Natural Rubber Yoga Mat Manufacturer – Definitive FAQ Guide

If you have been thinking about being a distributor for a natural rubber yoga mat manufacturer, you’ve come to the right place.

We will give you all the information you need and tips on landing the natural rubber yoga mat manufacturer that fits your business needs. 

You will also find details on how to start a distribution business with the natural rubber yoga mat manufacturer and learn some negotiating skills.

So, let’s not wait any longer. Let’s start strategizing!

Table of Contents

Do natural rubber yoga mat manufacturers sell to wholesalers and distributors?

Yes, natural rubber yoga mat manufacturers do business with wholesalers and distributors. In fact, wholesalers and distributors are their target market. But they sell to retailers too.

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Figure 1: Product supply chain players

What advantages do I get as a distributor of natural rubber yoga mat manufacturers?

Here are the things you gain as a distributor of natural rubber yoga mat manufacturers.

  1. Lower costs
  2. No shortage of inventory
  3. Ease of scaling
  4. Little sales work
  5. Retailer’s marketing genius
  6. Industry insider
  7. Manufacturer relationships

Lower Costs

You only pay for the cost of raw materials, production, and some logistics for the yoga mats when you transact directly to the natural rubber yoga mat manufacturer. That makes it the most affordable price of the natural rubber yoga mat.

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Figure 2: Distributors are second in line after the manufacturer, which gives them a lower cost

Plus, you get to buy them at a discounted price. Natural rubber yoga mat manufacturers usually give discounts to bulk orders. They may set a minimum order quantity for first-time distributors. 

But as your business relationship with the natural rubber yoga mat manufacturer gets better, the minimum order quantity will not be required anymore.

No shortage of inventory

Since natural rubber yoga mat manufacturers recognize your value as their distributor, you are often in the first line of their production. 

Distributors mean a constant cash flow for manufacturers. That’s why they always take care of your requirements first. Plus, when your business grows, so does the manufacturer’s profit.

Ease of scaling

Once you have established a healthy number of retailers, the chance of escalating your business is a piece of cake. Your revenue will grow faster and at a consistent rate. You will only have to worry about where and how you’ll expand.

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Figure 3: When distributors reach a good number of retailers, the business grows on its own

Little sales work

Another good thing about being a distributor of a natural rubber yoga mat manufacturer is you will never have to spend so much time, money and effort marketing your product.

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Figure: 4: As long as distributors deliver high-quality goods on time, there is little sales work to be done

Often, the manufacturer has already done its job throwing in some cash for advertising their natural rubber yoga mats. All you have to do is dip into that pool, and you will find retailers in your area. Or you can also do some sales pitches here and there to boost the awareness of the product.

Retailer’s marketing genius

What’s also good with being a distributor is you can let the retailers do the marketing for you. They will be your indirect and willing salespersons on the ground. And once the word has spread about your good product, other retailers will come knocking on your door.

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Figure 5: Retail does all the marketing for the distributor

Industry insider

When you’re a distributor, you are operating as the middleman between the manufacturer and the retail outlets. 

You can be a valuable asset to the manufacturer, giving them details on consumer buying trends and behavior. In turn, the natural rubber manufacturer can give you the inside scoop on new technologies and products you can market as a sole distributor.

Manufacturers Relationships

Some natural rubber manufacturers will refer their retail clients to their distributors. You get to have more profit and repeat customers. The manufacturer won’t have to talk to so many clients. Large manufacturing firms of prominent products do this to lessen their risks and keep a healthy relationship with their distributors.

How to be a successful distributor of a natural rubber yoga mat manufacturer?

Do these essential steps to be a distributor of a natural rubber yoga mat manufacturer:

  1. Research
  2. Facilitate licensing requirements.
  3. Find a warehouse.
  4. Find your natural rubber yoga mat manufacturer.
  5. Market your product to retailers
  6. Develop your relationship with your manufacturer.
  7. Stay up to date with your industry.

Research

Do some research about these:

  • The natural rubber yoga mat
  • Other kinds of yoga mat
  • Marketing strategies on yoga mats
  • Your market’s target demographic
  • Location of your target market
  • What will be the business strategy you would adopt?
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Figure 5: Understanding your role as a distributor helps you better navigate the supply chain industry

These are just some of the points you have to know about. Though experience is the best teacher, it is better to get into the battle-armed.

Facilitate your licensing requirements

Get your business registered. In the US, you can buy products in bulk without paying sales tax. That is, as long as you have a wholesale or distributor license. Also, you are required to fill up forms and present registration documents of your business when qualifying as a distributor.

