5 Questions for Buying Fabric Internationally


As a manufacturer, Seehon gets a lot of more-or-less the same questions daily from different buyers. We want to summarize for you and help you better and faster determine if this is the company you want to buy from, or establish a long-term partnership with.

The main two sites for you to find various suppliers.

  1. Alibaba (www.alibaba.com)
  2. eBay (www.ebay.com)
  3. 1688 (www.1688.com)
    This is a good site to find in-stock items for a good price from China

Question 1. Manufacturer, Retailer, or Trading company

This is the price determinator. However, it really depends on what you are looking for and how much you are ordering.

If you are looking to place a BIG order, you will find manufacturers more helpful and professional since they can provide quality control at the production process. With the capability to produce custom design, manufacturers can give you more options based on your budget.

Retailers are good ones to shop smaller quantity. You will find plenty of options from them with a relatively acceptable price.

Trading companies are good ones if you don’t want to deal with the negotiation. However, their price will be probably higher than the market price since they have to charge you for the services fee. Well, that’s their profit.

Question 2. Free sample (or not)

Free samples are very rare. But if you are looking to place a big order with this company, you can have them remove the charge for the samples.

Well, let’s suppose that the company agrees to give you a free sample. You will have to pay for the shipping. Either way, there’s no free lunch right?

Question 3. Test Order

Tester order is only good for a BIG orders. Otherwise, you may as well pay for a meter sample before place any order. Sometimes, it’s worth it. This way, you get to see and feel the quality before it’s too late.

Length reference: 1 Meter = 39.37 Inch =1.09 Yard = 3.28 Foot

Question 4. Shipping

Fedex and UPS is always good ones. But it could be pricy. When you ask for quotations, you need to ask for the best price for you, whether it’s FOB or CIF. Shipping is usually via ships for big orders. If not, you may end up paying more than you should. Get the quotation right will give you a good start.

 Question 5. Can you do any better?

It never hurts to ask if they can lower the price. This is the part of negotiation that takes place. You can have so much fun here and get a very deal. But remember, you get what you pay for. It depends if you are on a tight budget or prefer quality over costs.

Our last word for you is that you should always compare prices from different sources.