6 common risks of overseas manufacturers
Using an overseas manufacturer has its risks. Being in charge of ordering your teams garments is a big responsibility, they are the uniforms your team will be wearing all season. Often it may be appealing to get these made overseas due to lower costs, however once you have added up the costs of a large minimum order (over ordering more than you need to meet the requirements) and freight costs it may end up being the same price if not more than ordering from a local Australian manufacturer.
We believe Aussie quality and service is the best, and supporting local businesses is the way to go! Below we have compiled 6 common risks of overseas manufacturers to save you time and money.
1. Colour Matching
Uniform colours are important; they are the identity of your team. The difference between shades of red could make you look like the opposition or another team altogether. A lot of the time you may need new uniforms for new team members & you want to make sure everyone’s match. We understand how important colour matching is and getting the right colour.
Often when using an overseas manufacturer colour matching isn't taken seriously, or they simply don’t have the technology to perfectly match your colours. Greens turn into yellows, oranges into reds and before you know it your uniform is a completely different colour. "Close enough" doesn't cut it when it comes to your team's uniforms.
Dealing with overseas manufacturers means you don't get to speak to someone in person, and most of the time not even over the phone. As you can imagine it is much harder to relay your order requirements via a chain of e-mails as opposed to a quick phone call or face to face conversation. Not to mention the language barrier, again making it very hard to translate and describe exactly what you want. Meaning you are never completely sure the supplier has understood what you have asked for.
3. Unknown fabric quality
Not being able to see the fabric in person or be sent a sample quickly in the post means you don't know what fabric you are getting. Does the fabric breathe? Is it itchy, soft, warm the list goes on.
When it comes to sport it is important the fabric is not only comfortable but it breathes. All our fabrics have undergone extra moisture wicking & antibacterial treatments, the result is that our garments are fantastic to wear even in the hottest conditions. Unfortunately, there is no way to tell what the fabric is going to be like when ordering from overseas suppliers unless you request a pre-production sample which can add weeks onto the lead-time.
In the Australian climate having a fabric which has been tried & tested, even in the most extreme heat is ultra important. We have had thousands of player’s use our garments & the feedback we continue to receive is that it is the best they have worn.
4. Delivery delays
Getting things shipped from overseas can be expensive. Due to the high cost of airfreight, the best option is sea freight which on average takes 3-4 weeks. Sea freight also requires several documents; certificate of origin, bill of landing, the invoice of products, packing list, proof of import and packing list. If some of these documents are filled out incorrectly or are not attached this can cause major delays in delivery causing your order to be held in customs for extended periods of time. The importance of these documents needs to be communicated clearly with your supplier before your package is shipped to avoid this from happening. Again this is a rather time-consuming process.
Along with documentation, once the order reaches the port it will need to be picked up from the port and delivered to you, every day the order isn’t picked up the port will charge a fee for it being there. Because this isn't the easiest process to manage many people opt to use a shipping broker to take care of the shipping hassles for them, for an additional fee. Adding more costs to your shipping fees.
5. Returns policies
What happens when your order finally arrives and it’s all wrong? The shade of red is completely different to your teams colour and your logo is in the wrong place.
Many overseas manufacturers don't have returns policies meaning you aren't protected as a consumer like you are when you order from an Australian company. Even if you are protected to some extent (usually via your payment provider or supplier platform), it is a lengthy process to submit a complaint and try to get your money back. Before you have got your money back it is likely you will need to do another order, forking out more money.
6. The clothes don’t fit!
Your order finally arrives and you get the team to try on their new jerseys. They are all too small! You ordered all the right sizes and checked the measurements when you placed your order, but what you have is an entire order of tiny jerseys. Overseas manufacturers often use multiple factories for manufacture & pattern sizing can be inconsistent.