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How to Navigate White-Label Manufacturing & Its Economics as an Online Seller

White-label manufacturing is a pillar of the eCommerce landscape. With over 24 million online selling sites worldwide, much of the internet’s economy is powered by generic products, ready to be adorned with unique branding and sold to diverse audiences. Outsourcing manufacturing can be a great way to save time and effort while maximizing profits – budding business owners just need a solid understanding of the existing dynamics. 

Sellers must effectively manage cost and quality control, otherwise profitability will suffer. We’ve put together this blog to break down white-label manufacturing economics and more, so readers can feel more confident stepping into the online arena.

Economic Factors in White-Label Manufacturing

When sellers turn to the outsourced manufacturing of white-label products, various economic factors will influence their experience in the market, ranging from various overhead reductions and profit maximization techniques. 

Reduced Overheads

One of the main appeals of embracing white-label manufacturing is that it generally offers sellers reduced overheads. Creating a product from scratch through development to delivery takes massive time, effort, and money – white labeling significantly reduces all three of these overheads. 

Technical Manufacturing Costs

Outsourcing Infrastructure Costs: Manufacturing infrastructure can be one of the biggest costs of setting up a new business. Companies who outsource manufacturing save significantly on expenses like facilities, rent, machinery, and maintenance, not to mention production development overheads. 

Elimination of Fixed Costs: Third-party manufacturers will cover their own utility bills, property taxes, and insurance premiums. Businesses that embrace white-labeling have fewer bills, able to invest more in quality branding and product orders. 

Scalability in Operations: White-label factories know how to optimize manufacturing processes based on demand, allowing businesses to scale production up or down as is necessary. This massively reduces the pressures of aspects like excess capacity when orders slow down. 

Labor Costs

Global Workforce Utilization: Labor costs differ worldwide with much white-label manufacturing in international markets. This allows sellers to leverage global labor markets, reducing labor costs while maintaining efficient production levels. 

Specialized Skills Access: Both international and domestic white-label manufacturers often have specialized areas of production expertise, cutting out the need for training and development programs, saving additional time and money.

Flexible Workforce Management: Running a business from the ground up requires owners to make tough decisions around workforce maintenance. By outsourcing production, businesses' labor resources can be adjusted flexibly based on demand. 

Economies of Scale

Bulk Purchasing Power: White-label manufacturers source raw materials, generally in huge quantities at discounted prices. This then scales the product costs down, allowing online sellers to source goods for cheaper. 

Cost Spreading: Manufacturing businesses can spread their overheads far and wide across multiple units. Their per-unit costs are lower due to massive production volumes, fixed costs, and administrative expenses generally taking place at a broader scale, passing savings onto the new online sellers. 

Shipping & Delivery: In many cases, white-label manufacturing businesses integrate dropshipping into their service offerings, with shipping completed on larger scales. This helps to reduce the overhead costs of delivering goods. 

Reduced overheads from these factors can massively benefit businesses, allowing budding entrepreneurs easier access to the selling space. Remember, aiming for the lowest costs might not be the best strategy. Not only could lower overheads result in lower quality products, but also if you choose to outsource work to an impoverished area, you can come up against moral issues in your operations and the eyes of your customers. 

Profitability and White Label Manufacturing

Knowing how to maximize profits by selling white-label products isn’t all about minimizing overhead costs. It’s also important to understand how to manage your utilization of white-label manufacturing in various effective ways. 

Factors Affecting Profitability

Pricing Strategies: It’s vital to consider the cost of your orders compared to the price you sell at. The sweet spot exists between competitive and healthy profit margins – remember, in white-label selling your competitors may well be sourcing from the same suppliers. 

Market Demand: As with any product, consumer demand will inform your profitability. Thankfully, when sellers embrace white-label manufacturing they can easily scale things up and down, it’s just a matter of staying on top of the necessary metrics and communicating it to your manufacturer. 

Optimizing Profitability:

Adding Value for Customers: When you embrace white-label manufacturing, you’re not necessarily bringing customers the most unique products. Figure out how to add value to your offering, whether that means personalized packaging, customization options, or exceptional customer service. 

Streamlining Your Supply Chain: If outsourcing your manufacturing, coordinate your supply chain meticulously with the provider. Even if relying on dropshipping, it’s important to work with businesses that prioritize efficiency in their logistics department – fast deliveries are expected by consumers.

Seeking Out Innovation: While most white-label goods are, for lack of a better word, ‘generic’, sellers should still actively seek innovative suppliers. This can mean more exciting products or simply forward-thinking manufacturing approaches that increase efficiency or quality. 

When sellers carefully consider their pricing strategies, seek out innovative, efficient partners, and add value accordingly, they can leverage white-label manufacturing to maximize their profits. With the necessity of responding to market trends and demand, it’s clear that it’s not all about minimizing overheads.

Quality Control with White Label Manufacturing

One of the hurdles that can come up when sellers select the path of white-label manufacturing is that quality control is harder to maintain. When outsourcing your production, especially to an international site, you have less control over what happens in the factory, but keeping things consistent is still essential. 

Importance of Maintaining Quality Standards

Consumer Expectations: Now more than ever, consumers expect products to meet particularly high-quality standards, whether products are manufactured in-house or outsourced. Failure to meet customer expectations will inevitably lead to the loss of loyalty. 

Brand Reputation: Developing a reputation for poor quality standards will both reduce customer loyalty and deter new customers from embracing the brand. If you develop a poor reputation early on, it can stop a business dead in its tracks, leaving entrepreneurs to start from scratch. 

Strategies for Ensuring Quality Control

Supplier Vetting: It’s important to carefully vet potential suppliers, checking out third-party reviews and ascertaining their quality standards. You should have a strong grasp of their manufacturing processes, quality control measures, certifications, and reputation before making orders. 

Vetting Quality Assurance Protocols: When communicating with suppliers, make sure they have established robust quality assurance protocols throughout their manufacturing processes. If they can’t define quality standards, inspection checkpoints, or compliance, then they’re not right for your business. 

Product Testing: Make sure to do independent product testing outside of the manufacturing site to identify defects or quality issues that the manufacturer might have missed or concealed. This should include inspections, performance tests, and any other relevant checks. 

Traceability Systems: Working with manufacturers that allow for traceability is a good way to keep an eye on products throughout the supply chain. With tracked, traced products, sellers can easily identify quality issues and make recalls if necessary.

Continuous Improvement: Even when manufacturing has been outsourced, it’s important to retain a culture of continuous improvement in your business. Implementing corrective actions, even if that means finding a new supplier, is an essential practice.

Regardless of whether you’ve put the job of manufacturing in the hands of your supplier, there are plenty of ways to maintain quality control as an online seller. You must take responsibility for the products you send out to your customers, while also holding your suppliers accountable. 


When navigating through the economic and collaborative avenues of white-label manufacturing as an online seller, there’s a lot to keep in mind. You need to ensure that you have a good relationship with any manufacturers that you source from, understand how to respond to consumer demand, and maintain strong standards of quality control. 

Outsourcing your production can do wonders for your business in terms of overhead, saving millions in terms of setup and fixed costs, but it comes with a sacrifice of control if you’re not vigilant. If you’re eager to learn more about the dynamics of this industry, source products from the finest white-label manufacturers, and meet with countless other online sellers, you should attend this year’s White Label World Expo

At this event, businesspeople at every stage of their eCommerce careers will come together to push the state of the sector forward. Whether attending the New York or Las Vegas edition, you can be sure that it will be one of the industry events of the year.