By now, you’ve made it through our Getting Started Guide and you’re starting to feel more confident in selling items online. Beard ideas.
A good dropship product doesn’t need to be perfect. In fact, there are no perfect products (as you may soon realize)!
The best places to find product ideas
What to look for in product ideas
How to choose a good product to sell
Product ideas we’ve analyzed that you can use
What are we waiting for? Let’s dive in!
Brainstorming Ideas of What to Sell
Finding a good product to sell online can be a royal pain. Here’s how to make it easier:
Check Existing Successful eCommerce Stores for Inspiration
Not sure where to look? We’ve got your back!
The following 10 eCommerce stores have been wildly successful lately thanks to the products they sell (as well as their kick-ass product descriptions ).
Helpful hint: You can find suppliers for all the products we mention below in the SaleHoo directory.
1. Zero Gravity
Zero Gravity is a popular site that sells both iPhone cases as well as accessories.
Pro tip: Instead of limiting yourself to just iPhone cases you could include Android phones, too!
Trunkster is a company that sells high-quality luggage (that they’re always selling out of!).
That tells us that luggage is a highly popular item you could dropship for next to nothing! Both kids and adults use luggage for vacations and family road trips, which means you could be selling material all year long.
6PM is an awesome eCommerce store selling designer items for children, men, and women at a discounted price.
Clothes, accessories, and shoes can be a goldmine for new eCommerce store owners because they’re constantly in demand!
4. Hello! Lucky
Hello! Lucky is a company that supplies a wide range of letterpress cards and stationary.
Cards will never go out of style - from birthday cards, anniversary cards, baby-to-be cards… they’ll always be in demand!
Tip: You can get custom made cards or, if you’re feeling crafty, make and design your own cards to sell!
Greetabl is a company that allows you to send personalized gifts to friends, family, and loved ones for less than $50.
This idea would be awesome for you to replicate, but you’d have to be on top of it at all times. You’d be filling the personalized boxes with what customers ordered. If you’re up for it, you could make a killing!
Have you ever wanted to test out a tattoo before getting one for good? With Tattly, you can!
You’re able to choose fake tattoos drawn by real artists to see if they’re, well… right for you!
This could be a goldmine for you as an up-and-coming eCommerce store owner. You’re able to go wild with the tattoos you choose, too!
Ah, Newegg! The place where you can buy computer systems, electronics, tools and more.
There are so many dropshippers that sell electronics (and accessories) for next to nothing. If you’re tech-savvy, why not give this a go?
8. Toy Shades
Sunglasses are one of the most popular accessories (next to watches, of course).
ToyShades sells high-quality sunglasses for both men and women, but that doesn’t mean you can’t try your hand at selling them! There are so many designs to choose from - there’s no doubt in our mind you won’t be able to create a profitable eCommerce store selling sunglasses!
Like we said, watches are a popular accessory that both men and women enjoy.
Bremont is an awesome store you can snag some inspiration from. Both their pictures and products will inspire you to create an eCommerce store focused around watches!
10. Belford Slims
Electronic cigarettes are a pretty popular alternative to regular cigarettes (they’re said to be better for you - but proceed with caution, smoking is still dangerous!).
Bedford Slims sells eCigs and sells them well. They’re definitely a company you can take inspiration from for your own eCig eCommerce store!
There are more ways to find inspiration, though! Such as...
Follow the Latest Trends on Facebook & Instagram
If there’s one place where people tend to share their favorite products, it’s social media.
You can join Facebook groups and follow Instagram influencers in the niche you’re thinking about selling products for.
For example, you can join groups and follow account that are all about golfing. You’re bound to find out what they like and dislike, and learn of some great product ideas!
Plus, if you become active in those groups, you might even be able to promote your products to them once you start selling. Just make sure you engage with them for a while before you try it!
To find these groups, simply search your industry in the search bar. On Facebook, click “Groups”.
Then just join a few and see what’s going on!
Follow Social Shopping Sites
There are some sites you can go to that will flat out tell you what’s selling well. This can be a good thing…
… but also a tricky thing. You don’t want to sell the same exact product everyone else is selling afterall.
We’ll talk more about that later, though. For now, here are three websites that will give you the top selling products to-date.
