Want to start your own activewear business? If yes, then let’s talk about one of the important steps to get started. That is on how to import wholesale custom sportswear from China, one of the largest global trade partners.
There are 6 things to consider in buying wholesale custom sportswear from China – the right supplier, their minimum order quantity, buying a sample, and the shipping cost. After, you will also need to talk with the sales team and provide feedback later on.
Let’s discuss the importance of each step in detail, and how to get a good deal.
Choose the Right Activewear Manufacturer
Visual Capitalist says China has a finger in every pie. It has connections all over the globe. So if you’re looking for a good supplier for your business, it’s best to go for Chinese manufacturers.
A common mistake aspiring business people make is choosing suppliers with the cheapest products. Although affordability is important, we should remember to consider the quality. Otherwise, we will end up spending money on poor quality.
Before anything else, make sure that your supplier is trustworthy. They should perform as expected and follow expected dates. It is also crucial that they are true to their words and are transparent with their transactions. Also, choose those who are financially stable. This assures you that they are available whenever you need them.
The best way to ensure that your supplier is reliable is to get to know them personally. If you can’t do that, then look through their customer feedback. Ask around if needed.
● Quality of active wear
Never settle for subpar quality products just because they are cheap. There are many suppliers that offer high-quality custom sportswear at reasonable prices. This way, your products will satisfy and attract more customers over time.
Another thing is to make sure that the quality is consistent. Meaning the quality does not deter after a couple of purchases, or when bought in bulk. This is very common among the best fitness clothing manufacturers, so be alert. The best way to know is to check, which will be further discussed in the Buy a Sample section.
● Value for Money
The low price does not mean greater value for money. Get the most out of your budget by knowing how much you’re willing to pay for the product. This way, suppliers can give you something that matches it.
Research is important. This prevents any risks of scams. By doing research, you will know whether the offer is good and can maximize your budget. This is because you already know how much a certain product should cost.
● Outstanding Customer Service
Look for suppliers that make sure all your needs are met. They should deliver on time and give a heads up if they can’t. The best suppliers are communicative and will often talk to you about the progress. They will also be the ones to formally ask for honest feedback and in what way they can do better.
Now, of course, this goes both ways. If you want them to be aware of how important they are for your business, then you need to tell them. Kindness also goes a long way, but never be too lenient.
As for where you can find potential suppliers, refer to this quick list from Info Entrepreneurs:
- Recommendations – Talk to friends, relatives, and acquaintances. They should be able to give you a few names and numbers you can look up.
- Trade Associations and Business Advisors – If you’re looking for a supplier for a specific industry, try to ask help from trade associations. You can also contact business advisors since they’re meant to support businesses.
- Trade Press – You can also find suppliers through trade magazines. Suppliers often use this platform to promote their services.
- Exhibitions – Last but not the least, we have exhibitions or business events. At exhibitions, you get to talk with suppliers and get to know the product they’re offering. Who knows? You might just find the one you’re looking for.
Know the Ative Wear Supplier’s Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ)
What is a minimum order quantity? ShipBob defines this as the least number of items you need to buy per purchase. For example, some suppliers will require you to buy nothing less than 500 items per transaction. As a customer, this can be a hassle but you should know this. Otherwise, you will lose money especially if the MOQ exceeds your needs.
Most suppliers practice this, but not all. For example, our company only requires our customers to buy at least one piece per purchase. We do this to promote trust and convenience for our customers.
So how do you handle low minimum productions? Here are some tips we gathered from Dear Systems.
Never be ashamed to negotiate. This is particularly effective when you personally know the supplier or it’s a slow time of the year for them. I would recommend this to those who plan to buy large quantities. Suppliers will be more considerate that way.
Although you won’t always get what you want, remember that trying is never a bad thing. Plus, negotiating will be difficult for high-demand suppliers. So if you want a good deal from them, then sometimes you have to pay more.
● Choose Legitimate Chinese Online Wholesale Markets
Find the best wholesale deals and prices at home by using Chinese Online Wholesale Markets. This is possibly the quickest and most convenient way to compare prices and find the right supplier for you. What’s better is that you can easily narrow down your options through filters.
According to the Emerge Blog, the three biggest online wholesale markets in China are the following:
- Alibaba – Alibaba is the leading wholesale market in China. It was launched in 1999 and served as the best platform for small and medium businesses. It is also the largest China-based online wholesale market globally.
- Global Sources – Global Sources is the leading Chinese business-to-business media company. It is based in Hong Kong and has more than 1 million buyers globally. At Global Sources, you can find 95 out of the 100 best retailers worldwide.
- Made-in-China.com – Made-in-China.com is great when it comes to trends. It provides you with up-to-date Chinese products and connects you with Chinese suppliers. It is a complete platform where you can find everything you need to start your custom sportswear business.
