How to find a supplier
One of the first problems that those who are going to open a retail store have to solve is finding a supplier. This article will tell you where and how to find a clothing supplier to make your business profitable.
!“Ours” or “strangers”
Those who start a business from scratch have two options: contact manufacturers or importers who are residents of the Russian Federation, or independently establish relations with foreign companies. The latter option is suitable for those who intend to purchase goods in large volumes and have significant start-up capital.
Suppose you are going to work with companies-residents of the Russian Federation. The supplier can be:
Most retail stores prefer to work with companies that manufacture and distribute wholesale goods themselves, such as children’s clothing. The advantages of this approach are the possibility of long-term planning of their activities, since the manufacturing companies have stable and low prices and the staff rarely changes.
The disadvantages include a large minimum volume of purchases, seasonal and shipment delays due to production problems, a narrow range of wardrobe items, and in some cases territorial remoteness, which increases the time and cost of delivery.
- Wholesale supplier
In this capacity are companies that do not produce goods themselves, but buy them at discounts from manufacturers in large quantities. This allows them to offer clothing at a small premium. Wholesalers also include dealers, i.e. companies representing a manufacturer (brand) in a particular region.
The advantages of contacting wholesalers include:
- a wide range of goods;
- fast shipment;
- convenient location;
- minimum purchase volumes.
If you decide to work with a wholesale supplier, be prepared for the fact that they have an unstable pricing policy. First of all, this applies to imports, since its value depends on various factors, including currency fluctuations. In addition, the assortment offered by wholesalers is variable, as is the staff.
- Trade and production companies (TPK)
This option is an alternative to both of the previous ones. TPKs are created when a manufacturer has expanded its assortment to include other products, or if a wholesale company begins to engage in the production of goods.
The main advantage of cooperation with TPK is the ability to get the order to the minimum purchase volume, since in addition to the main one there is a wholesale assortment.
Those who have been in the retail clothing business for a long time recommend looking for wholesale suppliers at trade shows.
Such events are mainly held in Moscow, St. Petersburg and other large cities. In the exhibition pavilions, you can find several suppliers at once, as they come there in order to attract customers. At the same time, you will have practically no costs. To participate in the exhibition, buyers order free tickets through the exhibition website. This only applies to those who do not have to travel far. Indeed, for example, a business trip to the capital for 2-3 days will not be cheap, but in any case, the cost of the trip will pay off, since:
- suppliers are trying to conclude as many deals as possible and are ready to offer their products with great discounts;
- mostly reliable companies participate in exhibitions;
- you get the opportunity to get acquainted with the product, make sure of its quality and communicate directly with the management.
If you are looking for suppliers of children’s clothing, then, for example, the annual September exhibition “World of Childhood”, which takes place in the capital, would be a good place to make deals.
!Study the range of competitors
If you are pondering where to find clothing suppliers, keep an eye on the range of competitors. Finding out who is supplying goods to competitors is difficult. However, this information can be helpful, especially if you use this method as an add-on.
!How to find a supplier through the World Wide Web
This is an easy but unreliable method, as you cannot really assess the quality of the product and the degree of reliability of the supplier. A trial batch is usually ordered. This option allows you to make sure the quality of the product with minimal risk to your budget. It is advised not to act online, and before placing an order, personally communicate with the supplier by phone, ask all your questions regarding possible cooperation, and ask to send a price list for review.
!How to find a supplier from China directly
Looking for clothing suppliers from abroad? It is best to shop in China, where it is easy to find goods at a low price, on sites such as the English-speaking Alibaba and Made-in-China, as well as the Russian-speaking Aliexpress and Taobao. These are quite risky options, since you do not know what quality clothes will be delivered to you. On these sites, you will make purchases in bulk quantities far from first-hand, and therefore not at the best price.
The second option, how to find a good supplier, is to contact intermediaries. In this case, you will significantly reduce your risks, but you will receive the goods with a significant mark-up.
The third option is to find a supplier in China, go yourself, for example, to the Canton Fair in Guangzhou, in which thousands of Chinese clothing manufacturers participate. You can also meet wholesalers there.
Working with a wholesale supplier of clothing to sell has its benefits. They agree to supply goods in size range even in small quantities. The main disadvantage is the price, which will be more expensive than that of the manufacturer.
Purchasing goods directly from the manufacturer has another plus. You can conduct marketing research and order to make the clothes that you need. In this case, you will have to invest in the business an amount of $ 500,000 and more. For a smaller budget, contact wholesalers and contact small factories directly.
- Do not limit your search for wholesalers or manufacturers to purchase goods only in your region. Modern transport companies provide services at low cost and offer various delivery options, including multimodal.
- Don’t buy low-quality goods just for the sake of a low price. You run the risk of wasting your money because you cannot realize it.
- At the first stage, limit yourself to 1-2 suppliers. Preference should be given to wholesalers with high turnover and work experience.
Now you know how to find suppliers of children’s clothing or adult wardrobe items in Russia or abroad. Be careful, think over your every step and establish long-term partnerships with trusted suppliers! We hope these tips will help you build a successful retail business.