How to Create a Product: What to Produce + Sourcing
Let's get to the semi-fun part! Why semi? Because this part includes research and a ton of it.
Brainstorm Products to Produce
- Make a list of products you LOVE then star the items you'd love to create first
- Some ideas: greeting cards, art prints, mugs, etc.
- I personally prefer to produce items I actually use than what I think I *need* to create. It's easier to talk about!
- Think about if you want to sell this directly to customer, wholesale (other retail shops) or both
- (We'll go into this in another blog post)
- Do you want to ship these yourself or do you want to have this automatically ship from a third-party via Product on Demand?
- (We'll go over these options in future post too!)
- When you're ready to begin sourcing, what you want to do is head to google to search for manufacturers for your specific product. For example; if you want to find a printer for GREETING CARDS, you can look up "printer for greeting cards." While you can use Staples, Walgreens and those printers, it is best to find a printer that allows you to order in bulk and provide wholesale pricing which reduces the cost per unit and allows for a higher profit margin + don't forget the envelopes!
- A very popular printer is Printswell Fulfillment - they are my go-to for greeting cards! I always order in A2 size and in Vertical
Pricing + Things to Consider
- When you're sourcing a product, you want to consider pricing!
- Let's go a bit further - when you begin sourcing a product, you want to think on a few things
- Who is your customer?
- Do you want to wholesale to other retailers?
- Do you want to ship directly to your customer?
- Would you prefer to not handle that and just design?
- If you want to be super hands-off and just design, you may prefer to do Product on Demand (you upload your designs & they manufacturer + print, ship for you)
- Upside: You only design and are super hand-off (though I would suggest getting a SAMPLE before listing these on your site to order)
- Downside: You do have a lower profit margin because they charge more per item since they're doing a lot more of the heavy lifting
- Good to know: You will need to promote this as it's not like Etsy and you will need to drive traffic to your store.
- If you rather be more hand-on and package these items yourself then you may want to consider ordering a larger quantity so your per item cost is lower
- ex: wholesale pricing for 25 greeting cards - $5 / 20 cents per piece
- You charge customer $5
- Profit: Over 50% (good!)
- If you choose to order through Staples for only a few cards and they charge $2 per card and you sell them at $5 then your profit margin is $3 but keep in mind, this does not include packaging or the sleeve so your margin does reduce.
- The last thing to keep in mind is if you want to sell these wholesale to other retailers (local boutiques, gift shops, coffee shops, etc) because if so, you want to make sure you initially price for profit. Wholesale ~generally~ is 50% of retail!
So with all that in mind, it just depends what you want to do with your business! There is no "right" way to go about it if you rather not ship and just design - you will need to focus more on designing more work and promoting it! If you prefer to send your products yourself, just keep in mind pricing for wholesale (in case you choose to at a later date) and consider the costs for packaging as well.
I hope this gets you excited! There is a lot of fun opportunities out there and it just depends what you want your everyday to look like.
Have questions? Feel free to email me at Hello@JJPaperieCo.com
Next week we'll cover POD options!