23 Best Things to Buy & Sell for Profit
This article is part of a larger series on Retail Management.
Using the right research and strategy can help anyone find products to buy and resell with a huge margin. This article features 23 unique product ideas for resale. These products can be purchased through almost any wholesale supplier or wholesale marketplace.
When looking for the best things to buy and sell for profit, we considered:
- Consumer demand: Offering desirable products is crucial for sales.
- Product availability: Highly available products can result in a quick turnaround from the supplier to your store.
- Profitability: When stocking an item, you want to make sure the amount earned from a sale maximizes the return on your investment.
- Ease of shipping/fulfillment: Implementing an efficient shipping system from your store to your customers will help retain consistent business.
Average wholesale price: $2–$5 each
Shoppers of all ages and gender identities wear sunglasses, which are in demand year-round, though more so in the summer months. Smart, fashion-conscious customers are always on the lookout for inexpensive but unique styles to make them stand out. Plus, sunglasses are relatively small and lightweight, making them easy to ship for online sales.
Typical retail price: $15–$30 per pair
Potential profit: $13–$25+ each
2. Fashion Earrings
Average wholesale price: 10 cents–$5 per pair
Earrings are a timeless accessory that consumers of all ages and genders can wear. And as more people transition to remote jobs and video-conferencing, earrings are one accessory that fashion-forward people can play with. Many look for fashion earrings that are unusual and unique, whether in size, color, or shape. The more variety you have in your inventory, the more attention your store will receive. Like sunglasses, earrings are in demand year-round, and they’re small and lightweight, so they’re easy to package and ship inexpensively.
Typical retail price: $20–$40 per pair
Potential profit: $19.90–$35 each
3. Unbranded Watches
Average wholesale price: $13 each
Like most fashion-forward trends, individuality dominates as a key factor for sales. People want to stand out and be known for their personality. Unbranded watches that come in different sizes, colors, and shapes are inexpensive and have the potential for a nice profit.
Typical retail price: $22 each
Potential profit: $9 per unit
4. Lip Liners & Assorted Cosmetics
Average wholesale price: $1 per unit
For the more adventurous entrepreneurs out there, you can try your hand at selling private label cosmetics. YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram have tons of posts featuring makeup tutorials and product reviews. These influencers help grow the demand for cosmetics, and getting your hands on popular brands at a wholesale price can be a lucrative business.
And though consumer spending on cosmetics decreased during the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s a growing interest in personal and skincare. So, focusing on cosmetics that provide some skincare benefit is a good route to take.
Typical retail price: $5 each
Potential profit: $4 per unit
5. Car Phone Holder
Average wholesale price: $2 each
Smartphones are now an integral part of people’s everyday lives, and having a phone holder in the car is just another way to add convenience and even safety while on the go. These have been in the market for years, but every day you’ll find new designs with interesting features that your customers will love. Plus, as new phones continue to come out, phone accessories need to continuously adapt for compatibility.
Typical retail price: $18 per unit
Potential profit: $16 each
6. Wireless Phone Chargers
Average wholesale price: $2 per unit
Wireless phone chargers are popular because they provide more convenience and flexibility. New phone models are compatible with wireless charging, so expect these chargers to become more in demand. Not only are these wireless versions safer, but they also look so cool sitting on your desk.
Typical retail price: $16 each
Potential profit: $14 per unit
7. Heavy-duty School Backpacks
Average wholesale price: $3.50 each
Selling school supplies is still a great business idea during the COVID-19 pandemic. With more unpredictable schedules than ever before, kids need to stay organized and have everything they need to learn—both at school and at home. Items like backpacks and school bags can hold pens, notebooks, and even electronics like tablets. Choose the nice-looking, heavy-duty kind that both kids and parents will like. You can resell them as is or offer personalized add-ons to set you apart from other online school bag sellers.
Typical retail price: $35 each
Potential profit: $31.50 per unit
8. Block Color Plain Tees
Average wholesale price: $2.50 per unit
There’s always been a market for plain t-shirts, but the demand is increasing as people become more interested in personalized designs. In fact, the market is expected to grow annually by 3.9% through 2026. These heavyweight cotton tees are durable and come in a variety of sizes and colors.
Typical retail price: $6 per unit
Potential profit: $3.50 each
9. Toddler Play Backpacks
Average wholesale price: $5 each
If you’re into selling novelty items, you might want to try selling toddler backpacks. Choose colorful and textured ones, as these features attract toddler attention the most. Look around for a number of suppliers before you buy to get the right balance of quality and affordability.
Typical retail price: $20 per unit
Potential profit: $15 per unit
10. Bath Bombs
Average wholesale price: $24 for 24 units
Bath bombs are a fun giveaway and have a variety of themes you can choose from. You can wrap them individually with drawstring bags that suppliers will include in your purchase.
Typical retail price: $4 each
Potential profit: $3
11. Egyptian Perfume Bottles
Average wholesale price: $29.99 for 12 units
Here’s another interesting product idea for resale. Handmade Egyptian perfume bottles are approximately five centimeters tall, and you can buy them in a set with a variety of designs. You can sell them as-is or partner with a local perfume maker and start a unique perfume business.
