Selling private label products has been proven to be the most profitable e-commerce business model. Instead of selling the same generic products innumerable competitors list online, successful eCommerce giants are using private label products as the cornerstone of their marketing campaigns. If you’re thinking about launching your private label shoes brand, this post with a step by step guide is dedicated to helping you build a successful private label shoes business from scratch.
- Prepare tech packs
Tech packs are essential to the manufacturing of any private label product. As a saying goes, a picture speaks better than a thousand words. Tech packs featuring digital illustrations of your designs with detailed specifications, specified materials to be used in manufacturing, and other additional information help your private label shoes manufacturer understand easily and are able to give you more accurate quotes, as well as cutting off guess works while making the first sample.
If you don’t have any tech packs or an in-house designer dedicated to the project, there’re many online platforms where you can easily hire a freelancer. Alternatively, ask the manufacturer if they can refer you to a tech pack designer.
- Provide reference samples
Providing reference samples in addition to tech packs is a great way to make sure your manufacturer has a clear understanding of your requirements especially designs or functions that are too obscure to tell just from tech packs. Reference samples can be samples from your previous models, more often than not, reference samples are shoes from other brands with features you would like to include into your next shoes production. They’re usually used to illustrate quality or prominent features to get rid of any potential guess works.
- Know your budget
It’s imperative to have a clear idea how much you’re willing to invest on the whole project from start to finish, main areas to consider are tech packs development, fees for opening private molds, unit price, quality inspection costs and shipping costs. You would want to have an idea how much you wish to invest in every process of manufacturing.
A realistic understanding of what your budget should be will set you on the right track than wasting time or getting products compromising in quality coz you’re pushing for insanely low prices, while the shoes factory doesn’t want to turn any order away amid the slow economy Sino-US trade war has caused. It’s better to come up with a solid plan, and also let your manufacture know about your budget as well.
If you’re a start up planning for crowd funding on IGG or Kick Starter, make sure you understand all the costs involved including the development of the shoes as well as shipping the completed shoes to your backers. Surprisingly, many crowd funding campaigns successfully raising over 1 million dollars failed to turn the ideas into reality.
- Get quotations
Submit your project details including tech packs, reference samples, your business plan and your desired budget to your private label footwear manufacturer and get a quote. If you have a deadline to meet, it’s better to also update your manufacturer so it can be taken into consideration.
In this case, your manufacturer can give you a more accurate quote for product development, and estimation of production costs as well as delivery time.
- Update your budget based on factory’s quote
Once you get a quote from the custom shoes factory, it’s time to update your budget especially if a private mold must be opened for your shoes. To lower down the costs, alternative is to use public molds. Many things can vary once you get into the details with your supplier.
- Decide shoes development and production timelines
If you have timelines to meet like attending a trade show or ship to your crowd-funding backers, you’ll have to speak to your manufacture to get a better idea of guaranteed development and production time. Make sure you’re taking into account national holidays and other days the factory does not work.
- Confirm samples
The product development process will bring about several versions of samples, and ship to your doorsteps. Before starting mass production, it’s vital to get a confirmed sample you approve, which is used as a standard for mass production.
- Start mass production
There’re many things to confirm before starting mass production, i.e., order breakdown, how many sizes, colors, how many pieces per size per color, labeling and packaging. The processes for China wholesale shoes manufacturing from start to finish can take anywhere from several weeks to months, depending on the complexity of your shoes, order quantity and schedule of the factory.
Raw materials will be purchased, toolings such as lasts, cutting dies and molds will be customized for your design. Then raw materials and components will go through a stringent quality inspection process, being cut and organized for assembly lines. Completed shoes should also go through a rigorous inspection process before they’re shipped.
- Carry out quality inspection
To avoid paying exorbitant shipping fees only to get compromised shoes in regret, the completed shoes shall be meticulously inspected before shipping. Industry standard lab tests are usually required for quality inspection of shoes. If your shoes have to meet stricter performance requirements, you may also want additional tests done.
There’re many third party quality control agents in China who can assist with quality inspection, and a quality control report would be delivered to you. From the report, you can confirm the quality of shoes or ask the shoes factory to make necessary changes.
- Arrange shipping
When the shoes are completed and you approve the quality control report, they need to get to you. Shipping timelines and fees vary depending on several factors, i.e., by sea or by air, which carrier you choose, destination country and whether it’s the peak time of shipping. An accurate quote is hard to get in advance especially before your shoes are completed, and shipping costs might not be the same from one shipment to the next. Ask your manufacturer for packing list, even though the shoes are still in manufacturing, most experienced shoes factories are able to provide you with an estimated packing list of roughly how many cartons, how many shoes in a carton, carton specification and weight so that you can check and book shipping in advance.