The World today is not the world your father grew up in. There used to be a time in the US when your word was your honor so people were careful with what they said and what they sold. Unfortunately those days are gone, replaced by companies and reps that many times are not even based in America and don’t have any issues with providing less than stellar product and service. There are still great companies and even better employees out there, but finding them is the hard part. To help you out, here are 5 warning signs that should make you run away from a run-of-the-mill sportswear company.
1. The first and probably biggest warning sign of a bad company is when you see a product that’s literally half the price of recognized, name brand uniforms. You get what you pay for is never more evident than when dealing with these companies. Shotty work, unreliable delivery, poor customers service and little to no guarantees that you will even receive your product lie in wait for the person crazy enough to buy from them. If you’re in charge of uniforms for your team and decide to take chance with a company like this be prepared for the backlash if and when the team uniforms arrive.
2. The Second warning sign is when they won’t pick up the phone. If the only way to get a hold of a uniform provider is by email you can be sure they are understaffed and most likely based overseas where they do not have to guarantee timeliness, accuracy, or even a product if they don’t feel like sending it. The first and second warning sign go hand in hand because the same companies usually have very cheap products.
3. The third warning sign is the website. If the website is littered with misspelled words and looks like your kid photo shopped half the designs and uniforms it’s probably because someone’s kid did make the designs in a country like Pakistan, Indonesia, Philippines or China. There is a reason you should buy through American companies and that’s because they know how to deal with factories from these countries and have trusted contacts. They also have years of learning to communicate effectively along with having preset expectations and a relationship. If you are buying directly from overseas factories not only do you have none of this but they have no incentive to make sure your order is done right and on time for your season, so you’re taking a huge risk using them and will likely end up having to buy again from a US based company after losing your money. Also, because of VOIP technology all companies selling to the US have US numbers so just because they show a US number does not mean they are based in America.
4. The Fourth warning sign is the “About Us” page is empty or has very little in it. Every respectable business is happy to brag about their beginnings, where they came from and what their core values are. If the page is blank or doesn’t have anything of any real meaning in it they are telling you what is important to them; your money.
5. The Fifth warning sign is a lack of personal guarantee. So they want you to drop a couple thousand dollars on uniforms but they can’t guarantee the quality, timeliness or reliability of the product? And you still want to buy from them? Okay, next time you’re in town look me up because I have some timeshares I’d like to sell you.
Remember, not all team sports uniform companies are created equal. Don’t be too brand conscious that you get suckered into overspending your budget just to get a check mark in your uniform, but at the same time, if you find a price that is too good to be true, remember that it probably is. Find a company that is backed up by legitimate testimonials of excellent products and trustworthy service, but priced a little bit lower than your name brands- it is a sign of great quality without the massive advertising expenses rolled into your price.
By: Todd Marinshaw. Todd owns and operates a sportswear business based in Orlando, FL and recently founded iPrevail, a non-profit organization focused on relief and rehabilitation for victims of disasters such as Typhoon Haiyan