How To Negotiate With Wholesalers & Vendors In Turkey

So you read our post on Istanbul – The Hidden Gem for Wholesale Fashion and now booking a ticket to Istanbul to embark on a journey that’s going to have customers consistently purchasing from your online store. You’re full of excitement and rearing to go and the thought of meeting thousands of high quality vendors has you grinning from ear to ear.


There is just one small thing you may have forgotten and I don’t mean sunscreen!! It’s our very own ‘Istanbul wholesaler checklist‘ that is guaranteed to ensure your first sourcing trip to Turkey is smooth sailing! Though we can’t guarantee you’re not going to meet a ton of annoying taxi drivers trying to overcharge you for a short haul ride, or the local tradesman persuading you to buy his discounted turkish delights and baklavas. We thought the least we could do, was share some vital tips before entering those buzzing fashion districts.

99.9% of wholesalers in Istanbul trade using United States Dollars (USD). Every item in their store will be quoted to you in USD. Of course you’re able to pay in Turkish Lira but, unless you want to spend hours trying to convert lira to USD and getting a poor exchange rate, we highly recommend paying for your inventory in USD. The good thing however is every fashion district has a number of cash machines that will dispense USD. This makes things way easier and manageable for you, as it saves time trying to locate the nearest currency exchange rate store or walking around with tons of cash in your hands.


Get ready to hear this phrase throughout your sourcing trip in Istanbul, because every vendor will ask you this very question.


You’re probably wondering why we emphasize this so much, but the reality is so many people assume a series equates to a sample. Not sure where they got this idea from, but cash and carry wholesalers very rarely offer samples, unless they’re a food wholesaler then your in luck! But this is Istanbul, and we’re not here for food but clothing and therefore it’s vital for you to understand the Turkish wholesale lingo.

A series means how many packs of the chosen item do you require. Let’ s say for example you want a t-shirt, costing $3 each and that series consist of 5pcs. In total you’re paying $15 for 1 series.

Most series consist of the following size charts below:

  • S, M, L
  • S, M, L, XL
  • 34, 36, 38, 40

There are also plus size series available for those who are diving into the plus size clothing market.

  • L, XL, XLL,
  • L, XL, XXL, XXXL

One series consist of anywhere between 5- 8pcs per pack, denim-wear usually consist of 8pcs whilst everyday-wear as tops, trousers, dresses and skirts contain 5-6pcs.

You have the luxury of no MOQ’s meaning you can purchase as little as one series! Providing you with more control of your inventory, far less overhead cost and the luxury of not having to spend hundreds of dollars buying unnecessary bulk orders.


Although it may be 2020 with fin-tech and contactless payments almost fully integrated in our everyday lives, Turkey is still catching up from the stone ages. This can be a problem when the majority of fashion vendors only accept cash payments! I mean we shouldn’t be surprised for the obvious reasons they are ‘cash and carry vendors. But I mean it does pretty much suck when all you want to do is focus on buying inventory, and not spend time counting coins to buy your items.

Even the wholesalers that do accept card payments which is rare, tend to charge a 4-9% transaction fee which can be frustrating. Depending on your bank you may even have to pay more and therefore, we strongly recommend taking cash out at the ATM machines to purchase your inventory. All vendors however provide an invoice/receipt for your purchases so you can keep track of your expenditure and use these for your accounts.

If you require more information about sourcing from vendors in Turkey, or even want to attend our next sourcing trip to Istanbul, schedule a call today to get the ball rolling!

Leave a Comment


Every two weeks, we will send you industry insights, tips and actionable advice for your retail business. Just check your inbox!
First Name
Email address
Secure and Spam free...