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New York Wholesale District: How to Find the Best Wholesale Fashion Deals in NYC

From my experience in running CloseoutExplosion.com I have discovered that the best deals on wholesale fashion are right here in New York. The large customer base that attracts the best wholesale merchandise since New York is an international destination, populated by people who live here year round, to tourists from all over the world, to business people coming to wheel and deal in Manhattan and in its surrounding boroughs. Where the demand is the supply follows, so if you have a large base of potential consumers for your products, you would be wise to send your best merchandise to that location.

NYC, especially the Fashion District, has developed a strong reputation as the meeting place for established and up and coming designers, and the buyers who represent retail outlets such as discount store chains, department stores, and buying offices for foreign companies.

In the midst of all this commerce there are opportunities for resellers to locate extremely good closeout deals. These product offerings can consist of excess production by a dress manufacturer or shelf pulls from an upscale department store. Remember, since New York is such a fashion conscientious marketplace, consumers demand and expect the latest office suits by Tahari, the most up to date dresses by Calvin Klein, and the most current shoes by Nine West. Shoppers want brand name clothing, shoes, and handbags, in the most pristine mint condition. Once these qualifications are not met the fashion is sold to wholesalers and jobbers that work in the off price business.

You can locate the best closeout fashion lots by visiting the New York Wholesale District located in the area around 36th St and 7th Ave. You will want to visit:

Dress Showrooms: There are showrooms that exclusively sell a particular brand, such as a dress vendor that focuses on London Times, or showrooms that are owned by the brands, such as the Eli Tahari showroom located at 510 Fifth Ave. Clothing Manufacturers: You can find clothing manufacturers that produce clothes for their own labels, for boutiques, and for department stores. You can approach these clothing factories and inquire if they have an excess production that they are looking to liquidate. Often these factories will have odds and ends that they used as samples for their previous apparel lines, and left over apparel items from previous orders. The following websites are great online resources that you can use to help you get in touch with fashion factories:

madeinnyc.org, nycfashioninfo.com, nycfashioninfo.com, and americanmanufacturing.org.

Wholesale Warehouses: You will usually find wholesale warehouses in places where the rent is lower than Manhattan, such as in Brooklyn or Queens, (such as the warehouse of my closeout business Closeout Explosion, which is located in Greenpoint, Brooklyn) although you can still find smaller warehouses in the city. These businesses will represent designers, or locate overstock clothing which they then resell to boutique owners who visit them from as far as Nigeria, Trinidad, and Dubai.

For more information that can help you navigate the NYC Garment District you can visit:

savethegarmentcenter.org, garmentdistrictnyc.com, and shopthegarmentdistrict.com.

Wholesalers and Drop Shippers, Advantages and Disadvantages

Wholesalers and drop shippers can both be great sources for wholesale fashion for resellers. Both types of wholesale vendors can offer really good deals on closeout merchandise. Since each type of supplier works based on a different supply system, there are advantages and disadvantages to working with each one. In order to make a decision from who to purchase your store inventory from you need to have a good understanding of what each type of business does, and the reasons why you would want to use one versus the other.

A wholesaler is a vendor which supplies merchandise based on an upfront payment or credit period. This type of business will deliver the products directly to the reseller at a low rate, but will generally not send the merchandise directly to the end consumer, since the low prices that the wholesaler charges are based on volume purchases. The prices are as low as they are since it does not offer added services above fulfilling the orders placed by the boutique. For example, a Nigerian boutique can visit a New York wholesaler like my business CloseoutExplosion.com which is located in Brooklyn, make its own selection of office suits by Tahari, and have its shipment sent freight collect to its shop in Lagos. The shop owner can expect to pay rock bottom closeout prices, but will see an assortment of different items whenever she visits.

