Colorful display of sweaters on shelf in store

Anyone looking to break into the retail clothing industry should learn how to get the best deals for their fledgling business. While you may enjoy the thrill of hunting for specific pieces, unless you plan to sell vintage clothing exclusively, buying in bulk is a smart move. If you learn to navigate the world of wholesale purchasing, you will have a most useful skill and a thriving business. Read below for some places to find large quantities of clothing for resale.

Search eBay for great auction deals. Look for the terms "lot" or "lots." These auctions are for multiple items to be purchased and shipped together. Check the "Buy It Now" sections as well as the "Auction" sections to make sure you aren't missing out on any great opportunities. Keep an eye out for sellers that are offering the same item in various sizes or styles that will show up as individual listings. Contact the seller to find out if they are willing to negotiate a lower price if you buy all of the items. Build a relationship with sellers that routinely offer items in bulk that you are interested in. If you become friendly, the seller may contact you before she lists her items and give you a heads up (see Resources below).

Keep an eye out for retail clothing store closings and other chances to deal with motivated sellers. Independent retailers that are going out of business are anxious to unload their remaining merchandise and may offer you the deal of the century to take it off their hands. Depending upon the type of clothing that you wish to sell, watch for other local opportunities. Vintage clothing sellers can score big at estate sales. Theaters sometimes clean out their costume shops and hold big sales that include fabulous vintage finds. Dealers in children's clothing should cruise garage sales. Flea markets are especially good for finding children's clothing but are also great sources for all kinds of bulk clothing sales. Finally, attend end-of-season sample sales for excellent prices on newer styles.

Check out the Clothing Island website. They offer wholesale items for men, women and children and only sell in bulk. Their wide variety of products include lingerie, bathing suits, capri pants, jackets, dresses, pajamas, track suits and even scrubs. If you plan on opening your own store, you probably will need hangers. Clothing Island offers high quality hangers for as little as $1.20 apiece. Many items are also offered in hard-to-find plus sizes. Tap into this growing market that has tremendous potential for success. No membership is required, but the minimum order is $150 (see Resources below).

Go to for uniforms, yoga gear, tie dye, blankets, hats, purses, children's clothing and a wide variety of T-shirts. They even sell clothes for dogs! Like Clothing Island, sells at wholesale prices and does not require a membership. However, they have no minimum order, so you can feel free to test an item's popularity with just a few pieces rather than committing to a large quantity of items that may not sell (see Resources below).

Use the Wholesale Gopher site to search their large directory of wholesale sources. Some companies are geared toward the online seller, others retail locations. There are those that deal with overseas suppliers, while others are U.S.-based. Several require a membership and a fee for joining, and others don't. Play around to find the sellers that best meet your needs. The directory includes items for men, women and children. Products not only include clothing but also jewelry, accessories and home goods (see Resources below).