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Figure 6: Benefits of registering your business

For the process of registering your business in the US< UK, or Australia, you can use these guidelines:

In the US

  • Check the intended name of your business on the TESS (Trademark Electronic Search System). This is to make sure that your business name is not already taken.
  • If your business name is not yet registered, fill up the online registration on the US Patent and Trademark Office.
  • Get your Employer Identification Number (EIN) at the IRS
  • If you plan to have payroll, register with your state’s agency for payroll taxes.
  • Apply for licenses and permits according to the industry you’re in. Check the US SBA for the appropriate agency where you get the permits.

In the UK

In Australia

Find a warehouse

Depending on your business strategy and model, you may need to search for a warehouse. Your storage space would depend on the maximum stock you want to hold at one point in time. For starting distributors, it would be more convenient to lease a storage space than own one. 

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Figure 7: Find the warehouse that’s just right for you

To ensure you’ve got the right storage facility, take these things into consideration.

  • Location
  • Access
  • Diverse Capabilities
  • Experience
  • Nature of employees
  • Association memberships
  • Technology
  • Additional services
  • Client Profile
  • Associated risks

Location

Choosing a warehouse is 50% about location. You should find a warehouse within the proximity of your intended retailers. Being close to consumers means ensuring timely and cost-effective delivery. 

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Figure 8: Factors to consider when choosing the location of your warehouse

Access

An accessible warehouse lessens the likelihood of orders being delayed. It improves customer satisfaction and minimizes the risk of canceled orders due to late deliveries. 

Consider these few points when judging the accessibility of your warehouse:

  • Access to public transportation
  • Nature of traffic
  • Road conditions and safety
  • Highway interconnectivity, and
  • Proper road signage

Diverse capabilities

Pick a warehouse that offers various services and does not just have a basic layout. Warehouses with integrated solutions are more efficient. The facility can help you manage your deliveries promptly and better monitor your inventory. 

Some, like asset-based warehouses, invest more in their facilities, trucks, and employees. Thus, they offer a higher level of service than traditional warehouses.

Experience

Check the operational dates of the warehouse. It will give you an insight into how long they have been doing their job. 

Search for a facility that also has been storing products similar to natural rubber yoga mats. You can be assured that your natural rubber yoga mats are well taken care of when they are shipped to the warehouse.

Nature of employees

Find warehouses that have employees skilled in warehousing. You can ask the warehouse owner or manager to give you files of some of their highly qualified staff. 

Compare the number of employees present at any given time to the size of the warehouse. There should be enough size-employee ratio to ensure that all of the goods stored in the warehouse are attended to properly.

Association memberships

When the storage facility is affiliated with a recognized association in warehousing and logistics, it speaks about its credibility and commitment. Members of any association are in strict orders to follow warehousing protocols set by the organization. Also, it is an indication that they are geared into lending quality warehousing services.

Technology

Advanced technology means more efficient ways of doing this. A warehouse that is on par with the latest innovations in warehousing ensures better and smooth operations. In turn, it helps your company be more efficient and better in handling the logistics of your retailers.

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Figure 9: Effective use of technology in warehousing

Additional services

Most warehouses will only include storage and shipping. But it could be more beneficial to you if the warehouse can provide other services. These additional services can include labeling, packaging, quality control, and reverse logistics.

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Figure 10: Other services a warehouse can do for you

Client profile

Check what’s the nature of business and scale of their clientele is. If they are geared towards handling small businesses, they may not be experienced to cater to the needs of a large company.

Consequently, large warehouses have bigger and better facilities. However, if you’re a small business owner, ensure that you don’t pay for services that don’t give you any help.

Associated risks

Your warehouse should be able to handle the risks associated with storing, handling, and shipping your products. They must have safety procedures in place and compensation plans. Check if the company has insurance coverage that covers these responsibilities.

Find your natural rubber yoga mat manufacturer

There are several ways where you can find a natural rubber yoga mat manufacturer. But find those that are looking for distributors themselves. They will be more than happy to accommodate you and check your compliances. 

Also, find time to verify them one by one. You would avoid a whole lot of trouble if you did your homework diligently.

Market your product to retailers

Though natural rubber yoga mat manufacturers usually take care of marketing their products, you will most likely have to do some yourself. You need to do some product awareness advertisements. Let retailers know that the natural rubber mats made by this manufacturer are now available locally.

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Figure 11: Options in marketing natural rubber yoga mats to retailers

Once you have done your job, you’ll find that retailers will just come storming your phone lines.

