Good, so you have decided that sourcing your private label product from a reliable supplier instead of manufacturing it yourself is your best bet. Now there are three basic steps you need to take: research suppliers, decide on one (or multiple) and initiate contact. Your main goal should be to establish a long-term and mutually beneficial relationship with a trustworthy supplier. So let’s look at each of these steps in some more detail.
How To Research SuppliersAlibaba is the go-to source to find suitable suppliers for your private label business. Other manufacturer/supplier directories that you can try are Global Sources (free), SaleHoo (paid) and ThomasNet (free). The process for any of these is the same: just plug in your product keyword(s) into the search bar. Make sure to take advantage of filtering options to receive optimal search results. Obviously, finding some potential suppliers won’t cut it. Now you need to decide which one of them should be the manufacturer of your product and get in touch with each of them.
How to Decide on a Manufacturer and Contact Potential SuppliersHere are some simple rules of thumb you can apply to come up with a short list of suppliers that you’re going to contact.
- Look for suppliers that have lots of experience with your specific product/category. A good way to do so is checking the supplier’s profile page and list of products. Make sure that the listed products are similar to or ideally the same as the product(s) you are sourcing.
- Look for suppliers that have experience exporting to your country. This makes it likely that they are already familiar with the expected level of product quality and manufacturing, customs and regulations.
- Look for established suppliers as it is in your best interest to work with a manufacturer who has a strong track record in your product category, and specifically in your desired market. What qualifies a supplier as established is subjective of course but you should aim for at least two years of experience manufacturing.
- Product measurements.
- Basic design, maybe include a photo of a similar product.
- Any other critical points (safety, branding, etc.)
- Can they manufacture this product?
- Past experience with this product?
- Can they handle your suggested product modifications?
- What is your MOQ (Minimum Order Quantity)?
- Request price for volume order and sample.
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