White-labeling is a common practice that allows many retailers to sell products they couldn’t otherwise produce and sell on their own. In a study of 20,000 furniture products, it came to light that 71% of the products were white-labeled. That’s not all, either. Out of all of that white-labeled furniture, over 98% was listed at different price points across various sites. Those are incredible numbers and showcase just how prevalent the practice really is.
But what the heck is white labeling, anyway, and why would you choose it in the first place? We’ve got you covered—read on to get the inside scoop.
What Does White-Labeling Mean?
White labeling is a practice that’s common in several areas of production, including furniture, home decor, clothing, electronics, and even supplements and food. White labeling refers to when a manufacturer sells a product to several retailers at once, and then those retailers turn around and sell the item to you at various prices.
That means that the sugar you buy at the grocery store could all come from the same supplier, but be white-labeled for sale by the store’s private label brand (more on that in a minute) and branded by another company. The same sugar essentially costs you more or less depending on the label on the bag.
Now, extrapolate those few dollars of difference into the realm of furniture pricing. Sometimes, white-labeling can mean a difference of hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars. Let’s extend the metaphor even further. In the case of furniture, there is no bag! So, you’re paying more for the exact same thing. Retailers change nothing and charge more.
And for what?
Nothing more than the reseller’s name.
What is White Label Furniture?
White-label furniture refers to any furniture that is mass-produced and sold to multiple retailers. It’s the six-seat dining room table set that you find at Target, Wayfair, and Pottery Barn at three drastically different price points. The ones that have you scratching your head wondering just what the differences are between each set.
That’s because essentially, there is no difference beyond the price. Retailers will buy the furniture from the manufacturer, rename it or give it some exclusive angle, and then resell it to the masses. Reselling adds to the chaos of the online shopping environment and creates a situation where consumers are at a disadvantage. They don’t typically have the means to acquire and synthesize all of the information to make sense of their purchase options. Seeing so many numbers coming from different places is confusing, even disorientating. Couple that with not realizing the products are identical, and it leaves some customers feeling frustrated or disappointed. Depending on where you shop, you could get a great deal or be one of the people who are grossly overpaying for items because they just don’t know any better.
Is White Label the Same As Private Label?
Stores can use white labeling to create their own versions of products and goods. However, that is not the same as private labeling. Private labeling is when a brand has its own manufacturing facilities and creates its own line of products, such as with the line of store-brand foods that you find at grocery discount giant Aldi. You won’t find Aldi brand products anywhere but their stores.
White-labeling is when a product is sold to several retailers. Private labels are sold to a single company.
Is Reselling Considered White Labeling?
Sites like Amazon and Walmart that resell items for third parties usually have private-label items that are sold by the original brand or designer. There may be some cases when products are resold after being white labeled, but it is unlikely.
White labeling refers specifically to the practice of two or more brands buying products from the same manufacturer and then selling them as their own. If they are found on reseller’s sites like Amazon, the same items will differ in price on the official website and probably across various resellers when they are purchased and sold as white-label products.
Is White Label Furniture the Same As Furniture Dupes?
Furniture “dupes” are copycats. When you see a discount retailer selling a chair that looks *vaguely* familiar to the one you found at Pottery Barn for $400, and they’ve got it priced at $50 out the door, it’s probably a dupe or a copy made by a cheaper manufacturer. So, white-label furniture is not the same thing as copying furniture. There are a lot of resellers out there trying to make a buck selling knock-off pieces and copies, but you can usually spot them with a few tips.
How Do You Know That Furniture is White Label and Not a Dupe?
The very first way to avoid dupes is to choose reputable retailers. If you’re shopping at a reseller or third party like Amazon, you may have a little more work cut out for yourself.
Wait - shouldn’t Amazon stop people from selling knock-offs?
Sure, they probably should, but they’re Amazon. They have rules and guidelines and expect people to follow them. And in most cases, the copycats are pretty good at getting away with things.
So avoid dupes by:
- Being realistic about pricing. If you see the same furniture item for a fraction of what it costs on five other sites, that item’s probably a dupe.
- Shopping with reputable retailers and brands. When you trust who you’re shopping with, you can trust their products.
- Understanding the basics of white-labeling (you’re almost there!) and how it works in furniture reselling.
Some people promote furniture dupes because they offer the same look at a fraction of the cost. Others would rather spend a little more for the higher quality materials and construction of white-label products.
How Common is White Labeling?
As mentioned in the beginning, more than 71% of furniture is white-labeled. And even when it isn’t white-labeled, the same product has different prices at different retailers 98% of the time. The Internet and dropshipping have only increased the availability and selection of great furniture pieces, but white labeling remains a popular trend for those items that are must-haves. To the unsuspecting consumer, white labeling might sound like a new practice, but it’s been around for a long time.
How Can You Get White Label Furniture?
If you’re looking for the best prices on white-label furniture from your favorite brands, Spoken is here to help. And we’ll do more than give you numbers—we will show you when furniture is white-labeled. With Spoken, you can see every site where the exact same item is being sold. Essentially, you can think of us as a furniture comparison site offering you apples-to-apples listings from retailers across the Internet. Spoken shines a light on all the websites listing the same products.
One bad furniture purchase caused us to create Spoken.io, where you can compare high-quality products from multiple sites and sellers. If you’re looking for that perfect chair, we’ll show you all the places where you can buy it and how much it will cost at each retailer. That way, you can get the best deals on white-label furniture and all of your other furniture purchases, no matter what you have in mind.