How Can I Find A Shoe Manufacturer?

An in-person search of manufacturers, taking the help of referrals, or searching for them online, are some typical approaches to finding a manufacturer for yourself. We’ll discuss the details in a moment.

Every innovator goes through a phase where they eventually ponder over some questions regarding the manufacturer to produce their creation.  

How can I find a shoe manufacturer for my idea? Should I work with manufacturers overseas or near me? And so on. 

Compiling a list of potential manufacturing partners who might be able to make items similar to the ones you have in mind can be difficult, you may wonder where to begin. If you can’t find a reliable manufacturer to construct your team’s designed shoe at a competitive scale and price, even your best product concept and design becomes useless. 

Today we’d like to share our top advice with you for choosing the very best shoe manufacturer. Keep reading to find out!

How Can I Find A Shoe Manufacturer?

Finding a manufacturer that can produce shoes at the scale you require and in the method you choose is essential while manufacturing them. 

Here’s how to find a shoe manufacturer.

How Can I Find A Shoe Manufacturer

Search Online

  1. Online Directories:

Online supplier directories can be a useful resource for your manufacturer research. Hundreds and thousands of manufacturers, distributors, and suppliers have profiles in these directories, which may come of help to you. 

There are various online marketplaces that link buyers and sellers seeking to trade or resell with manufacturers and distributors around the world. Here are several websites you can use depending on your preferred location.

China:

  • Alibaba.com
  • GlobalSources.com
  • Made-in-China.com

United States: 

  • MakersRow.com
  • ThomasNet.com

Europe:

  • All.biz
  • EuroPages.com

Others:

  • Kompass
  • MFG
  • TradeKey.com
  • IndiaMart.com
  • Sourcify
  1. Google:

You may use the Google search engine and try searching for shoe manufacturers near you or overseas manufacturers using Google. Start your search with terms associated with your business, and narrow down to other important criteria associated with your production like location, or materials.

However, you may not get the latest updates on the manufacturers who haven’t kept up with changes related to Google’s algorithm. Some manufacturers have poorly optimized websites with little information, though their work is likable. In this case, Google searches may not be that helpful.

  1. NAICS Codes

The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes are standard codes that are used to categorize enterprises by industry. Almost every manufacturing company and product has a corresponding NAICS number.

You can find manufacturers who specialize in your product by browsing the Census Bureau website for relevant NAICS codes and using them to focus your search.

  1. Social Networking Sites

Use social networks to conduct your research. Join with e-commerce business owners via Facebook groups and other online forums to see if anyone there has anything to help you with.

Take Help From Referrals

Interact with shoe industry professionals and ask for their recommendations or reliable manufacturers. Or you can try looking for people who have succeeded with similar businesses as yours, and ask if they are okay to share their contacts. 

You may also assess a manufacturer’s repute and dependability by reading reviews and customer feedback. 

Personally Searching for Manufacturers

This strategy is not for everyone because it requires investing time and money to visit local places and foreign nations and interview a handful of potential manufacturers. You will, however, get a close-up view of their resources and samples.

Visit trade shows as a second option to this time-consuming approach. At these trade shows, you are able to meet hundreds of manufacturers at once, saving you weeks of work.

You can check this video on how to find a manufacturer for your shoe brand in 4 easy ways by Paula Oyinkan

YouTube video

What To Ask A Shoe Manufacturer Before Collaborating?

After conducting research to determine which manufacturers would be the most suitable for you, start trimming down your selection by evaluating costs, delivery schedules, and manufacturing techniques. 

It’s up to you how to assess the manufacturers and locate a reliable provider for you. Here are some questions you may ask your manufacturers when you are prepared to start a conversation.

What To Ask A Shoe Manufacturer Before Collaborating
  • What makes the company you run unique from others? Do you provide an above-par product or service?
  • Which materials are used in the manufacturing process of the shoes?
  • What is your pricing policy, and what features affect the price of your shoes?
  • How do you ensure quality control in your production process?
  • Do you provide any customized services?
  • What is the average duration between an order and shipment?
  • How much does it cost to ship shoes?
  • What are your return policies?
  • Can you provide feedback from previous clients?

What Should I Do After Finding A Shoe Manufacturer?

Here’s what you can do after finding a shoe manufacturer you think can be reliable. 

  • Ask To Provide Samples
What Should I Do After Finding A Shoe Manufacturer

Ask for an actual sample of the footwear you want, better ask for a batch that you are willing to pay for.

You might receive a product left-over from an order like yours if you just request one sample. Later, your finished product might differ substantially from the sample you saw, since it might have been created by different employees using different equipment. Asking for a batch will pressurize the manufacturers to use their current employees and equipment to produce new products for you.

If that’s not possible, then ask for a sample similar to what you want. 

  • Tour the factory and meet the workers

Be ready to spend at least 2-3 days touring the premises when you go to a manufacturer. Learn about its background, interact with the workers, and get an idea of how the production is conducted. Also, make sure to request to see the actual equipment used to produce big amounts of products.

Take notes on the workflow and the areas that need improvement.

  • Check References

An essential step when evaluating a manufacturer is to check references. You should reach out to other clients who have previously collaborated with your preferred manufacturer and know about their experiences.  Enquire about the product’s quality, the communication, and any problems they ran into during production.

Final Thoughts

One of the hardest steps of starting a business is learning how to identify a manufacturer who can provide high-quality products on schedule. Hope now you have an idea of how to find a shoe manufacturer for yourself.

Spend an abundance of time finding the ideal manufacturing partner. After finding a list of potential shoe manufacturers, you have to carry out additional research to assess their background, standing, and suitability for your requirements. Only after that, you should agree with your manufacturers. 

Good luck with the next steps!

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