You don’t have to invest in product development to start selling products online. In fact, there are many ecommerce business models that allow you to sell merchandise without ever even touching the products themselves. Private labeling is one such business model. With private labeling, you work with a third-party manufacturer to create your own custom branded products. Private labeling is great for people and brands that already have established audiences and want to find a way to start generating passive income online via product sales.
If you want to sell your physical products online, your own brand is the best choice. Finding a trusted private label and custom branded manufacturer is an important step in your business plan.
Some “experts” have made this a very complex and difficult process: but in reality, it’s not. You don’t have to pay an insurmountably huge amount of money to learn how to find a source product or supplier. The truth is that you may find a manufacturer soon. You need to know where to look and what to avoid. This guide will help you understand things and give you ideas about the adjustments and niche makers you can target, as well as some hand-picked options.
Why Private Label?
Trying to squeeze margins out of generic products will cause your business to fall like a pack of cards. Private labeling could help you eliminate this because you have control over the quality of your products.
It is also one of the most profitable e-commerce businesses as you can become a unique brand with it. You can also control the customer experience by customizing product specifications according to T. Another good thing is that you make all the decisions. Unlike selling products from other brands, you have control. In wholesale, there may be restrictions on how to receive inventory. This is for products where you can’t even control quality or price. Even the big brands are benefiting from now on. Amazon joined the ship a while back. Their private label brand is one of the top selling brands on their website.
Warning: If you want to be successful on the go, your brand must live outside of Amazon. Otherwise, they may burst your bubble at some point. This is because they can use machines on the market far more than you.
Your standard white label business is typically a good pick, but managing it can be complicated. You need to be cautious and do some due diligence testing your product and your chosen supplier. A lot of potentially good businesses sink fast because of unreliable producers.
1. Find a niche market to sell products
There are lots of private label products you can sell, spanning pretty much every industry. Some of the most popular private label products are:
- Hair products
- Body products
- Pet products
- Baby products
- Beard grooming products
- Health products
To figure out specifically what to sell, explore different niche markets within those categories. When you sell to a niche market, you can use highly targeted marketing and advertising strategies to get your brand and products out there.
2. Contact the manufacturer
Once you know what you want to sell, look for manufacturers and suppliers who have those items. Some manufacturers may specialize in a specific product category, like Dripshippers.
Get your shortlist of manufacturers and contact them to see if they offer private labeling. If so, inquire about setting up an account. Since most manufacturers carry a variety of products, this strategy will allow you to quickly source a selection of products within the niche you’re exploring. Also be sure to ask if the manufacturer has a minimum order value, as you’ll need to navigate if you want to hold the stock or set up a prepay account with the manufacturer.
3. Order samples
It’s important to test the product yourself before you make it available for purchase. While something may look great online, and even sound great once you’ve gotten in touch with the manufacturer, the reality may be completely different. So you’ll want to do your due diligence to ensure the quality of products is up to your standards and expectations.
4. Set up an online store
You have your manufacturer and your products, now it’s time to set up your online store. There are many options for making an online shop, from simply using a paid service like Shopify or Square Space to using customized WordPress, Woocommerce, and fully-custom php websites.
In general, if you are not very tech-savvy, it is best to pay the money and use platforms like Shopify or Squarespace, which are set up to make the process easier for those new to ecommerce. If you know how to code a bit yourself and don’t want to be locked into their theme options, a Woocommerce build can be better. If you are experienced with coding and want a powerful platform you can control down to the smallest details, custom php websites tend to be more secure.
5. Add your products to your store
When adding products to your store, you’ll want to do the following:
- Write compelling product descriptions. Product descriptions should be information- and benefits-oriented, as opposed to focused on listing features and specs.
- Get high-quality product images. Product photos give shoppers an idea of what the item looks like—it’s the best they can get without being able to see the product in person. Sometimes the manufacturer can provide images to you.
- Determine your pricing strategy. It’s important to price high enough to make a decent profit but not so high you outprice your customers.
