Umbrellas are in high demand across the globe as popular everyday items, as corporate gifts and as promotional tools for advertising products. I have recently received several emails by designers looking to build their own designer umbrella brands. Most small and medium-sized businesses today are usually caught up in price competition due to the high level of product homogeneity. They need to cut costs or reduce retail prices to survive.
This situation is forcing entrepreneurs to think about manufacturing new umbrella products to gain their high profitability and to build their brand through to obtain more significant benefits. However, less than 5% of people act on this decision, such as contacting a Chinese umbrella supplier for sampling or manufacturing.
Fortunately, we have learned a lot from our many success stories and can help our customers to manufacture new umbrella products from China. We have written this article to provide you with step-by-step information on how to manufacture new umbrella products in China or create a designer umbrella brand that will offer new sales opportunities for your products and increase revenue by about thirty percent.
- Have An Idea For A New Umbrella Product?
- Create A Prototype Or Design
- Find The Right Umbrella Supplier.
- Estimate The Cost Of The Entire Project.
- Customize Pre-Production Samples Of Umbrellas.
- Select Private Label Umbrella Brands And Packaging Solutions.
- Start Marketing With Pre-Production Samples.
- Intellectual Property And Compliance Certifications.
- Start Of Mass Production.
Like the reverse umbrella created by my client KAZRELLA, perhaps you have some brilliant ideas floating around in your mind or improving the performance or design of some existing products on the market.
Based on our success in helping our customers develop their ideas into new umbrella products, the sources of ideas fall into two main categories.
Idea Type A: Creating an entirely new type of umbrella that didn’t exist on the market before
Blunt umbrella is a good example. Greig Brebner’s work was born out of a terrifying experience on a rainy street.
One day in 1999, Greig stepped out of a doorway onto a London sidewalk at the height of a storm. Heavy rain started to fall. This New Zealander, who is around two meters tall, could see most of the crowd on his way to his destination. When the rain started pouring down, he suddenly looked at the tips of hundreds of umbrellas, which were all around him! A few moments later, a strong wind blew one of the umbrellas to blossom, and the owner struggled to keep the tip of his umbrella from stabbing Greig’s eye. So Greig started from scratch to reimagine the entire design of the umbrella body for a personalized umbrella. As an engineer, his goal was to design something that outperforms everything else on the market and effortlessly surpassing any umbrella in the world in all conditions. And because he is a designer, Greig demands that his umbrellas must also look elegant and stylish. Tall in stature, he designs intending to make sure that the tips of those dreaded traditional umbrellas don’t poke him in the face.
It’s not easy to come up with an entirely new umbrella product idea; it costs more money and requires more experimentation to produce a unique product. You also need to worry about whether consumers like it. The risk of putting this idea into practice is high.
Advice For Creating Entirely New Products
When you’re not sure that the new product will be a hot seller, or you don’t have much money to develop a product, you should concentrate on the cheaper options available to you. It is best to avoid the use of plastic, which can easily cost $10,000 as it requires a mold before production.
Idea Type B: Improving An Existing Umbrella Product.
One of the most critical parts of being a product developer is to micro-innovate an existing product. The people who do well on Amazon are the ones who sell this type of improved product. The changes to the product may be small or large. In any case, it provides consumers with a higher value than before, so they remember this new commodity and are willing to pay for it. Here, we offer you some examples to illustrate the precise “changes” about which we are talking, like our customer Labella. By reworking the design of the umbrellas, several excellent umbrella products have been created.
The advantage of exporting improved products is that you can have a relevant base product. Through it, you can gather valuable information such as cost and production knowledge, as there are many umbrella factories in China that provide a wide range of products for already mature markets. The products provide stable and economical production options. Besides, the chances of success are higher because you can learn about market needs from your target for reference.
It is not as profitable as a brand-new product. There is a risk of a patent or copyright infringement because you do not know whether the product to be improved is patent protected or not.
