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Developing Your Private Label In China: 4 Reasons Why It’s A Great Idea

  • 6 min read

amazon product sourcing

Creating a private label to sell on Amazon is one of the hottest business trends in the world.

Not only can it become extremely lucrative, but it’s a lot easier than most people think. Of course, in order to build a successful private label brand, you have to have a great manufacturer helping you every step of the way. With the right factory on your team, getting your products on Amazon really is quite simple. But, if you pick the wrong partner, your private label dreams could turn into a huge nightmare, one where you lose a lot of money and time.

When you first start doing your research about the different choices for your private labeled products, you’ll quickly see how many options there are. More and more manufacturers are looking for ways to capitalize on the Amazon and online retail boom – and private labeling is one of the best.

But, before you make your decision and sign any contracts, here are a few reasons why you should consider developing your private label brand with the help of a Chinese manufacturer.

  1. The Cost Advantage. China really is the world’s leader when it comes to manufacturing. Because of the huge scale in which products are created, Chinese factories can offer you much better prices for their products. And, when you get your products at a lower cost, it leaves you more room to make a profit. This is the whole idea behind private labeling: Build a great brand behind products so that you can sell more while charging more.
  2. The Quality Control. When you work with reputable Chinese factories, you get to tap into their superior quality control systems. While smaller, local factories in your country might seem more appealing, the truth is that these companies rarely have the ability to offer the same type of quality control. When your entire business revolves around selling great products and getting great reviews, you need to make sure that each and every product you sell is perfect. There is zero margin for error.
  3. The Variety + Customization. Larger Chinese manufacturers can accommodate your unique requests while still keeping your costs at a minimum. If you’re wanting to develop a new look for a product or a new product altogether, there are few options better than working with a Chinese factory for you private label.
  4. Brand Protection. Creating a private label is the only way you can truly protect your products and minimize the chance of your product listings being hijacked. And while China is the best place to create private labels, you still have to be careful about which factory you choose to work with. That’s why the smartest online retailers and sellers work with a trusted agency to help them navigate the field and avoid any potentially cataclysmic land mines.

Developing a private label product has the potential to make you and your brand a lot of money. Choosing to work with a Chinese manufacturer makes that potential even greater.

The Procrastination Masters: How to Counter Delay Tactics When Working with Chinese Companies

So, you’ve found a great Chinese supplier. You’ve done your research and this manufacturer checks all of the boxes. Not only are you confident that your product will sell, but you’re excited at how easy this whole process seems to be. Who said creating a private label brand would be difficult? Honestly, it couldn’t be easier!

And, then, silence.

For a lot of sellers looking to work with a Chinese company to source their products, this is exactly how the sourcing process feels. Everything will seem to be moving along perfectly until, seemingly out of the blue, you don’t hear anything from your chosen manufacturer. What gives? In honesty, the Chinese company knows exactly what it’s doing. Masters in procrastination, these factories love to get you in a pinch because they know that, as soon as they do, you’ll be in a hurry to get the job done. And, when you’re in a hurry, you’ll be willing to pay (lots) more than you originally planned.

But, when you understand the delay tactics these companies like to use, you can prepare yourself for them, developing smart counter moves that will keep you in the driver’s seat.

Here are some of your best options:

  1. Be Persistent. A lot of Chinese companies understand that many private label brands are operated on the side. Because of this, they count on you being busy. If you’re able to stay persistent and keep the pressure on them to respond back, it will be much harder to find yourself in between a rock and a hard place when it comes time for your order to finally ship.
  2. Stick to Your Schedule. When you operate your own business, such as a private label brand, there aren’t any looming deadlines imposed on you by someone else. You make the rules. And while this might seem like a great thing, it can actually be trouble when working with Chinese factories. If you allow them to push your deadlines back more and more until there’s very little wiggle room, then they’ll have the advantage when it’s time to negotiate.
  3. Ask For Help. Language barriers really can be an issue. Cultural differences also get in the way from creating a more intimate relationship with manufacturers. Using an agent or someone who can be on the ground working closely with manufacturers on your behalf can help to keep you from suffering at the hands of procrastination.

Rather than complaining about procrastination, be proactive! The more you stay on top of your manufacturer, setting strict deadlines for yourself and doing your part to keep the pressure on, the less likely it will be that your private label products get held up with common delay tactics.

1688 or Alibaba: Which Is Best for Your New Private Label Product?

Alibaba has been hailed the king of private label product sourcing for the last several years. But, as more and more people flock to the site to find great deals on products they can make their own, it’s time to ask the question if it’s still the best option.

While Alibaba is easy to use and navigate, 1688 just might be the better choice when it comes to finding even better deals. But, to some people’s surprise, 1688 is actually owned by Alibaba, which means they’re really quite similar. So, what’s really the difference?

Both Alibaba and 1688 allow you to discover companies that offer products you can wholesale or private label – and in nearly every niche you can imagine. The biggest difference, however, is that 1688 is designed specifically for domestic trade. This explains why the entire site is in Chinese and why many people who don’t speak Chinese, then, leave immediately.

For people not scared away by the Chinese (or for people who have a team that is capable of searching and using the website in Chinese), they believe that it offers better deals because it’s designed for domestic – not international – trading. In order to prove if this is accurate, you would need to look at your specific product on both Alibaba and 1688 to compare. In most cases, it does seem like 1688 offers lower prices.


The concept of creating higher prices on Alibaba is actually one of perception. Americans and Europeans in particular associate quality with price. If the price is too low, it’s likely that prospective buyers will assume that the product isn’t as good as other options. It’s also true that Americans and Europeans do have a higher standard when it comes to quality. Products that would be welcomed by Chinese consumers are likely to be scrutinized by international consumers. Alibaba, then, is geared more towards international consumers and sellers – as intended.

But, if you know what product you’re looking for and understand the market, it’s definitely true that 1688 will give you better results. The secret is having someone who can speak Chinese directly to the manufacturers on your behalf. Because 1688 is designed for domestic sales, very few accounts will have someone on the other end who can speak English. But, if you overcome the language barrier, you’ll discover so many more doors opening for you and your business.

One of the biggest issues in choosing 1688 over Alibaba is that it can be hard to pay. If you don’t have access to a Chinese bank account or Renminbi (RMB), then you need to find someone who does. This is where agencies are essential. Teaming up with a smart, fluent agency that understands the ins and outs of Chinese culture, online businesses, and private labeling will give you a real advantage over the competition.

The number one reason why 1688 is the best place to source your products, however, is because the majority of the supplier on Alibaba are actually trading companies masquerading as factories. For the most part, these companies actually place their order on 1688. That means that by choosing to work through 1688 directly, you’re cutting out a middle man and saving money – and time.

But, before you get too involved with a seller on 1688, make sure from the get-go that they are capable of handling orders that require exportation to the United States.