6. Launch and market your store
When you’re ready to reveal your store and private label products to the public, it’s not as simple as turning on a switch. You have to build awareness and drive traffic to your site if you expect to make any sales.
For new stores, paid advertising on channels like Google, Facebook, and Instagram are a great way to get your name out there. Then you can supplement those efforts with email marketing, social media, content marketing, SEO, and customer loyalty programs.
Now: The List of Potential White Label Suppliers
However, if you have a market opportunity and are looking for a branded product that you are 100% sure that you have a model available for sale, read on.
One method you should get ready to use is a suppliers’ directory. Thomasnet is one of them. It is free and you can search for manufacturers by product and location. So you can type in “private label manufacturers USA” or the product. The results will show manufacturers’ certifications and the products that they sell.
Another place that you can search for private label manufacturers is Alibaba, not AliExpress. On Alibaba, just input the keyword or product you want to sell. One good thing about Alibaba’s results is that you can see third-party verifications of the product and certifications of the company.
With this, you can be certain of what you are getting. There are tons of products here and a good number of them are less expensive because they are made overseas (especially in Asia). One downside to this method is that you may contact a non-native English speaker. The language barrier can be frustrating, and there are plenty of businesses that have a poor response rate, or are just plain unhelpful.
What To Look Out For When Selecting A Manufacturer
Finding a supplier is not enough, you have to know who and what to filter out. I’ll divide the process into three.
Before Contacting The Manufacturers
You may notice some sketchy manufacturers by reading reviews made by verified purchases.
When looking at reviews of those products, you should look out for the way they handle negative feedback. Also, you can take a look at the verifications. This is something you should be highly careful of when using overseas suppliers, especially those on Aliexpress and Alibaba.
Another thing to check is their product specialization. Seeing images of the exact work that they have done and sales made of them would help you know if they specialize in producing what you want to sell.
You don’t want to work with a jack of all trades and master of none.
Also, check out their price. You don’t want to order an item that is $20, when the best seller is sold on Amazon for $20 or lower. Shop around and compared with other suppliers.
If you can see their minimum order quantity, that’s also glorious.
You should also find out about shipping.
- What will it cost to ship in bulk?
- Will you save on shipping in bulk overseas?
- Do they even ship to your country of residence?
- What is the turnaround time on any order?
Another thing that you need to do before making contact is to have a business license and bank account. If you use your personal details, you may not be taken seriously by good suppliers and could fall into the hands of sketchy ones. This also stands for the suppliers. When you contact them, ensure that you are given a verified business name, bank account, licenses, and certifications.
During Initial Contact
When you have gathered all that information, reach out to your potential suppliers to confirm if the information you have gathered is accurate. Then you need to verify if they private label, white label, or both. Some suppliers use ‘private label’ on their website but are actually white labeling.
You also need to take care of inventory and fulfillment. Amazon FBA is a good option if you don’t want to be too stressed out with fulfilling orders. You’ll need to find out how you’d be shipping from their lab to Amazon or your warehouse.
After A Positive Response
When you receive a response from the company confirming all those information and giving you details that align with your expectations, you can request for a sample.
Since you are sourcing your products, samples are very important. You need to see what you plan on selling before you make a bulk order.
Some companies give free samples but shipping from an overseas manufacturer will cost you. It doesn’t make much sense to travel all the way to China to vet the product so you’d have to pay for shipping.
If this is your first go, make sure that your products are simple and scalable. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel.
Even as you vet the quality, shipping, price and all of that, understand that there are legal risks involved in running a private label business. These risks can come from regulations, trademarks, or the materials of your products. Brands have been sued for this. It can be recommended that you use a private label lawyer and that you educate yourself before you do anything.
In addition, before you rush into working with them, sign on the dotted line. A conversation is not enough. No matter how trustworthy the manufacturer may seem, get a contract down. This will prevent future problems.