Wanelo shows you the top stores on their website, followed by what each store is selling. From clothes to jewelry, or accessories to makeup, you’ll be able to gain inspiration within minutes.
Fancy is similar to Wanelo in the sense that they both share top-selling products. The difference, however, is they segment it (allowing you to choose on the niche you’re interested in).
In the picture above, you see “Stylish Tech Accessories”. It’s safe to say you can find headphones, chargers, power bricks, and more by clicking on it.
Men's short hair and beard styles
Not to mention, they have columns on the side allowing you to choose exactly what you’re looking for!
Who doesn’t love Etsy? It’s one of the most popular eCommerce stores where most people shop for gifts to give to loved ones.
If you type in “Trending” (like we did in the image above), you’ll get tons of products that are currently the top-selling items being sold.
From t-shirts to candles and more, you’ll be able to pull inspiration for your own eCommerce business.
Choose from Niches that Have Been Doing Well
I’d like to think the same goes with popular niche products! If there are popular items selling… why not dip your fingers into the honey pot? Why stray away from the success?
These next five niche examples are always in demand and could become a booming business!
1. Sport Accessories
Sports are something played almost universally across the world. From school teams to casual players and private tournaments, there is a huge market for sports accessories!
Plus, you can even sell sports-related accessories rather that just sports equipment. Think hats, shirts, mugs, wall decor - the list is endless!
Here are a few sports suppliers on SaleHoo to get you started:
2. Kitchen Supplies
People who love to cook also love gadgets that make cooking (or cleaning up) easier and more fun! And since the number of people who cook - almost one person in every household, if not more - is so high, kitchen supplies are always in demand.
Here are a few kitchen suppliers on SaleHoo to get you started:
3. Pet Supplies
There are a lot of pet owners in the world. And most pet lovers treat their pets like a newborn baby - they spend a ton of money on them and spoil them!
Here are a few pet suppliers on SaleHoo to get you started:
4. Parenthood Supplies
We just talked about how people treat pets like babies and spoil them. Well, they also treat babies like babies. Go figure!
Here are a few baby suppliers on SaleHoo to get you started:
5. Outdoor Accessories
Last but not least, outdoor accessories (like sports accessories) are popular and in high demand. Plus, there are tons of niches to choose from, like hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, and more!
Here are a few outdoor suppliers on SaleHoo to get you started:
Product review sites:
One of the best ways to figure out what sells is by hearing it from the mouth of consumers!
By going on product review sites, you’ll find a range of products that customers have purchased in the past, as well as what they think about them.
This will give you the upperhand from the get-go, too. The next five websites will give you the insight you need to figure out what products you could sell.
Uncrate talks about nearly everything. Just look at the image above - they talked about beer!
When scrolling down the homepage, you see cutlery, hammers, books, etc. There’s a never ending slew of articles and products you can look through to find inspiration!
2. Bless This Stuff
This particular website is known as a “Web magazine for guys”. So, if you’re a male looking for things to add into your store, this might be the best place to look!
3. Cool Material
Cool Material talks about movies, food and drink, bathroom materials, and more.
It’s an awesome place to find what you’re looking for (even if you’re not sure what your’e looking for just yet).
4. Gear Moose
… they write up listicles about the top 50 (give or take) products surrounding that niche!
If you’d rather read articles designated for one particular product, they also write solo blog posts.
Werd is a great place to find miscellaneous objects to sell that you wouldn’t otherwise think of selling!
Clearly, though, there’s a demand for these products (as there are people raving about them). You can start a highly profitable business selling products that aren’t quite well-known yet (but will be soon).
eBay & Amazon best sellers list
If all else fails, you could go straight to the top eCommerce marketplaces out there: Amazon and eBay.
Both websites have a “Top Products” page that you’re able to access at any time.
To check out Amazon’s Top Products page, click here.
SaleHoo Market Research Lab
SaleHoo removes the guesswork from choosing a hot product with its market research tool, SaleHoo Labs. This gives sellers the power to research the sell rate, average price and competition for thousands of products across 27 categories.
It also pulls a lot of this data from Amazon, eBay, and AliExpress’s best seller lists so you don’t have to manually dig through each one!
