Private label products allow you to skip on the internal product development process, instead finding a manufacturer to create and brand the items for you to sell.
Selling private label products is especially beneficial for brands that have already built up a brand name and are looking to boost sales via a passive income stream.
If you think that selling private label products may work for you but you’re not sure how to get started, then read on to discover our expert tips on the best private label products to sell online.
Private label products are often the perfect middle ground for ecommerce merchants who are looking for a more personalized and less-generic option than dropshipping, but who don’t want to spend time and money manufacturing products themselves.
Private labeling is when a manufacturer creates products to be branded and sold by another company.
The merchants who will be selling the products are able to have their own logos and branding placed on the items, thus making them “private labeled”.
The chances are, private label products have been right under your nose without you realizing it!
Have you ever gone to the supermarket and spotted their own-brand items? You can find own brand ranges in all the major stores such as Walmart, Target, and Costco.
These stores don’t manufacture the products themselves – instead, they outsource this to a manufacturer and have their branding added to the packaging.
White label products are similar to private label products but they have one key difference.
With private labeling you’ll be able to decide every aspect of the item, since you’re simply paying for it to be made by someone else. However, with white labeling most features of the item are decided for you – you just get to add your branding.
For example, if you wanted to start selling your family cookie recipe but didn’t have the resources to do so, you could choose to outsource it. You could find a manufacturer to create your cookie recipe in large volumes, following your exact recipe and packaged with your chosen branding. This would be private labeling.
If you opted to find a manufacturer who specialized in great cookie recipes and created a cookie for you that looked like you had made it – but you actually had no say over the recipe used, you simply got to choose your branded packaging – this would be white labeling.
Private labeling is a particularly good idea if you already have a product designed up that you need manufacturing, or if you believe your item is far better than any white label alternative.
Once you’ve decided that selling private label products online is right for you, there are various steps to follow to get started. To make it even easier for you, we’ve listed them below.
- Decide which product(s) you want to sell. Take the time to choose the right niche for your business.
- Research any competitors online. Take inspiration from what they are doing well and note any gaps or elements that you can improve on.
- Find a reliable manufacturer. We recommend either sourcing a manufacturer directly or using wholesale supplier websites such as Thomasnet or Alibaba.
- Order samples so that you can test the products yourself and make sure they’re just right.
- Create your brand elements such as colors, fonts, and logos.
- Build your online store. There are various ecommerce website builders online, but we recommend Wix, Shopify, or Squarespace.
- Create the product listings for your items and add the products to your store. Pay special attention to creating high-quality pictures and detailed product descriptions.
- Promote your online store and your products to your target audience.
Eyewear is a great example of a private label product that has the potential to skyrocket your online business.
Anyone who wears glasses knows how important it is for eyewear to be high-quality and durable. Investing in creating stylish frames that last can be a great choice for your online business.
People need glasses all year round, meaning you shouldn’t experience any lull in sales. Plus, there are various niches you can target including reading glasses, sunglasses, and blue light blocking glasses.
Keeping on top of current trends will also help you to boost sales and beat your competition.
The beauty industry is one of the biggest ecommerce industries in the world and shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon, which is why cosmetics are some of the best private label products to sell.
In order to stand yourself apart from well-established competitors, try to think of an idea that you haven’t seen anywhere else. The customers who keep the beauty industry going tend to be interested in trending products and new gimmicks.
Undertaking research is essential if you want to sell private label cosmetics, and you’ll need to be willing to invest time and money to make sure you’re offering up something new and innovative.
Avoid creating generic products that are already on the market.
The popularity of essential oils has grown rapidly in recent years. No longer just an off-shoot of the cosmetics industry, essential oils are a private label category in their own right.
Often used for aromatherapy, massage, and home scenting, many essential oils not only smell great but come with a host of health and wellbeing benefits too.
In a world that’s becoming increasingly centered around mental wellbeing, essential oils allow you to tap into a key target market.
Essential oils tend to be relatively cheap to make, but providing they’re high-quality enough, people are often willing to pay substantial amounts for an oil that can “change their life”, meaning your profits could be huge.
The US essential oil market is estimated to be worth $3.36 billion – not too smelly at all!
Another private label item that ties in with the increased interest in health and wellbeing products is yoga mats.
There are thought to be over 300 million yoga practitioners across the globe, meaning there’s a potential 300 million people who could be interested in buying your products.
What makes yoga mats, in particular, such a great private label option is that they’re quick, easy, and cheap to make, and they offer you the chance to put your own stamp on them through materials, functionality, and design.
Serious yogis are willing to invest in quality yoga mats and equipment, meaning there’s potential to boost your profits considerably.
The market for reusable water bottles has grown in ways that nobody could have predicted.
Thanks to a desire for sustainable changes and environmentally friendly options, reusable water bottles are no longer just for school lunch boxes or outdoor adventures.
Everyone is looking for an alternative to single-use plastic meaning there are various different niches within the market you can target.
Instead of creating and selling generic reusable water bottles, think about who you want to target. Do you want to create bottles for sports-mad gym bunnies? Or perhaps you would rather target office workers who are looking for a bottle to fill up at the water cooler?
Once you know who you want to target you can create reusable water bottles that are functional and appealing.
There’s always a need for furniture. Whether people are re-decorating, replacing a broken item, or moving to a new home, the furniture industry is never going to run out of business. That’s why it’s a great option when deciding which private label products you want to sell.
Just like water bottles, there are loads of different niches within the furniture industry that you can focus on, from flat-pack furniture to specific items, styles, and price points.
