So you want to start your own business selling products online? That’s great!
But where do you source products to sell? Where can you buy your products wholesale? Today we will give you some information on where to go to get great deals on products that you can start selling right away.
Top 10 Places to Find Products to Sell Online
If you have no idea what to sell or where to start, then start here! These websites offer bulk deals on loads of different products, that you can re-sell for a product. Either buy direct, or make your own version!
1. AliExpress or Alibaba
It even has a ‘Best Sellers‘ section and a (a’hem) Adult section. So if you’re not sure on what to sell, it can give you a good idea of what products are selling well. Beware, though, sometimes it is difficult to communicate with the seller and products may not quite be what you had in mind. Do your research well and make sure if you are ordering a large quantity to order a ‘sample’ product so you know what you will be getting and to check quality control. Alibaba and AliExpress both have a user rating system, take the time to read reviews before purchasing.
Alibaba is like the older sister – this is where you get all the best deals – the catch is that you have to buy in bulk – usually fairly large orders. I would suggest first finding a product that you like on AliExpress, then ordering a sample first. If you like the sample, then buy in bulk – that way you haven’t outlayed a huge amount of money for something that isn’t right.
The thing is, you can buy a product and then personalise it or ‘upscale it’ for your customers to it is unique!
Rose Wholesale is an international online fashion clothing store that focuses on the latest in affordable fashion. They provide thousands of product lines focusing on high-quality trendy fashion clothing. The best categories you might be interested include:
Etsy is a great platform to sell handmade or unique products. But it is also great to get some ideas on what you might just like to sell. If you need something made, sewn, fashioned or designed, then Etsy is the place you need to go! If you find something you love, why not approach the shop owner directly and see if you can come up with a good deal!
This is an Australian based site and they have a whole page dedicated to the products they sell wholesale.
The US Costco is fast spreading across Australia. It is a great place to buy in bulk at a discounted price. Downside is you do need to purchase a yearly membership to shop there. Upside is that Costco isn’t everywhere – so you could pick up regular wholesale products and re-sell at a profit.
Light in the Box is very much like Aliexpress, however, it does have a HUGE range of women’s fashion. I could spend years on their bridal section.
6. Try Affiliate Marketing (Selling Other People’s Products Without Needing Stock)
Affiliate Marketing is where you sell other people’s products – and take a cut! There is loads of information on how to do it – and it’s easy if you are savvy on a computer! Good Affiliate Marketing companies to sign up with (for free) include:
- Commission Factory (Australian Based)
- Share a Sale
- Rakuten Marketing
- Click Bank
- APD Performance
- Clix Galore
And if you already have a business, and need a cheap way to promote your products far and wide, why not consider joining up to an affiliate program and have influencers promote your brand!
For more detail on how to do Affiliate Marketing, try the following article:
7. Go to Trade Shows
Trade Shows are MADE for online retailers. You can find them everywhere, for every type of business. The good thing about them is that you can usually see products that haven’t hit the market yet, so you could be a supplier of the next big thing!
For a list of Trade Shows both in Australia and World Wide, Check out the following websites:
8. Buy Wholesale Lots
Search Ebay, The Trading Post, Gumtree and Grays Online and search for ‘Wholesale Lots’. This is a great way to get a lot of product for a great price! Of course, if you find a product you really like, just ask the retailer if you can purchase them wholesale – it always pays to ask!
There are also many upcoming Wholesale Lot websites that buy these lots and sell them in smaller quantities to the public. Here are the ones we could find:
9. Check Out Wholesale Directories
There are many people in internet land that ‘Sell’ the directories for all the wholesalers and Drop Shippers. I have bought a few in my time. Sometimes they can be out of date (so check that!). Ones to try include:
10. Go Local
Where you live is always unique – so what can you source locally that other people might like? Try items like:
- Locally sourced produce (if selling locally)
- Skin Care
- Specialised Foods
As you can see there are pros and cons to using each supplier. It may be a matter of trial and error in using these suppliers until you have found the one that works best for your online business.
Other Things to Consider When Choosing a Product to Sell
It is important to really think about what you would like to sell. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Is the fragile or hard to post or ship?
- How many products will you have?
- Will it require specialised packaging?
- How heavy will it be – will the postage be expensive?
- Is it a physical item, service or digital product?
- How large is it? Again will the postage be expensive due to the size?
- How many other people are selling exactly the same thing? Can you match their price?
- Will you ship internationally? Are there special rules on mailing your item?
Selling your own or other people’s products can be very lucrative, but take the time to answer the above questions before you start!
Good products to sell are:
- Light and easy to post
- Unique to you and your online store
- Selling between $10 – $200 – which is the ‘sweet spot’ for online shopping pricing
- Not seasonal
- Consumable – so the customer has to come back for more
- In demand
What is Drop Shipping? (See also Wholesale Retailers)
If you want to start an online business selling goods, but don’t have a lot of room for stock, nor much money to buy stock, I suggest you try Drop Shipping. Drop Shipping is where you advertise a product, sell the product to the consumer, then the supplier delivers the goods directly to the consumer. You don’t need to mail it out or worry about shipping and can just take the cut of the profit. As easy as this sounds, be careful. Choose companies with a good reputation that have previous experience in Drop Shipping. You don’t want to sell a product to your customers and not have the item arrive, nor do you want to work with a company that may offer comparable rates but are very difficult to communicate with.
