So.. Ive settled on a product, researched the competition and the market, contacted dozens of suppliers through alibaba, and had some samples sent over.
I want to move forward with this, but here's my issue, and here's where Im hoping someone out there can provide some advice :
I want to create my own brand for this product. In my market (Canada), there are plenty of resellers, but only two established brands. And neither are that impressive. However, when I speak to suppliers, the lowest MOQ I can get for OEM (with my own logo) is 200 units. By my calculations, if I want to carry just 4 SKU's, I will have to pay over $25,000 up front.
I don't have that kind of capital. Maybe I could borrow it, but Im not willing to take on that kind of risk until I at least show I can move some product in my market. I want to start with smaller orders, but this doesn't seem possible if I want my own brand on the product.
So, my options as I see them :
1) Borrow a bunch of money and take a huge risk without knowing 100% that I can move these products.
2) Forget the brand thing, and become just another reseller, of which there are already many in my market.
3) Build a the eCommerce site with my branding, but sell "neutral" branded products.
4) Instead of offering multiple SKUs on my site, offer one, which would have my brand on it. This would be more affordable, but I worry this would make my website look like a bit of a joke.
5) Forget it, look for another market and another business model.
Option 3 seems the most attractive to me. But I don't really know if this is feasible. Yes, I can make smaller orders of quality "neutral" products, but won't my customers wonder if they're just getting cheap knock offs? Would this just devalue the brand? Is this really branding at all? Do smaller startups do this successfully?
Im lost, a bit overwhelmed with all this! Does anyone have direct experience in this area that would be willing to chat with me a little bit?
Sorry for the long post, thanks for reading!