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Tips in Fashion Wholesale Buying Abroad (Part 1: Pre-departure)

July 3, 2012

If I’m not mistaken, it has been 3 times that I have bought for Embellish full time. I have been blessed with a family that has been in the RTW business for more than 20 years so I don’t have to learn everything from scratch. But in every trip, I always learn something new, which I now want to share with you.

  • Include the following in your travel list:

Black marker: You’ll need this to label the plastic of your purchases with your name and supplier name.

Masking tape: Wholesalers abroad often use black plastic bags for packing. So unless you have a silver marker, you will need tape to label your black bags with a black marker. The same tape can be used to seal the bags as well.

Ballpen: You’ll need to write down clues in the receipt you receive from the supplier as to which one is which, especially if the items do not have stock codes placed.

Jacinto & Lirio mini notebook ( This is helpful in jotting notes of your expenses, usual terms used in dealing with suppliers, places to take note of etc. It also helps that Kwaderno by Jacinto & Lirio has pockets where you can insert the calling cards you’ll be getting along the way.

Cellphone with a camera that is capable of instantly of renaming the picture: Visual documentation is always the best way to refresh your memory. Whether you have a receipt to refer to or not (if you lose or misplace it), photos renamed by store can help you remember the pricing of each item. In my case, my mom told me to rename the photo with Store name (or your code for supplier)/QtyxPrice/Colors.

English-Chinese Dictionary (or English to the language of the country your going to) and vice-versa: Majority of the salesladies you’ll be encountering abroad, especially in China do not know how to speak in English. It pays to be familiar with the primary language of your destination, but just in case, it is still best to bring a handy dictionary with you.

Destination country’s money: You wont be able to find a money changer right away and you’ll be needing money to be able to atleast take their transportation to your hotel.

  • Do not venture into anything too adventurous atleast 1-2 weeks before going out of town or out of the country.

Last May 30, my family and I left for Australia. The weekend before that, I went surfing with the Jacinto & Lirio team. It was my first time to surf but the waves in Zambales were so strong that even pros couldn’t surf smoothly. Unfortunately, I got stomach punched so hard by the surfboard. My stomach felt like the feeling guys go through whenever their balls get hit!

I still felt a pang of pain the day after so to be sure, I went to the emergency room that Sunday. To my shock, I got hospitalized for one night!

“I told you so…” sermons from mom kept coming as expected.

Thank God it it was nothing as serious as Dr. Eufemio feared of.

  • Research on the trend of the season prior to leaving and have a definite focus in mind for your purchases.
There are TONS of beautiful clothes and accessories that you will see in one area alone, and it’s very tempting to buy everything that lures your eyes. Believe me, this is a NO-NO. Come prepared by having a “buying list” and always keep in mind who is your brand’s target market and what is your brand’s personality.
In the case of Embellish, it was Romantic Modern+Edgy gearing towards fashion bloggers and their followers or fashionistas in short.
A buying list is basically composed of the:
  1. Season’s hottest colors: Again there are tons of colors but choose only 3 colors you want to focus on per collection.
  2. Season Trends: It helps to have both sample pictures of the trend as well as a description under each trend.
  3. Season Trend Inspiration: You have to think fast when buying. A few sample clothes under each season trend is not enough to give you a better grasp of the trend. Find out the theme behind every trend.
  4. Your very own inspiration and interpretation of the inspiration

(I’ll be blogging how I applied this to EMBELLISH’s pre-fall collection as soon as it gets released.)

  • Go to a money exchange outlet locally and change your Peso to US$

If you don’t do this, the amount of money you would have to bring would be too thick to carry with you thus causing suspicion in the airport. The disadvantage with this though it that there will be a double currency change which might or might not be more expensive: Peso-US$-Destination country’s currency.


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