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Whether it's designer dresses, outfits for special occasions or unique, hard-to-find items, there's a whole range of possibilities for an online clothing rental business. What's more, the success of several independent online platforms has proven the potential of this emerging marketplace.
In this guide, we'll take you through the key steps to getting a profitable clothing rental store up and running.
An online clothing rental business usually provides exclusive, high-end clothing to rent online. The service gives people the option to hire unique or more expensive clothes for a short time, rather than spending a lot on garments they may not need in the long term.
There's quite a bit to consider when starting an online business. To save the overwhelm, we've broken down everything into key categories:
As well as an interest in fashion and willingness to keep up with the latest trends, it will help to build some business savvy which should include online marketing skills.
Here are some key skills which may come in handy when setting up your online clothing rental business:
While formal qualifications are not necessary to set up an online clothing rental business, you might want to upskill in areas such as business management and digital marketing. You could take advantage of HubSpot's free marketing courses and tools, and learn how to get more traffic to your site. There are also many useful paid courses on platforms like Udemy where you can learn everything from how to set up your online clothing store to SEO techniques.
To really build traction in the ecommerce space, you'll want to build skills in online marketing and social media advertising. Many Australian universities offer a range of courses that teach these skills, which could help you grow your business.
Take a look at our list of recommended online course platforms that offer a wide range of training options for business starters.
If you plan to handle your stock directly, you'll of course need a location to store the clothing like a warehouse. Some equipment you'll need for your warehouse will include:
Since your business will be operated solely online, you'll need some powerful software to run it efficiently. You could aim for an all-in-one rental software that will handle everything from orders and payments to invoicing and inventory. Booqable and Rentle are two options for clothing rental software.
Here are some other software options that will help to grow your online clothing rental business:
Once you are ready to start your online clothing rental business, you must register for an Australian Business Number (ABN). This is mandatory to apply for a business name, invoice your clients and claim tax credits. After this important step, you are ready to start structuring and managing your business. There are three main structures to consider:
If you are going to work on your own, you can register as a Sole Trader. As a one-person business, you will be solely reliable for everything concerning your new venture, including all debts and losses.
If two or more people plan to work on the same project, you can register a Partnership or even a Company. This means that you and your associates will share all your business gains and losses.
A Company is a separate legal entity to the business director, and can be privately or publicly owned.
In some cases, you may need a Sale of Goods Agreement to outline the terms and conditions of your sale. As a business owner, you are most likely to require a host of legal documents, such as a Website Disclaimer.
We update our data regularly, but information can change between updates. Confirm details with the provider you're interested in before making a decision.
There are a few ways to monetise your clothing rental business online. You'll need to consider factors such as your budget and overhead costs, staff you may need to hire, storage facilities and how much time you're willing to commit to your business.
Here are some revenue models that can work for an online clothing rental business:
Marketing is at the heart of every successful business. In the case of a clothing rental business, you'll want to promote your services across a variety of platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and even YouTube to gain as much exposure as you can. These platforms allow you to share content and build a following for free, but you can also utilise paid advertising options.
Of course, your website should be the jewel in your crown, and be both easy to navigate and utilise SEO best practices to attract customers. Creating a blog and posting regular content is one effective way to drive traffic to your online rental store.
Email marketing is also very important, as many leads will come from your newsletter.
Take a look at our guide on marketing for small businesses here.
Your pricing strategy will need to suit the market you're selling to, as well as your own costs. An online clothing rental business will usually have the following charges you will need to consider:
To get an idea of how to start pricing your rentals, you could also research competitors already in the market.Back to top
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