Thanks for having CSIC and GS websites, and everything therein. Such an eye opener, knowledge giver. Fantastic!!! Kudos!!! Having so much interest in the fashion business and after long periods of research, I was able to find all the suppliers of a particular high quality but affordable US Cosmetic line. Now my question is, since I am very much interested in starting my own cosmetics line too, how do I tell these suppliers that I want the exact same products/quality as this US company [of course in my own brand name and package design] without getting the bluff?
In hopes of giving you a relevant answer, I have a quick question for you. When you express a concern about “getting the bluff” do you mean your worry is that they will not want to do business with you because you are copying other company’s bill of material or is your concern that you will have legal problem importing the product into the UK because of intellectual property owned by the brand names? Or perhaps your concern is about how to convince this supplier to do business with you?
Kindly clarify and I will do my best to respond.
Thanks for your prompt response. “without getting the bluff” I mean here, without me getting their attention.
Ok, I better rephrase. I have used many product items from this US cosmetic line, and I really appreciate that they are so of high quality and the prices are fantastic. The products suited my skin type absolutely and I was awed by the closeness to my needs since other higher end brands didn’t give me such satisfaction.
So, I do know that I could go to these suppliers [that I know are the Asian manufacturers for this US brand] and request to work with them to manufacture my own goods for my brand, and they will be willing to, of course.
But now, my question is, how do I tell them that I know they are the manufacturers for this US brand, and that I will like same quality of products [ as sometimes, it’s difficult to ascertain the difference in the qualities proposed by these Asian suppliers], but in my own brand name and my own brand packaging.
I am sure you are not the first person to contact them and ask for a similar product to what they are already making. So it is OK to be upfront and say you want that type of product packaged in your brand. If they own the rights to the formula and have no exclusivity agreements with the other brands you mention, then they may be open to doing your private label work for you. Even if they don’t own the rights and/or even if they are under exclusivity contacts, they may lack ethics and may still offer to do business with you. But in that situation you need to be a realist and know that if somebody tries to knock you off next time, this supplier has no loyalty.
Another concern is that the formula is protected by those brands you mention and that you are violating somebody’s Intellectual Property (IP). Yes, the factory would be violating the IP too, but the lawyers in your home market are not going to go after a factory in China, they will go after you first. So here is my recommendation:
1. Find out of the formulas you are interested in are protected by law.
2. If not, then contact the suppliers you mention below and see if they have any exclusivity agreements in place and would they be willing to work with you.
Hope these comments help. Let me know how it works out for you.
Question answered by Mike Bellamy, host of “Ask the Experts” at the China Sourcing Information Center.
Mike Bellamy is an Advisory Board Member & Featured Blogger at the not-for-profit China Sourcing Information Center (www.ChinaSourcingInfo.org). He is also the author of, “The Essential Reference Guide to China Sourcing” (chinasourcinginfo.org/book) and founder of PassageMaker Sourcing Solutions (www.PSSchina.com )