Creator Economy

A Creator's dilemma solved: start selling 3rd party brands first, create your own products later

Released on 
Jan 16, 2023
 • 
Written by
Anna Ambroszkiewicz

Start your own eCommerce brand but do it with curated 3rd party products in a dropshipping model instead of designing your own product line - that can come later. Launch with hundreds if not thousands of proven products from existing brands without any upfront investment of precious time and money. Once you’ve captured your audience’s attention, only then should you embark on the journey to design and test your own merchandise.

Creator audience monetization with eCommerce

7 reasons to start selling in a dropshipping model with Vendo

  1. Start selling immediately without having to come up with a product idea
  2. No upfront investment into product design, manufacturing, and marketing,
  3. No need to manage both inventory and warehousing yourself, 
  4. Focus on the creative, customer-facing side and engage with your audience,
  5. Grow faster by adding and testing new products without any additional cost,
  6. No risk of miscalculating the demand or supply side of the equation,
  7. Curate products from the most loved, trusted, innovative, or upcoming brands. 

Those 3rd party brands have already done most, if not all, of the heavy lifting in terms of product sourcing, manufacturing, and providing marketing collateral, allowing you to add new products with minimal effort on your part quickly. 

On top of that, by adding products from several credible 3rd party brands to your store’s catalog, it becomes much easier to establish trust with new customers as opposed to launching a new product line unaccompanied. Gaining credibility by association is the marketer’s oldest trick.

Selling 3rd party brand merchandise offers a lot of flexibility and convenience compared to producing private label items while also giving you more resources to either invest in future projects or reinvest back into the business.

This is a great way to monetize content and extend your brand in an efficient and cost-effective manner. And Vendo provides a no-code easy to setup platform for creators who want to start selling right away. Check it out with the 14-day free trial!

1. Creating your own product takes time

Creating and marketing your own product line can be a costly, time-intensive venture with no guarantee of being successful. Design research, development, prototyping, finding a production partner, and multiple tests must take place before the product is ready to be sold in the market. This process can take months or even years and requires considerable resources to complete.

The phases of the development of a new product

Source: https://www.shopify.com/blog/product-development-process

How long it takes to develop a new product:

Source: https://www.cadcrowd.com/blog/how-long-does-it-take-to-develop-a-new-product/
Source: https://www.cadcrowd.com/blog/how-long-does-it-take-to-develop-a-new-product/

2. Creating your own product requires substantial financial investment

Breaking into the market with a new product requires you to invest in development, production, and distribution, which can be very costly. On top of that, there are ongoing costs related to manufacturing, inventory management, warehousing, and shipping. 

According to the Pacific Research Laboratories, the cost of product development alone usually runs between $10,000 and $30,000. So it is important to ensure that the returns from the venture are worthy of the financial investment. Before starting such an endeavor, you should review your target market and determine if there is a need for the product being developed. 

After evaluating any potential competitors in the market, you should set clear goals and create a timeline for development. Additionally, setting a pricing strategy that offers fair value to customers and your business is essential to successful sales outcomes. It’s also necessary to evaluate all legal requirements related to the production, marketing, and sale of products before the implementation of these activities.

Example:

It took Mel Wells 2 years and $5K of her own money, and $35K from a Kickstarter campaign to launch Beefcake Swimwear, an American 1920s swimsuits brand.

3. Selling your own product means dealing with production and fulfillment

Beginning with production, you'll need to decide who will actually be responsible for creating the item, whether it be outsourced to a manufacturer, produced in-house, or a mix of the two. Break bulk ordering down to manageable levels (while accounting for variations in product quality between each order) to minimize the effects of fluctuations in market demand. 

When it comes to fulfillment, you'll need capable, attentive staff who can keep track of multiple components and send items out promptly with reliable shipping services. Moreover, aspects such as legal matters, product quality, and forecasting demand need to be taken into consideration to ensure the successful selling of a product.

4. It's hard to scale your business when you rely on your own products

Scaling up demand for a single product is difficult, and if you are looking to expand, it requires repeated investment in the development processes. Also, if it wasn’t obvious already, in order to truly test whether or not a product is viable for sale, it needs to be produced first. 

This usually means going through the entire development and prototyping process again, only to discover that the product fails to generate enough interest to bring in any meaningful revenue.

5. Selling your own products is a risky business

When thinking about creating and selling your own products, you need to take certain risks into account. For example, if the product doesn’t sell, you are left with a warehouse full of commodities, and the time and the money you invested in production will be taken at a loss.

Alternatively, if the item sells successfully and quickly runs out of stock, there may be a wait before additional batches can be made, at which time you could lose out on profits due to low availability.

Example:

In 2019, Arianna Renee (@arii), a Miami-based Instagrammer with over 2M followers, tried launching her own clothing line, ERA, with an initial drop of T-shirts. She needed to sell 36 items from the first batch, as it was a requirement from the manufacturing company to continue producing her clothes. And she didn't make it!

6. Your own products significantly affect your personal brand

Your own products will have a direct effect on your personal brand, meaning any mistakes could cost you faithful followers. A sloppily made product or a faulty batch of goods can have disastrous effects on the creator's credibility, damaging brand loyalty for potential customers.

Finally, selling products from 3rd-party brands will allow you as a Creator to focus on more impactful work; growing your brand, delivering content, and interacting with your fan base in meaningful ways. Nobody else will do it for you. 

Start selling products from your favorite brands in 14 days! Start a free trial now!

Anna Ambroszkiewicz

Anna is a startup co-founder, growth hacker, blogger, and fashion influencer. After hours, she's a surfer, snowboarder, and a traveler.

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