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How to Sell Clothes on Amazon

Threecolts
Geri Mileva
Published
December 29, 2023
Modified
May 7, 2024
How to Sell Clothes on Amazon

The Clothing, Shoes and Jewelry category is among the best-selling categories on Amazon—so if you want to sell clothes on the platform, that might be a fantastic idea. However, it can also be risky because you'll compete alongside numerous established and independent clothing brands. 

You may not have to become a number 1 brand, but you need enough profit to stay afloat and scale up. Your products must outshine your competitors not only in terms of appearance but also quality, price, and other essential features.

So, how can you sell clothes on Amazon and succeed? This guide will take you through the steps and give you some tips before starting your clothing business.

Creating a Seller Account

If you’re completely new to the platform and haven’t signed up yet, you must create a seller account to get started. You can do it in four steps.

Step 1: Choose a selling plan.

Amazon offers two selling plans: Individual and Professional.

The Individual plan costs $0.99 per sale and is an ideal option for new independent sellers. On the other hand, the Professional plan costs $39.99 monthly and is designed for sellers with larger sales volumes. You may switch between the two plans anytime.

Step 2: Create a Seller Central account.

You can register your account and select a selling plan on Amazon Seller Central. If you already have a customer account, use the same email to register in Seller Central. Otherwise, you can sign up with another email address, such as a business email ad.

 Additionally, prepare the following requirements:

  • Bank account details and routing number
  • Global credit card
  • Government-issued ID
  • Tax information
  • Contact number

Step 3: Set up your Seller Central account.

Once you’ve successfully registered your email address and selling plan, review and confirm the following details to set up your account:

  • Public profile
  • Payment and business information
  • Configurations for shipping and returns
  • Tax-related details and settings
  • Notification settings
  • Login settings
  • User permissions

Step 4: Enroll your brand.

Amazon recommends enrolling in the Amazon Brand Registry if you own the rights to an eligible brand. The Brand Registry lets Amazon associate your products with your brand more easily. Enrolling in the program is free, and you can enjoy additional benefits and seller tools, such as:

  • Greater control of product details pages
  • Access to A+ Content, Stores, Manage Your Experiments, and Brand Analytics
  • Enhanced brand protection and reporting options

Choosing Clothes to Sell

Choosing clothes to sell

Amazon's outfit catalog spans many clothing types, from basic tees to bridal staples. You can examine your options through product research or the Amazon Best Sellers page.

The Movers and Shakers list and Hot New Releases are also worth exploring. The former shows the products gaining popularity the fastest, while the Hot New Releases show Amazon's best-selling new and future releases.

Take your time browsing your options to get a good grasp of the fashion trends and timeless options. It also gives you the chance to identify your fiercest competitors and the customers to target.

If you’re unsure if the clothes you want to sell are accepted on the platform, check the subcategories under clothing in Amazon Fashion. Your product could belong in any of the following:

Women’s Clothing

  • Dresses
  • Tops and Tees
  • Sweaters
  • Jeans
  • Pants
  • Swimsuits and Cover-Ups
  • Lingerie, Sleep, and Lounge
  • Coats and Jackets
  • Suiting and Blazers
  • Socks and Hosiery

Men’s Clothing

  • Shirts
  • Fashion Hoodies and Sweatshirts
  • Sweaters
  • Jackets and Coats
  • Jeans
  • Pants
  • Activewear
  • Swimwear
  • Suits and Sport Coats
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Sleep and Lounge

The same subcategories are available for kids' clothing. Sizes range from 2 to 16 for girls and 2 to 20 for boys.

Ball gowns, bridal dresses, and formal evening wear are also available for women. You can even sell clothing under the specialty items subcategory, which includes:

  • Uniforms, Work, and Safety
  • Novelty Styles and More
  • Costumes and More

All specialty clothing items are available for men and women. 

Sourcing Your Clothing

Sourcing your clothing

Once you’ve decided on a type of clothing to sell, you can start looking for a supplier or manufacturer. The right sourcing method depends on your business model. Generally speaking, your options include:

Retail Arbitrage

Retail arbitrage is a sourcing method in which you buy items from an existing retailer (e.g., Walmart or Amazon) and then resell them for profit. For example, you can buy clothes from a department store, outlet store, or thrift shop and then resell them on Amazon for twice their purchase price. 

Before choosing this sourcing method, ensure a significant price difference between two or more markets to earn profit. In other words, buy low, sell high. 

Online Arbitrage

Online arbitrage works the same way as retail arbitrage but focuses on online retailers. In this case, you can source clothing items from other Amazon retailers. Many sellers offer clothing in wholesale or bulk quantities. You can also find wholesale online retailers from eBay or any other eCommerce marketplace.

Direct Sourcing

Direct sourcing means buying clothing directly from their manufacturer instead of retailers. It can be an excellent option if you can sell more than 40 units of clothing monthly. That way, your sales can quickly recoup the costs of purchasing the clothes.

