How to find suppliers internationally

Discussion in 'International Business' started by Lauraadele18, Feb 19, 2018.

  1. Lauraadele18

    Lauraadele18 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    19 1

    I am looking at starting my own business selling fabrics online. As most things, the most cost effective way to source my products is through China or India, however how do i go about finding these companies? I have looked on Alibaba and i cannot find a suitable supplier. I am looking to buy a variety of fabrics, however the suppliers i have see so far specialise in just one area E.G cottons or faux leather whereas i want a supplier who can offer all types of fabric as then i can just have them put in 1 pallet and sent over via sea freight - if i buy of several suppliers it will cost a fortune to have them sent individually. The other problem i have when looking on Alibaba is that the MOQ are sometime quite large and as i am a startup business i will be looking to make a smaller size purchase (still around £500 worth of stock) but this is small fry to some of the suppliers on Alibaba. Can anyone help?
    Posted: Feb 19, 2018 By: Lauraadele18 Member since: Feb 19, 2018
  2. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    10,569 1,109
    Google for other companies. You sound like you want to deal with a middleman rather than a factory due to the MOQ.
    May be worth looking around outside those countries, leaving them until you can do the MOQ.

    For multiple suppliers, have you considered a freight forwarder (they receive delivery then at an agreed time / volume they ship to you in one go) or have the same shipping agent handle multiple supplier deliveries to get the items shipped to you in one go?
    Posted: Feb 19, 2018 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017

    MY OFFICE IN CHINA UKBF Big Shot Full Member

    3,757 739
    Given the value of your order, you're probably best advised to buy the fabric from a stockist in the UK.

    You will save on freight as well as any other charges and can check the stock before you buy.
    Posted: Feb 20, 2018 By: MY OFFICE IN CHINA Member since: Nov 16, 2011
  4. GraemeL

    GraemeL Pain in the neck? Full Member - Verified Business

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    Which means you will have to have stock available at all times. You will need to place more orders on your supplier before you have sold the first lot of stock. Investment in stock will be required, much more than £500.

    £500 is a very small order. The freight cost could be £250 for one pallet - is that worthwhile? As a start up you may have to accept that you have to buy locally (Leicester?) and make no money, or even make a loss, until you have built enough volume to justify buying in bigger quantities from Asian factories.

    If it was easy, everyone would be doing it.
    Posted: Feb 20, 2018 By: GraemeL Member since: Sep 7, 2011
  5. UACU

    UACU UKBF Contributor Full Member

    50 4
    Hi, you are highly recommended ali baba website
    Posted: Feb 20, 2018 By: UACU Member since: Jun 2, 2017
  6. Sophia Liang

    Sophia Liang UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    24 2
    For MOQ,you can try buy goods in stock.
    For a variety of fabrics,a middleman will will do.
    Posted: Feb 27, 2018 By: Sophia Liang Member since: Jun 15, 2017
  7. Abhishek Ramkumar

    Abhishek Ramkumar UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    1 0
    iam from india , if your palnning to start a venture with me , may be i can help,im 27 based out of mumbai in india ,would be happy to start off something new
    Posted: Mar 17, 2018 By: Abhishek Ramkumar Member since: Mar 17, 2018
  8. The Byre

    The Byre UKBF Ace Free Member

    7,665 2,981

    When I started my first real business, in order to buy from one of the main wholesalers, my first order had to be (in today's money) £10,000. And that was just for a shop, not direct from any manufacturer.

    £500 - that less than I spent on getting the clutch plate and bearing fixed on my car. £500 doesn't fill the tank on a small truck. This sounds more like a hobby than a business.
    Posted: Mar 17, 2018 By: The Byre Member since: Aug 13, 2013
  9. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    10,569 1,109
    Things are a bit different today.
    The smallest minimum order in any of my internet suppliers is £50. And some of the suppliers have no minimum applied at all.
    Did talk to one jewellery company when we first started years ago, £30k was their minimum initial order though £10k was their regular minimum.

    For a £500 order most of my suppliers will send carriage paid anywhere in the British Isles. Can get a decent amount of stuff for that.
    Posted: Mar 17, 2018 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
  10. The Byre

    The Byre UKBF Ace Free Member

    7,665 2,981
    Any new business has to start with a certain scale. A major car plant needs a few billion, a window cleaner needs a few thousand (van, ladders, equipment) and so on. Importing goods for retail also requires a certain scale if it is to get off to a good start.