Here’s a breakdown of what you get:
Sell-through rate: The sell rate is based on the number of successful listings compared with the number of total listings for a given product on eBay in the last month.
Average price: This is the average price that the product sold for on eBay during the previous month.
Competition: Competition is based on an analysis of the total number of sellers and listings for any given product. When you’re starting out it’s best to avoid highly competitive markets.
SaleHoo Labs uses data from eBay to determine the viability and profitability of products.
You can select a product type and browse through the options, altering the sell-through rate, average price and competition to find the perfect product.
Product Selection Criteria
A good product to sell online comes in all kinds of shapes, sizes, colors, and niches. However, here are a few things most good products generally have in common:
The smaller and more lightweight your product, the easier time you will have shipping it when you make a sale. Good luck selling something like washing machines. Washing machine replacement parts on the other hand… That said, there can be good money in selling large, awkward, “pain in the rump” items that no other seller wants to bother with, but I wouldn’t recommend doing that when you’re just starting out.
You’re going to have more costs than just the purchase price of your products. You’re also going to have shipping costs, marketing costs, eBay or Amazon’s cut of your sale, and other costs you didn’t even realize you had. Make sure you’re getting a healthy profit margin (that's what's left over when you subtract all your expenses from the final selling price) of at least 50-100%, if not higher. ( Unless you’re dropshipping, in which case a 50% profit margin is pretty good. ) For example, if you have an item that you can buy for $5, you’ll want to be able to sell it for $7.50-$10. Even that doesn’t leave you with a lot of wiggle room - I’d rather be able to sell that same $5 item for $15-$20. That’s why you should look for items with a high perceived value (like jewelry) as you’re able to charge more.
Obviously if there are a lot of people selling the same product as you, it’s going to be harder to make sales. Lots of competitors will mean a price war where everyone tries to have the lowest price — a “race to the bottom” which will kill your profits. Try to find product niches with less than 5-10 competitors (the fewer the better) — just be sure those competitors aren’t large brand name competitors. (This is because large companies will have massive buying power and will be able to get items at a much cheaper rate. They will pretty much always be able to undercut you on price, so it’ll be a lot harder for you to compete.)
Keyword Trends and Seasonality
Trending products are obviously better to sell than non-trending products.
Luckily, you can check the trends of your product using Google Trends. Simply search for your product or niche on Google Trends and see if it’s trending upward or downward.
Demand (Continuous or One Time Buy)
Certain products only need to be bought once (unless they break). Keep this in mind when choosing a product you’d like to start selling for your eCommerce store.
For example, a cast iron skillet is known to last ages. Unless you plan on selling a wide range of skillets (or you heavily broadcast items to new people daily), this may not be a good niche for you. Anything rechargeable may not be a profitable business after a while, too.
How to Shortlist a Product to Sell
Here’s a six-step checklist to see if a product is a good idea to sell:
Check marketing channels (look on Google, Facebook, YouTube, etc. to see the ads running)
Check potential profit (wholesale price - retail price - built-in costs like marketing)
To show how this is done, I’ll run through an example: Wooden Watches.
First, we’ll check it on Google Trends.
As you can see, they have been slowly increasing in popularity over the last 5 years. However, it also seems they’ve very seasonal (likely Christmas gifts) as there are spikes in November.
Additionally, they’re at their lowest popularity in 3 years right now. This is a red flag, but doesn’t discount the idea entirely.
Next, let’s check the competition. If we Google “wooden watches”, we see over 3 million results. Also, the first 4 results are ads, and there are more ads in the sidebar.
You may also have noticed the search volume, cost per click (CPC), and competition score under the search box. I find this using a free browser extension called Keywords Everywhere. The competition score is on a scale of 0-1 (like 0.1, 0.4, etc.) with 1 being the most difficult.
So this is strike two against watches.
You can also check the competition on eBay and Amazon to see how many sellers there are.
That’s strike 3 for wooden watches. But for the sake of completing the exercise, let’s go through the other three steps.
Next up, marketing channels.
We’ve already seen the ads on Google and Amazon. But what about Facebook?
Facebook won’t reveal the exact number of pages. But if we scroll through, we see pages and pages of FB pages dedicated to wooden watches.
