20 January, 2021
Buy ODM Products, this is a big step you’re taking.
Buying or considering buying through ODM manufacturers is the start of something big, your business.
This article will break down the steps needed to go about purchasing ODM, you’ll see it’s a lot more straightforward and manageable than other sites may have you believe.
1. Before You Buy ODM Do Research
When looking back at the very first step of your ODM journey you want to be able to live with the knowledge that you chose an ODM company based on intelligent comparison and on what you want for your business.
You can do this quite easily by first looking at the product you’re intending to buy.
Numerous companies will most likely already be making it unless you’re looking at something niche.
If it is a niche you’ll only have a few options, which on the bright side it might make it easier to decide which is best.
In either situation, the best way to figure out which company is right for you is to first read reviews.
You might be wondering where? Well, sites like Alibaba and Made in China are your go-to places.
If you were about to apply for a new job and on your way to the interview you pass some employees that look upset and talk about the overtime they are forced to work, bad healthcare and word benefits as well as terrible treatment from management.
Would you assume that it’s still a good place to work?
Also, look at what companies already work with them, do any companies you know of -competitors perhaps – work with any of these ODM manufacturers?
If so the chances of you being satisfied should increase.
From there it’s a matter of looking at the quality of the products they create. Is this product worthy of being associated with your brand?
After looking at all these variables the choice will become clearer and clearer.
Also, don’t forget to include the pricing.
Make sure you can afford the manufacturing companies that you are looking at.
At this point, there may be a need for a compromise however fingers crossed, you can get everything you’re looking for.
2. Get in Touch With the ODM Companies
Now is the time to get in touch with the company, depending on the company there could be a range of ways from email, to cell phone some may even have the option of contacting them through their website.
There may be an option to dealing with everything via the all through contact form on the website, however, it is best to forge a real relationship with your ODM manufacturer as this relationship will affect your business hugely.
Right off the bat when you get in touch with them you should
- Share your personal or company details
- Product requirements in great detail
- Ask for pricing and payment terms
- Inquirer about minimum order quantity
- Delivery time
This will make you look like a serious business buyer.
3. Arrange a Visit to the ODM Manufacturer
This might not always be possible, especially now with so many travel restrictions, but it is ideal.
This is always a good idea because it can help to reduce miscommunication in a way that only physically talking face to face with someone can.
It can also mean that you have a good idea of the factory and the process they go through to make the products.
It’ll clear all doubts about what you’re getting out of the manufacturer as you’ll be allowed to touch the products and make sure that they are what you’re looking for.
What I mean by this is, when ordering items online, you could buy a t-shirt that looks like it’s made out of silk but when it arrives you realize it doesn’t feel like silk at all.
If you’re just a singular person ordering clothes for yourself, fingers crossed not dealing with huge sums of money, the situation can be put at rest.
However, if you are a business and you realize too late that your products are wrong in some way, let’s just say you will regret not doing the onsite visit.
Another aspect that you can get out of a factory visit is the answer to whether the factory holds the same values and worker treatment that you expect from your business.
In the way that only physically being there and confirming it for yourself can.
No company would ever put on their website ”and by the way, we don’t like to respect industrial workers’ rights”.
Confirming that you’re working with a place that treats its employees correctly will give you moral peace of mind.
It will also mean that if down the line people look into where you’re getting your products from your business won’t get stamped with statements such as ”in line with humans rights violations”
If the onsite visit is not possible, try to at least get a virtual visit.
4. Choose Your Customization
After the visit, it’s a matter of choosing the changes to make your product be just that, your product.
Remember that the whole point of choosing an ODM is to buy ready to make products so you don’t have to spend money on research and development or tooling for a brand new to the market product.
So, keeping that in mind, the customizations you can apply to the product might be limited.
For apparel and textiles, you might change things like
- Zippers and buttons
For electronics, typically, you’ll be able to change
- Plastic Color
- Some components as sensors or transmitters
For any ODM product, you will always have the option to add your logo.
5. Signing the ODM Contract
After you have your design and are happy with the manufacturer, it’s time to get involved with your ODM contract, especially if you’re ordering big amounts of product.
We have an article on ODM contracts, please have a look to understand the basics.
But right off the start, you should know that you will have no ownership over the product design.
Yes, you can request some customizations, including adding or removing components, but the intellectual property of the device will always belong to the ODM factory.
Once you understand and are happy with the ODM contract, the next step is to make the purchase .
6. Make the Purchase
Buying products from China might feel like a daunting task at first, but a lot of people are doing it and so can you.
It only feels complicated when you don’t know much about it, but in a way, it’s simply all about making sure at every step of the way there are no loose strings so that you can be happy and confident in your ODM purchase.
Remember to break it all into small steps and not to attack the whole thing at once so that you don’t get overwhelmed.
This is a great article to read if you’re going to buy ODM, ODM Factory Design: How to Avoid Pitfalls