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How to Recognize Premium Quality Clothing When Buying in Bulk?

Old-meets-new, shabby chic, vintage... Whatever you want to call it, the second-hand, bargain generation has recently made a comeback and it's looking like it's here to stay. As the meteoric rise of the second hand clothes market and used clothing industry statistics has proven; the previous financial crash, the rising cost of goods and the advancement of internet retailing has produced a generation of "savvy" shoppers who luxuriate in any opportunity to grab a bargain.

"Buy Low, Sell High"

The classic business adage goes a long way and we like to make use of this concept when you're asking yourself: how do I take advantage of second-hand clothes wholesale to start or sustain myself in the secondary clothing market? The best way is to buy second-hand clothes is wholesale. When you buy clothes in bulk, it's usually a lot cheaper than buying individual items in-store. Then, you mark up the price when you sell your products on. Here are a few tips to help you on your way...

Business and Legalities

In order to operate any type of fashion and clothing business, check that you are legally able to do so. Before you start, research all the legal and fiscal documents you might need. Next, secure all the required permits and licenses to operate your business. For example, you might need a local business licence to open your shop. Business insurance is also another essential because it protects your business, if there's a problem or a complaint against you.

Determine Your Market

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Who is your target market? Is there a gender you'd like to cater for? What is your age demographic?
  • What type(s) of clothes do you want to sell?
  • Where do you want to set up your outlet?
  • What is your budget? Costs to think about are renting/buying the property where you're going to set up the business, how pieces of clothing you want to buy, any labour costs, travel expenses to get the stock to and from the other retailer, other logistical costs in setting up the business.

If you're stuck, it might be worth doing a local/online survey to get some ideas. Another option could be to research your local area to find out which market is under-served, then striving to fill that market.


Identify Wholesalers

The best and most convenient option for buying used clothing in bulk is to purchase from online wholesale marketplaces. Try any search engine such as Google or Yahoo. There are a wide range of online marketplaces that specialise in wholesale clothing and fashion. Many clothing brands, wholesalers and manufacturers will also have online outlets or contact information. Locate the distributors that offer merchandise in your particular niche and place an order for your desired products. Most sites require membership to purchase the clothing, but sign-up is usually free. Do note that you may also need to prove that you are a business, which means that they may ask for business account information or a retail resale licence.

Other good options for purchasing second hand clothes wholesale are:

  • Charity Shops or Textile Banks - Reclaim textile waste from landfills, charity shops and other donation shops. The highest quality and value clothing is then resold to the vintage textile market for use in boutiques or reused in clothing design.
  • Retail Stores - Certain items may be discontinued or "last season's" inventory, so retailers may be able to give you discounted merchandise if you're buying in bulk. "Going-out-of-business" or "in liquidation" sales are also a good time to visit stores and seeing what they have leftover for cheap.
  • Trade Fairs - If you want to have a wider range of wholesale clothing options, but still shop in person, a trade show is good option as many tradesmen set up their stores there.



A few More Things...

Only ever purchase what you need - if you don't sell certain products, you may end up losing money in the long-run. Make sure the clothes you sell are clean and good quality.