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Getting Started with Clothing Direct Sales
In July 2016 i decided to dip my toes in the world of inventory based direct sales. More specifically with clothing direct sales (I was a LuLaRoe retailer until December 2018 then I made the switch to carrying Paisley Raye clothing in January 2019). When I started, I had zero ideas what to expect and what I needed to make sure my inventory was not only easily accessible but also organized. I was getting ready to devote a whole room in my home to CLOTHES! So crazy, but so worth it. I did a lot of research, and over the years I found things that were incredibly helping in my clothing direct sales businesses. I wanted to put this list together for those of you out there who are just starting on your journey as well. Keep in mind, these items have moved with me three times now and have held up to some severe abuse. Some of the things I’m going to suggest may seem pricey, but I used them almost daily for the past three years, and they are still kicking, so there’s that.
Must Haves for an Easy Life
When considering a clothing direct sales company keep in mind that you’ll need to do some (or a lot) of shipping. One of the best ways to do that is getting yourself signed up for a shipping platform with commercial shipping rates. I used ShippingEasy and Stamps.com. I preferred ShippingEasy because I never had an issue with them while it seemed like I was cursing out my poor laptop every week when I was using stamps. The commercial shipping rates are
Do yourself a huge favor and get a thermal label printer like the Dymo LabelWriter 4XL. You don’t have to worry about ink, ever. That was a huge plus for me. Also, while you could always use the Dymo brand labels I used the RBHK 1744907 4″x6″ Shipping Labels Compatible Dymo 4xl (6 Rolls) because they were more cost-effective and worked just as well. You’ll need to make sure to grab a scale as well to be able to weigh things correctly.
Mailers are another big thing when starting a clothing direct sales business. You can get free bubble mailers and priority boxes from the USPS website, and the Tyvek envelopes are great too. You’ll also want to grab some poly mailers for your items that can ship first class. I’ll link you to some of the ones I’ve used in the past that were great. You want to make sure to protect the clothing you are sending too and double bag them. This could be with ziplock bags or clear bags like this.
- Pack4Life 10×13 Winter Poly Mailers with Elegant Snowflake Patterns Holiday Self Sealing Shipping Envelopes Bags Pack of 100
- Poly Mailers Nautical Anchor & Sailboat Designer Mailers Shipping Envelopes Blue Boutique Custom Bags #SmileMail (100 10×13)
- Poly Mailers Hawaiian Designer Shipping Envelopes Teal Boutique Custom Bags #SmileMail (100 10×13)
If you are lucky enough to be able to have all your items displayed on racks, I would do it. It makes it more accessible to you and will make your life so much easier.
In my home boutique, I use a Gold Cart rack system that uses tension rods from floor to ceiling and crossbars to hold your clothing inventory. I have both this one and this one because at one point my stock was over 1100 pieces. It held off of it minus about 200 leggings and 60 maxi skirts which I just kept in Rubbermaid containers. Seriously, skip the decorative basket racks because they aren’t easy to transport anyway if you plan on doing vendor events.
Speaking of vendor events, I love my DecoBros racks. I have used them numerous times, transported them to popups all over, dropped them from my truck bed and had had hardly any issues. They could easily hold all my hanging items. I didn’t use them in the house because they were so big and bulky and my room at the time was like 9×9.
I would also suggest investing in some velvet hangers. I hear you can get some at Costco, but I don’t have a membership to one of those, so I once again turned to Amazon. I got these and I have even switched my closet over to them. They are sturdy and save a lot of space. You can get these skirt clips to hang
Odds and Ends for Clothing Sales
I’m just going to make a list of things you don’t necessarily need for your clothing direct sales business, but they are things that will make your life easier.
– A ring light. I went the umbrella lighting kit route, and it was such a pain in the ass. I broke more lightbulbs than I care to mention and my ring light is my go-to friend for pictures and live sales.
– Display numbers for live sales. These tags are my favorite because they are sturdy and they have a mirrored numbered side which is perfect for Facebook lives.
– Shopping bags
I know it seems like I’ve thrown a lot out there but honestly, those are my must-have basics for a home clothing direct sales business. I know everyone will tell you that you do or do not need different things, but the beautiful thing about this whole business is you get to figure out what works for you.
Did I forget something from my list? Tell me what your must-have items are below!