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Private Matters

Can't get big merchants to notice you? Private-label sales may be a good way to get your invention on store shelves.

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This story appears in the September 2004 issue of Start Up.

Inventors of just one product typically won't have a lot of luck selling it to mass merchants, because mass merchants don't want to buy from small, unknown companies that could be unreliable suppliers. But rather than accept defeat, inventors often turn to private labeling. They find another company that does sell to mass merchants and offer their product to that company to sell under its name.

Perfect Products

Products that are natural extensions of other product lines are ideal private-label products. For example, your product might be a rack that allows people to bake four sheets of cookies at a time instead of just two sheets. This product may not have enough appeal to get mass merchants to carry it from a separate company. But the product is an ideal complement for a company that sells other, similar baking products.

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