I’m often asked, “What are the best wholesale products to sell online?” When selling online, there are several important factors to consider. First, we’ll go through my top considerations when choosing a product to sell online. Then we’ll look at a few products that meet the recommended criteria.
Shipping is possibly one of the most important things to consider when selling online.
First, I look for small items to keep the shipping costs to a minimum. If your plan is to sell wholesale furniture online, you might be in trouble here. Your shipping costs could easily be higher than the product you’re selling.
I also want a fairly durable product to minimize breakage during shipping. Nobody wants to deal with returns, so let’s choose a product with a very low likelihood of being broken during shipping.
2. Style Agnostic
If you are dropshipping, or just don’t want the hassle of picking and choosing specific styles out of your inventory, choose a product that either doesn’t come in many different styles, or one where there are many styles and random variety is an accepted practice.
3. Minimum Complexity
We want our product to have low complexity for 2 reasons. First, to reduce products that arrive DOA (Dead On Arrival). This also goes back to our points in “shipping”, but bears repeating. Most customers expect their product to work when it arrives. Having a complex product increases the likelihood of something going wrong, resulting in a dissatisfied customer.
Second, we want minimum complexity because customers can get confused. They might not understand all of the features from the description on your site, and without a live person to walk them through the sales process, they might buy something based on a incomplete understanding of the product. When the product arrives, they’ll be dissatisfied and they’ll want their money back, at your expense.
4. High Profit Margins
This might seem obvious, and is generally a goal with any product being sold. However, when selling online, I like to have some extra padding to cover shipping on returns and exchanges. Ideally, I’m aiming for profit margins over 100%. This allows me to sell a product and even offer an exchange or replacement, and still make a profit.
5. Popular Product but Not a Saturated Market
There is a balance to be found here, because we’re looking for a product that many people want to buy, but not one that everyone with a website is selling. This is where it pays to get into a specific niche. There are many people who have found very obscure but in-demand products to sell, who are making great money.
It helps if you personally have some knowledge about the product you’re selling. This is both because it will be reflected in the product descriptions on your site, but also in the event that someone actually calls you. (yes, even with an online business, phone calls are made on occassion)
This can vary tremendously, but for the most part, you want an inexpensive product. If you are marketing to individuals, flea-marketers, or small businesses, many of them will be reluctant to spend large amounts of money with a company that only exists online. Keep the price as low as possible, while keeping the necessary profit margins, or expect to do some trust-building during your sales process.
That should cover the main considerations when choosing a product to sell online. If you can find a product that fits all of these descriptions, you should have no trouble selling your products online.
Here’s a list of products that meet the above criteria and should sell nicely online:
- Wholesale Sunglasses (Wholesale to avoid style choices.)
- Office Supplies
- Kitchen Utensils
- Stuffed Animals (small plush animals)
- Playing Cards / Poker Chips / Accessories
Yes, some of those are fairly boring choices, but they meet our criteria and sell nicely online. If you have other products that you think would sell online, please leave us a comment below.
You can start your search for wholesale products at our wholesale suppliers page. I’ve listed several good sources, and we recently added a wholesale search engine which pulls results only from wholesale suppliers.