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DOING BUSINESS WITH ITALIAN COMPANIES

A SHORT GUIDE FOR BUYERS

This short Guide is just a collection of some information, recommendations and reasonable tips about how to deal and do business with the Italian fashion companies joining the ItalianModa marketplace ( http://www.italianmoda.com ).

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LIST OF TOPICS:

How it works with ItalianModa
About contacting the Italian companies
How to order and pay
Other useful tools
Are you a shop owner or wholesaler?
Are you opening a shop?
Are you interested in Private Label?
Have you an online business?
Are you interested in representing?
Are you planning to come to Italy?


 

HOW IT WORKS WITH ITALIANMODA

  • If you are a shop/boutique owner, wholesaler, importer, fashion company, designer or department store, ItalianModa allows you to find, select and get in touch with qualified Italian companies able to supply you with the best in Italian fashions (clothing, shoes, handbags, fashion accessories, knitwear, jewellery, home linens, fabrics and home decor).
  • We strongly recommend you to register with the ItalianModa marketplace, using the last large field in the form to describe as precisely as possible the Italian fashion products you are looking for.
  • You can also use the contact forms deployed in ItalianModa to contact a single company or more companies all together.
  • You can even send us a simple E-Mail (to: info@italianmoda.com ) detailing all the identification and contact data of your business, and describing as precisely as possible what you are looking for (this is very important!).
  • The service is for free.
  • Any time you contact a company please quote ItalianModa as your source.

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ABOUT CONTACTING THE ITALIAN COMPANIES

  • If you send your request through ItalianModa you have just to wait for feedback from each company best matching your request. This can take from a few to several days, due to some factors. Requests with few or poor information will get a lower priority and longer submission times.
  • If you want to contact a company directly, we strongly recommend you to send your request through the company's Showroom deployed in ItalianModa or using the "Contact us Now!" link placed below each company listed after a search or during a directory browsing. Ask the company about the chance to have a phone conversation and if they can sustain it, call them!
  • The time zone of Italy is GMT+1 (for example: 6 hours ahead of EST and 9 hours ahead of PST). Call from Monday through Friday between 8:30 am and 6:00 pm (Italian time).
  • When calling, please remember that the language skills of each Italian company staff vary a lot, from poor to very good. Because of this we recommend you to follow these tips:

Speaking -

    • Be patient and slow the pace of speech down
    • Pronounce words clearly
    • Repeat key points and ask for confirmation of understanding
    • Remember that your Italian contact is making the effort to speak your (or another) language
    • Keep sentences short and simple

    Please avoid :

    • Idioms, slang, or jargon
    • Slurring your words
    • Negative questions and contradictions
    • Complex sentences

Listening -

    • Practice listening carefully
    • Repeat key information for confirmation

Writing -

    • Avoid using long or complex sentences. Keep them short and simple
    • Create a numbered or bulleted list of points to ask or discuss
    • Do not use idioms, slang, or jargon
    • Always review what has been written and remove unnecessary or misleading words
    • When writing the very first time, please always add your full name, the name of your company, as well as your street address and a phone/fax number. This will make later contacts easier. More, please consider to add a short profile of your current business and try to detail as much precisely as possible your request. The latter is extremely important to get a proper feedback from the Italian companies
       
  • English is the most common foreign language understood by the Italian companies. Some of them have good skills in French and Spanish too, a few others in German.
  • Send a request to one or more Italian fashion companies ONLY IF you are seriously interested in purchasing wholesale from them or having products manufactured by them ("Private Label") or asking for becoming an agent/distributor.
  • If you are looking for cheap or ultra cheap products, please AVOID to use the ItalianModa services or to contact the companies listed in the marketplace. There are no cheap or ultra-cheap Italian fashions!
  • Because of many attempts of fraud or unserious would-be buyers, most Italian companies are suspicious with new contacts not providing their basic identification and contact data.
  • If requested, be prepared to send to your next Italian supplier some official documents about your company (for example: the incorporation act).
  • When registering with the ItalianModa marketplace you can voluntarily ask to upgrade your status to " TRUSTED BUYER ". Please follow the directions shown on screen to understand how to do that. Such a status enhance the confidence of the Italian companies towards you.
  • You should fill in carefully and precisely all the fields of the ItalianModa contact or registration forms. Please be sincere and pragmatic with your request. More, be as precise as possible: confused or unclear requests produce a loss of time and can generate misunderstandings or worse.
  • If sending your request by E-Mail, please add all the data about your business (name, address, short profile), a verifiable phone number (possibly a landline phone) and a detailed description of the Italian fashion products you are interested in.
  • When writing your request please try to be as precise as possible : this is extremely important. Describe carefully the Italian fashion products you are interested in, including the estimated quantity and the approximate wholesale price range you can afford. The more information you provide the better the feedback and the confidence from the Italian companies. A short request with poor details is usually considered negatively and it could be even discarded.
  • All the Italian companies joining the ItalianModa marketplace are real and trustworthy companies. Anyway, ItalianModa cannot endorse any of them. If you have specific questions about them please feel free to ask to us ( info@italianmoda.com ) or, better, ask directly each company for more information (for example: incorporation act, DUNS number, etc …). Most data about each company are published in its ItalianModa Showroom (see http://www.italianmoda.com/storefronts for a complete list).
  • Should you have severe issues in getting in touch with an Italian company joining the ItalianModa marketplace, you can contact us ( info@italianmoda.com ) describing what's happening.

