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Wholesale Accessory Market: Tips for Retailers Who Want To Buy Accessories Wholesale

Looking to dip your toes into the wholesale accessory market?

Whether you’re looking for wholesale fashion accessories or some fun trinkets and doodads (that’s a technical term), there’s a lot to consider.

Many new retailers diving into wholesale accessory markets report feeling a bit overwhelmed. Some feel there are too many options or too many things to consider. Others want more guidance and insights into how to make the best choices.

No matter where you fall on the spectrum, this article is here to help you navigate the wholesale accessory market, choose the right products for your store and customers, and make sure you’re only doing business with the best wholesale accessory companies.

Ready? Let’s do this.

Why You Should Tap Into the Wholesale Accessory Market

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of how to buy accessories wholesale, let’s look at why this market is a solid business choice.

According to a global snapshot by Mordor Intelligence, the wholesale accessory market is expected to have a 12.3 percent Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) between 2020 and 2025. 

Note: This term sounds fancy, but not everyone is a finance whiz. This essentially means that if you invest in this market during this period, it’s estimated that the value of your investment will increase by 12.3 percent over the course of a year.

That means the predictions are in your favor to make some money!

wholesale accessory market CAGR

Source

This report also states that North America is the largest global wholesale accessory market. Asia is catching up quickly, but we’re still on top.

The data shows that people love their accessories, especially USA wholesale accessories.

Now that you have a basic intro to the market and what makes it so promising, let’s get into how you can be a part of it.

How To Buy Accessories Wholesale: 5 Tips

1. Understand the Wholesale Accessory Market

You know that the wholesale accessory market is booming. But it’s time to dig a little deeper.

Do you understand which types of products are bigger hits among certain audiences and demographics and in which parts of the country?

These are critical connections you need to make if you want your business to be successful. This is called a product-market fit, which is basically how well you’ve matched your store’s accessories to the people you’re trying to sell them to.

For example, consider this cool “Boot Bling for girls” by supplier Buckaroo Bling.

boot bling for girls

To succeed with these, your customers obviously need to be cowboy boots-wearers. They might have a farm or be into country music (which are great targeting filters to use in your Facebook ads, by the way).

And considering these accessories are for girls, your customers will probably be parents or people with children in their lives, like grandparents or aunts and uncles.

This kind of simple brainstorming will go a long way in trying to understand your market and who certain products might appeal to.

Another core concept to keep in mind is steady versus trendy niches.

As the name suggests, steady niches have constant levels of demand, or at least fixed patterns of demand. 

On the other hand, trendy niches have quick demand bursts, which then usually fade. A classic trendy niche example is the fidget spinner. They became massively popular years ago, but have you heard people talking about them lately?

Not really.

As a retailer, knowing if you’re in a steady or trendy niche is super important.

On one hand, there’s massive profit potential if you jump into a trendy niche at the right time. But your timing is critical in more than one way – not only do you need to know when to start, but you also need to know when to stop.

Imagine if you put in a huge order to take advantage of bulk discounts, only to find that the trendy items you bought went out of style before you even got through half of your inventory.

That would be a real bummer.

And it’s the reason many retailers focus on steady niche products. It’s to ensure that there will be consistent demand (and fewer surprises).

One way to scope out the wholesale accessory market is to use Google Trends.

wholesale accessory picks

When you type in “boot bling,” you’ll see that demand has been fairly steady over the past five years, but Google’s preliminary data suggests that this product for a big boost in popularity.

Sounds like a good time to jump in, if you ask me.

2. Figure Out What You Want To Sell

Now that you’ve given some thought to understanding the wholesale accessory market, it’s time to apply those findings to your own efforts.

Are there any sorts of accessories that really appeal to you? Ones that you love yourself, and would therefore love to provide to other people?

Personal preferences and passion can be the foundation for a successful business (as long as you make sure to align them with the right customers, of course). But that’s not the only path to starting a wildly successful store.

Another way to uncover great ideas is to do some competitor research.

Think about some popular brands and products – ones that you’ve seen yourself, as well as others that you’ve heard about from personal contacts, on social media, or in the news.

Do some online wholesale accessories research, which can be as easy as typing “popular accessories 2021” into Google.

Like this search done by yours truly:

popular accessories 2021

Look at listicle articles from popular fashion media companies to get a pulse on what’s selling right now, then back it up with finding those products in other stores and looking them up on sites like Google Trends.

As you’re conducting your search, keep a spreadsheet of items, links, notes, and any other details that catch your eye during the brainstorming process. This will come in handy later when you’re making your final decisions.

