Selling clothes online is one of the most popular business models for ecommerce entrepreneurs. There are plenty of
Of course, selling clothes online is also a highly competitive market. But there is enough room for niche and custom clothing items, so it’s still a viable model. Selling stylish or comfortable clothing will almost always draw in sales.
But, for startups and established businesses alike, working with a clothing manufacturer is a necessity of the job. The details of this aspect of the business are often overlooked by entrepreneurs launching a new online clothing store.
There is a lot that goes into choosing the right clothing supplier for your business. Simply determining whether or not you should work with a clothing supplier is often the first step. Once that problem is solved, research is often needed to find the right clothing manufacturers for the job.
Want to learn more? This guide will walk you through everything you should know about choosing a clothing supplier for your online business.
Why Do I Need to Work With a Clothing Manufacturer?
First, let’s briefly look into the services provided by clothing manufacturers. Most online clothing stores, especially startups, don’t have the means to produce enough clothing to satisfy demand. Manufacturing clothes requires a team of manufacturers with plenty of industrial equipment. A clothing manufacturer makes it possible for small businesses and entrepreneurs to have enough inventory to meet their business demands.
The way it works is relatively straightforward. Typically, the store owner buys products in bulk from a wholesale clothing manufacturer. The manufacturer then delivers the products to the business. Depending on the type of product, the clothing store can apply custom designs or other finishing touches to the clothing. Or, they can sell it as is. Exactly what you do with the clothing shipment depends on your specific business model.
By outsourcing manufacturing, clothing sellers can focus on all other aspects of their business. This includes branding, marketing, customer service, and operating their store, whether online or
Of course, the process of choosing a clothing manufacturer is not without its own considerations. Next, we will look at some of the most important factors to consider when choosing a clothing supplier.
Factors to Consider When Searching Clothing Manufacturers
First and foremost, what are you selling? Do you plan to sell generic items, custom items, or specific niche items? Clothes and fabric manufacturers and suppliers can all provide different types of goods to businesses around the world. But not all clothing manufacturing companies offer the same inventory.
Search around for different suppliers to find a few that meet your needs. Once you have a short list of viable options, you can start considering other essential factors.
Storage and shipping
Buying in bulk from wholesale clothing manufacturers can be convenient and
If you run your online store through Amazon, you can also use Fulfillment by Amazon. This allows you to take full advantage of the ecommerce giant’s shipping and warehousing infrastructure.
But for those who will be handling these matters on their own, storage can sometimes be an issue. Clothing is relatively easy to transport and store because it is both compact and lightweight. But, buying anything in bulk comes with storage needs. If you run your business out of your home, this can be especially difficult.
Price points and profit margins
When you buy from a manufacturer in any industry, you need to consider the resale price points of your inventory. In other words, how much can you sell your products to make enough profits to justify the labor? Higher quality items can be sold at a higher price point, but will also cost more upfront for you.
It’s crucial to consider these points when deciding on which clothing manufacturer you work with. Shipping costs should also be factored into this equation.
Lastly, not all clothing manufacturers deliver the same quality. Some might be less consistent than others. Others may specialize in making very
Domestic vs. International Clothing Suppliers
Another important distinction to consider is the one between domestic and international clothing manufacturers. By domestic, we mean manufacturers based in North America. International clothing suppliers can be based anywhere else in the world. However, the primary regions for international clothing suppliers for American businesses are in Asia. Namely, China, Taiwan, and other Southeast Asian nations.
Some of the most prominent wholesale businesses in the world operate out of China. The most
But, as always, there are some pros and cons to weigh when choosing between domestic or international suppliers.
Domestic clothing supplier pros and cons
The most obvious benefit of working with a domestic clothing supplier is that their shipping costs tend to be lower. This is simply because it is less costly to ship things within the U.S. than it is to ship things across the world. Likewise, shipping speeds tend to be much faster with domestic clothing suppliers.
The only major downside of working with domestic manufacturers is that their inventory may be more limited. This is not a problem for some businesses. However, if you are looking for custom clothing suppliers or niche items, it may be harder to find the right products with domestic suppliers.
International clothing supplier pros and cons
Contrary to domestic suppliers, many of the largest international clothing manufacturers have unbeatable inventories. That makes some international wholesalers ideal clothing manufacturers for startups.
But, simply due to geography, most international clothing manufacturers can’t compete with domestic suppliers in terms of shipping. Shipping can be more costly when buying products from Asia, and shipping times can also vary greatly.
Clothing Suppliers For Your Business Type
Another factor that should not be overlooked in choosing a clothing supplier is what type of business you are running.
For instance, private label clothing manufacturers allow retailers to put their own custom branding on products they did not manufacture. This works exceptionally well if you’re trying to establish a unique clothing brand, but don’t have the means to handle manufacturing. In this case, finding a
But other companies will have different needs. For example, custom clothing manufacturers are a necessity if you have a
Whatever type of business you run, be sure to consider the unique goals and needs of your business when selecting a clothing supplier.
How to Find a Clothing Suppliers For Your Business
Now that you know more about clothing manufacturers, you may still be wondering how to find a clothing manufacturer that meets all of your needs. This may take a bit of work, but the process itself is relatively straightforward.
The best place to start is with a simple Google search. Looking up clothing suppliers for startups can provide plenty of good resources for beginning your search.
You might also use a manufacturer directory to perform a more focused search. Maker’s Row is a great resource for searching through
The most important thing to keep in mind when searching for clothes and fabric manufacturers and suppliers is to focus on your unique needs. Read online reviews of different manufacturing companies to get an idea of their product quality and customer service. You should also filter your searches on manufacturers’ websites to make sure they can meet all of your inventory needs.
In the end, you will have several good options to choose from. Your decision will ultimately come down to personal preference and
Want to learn more about opening your own online clothing store? Read Ecwid’s straightforward guide on how to create an online clothing store.
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