Need advice on importing clothing from China.

Discussion in 'Ecommerce Forum' started by Ceaton, Aug 13, 2017.

  1. Ceaton

    Ceaton UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    19 0
    Hello, I want to start buying clothing from China and selling it with my own designs on. I'm not sure how to go about doing it though.
    Could someone maybe give me a step by step guide and what to do?
    Will I have to legally register myself as a sole trader?
    Do I need some sort of licence?

    Advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks
     
    Posted: Aug 13, 2017 By: Ceaton Member since: Mar 26, 2015
    #1
  2. MY OFFICE IN CHINA

    MY OFFICE IN CHINA UKBF Big Shot Full Member

    4,235 853
    Hi Ceaton

    If you are planning on selling as a business with your own designs and buying from China, I would suggest to do the following:

    1. Register as self employed.

    2. Secure a domain name.

    3. Get your own website (simple, but functional ) & research platforms to sell directly on. (Etsy, NOTHS will be good for your products).

    4. Research the market for potential competitors and pricing.

    5. Register your designs.

    6. Design and have your logo ready.

    7. Understand the fabrics you will be using.

    8. Get 10 quotes for your clothing with your required branding from several companies in the UK, as well as other countries. It's important to note that most suppliers will have minimum order requirements.

    9. Request samples from a shortlist of 3. (Don't provide your original designs at this stage)

    10. Compare prices, quality, printing and communication with the 3 suppliers and choose the one that ticks most/all of your requirements.

    11. Understand the order processes involved, whether you decide to buy from a UK or overseas supplier.

    12. Request a sample and negotiate a price, to include everything (product, packaging & labelling).

    13. Tell the suppliers that your designs are registered (easily done) and get them to sign an agreement that they will not show, print, or supply your designs to a 3rd party.

    14. Confirm the sample to the standards you require. note any amendments that are needed.

    15. When you are happy with the sample, proceed to an order, after agreeing all the details, including payment terms.

    16. Ensure you inspect the products before you make any final payment.

    17. If you decide to buy from outside of the EU, then you will need to register for an EORI number (easily done) when your shipment has been booked for delivery.

    18. Don't order more than you will need, the smaller the quantity your supplier will agree to, the better.

    19. Select the size breakdown that best meets your target audience for your first order.

    20. Don't overestimate your sales during the first year and ensure you have sufficient funds for all the above, including marketing and your working/living expenses.

    I wouldn't advise buying from China during this early stage of your business.

    When you feel you can start to order 300pcs (minimum) per colour/design, then at that point consider China.

    If you need any further advice or assistance, feel free to contact me via the website below.

    I'd be happy to help you get your business off the ground.

    Best of luck with your project.

    Ron
     
    Posted: Aug 14, 2017 By: MY OFFICE IN CHINA Member since: Nov 16, 2011
    #2
  3. Ceaton

    Ceaton UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    19 0
    Hi Ron.

    I'm so grateful for your helpful step by step guide. I will follow this plan now and make my business.

    With step number 1. Register as self employed, what tax should i go with?
    • Corporation Tax
    • Self Assessment (including Class 2 National Insurance contributions)
    • PAYE for Employers
    • VAT


     
    Posted: Aug 14, 2017 By: Ceaton Member since: Mar 26, 2015
    #3
  4. MY OFFICE IN CHINA

    MY OFFICE IN CHINA UKBF Big Shot Full Member

    4,235 853
    Hi Ceaton

    Leave registering as self employed for the moment, (Although I listed it as point 1, it was just to answer your specific question in your opening post).

    There's a lot of groundwork you need to do, before deciding that this is going to be a viable business for you. At that point you can register as self employed when you start selling. Keep all receipts for anything bought for the business.

    When you decide to register, get advice from an accountant (plenty on here for free basic advice).

    Good luck.
     
    Posted: Aug 14, 2017 By: MY OFFICE IN CHINA Member since: Nov 16, 2011
    #4
  5. Ceaton

    Ceaton UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    19 0
    Okay Ron, I am about to purchase a domain, should I leave this till later also?

    What do you mean by groundwork, and how would I go about it?

    It all seems very complicated to start up a business maybe I was underestimating it.

    What is the first move I should take, so far I have got a logo and a name ready, I also have a domain in the checkout cart on GoDaddy.

    Thank you.
     
    Posted: Aug 14, 2017 By: Ceaton Member since: Mar 26, 2015
    #5
  6. MY OFFICE IN CHINA

    MY OFFICE IN CHINA UKBF Big Shot Full Member

    4,235 853
    Domain is fine to purchase (should be cheap and make sure you have the .co.uk and also .com). Think carefully on your chosen domain to ensure it will reflect on any future products you decide to sell. Shop for the cheapest price and don't get any add ons at this point.

    Groundwork: All the other points I mentioned in my first post, start with products, prices, competition, platforms to sell on and research competitors.
     
    Posted: Aug 14, 2017 By: MY OFFICE IN CHINA Member since: Nov 16, 2011
    #6
  7. The Byre

    The Byre UKBF Ace Free Member

    8,635 3,353
    There are other countries on Planet Earth that also manufacture clothing. I suggest you attend a few trade fairs and look at all the possibilities, before leaping headfirst into the pool!
     
