Trying to find a source of fabric is a difficult process. This is especially true if you’re not sure what you’re doing or have no prior relationships or connections to a manufacturer. In the endeavor to make it just a bit easier for you, let’s talk about three fabric sourcing mistakes and how to avoid them. With any luck, the sourcing process will be easier, if not much faster.
Asking About MOQs and Prices
While you naturally want to ensure costs won’t exceed your budget, it’s a common mistake to ask about minimum order quantities and prices too quickly. Appearing overly conscious of prices and frugal can be off-putting to fabric manufacturers when you’re immediately looking for the lowest minimums possible. Details about minimum order quantities and their associated prices will inevitably come up—you just have to get to that point naturally.
Instead, get your foot in the door by obtaining swatches of the fabric you desire. This allows you to get a feel for the textile and compare it with other swatches. After you’ve had time to experience the fabric, the details about MOQ and prices will come up. Materials like bullet print Liverpool fabric are common enough that they may not even have minimum order quantities. However, specialty fabrics will require a minimum quantity to ensure the manufacturers can keep their costs reasonable.
Not Building a Relationship With the Sales Rep
While you might think it’s not important, another common fabric sourcing mistake to avoid is neglecting your relationship with the sales representative. You don’t need to cater to a sales rep’s every need. But it’s just a shame to miss out on all the benefits a sales rep can give you once you’ve proven to be a client they want. They go through a lot of stress and pressure behind the scenes. So, by respecting their time, knowing what you want, and being sympathetic to the process, the sales rep will reward you with offers like discounts or special deals.
Being Too Timid in Your Request
Make no mistake—fabric sourcing is an intense process only for the bravest souls. If you want to get what you desire exactly, you have to be firm and persistent in your requests. Don’t be afraid about coming off as rude, as this persistence is part of being efficient. You’ll save time when the fabric manufacturer doesn’t have to pry the information out of you. If you aren’t confident in what you want and when you want it, a fabric manufacturer will likely drop you because they’re trying to keep up with all their other orders and clients.