Label is a key feature of products. It helps to market the product, attract the attention of customers, allow customers to tell it apart from other brands. And, it provides product information such as ingredients, instructions, date of manufacture, etc.
Last year we supported more than one hundred clients from the U.S. They required our assist to import from China and ship the goods to Amazon’s FBA center. Although most of them are new to online marketplace selling, they really attach importance to design their own packaging and add private label to each product for branding strategy.
Maybe you’ve read many articles which tell you the advantages of private labelling. Yes people are keen on sharing the advantages, but no one shares the idea about “how to do” or “how much it costs” for adding private label to products when import from China.
As our team have rich experiences in adding private label to products in various categories, we have summarized the most common methods for adding your label/logo on products. In this article, you will learn many ideas about how to add your own brand on products.
What is Private Label?
Private label is the logo or pattern on products manufactured by manufacturer and sold under retailer’s brand. It represents the retailer and helps build brand loyalty.
If you want to start to import/source from China, here’s the simple process to do it: find a good product with limited existing competitors, find a reliable manufacturer in China, private label the product, and market the product under your brand.
Private labelling is very helpful for consumers to distinguish your products from the others. If your products are built with good design and good quality, consumers are always willing pay higher price and stay loyal to your brand.
How to Private Label Your Product and Packaging
For the products of most categories, you can add a private label (your logo) on product body or packaging. We have summarized 11 methods for private labelling that my team has worked on all kinds products for our clients, and they are showed in the above picture.
Those 5 methods in the left part of this picture are designed for adding your logo on the product. These methods are applied to products made from different materials. The other 6 methods in the right side are ideas on how to add private label on product packaging.
Hereunder, all the 11 methods will be listed clearly one by one. We also try to let you know the estimated typical cost in China. After reading this article, you will hopefully get ideas about how to private label your products, and you will avoid being overcharged by manufacturers.
1. Silk Screen (Screen printing)
Silk screen (screen printing) is the most common and widely used solution to add a private label on both product body and packaging. It can be applied to all products such as: stainless cup, plastic toys, makeup brushes, glass bottles, etc. If the quantity you are purchasing is more than 500pcs/item, silk screen is the cheapest and easiest way.
Almost all Chinese suppliers can do silk screen for free if you purchase more than USD2, 000/item. Or they will charge you about USD50 for printing plate fee of your logo, and around USD0.02/unit for printing labor cost.
The only disadvantage of silk screen is that it’s unsuitable for gradient color design or multi-colored patterns. If you want to print gradient color logo or multi-colored patterns on products, thermal transfer (heat transfer printing) or other methods will be better choice.
2. Thermal Transfer (heat transfer printing)
Thermal transfer (head transfer printing) is a digital printing process in which material is applied to paper or other material with melting a coating of ribbon. Comparing with silk screen, thermal transfer (heat transfer) printing is more complex. Temperature range for thermal transfer process is 285οF - 355οF. It has some restrictions on materials. It’s applicable to PE, ABS, EVA, PP, leather, glass, wood and steel etc. Therefore, regarding unit cost, it’s a little more expensive than silk printing.
If you want to print multi-colored pattern/logo, thermal transfer would be your best choice.
The method of molding is to make your private label with the product mold. It means that the logo and pattern is already on the products when they come out from molding machine. This method is applicable to almost all those products which need molding. We can always find molding logo or pattern on plastic and rubber products.
The advantage of this method is that, this kind of private label looks more nature and higher quality than silk screen and thermal transfer. The disadvantage is high cost. Getting your logo in a mold means you need to add insert to supplier’s mold or even build a new mold which is only for you. Perhaps you will choose this method when you are going to purchase big quantity.
Per our experience, there’s no extra cost to make the molding private label, but normally factory charges you for changing mold (add insert) or build new mold. The price of new mold depends on product size and material.
Build new molds or change current mold by adding insert will take 15 to 20 working days. That means that it takes much longer time than other methods to private label your products.
4. Laser Printing / Laser Engraving
The product with laser printing or laser engraving private-label/logo looks rather high-quality. Almost every gift store is filled by items with laser printed logo, words or patterns.
Usually it doesn’t require high MOQ since there’s unnecessary for platemaking. For mass production, the labelling cost will be only USD0.02-USD0.15/unit. It depends on logo/label size and order quantity.
5. Machine Embroidery
Machine embroidery is mainly applied to products made of cloth, such as bags, caps and garments. It’s much more durable and there’s no color fading issue. However, it costs more than silk screen.
6. Sticker Label
Sticker label is absolutely the cheapest and simplest way of all the methods. To find a stick label supplier is very easy. Normally the MOQ is 3,000 for one design.
If you place order for 1,000 products but get 3000 pieces of sticker label with your logo, you can ask your product manufacturer to keep the remaining stickers for future orders and normally they will be happy to do it.
7. Woven Label
Woven labels are mostly used for fabric made products such as bags, hats, jeans and shoes. It’ll be great to try to add your logo on a woven label for those products made of fabric or partially fabric.
The price is always related to label material, label size and order quantity. For a 2x4cm size woven label, unit price will be around USD0.1 and MOQ will be about 1,000PCS.
Tag is one of the most economical private label. It’s usually applied to apparels, toys, apparels, fashion jewelries, etc. Many jewelries or clothes brands use hang tag to present their label. Usually the tags are made of ivory cardboard, plastic or metal.
9. Paper Cardboard
Paper cardboard is the best option for low cost products like small tools and socks etc. Unit price of paper cardboard is around USD0.02.
10. Customized Gift Box
Customize gift box is suitable for private labelling almost all products. A nice gift box easily makes your product look great and high end. It’s also a good way to add extra value and sell with a higher price. However, it’s the most expensive method to add private label to your products.
11. Printed Poly Bag
Printed poly bag is also a method to add private labels. Since printing plate cost is about USD80 per color, manufacturers usually require high MOQ. If your purchasing volume is quite small, you’d better to choose other methods to add private label.
ThemeForest and CreativeMarket is a good place for getting some hints for you to make your own design of label and logos.
If you have any question about private labelling your products, please feel free to contact us. We are your reliable sourcing agent in China, always.