According to a recent report by Jungle Scout, clothing is currently the third most shopped category on Amazon. If you’re thinking about getting in on the action, this guide will show you everything you need to know about how to sell clothes on Amazon.
There are several reasons why so many people make Amazon their marketplace of choice for selling clothing. For one, you get access to 300 million active users, and this doesn’t even include the millions of Amazon Prime members.
Consumers trust the Amazon brand, which is transferred to you when you choose to sell your clothing on the platform.
However, it is still a competitive marketplace, particularly in terms of apparel, so having a strategy in place is a must.
Let’s start with the basics.
How to Sell Clothes on Amazon – Choosing an Account
There are two different types of Amazon seller account, individual or professional.
The account type you need depends on the type of clothes you want to sell.
If you are planning to sell secondhand clothing, an individual account is perfect. However, if you are planning to sell clothing you’ve created or purchased from a wholesaler, you need a Pro Merchant account.
Individual Amazon Accounts
To create an Individual account, navigate to the Amazon site and click on the Sell menu item. You will then be taken to a sign-up page.
As an individual seller, you can expect to pay $0.99 plus a closing fee for every item of clothing you sell.
To start selling, you need to select a product category that matches the garments you plan to sell. You will then click on Sell Yours Here and start entering details about each garment, including the condition, price, and quantities. The more details you supply, the better – it makes your listings more trustworthy.
Once you submit your listing, Amazon will notify you once the item has been sold. You can access the shipping details of the buyer by logging in to your seller account. Print out the packing slip and address label and send your clothing order out within 48 hours.
You can expect payment from Amazon every two weeks.
Pro Merchant Accounts
To sign up for a Pro Merchant account, you would follow the same sign-up process as an individual seller.
A-Pro Merchant account costs $39.99 per month. You can also expect to pay a referral fee and a variable closing fee for every item of clothing you sell.
To start selling clothing as a professional merchant, you’ll need to create a listing for each of the items you wish to sell (If you have more than more unit of a particular item, these can be sold on the same listing).
When creating your listing, Select Apparel as the category and the most relevant sub-category based on what you plan to sell.
You can now start creating listings for the different garments, which requires you to fill in specific details, including the name, description, price, and UPCs – more on these codes here.
Lastly, you will need to complete your shipping details before you submit a listing.
If you’re not going down the Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) route, Amazon will let you know when a garment is sold so that you can ship it to the buyer.
I highly recommend considering Amazon’s FBA program if you are planning to sign up for a professional account.
All you need to do is get your garments to Amazon, and they do the rest.
It’s slightly more costly but far more convenient. You can find out more about the FBA program here.
If you are brand new to selling on Amazon, I’d also recommend reading the article below.
Useful Article: Business licenses for Amazon sellers.
How to Find Suppliers for Your Clothing Business
If you’re not planning to make or sell your own clothing, you will need to find a wholesale supplier.
Fortunately, there are several options available for sellers all over the world.
For this article, we will focus on sellers from the US & UK.
One popular platform that caters to sellers across the globe is AliExpress. Most of the merchants that sell products on this site are based in China, hence the affordable prices.
In fact, many sellers often wonder just how legit AliExpress is because of the low prices, which is why I reviewed it myself.
Here are some other options that are specific to the United States and the UK.
Clothing Suppliers in the U.S.
- SaleHoo. This is a paid directory service that gives you access to genuine suppliers who sell at cost-effective prices. What I love is that many of the items are specifically tailored for Amazon sellers. And, because this isn’t a free directory, you don’t need to worry about scammers as much as on other sites. Premium Members also get access to useful market data.
- Liquidation.com. This is one of the largest suppliers in the United States and with over 500 categories, you’re bound to find what you’re looking for. Their items range from new to salvaged because they deal with companies that are about to shut down. Unfortunately, you can’t just purchase items as you would on other sites – you need to bid for them.
- Big Lots. If you’re searching for high-quality apparel for men, women, and kids, Big Lots is another great option. If you don’t want to wait for your delivery, you have the option to collect your order instead.
Clothing Suppliers in the UK
- The Wholesaler UK. This is one of the most comprehensive directories in the UK, and it’s free. They do charge and vet every supplier, which helps weed out scammers. I appreciate the fact that the categories are very specific and supplier profiles are detailed – it makes the search for a supplier much easier. Profiles include target market, trading method, MOQ, and more.
- Gem Wholesale. This is a very basic website, but it’s easy enough to find what you’re looking for. Gem Wholesale mostly sells products that have been returned to stores, hence the wholesale prices. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to physically visit the warehouse to evaluate the quality of their clothing.
- eSources. This directory offers free and paid memberships. As a paid member, you get access to far more suppliers, but I recommend trying out the free version first. The site might be basic, but they have an extensive selection of suppliers to choose from.
Merch by Amazon as an Alternative
If you want to sell clothing on Amazon, there is another option to consider – print on demand.
In the video below, Ed talks about how you can get started.
Merch by Amazon is an on-demand t-shirt printing service, allowing sellers to create and list their designs at no cost.
As a merchant, you can reach Amazon’s customers without the worry of paying for stock upfront.
Here is how it works.
Once you have an account, you upload your designs, select the type of product you want to sell, pick some colours, add a price and title, and publish.
For every product that someone purchases with your design, you receive a royalty.
A little while ago we put together a Merch by Amazon quick start guide for beginners.
Merch by Amazon used to be open to anyone, but now it’s invite-only. The good news is that the approval process is now much quicker than it used to be when I first applied I was waiting three months.
The sign-up process takes about 10 minutes to complete and requires your business contact information, social security or tax number, and bank account details.
Head over to the Merch by Amazon landing page to request an invitation – you will need to sign in to your Amazon account to do this.
As a side note, know that if you’re not based in the U.S., Merch by Amazon may withhold up to 30% of your profits for tax purposes.
If you don’t have a company name, you can use your first and last name during the invitation application process.
Complete the forms honestly if you want to be accepted into the program.
If you feel that this might be an ideal option for you, I suggest you read through this Merch Informer review.
Selling Clothes on Amazon – Is It Worth It?
While there are some barriers to entry when you choose to sell clothes on Amazon, by creating unique, popular designs, it can be a winning business model.
If you are planning on becoming a full-time Amazon seller, I highly recommend signing up for the FBA program. It can be slightly more difficult to keep track of inventory, but not having to deal with product picking, packing, and returns is well worth the additional cost.
Because this is a competitive category, it’s essential to be strategic with your approach. Having the right tools is also a must for finding the right products to sell and staying ahead of competitors.
If you have any questions about starting and thriving as an Amazon seller, leave me a question in the comments below.
Until next time…