Generally, the development of new pillows can avoid falling into price competition, thereby gaining profits, and even establishing pillow brands through it to gain wider benefits.
However, less than 3% of these people actually took actions such as contacting Chinese pillow suppliers for sampling or manufacturing. Not to mention the number of people who succeeded in the end.
Fortunately, we have gained a lot of valuable experience from many successful cases of helping customers make new pillows from China. Therefore, we write this article to let you know how to gradually make a new type of pillow in China, which will triple your chances of success.
I divided the new pillow development process into 9 steps to help you better understand.
- Have a new pillow design.
- Create a prototype or design of the pillow.
- Find suitable pillow suppliers.
- Estimate the cost of the whole project.
- Customize a pillow sample.
- Choose private label and packaging solutions.
- Use the sample pillow to start marketing.
- Intellectual property and compliance certification.
- Start massive production.
Step 1: How to have a new pillow design?
(For whom already get their pillow idea can skip this section.)
Maybe some brilliant ideas from your life suddenly popped into your mind. Or you want to improve the performance or design of some existing pillows on the market.
So according to the reason why we help our customers successfully develop their pillow ideas into new pillow products, the origin is mainly divided into the following two types.
Idea Type A: To Create a Brand New pillow, non-exist before in the market
The memory foam knee pillow is an excellent product. Whether it is a bed or a sofa, it can be used conveniently.
The biggest benefit you can see is that they will bring a lot of revenue to your sales and at the same time widen the difference between you and your competitors. What you need to pay attention to is to carry out proper marketing to make the product spread like a virus.
It is not easy to come up with a brand new knee pillow. It will cost more money and more experimental time to produce, and you also need to worry about whether consumers like it before it becomes popular. The risk of realizing this idea is high.
Suggestions for creating new pillows:
When you are not sure that the result will be hot or you don’t have much money to kick the starter, you should focus on choosing pillows that are generally cheaper.
It is best to avoid memory foam products, because memory foam products require a mold before production, and it can easily cost $10,000 for the mold. If the memory foam material is necessary, try to control the structure as simple as possible, so as to reduce the mold cost accordingly.
Idea Type B: Make improvements against an existed pillow product for a better life.
Among pillow developers, the most important part of them is to generate this type of idea. Those who do well on Amazon are the ones who sell this improved product.
The changes may be small or large. But in any case, this is a major change that brings better value to consumers than before, so they remember this new pillow product and are willing to pay for it.
The benefit of exporting improved pillow products is that you can have related basic pillow products. From it, you can collect a lot of valuable information, such as pillow cost and production theory.
Generally, there are many pillow factories in China that have provided stable and economical production of mature pillow products. And your determination to find a pillow factory is to save time and cost; you will go to a pillow factory of memory foam knee pillows instead of a toy factory to complete your idea.
In addition, you can understand the market demand from the target and make improvements for reference, so the chance of success is higher.
Its profit margin is not as high as that of new pillow products. And there is a risk of falling into patent infringement, because you don’t know whether you want to improve the patent or not.
Suggestions for improving pillow products:
Pay attention to the inconveniences in using your knee pillow to generate this idea. People like to enjoy comfortable and healthy pillows. If it is too complicated, it means you need to rethink your creation.
Patent issues are another important point. Determine whether your target is patented, and whether your adjustments can bypass patent restrictions.
Step 2: Prepare a file for your new pillow design before reaching out to Chinese pillow suppliers.
This step is the key to showing your potential suppliers how important you are to this new product business.
You can talk well and tell the pillow supplier that you will order 100,000 pieces. Then you take a piece of paper and draw a sketch of the pillow shape from your mind. However, Chinese pillow suppliers have encountered countless customers expressing their thoughts in this way; they will not trust or be willing to help, or just quote the wrong price to keep you away.
How can I get a 3D design or prototype of my new pillow?
A. At least a ready-made 3D design
Since you need to make sure that the pillow supplier fully understands what this “new” item in your head will be, at least you need to complete a 3D drawing of the pillow. (According to different designer abilities, it will cost you hundreds of dollars to complete it.)
At the same time, during the 3D drawing process, you will notice that this is the first verification of whether your idea is reasonable. Because this is the first step, you have to turn your mind into a real thing.
Many problems will follow. Maybe you are dissatisfied with the appearance, dissatisfied with the function, dissatisfied with the details and so on. When you modify it, you will feel that your thoughts become more real.
When discussing the project with the factory, completing the 3D drawing will also increase your confidence, because you have passed many details to clarify what you need from them. In such an in-depth discussion, Chinese pillow factories are happy to share their experience to help you improve your ideas from the manufacturing prospects.
