Once you’ve decided you want to start your own cosmetics company you still have quite a long way to go before you’re able to launch your products to the consumer market. Beyond designing and forming your brand, finding a private label cosmetic manufacturer that is right for you, your business, and your budget is one of the hardest steps.
Fortunately there are a lot of resources available to help you along the way, and we wanted to create content that would help teach our clients how to make those important decisions, as well as what they need to know when looking for a private label cosmetic manufacturer.
Below are five of the most important things we think you should look for when considering which private label cosmetic manufacturer you want to use for your brand:
Can You Own The Formula?
One of the biggest advantages to working with a private label cosmetics manufacturer is that you get the ease of access in buying products that are already made and putting your own logo on them. Sometimes brands want to be able to do a little bit more with their product lines, though, which is why it’s important to find out beforehand whether or not you can own your own formula or if you’ll simply be buying the formula that the private label company uses already.
The advantages to owning your own formula are second to none if you plan to use the same formula for your products for the foreseeable future. When you own the formula, you and you alone are able to change it or take it with you should you have to switch suppliers down the line. When you don’t own your formula, you run the risk of having to change your product if the private label supplier you’re working with ever goes out of business.
Are The Ingredients Safe?
Depending on where you plan to sell your products you need to know what is and is not legal to sell in cosmetics. In the United States and Europe, for example, there are strict limitations on what can or cannot be used in cosmetic products. In Europe, many cosmetic ingredients that are considered safe and legal in the United States are against regulations. Be sure to check with your private label cosmetic manufacturer that all of the ingredients in their products (unless you purchase the formula yourself or bring your own formula to the supplier) are safe and legal to use in the country you plan on retailing your products.
Ask About Sources & Raw Material Quality
In the same way that your ingredients should be safe, they should be high quality. Depending on what price range you’re looking to sell your products as you want to be aware of what quality the raw materials are before you buy the finished product. Product lines that will be considered luxury may yield more money, but you’ll be able to sell them under your branding for a higher retail price later on. If possible, find out where the raw materials in your private label cosmetics come from, as well as whether or not they’re high quality. This may also impact the shelf life of your products, keeping you from making decisions that will end up costing you money later on when your products expire before they can sell.
Ask About Certifications
In order to put certain things on your label (vegan, cruelty-free) the products have to come with certain certifications. It’s important to ask whether or not the private label cosmetics manufacturer adheres to any certifications you want to put on your branding, but also just to make sure they fall within your line of ethics since the products will be part of your brand. Ask about any certifications on whether the products are organic, cruelty free, natural, or eco-friendly. Here is a list of some of the more common certifications in the cosmetic industry.
Know What You’re Looking For
Likely one of the first things a private label cosmetics manufacturer will tell you about is what their MOQ (minimum order quantities) look like. This is the absolute smallest order you can put in for a product at a time, which often ranges depending on the company. Things that contribute to making a greater MOQ are often specific formulas, complicated packaging, or the ingredients in the product.
Knowing what MOQ you can handle as a business is the key to avoiding having to throw product away later on. If you can’t sell enough of your product, or if it doesn’t sell fast enough before it expires, going with a private label cosmetics manufacturer that has a high MOQ can end up making you waste money and product later on. Of course, this is also dependent on you creating a realistic business plan for your first batches.