11 Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Private Label Manufacturer

woman smiling lab

Back in the day, there wasn’t a huge amount of choice out there for people seeking a private label manufacturer. However, things have progressed in recent years, and there are now more private label manufacturers around than ever before.

In some ways, this is great – you’ll be able to pick a company that’s truly a perfect fit for your ideas. The downside to this is the difficulty involved in sifting through your many options. How do you go about differentiating the various private label manufacturers out there so that you can make the best decision for your business?

That’s where FLPL can help. Today, we’re going to be talking about some of the key questions that you should be asking when searching for a private label manufacturer. Once you have the answers, you’ll then find it much easier to pick a company that’ll see your brand to success.

1. What is Your Experience in the Industry?

First and foremost, you need to make sure that your private label manufacturer has experience in your chosen industry

While some manufacturers are pretty niche, others are more diverse and work with a wide range of products. At first, this may make it seem as though they have a great track record. However, in reality, they may only have a minute amount of experience in your chosen field. One of the perks of working with a private label manufacturer is that you get to draw on their expertise and knowledge, so you need to make sure that they have a skill set that can enhance yours.

Take FLPL, for example. We specialize in beauty products. You wouldn’t want to ask us to oversee the manufacturing of, say, a food product, but if you’re hoping to produce skincare, hair tools, or male grooming products, we could be the perfect match for you!

2. Which Brands Have You Worked With in the Past?

Once you know that a private label manufacturer has relevant experience in your chosen industry, spend some time looking into the various brands that they’ve worked with in the past. Although confidentiality is important in the private label manufacturing field, it’s just as crucial for you to ensure that the company you’re going to work with has previously been successful with similar brands.

Go with FLPL and you’ll see that we’ve teamed up with a huge variety of different beauty brands. From budget-friendly to high-end and luxury, we’ve worked with so many brands over the years. They’ve all done well too, which is a good omen for your own brand!

3. Can You Craft Custom Cosmetic Products?

custom cosmetics

Most private label manufacturers will allow clients to customize the products that they want to produce. After all, this is what sets private labeling apart from white labeling, where generic goods are manufactured and then different brand labels are slapped across the bottles. 

However, the depth of that customization will vary between companies. Many still work with relatively generic formulas, which clients can then slightly tweak to make them their own.

Others, like FLPL, give clients full freedom when it comes to crafting their products. Once those formulas have been created, they’re then owned by you, meaning that nobody will be able to replicate or borrow from them.

4. Do You Use High-Quality Ingredients?

Quality is everything when it comes to ensuring that your business succeeds. High-quality products lead to high levels of customer satisfaction and brand loyalty, making this a no-brainer if you have long-term goals for your brand.

Unfortunately, not all private label manufacturers share these beliefs. Many are infamous for cutting corners by using low-quality ingredients. Sure, this also equates to lower costs but, in the end, you’ll struggle to differentiate your brand from your competition. You need to give your customers a reason to pick your products over the thousands of others on the market, and quality is one of the best persuading factors.

At FLPL, we have a vast ingredient catalog that our clients can pick and choose from. Each ingredient on there has been produced or grown/harvested to the highest standards. Put those various high-quality components together and you’ll have a beauty product that’s capable of standing out in even the most competitive of markets.

5. Can You Help With Product Labels and Packaging Design?

product manufacturing

Many private label manufacturers will only help you with producing your actual products. Once it comes to label and packaging design, you’re on your own. Unless you’ve done this before and are familiar with all of the legalities that come with creating labels and packaging, you’ll likely need to enlist the help of yet another company. Not only does this create more work for you, but it will also require a higher initial outlay.

Life becomes so much easier if you choose to work with a private label manufacturer that will also produce your product labels and packaging, just like FLPL does. This keeps everything cohesive, which will ultimately be a huge advantage for your branding. 

6. What Other Services Do You Offer?

In addition to helping with label and packaging design, some private label manufacturers offer other key services too. 

Take FLPL, for example. Once we’ve worked with you to create your products, we can take things a step further and also help you with your branding and marketing. We have a fantastic art and marketing department that can either work with you or take full control of certain aspects, freeing up precious time for you to concentrate on the areas of your business where you naturally excel.

We can provide assistance when it comes to selling your products too. We’ve helped many of our clients to set up e-commerce stores, some of which we also run and manage. This then puts us in the perfect position to help with future brand development too. No matter how your chosen industry shifts or demand fluctuates, we’ll be able to ensure that your brand, along with the products that you’re producing, remains relevant.

7. What is Your Minimum Order Quantity?

Minimum order quantities are where new brands often trip up. Work directly with a factory and you’ll likely find that you need to place an order in the tens of thousands before they’ll even consider taking you on as a client.

When working with a private label manufacturer, minimum order quantities are usually much lower.  At FLPL, ours is 5000 pieces – a realistic aim for a new brand. With that said, this amount will vary depending on the manufacturer that you choose. If you don’t want to jump in at the deep end, make sure that your chosen private label manufacturer has a minimum order quantity that will work for you.

8. What Are Your Prices Like?

It goes without saying that the cost of producing your products will play a critical part in your success. Because of this, many businesses seek out the lowest-cost option, but this can sometimes cause more harm than good. As we mentioned earlier, some private label manufacturers will cut corners when it comes to quality, and this could be why initial costs are lower. Ideally, you want to compare costs from a few different companies while also considering quality, extra services offered, and all of the other questions that we’ve included on this list.

It’s also important to make sure that you’re aware of any potential hidden costs. Whether this may be down to certain ingredients that you’ve chosen or extra testing required by a custom formula, you need to be in the know when it comes to extra charges. After all, this could have a huge impact on your business’s bottom line.

9. What is Your Average Turnaround Time?

woman working lab

Another of the benefits of working with a private label manufacturer is that lead times tend to be much shorter than if you were to liaise directly with a factory. This is one of the reasons why so many larger companies are producing private label goods too. The fast turnaround makes it easier for them to adapt to new trends and changes in demand.

While that may be the case, lead times will still vary between private label manufacturers. It’s worth familiarizing yourself with this before you sign anything. Some may have your products back to you in a matter of weeks whereas others may take several months. This will affect the running of your business, so don’t let it catch you by surprise.

10. What Sustainability Solutions Do You Offer?

Sustainability is a huge buzzword in just about every industry. Businesses all over the world are changing their practices in an attempt to be as eco-friendly as possible.

This is particularly important within the beauty industry, which is known for producing billions of units of plastic packaging each year, much of which cannot be recycled. This is an instant turn-off for eco-conscious customers, immediately blocking your access to a huge portion of the market.

While you may not be able to prioritize sustainability in everything that you do, having the option to do so can be a game-changer. Whether this is in regards to the jars and bottles that hold your products or to the outer packaging, being able to choose environmentally-friendly options is becoming increasingly crucial.

11. Do You Meet Regulations From Different Countries?

When producing cosmetic products, it’s important to understand how each country has different regulations. This is something that many new brands don’t consider at first since their focus is the USA market.

However, as your brand grows, you may want to expand your target market to encompass other areas of the world. If your private label manufacturer isn’t able or willing to help with this, then you’ll likely need to find another company to work with at that time, which would be a huge hassle.

Ideally, you want to start off with a private label manufacturer that’s capable of meeting regulations from other countries too. This will give you so many more options when it comes to selling your products.


Your choice of private label manufacturer could make or break your brand, making it important to get this right. Arm yourself with the questions that we’ve featured above and you’ll find it so much easier to pick a company that’s perfect for your business’s vision!

Click here to get in touch with FLPL today to find out more about the private label manufacturing services we offer.

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