China Wholesale Clothing: Why Should You Buy from?
February 26th, 2021
The China wholesale clothing industry is, in fact, a vibrant market where items of different types are sold at various price points. There is something for everyone: jeans, cotton shirts and blouses, swimwear, gym wear, wedding dresses, and what not… you have the freedom to choose your pick!
There are many services and options that cautious buyers can use to ensure safety when they are buying from a new supplier. Thus, they can rest assured that their hard-obtained capital is being spent well. If you are such an entrepreneur or business venture, you have come to the right place. This article will cover all the salient aspects of China’s wholesale clothing.
Chapter 1: Why should you buy from China wholesale clothing markets?
China is currently the world’s second-largest economy. In the past few decades, it has overtaken many of its competitors.
Importing goods in bulk from China and retailing them in the US is a lucrative business model. The following are some of the reasons why you should consider buying China wholesale markets.
1. China is Massive and a Growing Market
With around 18.5% of the world population living in it, China is a huge country both demographically and geographically.
Its booming fashion industry has piqued the interest of investors in both the Eastern and Western countries, who see reselling China wholesale clothing as an opportunity to earn a lot of money.
2. China Wholesale Clothing is Available Online
Many China wholesale clothing suppliers have taken to the internet to advertise and expand their brands.
For overseas customers, online browsing is the most convenient method of looking up suppliers and buying goods from China. They can directly choose from the available goods or hire a sourcing company through the web.
3. A lot of Variety in China Wholesale Clothing
If you think that Chinese markets are not up to date with contemporary fashion trends, you could not be more wrong! In this age of mass communication, Chinese brands are aware of the latest vogues.
The large manufacturers produce a variety of clothes to cater to the tastes of a wide demographic. You are sure to find the stuff you are looking for in Chinese wholesale markets.
4. China Wholesale Clothing is Comparatively Affordable
The major reason that people start trading in Chinese products is how inexpensive it is to buy stock. If you were to purchase similar products from a US supplier, you might have to pay twice or thrice as much.
Why should you spend all that money when you can get essentially the same things at much more economical rates? This aspect of China’s wholesale clothing makes it all the more appealing to foreign buyers.
5. Many Suppliers Will Give Special Deals
Much like in the US, vendors in China often have purchase deals going on. They might involve discounts, product bundles, and other convenient options.
Some deals are available throughout the year, while others start near holidays and festivals.
Chapter 2: The common challenges of trading in Chinese goods
Finding suppliers in another country and getting goods shipped to yours is already an intimidating job. However, buying and importing clothes from China presents unique challenges. Some of which are listed below.
1. Language Barrier and Misunderstandings
Language is a major hindrance in any form of international trade. Without the help of an interpreter, coordinating with a China wholesale clothing seller can be nearly impossible.
Even with an appropriate translation method in place, many conversational nuances might not be conveyed leading to misunderstandings. This can raise some issues when signing a binding purchase contract.
2. Counterfeit Designer Clothes
The existence of knock-offs remains a prevalent problem in the Chinese market. You will find imitations of expensive brands being sold dirt cheap.
However, if you sell counterfeit goods in the US, you run the risk of getting slammed with a lawsuit and forced to destroy your stock.
If you do not want to infringe on others’ intellectual property rights, you should give the USPTO guidelines a thorough read.
3. Complying with the Policies in Both China and Your Country
Every country has requirements that the businesses operating within its borders must meet. These might be quality criteria, trademark policies, pricing restrictions, etc. When you import China wholesale clothing, it would be wise to briefly study the relevant policies in both countries.
4. Finding Good-Quality Products
Most buyers see the clothes in person only after the shipment arrives, they do not have the opportunity to ascertain their quality before the delivery.
For uninformed foreign buyers, wholesale markets are unfamiliar territory and quality is the luck of the draw. There are myriads of suppliers to choose from, but all of them might not be able to meet your standards.
5. Irresponsible Suppliers
Some suppliers are genuinely dutiful individuals who will give you no trouble at all, while others are problematic, to say the least.
Since most buyers will not have a chance to meet the China wholesale clothing seller face-to-face, ensuring trustworthiness is truly a challenge.
You can check their record, reviews from former clients, and certifications. Still, visiting the factory and conversing with them is always a bit more reassuring.
6. Dealing with Shipping Companies
You can opt to have your cargo shipped by sea, air, or express. Express and air shipping are significantly costlier than delivery by sea, which is justified considering that sea transport is much slower.
There is also the decision of whether or not to hire a third-party logistics (3PL) service to handle packaging and customs clearance, though it adds a few extra days to the transit time. Managing all these different parts of the supply chain can be exhausting.
Chapter 3: How to get the best price for China wholesale clothing?
Although Chinese goods indeed give you a great bang for your buck in most cases, they are not always cheap.