Companies that offer Drop Shipping include:
- Doba (a Directory that matches suppliers with sellers)
Inexpensive Website Platforms to Start Your Own Site
Selling your product could be as easy as starting your own Facebook Page. Ebay is a really great option as it costs little to set up a shop and you have facilities such as Paypal attached so consumers feel safe to purchase through a reputable site. Start small with little cost and build up your brand and reputation first! If your selling goes really well, consider starting your own website! You can sell your own products, or someone else’s. There is also a concept called ‘Affiliate Marketing’ which is a great way to promote products you love, without having the trouble of buying them to re-sell! You can even just sell them on your own personal Facebook Page! The beauty of having your own business is that YOU can choose what you sell; products YOU are passionate about or find useful, services YOU find reliable and promote other products and businesses that YOU think show integrity and value.
Options for Selling Platforms Include:
Top Trending Ideas on What is Selling Online
Here are the top trending ideas on what to make or design to sell in your new business! My biggest tip though is to pick something you adore!
1. Make up Your Own Subscription Boxes
Make your own unique box to send to buyers once a month! Beauty boxes and unique food boxes go particularly well. If you can find a few products that work well together, source some boxes (buy them in bulk from Alibaba) and put together a small website – this is a great way of having a unique product to sell – without a unique product so to speak! Great places to sell your subscription boxes are through Cratejoy.
Boxes like these are available cheap as chips from China
2. Find or Design Your Own Diaries and Planners for Women
Designing a planner for busy Mum’s and sell them on Facebook, Etsy or Ebay. Get a big enough following, you could do a whole range of products!
Our Pick: We love the Weekly Planner by Lorna Leigh Lane
3. Homemade Products:
If you are a gun at making something special that friends and family line up for, perhaps consider selling this on Etsy or starting your own Facebook Page. Here are just a few examples of what is popular at the moment:
- Soap (especially Goats Milk or Dairy Free Soap)
- Homemade skin care products
- Pet Care Products
- Birthday and Wedding Cakes (locally)
- Soy Candles
- Personalised stationery
- Bath salts and scrubs
- Leather bookmarks
- Kitchen Aprons
- Personalised Jewellery
- Party Supplies
- Hair Accessories
- Wedding Invitations
4. Beauty Products:
- Eco or Vegan Beauty Items
- Lip balms
- Locally sourced hand cream and soaps
5. Parenting & Baby Products:
- Baby Wraps
- Nappy Change Sets
- Headbands for Little Girls
- Kids Pyjamas
- Nursery Decor Items
- New Baby Clothes Dividers
- Lactation Balls
- Baby Print Keepsakes
- Handmade cot quilts
6. Sell Your Services:
- House Cleaning
- Wedding Planner
- Personal Shopper
- Home Decorator
- Cake Decorator
7. Home Decor Items
- Wall Art
- Hand knitted cushion covers
- Ring dishes
- Printed linen tea towels
- Personalised Jigsaw Puzzles
- Pallet Picture Frames
- Antique furniture
- Personalised Wine Glasses, Coffee Mugs, Water Bottles
8. Working Mums:
- Personalised Coffee Mugs and Travel Mugs
- Specialised Tea mixes
- Anything vintage
- Mobile Phone Covers
- Maternity Wear
- Fitness and Activewear
- Plus Size Fashion
- Wedding Dresses
10. Coffee Lover:
- Unique coffee bean mixes in a monthly subscription
- Teapots and Coffee Pots
- Travel Mugs
11. Food and Drinks:
- Weight Loss Shakes
- Homemade spices
- Ebooks on any topic that you are fluent in are a great thing to sell online!
- Udemy is a great place to write and start an online course.
- Printables are also a great item to sell, particularly on Etsy!
- Product Media Kit Templates
Where to Sell Your Products Online
So you have found a product or service, you have setup a Facebook Page, but can’t afford to do up a website. No worries. There are other platforms out there you can use to sell your product without having to do all that. This is a great low-cost way to start a business. Here are some suggestions on the more popular selling websites.
- Bonanza (US Based)
- Craigslist (US Based)
- Selz (US Based)
- Lemon Stand
- Ebooks can be sold through lulu.com
Where can I find others like me for ideas?
There are loads of websites and Facebook Groups for small business start-ups. These groups are fantastic to ask other people who have been their questions about what to do next, sourcing products or just finding mentors or people in the same space.
Here are some of my personal favourites:
The Legalities of Starting a Business in Australia
If you are based in Australia and want to start purchasing products wholesale, you will require an ABN number. You can do this through the Australian Tax Office. Once you have your ABN number, you can start visiting the websites below. Not all websites will automatically show their wholesale price or products, it may involve an email or a phone call to discuss the best price and quantities. Businesses WANT to sell you their product, so don’t be scared to call and negotiate a great price.
Once you have your ABN number, you are a legal business and you must declare your income for tax purposes. So keep a good record of all your sales and purchases.
Where can I get more information?
- Wholesale Central has a list of all the ‘Trade Show’s worldwide.
- For a list of Top Selling Internet Items, try Statistic Brain – it has current stats on what is selling.
Running an online selling business can be great fun and you can take it as far as you like. Just be sure to cover all bases and protect yourself and you’ll have yourself a successful business in no time.