Buying Directly From Manufacturers, Contract Manufacturers and Licensees

I get my fair share of emails from people asking me how to get in touch with Company XYZ to buy their merchandise. You can find out just about anything you want to know using a decent search engine. If you are looking for Diesel, go to Diesel.com. If you didn’t know that Diesel.com is their domain name, then just to to google.com and type in Diesel jeans and get the domain name. Look for the company contact information and call them.

Companies are not in business to sell to just anybody. Any brand that is worth having will have some type of criteria for establishing a retail account. All you people that want to sell out of the trunk of your car, not have a legitimate business set up, tax ID number or seller’s permit, business license or whatever, this is where you come up short.

For the most part, companies want you to have a retail store. If you do not have a retail store, you must have a decent website (and even then, some won’t sell to you). Some will check you out to make sure that your merchandising (whether in a store or on a website) is up to par with their brand image. There are some companies that kind of don’t really care who they sell to, but they are typically not the ones you are looking for. Will they sell to you if you are going to sell their merchandise on eBay? No. Not unless you are sneaky and don’t tell them. And then when they find out, they may revoke your account. Only if they truly don’t care, but I haven’t seen a designer clothing company yet that doesn’t care.

The tricky thing is that an APPAREL company does not exist to sell to retailers that are going to undercut normal retail pricing. In other industries (i.e. electronics) price competition is common. But not in clothing. Designers don’t like this, companies don’t like this. So they stick with retailers that are going to uphold pricing integrity. The objective of a retailer is to get the most for their money, not the least, so a lot of you trying to be the cheapest have it backwards.

The reason this comes up is because some of you contact me because you wanted to go direct and buy whatever brand you were interested in. But the brand is so hot, they aren’t taking new accounts right now, or they have a long waitlist. Well, the problem is, even when they start taking accounts, they aren’t going to sell to the flea market sellers, the eBay sellers, the trunk of my car sellers. They will work with established retailers.

But you see people selling on eBay that are obviously getting it directly from such and such designer brand company. And here it goes: I’ll bet you a the company does not know they are selling the designer merchandise eBay. Again, with other industries, it’s not an issue, but with designer apparel, it’s a BIG issue. Sometimes companies can get away with clearing out old styles on eBay, or some companies, in very niche markets, just don’t ask where you are selling their merchandise. But all in all, most designers don’t want current season merchandise being sold on eBay.