Store Coach Academy > Find a Killer Private Label Product
Find a Killer Private Label Product In 45 Minutes!
Seriously, apply yourself for 45 minutes and you'll have a product you can private label - without any cash up front - and make serious money with!
How much would your life change with a new $5,000 monthly income? And how about $10,000 monthly? Or more? I'm guessing a ton, and it's very achievable with our model (we'll share some success stories in one of the sections below!).
This free guide will show you every step we take to find a product that can easily be private labelled and sold at a healthy markup! (With zero up front investment in inventory!)
Sounds challenging, right? Well, it's honestly not! You just need to know where to look and what to look for!
We regularly find single products that net us $10,000+ monthly by using the exact steps you'll learn below (I'll provide some proof too!).
|HINT: Be sure to join our free Facebook group that's dedicated to the topic of finding killer products to private label!|
Who are we & why listen to us?
We're a team of brothers (and friends) who've built 180+ highly profitable niche stores since 2005, and we've helped hundreds of others do the same since releasing our first training program in 2007.
We won't drone on & on here about our accomplishments in eCom, but here's a quick summary of what the Store Coach team has accomplished:
- 180+ successful niche product stores
- featured in national media like the NY Times & Fox Business News
- helped hundreds build and/or sale their ecommerce businesses (like Trevor who sold his private label store for $8.15M)
(If you want to read the extended version of our eCommerce journey you can do so here.)
How do I know this will work for me?
The quickest & easiest way for us to prove that this works is to have you check out the e-commerce businesses for sale in our Website Marketplace on StoreCoach.com.
The vast majority of the businesses listed in that marketplace were started using the very guide you're reading right now!
Why are we giving this info away?
Full transparency: we truly hope this guide helps you start making some good money from your first little private label product so you trust us enough to become a Pro member of Store Coach (which gives you access to all of our marketing & growth techniques!).
Not to mention that if you really trust us you will follow us for life, and make Store Coach your go-to source for all things eCommerce.
So what is private labelling, exactly?
Private labelling is a very simple concept that most "gurus" intentionally over-complicate in order to make their knowledge seem secretive & exclusive!
In the simplest of terms, a private label product is a "generic" product that a company makes slight tweaks to - often times just changing the product's label - to make it appear to be made by them (aka "their" brand name).
The easiest example of this is Costo's Kirkland brand name. Costco doesn't actually manufacture any of the Kirkland brand products, they simply take something some other manufacturer has made and slap their label on it.
To take this example further, take a close look at a bag of Kirkland coffee beans. If you look at the fine print on the back you will see that it's manufactured by Starbucks (or another major coffee brewing company), yet it has the Kirkland branding on it.
So why private label?
The main reasons to private label a product are:
- You can make a product look exclusive (aka not available elsewhere).
- You can add perceived value to a product and make it seem more valuable.
- You can basically name your own price (because of #1 and #2!).
So all-in-all private labelling (which we'll often refer to as PL) allows you to appear to be the exclusive retailer of a product that has a high perceived value. Therefore allowing you to make great margins and avoid price wars with other retailers!
And what's best about the Store Coach private label model is that we start selling our PL products without investing a single penny up front (you'll see how below!).
What makes our PL approach unique?
Most folks focus on private labelling for Amazon, which generally costs several thousand to implement.
They do some product research, make their best guess on what product may do well, then they invest thousands in having 100+ units made with their logo on it.
The problem with this approach is that they are in deep before they have any idea how the product will do! And that's just to test one product, imagine the cost to test out several simultaneously!
Oh, and a possibly bigger issue is how fragile an Amazon account is. If you are getting regular complaints about quality, shipping speed, etc. you can easily lose product listings or even be banned from the platform indefinitely.
All of that makes it a terrible platform to test on while "working out kinks" on a new PL product!!
Here's our model, which was developed from 17 years of trial & error:
PHASE 1: Test a Product Idea
We take a generic product that seems promising and make it appear as if it's our exclusive branded product (more on that below).
Once our product pages are polished we drive low cost, targeted traffic using Facebook ads (more on that below). Within a matter of days we know if we have a winner or not!
This allows us to know whether a product is a winner or not without investing in inventory up front or risking a permanent ban on Amazon!
PHASE 2: Scale Facebook Ads
Once we've proven a product with FB ad tests, we get to work on improvements to the generic product combined with adding our branding and/or custom packaging.
We use profits from sales of this winning product to bring in a "light bulk" order of self-branded (improved) product into a regional fulfillment center. This gives us the advantage of having products with our branding on them, and the ability to deliver orders to customers inside of a week.
While we wait for our first "light bulk" order of self-branded product to reach our fulfillment center, we continue to scale our FB ads and have the supplier "dropship" the generic products (1-by-1) directly to our customers.
