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25-10-2007
  151
scenester
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 74
Has anyone here ordered directly from an overseas line before? I placed a few orders from small brands in Europe and they have not mentioned anything regarding shipping or customs at all. I have no idea what I need to do in order to receive the merchandise! Do I need to get a customs broker or is it a fairly simple process that I can take care of myself?

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01-11-2007
  152
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Join Date: May 2006
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Help! So, I am working on my business plan(as stated before) and I am having trouble with the cost of goods and sales piece. As stated before, there is a 2.2x markup...in my handy little business plan pro workbook there is a table with entering direct cost of goods and cost of goods sold. So, I multiplied the cost of goods sold by .45 or 45 percent...this is what 2.2 translates at percentage wise. Breaking even with this formula is pretty impossible, am I figuring 2.2x correctly? or is it more like 20 percent. I am uber confused, and foresee no way of breaking even with this. Help. thanks again

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01-11-2007
  153
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Join Date: Jul 2005
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Posts: 2,702
i read a local boutique's story about how the owner was an asparing actress 15 years ago and things didn't go so well so she got a 100K loan and opened a boutique....it's still around and has very loyal clients. i felt so inspired by the idea that she came from nothing to where she is now. the store sells over 1 million a year now and she has a very small selection of items. phillip lim, karta, marc by marc, lamb...

anyone have any idea of how much capital would be needed to open one these days..?

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01-11-2007
  154
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juliet3353 View Post
Help! So, I am working on my business plan(as stated before) and I am having trouble with the cost of goods and sales piece. As stated before, there is a 2.2x markup...in my handy little business plan pro workbook there is a table with entering direct cost of goods and cost of goods sold. So, I multiplied the cost of goods sold by .45 or 45 percent...this is what 2.2 translates at percentage wise. Breaking even with this formula is pretty impossible, am I figuring 2.2x correctly? or is it more like 20 percent. I am uber confused, and foresee no way of breaking even with this. Help. thanks again
Not sure what figure you are trying to get ... but from your comment, it seems like you just want to find a sales price by marking up from what the goods cost you? Or maybe that is not what you are wanting to do at all so disregard the following if that is true.

But if that is what you want ... you may have complicated it in your mind, I think. I am not an expert at this at all ... acutally know very little about it and I have not seen the workbook so I'm just taking a stab in the dark here:

Shouldn't you just take your cost of goods and multiply by 2.2 to get your sales price. Or ... if the 2.2 represents the markup above your cost ... then you'd multiply cost by 2.2 and then add that (the markup) back to your actual cost to arrive at your sales price.

Or am I way off base here?

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Last edited by BetteT; 05-11-2007 at 02:34 PM.
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05-11-2007
  155
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Thanks BetteT.
Sorry, trying not to make this confusing .
If you are selling a piece of clothing for 300 dollars than you bought it at wholesale for 135 dollars. Then, I subtract 135 from 300 to get 165. I got this from multiplying 300 by .45. This makes it harder to turn a profit when you have rent, insurance and a paid employee (me). Am I doing this correctly?

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05-11-2007
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Ah ... I see. You already know both your cost of goods and your sales price and you want to find out what your markup is ... correct? Still not sure if that is what you are trying to figure out ... I don't know the difference between "cost of goods" and "cost of goods sold" and if you intended to compare the two.... so I may be off base.

To double check that your markup of 2.2 is correct, all you need to do is re-figure it this way: $135 times 2.2 equals $297 ... which is almost $300. So I'd say you are doing it correctly.

And from what I've seen earlier in this thread ... a 2.2 markup is a bit low, I think that 2.5 or higher is more common.

Hope that helps ... sorry if I'm still confused about what your question actually is.

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16-11-2007
  157
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I thought this website might be helpful...

http://www.myownbusiness.org/course_list.html

I am interested in opening a boutique myself in DC in two years....
right now I am doing as much research as possible. great thread

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07-12-2007
  158
scenester
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: DC
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Anyone own (or have experience with/knowledge of) an E-tailing website?
I was just wondering (i know it will vary from company to company/designer to designer) on avg. what the minimum order size/amount of inventory a site must hold in order to open an account with a company/designer?

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13-12-2007
  159
windowshopping
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Sydney
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I too am launching a luxury online boutique in AW 2008
It is all very exciting and buying is my passion and love. I buy instinctively and I have doubled my AW 08 budget... my designer list just kept growing so I had to allow for growth. I have now finished all the buying for AW 08 and have started the PR side. All other start ups have been ironed out and put into production eg. packaging, office, web development, content management, accounts, staff, couriors.. and so much more.
The PR is great.. I had my first write up a fornight ago in the national sunday paper... it felt so rewarding seeing my business' editorial. I have also secured some editorials in our leading fashion magazines which I can't wait to see.
It is also very easy to have blogs and fashion websites create a story on your business in the 'fashion news' section.
I recommended it to anyone thinking of opening any business of their own... it is such a great feeling
I worked for one of our leading designers for a few years.. it was an amazing position for my Cv... but I felt I needed more.
If anyone would like some help, I will try to help as I can.

