Way OT; Wholesale Clothes

User Forum Topic
Submitted by SD Realtor on January 11, 2009 - 9:52pm

I have a friend who is working on starting a business with regards to selling clothes/uniforms. Just as a whim I thought I would post a query here, (not expecting any useful help) but ya never know.

So does anyone have any experience in wholesale purchasing of clothing? Specializations in jerseys and such would be invaluable, also drop shipping...

Anyways just thought I would ask. Any insight or commentary may be helpful. I know that person lurks here but doesn't like to post.

Submitted by Allan from Fallbrook on January 11, 2009 - 10:21pm.

SDR: What kind of uniforms? Athletic or official? I have some experience with athletic uniforms, in that I purchase them every year for the teams I coach.

Submitted by stockstradr on January 11, 2009 - 10:38pm.

I have a friend who is working on starting a business with regards to selling clothes/uniforms.

A good strategy is for your friend to wait and conserve cash and take no action until A LOT of blood and bodies are seen in the street (at the darkest bottom of this economic depression). We'll guess that is twelve to eighteen months away.

At the very bottom tell your friend to pick over the carcasses of bankrupt businesses and buy all the pieces to start the business, buying at say 90% discount sale prices. You birth your businesss out of that and grow it as the economy expands out of the bottom of the economic depression. That's a recipe to get rich (assuming a good business model)

Now, after you explain that to your friend, and if your friend STILL thinks now is a good time to start a business, you should advise your friend: "Pick another field! You suck at business decisions."

Submitted by SD Realtor on January 12, 2009 - 9:37am.

Allan it is athletic. Most people, perhaps yourself usually goes online or to a store to purchase them. Maybe you buy 15 or 20 correct? You actually do not buy them directly from a manufacturer (like on the east coast or china) but you probably buy them from someone who then makes the order. This person either gets a direct shipment from the manufacturer to you or they have an inventory on hand to put whatever emblems or decals you want and then sends them. This is just my presumption.

The timing of starting or stopping it is not the problem. Learning the business and being able to project costs and operating expenses is the challenge. You cannot do that without investigating your supply chain. It doesn't matter when you do that, in the middle of a recession or not. Yet if you do not do it correctly you will lose no matter how great a deal you get from purchasing the business from somebody.

All

Submitted by sdrealtor on January 12, 2009 - 9:55am.

There's a very successful athletic apparrel company in San Marcos called Teamwork Apparell. Know the owner casually and he is a great guy. BTW he's a MOT

Submitted by Allan from Fallbrook on January 12, 2009 - 10:23am.

SDR/sdr: I have bought from Teamwork in San Marcos and they have excellent pricing, as well as excellent turnaround. I also use Riddell (for apparel as well as equipment) and ASA (All-Sports America) out of PA.

I would tell your friend that the single biggest issue (other than price) is service. Generally, service is terrible and largely because the big players (like Riddell and ASA) are deluged with orders during the various seasons and thus are slow to respond. We used Riddell during our last fall season for football jerseys and got hit with not only a five week delay (meaning we were handing out jerseys a few days before our first game), but the color matching on the jerseys was horrible. Lesson learned. Had I been using a local supplier, this would have never happened. Granted, I would have paid more but, in the long run, it would have been worth it.

I would recommend having him/her contact the various organizations at the league or conference level (Little League, AYSO, NJB, Pop Warner/AYF, etc) and have a discussion regarding pricing and service. These organizations are driven entirely by price generally, but service also counts, especially with those organizations that have been burned by the big national players (like Riddell) and all of them have.

Submitted by Noob on January 12, 2009 - 10:34am.

Submitted by sdrealtor on January 12, 2009 - 9:55am.

There's a very successful athletic apparrel company in San Marcos called Teamwork Apparell. Know the owner casually and he is a great guy. BTW he's a MOT

What is a MOT?

Submitted by sdrealtor on January 12, 2009 - 10:36am.

If you dont know, dont worry about it. Its not a negative or positve thing and probably only means something to SD R.

Submitted by sdrealtor on January 12, 2009 - 10:38am.

Allan
he's just a casual aquzintance. Our kids know each other. His son plays in local leagues and I think he coaches also so I'm sure he's in with the leagues.

sdr

Submitted by Raybyrnes on January 12, 2009 - 8:35pm.

The Uniform business is completely relationship based. Coaches are given so many freebies by reps that it would be difficult to get them to switch. Unless you have a tight relationship with 10 to 20 athletic directors I would choose another business.

Submitted by SD Realtor on January 12, 2009 - 11:02pm.

Ray I could not agree with you more. I have told this friend about that. His response was such that first off it does not hurt to perform your own diligence and second that if people ran away of new challenges. No new businesses would be established. Additionally according to him alternate targets exist for lower end consumers such as rec leagues etc, that do not get the attention of reps.

Thanks sdr and Allan... sdr I have to admit knowing what I do not know which is MOT... sorry but it flew over my head...

Submitted by an on January 12, 2009 - 11:56pm.

When I see MOT, especially in all caps, I think of Motorola :-).

Submitted by Coronita on January 13, 2009 - 6:30am.

SDR,

Don't know if this helps, but I have about and few friends that own factories in china that supply clothing wholesale. Some are hurting some are not.

Friend #1 supplies to discount stores (cheap stuff) like to Walmart, Dress Barn, Ross, Mervin's etc. While he did pretty well over the years, he's mentioned that in this downturn, it's taking hit, as several of these retailers are going under. He had orders filled and holding company's deposits, and now figuring out what to do with all the excess inventory.

Friend #2, on the other hand, supplies children clothing to children's speciality chain stores (can't name names) since it's one of the bigger labels. While sales appear lower, it's holding up pretty well. Seems like despite the downturn, people are still willing to spend money on kids.

Seems from their discussions this is completely a relationship business on who you know all the up and down from the buyers to the suppliers.

Don't know about the uniform business, it seems like a niche market. In this space, you probably have to play in a niche market to survive in retail (and need to play in the correct niche market).

Submitted by SD Realtor on January 13, 2009 - 9:44am.

Actually FLU that may be pretty helpful!

Submitted by Coronita on January 13, 2009 - 12:32pm.

SD Realtor wrote:
Actually FLU that may be pretty helpful!

Wow, I said something that actually might be useful...What is the world coming to? :)

I wish your friend good luck...

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