How To Find Suppliers For Branded Hats
A brand is supposed to be an extension of yourself, your creative side pushed out into a physical form that allows others to share in the beautiful concepts that come from your mind. What starts as a noble cause and a hopeful ambition, though, can quickly turn into frustration when searching for suppliers to help you fulfill this dream.
Finding suppliers for your branded hats can be one of the toughest barriers to break through when embarking on the task of trying to form your own brand. Not only do you have to consider the price, but there are so many other aspects that you may be blindsided by once you get into the search.
That said, here are things you need to check out for when looking for suppliers for branded hats:
Minimum Order Quantity
This should be high on your list of priorities when checking in on various suppliers. Minimum order quantity is a fundamental metric to both you and the supply side of this equation. This is essentially the least amount of a product a supplier will produce in order to make sure it’s worth their time. The problem is that many big suppliers and wholesalers overlook the small entrepreneur or brand because of the fact that they’re just starting out, and perhaps you don’t need to order 500 hats at once just yet.
Not all suppliers carry this asterisk though. For instance, you can get your custom branded hats and caps at steel-city.co.uk in single orders without worrying about the need to order excessive amounts of product. Ideally, this is the type of supplier you want to look for, one that doesn’t require exorbitant order sizes, and where you can connect with someone to get a consultant on your order.
People wearing branded caps
The next thing you should look for is what the supplier offers in terms of breadth of product and design. You may start out with just custom hats, and maybe a t-shirt and hoodie or two with some printed designs, but you want to expand this brand, right? With a growth in popularity will come a growth in ideas and requests, and you will likely want to expand your offerings beyond your original concept.
Though it may be cliché of personal online brands, there’s nothing wrong with offering a wide array of products centered around your brand or concept. Everyone has their interests, and if yours resonates with an audience, capitalize on it. You’ll need to go beyond hats, though. Maybe you want to introduce some branded travel mugs to your lineup, or maybe you’d like to get into jewelry, outerwear, or even embroidery. Many suppliers don’t offer embroidery regularly, or if they engage in it, they’ll upcharge significantly for the thread count. This is yet another bullet on the list of things to check for when you’re scouting suppliers while also considering what the future may hold for your brand.
When it comes to suppliers, they come in different forms. With these different forms come different pricing and even commission models with some of them. The market has advanced to the point where you now see suppliers essentially also working as drop shippers for their clients, meaning that you will never need to touch the product. But is that right for you? This depends on the situation, but consider the fact that with this business format comes commission costs.
With your typical everyday suppliers, the cost evaluation process is a bit more simplistic to audit. Assuming the suppliers you’ve narrowed your selection down to check all of your boxes in terms of your brand’s needs, you can then rank them in terms of cost and what you get for that cost. A supplier with more depth in their offerings may have higher operational costs and, thus, pass that on to you. However, if you’re truly looking to expand in the future and the quality is up to par, this can be very worth it.
On the other hand, if you’re simply looking for a one-time fix or a one-off merch run for a special item or event, you may not care about the excess options a supplier has to offer, and might be better off going with the simplest one available. Ultimately, you need to make sure the costs align with what you’re getting and what you anticipate your brand will need in the future.
Bringing It All Together
You’ll need to compare the offerings of suppliers across the board. Check for which one offers what, the pricing that comes with that, and what the best opportunity for this specific project is. You may want to try several suppliers, go with one now and switch later, or, if you’re more macro-focused, pick the right one for a long partnership together. The analysis is up to you, but now you know exactly what to look for.