There’s a reason why online wholesale markets are trending worldwide. Here, you can find everything you need in one place. Just run a quick search, add-to-cart, checkout, and you’re ready to go!
● Purchase from Traders
I would recommend this for those who want to buy in small quantities. Trading companies gather orders from different people before they order from the supplier. Here, you won’t have trouble reaching MOQs and you don’t have to pay full price. One disadvantage is that you need to wait longer than usual. You need to wait for other buyers after all.
With Jinjiang Changda Garments Co., this will be the least of your worries. Our own factory and warehouse are sure to cater to everything you need. Hence, you can enjoy speedy and convenient services with a minimum purchase of only one item and short waiting times. From logo printing to production, consider it all done!
Assuming you’ve already chosen a supplier, the next step is to buy a sample. Product samples are samples of a product given to the potential buyer for free for evaluation. Most manufacturers will allow you to buy a sample with the brand logo for you to check first.
There are several types of product samples, but for now, let’s focus on custom sportswear.
Why are Product Samples Important?
Product samples assure you that what you see is what you get. Beyond that, you can also test out the reliability of the supplier and prove your intention.
To help, we’ve rounded up three reasons why you should buy a sample:
● Quality Check
First, you have to make sure that the product you plan to buy is as good as it is advertised. You don’t want to end up buying something far from what you expected. That is a waste of time, money, and energy. Trusting what your supplier says is not enough. They will always say their product is good because it’s business.
The best way to make sure is to check it yourself. From the material and size to the style, everything should be on point. Asking for a sample is smart and practical. Plus, by experiencing it first-hand, you will know if your customers will like it or not. The quality should be as good as its looks.
● Activewear Supplier Assessment
If the product is as good as the activewear supplier says it is, that proves that they’re trustworthy. By buying samples you will also know their process, speed, and how well they package their products. All of these reflect their overall competence.
● Clear Intention
Asking for a product sample tells the gym wear supplier that you’re serious. Hence, they will do their best to impress you. Vendors deal with a lot of inquiries daily, but few push through. So, asking for samples can assure them that you will buy their product if you like them.
Make sure to be as specific as possible when requesting samples. If you can’t speak Chinese, a translator or a Chinese-speaking friend is helpful.
Here are some quick tips on how to request samples:
- Ask for the exact specifications and be very detailed. Show diagrams or pictures if needed.
- Ask for a product sample.
- Communicate your purpose and the quality tests you will do.
- Ask the supplier to label the package as ‘of no commercial value’ for less fees
- Ask about the process, timeframes, and expected time of arrival
- Ask for confirmation to make sure the supplier understood your instruction
- Ask for photos and videos of the product before shipment so you know that you’re getting the correct product.
One thing you should know is that payment for samples can differ from regular products. In this case, you are asking for something that is custom-made. So, expect that the price may change depending on the complexity and other factors.
The cost of shipping by sea and air is inconsistent. Plus, the cost may differ depending on your location. Knowing the exact shipping cost is important as this will be included in your budget as well.
According to Easy Ship, there are three factors that affect that shipping cost:
- Handling – cost of moving your package
- Shipping – cost of transferring your package from the sender to the receiver
- Packaging – tools and materials used to secure your items
If you’re using online wholesale markets like Alibaba, then the shipping cost is usually shown during checkout. However, if you’re dealing with a supplier directly then you have to talk about shipping costs. We recommend you do prior research as well so you know when your supplier is overpricing.
If you’re ready, you can now speak to the fitness apparel supplier’s salesperson to discuss your order. You communicate all your needs during this stage and target deadlines. You should also hear out their side and how long it will take them to ship your orders.
According to Intrepid Sourcing, it takes at least 4-6 weeks to complete a custom clothing order with an existing design or simple logo prints. It may take longer depending on the number of items, complexity, and size variety. Without a design, it could take up to 2 months from the designing process to the production.
Nobody can say for sure how long the production would take other than your gym wear supplier themselves. So be sure to communicate well to avoid future issues.
Here are the things to discuss with the sales team:
- Logo printing
- Clothing packaging
- Shipping cost
- Production and Shipping timeframes
- Expected dates
- Product specifications (design, sizes, fabric, etc.)
- Payment methods
Last but not the least, give proper feedback. Regardless of the experience was good or bad, always give feedback. Some wholesale athletic wear suppliers will ask you about it themselves, while others have a feedback section on their websites. Be detailed as well, and talk about the suppliers’ strengths and weaknesses. This way, the sportswear manufacturer will get motivated to do better for the following orders.
Customer suggestions are also great. These will help suppliers identify their lapses better and find a way to fill them in.
A business thrives if managed smartly. To successfully import wholesale custom sportswear for your business, first look for a reliable supplier. Know their minimum order quantities, shipping costs, and assess their competence by buying a sample. If they do well, then communicate your goals and needs to the sales team and settle on dates and prices. Lastly, always give feedback and suggestions to keep up your supplier’s drive to do better.