This is a super simple yet often overlooked way to develop products and beat competitors.
For the last 5 years I purchase my competitors products in a niche I am entering.
Yup I actually give them sales.
I want to see their product, packaging, feedback, reviews, inserts, etc, and what better way than to purchase the goods.
Of course I use a buying account not my selling account to insure privacy.
I also get to see their communication, any emails, do they ask for feedback, reviews?
You learn a lot about a competitor by making a purchase and you can use that to make sure your product and service is superior.
So once you decide your going to enter a niche with a PL product. Find the two top rated, high volume/review sellers and purchase their product. You will be surprised what you find out.
You may even find you can use their product as a samples for your manufacturer and be able to point out the things you want changed (so you have a better product and it is yours not just a copy of theirs).