Develop your relationship with your manufacturer

When you have already chosen your natural rubber yoga mat manufacturer, be sure to nurture and protect the business relationship. After all, they are your business partners. 

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Figure 12: Building a relationship with your supplier

Here are some tips on how to take care of your business relationship with your natural rubber yoga mat manufacturer.

  • Try your best to set a positive tone for the relationship the first time.
  • Meet your manufacturer in person. Take note that presence signifies sincerity and commitment in business.
  • Be mindful of cultural differences, especially with international suppliers.
  • Understand your suppliers.
  • See to it that your obligations as a distributor are met.
  • Always keep clear and constant communication with your manufacturer.
  • Ensure that everyone is on the same page in all matters. If not, be ready to make a compromise.
  • And always be transparent and honest with your manufacturer. If you cannot meet deadlines or payments, say so ahead of time.

Stay up to date with the industry

The advantage of being a distributor is you’re not confined to one product. You have the freedom to source and sell other merchandise too. 

If you’ve already mastered distributing natural rubber yoga mats, you can expand the business to include other types of gym equipment, gears and accessories. That way, you will still stay to the nature of your business – that is, distributing health and wellness equipment and gears.

What does a natural rubber yoga mat manufacturer look for in their distributor?

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Figure 13: Qualities of an ideal distributor for manufacturers

Natural rubber yoga mat manufacturers would want a distributor that is:

  • Financially stable – timeliness of payments, good credit standing, has the financial capability to start and continue the business
  • Sales and marketing savvy – can generate leads, technical competence, and the size of inside and outside sales force.
  • Knowledgeable of its local market – can identify changes in consumer buying behaviors, knows how to forecast future demand of the product
  • Growth potential – has the gears to grow with market demands
  • A master in inventory management – has the warehouse space needed, can track turnover rates 
  • Succession planning – there are arrangements in place in case the current owner or executives retire or in case of death
  • Management ability – executives, have the knowledge and experience on how to run a distribution company
  • Overall fit – goals of both manufacturer and distributor coincide, business practices compliment

What should my business model be as a distributor of a natural rubber yoga mat manufacturer?

You can choose from these business models as a framework for your distribution company.

  1. Dropshipping
  2. Wholesaler
  3. Private labeling

Dropshipping

Dropshippers have the advantage of not needing to lease a warehouse. The natural rubber mat manufacturer will only ship products that have been ordered by your retailers. 

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Figure 14: How dropshipping works

Dropshipping has two options

  1. You strike a deal with your natural rubber yoga mat manufacturer to deliver goods only when you make a sale. The payment for the goods will also follow through.
  1. Or the natural rubber yoga mat manufacturer asks you to reserve a minimum quantity of yoga mats. These are still housed in the manufacturer’s storage, but you will be paying for them in advance. Your inventory goes down each time you make a sale.

These schemes have advantages and disadvantages to both manufacturers and yourself. But the perks for you are you don’t have to find a physical warehouse, and logistics are taken care of by the manufacturer. You just have to work your butt off to find more retailers.

Wholesaler

The wholesale business model is the typical strategy of distributors. They buy a bulk amount of natural rubber yoga mats from the manufacturer and store them locally. 

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Figure 15: Wholesaler scheme

The setup enables distributors to show off the products. It lets the retailers see the natural rubber yoga mat they will be selling. Shipping turnarounds are so much faster too.

Private labeling

Private labeling is appealing if you want to own the rights of the natural rubber yoga mat you are selling. If the manufacturer isn’t a well-known factory of natural rubber yoga mats, but they fabricate high-quality ones, you can market them as your own.

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Figure 16: Difference of a private and white label

In this scheme, you might be paying more for the natural rubber yoga mats. That is because you also buy into the right of the manufacturer to name its product. Plus, the price gets higher if you ask your business partner to label the natural rubber yoga mats of your company’s logo before shipment. 

How do I look for my natural rubber yoga mat manufacturer? 

  1. Referrals
  2. Trade shows
  3. Online directories
  4. Sourcing agencies
  5. Trading companies

Referrals

Word of mouth goes a long way in navigating the business arena. Ask your business partners, colleagues, and friends if they know a reliable natural rubber yoga mat manufacturer. You can also ask if they can point you to an agency or middleman to help you find a manufacturer for your business.

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Figure 17: How your business network help you find your natural rubber yoga mat manufacturer

Trading associations and your local chamber of commerce could also give you a list of manufacturers in your area. 