You can find direct sources from Alibaba. Many manufacturers can customize your clothing with your brand name, logo, or other design elements. You can also source clothing from local artisans. This option may even allow you to contribute to a community.

Making Your Own Clothes

You can also make your own clothes and sell them on Amazon. However, you should sign up for Amazon Handmade, Amazon’s artisan seller community. You can have your monthly professional seller fee waived as a member of the program.

To enroll in Amazon Handmade, submit your application after creating your seller account. Once you get approved, Amazon will provide the resources you need to create your Handmade listing and manage your business. 

Tips for Choosing a Sourcing Method

Online and retail arbitrage are great options for new sellers because the process is faster and inexpensive. The items are readily available, allowing you to avoid lengthy production times and their associated costs. In addition, you don’t have to launch your own brand and deal with trademark applications and paperwork. The items are immediately ready for reselling.

However, there are also some downsides. You need to restock frequently since you can only buy limited quantities from retailers. There's also no guarantee that the clothes you want will be available when you need to replenish them. Furthermore, retail prices are volatile, so you might have to increase your reselling price at some point to earn a profit. In that case, you might turn away customers looking for cheap clothes.

Thankfully, there’s a way to keep your arbitrage costs under control. You can use eCommerce management tools like Threecolts.

Threecolts offers a suite of tools for Amazon sellers. One of them is TacticalArbitrage, which helps you find arbitrage opportunities efficiently. The tool scans thousands of stores and frequently adds new ones to its database. It can also analyze a wholesale manifest to help you identify profitable deals.

InventoryLab, also by Threecolts, is another excellent arbitrage tool. It makes retail and online arbitrage more convenient through a mobile app. Scoutify, the retail arbitrage app, has a built-in scanner for reading in-store barcodes and analyzing your scouting preferences. On the other hand, ScoutX, the mobile app for online arbitrage, is a browser add-on that enhances your Amazon search by providing essential product details.

Other eCommerce management tools, like Jungle Scout, AMZScout, and Helium 10, also offer product research solutions that can aid your retail or online arbitrage process.

If you opt for direct sourcing, carefully examine your manufacturer’s records and reputation to ensure they comply with production standards and other policies. Choosing a manufacturer familiar with Amazon's process will also be best. They could even ship your orders directly from their warehouse to an Amazon fulfillment center.

Creating Your Online Store

With your product and sourcing options decided, you can now create your online clothing store on Amazon. Follow these steps to get started.

Step 1: Set up and design your Storefront.

Setting up an appealing Storefront is important to attract more visitors and sales. You can use the Amazon Stores builder to achieve this. The builder lets you create and customize your online store with drag-and-drop tiles. However, you should be enrolled in the Brand Registry to access the Stores builder.

To start setting up your Storefront, go to the navigation bar on your Seller Central homepage and select “Stores.” Click “Manage Stores,” then the “Create Store” button.

The Store builder will let you choose a format, including Product Grid, Marquee, and Showcase. Each format comes with intuitive drag-and-drop tiles for images, texts, videos, and other content types.

After choosing a format, click “Page Manager” and select “Add a Page.” It will show you your brand’s homepage, where you can add subcategory pages for each clothing item, like Tops, Dresses, Jeans, etc. 

A preview window is available so you can check how your online store looks on desktop and mobile. If you need to edit a tile, click on it to make the changes. You can also use the Tile Manager to add and arrange content within a page.

When you’re satisfied with your Storefront’s look, click “Submit for Publishing.” You may have to wait several days for your Storefront’s publication, so check the Status Bar to stay updated on the progress.

Step 2: List your products.

Once your Storefront is ready, it’s time to add your products and start selling.

Here are Amazon’s requirements for every listing:

  • Title: Up to 200 characters, first letters of each word capitalized.
  • Images: At least 500 x 500 or 1000 x 1000 pixels.
  • Variations: Specify colors, sizes, etc.
  • Bullet points: List each key feature in concise sentences.
  • Product description: Describe your clothing items using naturally occurring keywords to enhance their visibility. 

You also need a product ID or Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) to list your products. You can find this number on the item’s packaging or above its barcode. Most Amazon sellers use a UPC as a GTIN, but EAN or JAN are also acceptable.

If your clothing item is already available on Amazon, you can match other listings using the item’s GTIN. Matching a listing lets your offer appear on your competitor’s Product Details page, allowing customers to consider your item.

Once you’ve listed your product, you can choose which ones to feature on your Storefront using dynamic widgets. You can showcase trendy items or a personalized view based on your customer’s browsing or order history.

Step 3: Enhance your listings.

Clothing buyers will appreciate size charts on your Product Details page. You can add them through A+ Content. Explore this tool to learn about the other enhancements you can add to your clothing listings.

Step 4: Optimize your listings.

Boost your clothing item’s ranking on Amazon search results by using relevant keywords and search terms. Adding high-quality images also helps. You can also invest in Amazon's advertising tools to further increase your listings' visibility.

How Profitable is Selling Clothes on Amazon?