Suggestions For Improving The Product
Pay attention to the inconveniences in your life to generate ideas. People like to enjoy things that are simple and easy to use. If it is too complicated, it means you need to rethink your creations. Patent issues are another key. Ensure that your goal is patentable and that your adjustments can be made to get around patent restrictions.
This step is key to showing your potential supplier that you are serious about your new product business.
You may try to be a good person and tell the supplier that you will be ordering 10,000 umbrellas. Then, you take out a piece of paper and draw a draft of the product from your mind. However, the Chinese supplier encounters countless customers who present their ideas in this way. They won’t trust or ask for help, or simply quote you the wrong price and make you leave. That is why it is essential to work on a properly thought-out prototype design to grab the manufacturer’s interest.
First, prepare for a non-disclosure agreement (NDA).
The NDA must be signed with the final manufacturer. If you’re working through a sourcing agent, you’ll need the agent and the factory to sign it to protect yourself.
A complete NDA will include the following points to provide protection to limit the factory’s exposure of your design to any other customer.
- Your company information (contact/phone/email, etc.)
- Your product information (cost, appearance, design, features, etc.)
- Your packaging information (logo, design, etc.)
- Your order information (order quantity, order schedule, shipping schedule, etc.)
For the convenience of our customers, I have provided a ready format of the NDA via this link for your further reference.
It may be necessary to make minor changes to your own NDA, depending on your product, so please feel free to contact us if you need assistance at [email protected]
Prepare this document so that you can use it as a tool to present to potential suppliers, as they will also read the highlights of the plan from your document.
What Kind Of Products Are Suitable For Manufacturing In China When Looking For A Direct Umbrella Factory?
Umbrella factories operate on an assembly line model. As a result, they usually offer lower prices and higher starting quantities to obtain larger orders to maximize their production space. However, their focus is more on volume and speed of production, and they don’t care if the product will end up working for your market.
If your product is uncomplicated (no need to deal with combinations of different parts) and your budget can accommodate higher starting quantities, you can find a direct factory to get the job done.
Critical Points In Deciding On A Supplier To Become Your Work Project.
Understand what aspects of the supplier are appropriate for a new product project
Price: The price is important, but don’t go for the lowest price because of the high risks involved in product quality. What you need from the supplier most is their patience and experience, and a balance between quality and price. Therefore, it is better to go for a reasonable price than to go for the lowest price.
Sample Quality: This will usually determine the quality of mass production. Many suppliers will find an excuse that the sample is awful because it’s a sample, but they’ll do well in mass production, etc. Don’t trust them, and don’t place an order until you are satisfied with the sample.
Good Communication: A good supplier should be focused on understanding your needs and be willing to offer help to improve themselves. Rather than just trying to push your order, choose suppliers who write English, get back to you promptly, chat online, and video chat, to take a quick look at their company, and so on. Most importantly, finding patient people as you are working on a new project which may change often.
Other potential points you need to consider when choosing your supplier to manufacture new products:
Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ): The lower the minimum order quantity is, the better it is for your needs. However, when the minimum order quantity is fixed, you can try to get more color options for the same price. If the supplier needs to increase the cost of producing more color options, it is worth paying for it. Since there are several color options available, it can significantly appeal to a broader range of consumer interests.
Estimated Time To Make Molds: it usually takes 20 to 30 days to complete the making of a new mold for plastic/glass/metal, including production and testing. The supplier may then take 10 to 20 days to complete the pre-production samples. It then takes approximately 3-5 days for the samples to reach you for final approval.
Make Sure The Mold Can Be Taken Back: Some factories offer very low prices to attract your order. If you are not satisfied with the quality of their samples, they will refuse to take your mold, and your investment will be wasted. Therefore, please do your best to sign an agreement confirming that the mold belongs to you and can be taken back to ensure your interests are protected.
Refund of Sample Costs/Mold Costs: Most suppliers will initially refuse to refund you, but you can work out an agreement when refunds are available when a certain amount is reached and remember to sign and seal this agreement with them.
