5 Key Points When Choosing a Cosmetic OEM Company in Japan

It is a fact that there is a visible demand for Japanese cosmetics. You probably have heard of major Japanese cosmetic brands, but also brands like Tatcha. It is actually not Japanese but is a well-known luxury brand based on a Japanese concept.

We also get inquiries from clients who either want to build a brand on a Japanese concept or have already done so. We particularly find those Japanese concept brands very interesting as they do not appeal to Japanese people at all but are very interesting from a foreign perspective.

However, a bigger portion of our inquiries is due to the trust in the quality of Japanese cosmetics. In other words, these clients do not necessarily wish to build their brands on a Japanese concept but they want to be sure of the quality of the product and use the `Made in Japan` label as a selling point at the same time.

Whichever category you fall into, we believe this article will be useful for you as we covered the key points in choosing the right Japanese cosmetic OEM manufacturer for your business.

5 Key Points You Should Keep in Mind

If you are looking for a cosmetic OEM manufacturer in Japan, you will probably search for keywords such as `cosmetic OEM Japan` or `private label cosmetics japan` on your search engine or a B2B platform like Alibaba.

Then you will find a good number of Japanese cosmetic OEM manufacturers with an English page. As a next step, you will want to send inquiries to companies you find appealing.

Depending on the replies you get, you will have a clearer idea of who could be a good fit for your business and who couldn’t.

For people with experience, this could be relatively easy but how does it go for a first-timer? What should you expect from a cosmetic OEM company in the first place? Do you just compare prices and go for the cheapest one or is there more to it?

How do you know whether you could have a good long-term relationship with a company in Japan, whom you probably have a big cultural difference with?

Here are the 5 things that you need to look at.

  1. 1. Are they experienced as an exporter?
  2. 2. What are they good at?
  3. 3. What’s their MOQ policy like?
  4. 4. How cooperative are they?
  5. 5. Do they have a factory?


Let’s take a deep look at each criterion.

1. Are they experienced as an exporter?

Although most cosmetic OEM companies in Japan with an English page usually have at least once exported cosmetic products abroad, the level of experience will differ from company to company.

For example, an OEM company that has only been exporting to the Asia-Pacific region will have to confront a dozen challenges when it comes to exporting to Europe.

There is no way to guarantee if they will have the power to provide countless numbers of documents required by the EU.

So, having general experience in cosmetic export is very important but it’s also important whether a company has experience in a case that’s similar to yours.

Of course, there is a first time for everything and anything can be learned with a little bit of hard work although they can be very challenging in the beginning.
But if you’re in a position where you cannot be willing to take risks, this could be an important criterion.

2. What are they good at?

Cosmetics is a very broad term for many different types of products. Skincare products, make up products, hair care products, and this list goes on. Under skincare products, you have creams, lotions, serums and a whole lot of other types of products. Under creams, you have anti-aging creams, moisturizing creams, and organic creams and so on.

When you apply the same logic to all categories, you will see that there are hundreds of different types of products with different manufacturing techniques.

So, it’s very unrealistic to expect one cosmetic OEM factory to be able to produce them all and yes, it is very obvious and everybody knows that. But here is a point that most people miss out: being capable of something doesn’t necessarily mean `being good` at it.

A company that is great at making lotions and serums may turn out to be not so good with creams and even be terrible with color products.

If you’re looking for a one-stop manufacturer for different kinds of products, it could be beneficial to choose a factory with a large toolbox.

3. What’s their MOQ policy like?

It’s no secret that most people want to start with small quantities. And it only makes sense, since it’s not a good idea to order 10,000 pieces of one product without knowing how it will turn out.

For big companies that already have sales channels and large client bases, it is usually the other way around. They are all about lowering the cost per piece, so they will order in big quantities.

But this is not how it is for your average entrepreneur. Most people want as little as possible at affordable rates. `What is the MOQ` is probably the question we are asked most frequently.

So, why are there so few companies with MOQs set at a low level? That is mostly because work output differs surprisingly little between making 100 pieces of a product or 10 thousand. You do the same paperwork, you do the same amount of planning and thinking.

It is just a matter of how much bulk you produce and how many times you fill it. As it goes, delivering small lots can be extremely inefficient for companies with big production lines.

However, some companies still do take small lot orders, as an investment for the future since quantity could go up in future orders. And it is also practical to fill the spaces between bigger productions.

