Choosing a uniform package for your volleyball club should be a fun decision. It’s the perfect opportunity for you to brand your club and provide your teams with great looking gear so your players feel on top of their game.  

However, the process of selecting a uniform provider is often convoluted and fraught with many obstacles in which to navigate. 

In order to ease the strenuous nature of uniforms it is important to select a uniform provider you trust and one whose processes are easy to understand. 

Here are 3 vital questions to ask your volleyball uniform provider to ensure you are getting the best deal possible. 

1.  How do you forecast our uniforms? 

Once tryouts are complete and teams have been finalized its time to place your order. Many uniform providers will then place this order with the uniform manufacturer for them to deliver to the provider who will then customize with your clubs’ badge, numbers, sponsors etc. This is often referred to as “chasing product.” 

Be sure that your uniform provider works with you to forecast your product ahead of time. This way you can secure your uniforms and make sure there are no nasty surprises come ordering time. 

There should be no financial or inventory risk to your club with no deposits up front and no requirement that you order a given amount. 

Ideally, uniform providers will bring in your product prior to you ordering so uniforms are ready to be customized right away. This greatly reduces turnaround time. 

2. What is their definition of good customer service? 

Typically a uniform provider would assign your club with a dedicated representative knowledgeable to your club’s specific uniform and equipment needs, however is this person available to your clubs’ members? 

Be sure to understand how customer service is tackled by your uniform provider. Are there live representatives who somebody can speak to about their player’s specific order? If so, what hours are they open and do they cater for bi-lingual requests.

At times, through no fault a wrong size may be ordered by a parent. It’s important to ask what processes a uniform provider has in place to deal with the case of a wrong size being ordered.

Most uniform providers will attempt to provide as much information during the ordering experience as possible. This might include, sizing samples for registration events or size charts and player sizing photos that portray a certain uniform size in regards to a models certain height and weight. These things may prevent the occurrence of an incorrect size being ordered.

Obviously, there are times when this does occur.

Make sure your uniform provider has a no hassle returns policy that means apparel and shoes (including those that have been customized) are able to be returned within a certain time limit at no cost. 

3. Can you seamlessly integrate a fan wear / spirit-wear store?
As more and more clubs move to an online uniform ordering system it is important to consider how that system works. Many online team stores are only available for a limited period of time. Parents and players are required to order within that period at which point a uniform provider will go about placing your order with the manufacturer in order to customize and then ship to parents.

Some online team stores are live 365 days a year so no matter when an order is placed the uniform provider is able to quickly turnaround the delivery.

Obviously, you want your players and their families to have an effortless ordering experience. You don’t really want to have to send them to one site for uniforms and another for fan wear. It is important to ask if a uniform provider can seamless integrate a fan wear/spirit-wear store into your team uniform store. This means parents can buy all the required uniform items as well as additional fan wear in one checkout process.

It is also a great idea to see what choice you as a club have in terms of fan wear products, colors, designs and personalization options.

About 431 Sports 

431 Sports is part of Sports Endeavors, the largest soccer, lacrosse and rugby retailer in the world. Now 431 Sports is proud to offer the same competitive advantages to volleyball clubs. With over 400 full-time staffers and 300 part-time and season teammates 431 Sports offers unrivalled infrastructure, expert staff, brand relationships and supreme experience in team uniforms.  

For related reading on the business of running a volleyball club click HERE.