Despite the competition, selling clothes on Amazon is still profitable. According to Yaguara’s 2023 research, the Clothes, Jewelry, and Shoes category is one of the top-selling categories on Amazon. This means entering the platform as a clothes seller instantly gives you the advantage of stable demand.

How Profitable is Selling Clothes on Amazon?

However, profitability is only guaranteed by robust marketing efforts. You have to keep up with fashion trends to make your offers relevant and appealing. Offering timeless styles is also a fantastic way to maintain or increase profitability since it’s not too dependent on customers’ changing behaviors.

More importantly, make sure that your marketing messages are tailored and targeted to the right audience. This can be extra challenging if you’re targeting a broader market segment, but you can make it work by leveraging optimization techniques and Amazon's marketing tools. You should also watch for your competitors to identify their effective strategies and improve yours.

Furthermore, profits can be eaten away by costs, so keep your expenses under control using tracking and reporting tools. You can monitor your business's financial health through Seller Central, but more advanced tracking and reporting tools are available in eCommerce management tools like Threecolts, Jungle Scout, and Viral Launch, to name a few.

Additional Considerations for Selling Clothes on Amazon

Business Model

Your business model influences your sourcing options, costs, market, branding, and profitability. Common business models for Amazon sellers include:

  • Retail Arbitrage: This business model lets you sell clothing items from other retailers, including Amazon. It requires small startup costs, making it appealing for first-time sellers. You can also focus on trendy pieces that attract a wide audience.
  • Private-Label: As a private-label seller, you run your own unique brand and source your clothing items directly from a manufacturer. You’ll be a first-party seller instead of a third-party seller, placing your business alongside other original clothing brands. Your private-label clothing can be trendy or timeless, allowing you to target a vast demographic or a smaller niche.
  • Handmade: Handmade clothing lets you sell one-of-a-kind clothes. However, they’re usually more expensive than mass-produced clothing, which is often the case for private-label brands and the retail arbitrage business model. As such, you can only target a more specific niche and have a slower production time. Conversely, you can enjoy a boosted brand image, especially if you highlight your ethical and sustainable practices.
  • Wholesale: You can also be a wholesale clothing retailer and source your items from a manufacturer. In this case, your customers will be other third-party clothing sellers or private-label brands who will customize your items.

Fulfillment Method

As an Amazon seller, you can choose between two fulfillment methods: Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM) or Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA).

FBM may be a more cost-effective option for new sellers. It lets you control inventory and shipping expenses because you don’t have to rely on Amazon for those tasks. However, it can be more time-consuming because, besides selling and marketing, you also have to conduct inventory counts and track shipments.

On the other hand, FBA lets Amazon handle all your inventory and shipping activities, from warehousing to delivery. They can also manage your customer service tasks, allowing you to focus on marketing and crucial business decisions. However, FBA comes with the burden of fulfillment, storage, and other inventory-related costs. It also subjects you to stringent regulations and policies.

Thankfully, you don’t have to engage in guesswork and manual computations to estimate which fulfillment method is more profitable for your clothing store. You can use Amazon’s Revenue Calculator to estimate your profit with FBA.

Pros and Cons of Selling Clothes on Amazon

Before selling clothes on Amazon, you should also be aware of its pros and cons. This helps you clearly weigh the benefits against the risks, allowing you to make a more informed decision.

Pros

  • Vast customer base
  • Affordable selling plans
  • Streamlined account creation process
  • Advanced seller tools (e.g., Brand Registry, Store builder, A+ Content)
  • Retail and online arbitrage
  • Option to use FBA

Cons

  • Fierce competition
  • Referral fees
  • Additional fees from advanced seller tools
  • FBA fees

While the pros outweigh the cons, your final decision to sell clothes on Amazon must still depend on your priorities and goals. For example, if you want to tap a less competitive market, selling clothes may not be for you. On the other hand, if you want to create a new clothing brand that can set trends, the risks may be worth taking because of the benefits you may reap.

Stand Out as Amazon Clothing Seller

Now that you know how to sell clothes on Amazon, feel free to return to this guide whenever you’re ready to open your business. You can also browse Amazon’s learning resources to master the platform and discover its advanced services and programs for sellers.

Note that although Amazon makes online selling easier, it doesn’t mean standing out is a piece of cake. Clothing may be a lucrative product category, but the competition is among the toughest on Amazon. Investing in the platform’s marketing and advertising tools can be essential to become a top seller. Purchasing an eCommerce management tool will also be advantageous as it gives you access to more advanced product research data and tracking tools.

Overall, selling clothes on Amazon takes a lot of work, but when done right, it can be the key to boosting your income.

Browse through and read our other blog posts that are data-driven insights with our very own proprietary data and learn more on Mother's Day trends and best practices, Easter sales, price elasticity of demand, Amazon FBA fee changes, Amazon product title optimization, winter seasonal products, Amazon end of year sales, Valentine’s Day trends and best Amazon fulfillment centers by location and throughput.

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