Clothing, Shoes And Accessories Manufacturers
The ecommerce fashion industry keeps on expanding year-on-year. It is predicted to rise to $712.9 billion by 2022. For apparel alone, the CAGR is expected to keep to 8.8% in the USA, 8.7% in Europe, and 14.1% in China. Shoes, accessories and bags continue to grow in double digits and this is predicted to continue for years.
If you wish to tap into this, it is not that hard. You just have to think of the modifications you can make. Right now, personalization and cruelty-free materials are big deals.
You can choose to create a bag that is made with green and cruelty-free materials.
In keeping it very simple, you may prefer these other modifications that suppliers typically make:
- Add finishing options like zippers, buttons or pom-poms.
- Choose the style and color of your finishing options
- Change the product color or fabric weight.
- Add fabric customization
You can contact these suppliers below to get more information.
If you want to private label leather bags, Moshi Leather Bag has it down to pat. Customize your bag designs, leather materials, color and fabric lining. You can also choose zipper options. Their response time is quite fast and they also offer dropshipping and white label services.
Los Angeles–based Apliiq is another private label supplier and print-on-demand company that specializes in apparel items. It focuses on trendy products like woven labels, pocket tees, liner hoodies, and patch beanies.
Like SupplyMeDirect and AOP+, Apliiq automates order processing and fulfillment, and it ships every order within a week. The Shopify app also sends tracking information directly to your customers, so they can see when their order will arrive.
Modalyst is a dropshipping supplier that works with US-based providers and is also an AliExpress Partner. This means it has one of the more extensive product catalogs on this list—you can choose from more than a million products to dropship.
As far as private labeling goes, it specializes in athleticwear. Subscribing to Modalyst’s Pro plan, which costs $90/month and has a 5% transaction fee, gets you unlimited products, custom packaging and branding, and fast shipping—typically three to eight days for US orders and under 15 business days for international shipping.
Like other manufacturer apps for private labels, Modalyst automates order processing and fulfillment. If you run into any issues or have questions, you can get in touch with live chat support seven days a week.
If you are looking to have full creative control of your designs and extra modifications, Hawthorn is a good pick. You can request for custom hardware like branded rivets, zips, and buttons. They also use laser engraving for logos. If white labeling is a must-have, then look away, because this supplier only does private labeling.
For people looking to start with low volume, By Paige is a good pick. The minimum order quantity is 60. They manufacture shoes, handbags, wallets, caps, flasks, and eyeglasses cases. If you are interested in dropshipping or white labeling, contact them to find out if they do so.
Craft And Supplies Manufacturers
The USA Crafts industry is worth over $44 billion. It has shown a 45% increase in the past six years and shows no sign of slowing down. The supplies industry has also popped up; from being in millions of dollars, it is now a billion dollar industry. This is because of the increase in the sales of and interest in craft products.
There are so many modifications that you can make here depending on the product. For example, if you want to sell candles, you can change the mold design.
Other modifications that suppliers typically do include:
- Add/remove colors in a face/body paint
- Modify the design/shape of a jar, bottle, or cup
- Change the fragrance
- Add inscriptions or pictures on jar candles and t-shirts
These are some private label manufacturers in this industry
if you are looking to sell jars, bottles or cookware, Dehua Better Arts and Crafts is a good pick. This China-based manufacturer supplies all sorts of terracotta, ceramic and porcelain cups, bowls and cookware. You can order a minimum quantity of 840-2000.
They also white label and respond quickly to inquiries.
For people looking to private label t-shirts, pillow covers, rugs, curtains and other home decor fabric, Just Vision It is a good fit. Based in the USA, they specialize in the custom fabrication of apparel, home decor products, and soft signages, among others.
They also do dropshipping and white labeling.
If you want to start a low volume private label candle business, Wellborn Candles is a good fit. This Indian-based company private labels jar candles, pillar candles, votives, decorative candles, tea light candles and tin candles. The MOQ is just 100 and they also white label.
