Apparel · B2B sales

How to find potential footwear, textile & garments wholesale buyers?

Mokaddesur Rahman Expert of Textile & Garments, Footwear Product Marketing

Last updated on May 26th, 2017

I am live in Dhaka, Bangladesh. I am interested in exporting footwear, textile & garments product. I have more than 10 years experience of T-shirt, Polo T-Shirt & Footwear product.
My family has T-shirt, Polo T-Shirt & Footwear product manufacturing unit (small scale) in one of Gazipur, Bangladesh (Near of Dhaka, Bangladesh). Want to help my family to grow their business.

However I want to take it to next level. Now, I want to sell to small to medium wholesale buyers. (I want to handle small to medium size orders before we jump into big orders).

Where do I find small - medium size whole sale buyers. Willing to explore other areas as well. Please share thoughts or advice.

Mario Azinović Small business owner - business strategy, process modeling, marketing & sales

June 18th, 2018

I have experience sourcing cosmetics producers from Asia, so I can share my insights from the other side of process.

At first, we tried doing everything remotely, idea was to approach somewhat known manufacturers (by checking suppliers for our niche competition at home country and abroad). It's hard; communication may not be so great, unknown/untrusted parties on both sides (and the communication problems don't help at building trust), time expensive when at quality testing phase and most of the time you're just wasting your time anyhow.

However, after a while we met with intermediary agents specialized for trade between Europe and Asia, in our industry and with already existing connections. Much easier, a lot more expensive.

Overall, the best deals we got from direct approach and networking on several trade fairs and conferences. It is a bit pricier if you're short on time, but if you're not in hurry just wait for some that are relatively nearby. Actually we found most important contact at a tourism fair - unrelated industry and we went there just because it was nearby.

I'd suggest you try with all of the above combined, but adapt to your specific situation. LinkedIN is a great place for finding professional trade agents/groups. As far as fairs are concerned, you should find a target country/region (where you'd like to sell) and check the websites of governmental business bureaus/agencies etc. Also, LinkedIN and Facebook groups for your industry often share similar events, so you can try there, as well as in local business focused publication, startup incubators and similar associations.