a time pre-COVID where you could shop at a clothing store? That feels like ages ago.
The pandemic has shut down a lot of businesses, but if anything has made e-commerce stronger. Online sales grew by 73% in June alone.
We are aware that this pandemic will impact brick and mortar businesses for a long time, which is why NOW is the perfect time to jump into starting an online business - especially an online clothing business.
Typically, those who run a clothing resale business purchase affordable clothing a few different ways: liquidation stores (there are only a few around the US), hunting through thrift stores, or purchasing through a liquidation retailer (like us). Unfortunately, given the climate, it may be a long time before liquidation stores can operate at full capacity, which means most will be purchasing their clothing online.
If you’ve been thinking about starting an online clothing business, this is the time to do it. Statistically, June and July are when clothing sales start going up in preparation for the holidays. If you start now, you can create your own growing business before the end of the year!
In this article, we will walk you through the steps you need to begin your online clothing resale business.
1) Make the commitment
Saying you want to start an online clothing resale business is different from actually starting one. Do your research, think through your plan, invest in your company, and your success. What is your budget to start? Are you willing to provide money upfront to purchase clothing, or are you on a shoestring budget? How much time do you have to spend on this business, realistically? To resell clothing, you need to start with an initial purchasing budget. Start writing down your plan, set timelines, and goals. Getting everything on paper will help turn this into a goal instead of just a dream.
2) Do your research
Choosing to start your online clothing resale business is hard, but the real work comes with laying the foundation. We always recommend researching other clothing resellers that have been successful. Look at their websites, social media pages, and resale links. How is their clothing showcased? What price points do they hit? How do they find their clothing? What information are they providing to their audience on their social/website/email list? What information can you take advantage of?
Look at their method of communication, how do they reach their target audience? How is that audience responding? What are those audiences looking to get? How can you take what their doing, put your twist on it and make it yours? Start taking notes on the different platforms resellers use and then transition those notes into action items. Check off each platform as you create it and track your progress.
3) Create your business and sales plan
Although you can eyeball pricing, successful retailers will tell you that this isn’t sustainable. Spend some time outlining all of the costs that go into your business and work your way back. How much do you want to make per item? What is your lowest accepted price? Is there a percentage of profit you need to build on each piece?
Some resellers will recommend pricing 100% profit (essentially doubling the amount) - this is sustainable if you’re able to find high-quality liquidation clothing in bulk (hint hint). Still, you want to make sure you’re not paying an average price per item that won’t give you a return.
4) Set your budget and invest in your first shipment
Decide how much you are willing to invest in your clothing resale business before you shop. The great thing about starting an online shop is that you can start with a small investment and build your inventory as you make money. Outside your clothing purchases, the only other investment is time.
If you’re looking to start with something small, we offer boxes with 20 pieces of high-quality clothes. You can start with a small box and then use the profits to reinvest in bigger boxes.
5) Create and grow your online presence (If you haven’t already done so)
It’s hard for people to support your online clothing business if they don’t know it exists. Add time in your schedule every day to repost, comment, and connect with potential buyers across all your platforms. You can sign up for our newsletter to get more tips and tricks on how to grow your following on different platforms.
6) Organize your office.
If you have space, carve out an area that can be your office. Set up a desk, make sure you have good lighting for photos, and an area to keep your clothing wrinkle-free. Have an area where you can sort clothes and an area where you can photograph them, and an inventory spreadsheet to keep you organized!
7) Organize and upload your first batch of clothing
Take a deep breath and then dive in head first! Get an awesome playlist going, take photos of your clothing, upload them in your inventory list, post them on your platforms, and start selling. Send messages to followers and post on your social media accounts. Let the world know you’ve arrived!
8) Create a fulfillment process and fill those orders!
Once you start getting sales, make notes of how you fulfill orders and begin to outline a process (or standard operating procedure). Every time you notice a mistake, make a note and figure out a way to fix it. Streamlining your processes will help save you time and focus your efforts on what’s important - selling your clothes.
9) Remember to breathe.
Starting a business can be hard (ESPECIALLY during a pandemic), you will make mistakes, but ultimately you will learn along the way. You’re starting your own business and taking control of your future; this is an exciting time. Don’t forget to enjoy the journey.
We will be updating our blog consistently with more in-depth information on how to grow a successful online business. Sign up for our newsletter to be the first to hear about our newest articles and upcoming deals.