The Price Fixation Process in the Garments Export BusinessThe Price Fixation Process in the Garments Export Business

The Price Fixation Process in the Garments Export Business

The garments export business is a dynamic and competitive field, with numerous factors influencing the pricing strategies adopted by exporters. Setting the right price is crucial for profitability, market penetration, and long-term sustainability. In this blog, we will delve into the intricate process of price fixation in the garments export business, examining key components such as cost analysis, market research, competitive pricing, and negotiation strategies.

1. Understanding Cost Components

The first step in price fixation is a thorough understanding of the cost components involved in garment production. These can be broadly categorized into direct and indirect costs:

Direct Costs

– Material Costs: This includes the cost of fabrics, trims, and accessories. The type, quality, and quantity of materials used significantly impact the final price.

– Labor Costs: Wages paid to workers involved in cutting, stitching, finishing, and packing garments. Labor-intensive garments usually have higher labor costs.

– Production Overheads: Costs associated with running the production facility, such as electricity, water, and maintenance.

 Indirect Costs

– Administrative Expenses: Salaries of administrative staff, office rent, and other overheads.

– Marketing and Sales Expenses: Costs related to market research, advertising, and sales promotions.

– Logistics and Shipping: Expenses incurred in transporting goods to the buyer, including freight, insurance, and customs duties.

2. Market Research and Demand Analysis

Market research plays a crucial role in determining the price of exported garments. Exporters need to understand the demand dynamics, consumer preferences, and purchasing power in target markets. Key aspects of market research include:

– Target Market Analysis: Identifying potential markets based on economic conditions, fashion trends, and consumer behavior.

– Competitor Analysis: Studying the pricing strategies of competitors to position products competitively.

– Price Sensitivity: Assessing how price changes affect demand, which helps in setting a price that maximizes revenue without losing customers.

3. Competitive Pricing Strategies

Adopting the right pricing strategy is essential for staying competitive in the global market. Common strategies include:

– Cost-Plus Pricing: Adding a standard markup to the total cost to ensure a profit margin. This method is straightforward but may not always reflect market conditions.

– Value-Based Pricing: Setting a price based on the perceived value of the product to the customer. High-quality or unique garments can command higher prices.

– Penetration Pricing: Setting a lower price to enter a new market or to increase market share. This can be risky if it leads to unsustainable profit margins.

– Premium Pricing: Charging higher prices for branded or high-end garments. This strategy targets niche markets willing to pay a premium for quality and exclusivity.

4. Negotiation and Contractual Agreements

Once a price is determined, negotiation with buyers is a critical step. Successful negotiation requires:

– Clear Communication: Presenting a detailed cost breakdown and justifying the proposed price.

– Flexibility: Being willing to adjust terms, such as payment schedules, order quantities, or delivery timelines, to reach a mutually beneficial agreement.

– Long-Term Relationships: Building trust and understanding with buyers can lead to more favorable terms and repeat business.

5. External Factors Influencing Price Fixation

Several external factors can impact the pricing process, including:

– Exchange Rates: Fluctuations in currency exchange rates can affect the final price in the buyer’s currency, influencing competitiveness and profitability.

– Trade Policies: Tariffs, trade agreements, and import/export regulations can add to the cost and affect pricing strategies.

– Economic Conditions: Inflation, economic stability, and consumer spending power in the target market can influence pricing decisions.

Garments Costing for Export Orders

1. Understanding Cost Components

The costing of garments for export involves several components, which can be broadly categorized into direct and indirect costs. Let’s explore these in detail.

Direct Costs

Material Costs: This is often the largest cost component and includes:

  • Fabric Costs: The price of fabric per unit (e.g., per meter or yard). This can vary based on fabric type, quality, and supplier.
  • Trims and Accessories: Costs of buttons, zippers, labels, threads, and other materials used in garment construction.

Labor Costs: This includes wages paid to workers involved in various stages of garment production:

  • Cutting: The process of cutting fabric into pieces.
  • Stitching: Sewing the fabric pieces together.
  • Finishing: Adding final touches such as ironing, attaching labels, and quality checks.

Production Overheads: These are costs associated with running the production facility:

  • Utilities: Expenses for electricity, water, and other utilities.
  • Maintenance: Costs of maintaining equipment and machinery.

Indirect Costs

Administrative Expenses: Overheads related to running the business:

  • Salaries: Wages of administrative staff.
  • Office Expenses: Rent, utilities, office supplies, and other administrative costs.

Marketing and Sales Expenses: Costs incurred in promoting and selling the garments:

  • Market Research: Costs associated with researching target markets and consumer preferences.
  • Advertising: Expenses for online and offline marketing campaigns.
  • Sales Commissions: Payments to sales agents or representatives.

Logistics and Shipping: Costs related to transporting the goods to the buyer:

  • Freight Charges: Costs of shipping the goods, whether by sea, air, or land.
  • Insurance: Insurance premiums to cover the goods in transit.
  • Customs Duties: Taxes and duties levied by importing countries.

