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How to find suppliers internationally

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

  1. Lauraadele18

    Lauraadele18 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    Posts: 2 Likes: 0

    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

    Posts: 5,754 Likes: 583
    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

    Posts: 3,645 Likes: 718
    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

    Posts: 4,832 Likes: 1,023
    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

    Posts: 42 Likes: 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

    Posts: 24 Likes: 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

    Posts: 1 Likes: 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 at 11:30 AM By: Abhishek Ramkumar Member since: Mar 17, 2018
  8. The Byre

    The Byre UKBF Ace Free Member

    Posts: 6,498 Likes: 2,549

    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 at 12:02 PM By: The Byre Member since: Aug 13, 2013
  9. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    Posts: 5,754 Likes: 583
    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 at 12:30 PM By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
  10. The Byre

    The Byre UKBF Ace Free Member

    Posts: 6,498 Likes: 2,549
    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 at 1:01 PM By: The Byre Member since: Aug 13, 2013