With an improvement in quality, comes a price increase: This is a universal rule in all trades. So, we have compiled the best tips and tricks for you to get high-grade goods at reasonable prices.
1. Compare Prices Online
When purchasing China wholesale clothing, you will benefit from prior knowledge about the rates of the products. Online websites have many suppliers selling similar things.
Some of them also let you compare the prices through a built-in function. If not, you can always spend some time researching the items of interest. This will be extremely useful when bargaining a fair price with a supplier.
2. Prefer Suppliers Referred by someone Trustworthy
Referrals can help you a lot in your search for a supplier. A friend, a business partner, or even an old client of the supplier can give you useful feedback about them. He or she might even be able to get you a discount.
Moreover, business relationships are built on trust. The involved parties should learn as much as they can about one another, develop an air of trust, and then enter a purchase contract.
3. Have a Sourcing Company Deal with It
Having a Chinese sourcing company help you procure your stock of China wholesale clothing will not only help you cut down on costs but also streamline the process.
Sourcing companies work with many buyers and suppliers at the same time. They can find the supplier that best suits your needs.
They are knowledgeable about local wholesale markets and can negotiate prices way better than you. What’s more is that they will also oversee the manufacturing process, take care of documentation, do quality control, and make sure to ship your goods on time.
4. Get an Idea from Customs’ Import Records
Customs data about imports and exports is public information. It means that nearly anyone can see the paper trail. For those who want to import China wholesale clothing, these import records are very handy.
They let you check if the supplier has experience sending goods to your country.
They let you verify the authenticity of the supplier.
They let you compare the pricing of different suppliers
5. Go to Factories and Trade Fairs
Clothing Booths at the Canton Fair, One of the Largest Fairs in China
Haggling is a powerful tool in Chinese markets. However, online interactions do not give you much of an opportunity to do it. If you can, do visit the manufacturers’ factories.
Not only will you be able to check the working of their establishments but also negotiate the rates with them more effectively.
Trade fairs are exhibitions where the members of a particular industry gather to present their products and see those of their competitors. If you go to such a fair, you can ask the participants about their goods and take quotes.
Chapter 4: The best markets to buy china wholesale clothing from
There are wholesale markets all over China, but, as a trader, you should know the ones where you are most likely to get the stuff you need. If you have no idea about them, fret not! We have listed some of the biggest China wholesale clothing markets below.
1. Futian Wholesale Market – Yiwu
The Futian market is the common local name for Yiwu International Trade City. Opened in 1982, it originally consisted of small shops and stalls. Due to its immense popularity, it rapidly grew into the largest market of small commodities in the world.
It is split into five districts, which are visited by more than 20,000 local and foreign customers daily. According to some estimates, around 100,000 suppliers from at least 40 different industries operate in this market.
2. Baima Clothing Market – Guangzhou
Located near Guangzhou Railway Station, it is probably the best China wholesale clothing market in the city when it comes to interior décor and the quality of clothes.
The first, fourth, and fifth floors have high-fashion, fine clothes for women. It is but natural that these clothes are priced a bit higher. The second and third floors have relatively ordinary garments, and so the rates are more affordable.
3. Liuhua Fashion Market – Guangzhou
This market was opened in 1996 and is located adjacent to Guangzhou Bus Terminal. Spread over 15,000 square meters, it has thirteen China wholesale clothing sections. In addition to more than a thousand shops for clothes, there are fast-food joints, bank branches, and various business offices.
4. Shahe Clothing Market – Guangzhou
Shahe wholesale market is a huge market in Tianhe District. The shops open early in the morning and close in the afternoon. During this period, the area remains densely crowded.
This market is known for being cheaper than the other wholesale markets of Guangzhou, so you can expect the clothes to be of low or medium quality.
5. Zengcheng Jeans and Denim Market – Xintang
This is one of the largest hubs of jeans production in the world. About 60% of Chinese denim goods are made here. Spread over an area of 10,000 square meters are around 3,000 shops, each offering classic as well as contemporary styles of pants.
If you plan to import jeans along with other articles of China wholesale clothing, you should know that about 40% of the jeans in the US come from this market.
6. Haining Fur and Leather Market – Haining
When it opened in 1994, Haining Leather City was the largest leather goods market in all of Asia. The complex has an area of 160,000 square meters and four main floors.
The first floor has shops that offer suitcases, bags, and leather accessories. Leather garments like jackets and pants are mostly on the second floor. Luxury articles with expensive leather and fur are on the third floor. The fourth floor contains the catering center.
7. Sijiqing Apparel Market – Hangzhou
Established in 1989, this garment market is now home to over 400 women’s clothing brands. It is divided into 13 clothing sections. So, it is huge! It takes you at least two days to see all its major parts.
The 10,000 merchants trading here has combined annual sales of ten billion yuan. It is known for its modern and stylish female apparel.
