Sourcing clothing and goods in Bangkok is serious business. This bustling city in Thailand is home to one of the largest wholesale clothing manufacturers in Asia.
If you’re one of the tens of thousands of people who flock Bangkok each year to buy wholesale clothing, it’s good to do some research and plan ahead to make that trip a lot less stressful.
Recently, I have received a number of questions about sourcing clothes and goods from Bangkok. Sourcing goods is one thing; but shipping the goods back to their home countries is another. Because of the relative pains of doing these tasks, I thought of writing a few important things to keep in mind when you source clothing in Bangkok for your business.
1. Keep the owner (proprietor) as the main contact.
It’s good to be chummy with the store keeper. But do you know what would be better? Being in close contact with the decision maker. Get the business card, ask who is the owner, then call the owner. Then discuss what you need, what designs you are looking for and if they can help you connect to a good shipper. You can also ask if they can bring your orders to the shipping agents themselves. For big quantities, they can extend that courtesy for you.
2. Store your contacts in a safe place and start building relationships.
Has it ever happened that you lost a card or their contact info? Apparently, it has. After a day of sourcing and meeting wholesalers, store all your collected business cards in a folder and in a simple spreadsheet in your computer. But most importantly, start building business relationships with them. Call them the next day to follow-up or ask about upcoming designs. The more they hear from you, the more they will value your business (even if you are ordering smaller quantities). And when you open the lines of communication and have problems with your goods in the future, they are more likely to help.
3. Inspect the goods thoroughly.
Probably the single most important piece of advice that is also often the most overlooked. Wholesale clothing manufacturers deal with large quantities of clothing everyday so quality control is hardly the priority. Check stitches, holes, prints, and others before making a full payment or transporting the goods.
4. Shortlist your shipping companies.
Before coming to Bangkok, do your homework for potential shipping agents. Make online inquiries and check shipping rates. Organize shipping by keeping a shortlist of your potential shipping agents. Then you can narrow down the selection later on when you discuss terms of service, pricing and how they will handle Customs on your behalf.
A word of advice: If you have decided that you will source from clothing wholesalers in Pratunam District, get a shipping agent from the same area. That will make transporting your goods from the clothing suppliers to the shipping agents a whole lot easier, and so suppliers are more likely to say yes to transporting the goods themselves.
Quick tip: If you need help with shipping or have further questions, there is a shipping company at the back of Platinum Mall. There are also a number of shipping companies found on the smaller, inner streets of Petchaburi Road.
5. Contact supplier after receiving goods.
Once you have successfully received your goods back home, contact the supplier to give feedback. If there are problems with your goods that you failed to check, contact the owner directly and discuss actions. If the goods are in good condition, send a quick thanks. This helps to remember you in the future.
You can also reach them via the website or their social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and leave a positive feedback. Businesses with good relationships and support one another also last longer.