Typical retail price: $17 each
Potential profit: $14.50 each
12. Colorful Fashion Dress Socks
Average wholesale price: $1 per pair
Dress socks are in higher demand as the world returns to COVID-19-safe events. Fun designs for dress socks show some personality underneath all the formality, so more variety in the designs will attract more customers. Just remember to hold to a standard in terms of quality so you get repeat shoppers and recommendations to your store.
Typical retail price: $3.50 each
Potential profit: $2.50 per pair
13. Wi-Fi Repeater
Average wholesale price: $9 per unit
With more people working from home, network enhancements are always welcome. Wi-Fi repeaters come in all shapes and sizes, some even as small and thin as a sleek flip-top phone. Most Wi-Fi routers can cover only 20 meters per square area, but there are always suppliers who carry units with a wider range at cheap prices. Customers will appreciate being given options, so consider having two or more for variety.
Typical retail price: $37 each
Potential profit: $28 per unit
14. Breathable Mesh Running Shoes
Average wholesale price: $10 per pair
Mesh running shoes offer comfort athletes need while staying active. These breathable shoes are made from organic material, making them all the more in demand. You can get a variety of styles and popular sizes for both men and women as the total wholesale price goes down the more units you order.
Typical retail price: $25 each
Potential profit: $15 per pair
15. Internet Protocol (IP) Security Cameras
Average wholesale price: $20 each
Gone are the days where security cameras are limited to being monitored in a fixed location. They can now be connected to the internet, so footage is readily available on people’s smartphones. You can find these products sold for as low as $20 wholesale by most China-based online stores.
Typical retail price: $50 per unit
Potential profit: $30 each
16. Vintage & Secondhand Designer Clothes
Average wholesale price: $1–$20 each
If your target market is interested in sustainable and fashionable products, then selling vintage and secondhand designer clothes is a great way to turn a profit. Typically, this is easier in an urban setting versus rural due to the number of sourcing options and high-income earners. While the gains may vary depending on the item, there’s potential for high profitability.
Typical retail price: $15–$300+ per item
Potential profit: $14–$280+ per item
17. Printer Ink Cartridges
Average wholesale price: $50 per 10–50 units
Printer ink cartridges are an in-demand item for both commercial and personal use. And since many people are still working from home, there’s potential for a steady revenue stream for sellers. Plus, since there’s currently a shortage for printer ink cartridges, if you can get your hands on them, you’re setting yourself up for success. However, this can also make sourcing a challenge.
Typical retail price: $80 per 10–50 units
Potential profit: $30 per 10–50 units
18. Phone Cases
Average wholesale price: 50 cents per unit
Considering over 97% of Americans own a cellphone, there’s a big market for phone cases. People break their cases and need new ones, and many consumers like to frequently update their cases to reflect their personal style. Plus, phone manufacturers are constantly releasing new models—each needing its own case. Given the popularity, there are many options for sourcing products, but it can be tough to break into the saturated market.
Typical retail price: $20 each
Potential profit: $19.50 each
19. Face Masks
Average wholesale price: $2 per unit
Face masks are currently a part of daily life in most of the world. Consumer interest spiked with the emergence of COVID-19 and has remained a consistently searched term ever since. Find suppliers who can produce masks in various fabrics and designs, which can attract more customers. You can sell the masks individually or bundle several masks at a lower rate to bring in more revenue and move products faster.
Typical retail price: $7–$15 each
Potential profit: $5–$13 per unit
20. Jade Face Rollers
Average wholesale price: $3 each
As one of the top beauty and personal care items on Amazon’s Best Sellers list, jade facial rollers are a lucrative product to stock. The natural gemstone materials and the hope to soothe skin and prevent aging can tap into a variety of niche target markets.
Typical retail price: $12 per unit
Potential profit: $9 each
21. Camping Tent
Average wholesale price: $20 per unit
With the rise of COVID-19 and the closing of businesses, people found themselves spending more time outdoors. Camping, in particular, is one outdoor activity that has seen a surge of interest. This renewed affinity for nature boosted spending in the outdoor market, particularly for camping gear and tents.
Typical retail price: $50 each
Potential profit: $30 per unit
22. Ring Lights
Average wholesale price: $7 each
As the corporate world shifted meetings from in person to virtual, consumer demand for ring lights increased. Already popular with social media users and photographers, the market has stayed consistent since many companies are still conducting meetings through video conferencing. Due to the size and fragile nature of the product, shipping can be challenging. However, consumer interest and high profit margins make this a worthy item to sell.
Typical retail price: $40 per unit
Potential profit: $33 each
23. Pots & Planters
Average wholesale price: $10 per unit
Customers spend more time alone at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so adding plants is a great way to spruce up a space and bring some good energy. Over the past two years, the green industry experienced an estimated 8% increase in revenue for plants and landscape items. Plus, there’s an infinite number of possibilities when it comes to the style and type of planters you sell, so you can appeal to any niche—not to mention the potential for high profit margins.