While they won’t give you a lot of example, check out the engagement on these ads. Over 3,000 likes, hundreds of comments and hundreds of shares. On an ad! That’s hard to compete with.
Let’s check the wholesale price on Made in China.
Looks like it varies a bit, but around $10-$12 a piece on average. Let’s call it $11.
If we compare this to the retail pricing on Amazon of around $20-$25, there’s roughly $10 to be made on every purchase. That’s less than a 100% markup, which isn’t great.
Now you have to factor in the costs of shipping, storing, marketing, website hosting, etc. There isn’t much room for error.
Note: I look to shoot for at least a 100% markup on products, preferably 150-200% (unless I’m dropshipping). That leaves plenty of room for marketing and other business expenses.
And that’s all there is to it! You now know whether a product is worth pursuing or not.
Products/Niches to Avoid for Beginners
We’ve talked about products you should go for…
… but, there are a few products and niches you should avoid at all costs. Such as:
The reason is pretty obvious. If you see multiple people selling the same product, they’ll quickly become your competition. That competition is likely going to push you out really quickly. If you do jump in and start selling a competitive product, what you’ll probably find is that, the fierce competition will drive the price so low that only those with a large amount of capital (business speak for money) are going to be able to stay in the game, because:
They can afford to buy large quantities of stock at once which gets them cheaper prices
They can afford to make a tiny profit margin
They can sell at a loss to use the product as a “loss leader” in order to attract longer-term customers
Instead I recommend you do a little research and find yourself a niche product where the competition is less fierce.
First up, a clarification: Selling liquidated goods can be great. What's less great is trying to build a business around selling them.
Liquidation sales are pretty random, and it's difficult to know what exactly you're going to get.
You shouldn’t expect that if you find a great product at a liquidation sale, you’ll always be able to find a regular supplier for that product, at the same price.
And you shouldn't expect that you'll always be able to find great deals at liquidation sales. Basically, it's too hard to be consistent. And consistency is key in business — particularly if you're trying to earn repeat customers.
Also, if the stuff was in a liquidation sale, it might be there for a reason. Maybe no one wants it. That’s a risk you take when buying it.
Bad idea. Selling fake brand-name goods is a lawsuit waiting to happen. Selling copyright-infringing goods is forbidden on eBay and other platforms, and you run the risk of having your account suspended (at the very least). Not to mention what might happen at the border if you're trying to import fake goods — You could lose your entire shipment. Ouch! There are plenty of suppliers out there who sell “designer goods” at dirt cheap prices, so always remember — if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. If you’re unsure, you can contact the manufacturer of the product and ask if the supplier you’re talking to is legitimate. The manufacturer should be able to tell you. If it’s not legit, don’t risk it. Trust me, it’s not worth it.
Trending Products to Sell Online in 2018 (20 Examples with Suppliers!)
Before we let you go, we wanted to provide you with the top 20 products currently in high demand.
Keep in mind that this list will change in time.
1. Men’s Watches
If you’re looking for startup business ideas in the fashion accessories market, wooden watches are worth exploring.
They are the antithesis of smartwatches, tapping into the eco-friendly, non-toxic, natural product movement. The global watch market is predicted to grow by 8% between 2017-2021.
And while it is a crowded market dominated by big name brands, there are still opportunities to capitalize on the popularity of wooden watches, especially with some crafty branding and marketing.
2. Eyelash Extensions
False eyelashes are a popular beauty product worn by women to make their eyelashes look fuller.
While they are popular, you have to use an adhesive glue to make them stay on throughout the day (unless you get them done professionally). There have been some less than positive stories about false eyelashes (rashes, allergic reactions, etc.).
3. Teeth Whitening Kit
The high cost of professional dental treatment and the rise of personal care products has seen increased interest in teeth whitening kits.
Everyone has teeth, so you can be sure there will be steady demand. Research predicts the global teeth whitening products market to reach $7.4 billion by 2024.
4. Phone Cases
Phone cases have been growing steadily since 2009 (and show no sign of slowing down).
Because all age groups use phones, you’ll be able to target multiple audiences (as well as sell unique styles to showcase for everyone).
5. Beard Oil
A market that barely existed in 2013 is now a major player in 2018. Beards are incredibly popular again! With that has come a surge in beard care products, particularly beard oil.
