So you want to start importing textiles? This is a great business to get into since there are many products available, ranging from clothing to wearing apparel and even yarns and fabrics. These can translate into lucrative additions to your current apparel, or can even be used to start a new business. This quick how-to article will give you a jump start. Choosing a supplier is the key component to beginning your importing endeavors. If you remember only one thing from this article, remember to do your research! Researching your supplier and finding as much information as you can will help you make an informed decision. You want to gather all the information you find and weigh out your options thoroughly. If you choose a trustworthy supplier, you can be sure that you’ll consistently receive quality goods for as long as you wish to pursue that business relationship. One of the best ways to seek out suppliers is by attending a trade show, and this is beneficial for several reasons. First, it gives you the chance to meet with potential suppliers in person. This will give you confidence in choosing a supplier you’ll feel comfortable doing business with. Second, you’ll have the opportunity to receive special deals that are only offered to those who are present at the trade show. If you have the means, we also suggest going overseas to personally visit your supplier and ensure the factory conditions meet the appropriate standards. If you can’t meet with a supplier face-to-face, there are many other ways to find them through online resources like GlobalSources.com. You’ll find ample information so you can get in touch with several suppliers and start making arrangements once you choose who to work with. When using B2B portals, it’s important to keep in mind these sites may also list some scam artists. We recommend using Import Genius, a database housing shipping records that illustrates the supply chain of all goods imported into the U.S. This can be an invaluable tool for your research. You can verify the legitimacy of a supplier you’re interested in and even find out who else they’re working with. If you have a list of suppliers and need to narrow it down, just take a look at the visual mapping tool. This will show you whether a particular supplier works with other well-known companies and the records will also show you a supplier’s repeat customers. For example, lets say you’re interested in importing jeans. A quick search for ‘blue jeans’ in the IG database shows you that CMT DE LA LAGUNA SA DE CV supplied jeans to ‘LEVI STRAUSS DO BRASIL IND. COM.’ This manufacturer also works with ‘POLO RALPH LAUREN EUROPE SARL’. The fact that these two household brand names share a supplier might be an indication that the manufacturer is dependable. Once you choose a supplier and place your order, the next step is to establish terms of payment. There are a few options here. Most commonly, you will place a down payment of 20-30% of the total order. You’ll submit the remainder of the payment when the goods are on the ship ready for their journey. You can also arrange for a letter of credit to be sent from your bank to the supplier. This may take you some time related to submitting paperwork and processing, so just plan ahead if this is the route you take. Between the time that your order is complete and the good s are being prepared for shipping, you’ll need to get a customs broker to handle the goods when they arrive into the U.S. Textile shipments must comply with guidelines established by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. As long as you’ve done your homework to meet these standards, you shouldn't have a problem. Your broker will handle the necessary paperwork and can help you with securing a drayage company to transport the goods to your warehouse.