Ask the Business Mentor: Approaching Wholesalers

Dear Fashion Business Mentor,

Is it OK to walk into boutiques without an appointment to sell your product wholesale?



Dear Anonymous,

In short YES!  BUT…..

Be prepared.  Most boutiques dread the walk in small business because they don’t come prepared.  They have a pretty product but have no wholesale information with them.  If you want to be taken seriously you have NOT walk in with one thing.  This may sound crazy but it will make sense….

DON’T WALK IN WITH SAMPLES!  Have them in the car but don’t bombard the store owner.  They may be busy with customers.  They may be on their way out the door to pick up their sick child from school.  They may be in a really funky mood and prefer you come back.  Respect their time and they will respect you.

DO walk in with the following 3 things:

1.  A nicely printed glossy card with photos of the product you will offer.  (not past collections, the actual product you want to sell them)

2.  A warm smile and simple greeting.  You don’t need a fancy sales pitch.  No one likes to be sold.  That old adage that people buy from people they like is true.   Here’s an example:  ” Hi I’m Katie owner of kangacoo designs.  I have admired your boutique and think my lin of dresses would hang well with your other product offerings.  Here’s a sample of what I offer. (Hand them the postcard.)  I have samples in the car if you have time to look right now.”

3. A sheet of wholesale prices, sizes you offer, and minimums you require for the order.  Otherwise known as a line sheet.  It should have each product you offer with a style number and the aforementioned information.  If you stumble here your buyer will not trust you know what you are doing and will not place an order.

Other things to note:

Don’t walk in to just any store.  Make sure your product fits.  If they sell items that compliment yours than that should be a target store.

Don’t try to sell to competitors.  If you get an order from one store don’t go across the street to target a different store.  You need to move on to a different shopping district.

FOLLOW UP!  If they liked your product but didn’t order then follow up.  It doesn’t mean they are rejecting you.  It may just mean they have reached their ordering budget and you need to catch them earlier in the season next time.

Good luck anonymous!  Let me know how it goes!

~The Fashion Business Mentor





1 Comment

Filed under fashion, marketing, sales

One response to “Ask the Business Mentor: Approaching Wholesalers

  1. CultofLuxury

    Thanks for this! Such valuable information. I am just starting out and need every ounce of information i can find.

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