If you’re looking to private label door and body stickers, Dongguan Zhengxiang Color Film and Arts is a good fit. They specialize in body tattoo stickers and nail art. They also have a good number of door stickers in their store. They do white labeling too.
The MOQ is 3000 pieces for a majority of their products, but there are also 500 pieces as the MOQ of a few products.
If you are looking for a high volume manufacturer in the USA, Globaltech industries is a good fit. The MOQ is 5000. They also accept up to 20,000 orders of their jar candle fills per day. You can request for a new mold design.
If you need white label services they can handle that too.
The global electronics accessories market is on its way to 65.3 billion by 2025. The CAGR is around 9. 5% for the next few years.
This is a large market because people are very connected to their smartphones, laptops and pushing forth their businesses. As a result, accessories like smart watches, earphones, electric cables, and projectors are selling like crazy.
Your logo can be engraved into the body of these accessories. Some Manufacturers also handle packaging.
Suppliers can typically modify:
- Add quotes or artwork
- Change the color
Some suppliers in this industry are:
If you are looking for private label stainless steel and alloy watches manufacturer, Bolong watches could be a good fit for you. They can white label watches and packaging with your logo.
Their design team can offer you their new watch designs to select, and they can also provide you custom made services according to your watch
One thing to love is that they also offer supply chain services which include watches manufacturing watches, shipping service, marketing support and branding.
Their MOQ is 300 pcs per style for stainless steel watches and 500 pieces per style for alloy watches.
If you are looking to private label all sorts of accessories, Krystalinks is a good fit. They can print your logo on your product, use a customized color, and give you a unique product package. They specialize in cables, Bluetooth products, cameras and accessories, charging devices, etc. The MOQ varies.
They white label but if you want to dropship, you’d have to contact them on that.
If you want to sell power accessories, Shenzhen Pengchu Industries can handle that. They are a specialized power cable and adaptor supplier. The MOQ is 500. They also dropship and white label.
If you are looking to sell mobile phone accessories, Lider Mobile Accessories are a good fit. They private label cell phone chargers, phone cases and protector covers, and data cables. They also white label.
Food/Pre Packaged Product Manufacturers
The global packaged food market is predicted to reach about $2.64 trillion dollars by 2019.
Private label brands are a big part of this. Look at Treehouse, their revenue for last year was $6.3 billion dollars.
An important part of food selling – and every other industry – is your packaging. Find out from your manufacturer the sort of packaging they offer.
Think about the design you’d use. It has to draw attention and connect with what you sell. Look at candy wrappers. They look edible. You are selling a generic product, make sure it looks nice.
Suppliers in this industry can typically modify:
- Food processing
- Ingredients – chemical/organic
- Add/remove a spice or flavor
If you’re looking specifically to private label and sell coffee online, look no further than the Dripshipper Shopify app. You can create and customize your own branded packaging, logo, pricing, and labels.
Dripshipper is based in the US, but it ships worldwide. All shipments go out within five days of when orders are placed—and the coffee is always fresh. Whole beans go out the same day they’re roasted, while ground beans go out next day.
Pricing starts at $30/month, and higher-priced tiers come with added support, coaching, and training. The Elite plan, at $197/month, also gets you access to Dripshipper’s in-house design team.
If you are looking to private label seasoning and sauce, especially those of Asian origin, Guang Zhou Yilin Foodstuff is a good fit. You can order a minimum quantity of 50 – 500 cartons (depending on the product). They also white label.
WNfoods is a good fit if you don’t want to look outside the US. You can create new recipes or modify old ones. They produce sauces, dressings, marinades, and other food products for brands in the United States. You’d have to contact them for details on their MOQ.
If you are looking to private label solid chocolate, Dream Chocolate is a good fit. They produce chocolate with different recipes and in different formats from slabs to nibs to bars. They carry out both private labeling and white labeling.
