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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone dealt with high end boutiques recently?

I am looking to sell some of my shirts to some high end boutiques. One of my lines is going to be really expensive to make and it shows it, so I wanted to get them into small upscale boutiques. My question is, has anyone here dealt with highend or close to it, boutiques and how did you approach them to sell your stuff? What did they ask for. I know a lot of highend producers of shirts deal with rep firms who i believe work directly with the boutiques for them, is that the only way to do it or can I approach them myself? Do places only allow consignment for new lines? Thoughts? Do they want Net 30?
 

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High end meaning Unique Designers that may not be Versace yet ? :)

If you could describe it a liitle more.....and what you mean by high end.
Are they located in next to Gucci, or on an strip that houses New upcoming/independet fashion forward designers ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I am talking like the little shops that handle small very premium designers like some of us here, like BelHeir deals with. Small to medium somewhat independent boutiques that have really nice stuff but most of it will be very elite and expensive. There is a place near me that carries a.p.c.,
acne, taavo, Warhol factory x Levi’s and band of outsiders. These are seen around here and there but you wont see most of them in your everyday store some of these items you wont even find in highend department stores. That's kinda what I am looking for.
 

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From what I've read here, going to tradeshows is a great way to expose your new line to a lot of boutique buyers.

Some will work on consignment, some will want net30, some will want to see a line sheet from you. I think they are all different. Sometimes it's good to ask questions from the boutique directly (this is where a sales rep will come in handy since they will have the right answers already for each specific boutique).

Here's a good thread from one of our members (jayallen) who also sells a high end line:
http://www.t-shirtforums.com/showthread.php?t=2268
 

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howierocket said:
I am talking like the little shops that handle small very premium designers like some of us here, like BelHeir deals with. Small to medium somewhat independent boutiques that have really nice stuff but most of it will be very elite and expensive.
Some are not "very expensive" where it would fall under Dior or Versace price points.

I think to get into these types of boutiques word of mouth and contacts are key.

Personally, I thing the best way to get your stuff into Higher end unique designer boutiques is to contact the boutiques yourself directly.
 

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Any idea how to get in touch with people like that? Do they usually charge a bundle?
I'm not sure what they would cost (Greg probably has a better idea), but if you do a forum search for sales reps, you'll probably get some great threads about how to find and hire one.

Rephunter is a service that can help you find a sales rep. People have also suggested looking at the company listings for a tradeshow and trying to contact the reps through there.

Of course, if you brought your line to a tradeshow yourself, that would be a good way to expose your designs to sales reps and stores.
 

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Comin'OutSwingin said:
Sales reps normally expect about 15% of the sales that they generate.

This is if they also represent other lines.

If they are exclusive to your company, then more would be expected.
Greg, may be its different here or a different situation, but we have never paid more then 10% to reps. that have represented the line at trade shows and followed up with accounts.

There was even one case where a Brand Like "aa" style blank goods in the early 90's where the reps were getting 5%.

Honestly, I find 15 points is to much when you sell at wholesale level. Since a general wholesale mark up is 30 points above cost.
 

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I think it's a little high, also. I'm just quoting what I've found in my research.

For clarification, this is more for new lines or new "manufacturers". Reps would like more from companies that aren't established because they don't know if this is a product that will be around for a while or not.

More estabished companies or brands may be able to pay between 8-10%.

Remember, since sales reps are not employees, but independent contractors, the fees are always negotiable!
 

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Comin'OutSwingin said:
I think it's a little high, also. I'm just quoting what I've found in my research.

For clarification, this is more for new lines or new "manufacturers". Reps would like more from companies that aren't established because they don't know if this is a product that will be around for a while or not.

More estabished companies or brands may be able to pay between 8-10%.

Remember, since sales reps are not employees, but independent contractors, the fees are always negotiable!
You're right Greg,

I guess starting from scratch it may be a little harder to get a sales agency interested. That's why I think creating some demand for the goods by advertising in a trade magazine before hand, may get you noticed with industry peeps and sales agencies too. You can then contact the sales agencys as a follow up to the ADs and even offer to put their contact Name on future ads, printed matter/catalogs etc.,.... to further expose the brand and the Agency...... you may even pay less than 15% considering you will be promoting them in Ad's. ;) ...just an idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Wow guys. This stuff is very helpful. Thank you, I will be going around to a lot of stores in the next few months. I don't know about the rep thing right now. That is a hefty burden to have to start with....Something to think about though.
 
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