If you want to start an online boutique from home but have no funds, read on. I have six easy ways for you to start a free online fashion boutique!
Daydreaming about having your own fashion boutique with loads of designer denim, trendy tops, and stylish jewelry and accessories? But where do you start? Where can you find suppliers and inventory? What business licenses and permits do you need? What are the initial costs involved?
For the majority of the population, starting a physical store is simply impossible due to the costs involved. But even starting an online business is cost prohibitive for many, with web hosting, inventory, legal fees, and advertising costs. But guess that? Technology has made it possible for you to open your own online store in a few simple steps. And better yet, you don’t need experience or money to get started!
Here are six easy ways to start an online fashion boutique for free!
If you have beauty and skincare products, becoming a beauty influencer with Avon could be a good option for you. With Avon, there are no upfront fees and you’ll earn a 30% commission once you reach $100 in sales. You’ll also receive $1,500 in free products once you reach $500 in sales. Avon provides free training and digital tools to reps, and with known brand recognition, the products should be an easy sell.
2. Elegant branding
poshmark is a free online platform and smartphone app where you can sell clothes, shoes, jewelry, accessories, bags and more. To make money with Poshmark, you can start by clearing out your closet of things you no longer use. Simply take some high-quality photos, write an SEO-friendly description, and price your items. Once your item sells, print a free shipping label and ship your item to your recipient. When the sale is complete, Poshmark will collect a 20% fee and you will keep 80%. To keep this business going, you can use your profits to buy second-hand clothes and trade them for a profit, also called retail arbitrage or resale. For more tips on starting a reselling business, check out this helpful post.
3. Extended T-shirt
spreadshirt is a free print-on-demand opportunity. With this business idea, you will create a free account at Spreadshirt and design your products (t-shirts, hoodies, mugs, accessories like bags, hats, aprons and more. Spreadshirt gives you the option to have your own shop or you can create a shop within their marketplace. They also have an option where you can integrate third-party platforms like Etsy, Shopify, Amazon, and more. For every item you sell, you’ll earn a commission and Spreadshirt will ship the item directly to their customer.
4. SQN Sport
If you like fitness, this next opportunity might be right for you! SQN sport has an ambassador program where you can earn 20-25% commission on sales and referral commission. You don’t get a website with this opportunity; Just promote your link on your social media channels, blog, and at pop-up parties. While this program is free to join, they do have a sampler box that you can purchase for 50% off. According to their website, you’ll also receive a monthly newsletter with special promotions, content, and coupon codes you can use to market the clothing.
5. Stella and period
wake and point started as a direct sales company and transitioned to a free online ambassador opportunity. With this business opportunity, you will be able to sell jewelry, handbags, makeup, and skin care products online. Simply sign up for their program and share your referral link online. Ambassadors can earn 10-30% commission on sales; the more you sell, the higher your commission rate will be. Ambassadors will receive early access to new products and will be able to win prizes and getaways for reaching certain sales milestones. Cash payments are distributed weekly, or you can take your earnings and double the value of the commission by choosing store credit.
spring is another free print-on-demand platform that allows creatives to design their own t-shirts, tank tops, hoodies, sweatshirts, tote bags, cushions, and coffee mugs. To start making money with Teespring, create an account and then start designing items for sale.
I have no design skills, but I designed this t-shirt which is $26.99, and for every t-shirt sold, I would make a profit of $8.60.
Payments are made through PayPal or Payoneer. With Teespring, they give you a free storefront that you can promote on your social media profiles and email.
How to market your fashion boutique online
The saying, build it and they will come, could not be further from the truth. To draw attention to your business, you will need to promote it. Fortunately, there are many free and affordable marketing methods that can help you get the word out.
social media marketing
Focus on SEO
SEO stands for search engine optimization and is where you optimize your descriptions to contain the keywords that people are searching for. For example, if a person is searching for long sleeve shirts on Poshmark and their listing does not contain the word long sleeve, it will not appear in the search results. You want to be as descriptive as possible so your articles can be easily found.
If you’re serious about growing your business, you need to capture your customers’ email addresses. The way to do this is by signing up for an email marketing service. Don’t worry: there are free options like send blue Y ConvertKit. Once you’ve signed up for a service, you can add your email marketing form or signup link to your store, social media profiles, and email signature. Then, when a new collection is released or there is a sale, you can send an email to all your customers about the offers.
If you have some money in your marketing budget, paid advertising can be a great way to attract more people to your store. With Google, Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, and Facebook ads, there’s no shortage of places to advertise. To ensure you get a good ROI on your ad spend, you’ll need to write persuasive copy, have compelling images, and know how to run ads and measure conversions correctly. A lot goes into running a successful ad campaign, so be sure to read up and maybe take a course on running ads.
As you can see, it doesn’t always take a big budget to own an online boutique. If one of these free business ideas appeals to you, start building your leads and contacts through social media, and in no time, you’ll be earning a home-based income in an industry you’re passionate about.
If you are successful with these free business models, you may decide to launch your own online clothing store from scratch. In this post, Anne Marie Blackman shares the success story of her starting an eBay store and then opening an online clothing boutique using the eCommerce platform. Shopify. She shares a lot of great advice, so be sure to check it out.
Have you signed up for any of these free business opportunities? If so, we’d love to hear about your experience.
Would you like to own a small business, but aren’t sure where to start? Get our FREE simplified business plan template, which will walk you through the questions and steps you need to take to get your business off the ground!
Originally published March 12, 2015. Content updated October 2022.