Getting your own molds made has become quite common in the last few years for Amazon & E-com sellers, especially now that selling on Amazon has become a greater challenge and the level of competition is increasing on a day to day basis. Competition does not discourage the successful entrepreneurs out there, instead, it gives all of us a chance to think out of the box and get out of our comfort zones.
Be it using new methods of product research, solving customer pain points, coming up with new product/design ideas, getting new molds made, each “Hurdle” is looked at as an opportunity to innovate and grow both professionally and personally. If done right then having Unique Molds developed and manufactured can really work in your favor in the long run for you to stand out from the competition and build a strong brand.
So, if you are a seller working with suppliers on getting Molds opened and Manufactured or if you are planning to, then the below points can work as a guideline when sourcing & dealing with suppliers and for the management of projects like these.
- Cards close to your Chest: When starting to source suppliers for your Mold Project it’s best to not give out the whole Product & Mold idea to the suppliers right at the beginning. Instead of just providing them with enough information for them to quote you the Mold Opening Cost and all the related details to it can be a good enough starting point for you. Be it sourcing online or at an exhibition, it’s usually a better idea to play it safe which will help you avoid unethical suppliers copying your mold/product ideas. Once you have narrowed down a few suppliers then you can start the process of vetting them & doing some due diligence before revealing your whole Mold project to them.
- Product Manufacturers: Even if you manage to source a supplier who is specializing in making molds in general and has quoted you very good pricing, it’s usually best to work with a Supplier who has experience for manufacturing both your product Molds and the product itself. You really want to avoid having too many different suppliers involved in projects like these. So please make sure your Mold supplier is not outsourcing the product manufacturing to another supplier. In this way, you will know the quality control will be better and potential issues can be resolved more efficiently and quickly. Also, this will increase your chances of having a good quality product made as the supplier will already be experienced both in manufacturing the Mold and product itself.
- Contracts and Agreements: Having a detailed contract made with a supplier is also very essential on mold projects. Details such as Time needed to open the mold, Deposit, Cost of the product if you approve the Mold Sample, if the mold sample is not approved by you then the supplier will make changes on it for free, Supplier not using your mold to sell on the same market or to your competition, Mold fee being returned to you if you book a certain number of pieces down the line. The suppliers will take you more seriously also when they see how thorough and detailed you are with your contracts. NNN Agreements, NDA, Using law firms to draw out contracts, asking suppliers to stamp on contracts, all these can be leveraged and used as a psychological deterrent also which will help you filter out unethical suppliers
- Less Visible Suppliers: If you want to avoid working with suppliers who can be easily sourced by your competition from Alibaba/Canton Fair, then using different sourcing channels like 1688.com & smaller/niche trade fairs can also be something you can seriously think about if you want to avoid having your mold/product ideas easily copied/duplicated. You intentionally want to work with a smaller & local minded supplier that can work in your favor surely but again you want to make sure the supplier is able to deliver on your mold project requirements.
- Compare: When sourcing, you will find out in which cities/provinces is your product being manufactured more. Focusing on these areas will more often than not help you get the best pricing possible and also the quality. Sometimes you will be quoted with huge cost differences between the mold suppliers so please find out why is that so and filter out the suppliers accordingly.
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