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  • #988777
    IvieBoutique
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    Hi, I am starting a online business called Ivie Boutique. I have registered my business name and starting my website… My question is
    1) where do I look for wholesalers for children’s clothing?
    2) why is it that I “follow” a few pages on Facebook who always have their stock cheaper than what I could find and they always have new stock I can’t find.
    3) I have big dreams… But I want this to work. I have the funds but can’t seem to find any proper wholesalers or is dhgate and alibaba the only ones, I just don’t see how 1000 shops on the sites above selling the same same but different could possibly give me a better price the where they originally got it from? I have the funds to support the start up but just don’t want to waste the money…
    Thankyou

    Email [email protected]
    am I way over my head?!

    #1168849
    help4bis.com
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    am I way over my head?!
    Absolutely, no doubt about it…. but then again we all are :-). That, in my opinion separates an entrepreneur from a 9-5er if you like. For me it is that drive… but enough about me :-).

    2) why is it that I “follow” a few pages on Facebook who always have their stock cheaper than what I could find and they always have new stock I can’t find.
    Cheaper… there has been a bit of a talk about that… Is cheaper really better and the way to position yourself as in, being better? I believe the general consensus is that cheaper is not really that important. HOWEVER… (its always there). The market you target… kids clothing is more a consumable than a longer term investment so value for money is important.

    Have you got some examples of the FB pages where clothing is “cheaper”?. If you cannot get to sell for the same or lower price then your secret wapon could be an easier sales funnel. Make buying easier…. That is why I ask for some examples to have a look what you are up against.

    3) I have big dreams… But I want this to work
    We all dream…. so OPEN YOUR EYES. perhaps you are to narrow focused. (yes I am blund… deal with it :-)). With that I mean… you want to sell these clothing which is good, you have funding which is more than most of us… so what is it you are willing to sacrifice…. and what is it you want to achieve.
    A. selling clothing
    B. Create a customer base (which unfortunately might have a short life span due to the niche you have chosen).
    C. Sell an experience (Starbucks does not sell coffee, they sell an experience).

    Hight goals…. how to achieve them….?

    A, selling well that is easy and is done by lots… as you have noticed.
    B. Create customer base….,and C experience… How to achieve that how to be better or more so different… VALUE ADD is the word.

    Have a think about:
    – Subscription, with that i mean every item sold they get a token (discount) which they can use on the next item. For example you buy 10 nappies (lol) you get the next one free. Loyalty cart thing. This brings me to what do you want to sacrifice….
    So lets say I buy a clothing item from you, I need to pick that up or get send to me. If I need to pick up… then YOU will find a coffee shop near by a post office where I can get a free coffee paid for by you… Not sure how this will work but it is about the concept.

    Team up with SandraS i think it was, she does do photo albums type thingy…. babies, littlekids etc are about photos…. so see if you can get sandra to do you a special price on photoalbums so you customer can go to her with that discount…

    Value add value add, if you can’t beat on price…. beat them on being special…

    Hope this puts some ideas in your head…. step back from clothing for a sec… thing package… think value add…

    #1168850
    Spurious
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    IvieBoutique, post: 195747 wrote:
    Hi, I am starting a online business called Ivie Boutique. I have registered my business name and starting my website… My question is
    1) where do I look for wholesalers for children’s clothing?
    2) why is it that I “follow” a few pages on Facebook who always have their stock cheaper than what I could find and they always have new stock I can’t find.
    3) I have big dreams… But I want this to work. I have the funds but can’t seem to find any proper wholesalers or is dhgate and alibaba the only ones, I just don’t see how 1000 shops on the sites above selling the same same but different could possibly give me a better price the where they originally got it from? I have the funds to support the start up but just don’t want to waste the money…
    Thankyou

    Email [email protected]
    am I way over my head?!

    Hello Ivie (if thats not your real name im using it anyway)

    As the poster above hinted it sounds from what youve written like you need to focus a little more on your concept and your positioning in the market.

    Do you want to be a pumpkin patch or a best and less?

    Who are you selling to, what do they want to buy and what do they want to spend?