PHASE 3: Go Big!
We continue scaling and selling more and more of our winning product through Facebook ads.
In the background we take the feedback we've gotten from customers to make yet another set of improvements to our product, and now we're ready to go big!
With our tested & proven (now twice improved) self-branded product, we expand onto Amazon and really open the flood gates for massive sales!
Meet our latest private label project
Launched in March of this year, AdoredByDesign.com is already exceeding $150K in monthly revenue:
Obviously not all "revenue" goes into our pockets, there are expenses that must be netted out. But after everything is said & done, about 1/3 of that is true net profit which is distributed to us owners each month!
How would $50,000 of monthly net profit change your life? (I know it's changed ours' a ton!)
Now we're not saying to expect that on your first little project. Our team has a combined 60+ years of ecommerce experience, and a lot of expertise went into getting those results on AdoredByDesign.com this fast, but...
You can certainly have a decent amount of success right out of the gate, and even 10% of our success level on this project would put 5 figures of profit into your bank account each month!
So are you convinced and ready to get started? If not, what do you have to lose? I'm guessing very little, and the upside is absolutely life changing!
Now let's get rolling on finding your first winning private label product...
So what will it cost to implement this model?
Very little! Honestly you can implement everything taught in this guide for the cost of a domain name, which is about $10.
- The tool we will be using below (SellTheTrend) to brainstorm niches has a free trial, and you can easily find a product and cancel before that's up!
- Software to run your store (we recommend Shopify) also has a free trial, so if profit from orders can't cover it you can cancel before that's up!
- We recommend using Facebook ad tests to "prove" your product is a winner - we suggest spend of ~$10/day for 5 days - but don't count that as a cost because revenue from sales often outweighs spend!
That's truly it! (Read on, you'll believe us as you see it all come together!) :)
Criteria of a winning product
The perfect private label product is one that sells for $25-95 and that you can clear at least $20 per delivered item on.
The "Big 3 Factors" you are looking for in a product to private label are...
- Product has "wow" factor
- Product feeds a passion, solves a problem or makes something easier
- You can sell it for $20+ more than it costs you
That's it! If you find a product that has all three going for it you very likely have a winner!
Now let's go into a bit more detail on each of these three big factors.
#1 - "Wow" factor
Basically, does the product really grab your attention when you see it? Some marketers refer to this as "spectacle factor" - meaning that it's something you've gotta stop and take a closer look at!
If the product draws eyeballs and is something that a viewer would think is "really cool" (after a few seconds of observing) then it has "wow" factor.
#2 - Feeds a passion, solves a problem or makes something easier
If your product does any one of these things you're "golden" on this factor.
- Let's talk feeding a passion first. This simply means that the "type" of person the product is made for would consider it a "must have". A great example of this would be our Geometric Dog Necklace in the eyes of a hardcore dog lover. When they see it, they need it, and that's what you call feeding a passion!
- Now let's talk solving a problem or making something easier. This one is pretty self evident. Kitchen hacks that save time & effort are a perfect example of this. For instance, apple slicers that core an apple and cut it into eight pieces simultaneously in a single step are a great kitchen hack.
(Just know that if you go the "hack" product route that you should avoid something that's already a well known & accepted product (like that apple slicer!). You really want a new "hack" that people haven't already purchased or considered but passed on.)
#3 - You could sell it for $20+ more than it'll cost you
This will probably be the trickiest of the "Big 3 Factors" to those of you who are doing this for the first time, simply because it requires you to learn a new way of looking at products.
But don't overcomplicate it for yourself, it really comes down to a) what you think an item could be sold for, minus b) what you can expect to pay for it at wholesale.
Below I will show you where to get products at "wholesale" prices, and all you have to do is "guesstimate" what you think people would be willing to pay for them. If the difference is $20 or more you're good-to-go!
I think this will become more clear as we actually look at products and talk about what they will cost us vs. what they could be sold for.
Brainstorming with purpose
When we're brainstorming product ideas we want to be organized and focused. So we use a spreadsheet to track each product we come up with and its key metrics.
|HINT: If you don't already have a program that can open & edit Excel files, we recommend downloading and using OpenOffice (a free program).|
Don't worry if you don't understand the fields in this spreadsheet yet, we will actually be filling them out as we implement each of the upcoming brainstorming techniques.
Let's Start Brainstorming
Let's get into brainstorming products that would potentially make killer private label products. This is when the fun starts!
Now since we're trying to keep this guide as concise and to the point as possible, we're only going to share our "main" brainstorming technique here (several other techniques are covered inside the Pro Academy training).
Finding "Early Trend" Products with SellTheTrend
Before you start the video, quickly create a free trial account on SellTheTrend (STT). That link sends you to a 7-day free trial account, but you'll be able to find your first product idea today!
