Boost Your Boutique Blog

Challenges New Boutique Owners Face

Aug 28, 2023

Are you considering stepping into the world of boutique retail and exploring the opportunities and challenges that come with working with wholesalers? From navigating the intricacies of wholesale purchasing to understanding sizing variations, there's a lot to learn. In this blog post, we'll delve into some key insights on the challenges new boutique owners face!

Challenges New Boutique Owners Face

Getting Started with Wholesale Buying

When entering the world of boutique retail, it's important to understand the dynamics of wholesale buying and selling. One of the initial steps is to obtain a reseller's permit or a tax ID from your state. This identification allows you to collect sales tax when selling to the general public and is essential when buying from wholesalers.

Wholesale buying often takes place through online platforms like Fashion Go, LA Showroom, or FAIR. However, unlike retail purchases, wholesalers typically require minimum order quantities and don't offer the option to buy single samples. This means you'll need to purchase a set number of units per style.

Navigating Wholesale Costs and Quantities

When browsing through a wholesaler's catalog, you'll come across wholesale costs per unit. For instance, if an item is priced at $10 per unit, you'll generally need to buy at least six units, which amounts to a total order of $60. However, it's important to note that this price doesn't include additional costs like shipping, taxes, and handling.

Wholesale buying can be an excellent opportunity to access styles at lower prices than retail. Your ability to mark up these items for retail sale determines your profit margin. It's crucial to strike a balance between competitive pricing and maintaining profitability.

Understanding Sizing and Pack Breakdowns

Sizing can be a tricky aspect of wholesale buying, especially when dealing with different categories of apparel. There are distinctions between juniors, missy, contemporary, and men's sizing. Juniors sizing typically involves odd-numbered sizes like 3, 5, 7, catering to a younger, less curvy body shape.

Missy and contemporary sizing, on the other hand, include even-numbered sizes or the traditional small, medium, large options. These sizes are designed for adults with different body shapes and proportions.

It's important to inquire about sizing when working with wholesalers, as well as understand the breakdown of packs. Packs typically consist of two smalls, two mediums, and two larges. However, if you're interested in plus sizes, they often come in a separate pack. Vendors may offer variations in size breaks and packs, so communication is key.

Minimum Orders and Vendor Expectations

Wholesalers usually set a minimum order quantity for a transaction, which pertains to the total quantity of items ordered rather than specific styles or colors. Minimum orders often hover around 100 units, making it feasible to meet these requirements while purchasing a variety of styles.

Challenges New Boutique Owners Face

Navigating the world of wholesale buying in the boutique industry involves understanding the nuances of sizing, quantities, and vendor expectations. While the inability to purchase single samples might seem limiting, it's an opportunity to curate your inventory and provide a wide range of choices to your customers. Remember to obtain the necessary permits, conduct thorough research on vendors, and explore various options to find the best fit for your boutique business. As you gain experience and insight, you'll become more adept at identifying trends, meeting customer preferences, and maximizing your profitability in the wholesale landscape!