Differences Between Fashion Agents and Distributors
17 December 2014
Author: Anton Dell
One of the main questions we get asked is: should I look for a distributor or should I look for an agent?
With agents, or reps as they are known in America, you send them a collection; they take orders from shops and stores; the orders are sent to you; you deliver the order directly to the shops and stores; you collect the payments; and you then pay a commission, usually 12.5 - 15% or higher, to the agent. In other words, you have full control over the selling of your collection. If for any reason you don’t want to sell to a particular store, it’s up to you.
With a distributor, or showrooms in the USA, you will send them the collection; they will expect 25%+ discount on the wholesale price; they will take orders from shops and stores; at the end of the selling period, they will send you 1 block order which you will deliver to them. They will be responsible for distribution and collecting payments from shops and stores. You will not have the same control as you would with an agent, and this may be seen as a negative by some companies.
We recommend to all of our clients that they keep an open mind when choosing their potential partner. Meet both agents and distributors and choose the person you most want to work with.