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Keeping growing children clothed can hog a big chunk of change. A mom with an entrepreneurial spirit should consider becoming a dealer of kids' clothing. As a mom, you probably have knowledge of the market, such as pricing and popular name brands. Plus, you may know a lot of other moms who are always shopping for bargain. They could become your client base. You can even start a kids' clothing business right out of your home.
Find Your Market
Determine if you will sell new or gently used clothes.
Decide what methods you will use to sell the clothes. Will it be through an e-commerce site or online auction? Do you plan to open a storefront, or will you do flea markets or seasonal consignment sales?
Isolate a niche. Maureen Kendall of Little Ruler has had success with skateboard-style clothing for kids up to 6 years old (see References).
Contact children’s clothing vendors. Do an Internet search to find the company that makes the clothing lines you would like to sell. Find the company's contact information. The company may sell directly to you or refer you to a distributor that may sell multiple brands.
Check into the option of drop shipping if you will operate an online store. The shipper will keep the merchandise in its warehouse until you sell it, then pack and ship the product directly to the customer on your behalf. This eliminates the need for you to stock an inventory.
Go to trade shows or visit a merchandise mart to buy clothes.
Take clothes on consignment from parents whose children have outgrown them. Sell them, pay the parent a commission and keep the profits.
Buy marked-down children’s clothes from clearance sales at major retail stores or purchase a wholesale lot of children’s clothes from an online auction site. Sell them online or in a brick-and-mortar shop.
Setting Up Shop
Consider setting up a store in an area that parents frequent, for example, near a large retail store that sells similar or related products. That store's marketing and promotion will get shoppers to notice your store.
Take photographs of the clothes you plan to sell online. Post them to your auction or website. Include the size and a short description of the clothes in the title.
Take part in a seasonal children’s consignment sale. Organizers provide retail space and marketing. You sell goods there and pay the organizers a percentage of your earnings.
Visit successful children’s shops in your area and notice how many lines they sell and their price points. This gives you an indication of what parents will pay for children’s clothes. Select clothing items that fall in a similar price point.
Add toys and books to your inventory to create one-stop shopping.
Do not add too many different clothing lines. This can complicate the buying process for some parents.
- Entrepreneur: Business Idea Center: Used Children’s Clothing
- Home Office Weekly: Home Office Weekly Profile: Maureen Kendall--Children's Clothing Online
- Baby Shop Magazine: Opening a Baby Product or Maternity Store
- Young Entrepreneur: Entrepreneurs, Start Your Engines: 100 Business Ideas You Can Drive Home Today
- The Roanoke Times: Moms build businesses in used kids' clothes
Nicole Whitney started freelance writing in 2008, with articles published on various websites. She has worked as a spa therapist and consultant. She participates in a volunteer program and writes on subjects related to the beauty industry. She graduated from the International School of Skin, Nails and Massage in Atlanta.