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31-01-2008
  181
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^^^^^you are referring to a own-label store which does retail/wholesale while i was talking about situations for a reseller/retailer, these are two different business

i dont know the statistics of how you get more sales with professional photos and models but it does give you an edge. if you can afford to why not? with so much technology right now people are just doing it themselves

honestly, if i was running a business i would not spend on advertising no more than $500. sometimes its better try the small things before going big. your client did the same thing, she tried regular people then models.

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31-01-2008
  182
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bespokeboutique View Post
Hey, Online you are legally obliged to to refund customer within 7 days if they're not satisfied, after that it's your call, most customers will take it as a given that after 7 days the best they can hope for is an exchange or store credit. Also if an item is damaged or shrinks etc the customer is also entitled to a full refund after the 7 days.
i think shes asking what if a customer returned an item then turns out the customer washed or damage the merchandise. you can only trust your customer, that sucks for e-commerce, so make a return policy for it

Quote:
Yes, getting a professional to do your photography is a must. It's real easy to see where you can cut back spending, but it shows, and you end up with a very unprofessional look. you need to inspire confidence in your business. Also, with great photography you can capture a products detail exactly as you wish, The biggest barrier of shopping online is the customer is loosing out of being able to feel and look at the product so the more detail the better i say.
i disagree

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31-01-2008
  183
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Join Date: Apr 2006
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Quote:
Hey, Online you are legally obliged to to refund customer within 7 days if they're not satisfied, after that it's your call, most customers will take it as a given that after 7 days the best they can hope for is an exchange or store credit. Also if an item is damaged or shrinks etc the customer is also entitled to a full refund after the 7 days.
I think that is a UK law and I am not sure that there is a US equivalent (if someone knows of one, please post it). That said, IMO any online boutique who cares about good customer service should offer a return policy of at least 14 days. I don't think any store should be obligated to take a damaged or shrunk item back, however you may want to consider it on a case-by-case basis as you may have to deal with a chargeback if you don't.

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01-02-2008
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Quote:
i read your blog, i dont think you need professional photos to post your merchandise in the website your better off getting a dslr and your friends to model

you just save yourself some $$$ then otb or better cash flow
Um...dslr? otb? (open to buy?) As for my friends modeling, that's an odd recommendation considering my friends could be any size

Do you own a boutique? What Bespokeboutique is definetly right; there's nothing to disagree with.

BetteT - thanks for your input. I'm not surprised at all that using a professional team helped her business so much; because I would think a customer would be more inclined to buy based on how legit your site looks, and part of that has to do with how professional your photography comes across. I wish I could afford models! I dont even have access to stylists or higher end models here,lol. Maybe in the future.

Before I was going to use a mix of lookbook photos and my own photos. I think I'll just use all of my own now, lol.

Quote:
But most online stores either use stock photos taken from those lookbooks or they use mannequins or they use their employees standing in their store with their heads cropped off (ie Creatures of Comfort and Impulse). Not that I agree with this...I much prefer original photography and don't think there are very many sites out there which do it well. But the status quo does seem to be crappy photography, so I don't necessarily think it is a requirement for success.
Blaec.com uses mannequins and I dont think their photography looks crappy, although I have seen sites where they obviously use employees and a digital camera and it doesn't look very nice.

Btw wildeyedundine, how is your site coming along??

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02-02-2008
  185
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^^^The design has been finished for a while, but the site hasn't launched yet. It has been really difficult for me to settle on a launch date. I am receiving my first shipment next week, but I don't want to launch the site too early, when I have barely any inventory. On the other hand, other sites are already offering some of my brands on pre-order and I don't want to miss out on sales by launching too late. Most of all, I am incredibly worried about the economy and possible recession. I definitely think I picked a terrible time to open a boutique.

It is funny that you mention Blaec. They have some good designers, but I personally hate their site. I think it is poorly designed and I don't like their styling. I think La Garconne does the best job of mannequin photography, but I still prefer a model.

