Buying direct scrubs from the manufacturer is the holy grail of merchandising. But it also takes the most amount of work, dedication, and time. These days, we always buy from overseas scrubs manufacturers because the labor costs are much cheaper.
My general rule of thumb (for textiles at least) is that if you are buying from a reliable vendor. You aren’t going to get the best pricing for your products. Buying direct from the scrubs manufacturer or from overseas vendors is the best way to obtain the lowest prices. But it also presents the greatest upfront headaches.
Here’s a list of obstacles that we had to overcome when finding suppliers in Asia.
1. Communication may be an issue
Most Chinese scrubs vendors don’t speak English very well so you often have to rely on written communication like email.
2. Product definition is a slow process
Factories in Asia have really poor websites and it’s often hard to get an idea of their merchandise quality online. As a result, you have to get scrubs samples and the delivery across the country takes a long time.
3. The minimum order quantity is higher
Since you are dealing with factories, you have to order in larger quantities of scrubs than you may be comfortable with.
4. Importing from a foreign country requires more work
The logistics of international shipping in addition to dealing with customs is an extra hassle you have to deal with.
5. You have to manage quality control
Whenever you are producing a product in quantity, maintaining consistent quality is always a challenge.
6. The lead time is long
Is Buying Direct From Overseas Worth It?
Despite the hassles of importing from China, it is definitely worth it. The wholesale prices are unbeatable and the upfront investment pays for itself in the long run. Once you’ve established a good relationship with your supplier, the process becomes much smoother. You will be able to competitively price your products. You will be able to outprice the larger chains and you will be able to differentiate yourself from the competition.
Once you have confidence in your manufacturers, you can design your own custom products and that is where the big money starts to kick in. If you can fabricate your own designs or make small improvements to existing ones, you have the potential to sell products that no other store can offer.