Finding the best supplier of sports apparel from legions of suppliers is not an easy job. Starting your search from scratch and evaluating everyone is simply what a smart person won’t do. So, the best thing to do is search on the internet with the location. For e.g., you are looking for a dealer in Australia, search with the keywords “sportswear supplier in Australia”. By doing so, you narrow down search results and get a meaningful direction to your search. Once you have shortlisted some of the dealers, the next thing you need to do is to get in touch with each one and ask for quote, meanwhile, you must evaluate them on the grounds of their services and the quality and brand of the products that they make available. Here in this post, we will tell you 10 details you need to pay attention to in the communication with targeted clothing manufacturer.

10 Tips Guide on How to Talk with Sportswear Manufacturers

If you happen to be a startup business owner or someone planning to create your own sportswear manufacturing line, you may need to know some important industry terms before reading this guide, and fortunately we have specified these in our past post, so click here to go!

1. Introduce yourself

Making a good first impression on a manufacturer is a great way to start your business interaction. Introduce yourself and your brand clearly. Give them enough details to reassure that you are a reliable client and ready to do serious business.

Outline your vision and specialities of your brand. Share as much detail as you can. If you advertise certain unique features that make your garments stand out in the market, mention them to the manufacturers so they are more careful with those details.

Also, tell them about your personal background and experience in the apparel industry. This might reflect in the way manufacturer interacts with you. If you have less experience, they will not assume you know every single tricky detail about the production process and take more time to explain to you the most important aspects of it. Whereas, if you already had some experience with clothes production, the partners will cut to the chase and use more elaborate terminology.

The money talk. If you have an urge to share your financial situation with the manufacturer on your first meeting, try to suppress that feeling. Be professional. You might have had great or not so great experiences in the past, but do not say you are on a tight budget or you doubt manufacturer’s integrity.

2. Find the right manufacturer

When explaining to a manufacturer the type of clothes you want to produce make sure to enquire about their previous experience. Have they done anything similar in the past? Try to uncover as much information as you can. Can they name some of the brands they worked with? Are there any images or links available?

Finding out that the manufacturer of your interest has never done similar orders is not a reason to drop it. Just be advised that they are figuring it out as they go, just like you do. 


3. Request a quote

Be very particular when requesting a quote. Request it for a certain number that you have in mind. Asking a quote for 10,000,000 items might raise suspicions and your account will not be seen as a serious business opportunity. Be firm with the numbers. If you are interested in a spread of quantities ask about the terms for higher or lower amounts. They might offer you a special deal for a greater production volume.

4. Adhere to the budget

Set a budget and decide how much deviation you can allow. Then ask the manufacturer if they can meet it. To ensure the overall production price does not sky rocket request a detailed breakdown. Requesting cost per unit might seem as the most straightforward way to approach this. Unfortunately, it is often impossible to calculate before the first sample is produced. In this case ask to break down the cost in groups that include different garment components (e.g. fabrics, trim, accessories, print, labour).

5. Clarify the process

To keep track of the production process, make sure you understand the steps that are involved in working with that particular manufacturer. Make note of the overall timeframe.

6. Production slots

Ask for the lead time and available production slots. Keep in mind that introducing last minute changes might result in missing the reserved slot and severely delay production. Discuss with the manufacturer the cut off date for the last minute changes and ask about the time and financial implications of neglecting it.

7. Stick to the timeline

Create a timeline and confirm the manufacturer can meet the terms. If not, ask what changes can be introduced to the process to finish within the timeframe.

8. Do not hold the samples hostage

Manufacturers require approved samples before they start. Do not plan any photoshoots with your samples if the manufacturer needs them to launch the production. If your sample production company is different from the one that does the bulk manufacturing do not forget to bring them samples in time.

9. Warranty

Depending on the payment terms you might want to sign an agreement. If you are paying in advance it is in your best interest to define the terms of production. Protect your business by establishing the deadlines and who is covering the cost in case of defects or other unforeseen events.

10. Uncover the hidden costs

Cost of garment manufacturing may or may not include charges for labelling, packaging, shipment, import or export duties. To avoid disappointment, specify this early in the process.

So that’s it, hope our blog guide you with your sportswear business grow and if you have more questions, please comment below or contact us directly, we will be happy to help.