Many people spend their days working for other people, while they dream about starting their own businesses. Prior to the internet, that dream was almost impossible for most people to achieve. Startup costs were high, and if you didn’t have a formal education in business management, you had to buy countless books or make trips to the library to have a chance at success.
Today, you can start an online business with relatively low startup costs. And, if you have a question, you can just Google the answer. That’s probably what landed you on this page. If you’ve made the decision to start your online clothing business, then the hardest part of your journey is already over. Here’s how to begin the next leg of your journey as an entrepreneur.
How to Sell Used Clothes
If you just want to clear out your closet, then the process is simple. First, take pictures of your clothing. Then, post the images along with keyword-rich descriptions onto popular marketplace websites. Depending on the type of clothing you have, you will do better on some marketplaces than others. For example, high-end women’s clothing tends to do well on Poshmark, while you might have a better chance at selling other types of clothing on Facebook Marketplace, or eBay. If you have vintage clothing for sale, then consider a website like Etsy. Regardless of the platform, the key is to have high quality images, and to include your most important keywords in the names of your products, plus other keywords in the descriptions. Price your clothing fairly and you will start selling in no time at all. However, this may not be enough to go through your entire collection. To boost your chances of success, link to your items for sale from your social media profiles and share with friends and family members.
Selling your used clothes online might be good if you want to turn some old clothes into cash, but it’s not a business. To take it to the next level, you’ll need to start acquiring clothing from other sources. An easy way to get started is through basic arbitrage. Invest some time into finding good deals on eBay, Craigslist, and other websites. Visit your local consignment store, or the Salvation Army. With some practice, you will begin to recognize good deals, as well as the types of clothing that are in demand.
If you’re really ambitious, you can rent space in parking lots and other locations for clothing drop boxes. Many people want an easy way to get rid of old clothes without putting them in the trash. Just be sure to understand the laws in your area, and do not put misleading information on your donation box. Don’t give people the false impression that their clothing will be given to people for free, if that is not the case.
How to Sell Designer Clothing Online
Most people aren’t interested in selling used clothing as their full time business. Instead, they want to sell designer clothing online. The problem is that most high-end brands have strict requirements for new vendors, and it’s unlikely that you will be approved if you’re just starting out. This generally leaves you with two choices: sell clothes as an affiliate, or work with a drop shipping company that carries the brands that you want.
Before you can do either of these things, you need to set up your website. You can use an ecommerce solution like Shopify or BigCommerce. Or, if you want more flexibility, you can install your ecommerce website on a hosting server. Popular platforms include Magento Community, and WooCommerce for WordPress. Go to a hosting reviews website like HostCalc, and find a plan that you like. Then, upload your website software and a nice design.
If you’re signing up for affiliate programs, then go ahead and populate it with some products. If it looks like a complete website, you’ll increase your chances of getting approved. Go to websites like Impact Radius, Commission Junction, and Shareasale, and apply for the programs that you like. Once you’re approved for some programs, you can upload their products, or integrate their product feed into your website. Then, whenever you make a sale, you’ll earn commissions. The problem here is that the customers are never really added to your database, as the transactions occur on the merchant websites. This means that it’s difficult to market to them again through email or other means.
If you want to own your customer data, then you’re better off working with a drop-shipping company. You can find companies like Griffati or BrandsGateway that will license their product feed to you for a monthly fee. Then, whenever a purchase is made, you collect the customer data, and you send a copy of it to the drop ship company to fulfill the order. If you build your website right, all of this will happen automatically, so that you can focus on traffic and customer service.
How to Sell Private Label Clothes Online
If you want to start your own clothing brand, you can. There are private label manufacturers that will apply your logo to the items sold, and they’ll ship direct to your customers. You’ll retain the customer data, and you’ll be able to remarket those same customers with new products. If your online store has some traction, then you can even launch your own affiliate program, and pay other website owners to drive traffic to your store. Otherwise, work on your SEO, paid advertising, and other digital marketing strategies to drive sales. You’ll need to be mindful of your costs, of course. If you’re doing Google Adwords or Facebook Ads, then you’ll want to track your Cost Per Acquisition, or CPA. This tells you how expensive it is to sell a product, based on the average number of clicks required to generate a purchase, and the cost per click. Then, just make sure this number is lower than your margins, and you’ll make money.
Launch Your Website and Start Driving Traffic
Now that you know how to sell clothing online, it’s time to get started. Launch your website, or hire a professional to do it for you. Add your products, and then start marketing your website through search engines, social media, and other means. Once you put the time into launching your business, you’ll be inspired to learn more about marketing your website, and following your path to success.