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How can I get brands to sell in my online clothing store?

I am in the process of creating a online clothing retailer (with a twist of course) and of course need inventory. I've never dealt with clothing brands so I'm turning to you FounderDating! Anyone know how/know anyone that does know how to get quality clothing brands to work with me?

6 Replies

Syama Meagher
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Syama Meagher Entrepreneur
Retail Strategy (Sales, Marketing) & Social Entrepreneur
Hi Brandon, Its not too hard. Just make a list of all the brands you want to work with and start hitting the pavement hard. When my partner and I launched our site a few weeks ago, I had to literally pitch the site unseen to dozens of brands, and.... it worked! Not everyone will say yes- but in the beginning you really only need to work with vendors who are willing to take a chance
Shingai Samudzi
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Shingai Samudzi Entrepreneur
Founder & CEO at ProjectVision
Syama makes a good point.

To augment your "sell" to those brands, show some metrics around potential traffic and volume on your site, as well as your strategy for generating traffic.

Past success in growing a large, regular audience to a site also helps. Talk to folks who have done that - particularly in the ecommerce space - to learn what you need to do to build a plan that can convince retailers that you are serious and can bring them real sales via good traffic.
Jessica Alter
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Jessica Alter Entrepreneur • Advisor
Entrepreneur & Advisor
It's like any "partnership" really. You need to think about what they need and what their priorities are. Big brands don't need you right now and they won't jump first so pick off smaller, hipper brands that you can offer something to - like sales.
Robert Strojan
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Robert Strojan Entrepreneur
Owner, Blackout Labs
If you want inventory, you'll buy clothing at wholesale directly from the brand. Most of the major brands will have showrooms which you can visit and place your order. However, your best bet is to checkout a tradeshow like Capsule where you can see collections from a lot of brands at once.
Kyle Giddens
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Kyle Giddens Entrepreneur
CEO at Trendi Guru
Also check out affiliates that have products for you like cj.com
Rob Gropper
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Rob Gropper Entrepreneur
Director at PetHero, SPC - Member at Eastside Incubator - Principal at Tuxedo Technologies Group
find someone with subject matter expertise and get them on your team/board/advisory board. I have no experience with clothing retail, but i happen to have some friends/acquaintances with years in the industry (Nordstrom, REI, Nike, Outdoor Research have HQs here) so i have learned that clothing retail is just "different" in how they do business. More so than many industries it seems like retail is ever more relationship-dependent.
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