It is standard practice to make free clothing samples for a customer. A factory must do this to show they are capable. Moreover the factory wants to confirm that their interpretation of the tech pack is correct. Making salesman clothing samples is also an option.
The kicker is that you must convince the factory that you are professional; that you can meet their MOQ; and that you are financially capable of making the full payment. If you can do these three things then there is a high chance the factory will agree to make samples for you for free. If you waltz into a factory with no tech pack and cannot demonstrate garment-manufacturing expertise, the factory will lose confidence in you and find an excuse to politely say no. If you can pay in advance and want salesman clothing samples then maybe you have a chance.
Often factories hesitate to make free samples because they sense that you are shopping around for best price and the best quality. They fear that after producing free clothing samples for you, you will take those samples to another factory for actual production. One tactic is to offer to make the samples using available fabric and trims to appease their fear of losing time and money. To be fair, you should also be concerned that the factory will sell your designs to other customers. All the more reason why you should investigate the factory’s reputation and build a trusting relationship with the factory before jumping into making samples.
aThe Sampling process typically starts with a fit sample in size medium. Once the fit sample is approved, they grade-up to the highest size and grade-down to the smallest size you need. If you request, then they will make one large-size sample and one small-size sample for you to double check the fit and make sure the grading was done well. Otherwise the factory will simply follow the size chart measurements and go straight into production. Keep in mind that, the more you ask the factory to do, the more money they need to invest in your order and this may affect the price and their attitude. Everybody likes a business partner that is easy to work with. Once your fit samples are approved you need to approve things like print and embroidery.
Salesman clothing samples If you request salesman samples, then the factory will charge around 3.5 x FOB price. The price for salesman samples is high because the quantity is small and the samples must be perfect. Perfect means using all the exact fabrics and trims.
If you need proper salesman clothing samples then you will need to pay for them and the price is higher than the bulk production price.