Buying Wholesale Apparel In 2023: What You Need To Know

Buying Wholesale Apparel In 2023 (1) (1)

Running an apparel store in the USA can be a bit tricky at first. Especially when there are a lot of influential factors that you need to keep track of. Among those factors, the most critical would be sourcing the products. Young entrepreneurs taking their shot in the apparel business know how to secure goods at low prices – getting them from a wholesaler. This also enables them to cost-effectively stock their store while offering a diverse range of options for their customers.

But there are a few challenges involved. This is where it gets a bit tiresome. 
  1. Defining your niche and target audience
  2. Finalizing your inventory size and product lineup
  3. Listing what you expect from a wholesaler
  4. Shortlisting wholesalers that meet all your expectations
  5. Vetting them and finalizing your supplier(s)

Now that you have an idea of where we are going with this article, scroll down for some valuable pointers on everything important about buying wholesale custom apparel

Rule 101: Legal Requirements

Before you start stocking up, make sure you have all licenses and permits to go official with your apparel store. This also includes valid permits for very specific custom merchandise that features copyrighted properties of established brands. For example, if you plan to sell custom anime merchandise, you don’t want to be sued for copyright infringement. Remember when Nirvana faced a Copyright Lawsuit for using a specific image in one of their merch back in ‘97? Just make sure you have the required licenses and you are good to go.

Wholesaler, Where Art Thou?

By now, you already know your target audience and what exactly you want to sell. You are probably wondering how you are gonna figure out the right wholesaler for the job. 

Your first question should be ‘Should I go for a domestic wholesaler?’

Domestic and overseas wholesalers have their fair share of pros and cons. Wholesalers in the USA generally make communication easier for you as there will be no language barriers. Quality will be great too. However, there are fewer wholesalers in the US than in places like India or China. Due to higher quality and better labor laws, US apparel wholesalers generally charge more for goods than their Indian or Chinese counterparts. 

Overseas suppliers generally offer goods at lower manufacturing costs. And there are so many of them to choose from if you are willing to compromise on quality and shipping time a bit for low cost transactions. Issues with customs might also happen often. 

Found You!

Once you choose between domestic and overseas, research should give you a list of potential suppliers. Now there’s a simple, super important matter of vetting them. Gather data on pricing structure, shipping time and MOQ (Minimum Order Quantities) first. Always request samples before requesting quotations to avoid mistakes that will cost you in the long run. 

Once you have a hands-on feel of the quality of the goods, you can request for a quotation (RFQ). 


You would be surprised to know that many entrepreneurs actually ignore some of the stuff mentioned above. They will learn why all these matter eventually. And we believe this article will save you valuable time.

Remember these four keywords if you want to run your apparel store successfully in the USA.

  • Careful Consideration
  • Thorough Research
  • Attention To Detail
  • Staying Updated On Industry Trends


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