To sell fashion on-line its important to offer something the big high-street companies can’t offer and to stand out from the crowd. Sell personalised, novelty clothing for kids, maternity wear, plus sizes fashion or niche clothing such as Steam Punk, Kawaii Clothing, even cutting edge wearable technology or 3D printed dresses.
When Selling On-line Remember
- Only send out professional looking, well made items to reduce returns.
- If you can’t deliver don’t promise, never leave customers disappointed.
- If a customer wants to return a faulty item, legally they must be offered a refund.
Selling fashion on-line is the home of returns, companies such as ASOS expect to have 50% of their sales refunded. To reduce your chances of refunds and increase your sales I have written the pros and cons of selling ordinary fashion items on-line.
Pros – One size fits all so a great item to sell, no need to try them on so less likely customers returning them because they don’t fit. Everyone always needs a handbag, purse and you can never have too many, so lots of opportunities for sales.
Cons – Hard to hand make handbags yourself, however there are lots of good on-line wholesalers where you can buy stock from to resell. As bags, purses are easy to sell lots of on-line fashion boutiques are doing it so it could be hard to stand out from the crowd.
Pros – Shoes, shoes, shoes, like handbags customers are always happy to buy an extra pair. You can accessories plain shoes easily by adding bows, sequins or even personalise with customer names to recreate the more niche Irregular Choice look.
Cons – When selling shoes you need to have a number of sizes available, this could mean finding space for lots of shoe boxes and having to buy lots of shoes before selling, which could be costly. Shoes are expensive to send out in the post as they are heavy and bulky, pushing customer costs up.
Pros – Customers for a special occasion such as a party or wedding are more likely to buy a dress from an independent boutique often wanting something a little different. Try giving customers a choice of styles and fabrics, offer to make them to the customers measurements such as on-line boutique Get Cutie.
Cons – I sold quite a few dresses on-line, as they were all made in stiff cotton nearly everyone was returned due to not fitting in certain places. So when selling on-line try to make all clothes in stretchy fabrics or loose fitting, less problems with fit mean less returns. Items such as t-shirts, leggings, jumpers and body con dresses are ideal for this. Remember with any clothes you need to stock a number of sizes, so investing in stock can be costly.
Pros – Most small fashion brands that have become successful over the years have done it selling printed t-shirts, such as Superdry. Wholesale a plain white t-shirt can be purchased for £0.98 from places such as Fire Label and screen printed on for a few pence. Brands such as Hollister are selling t-shirts for £12-15, that is quite a large profit.
Cons – Printed t-shirts because everyone is doing them, it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd and it is very easy for them to look cheap with sites like Red Bubble offering thousands of designs. Super-dry t-shirts sell because of the power of their brand, so without the reputation you may struggle to sell them without a great print.
Pros – The personalised clothing market has really taken off over the past few years, I made a range of kids printed t-shirt for special occasions such as birthday’s with the child’s name printed on and sold quite a few. I was offering something the large shops can not at this stage offer, customised clothing.
Cons – Personalised clothing is a little cheesy and it does not take a lot of design skill to make such items, you can down-load templates from sites such as Silhouette so the market is now flooded with cheap baby grows and custom t-shirts. As they are usually only being worn once customer are not that interested in quality and more interested in a cheap price, so hard to make money.
Vintage, second-hand clothes are easy and cheap to get hold of, check out my blog post “How to Stock your On-line Fashion Shop” for more information about the pros and cons of selling vintage.