To start a clothing brand, you have to choose a supplier first. One of the options that you might be considering is importing your items from another country. It’s a desirable option for business owners since overseas suppliers might have lower prices per unit or product. But is it really for your business? To help you understand more about choosing a suitable supplier for your brand, we will discuss the kinds of suppliers that you might encounter, the benefits of getting suppliers overseas and domestically, as well as the ways on how you can find a supplier easily through this article. So keep reading!
Identify What Your Business Needs
Before you find someone to supply your clothing brand, you have to identify what kind of supplier your business needs. Are you looking for a manufacturer? Or a drop shipper? You can use any of these choices for your clothing brand, but you should be aware of what they can offer before deciding. If it’s your first time in the clothing business, it can be confusing when you encounter these two choices, but you have to be knowledgeable about them to avoid any mistakes or inconveniences.
• What Is A Manufacturer?
If you want to offer something new and unique to your target market, then getting it manufactured might be the best option for you. As a designer or as a business owner of clothing business, you must be aware that the competition in this industry is very tight. You need to stand out from the massive crowd of fellow business owners. That is why some people try to produce their designs and styles. If you are planning to do this, then a manufacturer can help you create your products. They will make your visions or designs come to life. Be sure to approach a potential manufacturer the right way, and for this, a reading up on how to talk to clothing manufacturers might come in handy.
• What Is Dropshipping?
Dropshipping is a new and popular way of supplying a business these days. You might notice that there are a lot of clothing stores today that have the same designs. You may ask, why? Well, because they are doing dropshipping instead of getting their designs manufactured.
Drop shipping allows business owners to sell items that they don’t have on hand. If you want to use drop shipping for your business, you’ll have to accept orders from your customers and then send it to your dropshipping partner, who has the items. The next step requires them to ship the products to the customer. In simple terms, you can fulfill your client’s orders without having to handle the items yourself. But remember, your customers will still receive the products as if they are from you. So choose a reliable drop shipping partner.
These kinds of suppliers each have their pros and cons. If you choose a manufacturer, you’ll have the freedom to have your designs made. Doing so will preserve your brand’s identity and show customers that you are providing them with something unique. Meanwhile, a drop shipping allows you to offer a more extensive selection of items to the customers. For some, it is also an easier way of selling since you don’t need to have an actual inventory before you can start the business.
Should You Partner With Domestic Or Overseas Suppliers?
Just like the case between manufacturers and drop shippers, choosing whether to have your products made domestically or overseas also requires careful evaluation. There are benefits and disadvantages that you need to consider.
If you source your products domestically, it would be easier to negotiate and deal with your supplier because there is no language barrier. You will be able to communicate effectively and properly how you want your products to turn out, the suggestions that you might have, and if you have some other concerns regarding the supplies.
It’s also a lot easier to ship the products. You won’t have to wait long to receive the supplies. Aside from these, it’ll be easier for you to verify the reputation of the supplier since they are from the same country.
However, there are also some disadvantages that you might encounter if you decide to get supplies domestically. You might have to deal with higher manufacturing costs and fewer product choices compared to sourcing overseas.
If you are planning on getting supplies from overseas, then you will be able to get cheaper manufacturing costs. Doing so would allow you to sell your items cheaper and give better offers to your customers. And since you are planning to get overseas suppliers, you will be able to choose from a large number of suppliers.
Business owners who choose overseas suppliers might struggle with communicating their preferences and concerns to the suppliers because of the language barrier. This barrier might be the deal breaker for some people since communication is essential when doing business especially if you are planning to get your designs manufactured.
Another difficulty that you might face when partnering with overseas suppliers is the long shipping time. It’s also hard to verify the reputation of the supplier because it would take a lot of effort to visit the supplier’s site.
But most importantly, you’ll have to comply with the importation rules in your country as well as secure a customs clearance for your products. Keep this in mind to avoid any problems in your business.
How to Start Looking For the Right Supplier
Today, there are a bunch of online directories that you can browse. You’ll find profiles of various suppliers that operate locally and in other countries. Some examples of these online directories are ThomasNet and Oberlo.
Yes! It’s perfectly okay to import supplies from other countries for your clothing business. It might even be a good choice since the costs are usually cheaper than what domestic suppliers can offer. However, you should be prepared to face the challenges of importing goods to your country.