Customer demand, no competition, large margins. Every seller strives for those things, but with the positive comes the work, and the work includes getting to know what you should do and most importantly, what you should not do. While building your own private label brand has appeal for lots of reasons, DIY product label-building may not be the best course of action. The private label product business can be steeped with risk. An effective system to use while building a private label product business should include: product evaluation, proper legal vetting, identification to the right manufacturer partners overseas, small minimum order quantities (MOQ) on a wide range of products and all the hard work necessary to get your products launched on Amazon.
If you are committed to the investments of time and money needed to be successful in the private label product space, that determination will lead you halfway there. But take note: the most important piece of advice a new seller should head is to always stay informed. It will increase your chances for successfully creating a private label business properly and lucratively.
Trademark & Patent Infringement
Sometimes, sellers will ‘borrow’ too heavily on products coming dangerously close to violating someone else’s trademark or patent. Maybe you consider your product friendly or innocent competition? Regardless of the intention, if you are borrowing another’s private label product too closely, you could get hit with a huge legal bill when the product grows in sales and gets some notice. The legal teams of the infringed brand and Amazon are best left as far from your operation as possible.
If you plan to have products shipped or made overseas, expect possible delays. Have your customs paperwork ready, deal with a reputable overseas operation and employ an experience partner to help expedite the process.
Negotiating Small Enough Quantities On Test Buys
Though foreign suppliers have become more responsive to sample buys by first-time buyers, it is important for you to acquire enough samples to assure consistent production quality so you don’t get bridled with invalid or unproductive test products.
Testing Testing Testing Products
Plan to test your products — a lot of your products. It is the only way to assure that your customers will be offered products they will want to buy.
Overseas Manufacturers Poor Production Practices
Make sure you have a structure for quality control in dealing with overseas suppliers’ merchandise. Even if you are producing product that does not infringe on another’s patents, some less than scrupulous overseas suppliers may — so check every product, every time, from every outside supplier.
Supplier/Production Quality Issues
As you check your overseas suppliers, so too should you check all your suppliers. Quality control is your best defense against faulty, damaged and low-quality products. It’s critical to know how to evaluate and negotiate with suppliers to make sure you get high quality product every time. Be sure to pick the most consistent supplier with the most consistent product.
Setting Up Product & Product Promotion On Amazon
Make sure your products have curb appeal. Make sure photos of your products look good. Make sure your customers are finding your products quickly by using your social media arsenal — it’s free, so put it to good use. Have a process for consistent promotion through your sites, your Twitter, Facebook, etc. Once your customers have taken notice of your brand, get customer feedback and address reviews in a timely manner.
Effectively Managing Tickets From Amazon’s Seller Performance
There are situations when non-infringing businesses are accused of violations even though they have registered their brands properly through Amazon’s Brand Registry Program (if you have not done so, register your product!). When these things happen, make sure you have a plan in place to deal with these complaints. Whatever you do, do not lose your composure. It may be wise to employ the services of a professional like a lawyer to help you plan for these types of situations.
Getting Ready For Competitors To Notice Your Product
Once your private label product starts to grow and generate sales, competitors will notice and notice quickly. Make sure you have all your ducks in a row, register your product if need be and get the help of experts. You have a short window on most private label products you build before others enter the same markets
Protecting Your Private Label Product on Amazon
With great success comes great challenges. The more successful your private label product is, the more competitors may “borrow” the look, feel and function of your product. Some may just brazenly infringe on your space. Because there can be a long lag time before Amazon responds to your complaints, there are specific proactive actions you should take, as well as specific issues you should plan to accept as a means of doing business in the private label space on Amazon. Get help learning what some of those measures are.
For insights and answers to many dilemmas and challenges that plague first-time (and old-time) seller, Top Sellers and Solution Providers will reveal trade secrets & best sellers’ tactics to help you sell more with less work at the Prosper Show on February 8-9, 2016. Drawing on the experience of former Amazon business leaders, seasoned sellers, and other industry experts, the event will offer hands-on information to guide you through the key processes that drive your business.
Photo credit: Market Bureau