B. Find a product development company to help you make a pillow prototype
With excellent 3D printing technology, the prototype can be easily printed after the 3D drawing is approved.
If you are hiring a freelance designer to make 3D drawings, sometimes they will have the resources to follow up with the prototype and may get a better offer than you because they are an assembly line workflow.
However, whether you plan to make a prototype or not, please always tell your designer that you want to make a prototype, and you may need 3D printing when signing the transaction, in case you change your mind in the future, you can still ask the designer if necessary, the designer can make modifications To adapt to the prototype requirements.
At the same time, most product development companies will also provide factory supporting services for prototypes. In any case, this always means that the final production cost is higher. Use their factory services only when your budget is high and time is limited.
Step 3: Find a suitable pillow supplier to manufacture your pillow.
A. First, prepare for a non-disclosure agreement (NDA).
When you develop and produce new products from China, NDA is very important. It determines how long you can be more advanced than your competitors to copy your ideas.
The NDA must be signed with the final manufacturer. If you work through a purchasing agent, you will need the agent and the factory to sign on it to ensure your own safety.
The complete NDA will include the following protection points to limit the factory’s exposure to any other customers:
Your company information (contact information/telephone/email, etc.)
Your product information (cost, appearance, design, function, etc.)
Your packaging information (logo, design, etc.)
Your order information (order quantity, order plan, delivery plan, etc.)
After you have prepared this document, you can use it as a tool for presentation to pillow suppliers, because they will also see the seriousness of your plan from your document.
B. Find a factory to help you complete the production, which is critical to the success of your project.
What kind of products are suitable for direct factory development and manufacturing in China?
The factory operates on a scale. So they usually offer lower prices and higher MOQ quotations, hoping to obtain larger quantities to maximize their production space. However, they are more concerned about quantity and production speed, and they don’t care about whether the product is ultimately suitable for your market.
If your product is simple (do not need to deal with the combination of different parts), and the budget can accommodate a higher MOQ, then you can find a direct factory to complete the work.
Here we give an example of what is a simple product, such as ordinary cotton pillow; it only needs cotton inner and outer jacket, easy to understand and arrange, so that the factory can handle it for you.
C.Critical Points for deciding which pillow supplier to work for your project.
Understand which aspects of pillow suppliers are suitable for new pillow product projects
Price: Of course the price is important, but don’t buy because of the lowest price. What you need most from your suppliers now is their patience and experience, and you also need to balance quality and price. Therefore, it is better to have an appropriate amount at this time, instead of pursuing the lowest price.
Sample quality: The sample quality will usually determine the mass production quality. Many suppliers will find excuses to say that the sample is bad, because it is a sample, they will do well in mass production, and so on. Don’t believe them. Please do not place an order until you are satisfied with the sample.
Good communication: A good supplier should focus on understanding your needs and willing to help to improve, rather than just trying to promote your pillow order. Choose those suppliers who are well-written in English, reply to you in time, browse their companies quickly through online chat and video chat, etc. The most important thing is to find someone who is patient, because you are working on a new project and changes may be frequent.
Other potential customers need to consider choosing your supplier to manufacture new pillow products:
Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ): A lower MOQ is undoubtedly better. However, when the MOQ is fixed, you can try to get more color choices at the same price. If the supplier needs to add a small amount of cost to produce more color options, it is worth paying. Because a variety of color options can greatly help attract a wider range of consumer interest.
Estimated time for making the pillow mold: It usually takes 20-30 days to complete the new mold, including making and testing. Then the supplier may need 10-20 days to complete the pre-production samples. Then it will take about 3-5 days to express the samples to you for final approval.
Ensure that the mold can be retrieved: some factories offer low prices to attract your orders. If you are not satisfied with the quality of their samples, they will refuse you to get the mold, so your investment in the mold will be a waste. So try to sign an agreement to confirm that the mold is yours, and you can get it back to ensure your interests.
Refund of sample fee/mold fee: Most suppliers will refuse a refund at the beginning, but you can manage an agreement to get a refund when a certain amount is reached. And remember to sign and stamp this agreement with them.
Step 4: Calculate and make a cost breakdown for your whole project
At the critical moment, you need to calculate a total cost, and then plan its retail price to see if it fits the market.
By summarizing the projects we have helped customers complete, please check the following list of costs you need to complete:
A. Cost before production
Prototype cost (including design cost, 3D printing cost, manual cost)
Factory mold costs (again, try to avoid memory foam molds, otherwise the cost will be as high as $2,000)
Test cost (check carefully which items are mandatory and which are optional, which can save you a lot of investment)
Sample cost and courier cost (the courier cost may be several times the sample cost.)
Patent and brand registration fees.