Yarl Foods could be a good fit if you are looking to sell healthy snacks. They produce bars from fruits, nuts and natural products. They have gluten free and vegan options, among others. The MOQ is 3000 individuals bars.
If you want to white label, they have got you covered. For dropshipping, contact them to confirm if they do it.
Health And Beauty Product Manufacturers
This industry is predicted to reach up to $750 billion by 2024. It has a 2.81% CAGR.
If you are looking to be a part of this industry, you can look into cosmetics. It is one of the most popular industries to private label.
You can modify lip gloss. Add new shades. Same thing with blush and setting powder. You can also replace harmful chemicals with organic products like shea butter
If you are looking to build a health and beauty product brand, these are some of the modifications that suppliers typically offer:
- Add/remove fragrance
- Increase/reduce the quantity of certain materials for performance
- Use only organic and/or cruelty-free materials
- Change the color or add more shades
If you are looking to start with a low volume, Mooseberry could be a good fit for you. The MOQ is 48.
They specialize in manufacturing soaps and body washes, shampoos, oils and creams, common scents and beard products. Their services also include white labeling and dropshipping.
Natural Skincare could fit your requirements if you are looking to sell skin care products that are made from naturally sourced ingredients. Their MOQ is 72 pieces per product with a minimum opening order of $5000.
Their response time is also fast.
For those of you who are looking to work with a specialized fragrance company, Crafting Beauty could be a good fit. They manufacture scented products for the body and the environment.
The MOQ is 1000 units for personal fragrance and 500 units for candles.
Home And Garden Suppliers
The global home and garden industry maintains steady growth with a CAGR of 2%. Currently, the US market is valued at $272 billion and it is predicted to remain on an upward slope during the coming years.
You can take advantage of this by selling private labeled products. Your modification could be:
- Design change
- Material – fabric and wood
- Finishing specifications like spraying
- Add/remove extra storage spaces.
If you are looking to start small with bed, bath, living, and dining products, IGH Global is a good fit. They manufacture bed products, bath products and dining products. This includes sheets, loungewear, towels, and pillows. The MOQ is 100.
They do not dropship or white label.
If you believe you have an opportunity to sell private labeled stands, Nature Design Crafts has it down to pat. They manufacture all kinds of homes and garden products. You can customize cake stands, umbrella stands and coffee tables. The MOQ is 100.
If you want to sell tablecloths with custom designs, A1tablecloth is a good fit. You can either draw up your own design/pattern or use/modify one of theirs. They have a variety of fabrics that you can choose from.
Carroll Clean is a manufacturer of disinfectants, cleaning agents, food service chemicals, and aerosols. They also white label.
Supplements And Nutrition Manufacturers
The global dietary supplements industry is growing rapidly. Thousands of people are looking for products that will help them improve their general health and lose weight. Another key demographic is for balding-correction supplements, joint-pain and body-aches, and nutrition to help sleep patterns or reduce stress.
The market is predicted to reach $278 billion by 2024 at a CAGR of 9.6%.
If you are ready to establish a brand here, suppliers typically modify:
- Package design
- Supplement designs (for example gummy bears vitamins)
For low volume startups, this manufacturer could fit your need. They produce various types of dietary supplements from amino acids to enzymes. The MOQ is 48. They also do white labeling and white labeling.
JW Nutritional offers no minimum order. They produce a variety of supplements from branched-chain amino acids and blends, to muscle stimulator and muscle recovery products. They also dropship and white label.
If you are looking to sell organic, vegan or gluten-free products, Trubody wellness could fit your brand. They make capsules, tablets, liquids, creams, lotions and gel. The MOQ is just 100 and they also white label.
For weight loss, anti-aging and cleaning remedies, Totally Natural Remedies is a good fit. They also white label and dropship. The MOQ is 100.
So What’s Next?
After you have chosen the product that you want to sell online and confirming that the suppliers will private label for you, you’ll need to reach out to them for estimates and samples.
With this, you’ll know whose fees you can work with. You will also know how well the product can represent your idea and brand.