If you are starting your own clothing line, or you run a retail clothing store; one issue you would have to deal with is sourcing of clothing materials in wholesale (either ready-made or raw clothing).
A good way to solve this problem is to import cheap clothes from China. Well, this article will teach you everything you need to know. To start with, let’s talk about the ridiculously cheap designer items you find on Chinese websites. It would do you a lot of good to avoid buying designer items at outrageously cheap rates from China because more often than not, they would be fake products.
If you expect to buy an original polo shirt for $5 in China, the best you can get is a replica or a downright fake item. So, if you are looking for cheap original designer clothing, China is not the place to look. However, you can get a lot of unique clothing items with good quality in China.
China is the number one go-to place for cheap wholesale clothing because of its low production costs. Most designers and wholesalers source their products from China and you can make a whole lot of money from importing wholesale clothing from China. Here is a guideline for importing wholesale clothing from China-:
Steps to Import Cheap Clothes from China in Wholesale
Table of Content
- 1. Find out importation rules and regulations in your country
- 2. Find out Duties and Taxes
- 3. Obtain import licenses and permit
- 4. Search for a supplier
- 5. Why not visit China if you have the resources?
- 6. Find out prices and minimum order quantity
- 7. Consider drop shipping options
- 8. Buy from different suppliers
- 9. Purchase samples
- 10. Use free shipping
- 11. Develop a personal relationship with your supplier
- 12. Figure out where to store your goods when they arrive
- 13. Involve your lawyer
- 14. Protect yourself
- 15. Sell your products and ask for reviews
1. Find out importation rules and regulations in your country
First, you need to know what the law says about importation of clothes in your country. Some countries generally prohibit importation of clothing items and doing so may lead to confiscation of your goods by customs officers.
2. Find out Duties and Taxes
Next, you should get a grip on the custom duties and importation taxes that you would have to pay on your goods when you want to clear them.
3. Obtain import licenses and permit
You should also find out what licenses and permits you would need to obtain to enable you import clothes from China.
A good place to search a wholesale supplier is Alibaba.com. There, you would find a lot of wholesalers but you have to exercise caution and conduct an extensive research and investigation before committing to a supplier because there are lots of fake suppliers there.
You should also ensure that you use the buyer protection features on Alibaba.com to protect yourself from scammers and shady suppliers. You can also make use of online directories like the white pages to search for a supplier.
5. Why not visit China if you have the resources?
The truth is that the internet is not sufficient when searching for a supplier for the first time. Nothing can compare to meeting with different suppliers, sampling the quality of their products and physical negotiation. This would save you a lot of time and resources.
6. Find out prices and minimum order quantity
You should do an extensive research to find out the different prices that each seller offers. Prices in China vary and you would be surprised to find out that a product that sells for $20 in one place may go for as low as $5 in another place. But you have to exercise care, so that you don’t end up with bad quality products. Another thing is to look out for the minimum order quantity of each supplier to be sure that you can afford it.
7. Consider drop shipping options
Drop shipping helps you save a lot of overhead costs such as storage, shipping, sorting and even employee costs. When you use drop shipping services, you would only have to worry about marketing and advertising your products and once you have an order, the supplier would ship the products directly to the buyer.
8. Buy from different suppliers
As a first timer, it is not wise to commit to only one supplier. You may want to spread out your money so that you can buy from 2-3 suppliers and when you are satisfied with a supplier’s product, you can commit to him.
9. Purchase samples
Before you go ahead to buy from a supplier, it would be wise to ask for samples so that you can weigh the quality of their products. Chinese sizes are usually smaller than uk and US sizes and sometimes clothing items bought from China are not true to size.
Also, it is difficult to judge a cloth by looking at photos. Sometimes, what is presented in the photos would be totally different from the actual product. To avoid this, it would be wiser to get samples from the supplier before going ahead to buy in wholesale quantity.
10. Use free shipping
Some suppliers offer free shipping options while some do not. It would be wiser and helpful to choose a supplier that offers free shipping so that you can cut costs.
11. Develop a personal relationship with your supplier
The best thing you can do for your Chinese importation business is to develop a personal relationship with your suppliers. Ask for their telephone numbers and Skype address so that you can talk to them on a personal level and discuss your needs with them. You would also be able to avoid scammers by doing so.
12. Figure out where to store your goods when they arrive
You might want to consider renting a warehouse or a storage space to keep your goods when they arrive.
13. Involve your lawyer
If you would be investing a lot of money in this business, it would be smart for you to seek legal help. Your lawyer would be able to draft out contracts and agreements that would be jointly signed by you and your supplier so as to protect your investments.
14. Protect yourself
Importing from China is risky business and you never know what you may get. There are risks of being scammed, risks of having your goods impounded and several other occurrences but you can protect yourself from this by obtaining insurance cover to protect your business.
15. Sell your products and ask for reviews
Look for ways to sell and distribute your goods to buyers. You can sell your clothing stuffs using online platforms like E-bay or Amazon. You could also create your own online boutique for selling your goods. Since, you won’t be the end user of your products; it’s wise to ask for reviews from your customers so that you will know how to improve.