I`m in talks with several textile manufacturers in China and am about to put in our first order. We`re about to do business with 2 out of the many candidates we evaluated, and with these 2, we have been in long talks as well as doing swatch exchanges, sample creation etc. For many nights, I`ve been staying up to discuss the prototypes with them via text messaging. However, I`ve never visited them and have none other than the ratings from Internet sourcing web sites from where I found these vendors, and pictures of their purported factories.
However, sending thousands of dollars (i.e. 30-50% deposit) overseas still can seem dicey. Of course, from the manufacturer`s point of view, we could just as well decide not to pay and they`d be stuck with some customized products made for us.
So what do you folks consider to be a safer way to pay these overseas manufacturers that is not going to add too much overhead? I`ve heard of escrow but not sure if these factories are used to that, esp. when compared to the usual order volume they receive, our initial order is fairly small. Some of them accept Western Union, L/C, T/T, Paypal, Wire etc...
Is there any reference that we should ask for (besides their rating on the Internet sourcing sites) to confirm that they`re legitimate?
Thanks very much folks! After I`ve done our initial order, I`ll share my experience in future posts.