Getting yourself in a space where you want to start an online business is pretty exciting and then the awkwardness of what to sell online always pops up, and then we tend to search for answers. This is pretty natural and common thing to do for most of us.
Some people are lucky and know they want to sell clothes online in South Africa
It is really a super safe way to go and perfect starting place, to sell clothes in South Africa. If you look at the stats over at Payflex, the most bought items online in South Africa are, you guessed it, clothes. A whopping 53% of all online sales goes to clothing.
So, this should tell you two things –
- There is a market to sell clothes online in South Africa
- There is a lot of competition for clothes.
But this should not discourage you to start your own little clothing empire, this should encourage you to think a little outside the box.
For instance, you are going to have a very hard time competing with the bigger players like Superbalist, Zando, The Fix and then the old dinosaurs like Edgars. These are heavy hitters and trying to outrank them in Google will be a mammoth task.
A task I don’t want to touch or even try to accomplish.
My point is, don’t try and sell everything. Rather focus on a niche product like shape wear, baby boxers, tangerines or whatever. This will help you build a brand around a product and will kind of make your brand stand out more and plus help you climb the Google ladder a bit faster.
You can use Google trends to discover new trends in South Africa
Below is a chart regarding the trends around vellies in South Africa.
You can see that vellie shoes are a great choice of products to sell. There is an interest most of the year.
Use Google trends to discover trends for your products. This will help a lot when planning marketing campaign.
Moreover, another upside of choosing a niche product to sell, you can now identify your target market and ideal customer. What does this mean?
Well, you can now spend your hard-earned cash on Facebook ads and target the right buyers. This is a lot better than taking the shot gun approach.
This is off-course online marketing 101.
You see, it does not matter if you sell clothes online in South Africa or the best products known to man. If you don’t advertise to the right crowd you might as well throw your money up in the air on an August day in Cape Town.
Ok, so enough of marketing lets dive in to some options you can use to make some money by selling clothes online in South Africa.
Sell second hand clothes.
What? Oh yes, the second hand clothing retail is massive and you can make some serious coin if you have many extra clothes lying around or willing to go a little further and ask all your friends and family if you can invade their closets to removed all the unwanted clothes.
You can even split the profits with them.
This is how you do it.
There are multiple online stores and marketplaces in South Africa that specializes in selling second hand clothing or as they like to call it “pre loved”
You can visit the following stores
Most or all of the above mentioned stores work on a consignment basis and that means you are going to have to trust them by sending all your collected pre-loved clothes to market to their visitors.
Once again, most of the stores will sell your clothes at a price they determined and keep a percentage of the sale.
How much can you make?
Well, how does the answer “it depends” sound? One or more of the online platforms claims that on average their consignors make on average R2500 a month but it depends greatly on branding, quality and condition of the clothes.
That is not bad for a bunch of old clothing pieces that just fills closet space.
How can you scale this?
It is pretty obvious that you, friends and family are going to run out of things to sell so what do you do then?
It is simple, place an ad in the newspaper or even a Facebook post asking for people who want to make extra money by sending you clothes to sell online in South Africa.
You can always do a profit split with them as soon as their clothes sell. One thing to note here is that you have to have strict terms and conditions as to what clothes people send you.
This will ensure a painless journey free of returns and a heap of unwanted clothes in your house.
So, don’t underestimate the power of second hand clothing and a nice side income you can generate from it.
2. Make and sell your clothes online in South Africa
We are definitely a very creative bunch here in South Africa and talent is everywhere. If you have a special talent and skill to make beautiful clothes then you have an exceptional advantage over many other entrepreneurs starting out.
You will have to diversify a bit here if you want your online store to be successful. It is one thing to make beautiful clothes but it takes a special skill marketing your online store to the right audience.
Also, you will have to take build your own online store to save valuable resources like money.
You can read this article about how you can start your own online store in South Africa
Think it is difficult to create your own online store? Think again, it is as easy as it will ever be to sell clothes online in South Africa from your store. You can visit Shopify toaday and enjoy a 14 day free trail to learn you the ropes.
If you need a helping hand you can watch the video at the end of the post, I will walk you through the process of setting you up in no time.
If making clothes is more your thing and not so much running an online store you can always sell your clothes on the following marketplaces –
Oh, before I forget. The stores I mentioned in the second hand section is not only for second hand clothing, it is also open to brand-new clothing.
If you are a fashion designer and have a great eye for trendy fashion you should start getting to work. Win the race by being first online.
Don’t procrastinate, the market will soon be saturated then it will be very difficult to rank your store on Google.
Drop-ship Clothes in South Africa
Yip, the good ol drop-shipping. There are multiple companies in South Africa you can contact to arrange a dropshipping partnership. But before we continue let me explain what dropshipping is all about.
Dropshipping is selling some company’s clothes to your customers by never ever seeing or shipping the clothing items yourself.
Simple and straightforward. Although, this might be worth mentioning because your customer is working with two companies to get one product you have to be on top of your game.
You will face the heat if the dropship supplier screws up. Make sure your client relations and service is on point and above industry standard.
There are only a few companies in South Africa who will partner with you as a dropshipper. You can contact the most common clothing dropshipper in South Africa Planet 54.
Apply for a partnership and start selling clothes online in South Africa.
Just an important note here: Just let your visitors know you are a reseller of Planet 54 as they do not have any white labelling offers that will help you build a brand. So, what I mean by this is, once you sell an item on your website Planet 54 will fulfil the order and send items under their branding?
This can be confusing for your client if you ask me? Try and make a deal with Planet 54 to add your custom branding to the packaging.
Obviously, not right of the bat. Sell some clothes first and leverage your request this way.
Anyway, Here are more places you can apply to become a dropshipper.
Marketplaces will make it easier to find clothes, build a brand and sell clothes online in South Africa.
- Dropstore – A multi marketplace with all kinds of products you can sell. Probably the biggest in SA
- Planet 52 – Preferred clothing dropshipper in South Africa.
- Shopstar – Another marketplace where you can create an online store at a monthly price.
Dropshipping is perfect for anyone who does not have the means or a way to produce their own clothes or even buy in bulk.
The nice thing about the dropshipping model is that you will learn and gain a lot of experience.
With the experience and comes money and brand building. If you are a one of a kind entrepreneur who does not take no for an answer, you can now start approaching clothes designers and wholesalers after your online store gains some success.
This must be your end goal to produce and sell clothes online in South Africa under your own lable.
Build your own store –
Ok, don’t run away just yet! I have a simple solution for you. Because you have so much on your plate at the moment, I have listed a video below where I’ve helped 1000s of South Africans start an online store and as a bonus, I will show you how you can add a payment gateway called PayFast to your store so you can make money from day 1.
You are welcome!
Wrapping it Up
Whatever it is and whatever which you want to go, you will be able to sell clothes in South Africa in one week if you have motivation to do so.
Choose an option and don’t look back. It is going to take hard work from your side to make it a success.
All the best.
P.S if you are done with your store, leave a comment below and we will pay your store a visit.
If you have any questions regarding this article please leave a comment below. We would love to hear from you.
Affiliate Disclaimer: In this or most of my post I recommend products or services via links or and banners. If any of these links end up in a sale I get a small commision at no extra cost to you.