Buying Clothing Direct from China, what to look for.
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May 17, 2010
With today’s massive offerings on eBay of clothing directly available from Chinese merchants, what points should you look out for?
Price & Quality:
As the story goes if it sounds cheap it is cheap or there is a catch. There is a mountain of very cheap clothing available for online Chinese sellers to market on eBay however 99.9% of these online e-tailers solely concentrate on price. I can say with no hesitation the average Chinese e-tailer will pick price over quality every time when it comes to stocking their online stores. If there was a choice of two identical garments, one poorly made and one well made with the well made one only a few dollars or so more, they will pick the cheap one every time to list and sell in their online stores. Quality reputation means nothing. Price is the ONLY motivating factor!
I could say that possibly none of these e-tailers have ever been to the USA, Europe or Australia and have absolutely no conception at all about Western people and their lifestyles, believe me, I see it every day here in my business in Shanghai. I say to people this is how it is in the West, they simply do not believe me and think what I say is ludicrous and that I am stupid ("shao gua") for picking the better garment and relabelling to suit western markets, they simply think this is a waste of money and effort to which I reply "fan si la" (Bull S$%T). So they think their sizes here in China will fit western people. For me I am a men’s (M) size in Australia, however when I buy off the shelf garments here in China I am an XL and quite often I cannot get some styles in that size. I remember once being in a provincial city in China and needed a pair of shorts as it was hot and I had no shorts with me. I decided to head off and get a cheap pair. I am a size 34” waist, guess what, after four hours in this city I could not find one pair to fit me... anywhere. Another example recently was when a friend from Brisbane came to visit me here in Shanghai, he wanted some long sleeve shirts. He tried scores of shops and wholesale markets, not one garment had sleeves which were long enough, chest size was no problem. We solved the problem and custom tailored him what he needed.
The upshot is most will post their listing in Chinese sizes and you will receive a garment which is at least two to three sizes to small, just look at the negative and neutral feedback for some of the clothing eBay sellers from China, Hong Kong and Korea and even some domestic resellers which import Chinese cloths made for Chinese people from China to resell on eBay.
We operate in one of China's largest wholesale clothing markets. I often see clothes designed specifically for Chinese people poping up on eBay from Australian sellers who have imported directly (Garments we have rejected), probably site unseen, and think wow, there will be some issues here for these resellers and their customers. Some buy from samples or visit the wholesaler/manufacturer first before starting business. The Chinese are masters at CHANGING the SECOND order to reduce the price, they do pass the savings on, however the next batch is totally inferior in material and quality of build.
The better resellers will relabel their stock to suit western sizes, have continuous QA, choose only quality fabrics and well built garments, to resell on eBay and other online platforms....... off course this costs a little more.
tailored fashion is one of the better resellers.
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