Factory Qualification: Contact your supplier to check if the manufacturing plant is ISO 9001 / BSCI / ISO 14001 certified. It is not necessary to list all certificates. More certifications obtained by factories mean that their products have been proven to be eligible for entry into more countries, so their product quality is more stable and reliable.
When the chips are down, you need to calculate the overall cost and then determine its retail price to see if it applies to the market.
By summarizing the projects we have helped clients complete, check the following list of costs you will need to go through.
- Prototype costs (including design costs, 3D printing costs, manual costs)
- Factory tooling costs (again, try to avoid plastic tooling, or you should add $2,000 to your expenses)
- Cost of testing (please double-check which are required and which are optional and can save significant investment)
- FDA registration fees (if you are selling into the US)
- Sample cost and delivery cost (The delivery cost may be several times the cost of the sample. For one of our customers who purchased a new mirror with a beautiful wooden frame, the delivery cost was $300, while the sample cost was only ($60)
- Patent and brand registration fees. (As for patents, if you have the budget, you can apply for a PCT. But the usual approach is to start covering the country/region of saleand add more countries/regions as sales increase.)
2.Costs In Production
- Product cost (the most crucial part of the value)
- Internal packaging costs (better quality packaging will always bring you a higher retail price, but better packaging will charge more. For example, an entire box for an iPhone costs $2.00 to produce)
- Overwrap cost (if your product is packaged in 1 piece/overwrap carton and will be distributed directly from the warehouse to the consumer via courier) You should carefully perform a drop test on the outer carton and ensure that it passes the test to prove that the outer packaging is not damaged to avoid damaging your Product.
- Packaging cost (if you combine several factory shipments into one finished product, you will get this cost on the list.)
- Production Loss (No one can achieve 100% perfect production, so add a specific percentage of defective products. If you buy finished goods from only one factory, the rate of defects will decrease. However, if there is a combination of multiple factories in the final production line, the percentage of defects will increase.
- Shipping costs: Most buyers do not pay enough attention to shipping when they calculate the cost of production, which can swallow profits. Therefore, handle this charge with care and consider the type of shipping that is right for you. Sometimes, when you add shipping costs to your product’s price, you may even find it’s not worth it to develop a new product.
- Losses during shipping: Fragile items, especially glass items, should be given special attention for shipping losses. Set a specific rate of loss in your costing and go through the calculations to ensure that you place a reasonable retail price and make an initial shipment with small quantities of fragile items to test whether packaging improvements are needed to reduce the loss ratio.
- Warehousing Costs: If you have warehouses at reasonable prices, consider shipping more items to reduce shipping costs. However, if you do not have a less expensive warehouse, consider leaving more inventory in the factory and asking them to ship on demand. This consideration is based on a balance between shipping costs and warehouse costs. In any case, make sure you set up enough inventory for sale before balancing.
- Marketing Costs: Anticipate how much you’re going to spend on Amazon, SNS advertising, Google search engine marketing, etc. and divide it into the per-unit cost of a product. This cost is also an essential part of the solution to its retail challenges and overall product price.
After carefully verifying the costs, you have a good idea of where you want to price your product. Then you can then start producing pre-production samples. You can use it to check the quality of your product and test the response of the market.
Some of the basic features of this step are described below to assist you in your work.
1. Identify The Materials And Production Process Of The Product.
A pre-production sample is quite different from a prototype because it requires confirmation of the actual production process and materials, whereas a prototype has reference value. Sometimes, you even have to make 3D printed prototypes. These are not the same thing as what factories use for mass production. You need to have a clear discussion with your factory/supplier. They have more knowledge in the field and should advise on materials and production processes to control quality/cost and reduce defect rates.
2. Try To Produce Larger Quantities Of Pre-Production Samples And Offer More Styles, They Are A Great Resource To Start Selling And Testing For Quality.
