A11.9 What to keep in mind when making your final decision

Questions to ask yourself when making your final decision…

  • What was the MOQ?
  • Who was most prompt and transparent?
  • What do their reviews from past clients look like?
  • What are my buyer protections (if any)?
  • What was the quality of the samples I received?
  • Who do I trust the most based on our limited interactions?

A11.8 Requesting samples from your top 3 candidates

Once you’ve found your top 3…

  • Order samples of past, similar products
  • If financially possible, order samples of YOUR product
  • Always be cautious of “the Golden Sample”
    • Order multiple units & insist on the highest quality before proceeding

A11.7 Shopping for a manufacturer

  • How do you find a manufacturer?
    • I’m sure there are other ways, but I turn to Alibaba.com
    • Look for people who have manufactured similar items & materials in the past
    • Look at their ratings & your buyer protections through Alibaba
  • How do you find a manufacturer? (cont’d)
    • IP considerations when manufacturing in China
    • Be careful of anyone who’s coming in dramatically cheaper than others
    • Ultimately: Open a dialogue with your top 7-10 and trust your instincts

A11.6 Manufacturing domestically vs. abroad

Why is practically everyone manufacturing in China?

  • The quality myth
  • The price differences in mold creation
  • The per-unit price differences
    • Mainly due to significantly lower-cost labor & overhead expenses

A11.5 Getting a 3D model printed

Entering another dimension…

  • Your engineer/contractor MAY have the ability to do this
  • Tons of 3D printing services (Shapeways.com)
  • Start with cheaper materials & progress to finer prototypes as you get closer to completion
    • We started with SLA & finished with nylon plastic

A11.4 Handing it off to a CAD designer

  • Notes about hiring a CAD designer
    • Probably want someone with an engineering background
    • Easiest way is probably using UpWork
      • Post ONLY enough detail to give an idea of the work/skills required
  • Notes about hiring a CAD designer (cont’d)
    • This will be your first expensive milestone
      • Cheaping out here will cost you in the long run, so don’t
    • The clearer your instructions + prototyping, the less you’ll ultimately pay

A11.3 Optimizing your design for mass production

Things I wish someone had told me early on…

  • Injection molding for plastic products
  • My experience with non-plastic products
  • Food-safe vs non-food-safe
  • Thought process for optimizing a design for injection molding
  • Example models & manufacturer feedback

A11.2 Roughly designing your product

Before you enlist professional help, you should…

  • Draw sketches yourself, at a bare minimum (no matter how rough they are)
  • Write a detailed description of its key functions & features
  • If you have the ability, create a rough prototype
  • Let’s look at some examples…

A11.1 Introduction & What to Expect

  • What will you learn & who will benefit most?
    • Step-by-step process for going from idea to product
      • This will be helpful for white labeling as well
    • What pitfalls to look out for every step of the way
    • Most productive for people who can invest $X,XXX – $XX,XXX into product creation & initial inventory
      • Even with something like Kickstarter, this will run a few grand up-front
  • A couple of important disclosures:
    • I’ve never seen this taught anywhere
    • I’ve only learned through trial & error
    • There may be a better way, but I can only teach you what I know
    • I have experiences in all stages, but never “start-to-finish”
    • Today I’ll be walking you through a failed product of mine, “The Pill Pupper”