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HOW TO ORDER AND PAY

  • The Italian fashion companies sell to wholesale buyers only, not to consumers, so some reasonable minimum quantities must be matched (though most companies can provide even a single product for sampling). Ask your possible suppliers for the requested minimums.
  • If you want to have a sample of one or more products, be prepared to pay for it and its shipping. Some companies can deduct such a cost from a later order.
  • Orders are usually accepted via fax or via E-mail. In order to avoid any misunderstanding, please write as precisely as possible the order details, possibly using plain English (or a language accepted by the supplier).
  • When submitting an order ask for a written confirmation from the supplier, then acknowledge it.
  • Many companies have a B2B E-Commerce platform (Electronic Catalog)  where you can browse their products and place an order. Using such a facility makes the ordering process quicker, easier and much simpler. See http://www.italianmoda.com/bstores for a list of such companies.
  • The Italian fashion companies always require an advanced payment, before shipping. In case of products to be manufactured on-demand or of a "Private Label" service a preliminary payment (usually 30% of the whole amount) is required. The rest must be paid before shipping.
  • If you are purchasing for the very first time from a supplier, don't ask for an alternative or delayed payment. The answer would be "no".
  • If your business is placed within the European Community and have a VAT number, no tax will be applied.
  • If you business is placed outside the European Community you should consider possible additional taxes and custom duties that your authorities can charge you when the products come to your door.
  • The Italian companies usually accept different payments, including:
    • Bank transfer (goods will be shipped only when the money will be credited on their bank account)
    • Credit Card (usually PayPal)
    • Cash on delivery (available for some European countries only)
  • Western Union is not a favorite payment method, due to high collect costs.
  • The Escrow service (http://www.escrow.com) is an interesting alternative for those buyers/sellers who don't trust much each other. Anyway, be prepared to pay an additional cost for such a service.
  • Keep all the order documents and communications to and from the suppliers in a safe place, where you can retrieve them quickly and easily.

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OTHER USEFUL TOOLS

  • If you have an Androird smartphone, take advantage of the full power of the marketplace using the ItalianModa App for Android. Go to the Play Store and search for "italianmoda", then install the app. iPhone user? Go to the iTunes store and search for "italianmoda" to install the ItalianModa app for iPhone.
  • If you a registered user of the ItalianModa marketplace you can use your control panel at "My ItalianModa" to leave a rating about an Italian supplier you purchased from. Please do it. Your honest contribution will allow other buyers to have a better idea about that company.
  • The "My ItalianModa" control panel allows you also to leave a complaint against a supplier. Try to describe as precisely and objectively as possible the case, providing all the information necessary to evaluate and investigate the complaint.

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ARE YOU A SHOP OWNER OR WHOLESALER?

  • If you are interested in cheap or ultra-cheap fashion merchandise, the ItalianModa Marketplace is not the proper place for you. Most Italian companies joining it offer products ranging from "better" to "couture" (namely, from the medium to the very high segment of the market), and only very few deal with the "moderate" price point. If you are just interested in (low) price, the sought-after quality Italian fashion products are not a good match for your business.
  • Thanks to ItalianModa you can source directly from the manufacturers, skipping any middleman and enjoying lower prices and a much larger choice. They usually ask for reasonable minimum quantities, but don't think to purchase just one or two pieces at a time!
  • Some companies offer small assorted lots of their merchandise in order to let you sell an outstanding selection of their fashions.
  • Some companies occasionally offer overstocks and closeouts from their past collections. Though they are available at a reduced wholesale price, they are valuable Italian-made fashion products and are not sold for few dollars or euros. If interested in them, please detail it in your request.
  • If you are interested in overstocks and past seasons of popular designer brand names, please emphasize this in your request. In the ItalianModa marketplace there are several reputable distributors just specialized in such a type of genuine branded merchandise and, we have to know your specific interest in order to submit your request to them. It is a good idea to list your favorite brands.

