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Sourcing Manufacturers

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Logan P

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Dec 6, 2017
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Morning!,

I've seen a couple of people post now where they reference finding the exact manufacturer of a product they find to improve and using them to manufacture their improved product as well. All they say is that they do a little research to find them. I tried searching the forum on this, but couldn't find anything referencing this skill set. I was hoping someone could guide me in the right direction to where I would conduct this research?

Im completely new to importing,exporting, etc. and have found a product that is in a very specific niche, it's the only product on the market like it, and every review says the same damn thing about what needs improved. I imagine using their exact supplier will make this easiest and then just tell them what needs changed about it.

Thanks.

L.P.
 

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Chosenone

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Jan 11, 2018
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Hello,

Your question is too abstract, it really depends on what product you intend to source (not the exact one but at least specify type, material, complexity and estimated quantity so we can direct you to a proper manufacturer). Production process is very important, it can be extrusion, molding, cutting, drilling, dies or other specific tooling might be need and etc.). Not always China is the best option :)
 
Last edited:

Logan P

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
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Dec 6, 2017
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New England
Hello,

Your question is too abstract, it really depends on what product you intend to source (not the exact one but at least specify type, material, complexity and estimated quantity so we can direct you to a proper manufacturer). Production process is very important, it can be extrusion, molding, cutting, drilling, dies or other specific tooling might be need and etc.). Not always China is the best option :)
Wow, I didn't realize it needed to be so detailed. How green I am is showing lol I apologize for that! Let's see...I can tell you the product consists of primarily neoprene (it's a sleeve) and a velcro strap attached. I can't imagine the complexity of manufacturing is anymore than cutting the neoprene to size and then sewing on the velcro. I'm fixing the velcro strap with something that is much more durable for this application which is the complaint expressed by just about every single customer. Estimated quantity I have no idea, I don't even know where to begin for estimating how much I need off first run. Maybe like 50 to giveaway and get the reviews and ranks going?
 

Chosenone

Contributor
Jan 11, 2018
18
28
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34
Bulgaria
Good, this is simple sewing and can be executed by thousands of companies without a need of additional investment.
If you are looking for small quantity and don't want to deal with import until you are sure that it will sell well, check on Thomasnet for local suppliers.
For a big volumes, of course AliBaba - Vietnam, China, Pakistan, India (those are the countries with best prices for textile, but you need to be very careful for the quality). Only buy from gold suppliers and look for such with Trade Assurance Shop around.
In any case, look for reliable partner, not only a company to buy something from.
They have the expertise you are missing and can propose better (working) solution for the final product.
 

Walter Hay

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Speedway Pass
Sep 13, 2014
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World citizen
Good, this is simple sewing and can be executed by thousands of companies without a need of additional investment.
If you are looking for small quantity and don't want to deal with import until you are sure that it will sell well, check on Thomasnet for local suppliers.
For a big volumes, of course AliBaba - Vietnam, China, Pakistan, India (those are the countries with best prices for textile, but you need to be very careful for the quality). Only buy from gold suppliers and look for such with Trade Assurance Shop around.
In any case, look for reliable partner, not only a company to buy something from.
They have the expertise you are missing and can propose better (working) solution for the final product.
I will reply to this post first because if some of the advice offered is followed it could result in serious loss.

  • Gold Supplier badges are worthless as guides to the merits of suppliers. They are bought, and even Alibaba will tell you, if you search their site diligently enough, that what I say about their "merits" is the case.
  • Trade Assurance gives buyers a false sense of security. It appears to be rare for buyers to get the refunds they expect.
I suggest reading through my AMA
GOLD Sharing my lifetime experience in export/import. Product sourcing specialist.
as a starting point if venturing into overseas sourcing and importing.

Walter
 

Walter Hay

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Speedway Pass
Sep 13, 2014
2,916
11,891
2,453
World citizen
Morning!,

I've seen a couple of people post now where they reference finding the exact manufacturer of a product they find to improve and using them to manufacture their improved product as well. All they say is that they do a little research to find them. I tried searching the forum on this, but couldn't find anything referencing this skill set. I was hoping someone could guide me in the right direction to where I would conduct this research?

Im completely new to importing,exporting, etc. and have found a product that is in a very specific niche, it's the only product on the market like it, and every review says the same damn thing about what needs improved. I imagine using their exact supplier will make this easiest and then just tell them what needs changed about it.

Thanks.

L.P.
The reason you haven't found any help on this subject is mainly because help is almost impossible. I began importing in 1987 and since retiring and writing my book I have been asked countless times to locate the actual manufacturer of a specific product. It is one of the most difficult quests in product sourcing.

To keep my mind active I like challenges, so if you care to send me an image and description of the product I would be pleased to do a search for you. No strings attached and I don't import or sell anything so it will remain confidential.

If my search is unsuccessful I will try to help you solve your manufacturing problem.

Walter
 

RobD88

Bronze Contributor
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Nov 20, 2017
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Missouri
Sourcing is what I currently do in my slowlane day job. It's actually not hard. It just requires a lot of leg work. You will have to make calls, send email inquiries and vet out possible manufacturers. There will be many available. A simple search for garment manufacturers online will yield all the results you need.

There will be manufacturers and manufacturing organizations that list and or connect you with manufacturers. You will just have to pick a few and start calling them.

Most will be willing to answer all of your questions and let you know if they think there is a fit for what you want and what they do. If they aren't a fit they will let you know and if you ask, they will most likely give you direction on finding a mfg that is.

Ther is no magic bullet for sourcing as each project has unique needs. You will just have to see who is a fit. One suggestion I will make is try to find a mfg close to you early on. You will want to make adjustments to your design and check quality and work with their team on specifications and refining your product.

That is hard to do at distance and can eat up a lot of time and money in shipping samples back and forth. Once you have the final design and material specs down then look for a mass producer that can give you the best mix of quality and price.
 

caezlar

Contributor
Apr 11, 2014
90
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HK,China
Wow, I didn't realize it needed to be so detailed. How green I am is showing lol I apologize for that! Let's see...I can tell you the product consists of primarily neoprene (it's a sleeve) and a velcro strap attached. I can't imagine the complexity of manufacturing is anymore than cutting the neoprene to size and then sewing on the velcro. I'm fixing the velcro strap with something that is much more durable for this application which is the complaint expressed by just about every single customer. Estimated quantity I have no idea, I don't even know where to begin for estimating how much I need off first run. Maybe like 50 to giveaway and get the reviews and ranks going?
seems very simple product.
 

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