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Ok..so I'm not an expert on Private Labeling.  We have offered it to certain customers over the years but it's something that I just can't get a real understanding on how others do this and turn a profit.

I'm not asking for everyone's details..but wow I'm needing some advice on how others handle this. 

1.  What are your minimums & fees?  - I'm not talking about the 12 lip balm labels printed in-house for a birthday party.  I'm talking about companies coming to you asking about private labeling a full line for them.  Not printing in-house.  How are you paying for a printer to print water/oil-proof labels and forwarding that cost to the customer?

2. So basically...how does everyone else make this work?  Or does everyone print custom labels on a laser printer or something in-house?  


So what I'm needing is a discussion from those that do private labeling I guess.  I just have never figured out how to make this work at all.  I don't want to seem that I want everyone's "secrets" to making a profit...but I'm really needing some talk about how others do this. 

Teri P

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Teri, I'm just now spreading my wings into private labeling so I'm not going to be much help to you on the subject.  I can say that you have to pass the costs of label printing (whether in house or professionally printed) on to the customer if you are doing it on your end. Some allow PL customers to label on their end. And then if you design the label for them, I'd charge for the design service as well.

Teri -


Because we are not set up to print labels to everyone's satisfaction, we offer private labeling, but require that the wholesale customer label the products themselves.  For those that are in the business start-up stage, without a lot of cash flow to pay for a printer that can handle a multitude of designs, this is the most efficient option. 


You may also outsource the printing of the labels, shipped directly to you, for your customers.  The customers pay for the labels, of course. 



So you are sending packaged product to the wholesale customer unlabeled?  Then they can label "at will"?  I always thought that our insurance policies in general required product to be labeled if shipped to a customer.  If this is what many people do...that would be an interesting option for customers.

No, the product ingredients are not labeled at will.  I need to clarify, we do not print the labels with logo's, product names, etc..

This confuses me even more.  How are you sending the products to the wholesale customer?  Unlabeled...partially labeled or labeled?

Teri,I'm not really positive on this so maybe Mary can clarify but I think Mary may be saying that she is not set up to print labels for customers (to their satisfaction) so the labels are printed by a professional or by the customer themselves but are then supplied to her so she can label the products before shipping. 

 Is that right, Mary?

That would make sense....but how are you charging for your "time"? which would include talking back & forth with the customer to provide size/info for the labels? 

Or do you send them the ingredients list and the size and they have the labels done...ship to you and you apply to the products?

Is this how others handle private label? 

When you say that the wholesale customer label the product themselves...are you shipping the product so they label at their location?  or do you have the customer ship you their labels and you apply to the packaging before shipping to the customer?  This is what is confusing me on this. 

We've been in business for 10 years now...and have done a couple of private label orders...but I've never understood how other wholesalers are handling this if you have a full product line with many different packaging/label sizes and many scents, etc. 

I see many in the industry that offer private labeling and I'm wondering how everyone else sets this up.  I was guessing that most people on a bigger scale, have their "outside" printer print the custom labels, they receive them in house, apply to the products and then ship complete to the customer.

We had this set up with a design/time fee, and then a per label price of say $.15-.25/label which worked for a couple of projects but just doesn't seem to be the best way to cover costs if the customer doesn't continue to order. 

Teri, maybe you could ask Lisa Rodgers (she owned Cactus & Ivy) about the best way to do this.  I know she offered private label and custom formulation.  She would be a good one to talk to, I think.  I'll put the buzz in her ear about it by steering her to this thread. 

And I really need to find out about that insurance coverage thing you mentioned, just in case. Thanks for making me aware of that potential problem if I had a PL that wanted to label themselves.

Well and that insurance issue...I mean that could have been something that was from 10 yrs ago for all I know.  I always had that in the back of my mind of being a manufacturer of products.  Also complying with federal labeling rules. 

Oooh yes, Lisa would help! 

Teri, I sent you a direct message on Twitter.


Oh thank you!  I'll contact Lisa with for her thoughts on this.


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