E-Commerce · Ethical Fashion

What is the best route to set up an online fashion retailer?

Tom Thomson Jones Creative tech-head, eager to explore and learn.

August 1st, 2017

I'm looking to build an online eco fashion retailer however I'm unsure on which model to use; holding inventory and buying wholesale (ASOS - expensive) or applying a commission structure and holding no inventory (Farfetch - faster).

I would also be keen to find out the best route to standardising the photography across the marketplace with over 200+ items?

Any help would be much appreciated!

Greg Wishart iOS Developer with several passions

August 1st, 2017

Buy the inventory or have samples shipped to you temporarily. Do your own photography for consistency. Keep accurate levels of sizes available so customers won't order size Large then you realize that you don't have any left or can't get any more. Start putting everything in a spreadsheet with one row per item which contains brand name, description, style, cost price, sell price, quantities in stock, color, etc. Most eCommerce platforms will be able to import your spreadsheet. I've done it.

Jack Larson Business Development Manager

Last updated on August 3rd, 2018

Hi as i getting your point online fashion store according to my point of view, you have to create a website or e-commerce website that can show your clothes or other things that related to fashion. There you will upload pics related to your clothes and visitor can visit and find some relevant products.

if you have knowledge regarding website development you can also develop website else you have to hire good website Agency that can create online shopping website for you. It will save you from lot of hassles and future hiccups.

You can even go for both that is Website and Mobile Application for your online store. With Mobile Apps users are more engaged and strong intent when they are surfing your Website or looking at your Mobile Application for your products.

Be low on inventory and more on Digital Platforms. Have a good Photography of your products, hire professional Photographers if needed. Looking towards Website and Mobile Application WOW factor must be there.

I can give you rough idea about how much does a Website and Mobile Application costs.

Website Costs Estimate:

  • Simple Website - $1,000 – $3,000+
  • Complex Website - $2,000 – $10,000+
  • eCommerce Website $2,500 – $10,000+
  • Complex Ecommerce: $17,000 - $50,000.
  • Content Management system (CMS) – $3000- $8,500

Mobile Applications Estimate:

  • Simple, table based app – $1,000-3,000
  • Database App (native) – $4,000-$50,000

Babajide Ibiayo Passionate about the use of technology to improve living standards and help small business succeed

August 1st, 2017

Well Tom in my experience it all depends on what your long term objective is for your eCommerce business. Holding no inventory plus commission structure is fast but you'll have to put in place a means of ensuring quality of the products and their display on your storefront. You'll also have to have a return and refunds policy in place. Next thing to consider is shipping of products to customers. Have considered drop-shipping? Checkout Oberlo, https://ng.oberlo.com/blog/why-you-should-care-about-aliexpress-dropshipping/. I'm sure you'll find it useful

Ahmed Jahanzaib young Entrepreneur ✌✌

August 1st, 2017

Investing Money At Amazon Is 100 % Pay Back Suggest You Buying Wholesale Items Good Design The Better quality Of A Product Is The better It Worth All I Suggest You Is Do Your best And Be Your Own Boss.

Rana Umara Azeem Director and ceo

August 1st, 2017

commission and not holing inventory is less expansive but if you have investment you can buy inventory that's good however, you need more physical space and need to deal with the shipping etc

For stranderizing you can request clients for specific size and quality or better do your own photography

recently done Farfetch model https://www.sartisti.com/

Manish Pishey Founder, Director - Clariment Marketing Services

August 1st, 2017

Hi Tom, have you ever thought of a business franchise? If you are in US you can check out iSoldIt. I have a youtube video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJvf-bdqzaQ.

They claim to be the number one sellers on eBay and provide corporate franchisee services for entrepreneurs newly entering the business especially fashion retail. These guys provide drop ship solutions from the integrated database of drop shippers and manufacturers, and help compare prices for products in the market. Also, equipped with a photo studio which help you create your catalog right there.

I would also recommend investing in inventory to maintain a decent margin with not many skus' maybe around 25-50 (available in all sizes) and have fun selling them online.

Marlo Thomas Making Money Making a Difference and Searching for Others Who Want To Do the Same

Last updated on August 3rd, 2017


If you are open to this idea... I am an independent member of an affiliate marketing company that has an online mall of 1500+ stores; that has new ones added every month. Some of them are apparel stores. You have no inventory nor website to create nor maintain. I would be happy to share the opportunity with you.

Feel free to send me a message if you are interested.

Devon Campbell Founder at Radworks, Startup Mad Science, developer at GRIDSMART

August 2nd, 2017

Does it make sense to start out holding no inventory since that will remove some barriers for you? You can always switch to keeping inventory on-hand in the future when you have some revenue and if that looks advantageous.

I'm unfortunately not qualified to answer your photography question. If it were me, I would be tempted to pay a commercial photographer to do that. Photographing over 200 items sounds very tedious.

Anirban Sarkar MBA

August 2nd, 2017

Hi Tom,

I would go for a market place or no inventory model. Similar to what Farfetch does. Marketplace brings buyers and sellers together. It creates an eco system.

Initial investments are lower compared to buying and holding inventory.

I am no sure on the photography part but I can tell you one thing be careful of legal issues on photographs used and re used.