A drop shipper will have a wide selection of wholesale items, sometimes in the thousands, at good wholesale prices, but will not be able to charge as low as a wholesaler can because its expenses to fulfill all the individual small orders to the end users can be expensive. Imagine a drop shipper having to fulfill hundreds of orders a day for different individual items on behalf of eBay sellers who are all placing different orders at any given time of the day. This type of operating requires a sophisticated computer program, the latest e-commerce technology, and a highly professional and efficient sorting and packing operation. The benefit of drop shipping is that a reseller does not have to stock any products, and only needs to pay for them after he or she has received the payment from the customer. The disadvantage is that the reseller will be competing with thousands of other resellers who all have access to the exact same products and at the exact same price as anyone who deals with the drop shipper.

I have personally always preferred to purchase and hold my inventory, even if I had to start out with a small quantity, this way I could obtain the liquidation pallets at the lowest possible price, and eliminate the chances of my competition having the same wholesale wear for their customers. While every system has its pluses and minuses, I believe you need to carefully examine which option will realistically allow you to build a profitable business for yourself, and I have determined that by having an actual physical inventory I can better serve my customers who need to stock their shops with the latest brand name clothing, footwear, handbags, and accessories.

The Wholesale Terminology You Must Know To Succeed In the Closeout Business

If you want to succeed in the closeout business you need to become familiar with the following terminology that is frequently used in the wholesale industry.

Wholesale: The business of supplying merchandise to resellers, such as boutiques, flea market vendors, eBay sellers, and other types of resellers.

Off Price: Refers to merchandise, whether it is apparel, footwear, jewelry, or other items that are non-branded or have generic labels, and are sold at a discount to the regular wholesale price of similar items.

Closeouts: A closeout is a product line that a manufacturer or retailer wants to move out, and therefore it is being closed out. In other words the owner of the merchandise is selling the product at a price that is below the wholesale or retail rate in an attempt to clear it out.

Shelf Pulls: This is merchandise which is being taken off the shelves or racks by a retailer that has decided to no longer sell the item. For example a retailer might decide that the quality of the item does not match the rest of her inventory, or she quickly realizes that her customers are not interested in the item, and she would rather sell it out and recover some or all, of the money she spent purchasing it from her supplier.

Store Returns: This category refers to retail merchandise which was purchased at the store level and then returned to the retailer either because the customer changed his mind or the item was damaged, or became damaged. Since many national retailers such as Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Macy’s, and JC Penney, appreciate the lifetime value of a customer, they will have very liberal return policies. This means that a customer can make a purchase of a brand name dress shirt and return it for any reason. From my experience in dealing with store return pallets I have seen on average about 50% salvageable merchandise which can be sold as is, 25% of merchandise which can be sold after being fixed, and 25% of merchandise that is beyond repairs. If you decide to purchase store return products you need to make sure that you will be able to make enough money on the sellable inventory to offset the unsellable items.

Irregulars: These are items such as clothing which can have minor defects and have been rejected by major retailers, or are being sold directly by the brands since they didn’t pass muster under their high quality inspections. The most popular items in this category for resellers are T-Shirts, socks, and underwear by brands such as Fruit of the Loom and Hanes.

Overstock: This category results from overproduction by a factory. Often factories overproduce because it is just as cost effective for them to produce 1,000 elegant party dresses as it is to produce 950 dresses. The factory will then sell their excess goods to discounters and exporters. You can contact factories and clothing manufacturers directly and inquire as to the availability of surplus production.

Salvage Merchandise: This category consists of merchandise which has been damaged and is being sold to reclaim an insurance payout resulting from a flood, fire, or transportation accident such as a train derailment. If you consider buying this type of merchandise you need to be very careful in inspecting its condition.

Department store overstock: This is usually brand name clothing, shoes, handbags, and other general merchandise which the department store did not sell. Department stores need to constantly bring in new merchandise such women’s office suits, social dresses, and designer handbags to keep their shoppers coming back. If an item is sits in their store too long it will lose that new look, and will discourage customers from coming back since they will keep seeing the same items again and again. To solve this dilemma the department stores will constantly run clearance sales and then sell their remaining inventory to liquidators and closeout dealers.