Chapter 5: How to ensure the quality of your China wholesale clothing
Maintaining the quality of your products is essential to preserving your brand’s image. If you fail to do so, it will become increasingly difficult for you to resell the China wholesale clothing you bought. In this regard, we have some guidelines for you.
1. Look up the Manufacturer on the Internet
You will not find a resource better than the internet when you are checking the credibility of a China wholesale clothing supplier. Although fake reviews and false ratings exist, they are easy to spot.
You are certain to come across honest comments that will help you develop an idea about the seller. Just do not go too cheap when selecting a supplier; otherwise, you might end up with goods that look like those at a thrift store.
2. Ask for Samples First
Never give a big order to new suppliers. We recommend getting samples because it is hard to tell the exact color, material, and sewing finesse from just a photo. Ordering samples also saves you from people who falsely advertise their products.
3. Check the Business License of the Company
Ask the suppliers to show their business licenses and other documents as proof of the legality of their China wholesale clothing establishments. People who deal in low-standard counterfeit clothes usually lack such papers. This would be an easy way for you to filter out potentially troublesome sellers.
4. Search in the Verified Supplier Directory
Many of the legit suppliers of China wholesale clothing get their factories and goods inspected by quality inspection companies. If a supplier passes the inspection, he or she obtains their verification and earns a spot on their registry or directory.
These records are usually available to the public. You can go to their website and search for suppliers whose goods are up to the mark according to the inspector’s criteria.
5. Perform the Right Quality Control
Even the best manufacturers can become negligent if you do not stay on top of them. If you cannot oversee quality control yourself, hire an inspection company to do it. Such companies can conduct three kinds of inspection.
– Pre-Production Inspection
This takes place immediately after you choose the vendor. It involves visiting the factory, checking the equipment, and examining the raw materials.
– Mid-Production Inspection
This takes place during the actual manufacturing process. It is also called during-production inspection and is especially important for goods that are produced continuously and are shipped immediately after being finished.
– Pre-Shipment Inspection
This inspection takes place once the product takes its final form. It might be done before or after packaging and shipping. You can also do it yourself when the cargo arrives in your country.
Chapter 6: The online China wholesale clothing marketplaces you should be checking out
The massive traction that China wholesale clothing has gained is probably due to the advent of online e-commerce websites. These platforms act not only as a means of advertisement but also as wholesale online shops where Chinese goods are available to the rest of the world. Some of the most popular sites are as follows.
1. Ali Express Online China wholesale clothing market
AliExpress is often referred to as the eBay of China. The sellers on this website are independent and use the platform only to offer their goods to the buyers.
There are thousands of China wholesale clothing suppliers on this site and they ship to nearly all countries. They accept payment through Visa and MasterCard but not PayPal.
2. Alibaba Online China wholesale clothing market
Alibaba was founded in Hangzhou in 1999. It is a multinational company specializing in e-commerce and retail. It hosts millions of seller and buyer accounts from all around the world. It is the most famous online wholesale marketplace in Asia.
3. DHgate Online China wholesale clothing market
DHgate.com Started in 2004, this site currently has a customer base of over four million. It has a sterling track record and the cases of fraudulent suppliers are scarce. Moreover, there is a VIP status, which gives you an extra layer of security when buying China wholesale clothing here.
4. Chinabrands Online China wholesale clothing market
Chinabrands is also a good option. As you purchase goods on the website, you earn ‘CB points’ which can be used just like real-world credit to buy goods. They have a nice selection sourced from more than 5000 verified manufacturers. They promise not to compromise on quality.
5. LovelyWholesale Online China wholesale clothing market
This site was created especially for trading in fashionable China wholesale clothing. From shirts, pants, jumpsuits, and skirts to shoes and accessories, LovelyWholesale caters to the tastes of men, women, and kids.
6. Yaaku Online China wholesale clothing market
Yaaku is another website that focuses on wholesale fashion. Apparel for men, women, and kids is available here. They deliver to more than fifty countries and accept payment via bank transfer, PayPal, Western Union, and MoneyGram.
7. 1688 Online China wholesale clothing market
1688 is a Chinese version of Alibaba. It is completely in Chinese but if one can use Google chrome browser, he or she can translate the whole website in English and use it.
Since it is in Chinese, it has a larger number of manufacturers compared to Alibaba, because for Alibaba, the suppliers must hire someone who speaks English to maintain their page and also interact with customers.
1688 does not require such staff, therefore more and more suppliers feel comfortable operating on this website. If you import from China, you cannot ignore this website.
Chapter 7: Things to keep in mind when importing China wholesale clothing
Importing goods into your country is always a daunting task. No different is the case of bringing in Chinese merchandise for sale in your local stores. However, you have no reason to fear because we are here! The following advice will help you import the clothes smoothly and safely.