The US market for men’s shaving goods is predicted to grow 10% between 2017 and 2020.
While a lot of brands have latched onto this trend already, you may have success if you can brand and market a beard oil product creatively.
Matcha is powdered green tea leaves, which is typically mixed with hot water. Its popularity is linked to the health food trend that has seen increased demand for organic tea.
Matcha is known to have many health benefits including:
Enhancing mood and concentration
Matcha is a great entry or addition to an eCommerce business that sells health products.
7. Resistance Bands
Resistance bands are one of the simplest and most versatile workout tools (as well as the most popular).
Resistance bands are a great business idea for someone wanting to get into the health and fitness market. They can be used for a whole body workout while on the go.
They’re lightweight, cheap, and in demand.
8. Security Cameras and Systems
Home security systems will account for an estimated $47 billion of the total security market by 2020.
There are currently a lot of people investing in home security.
Tapping into this demand could be a great online business idea for aspiring entrepreneurs.
9. Organic Tea
Organic tea is hip with health-conscious consumers. Interest in tea has increased gradually over the years and many online sellers are capitalizing on it.
The reason for that? There are so many varieties of tea (meaning there’s an opportunity for trendy branding and marketing).
10. Yoga Mats
Yoga is the epitome of new age. There may be a lot of online business already selling yoga mats, but if you can find a way to make yours stand out, there’s definitely money to be made.
11. Shapewear and Waist Trainers
When the Kardashian/Jenner clan started wearing shapewear, it started rising in demand. Now, nearly every girl (and some boys) want to purchase shapewear to obtain a better figure.
Keep in mind that not all shapewear is safe - there are some suppliers that sell shady waist trainers that harm your internal organs. Be sure you find a supplier you trust before purchasing!
There’s nothing like going to the gym in your new workout clothes! If you haven’t noticed, more people are focusing on healthier lifestyles (which means athleisure style is in demand).
From sports bras to joggers, you’ll be able to start a highly profitable eCommerce store selling workout clothes!
13. Dryer Balls
Dryer balls aren’t just found in your grandmother's house… in fact, they’re in high demand right now!
Made without harmful chemicals and dyes, these balls will help your clothes feel (and smell) much better.
14. Bluetooth Earbuds
With Apple ditching the headphone jack from the latest iPhone, bluetooth headphones (and earphones) have become a big deal.
Consumers expect wireless products these days, so demand is strong.
It is hugely appealing to no longer have to deal with tangled headphone cords, or have them getting in the way at the gym.
15. Vape Cartridge
Vaping is considered a less harmful alternative to cigarettes. It’s smoking for the digital age and is expected to be a $48 billion industry by 2023.
16. Microfiber Towel
Microfiber towels are used by a lot of car enthusiasts and are currently in high demand.
However, you can use them around the house too! They’re versatile under both wet and dry conditions and get the job done.
17. Chalk Paint
Chalk paint has become a wildly popular product within the last few years. You can paint with this on nearly every surface and it’s a great way to let your creative juices flow!
Whether it’s Pinterest’s influence or parents who are tired of telling their kids to stop drawing on the walls, chalk paint is in high demand.
18. Enamel Pins
While enamel pins have been around for a long time, they’re on the rise again.
More and more people are purchasing enamel pins to personalize their backpacks, clothing, and more. It’s a great way to say “Hey! I like <insert movie, book, etc>, too!”
19. Protein Powder
Protein powder (often known as “whey protein”) is one of the most popular sources of protein for fitness enthusiasts.
There’s protein powder you can drink before, during, and after a workout (which means there are tons of options for you to showcase on your eCommerce website).
20. Charcoal Soap
Charcoal has been an up-and-coming product for a while now, but charcoal soap is in the lead.
Known to fully cleanse pores (as well as detoxify the body), charcoal soap is a great health product you could incorporate into your eCommerce store.
Figuring out what products to sell online is one of the most difficult parts of starting an online store. Everything else - from creating the website to marketing - are quite a bit easier.
Luckily, this guide gave you everything you could possible need to brainstorm a product idea and start your store today!
And remember - if you’re having trouble finding a product idea or a supplier, our Market Research Lab can make it SO much easier!