Amazon FBA Approach: Design Considerations for Amazon FBA Private Label Products

Back at it again with Manuel! This time we’re talking design. There are a lot of options when it comes to designing a physical product for an Amazon FBA business and most of those options depend on your experience level.

Manuel breaks down what kind of design projects you should be taking on at different experience levels. Then he dives into how to communicate with factories to get exactly what you are looking for.


For you audiophiles here is the audio only version…

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FBA Approach Episode 2 — audio only

What’s in this episode?

  • Should I hire a designer or use the factory for design? (00:30)
  • It depends where you are in your Amazon in your journey (00:42)
  • If it’s your first product it’s not a great idea to jump into designing a new idea (00:49)
  • If your selecting an item the factory already has in stock the best option is to just change some small aspect — like color. (01:04)
  • Once you have designs then the next step is finding a factory that will be able to make those changes. (01:26)
  • How to have good communications with Chinese factories about your design needs? (01:36)
  • It can be difficult to work with a factory as a new client. (02:00)
  • The factory will want to see the background on you and money up front. (02:17)
  • Work with a factory on an OEM (off the shelf) product and then approach them about your own design. (02:30)
  • Sourcing companies can make it a lot easier when making your first product from scratch. (02:49)
  • Is it as easy as slapping a label on an OEM product or do we need to change the design? (03:03)
  • When contacting factories have an NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) and MEA (Manufacturing Exclusivity Agreement) ready. (03:36)
  • Bring bullet points and a very clear description of your product. (o4:13)
  • Don’t just jump in the first email with all the details. Answer their questions first. (04:39)

Thanks for Watching!

Be sure to go checkout Importdojo and drop Manuel a comment on one of his excellent blog posts! (Like this case-study where he walk’s through selecting launching and then SELLING OUT of his Amazon product. “Case Study — How I went from zero to 7,000US$ in 10 days in one of the most competitive Amazon niches”)

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See you in the next episode!


LUKE: Welcome back to the FBA approach we have a short discussion about building physical product physicist via china from an FBA perspective. Manuel what is the topic today ?

MANUEL: Topic today is if you have your own design ideas or if you have an existing item on amazon how do you go about improving it how do you go about in contacting a supplier and modifying .

LUKE: Great! so let’s talk about you got an idea, where do you go from there, do you start designing it for yourself with the third party designer or do you go straight to the factory.

MANUEL: I guess it also depends on where your it’s on your amazon journey i mean if this is your first product it might not be the best idea to straight away go into designing on new products , i mean okay if you have the experience as a designer or you have the capital to do it. okay but all means please go ahead but if you just like for example looking at a product that already more or less existing at the market and you just want to like improve it design wise maybe the shape maybe the color I guess the best thing to do is doing that way and not, designing your own product. if you have the money and maybe the experience and i guess if you have the design ready and then the next step would then be to approach factories or sourcing companies who can help you communicate to the factory.

LUKE:Great! and so yeah let’s talk about communication ah you know i know personally a lot of people that have been burned by bad communication with chinese factories so what is it takes to have a good communication channel with the factory about what you’re looking for and the end product that you wanna receive.

MANUEL: First things first if you have your own design everything’s ready and you just looking for factory it maybe very difficult to find the actual factory whose willing to work with you because you know you don’t have experience with each other you haven’t placed an order with them and here you go you sending him a 3d or CAD file and say i’m looking to make this product how much? you know it’s gonna work the factory we want to see some background on you and they want to see some money up front probably so the best idea possibly is to have your own products running maybe where the factory already and then approached same factory if they can if they were willing to help you develop your own design if it is totally different product category then the product you’re working on the factory already, yes you have to start from the scratch and that’s where we actually recommended you to work to the sourcing company or sourcing agent who has a lot of contact in the industry and who can help you make your product to the actual factory.

LUKE: Okay! now let’s say we want to go at it on our own and just reach out and make an alibaba or global sources we can find our product there is it this easy just an easy that this is the product that i want can we slot a label on it or is it something that we you know we should you know put a little bit process in designing with that factory..

MANUEL: Right! first thing i guess you have to do is when you look on to supplier is like from alibaba , have a NDA longest non-disclosure agreement and possibly also a mutual exclusivity agreement signed by the factory first. So you want to contact that factory and say “hey guys my name is luke i’m an entrepreneur and im looking Im selling on several e-commerce channel and i’m looking to make a product are you willing to make to do OEM with me ?”.so that the first email i guess they’ll reply back yes or no and then you have to send another email you say here’s the NDA here’s the mutual exclusivity agreement if they signed it alright the next step would be to actually bring your ideas to the table, send an email with very clear bullet points and descriptions what do you want done on the product and if they are actually able to make it for you, you know you will take it from there and see if the factory are willing to help you or not so always have NDA and mutual exclusivity agreements before you start with factory and don’t jump in the first email already “hey im luke im making this product here as an attachment can you make it for me?” you know. No factory would actually be interested if you have to give them a couple of numbers you need to tell them “okay i’ll be paying for the tooling” for example “i’ll be helping you for the process and this is the target product quantity are you willing to help?”.

LUKE: Okay yea!this back and forth process with the factory how long should i expect to take from the first point of contact to we have the finished sample that we were ready to make the mass order on?

MANUEL: It the product can be made if the sample can be a prototype like handmade i guess at least four to six weeks if it is not complicated product and then maybe not just have to paint another color or maybe they can possible easily shape the new form of the product then maybe less but i would expect six weeks until i have the actual sample on hand.

LUKE:Okay thanks Manuel :)

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