2. Detailed Costing Process

To ensure comprehensive and accurate costing, follow these steps:

Step 1: Calculate Fabric Consumption

Determine the amount of fabric required for each garment. This involves:

  • Pattern Making: Creating a pattern based on the garment design.
  • Marker Making: Arranging the pattern pieces to minimize fabric waste.

Step 2: Estimate Fabric Cost

Multiply the fabric consumption by the fabric price to get the total fabric cost per garment.

Step 3: Calculate Trims and Accessories Cost

List all trims and accessories required and determine their costs based on consumption per garment.

Step 4: Calculate Labor Costs

Estimate the labor cost for each stage of production based on time and wages.

Step 5: Add Production Overheads

Allocate a portion of the production overheads to each garment based on production volume.

Step 6: Add Administrative and Other Indirect Costs

Distribute indirect costs proportionally to each garment.

Step 7: Calculate Logistics and Shipping Costs

Determine the cost of shipping the garments to the buyer, including freight, insurance, and duties.

Step 8: Determine Profit Margin

Decide on a reasonable profit margin and add it to the total cost.

Step 9: Finalize Selling Price

Sum all costs and the profit margin to arrive at the final selling price for the export order.

3. Practical Tips for Efficient Costing

Use Costing Software

Leverage specialized costing software to streamline the costing process, reduce errors, and save time.

Regularly Review Costs

Periodically review and update cost components to reflect changes in material prices, labor rates, and overheads.

Negotiate with Suppliers

Negotiate better rates with fabric and trim suppliers to reduce material costs.

Optimize Production Processes

Implement lean manufacturing techniques to reduce waste and improve efficiency, thereby lowering production costs.

Factor in Currency Fluctuations

Consider exchange rate fluctuations when pricing export orders, especially for long-term contracts.

Garment Cost Sheet Format in Excel

1. Header Section

  • Company Name
  • Order Number
  • Customer Name
  • Style Number
  • Order Date
  • Delivery Date

2. Material Costs

Material DescriptionUnitQuantity per GarmentCost per UnitTotal Cost

3. Labor Costs

Labor DescriptionUnitTime (Hours)Rate per HourTotal Cost

4. Production Overheads

Overhead DescriptionCost per MonthAllocation per Garment

5. Administrative Expenses

Expense DescriptionCost per MonthAllocation per Garment
Office Rent
Office Supplies

6. Marketing and Sales Expenses

Expense DescriptionCostAllocation per Garment
Sales Commissions
Market Research

7. Logistics and Shipping Costs

Logistics DescriptionCostAllocation per Garment
Freight Charges
Customs Duties

8. Summary and Final Pricing

Cost CategoryTotal Cost
Material Costs
Labor Costs
Production Overheads
Administrative Expenses
Marketing and Sales
Logistics and Shipping
Total Cost
Profit Margin (%)
Final Selling Price

Steps to Create the Garment Cost Sheet in Excel

  1. Open Excel: Launch Microsoft Excel and create a new worksheet.
  2. Create Headers: Label the headers as mentioned above in separate rows.
  3. Input Data: Fill in the details for each component (materials, labor, overheads, etc.).
  4. Use Formulas:
  • For total costs, use the formula: =Quantity * Cost per Unit.
  • Sum the total costs for each category using: =SUM(range).
  1. Calculate Final Price:
  • Sum all categories to get the total cost.
  • Add the desired profit margin to determine the final selling price using: =Total Cost * (1 + Profit Margin %).
  1. Format Cells: Use borders, bold text, and different background colors to distinguish sections for better readability.

Example Template:

Here’s a simplified example assuming you’re costing a T-shirt:

ItemUnitQuantityUnit CostTotal Cost
Bill of Materials
Fabric (Cotton Jersey)Meter1.5$5/m$7.50
Buttons (2)Piece2$0.25/pc$0.50
Total Material Cost$10.00
Production Costs
Cutting FeeUnit$1.00
Sewing/CMT CostUnit$3.00
Trims (Labels)Unit$0.50
Total Production Cost$4.50
Overhead Cost%10%
Overhead Cost per Unit($10 + $4.50) x 10% = $1.45
Cost Summary
Total Material Cost$10.00
Total Production Cost$4.50
Overhead Cost per Unit$1.45
Total Cost per Unit$15.95
Target Selling Price (20% profit)$15.95 x 1.2 = $19.14

General standard export order costing

The costing function of a garment is described below:

  • Cost of fabric
  • Cost of weaving/knitting.
  • Cost of Dyeing
  • Cost of Printing
  • Cost of embroidery
  • Cost of accessories
  • Cost of manufacturing (CM)
  • Cost for transportation
  • Clearing and forwarding cost
  • Profit


Price fixation in the garments export business is a multifaceted process requiring a blend of cost analysis, market insights, competitive strategies, and negotiation skills. Exporters must continually adapt to changing market conditions and external factors to set prices that balance profitability with market competitiveness. By mastering the price fixation process, garment exporters can enhance their market position, drive sales, and achieve sustainable growth in the global marketplace. Hopefully this blog helps to understand more about Price Fixation Process in the Garments.

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