Guest post by Sharline from Leeline Sourcing
Business owners want to stand out among millions of eCommerce peers. One way of doing this is to use private labelling to distinguish items from others listed for sale online. This distinction can also allow for much more profit.
In order to bring your business idea to life, you need to figure out which is the correct private label manufacturer and you need to be able to oversee the manufacturing process effectively. Generally, a private-label item is one that is manufactured and supplied by one supplier and offered for sale under another company’s brand. In this type of business model, the business owner has created his/her own brand and manages the supplier side including the design, logo, raw material, and manufacturing process.
To make a successful private labelling business, you have to ensure you have the right private label manufacturer. This article will cover how you make sure you are getting the right private label manufacturer in China for your needs.
Where to Find Private Label Manufacturers?
Where to find the right private label manufacturers? This question is probably the first that comes to your mind. To answer this question and help you find the right manufacturer we have made a list below.
1. Local trade shows
Trade shows are great opportunities for you to get the right manufacturer. Known to include a variety of exhibitors from different regions who come to exhibit their specialized products, trade shows are great places for you to meet your manufacturer face-to-face. You can check their products and foster a relationship with them.
There are lots of trade shows in different places and at different times of the year. For your convenience, you can attend the local trade shows, or trade shows in China, or other places of your selected niches. If you are in China, we highly suggest you go to the place that is specialized in manufacturing your item. This choice will help you know much more about China’s manufacturing industry map.
2. The Internet
There’s a huge amount of information on the Internet which will help you to find manufacturers. So that you don’t fall for a scam, it’s a good idea to identify a new partner for your business from a trusted platform. We recommend using the platform below.
Alibaba is a great comprehensive B2B platform with the biggest supplier directory. There are almost 8.5 million active sellers listed on the site which means you can almost always find what you need on it. If you want to use Alibaba to find your new partner, remember to be careful in case of scammers.
If you want to access specific category platforms, you have to decide on your item category and then go to that website to get one. For instance, if you are interested in electronics, AliExpress is the right one for you.
How to Find the Right Private Label Manufacturer?
1. Get the basic background info of the manufacturer
No matter where you find the basic contact info of the manufacturer, you need to investigate their background. You have to understand who they are, are they a middleman, a factory, or an agent. To understand their business background, you have to get the answers to the questions below.
- Is it a real manufacturer?
- What category of product does the manufacturer produce?
- What is the manufacturer’s business scope?
2. Ask specific manufacturing questions for your product
After the first step, you have to learn a lot more about your manufacturer. You can contact them and ask questions related to your business. Below we’ve prepared questions that you might find useful for your reference.
What companies have you worked with in the past?
This allows you to understand the company’s industry experience and get to know the quality of its manufactured products. You can check their partners on the Internet to better understand it.
Can you review their business license and quality certificate?
This helps you know the detail of the manufacturer such as business scope, contact info, company location, etc. If possible, you can verify the authenticity of license info at the Industrial and Commercial Administration Bureau.
What’s their MOQ (minimum order quantity), sample time, and payment terms?
This lets you know the parameters of manufacturing your item with them. You have to know MOQ, sample time, lead time, and payment terms for your business before you decide to sign a business contract.
3. Manage the manufacturing process and get your samples
When you decide to work with a manufacturing factory, remember to specify your manufacturing process requirement in your business contract. You have to get at least one sample for each item before you decide a batch manufacturing process. For your sample manufacturing process, you have to know
- If you have any special raw material requirements?
- What colour do you want?
- What kind of manufacturing process do you need?
- Do you want to have your brand logo on your sample?
Remember to keep your manufacturer informed about your manufacturing process requirements and have your samples produced. After you get your samples, you have to inspect them and check their functions.
4. Get updated on the manufacturing process
You have to get updated on the manufacturing process and know the production timeline for your products. You are allowed to ask for updates from your manufacturer to ensure a smooth operation. You have to know your assembly line and make a good business schedule. Remember to inspect your items after the production line to make sure of the high-quality of your products.
5. Checkup before shipping
To ensure the quality of your private label items, you need to check your items before shipping. You have to make a quality inspection, packing inspection, and your private label. Make sure you carefully check and get everything fixed before delivery.
Pitfalls to be Avoided
1. IPR related issue
An intellectual property right is an important factor when you outsource to a private label manufacturer. You have to keep your IPR even though you are authorizing another company to produce your item. Remember to write it down contractually to protect your rights in the case of possible IPR trouble.
2. Product compliance
It is important to be aware of the product certification that is required for the items that you are selling. There are different agencies such as the FDA and the IEC that have regulatory standards to which you must adhere. If you don’t follow their standards, you will be left to face the consequences. You can check with the manufacturers to see if they have any product testing reports available as well.
It is also a good idea to check to see if the private label manufacturers also export to the country where the product is to be sold. Check and see if an anti-dumping tax will be imposed at your destination. Get as much information as you can and make sure your product fulfils all the requirements.
Finding the right private label manufacturer is just as important as finding the right private label product. You have to focus on the right places, know what to look for to skyrocket your response rates. There’s a lot to learn, and sometimes you have to make a few mistakes to gain experience. Just try not to fall for the common ones that so many private label sellers have made before you.