Have a garage, barn, spare bedroom, or airplane hangar that you’re thinking of converting into a warehouse? Get a piece of the business-to-business market — it’s worth $9.7 trillion in the United States alone.
Just find a supplier, choose one of these five categories of best items to sell wholesale, set up your Shopify or other shop for bulk discounts, and wait for those big orders to come rolling in.
The Best Products for Wholesale Business — and the Best Practices
Selling to businesses is about more than just finding the best things to sell wholesale. You also have to consider other factors:
- Competing companies and their strategies, and how you’ll establish your own niche
- Risks and costs you assume by making bulk purchases, such as obsolete merchandise, warehousing expenses, theft, and damage
- How quickly your merchandise will sell, and at what times of year it will sell
- The revenue you get from an order versus the money you spend fulfilling that order
Just like any other business, your wholesale operation will require you to dive into the numbers and think strategically. Pay especially close attention to cash flow because you’ll need cash on hand to keep your warehouse stocked without losing money on financing fees.
Before all that, though, you need something to sell. Here are some of the best-selling wholesale categories and some examples from each.
1. Fashion Wholesale
The fashion and accessories market is worth about $1.53 trillion worldwide — and it’s slated to grow over the next few years. Although wholesale is just a part of this, you could play an important role in keeping the shelves stocked. Some example products in this category are:
- Adult clothing
- Children’s clothing
- Handbags, backpacks, purses, and totes
- Hats, gloves, scarves, and other accessories.
The fashion category contains some of the best items to sell wholesale. The key is moving your inventory quickly enough to make room for newer, trending styles. Other than that, these articles tend to be compact, have high retail price potential, and generate return customers.
2. Cosmetic, Health, and Hygiene Wholesale
Health and hygiene goods are among the leading items to wholesale. Think of anything you would find at a drugstore other than controlled pharmacy products, and you can get a good idea of this category. Examples include:
- Makeup, such as mascara, foundation, makeup kits, and eyeliner, along with tools, such as sponges, brushes, and wipes
- Toners, cleansers, soaps, makeup removers, anti-aging products, and lotions in various presentations, such as creams, liquids, face masks, and disposable wipes
- Fragrances, including perfumes, deodorants, fragrance variety sets, or gift kits
- Hair masks, shampoos, dry shampoos, conditioners, dyes, straighteners, relaxers
- Nonmedical health, sports, and lifestyle products, such as supplements, protein powders, essential oils, muscle-and-joint rubs, minerals, hydration powders, and vitamins
These types of items have a combination of shelf stability, high value, and repeat sales potential. Since perceived product quality is usually very important to the end customer in this category, you can set yourself up for success by looking for reputable suppliers or manufacturers.
3. Food and Beverage Wholesale
Food and beverage is a large wholesale category, with business and institutional clients ranging from schools to retailers. While the space is highly competitive, and large players have broad service and product offerings, there’s still plenty of room for wholesalers on Shopify. Here are some great food and beverage ideas:
- Dried nuts, fruits, meats, fish, mushrooms, and meat substitutes, such as gluten and textured vegetable protein
- Imported goods, such as chocolate, coffee, tea, and dried, canned, or otherwise preserved foods
- Spices, herbs, salt, and commercial ingredients, such as bitter blockers, flavor enhancers, colors, stabilizers, texture enhancers, sweeteners, and flavorings
- Baking supplies, such as pre-piped icing decorations, specialty flours, leavening, dough conditioners, and gluten-free baking ingredients
There are plenty of types of food that are relatively easy to start wholesaling. Overall, however, the category can be a challenge. There are many items, such as meat and produce, with short shelf lives, high cost of transport, and unpredictable demand. All of the products in the list above are typically easier to store, have more stable commercial demand, and/or have higher unit values relative to the category as a whole.
4. Wholesale Office Supplies
If you’re interested in a highly competitive wholesale field, office supplies might be a good fit. Even if all-around usage is decreasing, companies still buy large amounts of paper, pens, ink, toner, tape, staples, and similar materials. Additionally, the home-office trend has increased demand for headphones, cameras, desks, chairs, and other equipment in the category.
Depending on where you are, you might have an opportunity to get ahead of the competition. If you’re in the United States or Europe, however, you’ll be stepping into a very mature market as a newcomer — so find a niche.
5. Wholesale Electronics, Technology, and Tools
There’s always space in the market for a newer, better gadget. The broad category of electronics, technology, and tools could include anything from cell phones to jackhammers. As long as you keep obsolescence in mind, these types of products are some of the best items to wholesale because of their high individual value, high markups, steady demand, and very high shelf stability.
Here are some examples:
- Cell phone accessories, such as battery packs, cases, chargers, headphones, headphone cases, camera enhancements, and screen protectors
- Tools, such as flashlights, electric screwdrivers, drills, construction equipment, multi-tools, trade tools, and car accessories
- Beauty and health tools, such as hair dryers, hair straighteners and curlers, massagers, heat- and cold-therapy items, or weight-loss equipment
- Cameras, radios, microphones, musical instruments, electronic toys, video games, and all related accessories, lighting, cables, and converters
Remember that, as a consumer tech wholesaler, you will often have to buy strategically and stay ahead of the development curve of new consumer technology. This is most obvious with cell phone accessories; you have to have just enough merchandise ready in time for retailers to get ahead of public demand.
For other goods in this category, you might have years before a product becomes obsolete — if it ever does.
The Best Items to Sell Wholesale Turn Shopify Into a Powerhouse
Now that you know the best items to sell wholesale, discover the best strategies to sell them. Get our wholesale pricing, pre-order, and bulk discount Shopify apps today.