Once you have a few product ideas (or even just one that you really like!) you can cancel your STT account so you're never charged anything.
|HINT: Once you start making money you will want to just keep an active STT subscription so you can continuously find new products to add to your store. If you use our "SC members" page to sign up you will get 75% off their published price for life (not just month 1!).|
How to choose a winner from your list
Is there one you feel best about? If so go with it, we generally go with our "gut" when deciding which product idea we like best.
If you truly don't have one that stands out from the rest, just go with the one with the best margin. The margin is extremely important because more profit-per-order the more you pocket at the end of each month!
|HINT: You can choose more than 1 product to test simultaneously if they're all inside the same topic (i.e. kitchen hacks). In fact, our Pro training in the Academy shows you how to test 5+ simultaneously in the same store (i.e. AdoredByDesign.com features nothing but "mom" themed jewelry).|
In the end though, the ad tests are what ultimately tell you whether a product is a winner or not, so don't put too much pressure on yourself when choosing the first one to test out!
How to start private labeling (without buying in bulk)
There are two components to pulling this off: 1) building a rapport with a supplier (factory or distributor) who will dropship products at wholesale prices for you, and 2) convincing visitors to your store that your products are exclusive to your brand.
Let's start with your branding, since we really want to have a brand name for our store (and products) before we reach out to suppliers or create our Shopify store.
Choose your brand name
It's typically easiest and best to have your made up brand name also be the domain name for your store. This limits confusion and it also helps give your visitors the impression that your products are exclusive to your store.
So as you brainstorm possible brand names, I recommend checking for domain name availability at NameCheap. (We typically try to get the .COM of our branding, but it's not totally necessary or all that important!)
Simply think about the topic or category of the product(s) you will be testing and try to think of a catchy, simple branding to use.
Choosing your branding
- Be descriptive: use words that describe your product niche
- Keep it short: 4-16 characters is ideal
- Use a non-sensical word or pun
- Use a branding that's extremely similar to a successful brand in that market
- Include the domain extension
- Use a branding that's already been trademarked for use in that same market (search for active trademarks here)
Examples of good brandings:
- 'Let's Go Cuckoo' for a cuckoo clocks PL brand
- 'Adored By Design' for a jewelry PL brand
- 'Everything Birds' for a parrot related PL brand
As you can see, your branding doesn't have to be anything revolutionary or innovative, you can keep it very simple and to the point. All that really matters is that it's believable to your visitors.
Once you think of a good one that can also be registered at NameCheap for under $20, snag it.
|HINT: Be sure to check NameCheap's promos page for a discount code! (You will have to be signed into a free NameCheap.com account to use it!)|
Also keep in mind that with Shopify (the store platform we'll be using) you can easily change your domain name (aka brand name) in about 2 minutes of effort, so it's not by any means the end of the world if you come up with a better branding later on!
Register a (free) GMail account using your branding
Before you start reaching out to suppliers or working on your store I recommend snagging a free GMail account so you can have an @gmail.com email address that matches your branding.
Watch this video from our Watch Coach Build series to learn how to accomplish this!
|HINT: If your branding (without the domain name extension) is already taken, try adding the extension to your Google username. For example, if my chosen brand/domain is mizosgadgets.com and the mizosgadgets username is taken, I'd just use mizosgadgets.com as my username (which will make my email firstname.lastname@example.org) instead!|
Secure a supplier for your product(s)
|HINT: We're assuming you chose an AliExpress.com product using the STT tool here, but these same principles apply regardless of where you're sourcing your products!|
This step is not ultra important at this stage, because you really don't need to worry about sourcing your product until you actually have orders to fulfill. (Skip it for now and come back to it after you have an order to fulfill if you'd like!)
However, I'm going to cover it so you can at least "get the ball rolling" on securing a source for your product.
Step 1: Create a free account at AliExpress.com (hover over 'Account' in the top-right corner and click the 'Join' button that appears below)
Step 2: Go to the product page (linked to from within the STT tool)
Step 3: Click the 'Contact' hyperlink next to the store name in the sidebar (this will open your Message Center with a chat opened
Step 4: Write the factory a message informing them that you'd like to sell their product in your store (see sample message below)
======SAMPLE MESSAGE START======
Hi _FACTORY_NAME_, my name is _YOUR_NAME_ and I'm the owner of _YOUR_STORE_NAME_, a retailer of _PRODUCT_TYPE_ in the _COUNTRY_YOU'RE_IN_. I'm interested in adding this product to our online store. If sales go well and the margin is good, we will order these in bulk from you in the future, but for now while we are testing sales we would like you to dropship them to our customers here in the _COUNTRY_YOU_MARKET_TO_.