But just like any other information, you need to have diligence in verifying them.

Trade shows

Attending trade shows is very insightful and beneficial for you. It is especially advantageous if you want to find international natural rubber yoga mat manufacturers.

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Figure 18: Finding your natural rubber yoga mat manufacturer thru trade shows

Participants in large trade shows are pre-screened by the event’s organizers. They have representatives that can answer your questions readily. They will also have a sample on a display of their yoga mats for an initial inspection. This makes your manufacturer hunting a lot easier and faster.

Online directories

B2B marketplaces and other online manufacturer directories are the fastest ways to find your potential natural rubber yoga mat manufacturers. But just like any other place on the internet, some of these are scammers and are fraudulent.

Online directories you can search in.

  • Thomasnet
  • Marker’s row
  • Alibaba
  • MadeInChina
  • Global Sources

Sourcing agencies

You can ask for the assistance of a sourcing agent when you don’t have the time to scour the internet or attend trade shows. Sourcing agents can help you in manufacturer hunting, procurement, negotiation, shipping, export/import, and even arranging a fair contract between you and the manufacturer.

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Figure 19: Using a sourcing agent to find your natural rubber yoga mat manufacturer

To get the most out of your sourcing agent, be sure they have these qualities.

  • Well-informed of the natural rubber yoga mats – its specifications, manufacturing and quality control procedures
  • They understand how to perform factory audits, test yoga mats, and verify the credentials of natural rubber yoga mat manufacturers.
  • Understands inventory management, shipping and export/import regulations in your country and the manufacturer’s territory.
  • Has a wide network of suppliers, logistics agencies, and other industries to be tapped into for procuring your natural rubber yoga mats.
  • Values transparency in their business dealings.
  • Proactive in dealing with issues regarding the procurement and logistics of your natural rubber yoga mats.

How to communicate with international natural rubber yoga mat manufacturers?

Natural rubber yoga mat manufacturers are mostly reachable through email or phone. Some can also be contacted through instant messaging services like Skype, Viber, Whatsapp, and others. 

When reaching out to the manufacturer, be sure to:

  • Introduce yourself and the company briefly and properly.
  • Be aware of cultural differences when contacting them.
  • Be specific and clear of your needs.
  • Make your conversations straight to the point.
  • Confirm if the representative you’re talking to understands what you want to convey. 
  • If not, set up a conference call to clear them up.
  • When you reach them by email, make sure to do a follow-up call.
  • And when talking to them by phone, take the time to do this in writing to have your conversation documented. This can also allow you to add some things left out and give them time to digest the meeting that transpired.

How do I initially screen natural rubber yoga mat manufacturer?

When you get a good response from several natural rubber yoga mat manufacturers, it’s time to perform a preliminary check. Ask them these details.

  • Company’s background (ask for a company profile and a list of client references)
  • Natural rubber yoga mats they are manufacturing (availability, warranty/guarantee, testing certificates)
  • Production (setup fees, timeline, cost, production capacity)
  • Inventory (warehouse capacity, turnaround of products)
  • Order details (price, MOQ, discounts)
  • Shipment (cost, time, packaging)
  • Payment (methods and terms)
  • Support services (return and refund policies, defect policies)

Can I get a sample from a natural rubber yoga mat manufacturer?

Yes, natural rubber yoga mat manufacturers will allow you to give you a sample, especially if they see a longer partnership with you and the bulk of your orders.

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Figure 20: Sample product request form

When requesting a sample natural rubber yoga mat, make sure that the manufacturer has and understands these details.

  • The exact specifications of the natural rubber yoga mat (dimensions, quantities, color)
  • Tell them you will test the product.
  • Your shipping address
  • Sample fees, shipping costs
  • Ask them to label in the invoice “of no commercial value” to save you export/import dues.
  • Request that the natural rubber yoga mats be labeled with their specifications and the company’s name.
  • Timelines for sample production and shipment
  • If necessary, request a video chat to confirm the details of your requested sample.

How do I negotiate with my Chinese natural rubber yoga mat manufacturer?

Here are some tips to successfully negotiate your deal with the natural rubber yoga mat manufacturer.

  • Do your homework – research, research, research
  • Pitch a win-win deal
  • Compromise, if needed
  • Don’t appear like you really want it
  • Have multiple manufacturers lined up
  • Have your deposit on hand

These are some of the hot tips when entering into a negotiation with your manufacturer. Let’s touch on some of these points.

