WHERE DO WE BEGIN?
Choosing your next club gear provider is a big thing. Get it wrong and you can end up feeling the consequences for years to come. Make the right decision and you can forget about all the hassle that is usually associated with ordering and maintaining club gear. The process involves a fair amount of variables and there is no magical formula that could solve the equation for you. You have to face it - at some point you will have to rely on your instincts, but the more accurate information you gather beforehand, the less you will have to rely on your intuition when making the final decision.
Here are the 10 most important things you should look for in a brand's offer
MULTI YEAR CONTRACTS.
Having a multi year contract can be beneficial. Depending on contents of the contract you can get a fixed price or annual support for elite athletes or some other benefits. It gives a sort of security. On the other hand, it ties you to one supplier without much space for changing things you don’t find that appealing.
We live in very dynamic times and sometimes big changes happen over night. Better offers might come by, but you can’t grab those if your hands are tied.
MINIMUM ORDER QUANTITIES (MOQ).
While this might be more relevant for small clubs and teams, it’s still super important to know the brand’s policy when it comes to MOQ (minimum order quantities). Quite often there is a need for a shirt or two due to people losing and damaging their club gear or new member joining the club (especially important for clubs with kids and junior sections).
Imagine if you need to wait till there is a need for 10 shirts or jackets. It can take forever. Look for offers with low or no MOQ restrictions.
ORDER SHIPPING COSTS.
With gas prices skyrocketing, shipping services are constantly increasing costs for their services. 15 EUR for a 2kg box yesterday can be as much as 45 EUR today. Many offers used to contain free shipping for orders above 1000 EUR, but those days are gone.
Look for clearly communicated shipping policies so there are no unpleasant surprises coming once your order is ready for delivery.
CLEAR AND RELIABLE DELIVERY TIME.
Arguably the most important thing when you are in a hurry for an important event and not that relevant when you have all the time in the world. Custom sportswear brands usually claim their delivery times being somewhere between 5 and 6 weeks, with few exceptions offering 4 weeks as default. As simple as it may sound - it’s not. The whole “getting new club gear” process consists of many subsections, and there is a big chance that some parts of the process will take more time than expected.
Look for suppliers who have in-house production because that is a good indicator they have full control over the production process. Plus, it’s crucially important to know when the “clock starts ticking”. It can be at the confirmation of designs or payment date, or some other point of reference.
Obviously, no supplier will give you a lifetime warranty on a running jacket or orienteering shirt. Just as you don’t expect your mesh shirt to last 10+ years (although some really do). Warranty for zippers, fabric damage that occurred in the manufacturing process, colour fade - those are the things that you should be looking for when evaluating an offer.
CREATING A DESIGN AND DESIGN RELATED COSTS.
Usually, this is the very first step in the process of making great club gear. It’s also one of the crucial parts (if not the most) because your club members will have to “live” with the outcome for the next few years. Yet, there are many brands that put very little effort into creating good looking and modern designs, but they still manage to charge anywhere between 100 to 200 EUR for their services. Plus, there can be hidden rocks like a limited amount of adjustments or hours included in the initial price.
If you see a free design offer, you better grab it while it’s there and squeeze the most out of it by being picky when you feel like it. After all, the whole essence of customised club gear is to stand out and give a sense of belonging to something greater than we are as individuals.
WHERE AND HOW ARE GARMENTS PRODUCED.
Around 2/3 of customers claim they care about the environment and fair wage policies, with roughly 1/3 actually making their buying decisions based on suppliers with ethics and sustainability policies. If you fall into those 37%, you might want to check where the garments are actually produced (not just designed), where are the fabrics and trimmings sourced from, and does the company have a transparent policy when it comes to the production process.
POSSIBILITIES FOR ORDERING SINGLE ITEMS AS SAMPLES.
There are two main reasons you might want to do this. Number one - to check how your team design will look on a real item. Number two - to check the quality of the garment that is produced specially for you, knowing that there is time pressure. Usually, brands offer this as a service, but often it’s quite overpriced and will cost you as much as 300% of the normal price of the garment.
This should go without saying - positive reviews are quite a solid hint that you are buying high quality products or services. However, this is not that straight forward when it comes to club gear simply because there are fewer clubs out there compared to individual buyers in the e-commerce market.
Look for brands that have testimonials from recognisable club managers and make sure those are not fake. You won’t believe how many “5 star” reviews on cheap Instagram offers are 100% made up.
We hope that you found this guide helpful and it will contribute to making the best decision for your organisation or team. As you might have already guessed, no single section of this guide should determine your choice, but it should give you a solid ground for evaluating all the offers out there. You can get a free copy of this guide by clicking download button below.
We will continue with more insights on relevant topics therefore we would appreciate a bit of your feedback. We will follow up with e-mail shortly. Stay tuned!