    Posted: Aug 14, 2017 By: The Byre Member since: Aug 13, 2013
    #7
  8. Ceaton

    Ceaton UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    19 0
    Okay Ron you're very helpful thank you!
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2017
    Posted: Aug 14, 2017 By: Ceaton Member since: Mar 26, 2015
    #8
  9. Ceaton

    Ceaton UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    19 0
    Thanks for your input i appreciate it! Do you suggest any in particular, and is there any coming up soon?
    Thanks
     
    Posted: Aug 14, 2017 By: Ceaton Member since: Mar 26, 2015
    #9
  10. The Byre

    The Byre UKBF Ace Free Member

    8,635 3,353
    http://tofairs.com/fairs.php?fld=&rg=1&cnt=&cty=&sct=110

    You could spend the rest of your life, just going from trade fair to trade fair for clothing, with no rest days in between!

    But the one that is geared to Asian imports is Asia Apparel Expo in Berlin (Feb 22 - 24)

    https://www.asiaapparelexpo.com/en-info-information.php

    Plenty of cheap flights available to Berlin and public transport is cheap and good and getting a hotel is fairly cheap and easy. Berlin is a funky, crazy city, well worth a few days visit!
     
    Posted: Aug 14, 2017 By: The Byre Member since: Aug 13, 2013
    #10
  11. MY OFFICE IN CHINA

    MY OFFICE IN CHINA UKBF Big Shot Full Member

    4,235 853
    Berlin - Do a half day bus sightseeing tour. Great way to see the city and all it's highlights. Sit on the top deck and wrap up WARM! Great funky hotels & reasonable rates.

    Turkey, Portugal, Morocco are all good places to buy cotton based clothing from, but the essential ingredient is to work with a company/agent that fully understands your requirements and can deliver the end result.

    China, Vietnam, Thailand and new kid on the block, Myanmar are the best of the bunch in Asia.

    If the design is your focal point, just buy plain t shirts and use a local printer (Leicester is full of them) to print your work.

    Start small, grow organically.
     
    Posted: Aug 14, 2017 By: MY OFFICE IN CHINA Member since: Nov 16, 2011
    #11
  12. Ceaton

    Ceaton UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    19 0
    Okay great I will check them out!

    I am looking specifically at sports clothing so the material would have to contain spandex, i have seen many decent looking products on Alibaba but i know i need to sample and find the best option.
     
    Posted: Aug 15, 2017 By: Ceaton Member since: Mar 26, 2015
    #12
  13. MY OFFICE IN CHINA

    MY OFFICE IN CHINA UKBF Big Shot Full Member

    4,235 853
    We produce gym & sports clothing to your designs, branding, labelling, tags & packaging

    The fabric we use is 95% Cotton 5% Spandex.

    Minimum quantity must be 300pcs per colour.

    Feel free to enquire.

    Ron
     
    Posted: Aug 15, 2017 By: MY OFFICE IN CHINA Member since: Nov 16, 2011
    #13
  14. Ceaton

    Ceaton UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    19 0
    Really?
    Its worth an enquire guess. 300 would probably be too much to begin with though right?

    Where can I have a look at your product?

    Thanks
     
    Posted: Aug 16, 2017 By: Ceaton Member since: Mar 26, 2015
    #14
  15. MY OFFICE IN CHINA

    MY OFFICE IN CHINA UKBF Big Shot Full Member

    4,235 853
    Yes

    That's for you to decide, as I don't know your marketing plan & budget. However, given your opening post, I would say yes, you are not at this stage yet.

    We make according to your own specifications. We don't show designs we produce for others.

    Confidentiality is important to our customers.
     
    Posted: Aug 16, 2017 By: MY OFFICE IN CHINA Member since: Nov 16, 2011
    #15
  16. deepvyas

    deepvyas UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    18 1
    Hi Ceaton,
    If you need any help setting up your online store
    I can help you out with the backend as well as frontend
    The store you are looking forward are dropshipping website we can import products from Aliwebstore, amazon through Oberlo app.

    Please let me know, if you need any help

    Thanks
    Deep
     
    Posted: Aug 16, 2017 By: deepvyas Member since: Jul 10, 2017
    #16
  17. Chris Ashdown

    Chris Ashdown UKBF Legend Free Member

    10,326 2,096
    Look up dates on the NEC and London Excell for trade shows that are likely to include the type of garments you want to buy most stands will be sellers of garments but also a fair number of manufacturers

    Search Google for any magazines that relate to your product like sports clothing magazines, they will have a large number of new garments on display but at the back a list of makers and other suppliers to the industry

    Research the product first then make a business plan to see if you can generate a good profit from the plan. Never overestimate how hard it is to get sales and how long it takes to get them especially in the start up two years
     
    Posted: Aug 16, 2017 By: Chris Ashdown Member since: Dec 7, 2003
    #17
  18. sivanapparel

    sivanapparel UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    3 0
    Hi dear I am Chinese.If you need any helps,just contact me .If I can help you.I am very glad to help you in need.
     
    Posted: Apr 17, 2018 By: sivanapparel Member since: Apr 17, 2018
    #18
  19. sivanapparel

    sivanapparel UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    3 0
    I am the apparel manufacturer as well.If you need to make clothing,youcan contact me.Hope we can make a good cooperation in the furturer.
     
    Posted: Apr 17, 2018 By: sivanapparel Member since: Apr 17, 2018
    #19
  20. Chris Ashdown

    Chris Ashdown UKBF Legend Free Member

    10,326 2,096
    I had forgotten this post, but maybe the first post should become a sticky as most informative for a question often asked
     
    Posted: Apr 17, 2018 By: Chris Ashdown Member since: Dec 7, 2003
    #20