How To Market Your Wholesale Products To A Global Audience

You can easily market your wholesale products to a global audience by maximizing your usage of the best online resources available.

My business, CloseoutExplosion.com, is a wholesale export business that utilizes the Internet to market closeout merchandise to a wide audience, from Nigerian store owners, to discount clothing shops in Trinidad, to wholesalers in Australia. The following resources can help you increase your sales volume, and are useful whether you are a retailer selling brand name fashion directly to the end consumer, or a closeout broker supplying designer handbags to boutiques in Africa.

Resource #1

Google Adwords

Adwords is an online pay per click ad program where you can set up your own ads, bid on the specific keywords that will cause your ads to be shown, while narrowing your audience by country, or even city if you prefer. For instance, if you have an inventory of wholesale office suits for women, you can set up an ad advertising them, while selecting related keywords that will trigger your ad, such as corporate outfits, business suits, and professional attire. If your customers are primarily bankers in Lagos you can further target Lagos, or pay a higher percentage for clicks from people living in the Nigerian metropolis.

Resource #2

You can advertise your overstock merchandise through market specific search engines such as WholesaleCentral.com, CloseoutCentral.com, WholesaleRoom.com, Doba.com, Salehoo.com, TopTenWholesale.com, and my LocalWholesaler.com. There are many more industry specific directories that can help you both market and discover liquidation products such as WholesaleQuest.com.

Resource #3

eBay now has a specific wholesale website through which you can advertise your shelf pull and store return clothing and general merchandise. The website address is Wholesale.eBay.com. This is a relatively new website but I believe it will catch on since I expect its listings to attain high rankings in Google, Yahoo, and in other search engines.

Resource #4

Free online classified ads. While it might be challenging to have your free classified ad stand out, it only costs you the amount of time that it takes you to type it up. You might not receive a great deal of traffic from these ads, but any new customers that come your way can still buy from you, so why not take advantage of this resource? You should consider using CraigsList, YP.com, LocalSaver.com, ClassifiedAds.com, PennySaverUSA.com, and TheClassifiedPost.com. If you are located outside of the USA you should still be able to use this strategy, such as through websites like Tradestable.com.ng, kiramu.ng, notifynigeria.com, pigiame.co.ke, zambia.co.zm, trinispace.com, and through many other sites you can find online for your respective country.

Resource #5

There are many websites that accept third party sellers, process the payment, and take care of customer service, such as Amazon.com, Liquidation.com, and Overstock.com.

3 Ways to Rapidly Increase Your Wholesale Product Sales

How would you like to be able to rapidly increase sales of your wholesale products?

It is one thing to be able to buy highly stylish and popular brand name wholesale clothing and shoes at closeout prices and it’s another thing to actually sell the merchandise that you buy. You know the excitement of discovering a rock bottom liquidation price on a pallet of designer corporate suits by brands such as Tahari, Jones New York, Kasper, ad Calvin Klein. You know the profit potential that awaits you when you buy from your wholesale supplier at the right price. If you want to actually benefit from the amazing overstock fashion purchases which you make for your boutique, whether you are located in Lagos or Miami Beach, you need to have a strategy in place to effectively sell your closeout inventory.

Below are 3 ways to make sales happen in your shop. While these 5 strategies can be very effective, and can be generally applied in every type of retail business, whether you run a shoe boutique or office wear clothing shop, I recommend that you tailor these strategies to your own situation by slowly testing them out in your market.

Strategy #1

Start a membership club. You can set up a free membership club that rewards your shoppers for their loyalty, this way you will encourage them to purchase additional items at your store, and preferably on a regular basis. For example, if you have a store that sells wholesale business attire to Nigerian bankers, you can set up a plan where they receive their 5th office suit for free, or points which they can redeem towards a future sale.

