How to Buy Wholesale Overstocks of Cotton Fabrics

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Quilters know how quickly fabric purchases will eat up your budget. Buying wholesale cottons online is the key to saving your pocketbook, and your hobby, from annihilation. Many wholesale fabric distributors use the Internet to sell fabric overstock and seconds directly to consumers.

  • List the fabric colors and patterns you want before turning on the computer. Don't worry about specifics. In the world of overstocked fabric, finding a specific brand and pattern is difficult. Instead, list your ideal match first, followed by a second and third choice. A blue toile may, for instance, be your first choice, but a blue plaid or chintz would also work.

  • Limit your online shopping to three to five stores. Fabric suppliers are endless on the Internet. Trying to find the absolute "best bargain" on overstock cottons will take days to accomplish. Start your search at websites like Fabric.com, HouseFabric.com, Schindler's Fabric and the eBay store Fabrics at Odieworld.

  • Start with the shop's closeouts, sale fabrics, remnant fabric and the like. Every fabric store has it's own version of a clearance section. Give yourself some time to peruse these sale sections before getting specific with your search. Bargain-basement pricing is usually limited and the turnover rate is high. You may find a fabric in these sections which you would otherwise miss. Schindler's Fabric, for instance, listed some pricey Ralph Lauren cotton fabrics, $132 per yard retail, for $25 per yard. A great deal may alter your color scheme.

  • Get specific with your search after browsing the sale racks. Remember the blue toile cotton fabric in Step 1? Most fabric shops have a search engine where you can enter the fabric type and, often, the color and pattern. Narrowing the search on HOUSEFABRIC.com to a blue toile in cotton, brought up a beautiful 100 percent cotton toile in a robin's egg blue for around $9 per yard.

  • Make an offer if the cotton fabric you find isn't the right price. Smaller shops, like Fabrics at Odieworld, will entertain offers on yardage. Offers are especially welcome when you want to purchase a larger amount of a particular overstock fabric. Present a fair price for the lot and see what happens.

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