Payment terms when importing our custom products from China – Advice Needed

We are trying to launch a small clothing line and found a manufacturer in China. It was not mistake we found this supplier, we found them by searching the BOL records for our main competitor. So we know they are real, they have 1000's of shipments to the USA according to records.

The supplier would provide our private label clothing designs. The payment terms they are asking is 30% down, which seems standard. Via wire transfer T/T which is seems standard. Except they want 30% down for us to receive samples. These products needs to pass the CPSC testing since they are in a certain age group. They have said they cannot provide samples without a deposit as it requires too much work.

Anyone have thoughts on this, or how I could protect myself if they want to take the $ and run?

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