There are many reasons governing why a consumer may choose to purchase clothing on a wholesale basis. One of those being that, since clothing is obviously an essential item and is therefore considered highly desirable, the potential ease of resale increases.
As clothing has an especially high-profit margin, it’s usually given premium space in any retail setting. There are some instances where a retailer/reseller can increase their profits by 90% through purchasing wholesale.
If you are a relatively inexperienced entrepreneur — who is just starting out on a new venture — investing in wholesale clothing is a great way to establish yourself in a profitable career as a retailer. If this is the case, the choice of what to buy will predominantly come down to where you choose to purchase from and the demographics of the area where the clothes will be sold.
Of course, there are consumer markets which aren’t based around the concept of being a commercial retailer. There is everything from the individual consumer who is simply hunting down a bargain to sporting clubs or other associations with uniform requirements, along with smaller niche customer bases. These can all benefit from the concept of wholesale purchasing.
Advantages of Domestic vs. Foreign Wholesale Suppliers
Due to the convenience of being domestically located, the shipping time will be significantly reduced in comparison to purchasing for an overseas location. Use of a common language between consumer and supplier means communication will inevitably be easier and should considerably reduce the margin for error. Contributing to the local economy is an additional noteworthy benefit of purchasing the domestic product.
Although it’s not always the case, the quality of manufacturing should be a good deal better and is usually worth paying a slightly higher price for than one might pay in an offshore transaction. State-of-the-art manufacturing practices, in conjunction with superior fabrics, will ensure premium quality.
There will always be fluctuating costs for raw materials or processing, finishing, stitching and transport charges. This will all add to the overall cost of the product, as will adherence to the latest methods and quality systems. These are some of the reasons why many overseas manufacturers can undercut domestic suppliers with such fiercely competitive cost-effective measures.
It’s a good idea to bear in mind that quality is usually dependent on price, and that price is also generally dependent on quality!
Quality vs. Cost
Whereas some clientele will have an inclination toward natural fabrics, other consumers are going to make purchases based almost entirely on economic principles. In most instances, a clothing reseller’s primary concern will be the purchase cost of the product.
However, it’s always advisable to carefully weigh up the cost of providing sub-par garments to your market base. Saving money shouldn’t come at the expense of your reputation or the consumers’ satisfaction. Therefore, it’s incredibly important to strike a suitable balance between the purchase expense and the product quality.
It’s quite a common practice for manufacturers or wholesale suppliers to give hefty discounts based on the volume of products purchased. Therefore, you may not always have to sacrifice on quality to save on price, if you are prepared to buy in bulk. For businesses, both large and small, the savings achieved through wholesale purchasing increase exponentially when the volume increases.
There are certain garment quality markers that are good determinants to consider when considering a wholesale purchase. Sometimes it’s even possible to obtain a sample from a supplier prior to purchase, which can be a good first step in the selection process. If the reseller is unable to make it to a warehouse to personally inspect examples, many suppliers are happy to mail out a sample.
There will be a cost associated with the sample, but that’s entirely at the discretion of the wholesaler. Before committing to ordering a large quantity, there are a few key points which need to be factored in:
Brands have a responsibility to maintain a particular image, and while not a crucial component (or guarantee) of quality, it’s worth noting that a brand name often reflects a superior garment. Although, it should be said that there is a certain type of wholesaler who is happy to sell relatively inexpensive imitations. These are usually easy to spot, as they will not be constructed with the same care as the genuine article.
It makes good business sense for a buyer to verify the reputation and reliability of a source before handing over any money. This is especially true when ordering in volume, which can be a significant outlay of funds.
While there are those in the wholesale clothing industry who only provide “blank” items (plain and unadorned designs), some suppliers will provide extra services, such as in-house embroidery or screen printing. The benefits of personalizing the product are often evident in a higher resale value and repeat business from happy customers who liked the extra touch of individual style.
Naturally, if you choose to opt in for these additional expenses, it will be a significant point of difference when it comes to the overall purchase price.
Each fabric type has distinctly different quality levels, whether natural fibers or a synthetic blend. For example, Lycra or Polyester garments may feel somewhat different than the equivalent product from an alternate source.
You may experience a similar thing when it comes to natural fabrics. Different varieties of cotton are available in varying weights and depending on the purpose, may be woven into a significantly tougher thread than others.
Examining the seams of an item is an important step in the clothing selection process. Tighter, uniform seams are indicative of quality, as are double straight seams. Created by an extra step during manufacture, they result in more durable garments. Seam ends should always be neatly tied off and not hanging loose.
A primary concern when purchasing coats or jackets in bulk is the presence (or absence) of a lining. Typically, lined outerwear has a higher likelihood of selling. A jacket that is lined will generally be quite a bit warmer, look better and last longer than the unlined version.