    In today's world, you can start with very, very little, by importing a selling on eBay just one niche item.

    But a range of fabrics for £500???? (Import duties, shipping, VAT, forwarding?)
    Posted: Mar 17, 2018 By: The Byre Member since: Aug 13, 2013
  11. Victor Yao

    Victor Yao UKBF Newcomer Full Member

    11 0
    Even a Chinese will find it difficult to a small quantity products from a factory. Factories require MOQ is because they need many workers, machines and procedures to produce only 10 or 20 items, so they will definitely lose money in the deal. But with the same labor and time, they can produce 2000 units or 5000 units, so the cost for each unit is very small.
    Posted: Mar 21, 2018 By: Victor Yao Member since: Mar 18, 2018
  12. Chris Ashdown

    Chris Ashdown UKBF Legend Free Member

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    Fabric is normally sold my factories in Bolts and most bolts are 100 metres except very heavy thick fabrics which may be half that

    There are plenty of fabric wholesalers in the UK who will sell part bolts which is what I imagine you would require or end of runs

    If you are looking to buy childrens fabric for nightwear then consider you must have proof they meet the UK safety certification on Fire resistant, not always the case overseas
    Posted: Mar 21, 2018 By: Chris Ashdown Member since: Dec 7, 2003
  13. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    10,569 1,109
    Depends on the company.
    Some UK companies have smaller machines for doing samples and small runs on - higher per unit cost of course than a large machine production run but much easier for samples to customer specifications and variations of that item.

    A couple of the samples I've had from China in last few years have been small run stuff, the kind of products that its a waste of time trying to produce in bulk until knowing it meets customer expectation.
    Either they produced machine quality by hand or someone used a smaller machine to create the item. Maybe even subcontracted to a smaller factory.
    Posted: Mar 21, 2018 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
  14. Chris Ashdown

    Chris Ashdown UKBF Legend Free Member

    9,730 1,966
    That's now been superseded by direct to fabric printing, where plain fabric is now put through ink jet type printers to have them printed directly onto the fabric
    Posted: Mar 21, 2018 By: Chris Ashdown Member since: Dec 7, 2003
  15. Frankngai

    Frankngai UKBF Regular Free Member

    109 9
    For small order, I think you can find a fabric buyer to buy them from the existing fabric market. In China, there are lots of market that sell the stock fabric.
    Posted: Mar 26, 2018 By: Frankngai Member since: Mar 9, 2012
  16. hongfunclothing

    hongfunclothing UKBF Contributor Free Member

    48 0
    Hi, usually the fabric need moq 1 roll,about 25kg.
    If u can't find all kinds of fabric from one supplier, you can find a shipping agent to gather your fabric together from different supplier and then sent by sea freight.
    Posted: Mar 28, 2018 By: hongfunclothing Member since: Oct 16, 2014
  17. Chris Richards

    Chris Richards UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    1 0
    Hi Laura
    <removed> I orginally started looking for fabrics as you are but found there's a load of 5**4 going on out there - clothing is made in the Philippines, exported to Thailand where a "Made in Thailand" label is attached and then re-imported into the Philippines - smacks of some sort of tax scam going on. Good luck anyway
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 9, 2018
    Posted: Apr 2, 2018 By: Chris Richards Member since: Mar 31, 2018
  18. Michael Ere

    Michael Ere UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    9 0
    Hi, I have some contacts that may be useful to you. If you would like to PM me your fabric requirements I’ll see if they can provide you with what you need within your budget.
    Worth a try!
    Posted: Apr 8, 2018 By: Michael Ere Member since: Apr 8, 2018
  19. Ecowritingtablet

    Ecowritingtablet UKBF Contributor Free Member

    40 2
    you may well have to start from some wholesaler, then later buy from factories when your order is bigger. Most factories are not small friendly.
    Posted: Apr 9, 2018 By: Ecowritingtablet Member since: Mar 14, 2018
  20. Novevan

    Novevan UKBF Regular Full Member

    171 42
    You can find a sourcing agent to help you do this.
    You also can find to China fabrics wholesaler ( not manufactorer)
    Good luck!
    Posted: Apr 10, 2018 By: Novevan Member since: May 6, 2014