Author Topic: Imported artisan clothing business  (Read 601 times)

jamesbond007

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Imported artisan clothing business
« on: September 04, 2020, 02:11:57 PM »
Planning to import handmade artisanal clothing (mostly men's shirts) for selling via Amazon. How do I calculate import duty? Navigating through the US Trade website has been incredibly challenging. How do I determine demand?

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: Imported artisan clothing business
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2020, 04:36:58 PM »
Planning to import handmade artisanal clothing (mostly men's shirts) for selling via Amazon. How do I calculate import duty? Navigating through the US Trade website has been incredibly challenging. How do I determine demand?

Call the US Trade people, or email, and ask.
You determine demand by doing research and by testing the market with a small lot first. I would imagine that a lot of it depends on price, quality, marketing (social media to drive people to amazon) etc. It may also be seasonal - wedding season, xmas, that sort of thing. I would start by seeing if I could get sales data from Amazon, demographics of customers, number of sales per month in that category, sell through rates by category etc.

expatartist

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Re: Imported artisan clothing business
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2020, 08:24:40 PM »
Agree, start small. Test search terms. It's a niche. Who will be buying these?
For a product like this, you'll want to have a good backstory. You won't be competing on price, but on quality and how the stories you tell about and around the product resonate. Social media is key. And in some ways, the brand that is Amazon may compete with the idea of artisan products, unless it's just one of several outlets you use for them.

SwordGuy

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Re: Imported artisan clothing business
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2020, 08:55:37 PM »
Please make a point of paying the artisans well; better than whatever pittance the going rate is.   

There's plenty of money to be made without resorting to exploiting hardworking, honest people.

jamesbond007

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Re: Imported artisan clothing business
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2020, 09:38:40 PM »
Please make a point of paying the artisans well; better than whatever pittance the going rate is.   

There's plenty of money to be made without resorting to exploiting hardworking, honest people.

This is exactly why I thought I'd help sell online. :) I am with you on this one.

expatartist

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Re: Imported artisan clothing business
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2020, 08:38:30 PM »
Agree with @SwordGuy , fair trade should be part of any artisan business. I see many people on social media doing this as a hobby so margins are not always first on their agenda, and it may require scaling up for making significant profit. What appeals to you about this industry? Do you have a particular connection to a region in some way?

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: Imported artisan clothing business
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2020, 05:17:16 PM »
Please make a point of paying the artisans well; better than whatever pittance the going rate is.   

There's plenty of money to be made without resorting to exploiting hardworking, honest people.

This is exactly why I thought I'd help sell online. :) I am with you on this one.

Is Amazon the right outlet, then? This sounds more like an Etsy venture.

jamesbond007

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Re: Imported artisan clothing business
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2020, 10:41:05 AM »
Agree with @SwordGuy , fair trade should be part of any artisan business. I see many people on social media doing this as a hobby so margins are not always first on their agenda, and it may require scaling up for making significant profit. What appeals to you about this industry? Do you have a particular connection to a region in some way?

These people are from my home town. My home town is known for handloom textiles.

jamesbond007

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Re: Imported artisan clothing business
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2020, 10:41:32 AM »
Please make a point of paying the artisans well; better than whatever pittance the going rate is.   

There's plenty of money to be made without resorting to exploiting hardworking, honest people.

This is exactly why I thought I'd help sell online. :) I am with you on this one.

Is Amazon the right outlet, then? This sounds more like an Etsy venture.

Haven't really thought about Etsy. Very good point.

expatartist

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Re: Imported artisan clothing business
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2020, 01:20:29 AM »
Agree with @SwordGuy , fair trade should be part of any artisan business. I see many people on social media doing this as a hobby so margins are not always first on their agenda, and it may require scaling up for making significant profit. What appeals to you about this industry? Do you have a particular connection to a region in some way?

These people are from my home town. My home town is known for handloom textiles.

Great, your story and those of the makers of these textiles can be an important part of your business. This doesn't happen often enough. I for one would be happy to spread the word. Let me know when it gets up and running!

bwall

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Re: Imported artisan clothing business
« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2020, 02:47:56 PM »
Clothing is a very difficult business to make money in, especially remotely.

Generally, people can be very picky when it comes to sizes and colors. As a result, one must carry a lot of inventory to cover all tastes and sizes.

If you have a way to solve this problem (i.e. produce the cloths only after you have an order, but be willing to accept returns), then you have a viable business model. Otherwise..... start very slowly and learn as you go.