B. Production costs
Product cost (the most important and most important part of value)
Inner packaging cost (a better packaging will always bring you a higher retail price, and a better packaging will charge more. For example, the entire packaging box of the iPhone will cost $2.00 to produce)
Outer packaging cost (If your product is packaged as 1 piece/outer box, and it will be distributed from the warehouse to consumers by express, then you should carefully perform a drop test on the outer box and ensure that it passes the test to prove that there is no damage to the delivery. Your product.)
Packaging cost (If you combine goods from several factories into a finished product, you will get this cost on the list.)
Production loss (No one can achieve 100% perfect production, so you need to add a specific defective product rate. If you buy finished products from one factory, the defect rate is lower. But more factories are in the final assembly of the production line, The percentage of defects will increase.)
C. Post-production cost
Transportation costs: Most buyers did not pay enough attention to transportation costs when they proceeded with production. Now it is too late to notice that these costs will eat up all their profits. Therefore, please handle this fee carefully and consider the type of transportation that suits you. Sometimes when you add shipping costs to the cost of a product, you may even find that it is not worth developing a new product.
Loss during transportation: Fragile items, especially essential glass items, should be carefully lost during transportation. Set a specific loss rate into the cost calculation to ensure that it is calculated when you set the retail price.
And for the first shipment of a small amount of fragile items. Test whether the packaging needs to be improved to reduce the loss rate.
Warehousing costs: If you have a reasonably priced warehouse, you can consider bringing more goods at a time to reduce shipping costs. But if you don’t have a warehouse or a warehouse with a higher price, you can consider keeping more inventory in the factory and let them ship on demand.
This consideration is a balance between transportation costs and warehouse costs. But in any case, ensuring that you have enough inventory for sale is a priority set before balancing.
Marketing cost: Calculate the budget you want to spend on Amazon, SNS advertising, Google SEM, etc., and divide it into the unit cost of each product. This cost is also an important part of completing the product’s overall price puzzle to determine its retail sales.
Step 5: Customize a pillow sample before starting the massive production
After carefully checking the cost of your pillow and the confidence that the product will profit from the market, you can start the pre-production sample process, which is crucial, as a key reference for inspecting samples and quality/appearance/function. In addition, you can start selling to some distribution customers a few months before the bulk cargo arrives at the port.
Some basic functions in this step are listed below to assist you in your work:
A. Decide on the material and production process of the pillow.
Please note that the pre-production samples are completely different from the prototypes and need to be confirmed with the actual production process and materials, and the prototypes are more or less for reference. You even have to use 3D printing to make prototypes; these things are different from what factories use for mass production.
You need to have a clear discussion with your factory/supplier. They gain more knowledge in the field and provide advice on materials and production processes to control quality/cost and reduce defect rates.
Therefore, you can notice the difference between prototypes and pre-production samples.
B. Try to manage a larger number of pre-production samples with more styles, they are an excellent resource for you to start selling and test quality.
For memory foam pillow products that require new molds for specific production, it is unnatural for you to make samples as you want, because the factory needs to stop the production line, test the molds, and then make the samples for you.
So please ask them to make more samples at the beginning so that the factory can manage their plans to meet with you.
For fabric/bag samples, it is relatively easy to make samples as needed, because the more important part of the process is handmade. In any case, when you need more pieces, the cost is much higher than mass production.
C. Improve the trial production samples.
Test it, try it, and show it to your family and best friends to test it and try it. When you receive the trial production samples, please collect all the comments you can make.
Pay special attention to those bad comments and consider whether they are reasonable or not. If they are, you must find a solution during this period and don’t let the mass production come too late to change.
In addition, when making pre-production samples, some reliable pillow suppliers will provide comments based on their experience to notice where you are not wise enough and need to be improved.
Step 6: Choose suitable private label and packaging solutions
Good packaging design and packaging materials will significantly increase the value of your products and support their sales at higher retail prices. So don’t save your cost on packaging design, try to find a suitable person to complete an excellent design to suit your hard work.
Here are the 3 most common problems our customers encounter when applying private labels:
A. How to apply the logo to the pillow and what are the benefits of each option?
Screen printing (this is a commercial way to realize the logo, but pay attention to the printing quality, some poor quality screen printing is easy to fall off after use)
Thermal transfer (If your design requires more colors to express, this is a good choice. Its process is to coat a layer of printing film on the product body by heating. But the printing film involves the cost of the printing mold; The cost of a bronze printing mold for each color is about 100-150 US dollars per color, depending on the size of your printing area. At the same time, a certain amount of printing film is required.)
Embroidery (this item is more favored by fabric products, when your logo graphics are more complicated, the cost will increase.)