We recommend trying to find a way to make flat-pack furniture more user-friendly. If you can offer people a way to purchase and build furniture that won’t end in tears then you could be on to a winner!
Private label home decor products can be incredibly popular, especially if you have a creative eye for interior design.
Keep a close eye on current interior trends and check out which products prove popular for your competitors. This will help you decide the theme and vibe that your home decor products will take.
How we decorate our homes is a personal choice, so try to find a manufacturer that’s willing to let you buy smaller quantities of stock at first until you discover exactly which items your audience is interested in.
Home decor is a great private label option because you can choose items that are small and lightweight, such as candles and cushions, to help keep storage and shipping costs low.
Gardening has always been a popular pastime but after the COVID-19 pandemic saw us confined to our homes, more people started paying attention to their outdoor space, and a whole new generation of green-fingered gardeners were born.
The increased popularity of outdoor space and reconnecting with nature makes gardening tools the perfect private label product to sell on your ecommerce site.
There are various items you can focus on such as flowerpots, tools, or seeds. Be prepared for some seasonality shifts – you may notice a dip in sales during the winter months, but these losses will likely be balanced out once spring rolls around.
There seems to be a smart version of everything these days. Smartphones, smart TVs, smartwatches…but what about smart backpacks?
Smart backpacks are beginning to grow in popularity but there still aren’t that many places that sell them, meaning it’s the perfect time to get your foot in the door.
There are various different options you can choose from such as anti-theft zips and pockets, built-in power banks, or connected USB cables.
One of the great things about backpacks is that there’s no limit on who may require one meaning your target audience can span from commuters to students.
The travel accessories industry has the potential to be huge. Covering everything from suitcases to washbags, passport holders to travel cots, and everything in between.
While there are already various places where you can buy things online, if you can create a product that’s not already on the market and solves a common travel problem, then you could be well on your way to ecommerce success.
When creating and selling private label travel accessories, think about what makes your products stand out from what’s already on the market. Define your target audience from the very beginning so that you can ensure your products and designs will appeal to them.
There’s always a need for good stationery. Whether it’s students filling up their pencil cases, office workers stocking up the store cupboard, or simply someone who appreciates a good notebook, your potential market is vast.
Despite having digital note-taking options at our fingertips, nothing quite beats a handwritten note.
One of the great things about creating and selling private label stationery is the different product types available to you. Notebooks, pens, pencil cases, sticky notes – the options are endless.
Don’t get tempted into ordering too much in one go though. Because stationery is small, many manufacturers will want you to take out a large order – but it’s important that you only invest in an amount that you believe you can sell.
Let’s be honest, we all love a snack. Sweet or savory, healthy or sugary – whatever your preference, sometimes a good snack is the answer.
And if you’re a whizz in the kitchen then snacks could be the perfect private label product for you to sell.
The chances are, however, that no matter how tasty your snacks are, you aren’t going to be giving Cadbury’s or Hershey a run for their money.
Instead of trying to compete with the big players, focus on what makes your snacks stand out. Keep an eye on what’s proving popular in the market, such as gluten-free options or vegan alternatives.
Packaged food is another great example of a private label product you can sell from your ecommerce store.
Here you have the option to pick anything from fresh, healthy options to more processed food items. You can create and source the very best recipes and add your branding to the packages.
Remember, however, if you’re planning on creating and selling food then there are various legislations and health and safety standards that you’ll need to meet. These can differ depending on your state so make sure to check out the current rules and requirements for your area.
One of the fastest-growing markets online continues to be the supplement industry.
With people more keen than ever before to lead a healthy lifestyle, many are turning to supplements to ensure they get the right nutrients.
Whilst supplements aren’t necessarily the easiest private label product to sell, you’ll need to ensure they meet various regulations first, they can be some of the most profitable.
With the market growing we recommend focusing on a specific niche such as “female supplements”, “supplements for sports performance” or “family-friendly supplements” to help you grow an engaged audience.
Our final private label product in this list is the lunch box. We’ve all used a lunch box at some point, whether it was to take our sandwiches to school or to transport our homemade salad to the office.
With such a broad target market you have the opportunity to create a range of designs and product ideas.
We recommend taking a look at some of the major marketplaces online such as Amazon to see which type of lunch boxes are proving popular. If you have a unique product idea this is also a great way to see if there’s a gap in the market that you can fill.
If you decide to sell your private label products via a third-party platform then chances are you’ll opt for Amazon.
As one of the biggest international marketplaces, Amazon is a great place to sell your products to a ready-made audience.
With such reliability and reputation, Amazon is a particularly good choice for ecommerce merchants who are just starting out and are yet to build up their reputation and audience.
One downside to selling on Amazon is that your biggest competitor will be Amazon itself. Not just a marketplace for other brands, Amazon now creates and sells its own branded products, meaning you’re going to have to be pretty savvy to beat or even match Amazon on quality and price.
If you do decide to sell your private label products via Amazon then you can benefit from Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). This allows you to store your products at an Amazon distribution center where your orders will be picked, packed, and shipped for you.
Now you’ve reached the end of this article you should have a much better understanding of whether or not selling private label products is right for you and if so, the best product type to opt for.
Selling any kind of product online isn’t going to be an overnight success. You need to put the time into sourcing your products, setting up your online store, and making key distribution and fulfillment decisions. If you can do that, however, it can be an incredibly lucrative business.
We’re sure that after following our advice in this article you’ll be ready to start building your brand online and selling private label products. If feel like you still need a bit more information on the different ways to sell online, how to manage your inventory, or how to sell with no inventory, be sure to check out our other articles.
Don’t forget to come back and let us know in the comments how it goes!