Start a Swimsuit E-Business – Part 1

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Selling swimsuits can be profitable. It's an apparel that connotes fun and sex appeal. Typically, they carry decent mark-ups. But that does not mean selling swimsuits on-line is easy. Nothing is easy in the crowded World Wide Web.You will need a lot of information before you make your decision. Here are the main points to keep in mind if you are considering this field.

Which method?

There are three sourcing methods that are possible:

Wholesale – This time honored tradition defines profit as the spread between your cost and the selling price. Here you must carry inventory – and a lot of it. You can start by handling only one or two brands but if you only offer a couple dozen styles, your store will not carry much authority for internet surfers. As you realize, swimsuits come in many styles, colors and sizes so you'll have to carry many dozen of SKUs to make an impression. Internet users expect a large variety to choose from. You can slim your offerings at the beginning and if you sense potential you can gradually add more. Wholesalers have minimums, typically several hundred dollars an order. Usually, the more you order the bigger your discount.

Drop Ship – Here you send your order one-by-one to the manufacturer and they send the item (s) to your customer. No inventory, no mailing chores and costs. This is frequently touted as the ideal solution for beginners. You must, however, be aware of the disadvantages. First, most swimsuit manufacturers will not drop ship. They simply are not interested in taking the time to ship out one swimsuit at a time. Second, those that do drop ship add on a per order service fee. Inflated shipping charges are common as an additional profit source. These costs vary by vendor. Also, your wholesale price for the item may be higher than in a large wholesale order. Third, in this model you do not have control over your merchandise. You'll have to check your source frequently for out-of-stock or discontinued items so you can keep your products up-to-date. If your drop shipper delays shipment, your irate customer will email you, not your source. Be aware that many drop shippers have their own on-line store that you will be competitive with. Be sure to quiz your prospect manufacturers and distributors closely on these matters. Fortunately, margins for swimsuits are usually good enough to help you absorb these costs especially on one-piece suits and complete bikinis.

Open Source – If you get regular orders for one popular brand (and you will not know this until you actually take the plunge) you may be able to arrange an open source arrangement. Here you wait until orders accrue, sometimes a week or so. Then you order the swimsuits and have them sent to your office. Then you send them to your customers. This will work if the orders come in regularly. A disadvantage is a longer waiting period for your customers, especially you are living far from the source.

You do not have to exclusively choose one method or the other. Many on-line sellers do a combination, sometimes stocking fast sellers and drop shipping the rest.

Source by Eugene Brenner

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