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13-12-2007
  160
scenester
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 74
I was wondering what everyone's feelings are about the economy in the US. Are you worried that it will affect your business or does it never cross your mind? I am personally very worried, since I am launching my business soon and I keep reading how sales are down at retailers across the country and that the economy is going to go into a major slump. I think now is a very bad time to open a boutique.

Also, I have quite a few lines that I am ordering from overseas and the dollar is so weak right now. Orders I placed in September have already shown a 10% increase in price. If it drops a lot by the time the payment is due, I could end up losing quite a bit of money.

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16-12-2007
  161
windowshopping
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: UK
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Posts: 16
I co-own a fashion boutique, if you need any advice or any questions, give me a shout.

it's the best thing i've done. But alot of work.

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17-12-2007
  162
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Online clothing boutique
I am in the process of building an ecommerce website. Here some questions I have for anyone that currently runs boutique:


(You can email me to answer as well, Thank you)

Template or build to your needs? (Pros/cons)

Product management: How much space for product is required, including pictures (and categories) to build a store?

Bulk: do people buy in bulk?

Shipping - you shop online because:

1) You can spend 100$ and pay no shipping

2) Free shipping

3) Pay a reasonable amount

Thank you

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17-12-2007
  163
windowshopping
 
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: California
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Posts: 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by go_extreme View Post
I am in the process of building an ecommerce website. Here some questions I have for anyone that currently runs boutique:


(You can email me to answer as well, Thank you)

Template or build to your needs? (Pros/cons)

Product management: How much space for product is required, including pictures (and categories) to build a store?

Bulk: do people buy in bulk?

Shipping - you shop online because:

1) You can spend 100$ and pay no shipping

2) Free shipping

3) Pay a reasonable amount

Thank you
I don't own a boutique, but I did help run a part-time business in the entertainment industry whilst juggling college.

I'm not telling you anything you didn't know; it's always nice to have a general understanding in accounting, economics, and business law. The reason being is that you'd like to be able to balance your own books, and project the gains/ losses you may have in the present and future. Then, there are also certain steps you must go through to liquidate/ depreciate assets...

Then, there are the hurdles of starting your own business - bank loans, copyrights, patents, trademarks, and contracts... non-compete clauses, lease agreements...

Cornell Law has a bevy of information, Google it.

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Last edited by Astonish; 17-12-2007 at 07:21 PM.
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17-12-2007
  164
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wildeyedundine i read an article in the LA times about how many boutiques are going out of business in LA recently because of the competition against department stores. it's rather scary and sad. department stores can offer huge sales whereas the independent boutique owner can't. department stores takes returns after a long period and boutiques don't usually allow that. it's a tough world out there.


as far as the economy goes, i think there are always going to be people who buy. those who can afford contemporary-high end luxury goods will most likely be able to afford them tomorrow. yes there is probably going to be a slump in sales but what goes up must come down and vice versa. the value of the dollar isn't helping either...but i have hopes for our economy to get back up on its feet. i hate to have to witness this part of US history =(

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18-12-2007
  165
windowshopping
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: UK
Gender: homme
Posts: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by go_extreme View Post
I am in the process of building an ecommerce website. Here some questions I have for anyone that currently runs boutique:


(You can email me to answer as well, Thank you)

Template or build to your needs? (Pros/cons)

Product management: How much space for product is required, including pictures (and categories) to build a store?

Bulk: do people buy in bulk?

Shipping - you shop online because:

1) You can spend 100$ and pay no shipping

2) Free shipping

3) Pay a reasonable amount

Thank you
Hey, we have recently taken our store online so had to go through similiar thoughts

I would always say get a professional to build the site (if you have the funds), a friend of mine owns a homeware store and built his site from a template only to find that he had soon outgrown it and it no longer held the functions he needed so needs to re-invest...try to only spend out once...it costs more but is better in the long run. Plus with as professional company behind you they can easyly add extra functions to the site at a smaller cost. they will also make sure the site is SEO (search engine optimized) meaning that people will be able to find your site alot easier.

The build in mind should reflect your store and your product. EG: we concentrate on high tailored fashion lines with quirky rock inspired twists. so our site goes with this idea with a sleek layout.

it's import to make it very easy to navigate. so your catogorys should not be too discriptive EG:for denim have straight, skinny bootcut regular...dont then start having regular bootcut, slim fitting low rise and so on...as you can go on forever and the customer would rather have a wider selection of products to shop in each catagory.

By space do you mean server size?

No online customer buy in bulk unless it's sale stock. Depending on your price point online customers are much more fickle than instore. as it's a bigger comitment to buy a product you have not felt or tried on.

of course if you mean to you the business owner buy in bulk then that depends. certain brand (mostly more established names) will have minimum orders you will have to place to hold an account with them. but as far as products go it's up to you.

The shipping is a big thing you have to think about and it's up to you but we went with free national shipping and a fixed rate for international. this means you remain in favour with you current customers. MR shows consumers prefer free shipping as any additional cost complicates things and can be the deciding factor for a customer to not continue with the purchase. i would stay away from pay X amount and get free shipping...this is something used by bigger companies to boost profit margins and doesnt really help boutiques. The factor that sets a boutique apart from the high street is the personal touches so keep away from sounding corporate.

Hope that helps.

let me know if you need any help.

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