Checklist to Buy Surplus Garments (Avoid Purchasing Defective One)

Checklist for buying surplus clothing

Read this checklist to avoid purchasing a defective or a fake surplus garment.

Most garments sold in the export surplus stores are leftover garments after shipment. Some garments may be defective one as per the buyer’s quality specification, or excess quantity produced by export garment manufacturers. In a nut cell, a surplus garment made of quality raw materials, but might have visible or hidden defects.

Export surplus stores sell original branded garments that may contain defective part(s) and/or defective trim(s). Garments with hidden defects that do not hinder in the functionality of the garment is okay to many wearers as they choose to buy surplus products.

Two kinds of defects you may find in surplus garments. Defects in functional trims and aesthetic properties.

Related article:Tips for Sourcing Quality Garments for Your Business

Following are a few guidelines to purchase original export quality garments and to know the defects lie in the garments.

1. Check the Brand label 
Exporter garment manufacturers are not supposed to sell surplus garments with original labels. So, they cut labels before selling surplus goods to wholesalers and retailers. If you find a cut label it might be original products.

2. Check Shade Variation
Check if there is shade variation between garment parts, like the sleeve to body, front to back shade variation.

3. Check the backside of the garment where the label is attached. 
There might be a needle hole or cut.

4. Check the Quality of the Trims
Check all rivets and buttons are attached securely (for jeans).

5. Don't forget to check the joints in the crotch area. 
There might be broken seams [1] or skipped stitches (Jeans and bottoms). If you are okay with a little repair, then you can buy such clothes. 

6. Wrong placement of logos or distorted logo
Due to the wrong placement of the embroidered logo or distorted logo, the garment is considered a defective product. But as a surplus customer, this is not an issue.

7. Check for cut and hole
For knits products, there might be needle cut in stitch lines. Check needle cut by stretching stitches. Just check the bottom hem and armhole stitches to ensure needle cut is there or not.

8. Check for the broken seam in the waistband 
If you are purchasing boxer pant, track pant or bottom with elastic at the waistband. Check the stitch lines on the waistband thoroughly. If you find stitches are not secured or loose thread on the seam line avoid buying that piece.

9. Check the garment size
There might be a mismatch between the actual garment size and the size mentioned on the size label. So, don’t believe in the size label only, check garment width and length by opening folds.

Also remember, some sellers make customers fool by selling inferior quality garments attaching duplicate labels of international brands. Fake garments might look the same in design but the raw materials of the fake garments are not as good as the branded products.

How to ensure that you are buying a shirt of an original brand?

10. For full-sleeve check and stripe shirts
Just check the sleeve underarm stitch line. If check patterns are symmetric then it is an original product. If you find one side of the seam line is straight and the other side is diagonal stripes then most probably that shirt is made locally. Don't buy that piece because the low-quality fabric is used for making such garments.

11. Check the shirt front placket 
If you find fabric selvedge[2] is used in the front placket then it is not a branded shirt. In fake shirts, you would not find buttons in sleeve plackets.

Do you have any bad experiences purchasing surplus clothes? You can share it with us.

[1] Seam - A seam is a line where two or more layers of fabric are joined together by stitches.
[2] Fabric selvedge: A selvedge (selvege) is a self-finished edge of the fabric. The selvages keep the fabric from unravelling or fraying.

Prasanta Sarkar

Prasanta Sarkar is a textile engineer and a postgraduate in fashion technology from NIFT, New Delhi, India. He has authored 6 books in the field of garment manufacturing technology, garment business setup, and industrial engineering. He loves writing how-to guide articles in the fashion industry niche. He has been working in the apparel manufacturing industry since 2006. He has visited garment factories in many countries and implemented process improvement projects in numerous garment units in different continents including Asia, Europe, and South Africa. He is the founder and editor of the Online Clothing Study Blog.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post


Contact Form