Do your homework

You need to know about the actual costs of acquiring the raw materials, production costs, and shipment costs. Knowing how these things play a part gives you an edge on negotiating the price and getting the best deal.

Also, in every type of business, there’s a particular language that’s being used. Know and understand the jargon. This gives you credibility in your dealings with the manufacturer.

And lastly, get some of their current and past customers talking. You would know best how to navigate the negotiation when you have inside information of their prevailing prices.

Don’t appear that you really want the deal

When you give this impression to the manufacturer, it signifies that they have the upper hand. It gives them the feeling that you’ll likely agree to almost anything they ask of you. Most often, deals are given to those who don’t want it that much or appear to be not as interested.

Do natural rubber yoga mat manufacturers have product testing certificates?

Yes, natural rubber yoga mats get product certificates for their yoga mats. Here are some of the third-party authorized testing agencies:

  • SGS
  • China Quality Certification
  • TUV Rheinlad
  • CE
  • Intertek
  • ASTM

Where does the raw material of natural rubber yoga mat manufacturers come from?

Natural rubber is mostly being imported from 

  • Thailand
  • Indonesia
  • Vietnam
  • Myanmar
  • Malaysia
  • Ivory Coast

These countries are the 2019 top exporters of natural rubber, according to OEC (Observatory of Economic Complexity). Most of them are Asian countries. That’s why natural rubber yoga mat manufacturers like China have an economic advantage in geography.

That’s why many high-quality natural rubber yoga mats are coming from China. Some of these natural rubber yoga mats are produced by Yanre Fitness.

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Figure 21: Yanre Fitness state of the art facility

Yanre Fitness is a caliber manufacturing company based in Wuhu. Their factory uses state-of-the-art facilities for their natural rubber yoga mats and cardio and strength gym equipment. A very good candidate as your natural rubber yoga mat manufacturer.

Do natural rubber yoga mat manufacturers use only one layer of rubber?

Natural rubber yoga mat manufacturers use a single or double layer of natural rubber. The number of layers depends on the thickness of the mat.

How do natural rubber yoga mat manufacturers fabricate the yoga mats?

These are the general steps in manufacturing natural rubber yoga mats.

  1. Compounding and Plasticizing – Usually, different grades of natural rubber are used to produce the required qualities. At this stage, the grades are mixed to create a natural rubber yoga mat with consistent properties.
  2. Fermentation – The mix is then left to rest for several days. Fermentation allows for necessary chemical reactions to occur and for the material to stabilize.
  3. Material testing – The layers of natural rubber are tested to ensure quality standards are met concerning its properties.
  4. Production – Then it goes through the production oven. Cooking and molding them to the desired thickness. Then rolled into a giant drum.
  5. Die-cut – the rolled drums of yoga mats will then be cut to standard sizes.
  6. Quality inspection – Each natural rubber yoga mat will undergo inspection on its thickness, dimensions, material flexibility and elasticity.
  7. Embossing, printing, and sewing – The natural rubber yoga mats will then be embossed or printed with the manufacturer’s seal or client’s logo.
  8. Metal detection screening – Each quality checked natural rubber yoga mat will be scanned for metals that might be lodged within its body in the production process.
  9. Packaging – The natural rubber yoga mats are wrapped with thin plastic to prevent them from shrinking or degrading. Natural rubber yoga mats will degrade quickly in humid conditions.

Do natural rubber yoga mat manufacturers produce other types of yoga mats?

Yes, natural rubber yoga mat manufacturers will most likely be producing other types of yoga mats to diversify their products.

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Figure 22: TPE yoga mat by Yanre Fitness

They can be producing:

  1. PVC yoga mats
  2. NBR yoga mats
  3. TPE yoga mats
  4. PU yoga mats
  5. Jute yoga mats
  6. Microfiber
  7. Cotton

Can I get yoga accessories from natural rubber yoga mat manufacturers?

Yes, natural rubber yoga mat manufacturers may also produce yoga accessories. Some of the accessories you can get from manufacturers are:

  1. Yoga blocks
  2. Straps
  3. Bolsters
  4. Blankets or towels
  5. Wearable weights
  6. Eye pillows
  7. Sandbags
  8. Yoga wheels
  9. Yoga belts

Conclusion

Starting a distribution business can be somewhat complicated at first. But pay close attention to the tips and tricks described in this FAQ guide, and you’ll be alright. 

If you still haven’t found your natural rubber yoga mat manufacturer, try Yanre Fitness. We can give you the best deals of high- quality natural rubber yoga mats. Just the ones you need for your distribution business.