1. You Will Need to Arrange Some Documents
In any matter involving international trade, there is loads of paperwork. When you import China wholesale clothing, the shipping service might ask for a few documents, but most of them will be demanded by the customs of your country. It is always better to be prepared and have the following documents drafted.
Pro Forma Invoice (PI)
Bill of Lading (for Ocean Shipping) or Airway Bill (for Air Shipping)
Certificate of Origin
2. The Best Mode of Shipping Depends on your Needs.
Different modes of shipping vary in terms of cost and speed. Based on the total weight of your goods and your budget, you will have to choose one from among them. The following are the common ways to transport China wholesale clothing to various countries.
– Express Delivery is the fastest but the most expensive option. It is suitable only for small cargo. The delivery company will handle most of the things making transport very convenient.
– Air Cargo Shipping is also fast but costs a bit less than express. You should use this mode if the cargo is decently heavy and you can take care of some of the logistical parts of the process.
– Ocean Shipping is the cheapest but can take a long time, sometimes up to a month. For a very large cargo, this method is the best because express and air delivery would cost a fortune in this case.
3. Timely Planning is Always a Good Idea
If you are just starting your business, you probably cannot afford a large stock of goods. Small stocks will give you little flexibility when it comes to shipping schedules because even a slight unexpected increase in sales poses the threat of the stock running out.
You need to anticipate your sales and order more China wholesale clothing well before your inventory drops to zero.
4. It would be Wise to Estimate the Duties and Taxes in Advance
Tariffs are a major expense in this line of work. In the US, this tax needs to be paid on imported items worth more than $800. Those priced below this threshold are not taxed. Every country has its own rules for custom duties.
The exact amount to be paid will be declared only when the customs examine the goods. However, you can calculate a rough estimate for your convenience. Keep the estimate generous just to be on the safe side.
5. You should Consider Visiting China if you can
A face-to-face conversation is always better than online correspondence. If you go to China and visit the China wholesale clothing markets yourself, you will have an easier time finding reliable suppliers and partners. And let’s be honest: a little tourism along the way couldn’t hurt!
However, if you still cannot afford to visit China, hire a sourcing company to handle the reconnaissance and purchase of the goods.
Chapter 8: Frequently asked questions about China wholesale clothing
1. Is the MOQ too large for small businesses to buy?
The minimum order quantity (MOQ) is the smallest number of units you must buy to place an order with the supplier.
Since most Chinese sellers have narrow profit margins, sometimes as low as 3%, they have to sell things in bulk to get sufficient funds for making the next batch of goods. Still, you will find that MOQ varies greatly between sellers, with some having none at all.
2. What kind of clothes can I buy in Chinese wholesale markets?
If you have ever visited Alibaba or AliExpress, you might know about the sheer volume of goods sold there. In China wholesale clothing markets; there is a wide range of goods. You can find simple garments like socks and vests as well as more costly ones such as wedding dresses and suits.
3. Will the clothes be low-quality?
You get what you pay for. If you buy a $4 shirt, its quality will undoubtedly reflect that. If you invest a bit more money, the standard drastically improves.
The myth that Chinese goods are substandard is so widely heard because of people who import only cheap stuff from China. In reality, different grades of clothes are available in wholesale markets.
4. Which payment options do the suppliers support?
Suppliers in the physical markets generally accept cash, WeChat pay, or Alipay. They do not take payment through credit cards and cheques. Running small businesses, these China wholesale clothing vendors do not have the resources to support other payment methods.
Online platforms give you greater freedom in this area. Credit cards, bank transfers, T/T, PayPal, etc. are supported on most websites with few exceptions.
5. Will I need a huge investment to start a business in Chinese clothes?
The prices of China wholesale clothing are very competitive. They offer great value and let you earn relatively large profits. There is no need to invest huge sums to establish your clothing company. A small capital should also do.
6. Should I purchase from one or multiple suppliers?
We always recommend our clients to source goods from more than one supplier in the beginning. There are many reasons for this.
A sole supplier might not be able to prepare the goods fast enough and fail to fulfill the order.
Not all goods from the same supplier are equal in quality. Some are better than others. You might want to get the best stuff from each seller.
It adds some security to the supply chain. If one or two suppliers experience problems, the rest can make up for them.
7. What is the importance of incoterms during the shipping process?
“Incoterm” is an acronym for International Commercial Terms, which are published by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). Each incoterm is denoted by a series of three letters and represents common sales practices.
These terms are used in purchase contracts to define the duties of the parties involved, specifying the party responsible for shipping, preparing documents, and paying for logistical activities.
We have covered all the major aspects of China wholesale clothing in this article. This should have given you at least a basic understanding of this business field.
While hoping that our advice benefits you, we urge you to also refer to other resources on this topic.
We trust that you will wisely choose an appropriate course of action for your clothing business. Whatever you decide on, we wish you the best of luck!