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Online sellers and brick-and-mortar boutiques alike face the pressure of the ever-changing fashion purchasing channels.
It is thus important for fashion retailers to decide what’s best for them and try to approach their sales in an affordable and qualified way ensuring fast sales and guaranteed repeat customers. While this is often easier said than done, Fashinza brings to you a comparison between sourcing wholesale clothes and manufacturing private label clothes so that you can pick the most effective way for your clothing brand.
What is wholesale cloth sourcing?
Wholesalers sell clothing in bulk at a lower price than what a store will usually charge in retail. Buying store merchandise from wholesalers allows retailers to get the apparels at a cheaper price and then sell the established fashion products at a retail markup.
While it sounds readily the first option that you will opt for, there are both pros and cons to wholesale cloth sourcing, like everything else.
Pros of wholesale cloth sourcing –
· You can buy your products in bulk at a lower cost unit per clothing, which is economically feasible.
· Wholesale cloth sourcing is likely the fastest way of getting your fashion product in-hand.
Cons of wholesale cloth sourcing –
· Since it is wholesale sourcing, you usually have to buy in bulk such that your initial investment will still be high.
· There might be times when you have bought more clothes than you can actually sell leaving you with unsold inventory to unload. This also results in severe losses to your investments many times.
· If you have unsold merchandise left with you that you would like to return to your wholesaler, it is usually attached to high return fees which again makes you bear unavoidable losses.
· The products that you are selling might be available to buyers at other retail shops in competitive price options. Your apparels lose their uniqueness in the process and thus, the loyalty of the customers.
Sourcing through wholesalers allows boutique owners to buy in bulk at a cheap and affordable price. New brands that have stepped into the fashion industry only recently often cannot purchase directly from high-end private manufacturers because of the high costs. Wholesale cloth sourcing is the way out for them. However, these cheap prices also come with a catch. (There is always a catch, isn’t it?) While buying from the wholesalers, fashion retailers always have to buy in bulk which ultimately heightens the investment they have to make. Wholesalers have the bar of minimum orders set very high, so in case of unsold clothing, the option of returning is also not available easily. If it is, it comes with a very high return fee.
Many wholesalers have catalogues that the retailers can go through and order from. This is certainly one of the fastest ways to get your products delivered to you. However, this is also one of the reasons why many boutiques have the same designs available with them: the popular designs at a given time. This results in lack of customer loyalty and doesn’t ensure repeat customers. There is also the added factor of competition in prices, many retailers will often sell the same thing as you at a cheaper price which will harm your sales visibly.
What is private label cloth sourcing?
Sourcing private label clothing means working directly with a fashion manufacturer instead of a third-party mediator, like a wholesaler. While the actual piece of clothing may be furnished by a known manufacturer, the label on that will be that of your unique boutique brand.
As in the case of wholesale cloth sourcing, private label cloth sourcing also has its own perks and disadvantages added to it.
Pros of private label cloth sourcing –
· Your products will be unique to your brand, so customers won’t be able to find them anywhere else.
· Unique products are bound to ensure customer loyalty and help your brand grow a positive reputation in the market.
· Private label manufacturers usually allow you to order in small amounts, some as low as 50 units.
· You will have complete control over the quality of your products.
· You may also have the chance to work with luxury level producers who are usually reserved for best-in-class brands.
Cons of private label cloth sourcing –
· Since you are working first-hand with a private manufacturer, it will take more time for your products to be designed, produced, and received in-hand, ready to sell.
· Your cost per unit is likely to be higher as compared to wholesale cloth sourcing.
Selling private label clothing gives you the opportunity to stand out and bring out the uniqueness of your products to the consumers. Ordering from a fashion manufacturer directly lets you showcase unique designs. While curating your own designs can present a challenge more often than not, it helps you to build customer loyalty and grow as a brand in the market with your own brand value. As in the case of wholesale cloth sourcing, customers won’t be able to find a look-alike of your products in other stores, and your products will always stand out.
Sourcing private label clothing also solves the problem of high-quantity orders. Private label ordering lets you decide on minimum orders, which in turn lowers the chances of having unsold inventory and also assures higher quality. You also have the chance of working with luxury brands like Gucci, Versace and Prada. Your brand can have the high esteem of made in Italy products without the risk of assorting more inventory than you can sell.
The most enticing benefit you can get if you opt for private label cloth sourcing is that you have complete control over your products. Yes, the designing and manufacturing can take longer as compared to wholesale cloth sourcing but it is compensated by designs that are unique to your brand name. You control the design, the labels, and in turn your customers are loyal to that uniqueness.
Choosing what’s essential to your fashion brand is one of the major decisions that will also pave the path for your future endeavours. Ensure to take a thorough look and keep yourself at par with the ongoing market trends. Fashion is an essential industry where the fads keep changing and you always have to be one step ahead of things to make sure you know how things are working at the moment.
We hope that this article helps you choose what’s best for you and take the right step towards success. Both wholesale and private label cloth sourcing come with their advantages and disadvantages, but you should keep in mind what your brand needs before making a decision. While one is about buying in bulk at a cheaper price, the other caters to your individuality and ensures that your products are one of a kind. It is important to find what exactly you want from your brand and how you want buyers to identify with it. There are a thousand retailers and boutiques— do you want to take the faster route or are you willing to go the extra mile and let your unique designs speak for you?
If, however, you are still at a crossroads and unable to arrive at a decision, reach out to Fashinza and they will guide you every step of the way. We hope to see you establish your fashion brand with utmost success.