China and Australia have been the biggest trading partner with Australia providing China’s great demand for iron ore, liquefied natural gas and coal. China in turn has helped Australia avoid the ever worst effects brought about by the economic collapsed. Together both countries have considerably grown in their relationship for many years with bilateral trade reaching billions of Australian dollars. It is with this premise that Australian companies have steadily imported products from China. Most of the imported goods were in line of:
- prams and sporting items
- telecommunications equipment/parts
How to Start a Clothing Line Using Products from Chinese Suppliers
When Australian clothing companies consider getting products from mainland China, there are certain areas that need to be done for the startup as follows:
- Consider what potential products you would like to venture in? If it is in the line of clothing, then evaluate if the clothing pieces are feasible, marketable and profitable based on the projected investment.
- Make a shortlist of at least three favored clothing styles; identify the market and the quantity you will order as a start. Here are your options:
- Baby Clothing
- Children’s Clothing
- Junior Apparel
- Women’s Clothing
- Special Occasions
- Plus Size Apparel
- Western Clothing
- Winter Clothing
- Career & Formal
- Contemporary Apparel
- Jeans & Denim Apparel
- Men’s Clothing
- Set up a label for your products.
- Identify potential Chinese suppliers suitable for your product line
- Get samples and test pieces.
- Negotiate for lower quantities at first in order to evaluate the market.
- Get samples of their products to appraise the quality.
- Once you have decided that they have met your own set standards in quality and in the terms and condition; digitize your initial creation by getting services from pattern makers that has the knowledge in this area.
- Protect your label and design from theft through patents.
- Start negotiating your clothing order and continue on areas of improving the quality of your clothing line and only pay for those that pass your standards.
- Launch your clothing line in the market.
- Evaluate profitability based on each shipment.
Identifying the Right Chinese Suppliers
Among the start –up activities, it is in getting the right Chinese suppliers that needs more focus as the import business is basically dependent on its success. Doing Google search for suppliers will give you tons of business names but take some attention because most of these so called suppliers are either scam or middlemen who will likely want to cut down your projected profits. Here are ways of identifying the best supplier for your products:
- Consider what you need, in this case you want a supplier for your clothing.
- Understand what you need, do you want a big corporation or a family own one. Do you want a 3rd party that has in-house capability for product development or a buy and sell 3rd party?
- Trim down your choices through initial internet search. Then create a summary as a record with the names, addresses, telephone numbers, email address, contact persons, business scope and scale, other pertinent information.
- Find related information about these suppliers using search engines. Ideally stick to the first 100 results since these are the most relevant sites for your particular product.
- Use websites containing business directory in China. This will give you a more structured set of information appropriate for your needs.
- Start contacting suppliers from your choices and develop a relationship with them while getting all the right information to be added to your present record.
If at this point you are still not confident of the knowledge you have already gained to start importing, then learn more through trainings and seminar programs related to this. It is also best if you will learn the basic rules and regulations in importing particularly those that are related to customs. Remember this business will be best if it strictly follow the legal processes.
Getting the best Chinese suppliers is the key to a prosperous importing business, so ideally more focus should be made in this area. Let your relationship with your supplier grow incorporating trust and reliability in all aspects. Let them feel that your success will likewise be there’s too and vice versa. Remember, it always takes two to tango and you and your supplier can dance to the beat of a successful venture through a good relationship ahead.