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.

Screen-Print Samples Let’s say you want to see the sample of a screen print for your t-shirt before you order 5,000 pieces. The screen printer needs to make the screen and mix the inks to make one sample. Who pays for that? USA Screen printers charge what is called a setup fee and it’s usually around $20 dollars. What if you cancel your order? Who eats the left over cake? In fact all trim suppliers have “set-up” costs. (Print is a trim.) What if there are 5 trims and you want the exact trim before approval? Are you willing to pay $100 for a sample (5 trims times $20?) Factories in Vietnam will do it for free but only when they feel that you are a guaranteed customer and you are easy to work with.
The difficult part of making samples is using actual fabric and actual trim. The factory has a lot of spare fabric and spare trim they prefer to use to make samples; but you want to see the real deal. The problem is that getting 200 meters of the exact fabric dyed to the exact color is difficult. Getting 5 exact zippers, 5 exact main labels, 5 exact hang tags, 15 exact buttons, and 5 exact collars with exact pantone color is VERY difficult. The reason is that all the suppliers don’t want to make 5 pieces for free. Hence, if you give the factory permission to use available fabric and trims, the sampling process can proceed more quickly.

Salesman Samples

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.

Stacks Image 11788
Bottom line is that offering free samples is standard business practice but the detailed process of getting the samples done to the mutual satisfaction of you and the factory is an art. The key is to earn the confidence of the factory so they can turn around and ask their sub-contractors to do favours for them.
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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *