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The Benefits of White Label Businesses (and 11 Product Ideas to Get You Started)

Illustration of blank bottles and packaging surrounded by floating coloured labels, indicating white label products

What if I told you that you could go to market this week with your own brand of massage guns or memory foam dog beds?

One way to make a quick entry into being your own boss is white labelling. That is, selling products manufactured by others, customized with your own designs or branding. Selling white label products is an easy option for those looking to jump on a trend or avoid having to make or manufacture products on their own.

Here, we’ll share 11 ideas for white label products that you can start selling today. Our picks include a diverse selection of trending products for 2021, from fitness wear to pet accessories. 

What is white labelling?

White label beard oil sits on a table

White label products are generic products mass manufactured then customized slightly (logo or brand name added, for example) for several brands. White label products can be bulk ordered, dropshipped, or printed on demand.

The term is often used interchangeably with “private labelling.” But technically, there are some subtle differences. Both refer to products manufactured and then relabelled or rebranded for another store or brand. Private label, however, most often refers to products manufactured and branded before being sold exclusively by one retailer. For example, a suite of products under Walgreens’ generic brand sold only at its stores.

Private labelling is generally more expensive, due to the nature of the customization and high minimums, and is best for brands that are already more established. White label products are accessible to smaller brands or those just starting up due to low, or sometimes no, minimums, as in the case of print on demand.

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The benefits of white labelling

White labelling allows you to quickly spin up a business around an existing product. You can add your own touch through branding, a great website, personalized shopping experiences, and unique packaging. You don’t need to have any creative skills or manufacturing experience to sell white label products.

White labelling might be a great option if you:

  • Are looking to jump on a trending product
  • Want to start a business quickly 
  • Don’t have a unique product idea
  • Want to start a business without much upfront investment
  • Aren’t interested in making or manufacturing products yourself
  • Want branded supplemental products for an existing business (say, a service-based business)
  • Are looking to monetize a personal or influencer brand with merch 

White label versus custom products

Blank label products sit on a wood tableMaking your own unique products from scratch can be highly rewarding. Artists, craftspeople, and product designers tend to enjoy this aspect of running a business. But it’s not for everyone. Whether you’re not creative or don’t have the time or patience for product R&D, you may opt to skip production altogether. 

The downside of white label products is that the same product may be sold under many different brand names. You can easily get lost in the shuffle. Almost any search on Amazon delivers pages and pages of identical products with different logos. You can make the most of white labelling—and stand out from other brands—by investing in a solid brand story and customer experience. Or you may compete on price or delivery options.



11 white label products to sell online

Now that you’re up to speed, is white labelling for you? Read on for ideas you can start selling now.

1. Stainless steel water bottles

Woman holds a black water bottleWater bottles are blank canvases for any design. If you’re an artist or designer looking to sell merch, this is a low cost idea that lets you sell a reproduction of your work at an accessible price to your fans. Water bottles can also be white labelled with a simple logo and used for brand awareness. Say you sell digital fitness content like online yoga classes or virtual personal training. Branded water bottles offer a way to diversify into a relevant physical product.

2. Cosmetics

Close up of a woman applying clear lip glossYou might not know it, but many of the cosmetics brands on the market today are made by just a handful of manufacturers. In some cases, they’re the exact same formulation. What sets them apart is brand, packaging design, and perhaps the range of colors offered. For example, Kylie Jenner’s brand is produced by Seed Beauty, a private label company that is also responsible for ColourPop. To make a start in white label cosmetics, focus on one product, like lip balm.

3. Phone accessories

Three floral phone cases arranged in a stackLike stainless steel water bottles, white label phone accessories are inexpensive to produce, widely available, and easily customizable. Phone cases are a great option for designers or artists for showcasing work on an affordable accessory, and other accessories like cords or car mounts can be easily rebranded.

Learn more 👉 How to Make and Sell Phone Cases

4. Fitness clothing and accessories

A woman practices yoga in a loft apartmentThe pandemic changed, among other things, the way we work out. Sales of at-home fitness gear and fitness wear soared through 2020. And while it may take time for us to feel comfortable in a crowded gym, there’s still opportunity in this space. Yoga mats, sport socks, leggings, fitness equipment, t-shirts, and water bottles are available through multiple manufacturers and print-on-demand companies. You could start an online boutique or clothing brand. Fitness influencers can help monetize their personal brands through customized workout merch.

5. Pet accessories

A brussels griffin dog lies on a bedAnother (very cute) side effect of the pandemic was an increase in pet adoptions. Newly remote workers everywhere replaced colleagues with furry companions to combat loneliness. 2020 was therefore a big year for pet brands, and the trend should continue through 2021. Get into the booming pet industry by white labelling beds, toys, and accessories. This is a great option for pet service businesses that may wish to add branded products to their offering.

Learn more 👉 Sell Pet Products: Ideas for Your Own Pet Business

6. Mugs

Close up of a man in a plaid shirt holding an enamel camp mugCeramic mugs emblazoned with memes, travel mugs engraved with your logo, or enamel camping mugs with custom artwork. There are several options for white labelling mugs. And it’s a good time to get into the drinkware space—more people are making coffee and tea at home with the increase in remote work and rolling closures of physical cafés. 

Learn more 👉 For the Fans: How to Make and Sell Your Own Merch

7. Essential oils

Spa products arranged around plants, stones, and a lit candleSelf-care products increased in demand in 2020, as spas and salons closed their doors. Essential oils, diffusers, and bath products made with essential oils can all be white labelled and sold online. Branded essential oils are a great way for wellness influencers to monetize a personal brand or make a foray into ecommerce. 

8. LED lights

A nest of LED string lightsScroll into the thread of any viral tweet these days and you’ll likely be met with a link to purchase LED light products. Fairy lights, LED light-up sneakers, solar-powered camp lights, flashlights, and novelty lights can all be found through white label manufacturers. There are many brands on the market selling subtle variations of the same product, so invest in setting your brand, website, and marketing apart from the rest.

9. Tote bags

A white label tote bag and bamboo cutleryThe pandemic accelerated many growing consumer trends, including the interest in supporting sustainable practices and businesses. Retail businesses can add branded reusable totes to their offerings and sell them at a low cost (or give them away) to encourage customers to ditch plastic—and increase brand awareness at the same time. These are great options for graphic designers and artists, too. The flat large surface is a great blank canvas offering an easy way to monetize your art. White label tote bags are often available through print-on-demand companies, allowing you to get started with a low initial investment.

10. Massage guns

A woman lies on a massage table with her eyes closedMassage guns were another breakout product idea in 2020 after many replaced their wellness rituals with at-home devices. Sites like Alibaba return multiple results for massage guns that can be customized with your logo. 

11. Coffee

Coffee beans surround a blank white mugThink beyond mugs—why not sell your own branded coffee beans? Some coffee producers will work with other brands to produce custom blends and packaging. Generally, these partnerships would require a sizable investment, but there are inexpensive alternatives and can generate steady passive income. Try your hand at selling custom-branded coffee online with Dripshipper, a white label coffee bean seller that integrates with your Shopify store. 

Learn more 👉 Sell Coffee Online: How to Launch a Café

The barriers to starting a business diminish with every technological advancement, every new automation tool, and every new channel where you can find customers. But first, you need an idea. Some wait around for that one big idea—the one that will change the world or change their luck. That idea might be years away. 

White labelling allows you to start today, through a side gig or a hands-off print-on-demand or dropshipping business—and is a great way to build skills on your path to that next big thing.

White labelling FAQ

Where should I sell my white label products?

First, start by setting up your Shopify store. You can sell direct to customers through your website, a physical store, or via social shopping channels and marketplaces that integrate with Shopify. Also try setting up a wholesale channel to sell your white label products to other retailers.

Where can I find white label products?

The most obvious place to find a supplier of white label products is Alibaba. But there are many other manufacturers and companies that produce white label products. Some, including print-on-demand and dropshipping companies, integrate directly with your Shopify store.

Is white labeling profitable?

Well, that depends on you! White label products can be profitable for the same reason any other company is profitable: product-market fit, the ability to drive traffic, the right pricing strategy, and effective management of business finances. Do the math before starting any business. Do your numbers make sense? A low risk way to get started with white labeling is print on demand or dropshipping, as there’s no big investment in inventory up front.

How do I start white labeling?

There are a few simple steps to get started:

 

  1. Choose a product.
  2. Find a supplier—determine if you will buy inventory, dropship, or print on demand.
  3. Create a brand and branding assets for your business and submit your customizations (refer to each supplier’s specifications and steps).
  4. Set up a Shopify store and sales channels. If applicable, link your supplier to your Shopify store (as in the case of print-on-demand apps).
  5. Get selling!

Are there any risks to white labeling?

There is always at least a little risk involved in starting any business. Be sure to investigate any legal considerations, as you are not creating the product yourself and will have little oversight in the manufacturing process. Is the supplier reputable? Is the product safe? What warnings or labelling do you need to affix to your product to ensure that it is used safely? Do you understand the laws of the region you’re selling in? 

There may also be financial risk if you decide to buy a lot of inventory upfront. As your white label products will be customized with your logo or designs, they will be difficult to return. Research any company you decide to work with and request samples before committing. 

Thirdly, there could be risk to your reputation. If you decide to become the face of your brand, be sure that you can personally vouch for the white label products you’re selling. Be ethical and honest with your claims and transparent with your customers if they have issues. 

Overall, white labelling is relatively low risk if you are doing your homework and protecting yourself and your brand. Working with print-on-demand companies that integrate with Shopify is quite low risk. These have been vetted by us and rated by other businesses, and many do not require you to make a large investment upfront.

 

Feature illustration by Gracia Lam
Photos by Burst

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