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02-02-2008
  186
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kimberwyn View Post
Um...dslr? otb? (open to buy?) As for my friends modeling, that's an odd recommendation considering my friends could be any size

Do you own a boutique? What Bespokeboutique is definetly right; there's nothing to disagree with.
i dont own a boutique, just work for retail/trade show for 2 years and another 2 years in wholesale

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02-02-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildeyedundine View Post
^^^The design has been finished for a while, but the site hasn't launched yet. It has been really difficult for me to settle on a launch date. I am receiving my first shipment next week, but I don't want to launch the site too early, when I have barely any inventory. On the other hand, other sites are already offering some of my brands on pre-order and I don't want to miss out on sales by launching too late. Most of all, I am incredibly worried about the economy and possible recession. I definitely think I picked a terrible time to open a boutique.
How exciting!! My first shipments come in 3/15 and 3/30. When my site launches it will only have a handful of clothing but i'm not too worried, I just won't do any heavy promoting until later probably. It is unfortunate about the recession though :/

It is funny that you mention Blaec. They have some good designers, but I personally hate their site. I think it is poorly designed and I don't like their styling. I think La Garconne does the best job of mannequin photography, but I still prefer a model.[/quote]

I like that Blaec doesnt look like shop bop or pink mascara or revolve, etc. Thanks for mentioning LaGarconne I had never heard of that store before.

Be sure to show us your site when it launches!

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19-02-2008
  188
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existing or new online boutique
[FONT='Tahoma','sans-serif']Where do you spend you money in terms of advertising and what brought you the most returns?[/FONT]

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01-03-2008
  189
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This question is for the buyers of the boutiques: how do you feel about skipping seasons for the designers you carry? There are a few designers I bought from last season that really disappointed me this season. I don't want to place an order, but I was wondering if it is proper etiquette to place one anyway? Is it a big deal to skip seasons?

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14-04-2008
  190
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Online Boutique..LLC VS Corp Q
Hey everyone, I'm currently an aspiring fashion stylist to celebs one day(HA I hope..), fashion has always played a very big role in my life and I regret sometimes never going to FIT or Parsons! I would like to start an online boutique with just a few designer names and eventually build more and who knows maybe one day have an actual brick store instead of virtual! I don't have any prior business education so for anyone that can help me with these questions it would be appreciated! 1.Major Diff between LLC and Corp?
2.Do you use your own SS#/personal credit to obtain more credit to buy the things you will need for business startup? 3.If you do Corp instead of LLC do you establish credit just under the business name without actually running a credit report? Due to a hardship in life years ago my credit isnt great..at all, so me depending on my own credit to obtain cards to use for startup is out of the question which is what i heard for LLC but im not sure if its 100% accurate if someone can clarify thank you!

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27-04-2008
  191
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Oh man this thread has really died :/ Wildeyedundine's question is a really really good one. Im in the same position. Im looking at fall lines and so far Im not liking any of it. But Im going to skip, I think my customers would care more about my eye for finding good pieces and not just good labels.

Sorry i couldnt help TrendTherapist, I dont know much about that.

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09-05-2008
  192
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does anyone know the best approach in obtaining business credit with no personal guarentee? I do want to start my online boutique ..i have my name..website designers and everything set up now i just need the credit to buy some merchandise any help would be appreciated

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09-05-2008
  193
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i guess a good and detailed business plan is important. and of course a good credit history

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09-05-2008
  194
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i really dont want to merge my personal finances with my business..ide like to keep that seperate but ive heard if you establish a few accts ex:staples,dell,office depot under your business name tax id(not ur personal ss#) and pay them good after a few months you will be able to get business cc without using urself ss# as a personal guarentee just wanted to see if anyone knew more about this

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16-08-2008
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I'm opening a clothing store.. (not a boutique) I need some insight...
So I'm opening a clothing store.. I'm planning it to be a mix of vintage, some trendy clothing, some plain clothing (like tanks and tees), pants, and accessories.
Most of the stuff will be unisex or for females.

But the thing is... I live in a developing city in California (2nd fastest growing community in the US, but it's still a hickville imo lol)

I've "scoped" the nearest mall wishing I'd find some fashionable people, but I only found one person that was well-dressed by tFS standards. All the others wore white tanks, jean shorts, and a bag... Maybe it's because it's constantly 100 degrees here in the summer, maybe it's because it's California, I dunno.

My friend opened a clothing store nearby and he's been really successful, but he sells really cheap items like $5 shirts, 10$ pants, 15$ dresses; they're all tacky and/or really plain, but for some odd reason they sell... probably because it's cheap, but what I'm afraid of is the fashion taste of the general public of this city..

So I guess I just want some opinions on which "way" I should go?
Sell dirt cheap clothes
Or sell a mix of vintage, some trendy clothing, some plain clothing (which is what I want)
And for those of you that DON'T live in big cities -- what is it like in your town?

Thanks for any help

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