So, if low MOQs are a big part of your business plans, make sure how that company handles small lot orders. We advise that you keep in mind that, it’s not only the MOQ numbers you should be worried about but how much energy and dedication they put in your products.

4. How cooperative are they?

Cosmetic OEM companies manufacture the bulk, fill them into containers, do the packaging and then ship the products. In the case of exportation, they are also supposed to provide the paperwork needed to send the product.

But of course, nothing goes perfect. Problems occur all the time and they often require hard work to fix. How cooperative your cosmetic OEM partner will play a huge role in how smooth the whole process takes place.

It will, without any questions, be to your advantage that you work with a partner who is willing to take that extra step with you to make the best out of that partnership.

You will probably be able to tell how cooperative the salesperson is while exchanging e-mails, at an early stage. If you feel that you’re not happy with the process, perhaps it’s a better idea to look elsewhere.

For example, in the case of small lot orders, container prices are a big problem. There is usually a very big difference between ordering 1000 pieces and 3000 pieces of a container.

To reduce the costs, some factories offer to store those containers along with other materials for future orders. This way, you are able to order 5000 containers and split them into 5 productions. It is great because you don’t have to hold a big product inventory and you don’t have to pay twice as much for containers every time you order a product.

There are a million examples of cooperation in this business. You should always feel free to ask to what extent that OEM company will be offering their service. It is always easier to manage a business with one-stop services.

5. Do they have a factory?

It may be unknown to some people, but there are many cosmetic OEM companies in Japan that do not own their own factories. These companies may have manufacturing licenses too.

They basically have partner factories in Japan where they outsource the production. When you ask for a product, they go through their list of factories and look for the most suitable options.

There are a couple of good things about these companies. Firstly, they are more likely to have international employees which makes it much easier to communicate both in the aspects of language and culture. They also tend to be very experienced exporters of cosmetic OEM products.

Not having a factory also enables them to handle pretty much all kinds of products you can think of. If you ask for shampoo, they have partner companies who are good at making shampoos. If you ask for nail paint, they will probably have partner companies for that one too.

They also do a great job matching products with overseas clients from factories that don’t export directly themselves.

They can be very cooperative with their all-around and convenient services. But there is a disadvantage for everything. They will need to add their product margin which makes the prices higher than buying directly from a factory.

If cost is the most important thing for you, it is probably wiser to look for a company that has its own factory. If you’re okay with paying more for a smooth, convenient and one-stop service, you should go ahead and give ‘fabless’ companies a chance as well.

Why Use OEM Co., Ltd.?

We explained 5 points you should keep in mind while looking for a cosmetic OEM company in Japan. Now, we would like to talk about why we think we could be a good option for you.

Wide product range with high flexibility

As we are a fabless company ourselves, we are not limited by our manufacturing capabilities. We have 50+ partner companies throughout the country whom we know what they’re good at.

We helped dozens of clients manufacture hundreds of products of a huge variety, both in domestic and international markets.

Skincare to hair care, body care, makeup, supplements. We are capable of helping you with anything related to cosmetics and supplements.

Friendly MOQ policy

It is a fact that most people want to start with small lots as they don’t want to take big risks or simply don’t have the capital.

In OEM Co., Ltd., we’ve always been cooperative with our clients who order in small lots. We take pride in our flexible correspondence and cost-effective solutions for low quantity orders.

We are a One-Stop partner

We like to think that we make things easier for our clients as a one-stop service.

We can manufacture skincare products, makeup products, quasi-drugs, hair care products, body care products, supplements, pet cosmetics and so on.

This is very convenient for people who don’t want to look for a new cosmetic OEM factory every time they want to make a new product.

We take care of container and packaging material procurement as well as proposing them. Also, we give as much support as we can regarding importing procedures as well.


In this article, we discussed the key points in choosing a cosmetic OEM company in Japan. Then we tried to explain why we think we could be a good option as a business partner.

There are actually hundreds of cosmetic OEM companies in Japan. Although a small portion of these companies are exporters, there are still quite a few companies to import cosmetic OEM products from Japan as well.

Yet, not all of them will be what you’re looking for. As we believe it is very important that you do business with a company that will fulfill your expectations in the long run, we suggest that you be picky from the beginning.

Please feel free to ask any questions from the inquiry form below. Thanks!



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