Are you able to provide dropship service for my company? If yes, please confirm that you can ship all dropship orders via ePacket for fast delivery, and also please confirm the very lowest price you can provide per unit with delivery included to my customer.
I look forward to working with your company, and I will provide my email in my signature below if you'd like to speak directly about this arrangement.
Thank you for your time.
======SAMPLE MESSAGE END======
If your chosen product is like 90% of the products on AliExpress, there's more than one store (aka factory) on there offering it. (You can tell by searching for a couple root words from your product's title and see if you see multiple listings of the product you selected.)
If this is the case, I recommend reaching out to (at least) 3 who have the lowest price on that item (but make sure they all have a rating of 4.5 or higher!).
Send the ones you select the message above, and log all of this somewhere (we typically use the product ideas Excel sheet). A quick response from the factory is a good sign, and whoever replies first is typically who we choose to work with.
If they agree to give you a deeper discount, ask them for a private AliExpress URL where you can place your dropship orders with them once you start receiving orders.
Building a beautiful store that people will trust
In this guide we're not going to go into excruciating detail on every step of building out your store (we've saved that for Module 2 of our Pro Academy training), but we're going to give you a pretty detailed overview of our approach here...
Start your Shopify free trial
A beautiful, professional web store starts with Shopify. There's truly not a better all-in-one solution out there to run your store!
Shopify not only gives you a professional looking website to list your private label products on, but it has built in payment processing (that can be activated instantly) so you can take credit/debit card payments!
With Shopify you can start a 2-week free trial and build your store out completely before even determining what domain name to get and tie to your store.
|HINT: Use the domain name you previously selected, and use the GMail account that you created for your business!|
How can I build a beautiful web store?
Every single step we took to create AdordByDesign.com is covered in our free 'Watch Coach Build' video series, so certainly utilize that resource when building your own private label store!
Remember to make your products look self-branded
It's really all about the "perception" of your visitors, so we want to give the impression that everything in our store is our own brand of products.
If we make our product look "self-branded" our visitors will assume: a) the products are made by us, 2) the products are exclusive to our store, and c) the products are higher value than similar generic products.
Here are the best ways to make your products look self-branded:
- Talk about the "exclusivity" of your products throughout your website (i.e. homepage, collection pages, and especially on product pages.
- Put your store's brand name into the title of your products.
- Show your brand logo graphic on product images, either in the corner of within the "dead space" or as an actual watermark.
|HINT: Creating photos & video of your product with your brand's logo on it more than doubles your chances of success during your ad tests! This pro guide walks you through getting that done for under $30!|
Running ad tests: did you pick a winner?
You can use Facebook ad tests to quickly determine whether your product is a winner or not.
Just like the store build-out stage, we are not going to go into extreme detail on this step (we've saved that for Module 3 of our Pro Academy training), but we're going to give you a pretty detailed overview of our approach here...
Why Facebook ads?
Aside from the Amazon Marketplace, Facebook/Instagram is the biggest source of targeted buyers of low cost private label products in the world!
HINT: Expanding into the Amazon Marketplace is something we wait to do until we've made serious improvements to our private label product and we are confident it will perform well there. This is covered in great detail late in
Module 5 of the Pro Academy training.
With Facebook ads you can target users of a very specific "mold" - that you choose - on both Facebook (FB) & Instagram (IG).
For example, when setting up an ad for our Geometric Dog Necklace we can indicate that we only want people who have indicated that they're "dog lovers" to see our ads.
When you launch your FB ads you can specify exactly what type of person your "ideal" customer is, and that's what makes FB's advertising platform so incredibly powerful!
|Hint: Running FB ad tests effectively is one of the main topics being discussed in our Private Pros-Only Facebook group. So once you go Pro you can jump right in and start discussing techniques for better performing ad tests!|
So let's jump into our Facebook ads process...
Our Facebook Ad test approach
There's a metric within the Facebook Ads interface called ROAS, which stands for Return On Ad Spend. The "golden number" we shoot for is 2 or higher on the ROAS metric.
A ROAS of 2.0 means you generated 2X as much revenue in orders as you spent on ads (a ratio of 2-to-1). So if you spent $100 on ads with a ROAS of 2, that means that $100 in ad spend generated $200 in revenue.
It's important to note that we generally spend ~$5 for one of our jewelry items on AdoredByDesign.com to be delivered to a customer ($2 for the product + ~$3 for shipping). So if we spend $15 to generate a $30 order, and fulfillment costs are $5 we still net $10 on that order.
So a ROAS of 2.0 means profit for us, but if you sell products that cost you a lot more than that you're "golden number" might be higher than 2.0.
If any of your ad sets have 2+ conversions with a ROAS we consider this a winner, and we begin to scale our spending.
|Next module: Create a Beautiful Store That Coverts (Requires Pro membership)|