Do you want to create your own online store?

Private Label Dropshipping: How to Get Started in 2022

private label dropshipping

Looking for a low-maintenance online business idea? Private label dropshipping takes the pressure of product development off an entrepreneur’s hands. Simply choose an existing product, add your branding, and have a dropshipping partner pick, pack, and ship the product to your customer. 

Research shows that one in four shoppers purchased products from private label brands last year, while approximately eight in 10 want to do so in the future—here’s how to capture that demand with your own private label dropshipping store.

Become a private label dropshipper 💻

  • What is private label dropshipping?
  • Examples of private label dropshipping products
  • Best practices for dropshipping private label products 

What is private label dropshipping?

Private label dropshipping is the business model of selling third-party products directly to customers, but putting your own branding on those products. The primary benefit to private label dropshipping is that you can start an ecommerce business on a budget.

Unlike other private label businesses, dropshipping private label products doesn’t require you to invest large sums of money upfront. Startup costs like product development, warehousing, and order fulfillment are taken off your plate, since a third-party dropshipping supplier handles them for you.

Examples of private label dropshipping products

The best private label items to dropship are generic products you can add your own stamp to. Examples include: 

Looking for help with product sourcing in an emerging niche? Nielsen reports that packaged atta, rice, and honey saw the biggest increase in popularity during the start of the pandemic. Print-on-demand products like mugs and engraved jewelry are also popular items to private label. 

list of top categories for private label dropshipping

Best practices for dropshipping private label products

Ready to start your own ecommerce store? Here’s how to make your private label dropshipping business a success.

Read the supplier’s reviews to make sure it’s reputable 

Since your dropshipping supplier is responsible for producing, fulfilling, and shipping your private label products, it’s important that you choose a reputable partner. Start your search on platforms like:

  • Dripshippers
  • AliExpress
  • Alibaba
  • Spocket

Read reviews for each private label supplier on your shortlist. Other businesses using the supplier to private label their own products share information about what the company is like to work with, the quality of its products, and how responsive they are to customer support requests—these are critical pieces of insight.

Remember: customers who purchase private label products through your ecommerce website won’t know there’s a third-party dropshipping service involved. Any mistakes they make are your responsibility to fix. 

Get all the details on the product from the supplier

Once you’ve found a potential supplier, ask them to share:

  • Product specs, such as its weight, size, material, and color
  • Branded packaging specs, such as materials and logo file formats 
  • Shipping timescales—online shoppers expect free, fast shipping
  • Product certifications, such as FDA-approved foods, cosmetics, and pet products

Choose the private label manufacturer that hits as much of this criteria as possible, then send them your branding idea, including a brand name and colors, for customizing the packaging.

Sell what you already love

There’s a lot that goes into a customer’s purchasing decision, which is why it’s tough to sell new products you know nothing about. So, look to the products you personally know and love. 

If you’re a skin care junkie, for example, you’ll know what high-quality products look like, the ingredients to look for when choosing your own private label skin care items, and the results you expect to see. 

Test out the product yourself

Once you’ve chosen a supplier, order a sample—or batch, depending on their minimum order quantities—of the product you’ll be private labeling. Do items in the batch all look and work the same? Or does the packaging and quality vary from product to product? Quality control needs to be consistent. 

Testing also gives you the opportunity to put yourself in a customer’s shoes, from unboxing the package to using the privately labeled product. This makes a great foundation for your marketing strategy. For example, record yourself using the product and post it on TikTok—a social media platform where users want to see behind-the-scenes content from their favorite brands. 

Set your target market and find your niche

Avoid the temptation to sell a wide selection of products. The more specific your dropshipping store, the better.

Choose one product and hone down. Discover your target market, how your ideal customers use the product, and the purchase motivators behind their decision. Experiment with different marketing channels, such as SEO or email marketing, to engage them. 

Next, choose an ecommerce platform, build your website, set your profit margin, add the products to your store at a markup. When you receive an order, send order information to your supplier and have them print, pack, and ship it to the customer. 

Remember: the best dropshipping companies build a brand around their private label products. Become known for one thing aimed at a target market of one type of person. A strong niche reputation will make it easier to expand your business later down the line. 

Start your private label dropshipping business today 

Private label dropshipping is an ecommerce business model that combines the best of private label selling and dropshipping. From clothing to phone cases, find a reliable supplier and get the product specs to sell the products you love. 

Shopify makes it easy to set up an online store so you can start private label dropshipping today. 

Private label dropshipping FAQ

Why private label dropshipping instead of regular dropshipping? 

Branded products increase the perceived value of your product and build brand awareness. With that, you’ll see higher return rates and higher sales.

How do I create a logo/label for my private label brand?

You can hire a Shopify Expert from our expert marketplace to design one for you, use Shopify’s logo-making tool, Hatchful, or design one yourself using a free tool like Canva. 

Where can I find private label dropshipping suppliers?

Find private label suppliers for your dropshipping business on platforms like SupplyMeDirect, Dripshippers, and Apliiq. Make sure to vet those that make your shortlist by checking their shipping timescales, minimum order quantities, and customer reviews.

Is it hard to get into the dropshipping business?

No, although it will require some patience and determination to get your business off the ground. Setting up your store and finding a supplier is not difficult. Finding your target audience, researching products, and maintaining a sustainable profit is the tricky part that every dropshipper goes through. If you keep working on your marketing and site, you’re bound to find success.