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Private Labeling vs. Wholesale : Understanding the Key Differences

Urbane Private Label Hemp Shirts

In retail and e-commerce, businesses often encounter the terms "private labeling" and "wholesale" when considering their product sourcing and distribution strategies. While both approaches offer opportunities for growth and profitability, they differ significantly in their execution and implications for brands. Let's explore the distinctions between private labeling and wholesale to understand their market roles better.

Private Labeling:

Private labeling involves a brand or retailer partnering with a manufacturer to produce goods under the brand's label or name. In this model, the brand controls various aspects of the product, including design, fabrics, sizes, and packaging. Private labeling allows brands to offer exclusive products to their customers, differentiate themselves from competitors, and maintain tighter control over pricing and distribution.

Key Features of Private Labeling:

  1. Brand Control: Brands can customize products to align with their identity, values, and customers. 

  2. Exclusivity: Private label products are often exclusive to the brand, providing intellectual property protection and flexible orders. 

  3. Profit Margin Potential: With direct control over production and distribution, brands can achieve higher profit margins than selling wholesale.


Wholesale involves selling products in bulk to retailers, distributors, or other businesses at a discounted price. Wholesalers typically source products from off-shore manufacturers or suppliers and sell them to retailers who, in turn, sell to end consumers. Wholesale transactions benefit manufacturers looking to scale their operations and reach a broader market through established retail channels.

Key Features of Wholesale:

  1. Distribution Reach: Wholesale allows manufacturers to reach a broader audience by leveraging the distribution networks of retailers and distributors.

  2. Reduced Marketing Efforts: Wholesalers benefit from retailers' marketing efforts, as retailers promote and sell the products to end consumers.

  3. Lower Profit Margins: While wholesale transactions may result in higher sales volume, they often involve lower profit margins due to discounted pricing.

Choosing Between Private Labeling and Wholesale:

The decision between private labeling and wholesale depends on various factors, including brand objectives, market positioning, and resources. Private labeling offers greater brand control and potential for higher margins but requires product development and marketing investment. On the other hand, wholesale provides access to a broader distribution network but may entail lower profit margins and less control over branding.

Introducing Urbane Private Label

Urbane Private Label_Sewing

Urbane Private Label is a Los Angeles-based private label service specializing in hemp/eco-fabric apparel, bags, and home goods. The great benefit of domestic manufacturing is each project is a collaboration with a guarantee of superior quality assurance, production warranties, and flexible minimum orders to get started. With a commitment to sustainability, Urbane practices On-demand manufacturing (ODM) to reduce excess material waste and energy by only making what we need. This sustainable approach supports our local community with fair wages and helps businesses maintain low carbon emissions. Learn how to launch your new hemp product. 

In conclusion, private labeling and wholesale represent distinct product sourcing and distribution approaches, each offering advantages and challenges. By understanding the differences between these models and considering the unique offerings of services like Urbane Private Label, businesses can make informed decisions to drive their success in the competitive retail landscape.

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