5 Top Questions to Ask a Clothing Manufacturer Before You Begin

How to find a clothing manufacturer? - This is an open secret. You search with right keyword in google (or your preferred search engine) and a whole list of clothing manufacturers comes in result. You possibly shortlist first few names and you think your job is done!
This post wishes to correct the way you have shortlisted. Good Clothing Factory get bombarded with emails asking so many questions all the time. Now a days, lack of manufacturer’s response has been a common complaint especially from start up or ecommerce clothing line owners.
In order to establish a healthy communication and take your approach seriously, your questions have to be mature enough so that a serious clothing manufacturer can take you seriously and pay full attention towards your project.
Before you shortlist the prospective company whom you begin your clothing line, you first need to be sure whether that company is a -
  • Private Label Clothing Manufacturer whom you give your design and they deliver finished product based on your design and specification (size, fitment, fabric and quantity) putting your custom label (main label, size label, wash care label, tag etc) on it.
  • Supplier who may also be a manufacturer, or/and
  • Supplier who is not the manufacturer but have the stock of already manufactured garments with no label or unknown label on it. Here you choose their pre-manufactured garments and your own label on it.
This blog post assumes that you need a private label clothing manufacturer. If your answer is YES, then you may have millions of questions in your mind before you begin. But here are a few first set of questions and the answers to these questions should be the base behind you make your decision whether you should begin or not :
  1. What is your minimum order quantity?
Minimum order quantity can also be referred as MOQ. You actually should make sure whether you can afford them for your clothing line or not. It’s very important to ask upfront with your shortlisted company because MOQ becomes critical at both yours as well as manufacturer level. Manufacturer prepares the quotation based on MOQ only and if you change your quantity the cost per unit may be changed by your manufacturer. Hence it is always advisable to be sure about the minimums.
  1. What is your sample pricing? -
There is no free lunch! And you should be aware about this always. As a marketing strategy lot of clothing manufacturer initially may offer you FREE sampling. But later they will cover the cost from several hidden ways. Hence you should trust with one who have clarity on this right at the beginning.
Sampling price sometime various due to style detailing and raw material to be used for that. Hence do not underestimate if someone offer you cheap pricing for sampling.
Through sampling all you need to be sure about the quality output, manufacturing ability and physical appearance of your design before you go for full order. Hence sampling is always recommended and this should be your second most important question!
  1. What is your production pricing?
For private label clothing manufacturer, calculating the production pricing is not easy always. They may require quite a few additional details concerning your custom design and specification as well as quantity. Hence this question requires bit of preparation at your end but this is very good if you initiate the conversation on production pricing as well. It brings a level of seriousness in the sense that you are not seeking just for sampling, but committed for full length of business starting from sampling to production. It turns the attention!
  1. What is your turnaround time?
Do not get impressed with shorter turnaround time! Certainly time is very important for both the manufacturer and for your business. But it is always advisable to be sure how long it will take to produce your order so that you can plan accordingly for rest of the work.
  1. What are your payment terms?
Many custom clothing manufacturers do require full order upfront deposit from new business. You need to be ensure this and if possible do the negotiation. The answer of this question will keep your cash-flow in good condition.
This is highly recommended to read the FAQ (frequently asked questions) of your prospective clothing manufacturer if they have it on their website.

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