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Private Label When Importing From China

  • 5 min read

china sourcing agents

Although the title may sound a touch on the dull side, there is nothing boring about private label importation.

In fact, you could discover a whole new eCommerce tool just by reading through to the end of this article.

But first, some educational content.

What Exactly Is Private Labeling?

It’s pretty simple, actually.

What you are doing is buying a product from another supplier or manufacturer.

In China it could be a product that you are buying from a trading company.

The ‘private’ label part comes from the fact that whoever you are purchasing from allows you to slap your own label on the product so you can turn around and sell it as if it was your product.

It’s like someone reselling goods that they bought from somewhere else.

Why Is Private Labeling Popular?

Well, think about it for a second.

If you can buy someone else’s product and sell it as your own there is a great advantage and several opportunities wrapped into one.

Right off the top of our heads you are saving on the cost of a factory and the labor force required to build the stuff you would be paying for as raw materials before entering your factory building.

Oh, then there’s other operating costs like heat, light, stuff like that.

Plus, all you need to get the word out is an online presence and you can private label anything you wanted and have a pretty steady flow of business as a result.

Did anyone say entrepreneur?

How To Source The Products For Private Labeling

You have a couple of options here.

You could do what many internet drones do and that is just Google your way into a supply line.

It really is just about that easy.

All you need to do is make sure you use words like ‘wholesale’ or ‘private label’ in your searches.

Words like ‘cheap toys’ and ‘fun times’ will take you to places you may not want to go quite yet.

Another way to source products for private labeling is to go directly to the source of goods.

That means accessing a trading company in say, China.

They will set you up and get you into the supply chain provided you buy fair sized lots.

Remember two things here…

1) you are going to be able to score some good products at a seriously low price when you deal directly with a Chinese trading service and,

2)If you order lightweight products they will also be cheaper to air freight to you than the long, slow boat from China.

That being said, shipping via water will likely be a good move later in your venture.

The Branding Part

Um, we better not forget this part.

Remember how private labeling works, right?

You are buying from one source and selling that same product from your own source and making it look like the product was yours all along.

In order to achieve that you need to relabel everything with your branding.

There are several ways to address this and probably the most reliable is a reputable freelance community online.

With the label and package dimensions supplied by your original source (and they will have this information as you won’t be their only reseller), you can get to work designing and print your labels.

But there is a better way to get the same job done.

There are a lot of private label suppliers out there that will actually take care of this part of the process for you.

In other words, you buy a product from your supplier and they ship the product to you.

You rip open the boxes you receive from the post office or courier delivery service and discover that the bottles of vitamins you spent a small bundle on have your label on them and look as if you manufactured the product in your own massive warehouse production line (which, by the way, does not exist…in case you missed that part).

The Chinese sources are pretty much the leaders in this set up as they have in a way turned private label business into a national pastime.

Can You Promote Your Product Even If You Didn’t Manufacture It?

If you have to ask that, you really don’t understand the magic and mechanics behind private labeling.

Of course, you can market ‘your’ products.

You brought them, so now they are yours and they have your branding on them.

Now is the time to start moving those vitamins (or whatever it is you are eCommerce through the web).

Pick an online sales platform and just go nuts. Well, within reason, of course.

You could also sell your private label goods through your own website eStore, in classified advertising, in your own brick and mortar storefront, at vendor markets, on the street corner and out of the back door of your trailer.

Again, the stuff you bought from Supplier A is yours to do whatever you want.

Reselling it is probably the smartest way to go because you stand to make a profit that way. Did someone say entrepreneur?

Did someone say, entrepreneur?

What Kind Of Profit Can You Make?

Well, let’s look at this logically.

If you are importing from China, your costs are going to be far less than if you imported from somewhere domestic to where you live.

A typical profit margin for retail can run between ten and thirty percent.

With importation as a factor, you could easily crank that margin up to well over 50-percent and still not have an unusually high sales price which will generate sales.

The more sales you get, the more profit you will see.

Is Private Labeling Legal?

Waiting until now to ask that says only one thing – you really have not been paying attention at all.

There is nothing illegal about buying something from somewhere and reselling it as if it were your product.

You see it all the time in regular retailers who carry their own brand.

It’s actually far more common than you know. So, of course, it’s alright to start up your own business with imported products you will rebrand and sell as your own.

It’s called entrepreneurship and if you want to be a part of it, don’t let that ship pass you by because you could have a wildly successful online eStore business as a result.

How to protect your brand when sourcing for private label?

  1. Use a local agent with a registered company in China that can enforce a straightforward NDA agreement.
  2. Write a straightforward NDA agreement, to be specific in China we call it an NNN agreement, same lady different dress.
  3. Don’t reveal your intentions; if you sell on Amazon FBA say you have a small shop in Scandinavia.
  4. Never ask your supplier to prep or ship your goods, use a 3rdparty inspection to pack prep and ship the goods in an attempt to hide the goods final destination.

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