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At the moment China is pretty much the cheapest place and the quality is usually very good but you need an established contact there. But it might shift to other places in Asia, perhaps looking around online and establishing a trading contact or doing some research into the exact regions you want. It's all bascially low-cost due to cheap labour. Might move to Africa in the future, its becoming popular now to have products made in Eastern Europe though due to a similar geographical location and logistics. I'm just lucky to have a contact who knows a few suppliers in China's main manufacturing area. Its in the South of China called Guandong Province. But you need to be very, very careful trusting Chinese in doing business. Feel free to ask me any questions and i'll to answer what little i know.

Nicolai.
 

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goddog seems to have some established contacts within Asia. As I said, China is certainly cheap but as production costs rise it may move back to Vietnam, Thailand etc. You could always ask him about sourcing directly, sourcing directly from Asia may require you working through a free trading agent. Whats the cost per t-shirt you get from your US supplier? I post elsewhere in this forum I was told I can get heat transfer 100% cotton t-shirts for around 4.90USD. Or £2.70. I'm not trying to promote anything, just work out the price that exists in the USA.
 

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I like the t-shirts on your ebay site. Your main advantage is buying them cheap I guess. Do you ship them directly from source to the buyer or maintain a high level of stock in the uk? Also, i'm wondering what kind of base cost you're paying for each t-shirt with design included. Don't worry im not interested in distributing t-shirts, i'm from hong kong so I know how t-shirts can be so much cheaper. But then tend to overproduce or ship them direct from Shenzen, and the whole of Asia does has fairly low labour costs. I'm just wondering about shipping t-shirts directly from source to buyers and whether that was worth it in terms of shipping cost and delivery time. I'm actually only 22 so barely starting out but i know a fair bit about Asia.
 

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Hmm..based in Singapore. Are you a mandarin speaker? I doubt I can help with sourcing products based in HK just yet, sorry. I'm only looking to start a online t-shirt business with my own designs rather then get into product distribution. If you have the contacts and you've spent enough time in Asia im sure you can be successful though. My mandarin is somewhat ok.
 

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Guandong is the best place given the fact that you have Hong Kong so nearby to handle customs/shipping orders etc. It's like having third-world prices with a 1st world business centre next door. But a lot of chinese are now selling their products directly from source and to be honest the copyright laws aint too good. Although my friends dad is in fact in charge of that whole section of the hk gov. My supplier told me they made products for Tommy Helfiger before etc and im sure that they did. Do you think that labour costs in Guandong will rise sufficiently to have a negative impact on profits goddog?
 

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You ever design any of your own t-shirts goddog? I'm wondering about selling a product in the Chinese market. My partner says its not very popular, and she's the one that knows her marketing. Maybe selling a branded product and design would work but would have to be low-cost as possible. Asian people know how cheap they can buy their clothes and dont like paying high prices. Unless you're talking about established brands, in which the Chinese see them as neccessary items. But if i wanted to sell my own products and design in China im unsure about my copyright protection and possible infringment. Where is Zhejian anyway? I'm more of an hk expat or I was. Now im more interested in Chengdu in Sichuan Province. Shanghai and Beijing are too high cost to do business and saturated with lao wai westerners now.
 

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So you act as the uk link for your company? You sound like a trading agent and distributor. Your designers from Asia as well? Sorry for asking so many questions but you're the one with all the experience and i'm the young naive guy just starting out. Heh. Would you say £2.70 for a 100% cotton t-shirt with a heat transfer is expensive goddog?
 

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I figure Yiwu is several provinces away so too hard to ship manage product supply. My eariler quote for manufactured products was wrong. I'ts actually from $3.5-5USD for a plastisol design with a 20x20cm print. You act mainly as a distributor of t-shirts rather then making your own designs and selling them to the population? It seems like the key in China now is to give the impression of quality and an established brand rather then low cost. So selling t-shirts to the Chinese population could work, but it's a case of finding the right strategy. Thankfully my other half knows her marketing well and knows the Chinese market first-hand.
 
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