3. Do Your Research on the Best Wholesale Accessories

Finding online wholesale accessories can be a whole lot easier than you might think. This is especially true with the development of awesome platforms like ours at Handshake

I know, I know. This is a not-so-humble brag. 

But it’s for good reason. And I’ll prove it!

Just do a simple search for accessories or check out the sidebar and navigate to the types of accessories you’re interested in exploring.

Here’s a look at the “Accessories” section under the “Apparel & Footwear” category.

wholesale accessory marketplace

You can search by products or suppliers, as well as drill down your searches, like minimum order value and the state you’d like your wholesale accessories vendors to be based. This can help massively when it comes to shipping costs and other fees like tariffs that you might incur from shipping certain items from out of the state or out of the country.

It can also help with appealing to your audience better. For example, trendy Californians often favor certain types of products sourced from and made in their home state. This can be a great way to connect with customers and come out on top of your competitors.

Like this quirky watermelon fanny pack that’s made in Los Angeles.

watermelon fanny pack

You can also look for products that appeal to specific audiences you’ve had your eye on. 

Say you see a lot of potential in the millennial market, specifically memes. You might be interested in selling fun wholesale accessories like a keychain that says “Not today Satan.” And let’s not forget the elegant touch of the middle finger tiny tag design!

keychain wholesale

And of course, wholesale boutique jewelry and accessories will never go out of style. That’s why Handshake has a whole category dedicated to jewelry.

What’s cool is that you can sort by “Featured,” which highlights new or trending vendors and products that are currently doing well. 

wholesale jewelry vendors

Remember that spreadsheet you started in the previous tip? 

Create a new column or tab where you list these items too. You can rank them in order of interest or separate them into categories.

When you have a nice full list, start cutting out the items that are less appealing. If you don’t want to lose them completely, create another section or tab for the ones that you have less interest in. As you keep doing your research, the list will get shorter and shorter, and your ideal choices should be more apparent to you.

Trust me, you’ll thank yourself later for keeping track of all this stuff.

4. Explore and Vet Wholesale Accessories Vendors

You’ll find that on your search through the wholesale accessory market, scoping out products often goes hand-in-hand with the suppliers who manufacture and distribute them.

Once you have your list narrowed down your options from your original big brainstorming process, you should begin the process of vetting and researching those wholesale accessories vendors.

You can do this through online research, as well as contacting them directly to ask them questions about their business and anything you might want to know.

The good news is you can do this directly through Handshake.

Plus, you can rest easy knowing that Handshake has vetted and carefully chosen each supplier that’s on the platform. You won’t need to worry about major scams or terrible experiences. Huzzah!

In addition to working with a trusted wholesale marketplace that does the vetting for you, get to know your potential partners by asking them for things like:

  • A copy of their business license and registration
  • A copy of compliance certificates
  • Proof of registration with any necessary entities
  • References and contact info from current customers

Finding an established supplier is another way to ensure quality. You might try sorting by “Oldest” suppliers in your category. This can help you find suppliers with proven track records of keeping their clients happy.

Vetting wholesale accessory vendors

5. Keep a Growth Mindset as You Plan

Growth is one of the most forward-thinking things to consider before you start working with wholesale accessory distributors.

Sure, you don’t need too many of any given item before you’re positive that your store will get off the ground.

But before you know it, you might have more and more customers, which means more orders to fill.

It’s a terrible (and a little bit ironic!) position to be in when your store is growing but your suppliers can’t keep with your customers’ demand.

You can potentially protect the future of your business by sticking with wholesale accessories vendors who specialize in the products you’re selling. 

Alternatively, they might boast large and comprehensive collections on certain types of items so that you know they’re ready to ramp up the supply when your demand asks for it.

For example, if you’re interested in selling removable patches for snapback hats, consider a company like Pull Patch. That’s all they sell, so you know they’re making them well and that they’re likely able to meet increased orders if demand for these items skyrocket in your store.

Pull patch accessory wholesaler

Conquering the Wholesale Accessory Market

On the outside looking in, the wholesale accessory market can look pretty intimidating. This is because there are endless ways to get things done, along with a whole lot of considerations you should be making along the way.

But there’s just as much opportunity for retail entrepreneurs who do it right.

This is especially true with the USA wholesale accessories market, where we’re the largest in the world for looking fly and decking out our wardrobe, homes, offices… you name it.

As long as you approach it with a plan and take the time to do your research, there’s really nothing stopping you from being the “next big thing” in the wide world of accessories.

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