How To Find Private Label Manufacturers In 2021

Private label manufacturers can be hard and frustrating to find.

But no worries. When I originally started my journey into ecommerce, I also didn’t know any private label manufacturers. In fact, my situation was worse. I was scared of the entire process, including the process of picking a manufacturer.

I’ve since gotten over that fear and I now want to teach you everything I’ve learned.

That’s why in this guide, we’re going to go over everything. From what is private label manufacturing to how to find the best private label manufacturers. 

Let’s do this…

What Is Private Label Manufacturing?

There are 3 main types of ways to do ecommerce. 

The first is dropshipping, where you sell already created products that are not your brand. You basically just sell someone else’s stuff. The second is custom, which is when you create a product with different modifications, such as a shoe with thinner soles. The third is a private label, where you slap your logo on an existing product.

Here’s why you should consider private labeling…

Pros

You get to own the brand. Unlike dropshipping, you actually have a real asset. It’s brandable, which means it can be differentiated through marketing. In fact, many of the most successful brands out there today are actually private label brands. Ever heard of Trader Joe’s?

Higher margins. Private label products always have better margins that dropshipping or wholesale. This is critical because the life of an ecommerce brand is dependent on your margin. The higher your margin, the more likely you’ll succeed.

High quality/shipping. You have much greater control over what your customer experiences. This is particularly true when it comes to the quality of the product they buy and shipping times. On average, I would say private label products are much higher quality than dropshipped products.

Cons

Costs money for inventory. The one major downside to private label manufacturing and ecommerce in general is inventory. You’re going to have to become good at managing and investing your cash flow because you always need to invest on the next batch of products.

Second to custom. While private label is better than dropshipping and wholesale, it’s still second to a custom product because the actual SKU isn’t unique. There are ways to compensate for this, but if you have the money to go straight to custom, do so.

How To Find Private Label Manufacturers In 3 Easy Steps

Once upon a time, I didn’t know how to find private label manufacturers.

It all looked so complicated. What do you even Google? Who do you trust? What should you even ask once you finally have someone on the phone?

Fortunately, I found out it’s not hard. Here’s what I do.

1/ Start Googling keywords that would find the manufacturers you need. For example, let’s say you want to private label your own basketball shoes. Here’s what I would type…

Private label basketball shoes
Basketball shoe manufacturing
Basketball shoe turnkey

2/ You will end up with tons of links to click. You want to go through every single one and quickly scan their websites. If there is any hint that they can do what you’re looking to get done, then call them. If not, move on to the next site.

3/ You should try to call 10-20+ manufacturers. Some will answer, some won’t. But the ones that do, you want to ask 4 very specific questions. And in this order…

Here’s my idea. Can you make it?
What are your minimums?
What are the costs to make it?
What are the lead times?

4/ The manufacturer will either tell you yes or no if they can make it. If they say yes, they’ll give you the details you’ve asked for, which you can decide if you can afford.

5/ If everything looks good, email the manufacturer’ sales rep and place your order. The sales rep will help you through the entire process.

Finding private label manufacturers is actually a very straightforward process. However, it is time consuming and can get pretty frustrating. You’ll deal with a lot of no’s. Many will ignore your emails and calls. You’ll realize that maybe your product idea is not physically feasible. You might even find out that your business idea is too expensive to start. 

But in all cases, you want to find all of this out before you spend a dime in manufacturing. Then after that, you can look into working with a 3PL and hiring a product photography studio.

Cosmetic Private Label Manufacturers

Cosmetics is one of the best private label categories to get into because its own of the few categories to have kept their margins for over 100 years. For this very reason, it’s highly competitive. So make sure to get into more uncompetitive categories.

Vitelle is one great example of a cosmetic private label manufacturer. They specialize in naturally sourced, plant-derived formulations. 

CBD Private Label Manufacturers

Looking to get into the CBD market? It’s a highly regulated space, so premium quality CBD is an absolute must if you want to compete. With that said, it has some of the highest potential for growth as soon as regulations come back down to reasonable levels.

CBD Hemp Experts are a great example of a CBD manufacturer. They specialize in premium grade CBD that you can slap your logo on. 

Lipstick Private Label Manufacturers

Lipstick is an ultra popular category for women. It’s one of those categories where you can have so many variations of the same product, making it great for bulk purchasing.

Lady Burd is a private label manufacturer that creates all sorts of cosmetics, including Lipstick. They specialize in creating cruelty-free cosmetics, which is key in today’s cosmetics market.

Food Private Label Manufacturers

There are so many private label manufacturers for food, it’s almost impossible to list them all out. Mostly because there are so many categories of food. It’s a highly competitive category, but one of the biggest. If you can win here, you’re making real money.

Private Label Foods is an example of a private label manufacturer. They specialize in sauces, dressings, and other specialty foods.

Supplement Private Label Manufacturers

In the health space, supplements reign king. You can target anyone from babies to seniors and everything in between. Plus, they have great margins and great pricing. It’s like taking the best of food and best of cosmetics, then putting it all into one category.

Vitalabs is a private label manufacturer you can trust. They make all sorts of products and getting started with them is both easy and affordable.

Private Label Manufacturers Clothing

Like food, clothing is a massive category. You have to nail down what category of clothing you want to get into because there are so many. So for this example, let’s stick to swimwear.

Bali Swim is a manufacturer that specializes in private label swimwear. They offer low minimums, which is critical if you’re a new brand.

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