If you want to sell physical products online, a private label brand is the way to go.
Finding reliable private label manufacturers to partner with is a critical step in a business plan.
Some ‘experts’ have made it out to be a very complex and hard process. It is not.
You don’t have to pay an insurmountable amount to learn how to find suppliers and source products.
The truth is that you can find a manufacturer in a very short time. You just need to know where to look and what to avoid.
This guide will help you understand those things, give you ideas on modifications that you can make and manufacturers in that niche.
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 ecommerce business models as you can rank as a unique brand with it.
You’d also be able to control customer experience because you get to plan your product specifics to the T.
Another good thing is that you make all the decisions. You are in control unlike wholesaling another brand’s product. With wholesaling, there may be restrictions on how you receive inventory. This is for a product that you cannot even control quality or price.
Even big brands are tapping into this. Amazon joined this ship a while ago. Its private label brands are among the top ranking brands on their site in sales.
Warning: if you want to succeed on the haul, your brand needs to live outside of Amazon. If not, they could bust your bubble at some point. That’s because they can use the marketplace machine much more than you can.
A private label business is nice but running it could be complex. You need to be vigilant and have a legal team to make sure that your manufacturer remains honest.
Nevertheless, if you have searched for private label products that have market opportunity and you are a 100% sure that you have a sellable modification, then read on.
How To Find Private Label Manufacturers
Finding suppliers that deliver standard products is not hard. They are on the internet.
However, you wouldn’t get much information in this regard out of Oberlo, AliExpress and other dropship directories or tools.
You need to search on sites like Google, Thomasnet and Alibaba.
If you know the art of Google-Fu, you’ll be able to surface manufacturers’ information from search results easily.
If you search for “handbag private label”, you’ll see a lot of results. Sift through to get what you want. This requires digging and it could involve a lot of trial and error before you get the right one.
One method I love 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.
There are also other methods. If you are an Ecommerce CEO member, check out finding suppliers. It is one of the paid courses.
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 I mentioned above about 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 is 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.
There are other things you need to ask and look at for that I cannot cram into this blog post, you can check out my premium course for details.
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.
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.
Agee Apparel is another good pick for low-mid volume startups. You can order a minimum quantity of 250.
You can customize bags, protective clothing, cover for industrial products, pillow and cushion. They also customize uniforms, costumes, bicycle apparel, hair and head clothing, etc.
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, I noticed 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 sample.
I like 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.
Elebest is a good fit for you if you are looking to start a low volume car accessories business. They manufacturer Car DVR, GPS, infrared night vision, and rearview mirrors.
The MOQ is 500. They don’t dropship. Concerning white labeling, you’d have to contact them.
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 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.
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.
Do you have any questions? I’d love to answer them in the comment section