10 Jul

How Much Inventory Do You Need to Start an Online Boutique

Some of the first things you should think about before launching your online boutique are how much inventory you’ll need, how much it’s going to cost, where you plan to store it and how much you plan to make. Before settling on the number of items for your online boutique, ask yourself if you’ll have time to write quality product descriptions, meta tags, and professional photos for every item.  Since you are selling clothes online, you’ll need to take time to organize that information so you can move those items fast.

Here are five tips to help you figure out how much inventory you’ll need for your online boutique.

1. Come up with a budget.

Whether you’re first starting to build your online boutique or are an established shop, you’ll need a budget and a way to keep track of all your expenses. Create a spreadsheet that includes the cost of each product, the style, and download your monthly selling reports. This will help you calculate what you can afford and how much you stand to gain. Don’t rush into it and buy several items of the same style before you know what will sell.

Do your research, listen to your customers, and learn about what they like. Pick items in a variety of sizes and colors.  During the first few months, you’ll be testing out what sells and what marketing techniques work for you. Use this information as a way to help your business grow.

2. Find the Right Storage Space.

Before purchasing inventory for your online boutique, think about how and where you are going to store it, and factor in the costs of renting a storage space. You’ll also want to add expenses for things like plastic bins, rolling racks, or hangers.

If you are ordering in bulk, know where you’ll store the merchandise before it arrives.  Also, keep in mind, you’ll need space to photograph and organize your orders.  It’s easy to get overwhelmed by so many items that you can lose track of what you have. 

Once your business starts to make money, you can make adjustments to keep the right stock available.  As your business grows, you can consider if moving to a larger space better suits your needs.

3. Decide if You Want to Order Products in Bulk or by Batch.

When you are buying wholesale clothing, you can choose between buying in bulk vs. buying in batch. At Wholesale Fashion Square, boutique owners can purchase smaller bundles of popular items to try out new items or stock smaller stores.  Although it may cost more than buying in bulk, it can be a good idea to only purchase what you know you can sell.

If you want a lower pricing cut, opt for larger traditional bundles. Buying wholesale clothing in bulk makes taking inventory easier since you have more of the same thing. It can also save you time since you have more of the same thing and won’t have to write new descriptions or take more photos.

4.  Plan Ahead.

Before you buy wholesale clothing for your online boutique, think about the season you want to sell it. Boutique owners typically place orders three to six months in advance of when they want the clothes in their store.  For example, stores tend to order for the Fall season five to six months before Fall arrives.

To know what your customers will want, take a look at the data from past sales to see what’s selling and what isn’t.  Check your previous sales history for the season your shopping for and use that to see how much inventory you should order. 

If you are just getting started, you’ll have to be a bit creative.  Check with your favorite competitors to see what are their best sellers online or top-rated items.  

5. Understand both the risk and reward.

Owning a business involves both risk and reward.  Have a solution for situations that might not go as planned. If you want to order new inventory, make sure you have a clear idea of what to do if the items don’t end up selling. When purchasing new items, make sure the rewards outweigh the risk. If you want to minimize the investment, only buy clothing you know you can sell quickly.

Meanwhile, investing in more inventory means more significant profits.  Before you purchase new stock, establish how much you can afford to spend so you know how much you can afford to lose.

Still not sure how much inventory you’ll need for your online boutique?  Wholesale Fashion Square offers a one-of-a-kind shopping experience with everything necessary to make your boutique as successful as possible.

Leave a comment if you found any of these tips helpful and share your favorite tips for buying wholesale clothing for your boutique.

  • Leslie A Ford

    I thought this article was very informative, especially for new boutique starters.
    What I liked best was that I didn’t know you could buy in bulk or batch. And I think chosing your inventory or I should say how much inventory you’ll approximately need and not spend all your finances at once. At least that’s what I got.
    Thanks so much!!

    July 13, 2019 at 3:17 pm Reply
  • Mishi

    The blogs you write include the words that have deep meanings. The worth of your words is the knowledge that you pore your writings. Keep it up and I shall come again to read your magical words.

    May 13, 2020 at 4:23 am Reply
  • forumnoveltiesinc

    Thanks for sharing it’s great really helpful for me.

    August 31, 2020 at 3:15 am Reply
  • Aaron White

    It’s great to learn that buying wholesale clothing in bulk can make inventory easier for an online boutique. My wife is wanting to start her own business and she was wondering how she could store her inventory easier. I’ll be sure to tell her that she should buy wholesale clothing in bulk.

    October 20, 2020 at 10:09 am Reply
  • Shammy Peterson

    You made a good point when you said that you must consider the expenses for things like plastic bins, rolling racks, or hangers when starting a boutique shop. This would be a great tip for future business owners who are interested in the clothing industry. I could imagine how your tip could be helpful in setting a budget, especially when rolling garment racks are needed for inventory purposes.

    July 16, 2021 at 12:43 am Reply
    • Admin

      Thanks for your comment!

      September 8, 2021 at 9:00 am Reply
  • Racheal Mayhugh

    When starting your online boutique do you suggest going to a market to pick inventory or buying online? Any feedback is appreciated

    October 14, 2021 at 4:57 pm Reply

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