Finding the right clothing manufacturers for your apparel brand is quite easy.
For those who have never sought out clothing manufacturing companies, there are many means available to help guide you on your way to finding the right manufacturer for you. In this article, you’ll get an overview of the best ways to find the perfect clothing manufacturer for your next assignment.
Difference between Local vs Abroad Clothing Manufacturers
A typical question when looking for suppliers if you plan to manufacture or wholesale is whether you want to source locally or from overseas. We refer to overseas suppliers, we are referring to clothing manufacturers in countries like Pakistan, China etc.
You likely already be familiar with that it’s almost always cheaper to source your products abroad but there’s a lot more to that decision than just the upfront investment and cost per unit.
Both local and overseas sourcing have their benefits as well as disadvantages
Let’s take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages below:
LOCAL CLOTHING MANUFACTURING COMPANIES:
- Typically higher manufacturing quality
- Typically higher labor standards
- Easy and efficient communication
- Marketability and brand ability of North American made goods
- Faster shipping time and cheaper shipping costs
- No import duties or tariffs
- Intellectual property right protection
- Higher payment security
- Higher manufacturing costs
- Typically smaller choice of potential factories
- Smaller product choice (Many items are only made overseas these days)
OVERSEAS MANUFACTURING COMPANIES:
- Greater number of clothing factory to choose from
- Clothing manufacturers for small orders
- Clothing manufacturing companies Lower costs
- Import clearance and customs brokers to deal with
- Significant time zone difference
- Longer shipping times
- Import tariffs
- Higher shipping costs
Where to Find best Clothing Manufacturers
Now that you have a better idea of the pros and cons to finding manufacturing partners locally and abroad, you can begin your search. There’s a few great places to start that can put you on the right track to finding your perfect apparel manufacturing partner.
Requesting A Quote
Once you’ve found a suitable supplier, how do you approach them?
The main question you’re going to have is “how much?” but before you rapidly send the supplier your request for quotation take a few minutes to plan out what you want to say and the questions you need to ask. Planning your email will increase your chances that you will receive a response and the correct information.
Here are a few important questions to consider for your email:
- What is your smallest order quantity?– Also referred to as an MOQ, clothing manufacturers for small orders or small batch clothing manufacturers you want to make sure their smallest amount is manageable for you and that you can afford them. This smallest order quantity can vary wildly depending on the product and material availability the supplier so it’s important to ask upfront.
- What is your sample pricing?– You’ll likely want samples to examine before making a full order. Sample pricing varies, depending on the product and supplier. Some suppliers that receive many requests may change the full retail pricing, others will offer you samples at a cheap rate, and some may even send you samples for free.
- What is your production pricing?– One of the most important questions is how much your products will cost. You’ll probably wan’t to ask for pricing for several quantities to get logic of if and how they do cheap pricing at higher quantity levels.
- What is your lead time?– Knowing how long it will take to produce your order is an important concern and depending on your exact business, time can be critical.
- What are your payment terms?– Many suppliers will require new businesses to pay for the full order advance. This is important to know since inventory is a major cost for e-commerce startups. You may want to also ask if they provide payment terms on future orders.
Negotiating Small order
If you’re looking for a supplier for the first time, you’re going to swiftly learn about ‘Minimum Order Quantities’ (MOQ’s). It’s not rare for a manufacturer to require a commitment to purchase hundreds or even thousands of units for your first order depending on the product and manufacturer.
MOQ’s make it difficult when you have limited funds, or simply want to play it safe by starting small to test the market before making larger buying. The good thing is that MOQ’s are almost always negotiable.
Beforehand you begin talking; the first step is to understand why the supplier has enforced a minimum. Is it because there is a lot of work upfront? Or maybe it’s because they prefer to work with larger buyers. Understanding the reasons behind the minimum will help you better understand their position and allow you to negotiate and propose to best counter offer.
After you have a better understanding of your supplier’s position, you can offer a lower order quantity. Negotiations can include giving the supplier a deposit for a larger order, but just producing small amounts at a time or paying a higher price per unit.
Have You Found Your Supply Partner?
Sourcing suppliers and manufacturers is a sole process, and for many, a new experience. Trying to locate suppliers that are a good fit is a critical decision for your business and aren’t always easy to find. It’s easy to get frustrated when you hit dead ends or brick walls but in most cases, it just requires a little more patience and perseverance to find the perfect key partner for your business.
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