3. Make Improvements To The Prenatal Sample.
Test and try them, then show them to your family and best friends for testing. When you receive the prenatal sample, collect all the reviews.
Pay special attention to negative comments, whether you think they are reasonable or not, and if so, you must find a solution in the meantime before it is too late to change the mass production.
Also, when making pre-production samples, many reliable umbrella suppliers will provide advice based on their experience to alert you as to what is not reasonable and needs improvement.
Good packaging design and packaging materials will significantly increase the value of your product and support you in selling your goods at a higher retail price. Don’t save your money when designing your packaging, find the right person, and complete a great design to make it compatible with your hard work.
For most new products packaged separately, the wise choice is the color box. It is a higher-end and better prospect. At the same time, it can provide excellent protection for the products.
Color Box Design: Need to provide exact supplier figures of size and proportion to complete.
Box Samples: Confirm print color and size and all other details before the production of packaging materials.
The packaging industry has developed many different styles to enhance the product’s value, such as canvas bags, plastic gift bags, kraft pots, etc. In any case, it is best to choose a material that expresses your idea of the product so that the packaging and the product will enhance your marketing.
There is no doubt that marketing is another key to the success of your new product, especially in the world where we now have an abundant supply of products.
Based on our experience, here are a few suggestions.
A: Have A Good Story About Your Product.
People love stories and love to read and enjoy the detailed process of designing products and getting to production. Also, try to embed story ideas into your package design to complete the story and make it more compelling.
1. Start marketing at the time you receive pre-production samples.
Don’t wait for large shipments to arrive at the warehouse before doing so. You will waste too much time and spend more on in-stock products.
Most of our customers who have successfully launched new products in the marketplace start selling from completed pre-production samples. They take them to trade shows or arrange exhibitions and bring them to distributors in different channels.
2. Communicate As Much Of Your Marketing Message As You Can Within Your Budget.
It is a good idea to prepare a stack of advertising materials (photos/videos/flyers) and send them directly to your distributors when they are interested in selling to get your marketing message out faster.
When your marketing efforts are made, you should receive an initial pre-order. Check to see if you need to increase your first batch to meet higher sales requirements.
3. Register Your Domain Name And Set Up Your Online Store.
I highly recommend registering a domain name for your brand on Godaddy.com, as this will significantly promote your products!
If you want your customers to be able to buy your products online, you can start offering items on your e-commerce store such as 3dcart.com, with information on hosting, design, pricing and payment methods, marketing tools, and reporting, is a tool that will guide you through the entire process.
Additionally, I recommend that you sign up for a store on Amazon, which will drive traffic and generate plenty of sales for you.
1.Patents And Confidentiality Agreements
Apply for a patent for your product. Patents can help you extend the highly profitable period of your new product, as competitors will need time to think and come up with three differences in common with your original design.
You may consider applying only to the country of sale or with China. As long as you have a sourcing agent in China, they can use the Chinese patent to prevent many small factories from copying your product, thus enabling you to protect your product from competitors and to protect prices for a more extended and more stable period.
2.Register Your Trademark
There is never any need to say how vital trademarks are for protecting your legal rights. It is straightforward to apply for trademark registration these days. Contact your national registrar for more information and be aware of how long it will take to complete your investigation.
3.Signing An Agreement To Take Full Control Of The Mold / Take The Mold Back
Since the molds are an investment in your production, you have full control over them. If you produce directly at the molding plant, make sure that they will be packaged in a sealed state after production (Ask them to take pictures when sealing).
Thanks to your hard work, you are finally ready to start production. This is the starting point for you to run your new umbrella product and make money.
During the production process, you will need to continue monitoring quality and delivery schedules, and you will need to start contacting freight forwarders for shipping.
Finally, I would like to hear from you.
Which step in today’s guide still leaves you confused? Or would you like more details about manufacturing umbrella products in China?
Let me know, and feel free to consult with one of our umbrella experts for quick help.