Typical retail price: $30 each
Potential profit: $20 each
Note: Prices fluctuate often and may have changed since time of publication.
Did you know?
More than ever before, people are choosing to shop online. Whether for convenience or safety reasons, the number of digital buyers in the US has jumped from 247 million to 263 million since 2019. With over $1 trillion in ecommerce sales in 2021 alone, the explosion of online purchasing has made business owners shift their approach to finding profitable products to sell online.
Tips for Finding Trending Products to Buy & Sell for Profit
Finding wholesale suppliers for unique products to buy and resell can be a challenge as there are many. So, we put together five helpful tips for finding the best things to buy and sell for profit to get you started.
1. Tap Into Your Interests
If you want to start a retail business—or any business for that matter—focus on your interests. You’ve already spent a great deal of time researching the best sources of related products for yourself and building connections with like-minded people. As a business owner, this puts you in the best position where you could sell better than other sellers. So, tap into your personal passion, skills, and expertise and make use of resources that are already available to you.
Search for less-obvious product opportunities that customers don’t think they want or need until you introduce them. Start by going through your social media feeds (Facebook news feed and even Pinterest pins are great starting points) and make a list of all the cool, interesting products.
Once you have your list, you can start searching for these unique products on online stores that sell similar items wholesale. Alibaba is the world’s largest business-to-business (B2B) marketplace of unique merchandise you can buy in large quantities at wholesale prices. Browse and find products or suppliers that you like, and reach out to them via email or chat to get a quote.
2. Answer Customer Pain Points
At the end of the day, we are all consumers, and this simple fact can help you brainstorm for products that are potentially profitable. Think of one small annoyance you experience every day and ask yourself what kind of product would be good to have so that you’re no longer bothered. You can also look into reviews of popular, everyday products and look for common complaints from customers.
Start your search by focusing on products that improve a popular product’s features or an opportunity to improve a buying experience. Your goal is to present a solution to a problem that customers experience every day.
3. Look for Upcoming Trends
The key is not just to pick up on a trend but to recognize a trend early and turn it into a business opportunity. Remember that you need to answer customer demands while there is low supply, and being present in the market early will not only allow you to rake in the sales but establish yourself as a leader as well.
Here are some website suggestions where you can check for trending products:
- Amazon Best Sellers
- Trending on Kickstarter
- Pinterest Boards
- Trending on eBay
- Etsy Most Wanted
- Google Trends
The idea here is to explore up-and-coming product trends then find private label products you can sell while you only have a few competitors. And because you’re working on ideas that are about to become popular on their own, advertising and marketing can be as easy as being active and creative on social media.
4. Search for Popular Keywords
One way to find out what your target customers want is to know what they usually search for online—you can’t go wrong selling products that match high-volume search queries. Understanding keywords and organic traffic is an important factor when looking for the best things to buy and sell for profit.
These tools can help you find popular search terms related to products to buy and resell:
Online marketplaces also have their own search functions, which means lots of keyword data that you can use for your research. Keep an eye on the number of searches per month and overall competition for those searches.
5. Consider Product Sourcing
If you want to start a product-based business, you need to source the right products. Finding a supplier that fits your business needs can be a lengthy process; however, your efforts will be worth all of the time spent.
These steps can help you source the best products with the best partner.
- Research your target market: Gather information about your consumer’s habits, needs, and preferences.
- Source products that align with your brand: Your products need to reflect your brand identity to create an effortless shopping experience.
- Determine your supplier’s shipping criteria: Consider how you want to receive the products. Suppliers deliver products in various ways, including manufacturing, wholesale, importing, or dropshipping.
- Complete quality testing: As you narrow your search, ask for samples from several suppliers and conduct quality testing of both the product and the vendor’s customer service.
- Build relationships with your supplier: Maintaining a professional and respectful relationship will assist in forming a long-term, positive working relationship.
6. Figure Out Shipping
Let’s say you’ve narrowed your list of potential products to sell down and all of them seem so enticing with their very low wholesale cost that it’s making it hard for you to decide. Remember that shipping products to customers is one of the biggest expenses in a retail business, so it’s crucial that you factor this in in your decision making.
The following are the different shipping methods available to retailers:
- In-house order fulfillment: You manage your own warehouse and shipping operations.
- Outsource order fulfillment: You hire a third-party logistics company to handle your inventory shipping requirements.
- Dropshipping method: Your supplier directly ships the merchandise to your customers.
- Hybrid order fulfillment: You use multiple methods depending on factors such as seasonal demand and volume of orders.
Keep in mind that the size and weight of your products may make shipping more expensive. Complex products, like ones that are fragile or have moving parts, also have a higher risk of getting damaged in transit and therefore a higher risk of being returned.
While it’s always ideal as a business owner to aim for products that generate the most profit, it’s important to be mindful of product quality and promote a positive brand for your business. Use our list of ideas and tips for finding the best products to sell for profit to keep you ahead of the competition.
Ready to start your own online business? Make sure you have an impressive online store that will make customers come back to shop for more. Shopify is our top-recommended ecommerce platform for small businesses.