    What kind of quantity do you envisage selling and what sort of costs will that have to cover? selling at the cheap end you might only be making a few dollars per item, selling hand made finest merino somethings you might make $50 per item but you’ll sell a lot less

    Would you like to have products shipped from the manufacturer straight to the customer as and when the customer purchases it (cheaper, more flexible but less control) or would you rather order 50 units in a big box and pack and send them as and when you get an order (different costs, lower per unit but you have to carry the stock, more control over presentation to the customer)

    It seems to me (full disclosure, never had anything to do with the fashion business other than buying it) that fashion is a risky business because youre banking on your ability to predict what people want to buy months out (if you arent dropshipping)

    Theres nothing wrong with that, and theres lots of people that do it well, but if youd rather be more of a pumpkin patch than a best and less (im guessing you do because youre using the word boutique) youre going to need to have a good eye for picking things that people will want to spend money on, and backing yourself to promote it.

    My advice would be to find a few businesses that are doing something similar to how you envisage your business being in a year or two, look at the clothes theyre offering and try to figure out where they came from, then see if you can ferret out the suppliers and reverse engineer how their business model works. If they have stores go in, act like a concerned parent and ask about how their garments are manufactured, where they come from etc.

    The insurance broker in me wants to give you some advice on importing childrens wear. Keep in mind that when it comes to liability the importer is treated as the manufacturer so make sure you know your responsibilities when it comes to labeling of flamability/choking hazards etc, you dont want to get sued for hurting someones child, but more than that you dont want to be responsible for hurting someones child.

    Best of luck

    Edit: Another idea that you may or may not like so feel free to disregard, is that you could create something like a ‘preseason catalogue’ where you create a mini magazine (could be in pdf form, doesnt have to be expensive) where you have pictures of children running through fields and playing with dogs that are wearing outfits youve created and have an order form so that when winter comes the child has 3 new outfits etc that look stylish and feel exclusive. This would give you an idea of demand and keep your brand front of mind.

    #1168851
    marketingweb
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    Hi Ivy,

    Warning in advance this post will make me sound like {some nasty word I can’t write on flying solo}, but I am writing this for your benefit, just minus the usual tact!

    I personally cringe every time I see someone looking to sell children’s clothing online. Simply because the market is absolutely flooded. It pains me to say it, but over my 3 or 4 years on flying solo I’ve seen and given replies to perhaps 20 women wanting to start or who have started online clothing stores, even had a couple potential clients out of it, but are yet to see any success stories – the market is just too flooded. It seems to me (not being a mum of course) that for ever 10 mum customers online there is 1 wanting to start a store.

    Not saying there isn’t potential, but there are so many competitors out there in this niche that the ONLY way you can succeed as I see it is by going big and going hard and doing it really really well – if you dip your toe in the water you will likely do your money.

    You say you have the capital, I’m not sure what that means to you, but to do what you are talking about to the level where you are a chance of success, I expect a starting investment would be about $100,000 on the low end, ideally far more than that. If that’s what you are talking by capital, then it might be doable if you have a strong business plan. If you are talking $2000 or even $5000, then forget it, unless you have a source of really cheap stuff you can sell on eBay or the like. Leading sites would spend more than that on marketing every month (probably every week). Online retail is getting harder, and kids clothing is one of the most crowded.

    As to why people can buy it cheaper – they are likely buying actual factory direct. Most you find on Alibaba are not factories, they are middle men. And Ali Express even more so. Companies like Boohoo.com (Adults I know, not kids) are designing their own clothing, cutting out the middle man, bringing it in by the container load, and selling it cheap.

    In my opinion, online retail only works if you are selling brand names, OR are selling cheap stuff you import direct. Selling non brand-names bought through wholesalers etc isn’t a recipe for long terms success with the way online retail is going.

    Then you have to have a modern, professional website. One you built yourself that your friends tell you is great but professionals can pick apart won’t cut it.

    Once the site is up, advertising and SEO comes in. For your niche facebook advertising would be one of the best value options, along with Google’s contextual / remarketing graphic ads.

    Again, I know I’ve sounded negative, but better off having someone be blunt than dive in head first without planning and do your dough. Once you KNOW you have all the sorts of stuff I mentioned covered, have a proper budgeted business plan with competitor analysis etc, then you will be ready to go.

    Matt

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