When you're using the company credit card online, it can be even more nerve-racking than using your personal card instead. Here's how to stay safe when ordering branded clothing or customised workwear online, so you can make sure you don't get caught out.
Here's 10 things to look out for when ordering customised workwear online. Assessing how a site performs against all of these factors will help you make sure you only order from a reputable workwear or branded clothing supplier:
Suspiciously Low Costs Poor Size Guides and Product Information Lack Of Product Photography Lack Of Customer Feedback or Suspicious Client List Lack Of Options To Setup An Account No Terms & Conditions No Contact Now or Get In Touch Options No Ability To Get Advice About Branding Features No Ability To Proof Your Artwork Suspiciously Quick Turnaround For Your Large Order
1. Suspiciously Low Costs
There are two ways that you could get your fingers burned when order workwear because the cost appears too good to risk missing out on.
First, the whole site could be a scam. You should be prepared to pay appropriate costs for your work clothing items, barring a closing down or warehouse clearance sale. Either of these kind of sales might result in some bargain basement offers - but you should find that colours and sizes are limited.
If the price seem to good to be true, the website you're looking at will either be completely over selling items in the description when it comes to the true quality or will be a complete scam and there might not be any product available at all.
The second way that you could get caught out by suspiciously low costs is that you could inadvertently be encouraging exploitatitive manufacturing practices. If you have any concerns that customised workwear or branded clothing is being made in sweatshops, have a read of this recent blog which explores the issue further.
2. Poor Size Guides and Product Information
How much information a supplier puts on their site about garments gives a big clue about how reliable they are.
A reputable supplier should include useful copywriting about the features the item has, the materials it includes and useful sizing information. Without these things, it's likely that the supplier has never sampled the products they are selling and may be acting as a go between.
This is a company to avoid because there's no guarantees on quality and you might as well purchase from source instead of paying a third company.
3. Lack Of Product Photography
Another trick that unscrupulous companies who never handle their stock or are selling inferior products (or even counterfeit items) will use is to offer limited or poor quality product photography. If anything at all.
The site should either be using a range of manufacturer approved images or have conducted their own photoshoots in their own styles. Look for familiar photography styles in terms of backdrop, lighting and models used. Or high quality manufacturer produced photographs.
Companies who use low quality and low numbers of product shots are probably doing so to mask the low quality of the item they're selling.
4. Lack Of Customer Feedback or Suspicious Client List
All online reputable online retailers understand that they need to prove their worth to an online visitor, because you can't actually hold the item you're about to purchase in your hands before handing over your money.
That's why everyone from Amazon to Zoopla will include customer feedback and reviews of their product, to prove to new visitors that they're reliable. Google Shopping reviews are another example of this. It's a way of the user community being able to look out for each other and keep people using only the reliable sites.
Another technique is to include the client's youve worked for somewhere on your product page. Check to see that your workwear supplier has some clients on their site who they are proud to have supplied items for. This means they wouldn't mind you getting in touch for a reference.
If all of this is lacking, tread with caution.
Would you use the company credit card here? Use your instinct. If something doesn't feel right - it probably isn't.
5. Lack Of Options To Setup An Account
In the world of workwear, suppliers would love to have a company set up an account for regular orders of repetitive items. It provides some order book certainty and is a smoother process because the manufacturing team will be familiar with how the client wants the logo, the technique to get the garment finished just right in the quickest way, the electronic files are already approved and proofed, and so on.
If the online supplier you're browsing doesn't invite you to get in touch and set up an account, they are likely to either be unscrupulous or not capable of processing large orders to a high quality.
6. No Terms & Conditions
A big red flag when looking for an online supplier is whether they offer up their terms and conditions.
It's a requirement for an online retailer to put forward their delivery information and comply with certain long distance selling regulations. But the terms and conditions that a company offers their customers is a potential selling point - if what they offer is unrealistic or non-existant, do some further digging.
7. No Contact Now or Get In Touch Options
That is as long as you can get in touch.
If a workwear supplier isn't willing to speak to their customers over the phone or in person, they might not be capable of producing your high volume order to the standard you require because they are a small scale local printer. There's nothing wrong with that kind of business at all - but they probably aren't capable of producing 1,000s of pieces of workwear every week without outsourcing.
That is, assuming they even exist at all. Like all things on the internet; a lack of contact details straight away rings of some sort of scam.
8. No Ability To Get Advice About Branding Features
Your custom workwear supplier should be more than happy to chat about branding options, how best to achieve the look you are after, which options are available to you, what the long term implications are (will you easily be able to recreate this look, if needed, in two years time?).
A professional, respectable workwear supplier will happily offer this service. If they don't, you've got to ask how much care they will be putting into your workwear order.
9. No Ability To Proof Your Artwork
But even the most passionate and dedicated printers and embroiders will let you make the final decision about your branding. After all, it's your custom clothing, your brand and your business' money at stake.
Look around the website for the ability to submit your artwork and receive visuals to proof what the final order will look like. And it should be you who gives the final sign off to print or embroider.
10. Suspiciously Quick Turnaround For Your Large Order
This point kind of covers everything, in honesty. It's more about anything being a little too suspicious to trust.
How will they be able to deliver 2,000 promotional t-shirts on the same day of ordering? Or how will they put together 300 wearer packs of branded and personalised uniforms on next day delivery?
Or offer a handful of screen printed t-shirts for the same price as the same amount of simple vinyl printed t-shirts from other suppliers?
There must be a catch.
Make sure you don't get caught out by staying wise and keeping all of these things in mind.
You Should Have Plenty Of Options - Choose The Right One
A responsible workwear provider should give you plenty of options when it comes to using either print or embroidery. Make sure you know when to use the different techniques and on which types of garment by reading this quick and helpful guide: