Private Labeling 101: How I Found My Private Label Product + Current Status

Private Labeling 101: How I Found My Private Label Product + Current Status

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It's officially been over 2 months, since my last update on my private label venture, so I figured it was time I checked back in your guys!

Unfortunately, since the last update there has been nothing but issues with the whole process, but we'll get to that in a bit.

To start this post, let's talk about how I chose the product I did.

Background Information

As should come as no surprise, I'm an avid Amazon seller and I've been doing it for a few years now, which has definitely helped with this whole process. I can judge a product on it's sales-worthiness pretty quickly to determine if it's worth investing in. And since I'm already looking at products to sell on Amazon during my "day job," I always have my eyes open for PL ideas as well.

Before I get too far into this, here's a quick reminder of what you want to look for when starting your private label search:

Most Important

  • Sales Price over $15
  • At least one competitor with a Best Sellers Rank of 7k or under in the main category (ie. Home and Kitchen, Pet Supplies, etc.)
  • 2lbs or under
  • Competitors with 100 or less reviews
  • No recognizable brands selling a similar product (ie. Tide, Samsung, Covergirl)
  • Competitor's listings have room for improvement.
  • Not electronic and not easily broken
  • Not very big
  • Product can be sourced for 30% or less of sale price

Less Important

  • Sales Price Under $50
  • Amazon isn't a competitor
  • Ability to expand your brand (ie. If you sell a cookie sheet, you could expand into more baking products).
  • There is a way to make the product better (ie. bundle it with something, add stronger materials, etc.)
  • Not seasonal

This is a great guideline for people new to private labeling and new to Amazon. An item that fits into every one of these categories is almost guaranteed to succeed! However, in reality, it's unlikely you'll find an item that does fit into every one of these categories... which is completely okay!

In fact, mine doesn't, but based on the research I've done, I think it's going to do fantastic anyway!

How I Started My Research

​I started my research, just as I suggest you start yours: via pen and paper - or keyboard and a text editor.

I started by writing down every item I touched throughout the day, even the most ridiculous thing that I knew I wouldn't private label, like a remote control for my TV. The idea is to make a huge list that you can look through and come up with even more ideas from. For example, if you wrote down "remote," you may look at that and come up with other ideas like: "coffee table," "coffee table book," "remote stand," "magazine holder," and "electronics organizer."

After making a HUGE list of products, I started searching Alibaba and Amazon for the products I wrote down. Once I found them, regardless of whether they were good or not, I started clicking on suggested products and eventually I stumbled on a few really good ideas.

Once I had my list of "really good ideas," I started researching them in depth to see if they passed the guidelines I set (above). If they didn't pass most of them or I didn't think they'd sell well, I crossed them off and moved to the next idea.

Eventually, I narrowed my list down to 2 products: Product A and Product B.

Product A was very small, very light, and very cheap, however after contacting 20+ manufacturers, getting it made in a way that would make me money, was unlikely.

Product B on the other hand, turned out to be a very viable option that I ended up sticking with, because I found a great supplier (more on that in a minute) and the price was right.

To give you an idea as to how long this process takes, I'd say I spent 1-2 weeks just researching. In other words, don't be discouraged if you find yourself researching products for hours on end without coming up with anything.

How The Product Compares

Now that I've laid out how I found the product and what you should look for in a PL product, let's see how the product I found compares to the perfect product.

  • Sales Price over $15
    This product has a sales price of $50-$60, so it easily clears this requirement.
  • Competitor with a Best Sellers Rank of 7k or under
    There are two competitors with a BSR of 7-8k.
  • 2lbs or under
    It barely passes this one. The product weighs about 1lb and 13oz.
  • Competitors with 100 reviews or less
    There are a few with less than a 100 reviews and a few over 100 reviews.
  • No recognizable brands
  • Competitor's listing has room for improvement
    Honestly, our competitor's listings are really well done, so there is not a lot of room for improvement, but there is a some.
  • Not electronic and not easily broken.
    It's soft and not electronic 🙂
  • Not very big
    It is a bit bigger than I'd like, which made shipping expensive, but the margins are good enough where it works out.
  • Product can be sourced for 30% or less
    Just shy of hitting this. It can be sourced for 35% of the sale price.
  • Sale price under $50
    It will be for a while to garner reviews, but ultimately it will likely sell around $60.
  • Amazon isn't a competitor
    Amazon sells one of the products we're competing against, but it's not their own product and they're not the biggest competition.
  • Ability to expand the brand
    There is a LOT of room for expanding this brand.
  • There is a way to make the product better
    Yes there is and we did just that.
  • Not seasonal

As you can see, Product B passed most of the requirements and I honestly think it's going to sell very well!

The Current Status

So where are we at with this whole process?

Well, I started the research process in January, and by February we had the first sample. Unfortunately, that sample was not perfect, so we ordered a second sample which arrived in March. This sample was much better, so my business partner and I went to order the product only to find out that our supplier could not get us a good shipping rate (shipping was roughly half the cost of the product, which was far from ideal).

That meant that we had to contact a plethora of shipping companies to try and find a better quote, but unfortunately, that didn't pan out.

So, instead of finding a better shipping company, we ended up finding a supplier that could offer us a better price on the product and shipping. It was perfect!​ The only downside was that we had to order another sample before we could make the final order.

Once we received our sample and it met our expectations, we were finally able to start the order process - which is where we are at now.

Just last week, I wired our supplier the money to start on the product, which should hopefully clear this week, meaning our products will be done by the middle of June!

In the mean time, I hope to get some more posts up regarding the process of contacting manufacturers and testing your samples. Stay tuned!

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