Laser engraving (good effect on metal/wood/acrylic surface, providing a more natural and high-end appearance than printing, without fading and peeling. This process does not require mold costs, and the minimum start-up cost is not high.)
Woven label (suitable for textiles and supports higher quality appearance.)
View more details on 11 solutions for private labeling of your products.
B. How about individual packaging choices?
The wise choice for most new products in individual packaging is color boxes. It is considered more high-end and has better prospects. At the same time, it can provide excellent protection for the product.
I subdivided several points that need to be paid attention to when customizing the box.
Opening method: lid and tray/normally open
Material: Corrugated Box/Paper Cardboard Box
Insert the bracket (optional): blister material/foam material/paper card material
Color box design: the supplier needs to provide accurate numbers of length x width x height to complete
Color box sample: confirm all details such as printing color and size before packaging material production
C. What other packaging options does ColorBox have to show the value of my product?
The packaging industry has developed many different styles to enhance the value of products, such as canvas bags, plastic gift bags, and kraft paper pots. In any case, it is best to choose materials that can express your thoughts on the product and make a set to enhance your marketing.
Step 7: Start Marketing your pillow with Pre-production Sample
There is no doubt that marketing is another key to the success of your new product, especially since we are now in a world full of product supplies.
Based on our experience, there are the following suggestions:
A. There is a good story about your pillow product.
People like stories, they like to read and enjoy the details of how products are designed and appear in front of them. At the same time, try to embed story ideas into your packaging design to complete the story and make it more convincing.
B. Start marketing upon receipt of trial production samples.
Don’t wait for a large amount of goods to arrive at your warehouse and then do it; you will waste too much time and spend more time on stock products.
Most of our customers are successful after the new pillow products are on the market, and they start selling with pre-production samples of the finished products. They will bring it to the exhibition or arrange an exhibition for it, and will also bring it to many channel distributors.
C. Spread as much marketing information as possible within the budget.
The thoughtful thing is to prepare a package of advertising materials (photos/videos/flyers), and when your dealers are interested in selling, send them directly to spread them faster.
When your marketing is done well, you should receive the initial reservation order. At that time, please check whether you need to increase the first batch to meet higher sales requirements.
D. Register your domain and set up an online store.
I strongly recommend that you register a domain name for your own brand on name.com, which can greatly promote your products.
If you want your customers to buy your products online, you can open an e-commerce store on a provider like 3dcart.com, which will provide tools to guide you through the process: hosting, design, pricing and payment options, Marketing tools and reports.
In addition, I suggest that you can also register a store on Amazon, which can bring you traffic and complete fulfillment.
Step 8: Intellectual Property And Compliance Certifications
A. Apply for a patent for your product.
Patents can help you extend the high profit period of your new pillow, because your competitors need time to think and make a significant difference from your original design 3.
You can consider applying only to the country of sale or to China at the same time. If you have a purchasing agent in China, they can use Chinese patents to prevent many small factories from copying your products, thereby keeping your competitors away from your new products and protecting prices for a longer period of time.
B. Register your trademark
It is never too important to say that trademarks are important for protecting your legal rights. At present, it is very easy to apply for trademark registration. For details, please consult your domestic registration agency and notify the completion of the registration investigation time.
C. Sign an agreement to fully control the mold/retrieve the mold
Since the mold is an investment in your production, you have complete control over it. If you are working directly with the factory, please make sure that they pack the mold in a functional state and seal it after production (you can ask them to take pictures when packaging and sealing).
If you place the order through a trading company or purchasing agent, please ask them to keep the mold for you instead of leaving it in the factory.
All these operations are to prevent any possibility of easy duplication.
D. Obtain the compliance certification of the country/region where you want to sell
Please pay close attention to toys/electronic products/cosmetics/medical products.
For the above product categories, most countries will have specific compliance certification requirements, which need to be strictly followed during customs clearance at the port of destination.
In order to prevent the goods from blocking at customs and causing unpredictable losses, please ensure that all compliance certificates are prepared before the production is completed. If you are not sure what certification to prepare, you can check the following 2 videos for more information:
Step 9: Start Massive Production
Thanks to your hard work, it’s finally time for you to make it. This is the starting line for your new pillow business to run and make money.
During the production process, you need to constantly monitor the quality and delivery schedule, and you need to start contacting freight forwarders to arrange transportation.
Finally, I’d like to hear from you:
Which step in today’s guide still confuses you?
Or want to know more details about making pillows in China?
I hope you can benefit a lot from my guide. I will keep it updated. I ama leading manufacturer of memory foam products in China. If you haveany questions about import from China, please feel free to contact us, we are always here.