Strategy #2

Offer fashion accessories as a free bonus with every purchase. If you have a shoe boutique located in the Bahamas catering towards workers in the tourist industry, and you want to encourage them to purchase your Steve Madden shoes, you can give them a free pair of Calvin Klein socks with every purchase. Watch your bottom line to make sure that you can still make money, while still giving your customers as many bonuses as you can afford to. Giving customers free bonuses will encourage them to shop by you since they will be receiving more value for their money as compared to retailers that do not give them any extras.

Strategy #3

Run sales at the end of the month to clear out your unsold wholesale clothing, shoes, handbags, and other merchandise. You should not be discounting your regular merchandise or otherwise customers will simply wait until the end of the month to purchase it. If you do have a large quantity of your regular items that you want to clear out, you need to explain to your customers that this is a special sales event for this specific item, and that your regular prices will be in effect after the sale is done. You can actually use this strategy as a revenue source by looking for special closeout merchandise which would appeal to your customers. For example if you come across a closeout of Calvin Klein skirts you can set up a rack just for them and blow them out at a price substantially below the suggested retail price.

How To Run A Successful Wholesale Clothing Store

A successful clothing store can make an entrepreneur extremely happy, and in a very short period of time. People are always shopping for clothes, and are willing to spend their hard earned dollars on the clothing they like.

Some of the most expensive retail rents are being paid by clothing stores. The owners of these clothing stores understand how much they can make with their stores, that they are willing to pay a premium price for having their clothing shops in the right location.

If you are thinking of opening a clothing store, or already run one, you will love the following tips. These tips can help you quickly increase the sales level of your stores, even if your store has been struggling until now.

Clothing Store Sales Tip #1

Bright lighting. Sounds simple? You would be surprised at how many clothing stores have dim and dreary interiors. When possible, bring in as much natural light as possible. In set ups where there isn't allot of natural light, use extra bright illuminating lights. Studies have shown that people are happier in bright environments, and those same people will be willing to spend their time, and money, in a clothing store that makes them feel happier.

Clothing Store Sales Tip #2

Fashionable posters of stunning models. Clothing shoppers want to look great. They are spending their money in their quest to look good, impress their families and friends, and maybe even attract romance.

By displaying posters of attractive models wearing the clothing sold, you will imprint the idea in the shopper's mind that they too can look great. Think about how much money Victoria's Secret and Abercrombie and Fitch make by implementing this strategy.

Clothing Store Sales Tip #3

Sales. I can't repeat this enough, customers love sales, and will flock to stores that regularly conduct them. Look at how aggressive large department stores are in promoting their sales.

Do you know why?

Because they work!

Sales generate customer traffic, and customer traffic leads towards transactions, which can give you an ever expanding bank account.

The Advantages Of Dealing With Clothing Wholesalers In Brooklyn

The advantages of dealing with wholesalers in Brooklyn are numerous. While most wholesale buyers who visit NY head straight for the NYC Garment District in Manhattan, there are many good opportunities to locate excellent closeout deals in Brooklyn as well. The advantages come down to the crucial difference in cost that a Brooklyn clothing wholesaler has as compared to a Manhattan fashion showroom. Since the cost of real estate is substantially less in the boroughs surrounding NYC, wholesalers located in them can pass on the benefits of these lower costs to the retailers that they supply.

Due to the lower rent that clothing wholesalers in Brooklyn pay they can offer their products at a lower price and still make the same profits. The wholesalers can also rent larger spaces at the same cost as their counterparts in Manhattan, enabling them to carry a larger quantity of overstock dresses and suits, as well as displaying their closeout fashion in a more efficient manner so that it is more accessible to retailers. And because they tend to have more space, they can also take more chances and carry a wider assortment of merchandise than the apparel showrooms located in smaller stores in the city can.

The pace of life is also calmer in the borough, making it easier to find parking, pick up and transport your wholesale purchases. The challenge is that you will have to do more travelling since their fashion warehouses might be located in different neighborhoods as opposed to being concentrated in a 10 block radius in the Fashion District.

Fortunately my clothing warehouse is located in Greenpoint, a hip neighborhood full of cafes and art studios, and more importantly, located a short distance from Manhattan by taxi or subway.