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ARE YOU OPENING A SHOP?

  • ItalianModa does not provide any information about how to open a fashion shop, local rules and regulations, and other similar topics.
  • ItalianModa is an outstanding tool to help you find, select and do business with Italian fashion suppliers, enabling you to find hard-to-find exclusive fashions at the best wholesale prices. In a nutshell, you can source directly from the Italian manufacturers and make your business really different!
  • Purchasing from the Italian companies enables you to stock quickly and efficiently your shop, saving money and getting superb fashions your competitors don't offer. This is a key point for your success.
  • Some Italian companies offer a franchising programme. Your shop could become a point in their franchising network. They usually introduce such an opportunity when answering your original request.
  • ItalianModa offers its very innovative franchising programme to selected owners of new or existing shops, or boutiques. Visit http://www.modafranchise.com to learn more.
  • Some Italian companies offer a ready-to-display corner with an assortment of their best products. This is a great chance to enhance the offer of your shop.

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ARE YOU INTERESTED IN PRIVATE LABEL?

  • Most Italian companies offer a Private Label service. This means you can have your own designs manufactured by a qualified Italian manufacturer or choose existing designs from the manufacturer's collections, and have your own label on them. In both cases your products will be entitled to benefit of the "Made in Italy" label too.
  • If you are interested in Private Label you must be ready to meet some (reasonable) minimum quantities. Set-up costs are usually involved too.
  • When submitting a request about Private Label please be very detailed: give precise figures about quantities, affordable wholesale price per unit, delivery times, packaging and certificates you may need. More, don't forget a very precise description of the product(s) you want to be manufactured. Don't forget to say you want your design(s) made or products from the supplier's current collection to be labeled with your brand.

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HAVE YOU AN ONLINE BUSINESS?

  • If you have an online shop, ItalianModa can be an outstanding source for new exciting hard-to-find Italian fashion products to sell with profit.
  • You must purchase wholesale from the Italian suppliers. As a matter of fact nearly all of them do not offer a drop-shipping service .
  • Many companies can help you to showcase their products: ask them for pictures of their products, so that you can quickly deploy them in your online shop!

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ARE YOU INTERESTED IN REPRESENTING?

  • If you want to apply as an agent or distributor you can contact each company or have a look at their "Company blog" (the link is available in the company "Showroom" within ItalianModa), where announcements about search for agents are often published. You can also send us your application and we will submit it to the Italian companies best matching your profile.
  • Another good idea is to have a look at the ItalianModa Billboard, where you can find a selection of announcements from the companies.
  • It is absolutely necessary you provide a detailed profile, including references and your past business experiences. Be sincere and realistic, try to avoid any overstatement.
  • Please supply as much information as possible about you and your business. This is necessary to any Italian company to check your background and trust you.
  • If you want to represent, or even distribute, one or more Italian fashion companies, be prepared to invest time and money .
  • Most companies are not interested in hiring sales personnel abroad, but are always interested in agents and representatives (to be paid on commission) or distributors.

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ARE YOU PLANNING TO COME TO ITALY ?

  • We strongly recommend you to submit an advance request to the Italian companies, taking advantage of the many tools offered by the ItalianModa marketplace. Please do this two/three weeks before your coming at least. In such a way you will be able to get in touch with several possible suppliers, get information about them and then select those eligible for a meeting. This could save you a terrific amount of time and money. If you are in hurry, please consider to acquire the "Express Request" service offered by ItalianModa.
  • ItalianModa does not offer any help about trip planning, hotel accommodations, translations and so. When writing your request to get in touch with the Italian companies, please highlight your need for such services. Some suppliers can directly help you with them.
  • If you plan to come to Italy and visit your next Suppliers, please definitely avoid these periods:
    • August (most but all of the companies are closed due to the summer vacations)
    • December 23 - January 7 (most companies are closed due to the winter vacations)

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