This is part 3 of my private label series which I started HERE. So far, we’ve talked about the most important aspect: research (and more research!) The fact is, if you get the first part wrong, nothing else will matter! Failure to research properly will lead to trouble (the product may bring in too little revenue, it may have too much competition, no demand, or it could be too heavy to make financial sense- or could present a number of other issues. Be sure to get a handle on the research phase first!)
Once you’ve done your research and you have found a product that meets the criteria I outlined in the first two parts of this series, it’s time to start connecting with suppliers! I have used a variety of sources to connect with suppliers. If you are looking for a supplier within the U.S, Worldwide Brands is a fantastic place to connect with countless suppliers! All of these suppliers are 100% authentic and verified! No more endless searching through scammers! Here is a secret that most sellers are not aware of! Though Worldwide Brands advertises itself as a “wholesale and drop ship supplier directory” their directory also includes countless private label suppliers- in the U.S! In fact, I used Worldwide Brands to find a U.S. private label supplier that I used to make over $27,000 (click HERE to see the whole story!) Finding private label suppliers within Worldwide Brand’s directory is very easy (just type in “private label” or “white label” or “custom”) but did you know that many supplier will private label items even if they do not advertise it? Just ask! I’ve also had success having products customized and private labeled from “regular suppliers.” This is a fantastic strategy to separate yourself from every other seller!
A completely free method of finding suppliers is to simply search Google for the name of the product you intend to sell + “private label” or “white label”. I’ve personally not had a lot of success with this method, but I’ve talked with others who have used it. While I’ve tried it, I generally need to sort through pages upon pages of scammers, middlemen, or sources that are so widely used that the profits are squashed! With a little patience and some deep digging, however, this method can work!
thomasnet.com is a supplier/manufacturer database that I heard about years ago, but largely disregarded since the website was difficult to navigate and was heavy on industrial products and content. It was not set up with the small time seller in mind. Times have changed, however. My last few visits to thomasnet.com have been very productive! The interface has changed and is now much more user friendly! Suppliers are quite easy to find here these days! This is a fantastic (and FREE) source for manufacturers, suppliers and private labeling companies! This source is definitely worth a look!
My all time favorite (and most successful) source for suppliers is Alibaba.com. Yes, nearly every private label seller on Amazon.com uses this source, but this should not stop you! The fact is, there are countless suppliers and literally endless products to choose from. How? Alibaba connects you not only with suppliers who stock products, but manufacturers who create products! Have a product idea that does not exist yet, I guarantee you that you can find a manufacturer on Alibaba that will create it for you. Now, doing so is not usually in your best interest unless you have a completely unique idea, but it’s possible! I prefer to contact a manufacturer that already sells a product and simply modify it to make it unique! The point though is that the product selection here is literally endless! Unless you’re targeting a product that everybody is selling, Alibaba is a wide open opportunity for you!
Alibaba is focused on suppliers and manufacturers primarily in China. What many sellers don’t know though, is there are suppliers and manufacturers on Alibaba.com from all over the world! If you want a U.S. supplier, simply type in a keyword for your product and then on the left hand side, check the box that says “U.S.” (the same applies for any country!)
Importing from China can be complicated and is best done after you have some basic private labeling experience (preferably with a U.S. supplier). Keep in mind too, that most Chinese manufacturers require high minimums, though I outline several ways around this in my book “Six Step Six Figure System”
Without a doubt, importing is the quickest way to make big profits! If you want to dive in immediately, make sure you have a guide book that will take you through the importing ins and outs! I would highly recommend “Proven China Sourcing” where Walter Hay walks you through the process step by step! He also outlines every possible pitfall so you will have a solid strategy while avoiding problems! In addition, he spends a great deal of time talking about connecting with suppliers and specifically talks about the negotiation process (and why it is often a bad idea to negotiate on the front end!) He also provides some safer sources than Alibaba (I still use Alibaba due to it’s size, but Walter is right that scammers still make their way into the Alibaba database. If you don’t know what to look for, I’d highly recommend using the websites Walter recommends instead!)
Alibaba.com is completely free to sign up to and use. While you check out the resources I mentioned above (which go into far greater detail on connecting with suppliers and importing), run some searches on the products you are considering, write the suppliers and see if the pricing makes sense! If so, pick up the resources I mentioned to avoid costly mistakes!
Once you’ve found a solid supplier and have committed to purchasing the product, it’s time to prepare to sell on Amazon.com and beyond! I will cover this in part 4 of my Private Labeling series. Stay tuned!
In the meantime, please take a look at my completely free resource for getting started making money online! Enter your name and email below for complete access! Thanks as always for reading!