A Brief History of Jackets
The most common definition of a jacket is a shortened coat that’s worn by both women and men. It’s considered by many to be one of the most important items of clothing in any wardrobe. When styled well and tailored to fit, this quintessential piece of outerwear is versatile enough to cover both formal and informal occasions. Neutral colors make a good jacket a suitable pairing with almost any combination of clothing.
History has seen the creation of countless shapes and styles of jackets, however, some are more common than others. Popular theory has it that the jacket originated during the early Renaissance or Middle Ages as the jerking, a more tailored version of short tunic favored by working-class men. It was during the early 18th century that the jacket became synonymous with those who worked in agriculture or as servants in more urban environments.
It’s incredible how often fashion has been influenced by functionality. Workwear or utilitarian clothing may not have started out as purely aesthetic or “fashionable,” but there’s no rule book when it comes to style. As anyone can attest to, sometimes a trend spreads like a wildfire and soon, everyone has adopted it.
A perfect example of this phenomenon would have to be the bomber jacket. While it originally started out as heavy-duty leather aviation outerwear made specifically for the military, it’s now synonymous with the concept of “cool” and is an essential element of many wardrobes. The bomber is to jackets what the little black dress is to cocktail attire: timelessly stylish.
In 1857, Corriere delle Dame (a women’s magazine) pioneered the creation of jackets for women. It was essentially a short version of the morning coat, and they partnered it with a redesigned skirt — styled with a shorter hem. This began a fashion trend which, unlike many, is still prevalent today.
The actual terminology “jacket” has taken on a much broader meaning than the earlier styles it typically referred to. It’s not just associated with more formal attire; it’s become a generic term covering sports jackets, anoraks, blazers and bomber jackets.
Traditionally styled with wool, tweed or cotton, jackets now come in a much broader variety. You’ll find that some of the more common choices now include leather, suede, hemp or nylon.
Some man-made fabrics are only a relatively new creation and have completely rejuvenated industries and drastically affected fashion choices. With the advent of synthetic materials like Rayon, Acetate and Lycra, there came a new craze for the cheaper, “wrinkle-free” alternatives to natural fiber fabrics.
The newer, more durable fabrics often prove to be far cheaper to purchase and come in a broad range of fade-resistant colors. For those who don’t appreciate the necessity of having to iron everything (usually essential when you’ve unpacked after a long trip), microfiber jackets are a particularly welcome evolution of technological advancements.
While these synthetic materials are stronger, most aren’t moisture absorbent and don’t breathe well. Therefore, a lot of the population find them uncomfortable and would prefer to spend a little more for the natural fiber alternative. These materials aren’t biodegradable, and therefore the cost to the environment might also be an argument for choosing natural fabrics.
The advantages of natural fibers will appeal to many, especially to those who are conscious of the environmental factor. Cotton, bamboo and other natural fibers create garments made from sustainable resources. They’re a good deal more absorbent than their synthetic counterparts, and many people claim they feel warmer and more comfortable against their skin.
There are a couple of major disadvantages to natural fibers, though. Garments created using man-made materials such as Rayon and Acetate won’t lose color as quickly as the natural alternatives like cotton and bamboo. Some natural fiber fabrics require specialist cleaning processes and specific care instructions.
Common Styles Typical to Wholesale Jackets
Zip Jackets are particularly popular with the sporting communities and exercise conscious individuals as both the lightweight version (typically used as cool-down apparel) or the heavier, fleece options have additional moisture wicking and special ventilation panels. This is a common choice for those who need to soak up the excess sweatiness engendered after the exertion of an intensive exercise routine.
Nylon Jackets are not only an affordable option, favored by sports coaches and teams, but they are also surprisingly comfortable. There are also nylon rain jackets, which are a popular choice and have proven particularly useful to combat the fluctuating temperatures and challenges common to the changing seasons.
Softshell Jackets are ideal for use in light weather conditions when they are made from ventilated water repellent materials. Vests are a common, modified version of this apparel item. They’re specifically designed for use outdoors as an insulating layer under a “hard shell” outerwear jacket. With the latest advances in textile production, you can even get hybrid jackets that make for a perfect blend of the waterproof “hard shell” with the texture of “soft shell.”
Wind Jackets, as the name suggests, are the most logical choice when it comes to avoiding the biting wind of colder climates. Unfortunately, almost everyone has experience with the type of icy winds, which simply slice right through anything you’re wearing. Since this tends to leave you an uncomfortable, shivering block of ice, wind jackets are the perfect solution.
Parkas are often used for outerwear in the coldest of temperatures and are the most popular choice for skiers, hunters and arctic expeditions. The hip-length jacket has an attached hood (often trimmed with fur) and is usually windproof, water-repellent and perfect for the extreme conditions faced by the military.
It doesn’t even matter whether you’re filling an entire warehouse full of wholesale jackets or just padding out your wardrobe with a few fantastic bargains. Regardless of the specific reasons behind your choice to explore other buying alternatives — whether you’re a lone shopper or a retail chain — it’s certainly worth investigating the accompanying benefits available to you through wholesale purchasing.