Online retail selling nightwear - any tips/advice please

(4 Posts)
Devonlover Wed 08-May-13 17:58:52

Hello. I'm interested in setting up a website selling good quality women's nightwear but am very much a beginner in the retail side of things.

Can anyone offer advice?

Basically, there seem to be two options. I can either sell somebody else's product or design my own. I'm interested in both ideas, but I'm not sure how it works selling somebody else's designs. I came across a brilliant designer when travelling in the Far East, and I don't believe they have a UK distributor yet so potentially this is one route. I really love the product, and think it would sell well if marketed correctly. Alternatively, I guess I could go to trade fairs and buy products this way, but then I wouldn't have much of a USP. Do people do this, and if so, how do they make money??!

Ultimately, I would really love to develop a small range of items myself and sell them online. I'm not a designer, so i would need to commisison somebody to do this bit for me, and presumably get samples made up etc. Can anyone advise what the next step would be from here?

I'm aware I need to do some market research beforehand, to find out about pricing, demand and so on.

If anyone has any initial thoughts, or thinks I'm mad, I'd be very grateful.

Thanks

lovefreelance Thu 09-May-13 05:21:01

Hello, I don't have any experience in retail, but I started my own business after two years of thinking and dreaming, so will share the two things that really helped me!

The first and key thing was getting a business coach. I had weekly calls and each week we set homework for me to achieve. The calls helped me to organise my thinking, and consider things about my business I hadn't thought of or was unconsciously avoiding because they were tricky. Having the homework to do kept momentum going - I went from dream to launch in five months!

The second thing that really helped was writing a business plan, even though I never needed to use it in terms of showing anyone else. But I found that the structure of the plan helped me, and having to consider each aspect of my business logically showed me where the holes in my thinking were, and directed me to work out solutions for them. (You can find a couple of good templates for plans here www.talentedladiesclub.com/help/start-a-business/getting-started/).

Finally my last piece of 'advice' is just to go for it! Much better to try and learn (and maybe even succeed!) than to leave it as a dream and watch someone else do it instead. Good luck smile

MiguelMarshall Thu 16-May-13 12:31:37

I would go with option number two to begin with. Less complications.

The most important thing to do now is some quick math:
1. What are you going to pay for the products?
2. What is the minimum quantity you need to buy?
3. What is your competition selling it for?
4. What is left over for you?

I would recommend selling on eBay or Amazon Marketplace to get a feel for distance selling before creating your own website.

I can offer more advice if you decide to go ahead with the project.

Devonlover Mon 20-May-13 17:44:38

Thanks for the replies lovefreelance and MM. Both helpful. I'm trying to move things along so have started putting a business plan togehter to clarify ideas and plans.... hadn't thought of a business coach but might be something to investigate once I get going a bit further down the line.

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