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Start a Wholesale Business | Steps for Getting Started

Starting a wholesale business takes work, research and a substantial investment.

If you make your own products or if you want to design and have your products made, here are some key factors to know before starting a wholesale business.


Make it New & Better

Stand out from the competition by offering something unique or making something existing better. When making or creating your designs, offer something that is unique to the market and/or provides an update to a current product.

If you can offer something unique or better with competitive pricing, it will give you a leg up when trying to find buyers.


When looking for a manufacturer, you'll want to ensure that they can create a quality product in a timely manner.

When making the decision of whether to work with a distributor or not - review the following:

  • Can they create your design?

  • Will you use a domestic or overseas manufacturer

  • What is the minimum order required?

  • Can they provide product samples?

  • What are their fees and shipping costs?

  • How much can they produce?

  • What is their quality standard?

  • What other brands have they works with?


If you're goal is to become a bulk wholesaler, you'll more than likely have to work with a manufacturer to create the product for you. 

Finding the right manufacturer takes a lot research and probable travel, depending on where you choose to do your business.  Here are the pros and cons of working with a manufacturer.


  • You can produce unique clothing items

  • You can establish your own brand

  • You can generally sell items at higher prices

  • You have greater control over branding and marketing


  • You have to make a significant investment up front

  • You have to buy bulk items that might not sell

  • You have greater legal obligations

  • You expose yourself to more risk


Selling to a retailer is the most in-depth form of selling your wholesale items. 

It requires that you lay all the groundwork to prove that your items are wanted and that they can sell.  Before preparing to pitch your proposal to retailers, do your research to ensure that you understand the retailers buying practices as well as the target market.  

If you want to sell to a retailer or distributor, you'll need to already have your ducks in a row, including being able to prove the relevancy of your item(s) and up to date profits. 

Finding the right distributor for your needs takes a good amount of research, fortunately, a lot of the information you need can be found online.


  • When targeting stores to sell your product to, do some research to understand how and what the retailer buys.

  • Pinpoint how you want to price your items based on the buyers' current product selection and keep taxes in mind.


  • If you're selling your handmade items and can only create a limited amount of products at one item, selling to a boutique could be your best option (at first). 

  • This method takes getting in contact with the buyer and meeting to give the owner an opportunity to touch and a feel your items. 


  • As much as you love your designs, we all have different tastes and styles. Know that every retailer is not going to be interested in your product and stay prepared for possible rejection.

  • Rejection can be hard to bounce back from, so staying prepared will help thicken your skin.


  • Along with marketing to the end buyer, keep up with current trends and think of the impression that will be made to the final customer.

  • When thinking of who you want to sell to, you'll want your designs and quality to represent your business and brand.

  • Don't just think of the products already in the store of the retailer, think of the customers that will be buying your items.



This list is a cumulative list and more manufacturers will continue to be added.  Sites included on this list are only secured sites. 

Unsecured sites may be dangerous and as they could include viruses or malware.  A reputable site will offer a secure search platform in order to provide their customers with a safe online experience.

Apparel Search

  • Manufacturer Directory

  • Not just a directory, Apparel Search offers access to manufacturers along with information about trends and best practices.  If you're just getting started in the fashion industry, Apparel Search is a good place to start.


  • Manufacturer & Supply Chain

  • Along with offering valuable information and manufacturing services, Suuchi also offers a platform for selling your clothing as a wholesaler

  • Visit Suuchi


  • Manufacturer

  • Along with being one of the top manufacturers, Sewport offers sewing products that will help you on your wholesale journey

  • Visit Sewport


"10 Ways to Find a Wholesale Distributor" - The Balance Small Business

- Vynes Apparel

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