You are getting ready to decorate for the upcoming holidays and need a container to display your Thanksgiving décor. Or maybe you are finally tackling your pantry and getting it organized before the busy cooking season begins and need canisters for your sweet and salty snacks. Whatever your reason is for needing them, you hop on Amazon to find exactly what you need, add it to your shopping cart, click the purchase button,. A few days later, you put your new purchases to work in your house.
It all seems so easy to the buyer. Presto. It arrives.
There is a lot that goes on behind that scenes to get your product from an idea in someone’s mind to being useful in your home. Most people never know the process, but many are curious about it. We’ll be the first to tell you – there is an adventure that every product goes through before landing in your hands.
Lots of Research
The first thing that happens when a product comes to mind is finding out if it is a viable product. At Outshine, we research on Amazon, on other market places and on Google to find out whether there is enough search volume to even consider adding an item to our catalog. Although we may think our idea is the next best thing since sliced bread, not everyone is going to think the same thing.
One of the ways we find some of the latest and greatest products that we might want to sell is by visiting trade shows. Usually we have an idea of what types of things we will be interested in when we head to these trade shows based on the market research we have already done, but we’re always open to finding new items when we visit these shows.
If you’ve never been to a trade show, it can be quite overwhelming. Imagine thousands of small to medium-sized spaces, all set up with products in various categories. As a part of our preparation, we always look through the list of attendees to map out where we need to go & who we need to see before we even leave home. And, of course, we leave a little room for surprises, because you never know what you might find.
Once we arrive, we peruse the aisles of exhibitors and search through the stationary, giftables, home accents and more. We spend our time talking with exhibitors and finding out the requirements they have for production and orders and try to determine whether they would be a good fit for us and our products.
We also work with sourcing agents to find factories and products. These agents are people that live in other countries who can go find products first-hand. That way, we don’t have to travel as much. They know what we are looking for in a product and are able to find a source for the product. Of course, there are trade shows in other countries as well, but for some young or small companies, these trade shows are not feasible when it comes to cost.
More Research and Quotes
Now that we’ve found products that we are interested in, we go back to performing additional market research. Is it still something that fits with our product line and our brand? Is it something that is selling well online already? Is there a good niche market for the product?
If we determine that the product is something we would like to pursue, we begin the process of obtaining quotes from manufacturers. Initially, we will send a request for quote to several manufacturers, and then begin to weed out resources based on pricing.
At Outshine, we private label our products. This means that they are manufactured specifically for our brand and not for dozens of other sellers. Once we receive the quotes back from the suppliers and review pricing, we narrow it down even further by requesting product samples of the product made by them. This is the stage where we determine if the product the manufacturer creates meets the quality standards that are required by Outshine. After all, if they can’t produce something that would make us happy to have it in our own homes, we can’t expect you to be happy with it in your home either!
Testing and Modifications
The samples we receive from the manufacturer are scrutinized by us to determine if they have taken the time and effort to make a remarkable product. Are there damages? Do they appear to be from production or shipping? Was the paint finish done correctly and smoothly and in the color that we specified? If there are words stenciled on the product, are they crisp and clear, aligned, and in the font we requested? Is the paper used to create the stationary we ordered a sample of quality and something that people would enjoy using when they sit down at their desk? Remember, we are women who buy for our homes too. If we would be disappointed in it, we are sure you would be, too.
We Have a Product, Now What?
These are many of the things that determine whether a product we are considering will go into production or not . Of course, there are still many steps to be made in the process before it gets into your home. We’ll save that for next time. So stay tuned to see the next step in the journey that our Outshine products go through to get from our minds to your hands!