Post from guest author Viktoria Kanevsky. Originally published on vkecom.com

Wholesale suppliers for your boutiques are one of the most crucial parts of your business, as they are responsible for quality, quantity, and the uniqueness of your product mix.

Before choosing any supplier and placing your order, you have to have desirable product mix plan and budget. Don’t purchase what you love instead of what will appeal to your customers; unless your clients follow your recommendations and move those products.

SUPPLIER CHECKLIST FOR AN ONLINE BOUTIQUE

  • Quality – what you see in pictures and what you touch and feel in person might be two different things. If you position your business as a boutique, it translates in customers’ mind as great quality products.
  • Uniqueness –if you are the only one (or one of a few) carrying the product, you can price it higher. Side note- when selling online, you should sell something people are looking for to buy. If so, using the right SEO keywords will allow your store will pop up in the top results in a search engine.
  • Pricing – always leave a sizable room for markups and promotions. For example, if you know that your established customers buy average $70, your wholesale spend should not be more expensive than half of it, unless you are planning a marketing campaign to reach new customer segment.
  • Product availability – if you pre-buy, you might end up not receiving the product if the supplier did not project correctly and manufactured less product than received orders. In this case, product will go first to larger stores and repeated retail buyers.
  • Shipping fees – Add them into your pricing.
  • Supplier reviews – it’s always a good idea to find others experiences with each supplier. However, you should make your judgment. Sometimes bad reviews can be reflecting something other than product quality and prices.

ORDERING

Overseas suppliers.

If your boutique is relatively small, scratch the idea of ordering overseas because quality might be poor and minimum orders tremendous. Also, your merchandise can get stuck somewhere on the border for days or even weeks while you plan to have it for new arrivals or holiday season.

However, if you already have established suppliers with high quality who you can trust, go for it, because prices will be lower.

The “Big Guys” – Well – Known Brands

If you a completely new to this game and want to sell recognizable names, start contacting brands one by one and see if they are willing to sell for a boutique. Usually, they want to see which brands you already carry and unless you can show them a proof…