01 Mar 2019
We’re now well into 2019, and now is the perfect time to look back at last year and take stock (sometimes literally) when it comes to seeing what sold well. It might be that you have made some important decisions over the last few weeks, and now that 2019 is here, you want to make some of your exciting new plans a reality.
Congratulations; realising that things need to change is the first step towards a happier, more successful life. The next step is making a plan, and then actioning that plan. It won’t be (or at least it shouldn’t be) a quick process because the more you think about things beforehand, the more likely you are to succeed.
One of the most important elements of starting a new business, for example, is determining just what it is that you are going to sell. There are so many products and services that have potential, and if you don’t know what you want to do, the ideas that are bombarding you right now might feel overwhelming, perhaps even to the point of making you take a step backwards and a glance over your shoulder, wondering if your old life – even if you weren’t happy – was a simpler one.
That’s what this guide is for. We’ve put together some of the best selling items from 2018 so that you can see what people really want, and get a much better idea of what you might sell to them. This is a great first element of your research, and once you know what you want to sell, you can move forward much more confidently.
Remember: once you have chosen a product that you like, you need to see how profitable it will be, how easy (or otherwise) it will be to buy and sell, and what your competition will be like. Good luck!
Diet is always a big seller – people want to lose weight and look great, and although exercise is a huge part of that, as well as eating right, supplements can certainly help (the right ones, anyway). Keto supplements are particularly popular right now, fitting in nicely with the keto (otherwise known as ketogenic) diet, which is all about cutting down on how many carbohydrates you consume.
Why? The fewer carbs you eat, the more fats your body breaks down instead. It has to have something to give it energy, and if there are no or fewer carbs, it will move on to the next best thing – stubborn fats.
So for those who want to try this diet (and there are very many of them – it is a diet that is known and used across the world), the supplements that can help them feel good and maintain their momentum can be vital. And that’s where you come in, selling keto supplements to the people who want to get fit and healthy not just in the new year but in the long term too.
There are many benefits to selling keto supplements:
- They are small, so don’t cost a lot to post out, plus they’re easy to package up
- People will re-order when they run out
- The profit margins are high
There are also some things to look out for:
- Watch out for what you can and can’t say about them – there are strict rules about this
You need to make sure they are safe and can be sold in your country
If you remember way back to the 80s and 90s, you’ll possibly remember that enamel pins were everywhere. Stuck to backpacks, hats, jackets, bags… collecting them became quite the hobby. It faded away for a while, but, you’ll be glad to hear (in terms of selling and profit even if you’re not a collector) they’re back now, and they’re a fantastic item to trade.
The great thing about enamel pins is that they are small and inexpensive, and they’re the kind of hobby that no one minds – they don’t cost a lot and they can be easily picked up in a variety of different places including, perhaps, your brand new online store.
The benefits of selling enamel pins:
- Posting them costs next to nothing
- Storing them is easy is you’re not drop shipping as they are tiny and can be kept in a box in a garage or spare room
- There are thousands of different designs, so you’ll never run out of new ideas to sell
- You can create different sales packages, upselling without even thinking about it
But, as with everything, there are some downsides to consider too:
- Competition is fierce – once the trend for enamel pins came back, stores started springing up all over the place
It used to be women who dominated the beauty and skincare sectors as customers, but in today’s market forgetting the men is a mistake – they are spending just as much money on beauty products as women, and so it could quite easily be a sector that you might want to get into, especially when you consider beard oil.
Something that’s interesting to note is that demand for this particular product really peaks in December, suggesting that it is being bought as a gift. So, when it comes to advertising, be careful not to only focus on persuading men to buy from you; clearly women are as well. They might be choosing beard oil as a gift to a spouse or partner, a father, brother, or other family member. Keeping this in mind could help you to sell more beard oil than you otherwise would do. That said, men clearly do buy it for themselves, so don’t go too far the other way and forget them altogether!
So what are the benefits of selling beard oil?
- You can include it in a wider product range focusing on men’s grooming
- It’s the ideal gift, and as we know, people spend a lot more on gifts than they do on themselves
And the cons?
- There is a lot of competition (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s just something to be aware of)
- Shipping can be awkward as the bottles are heavy and require additional packaging
If you don’t already know, shapewear is clothing that literally ‘shapes’ the body by creating curves in some places and holding other places in. A lot of the sudden love for this kind of garment has to be down to the ‘influencers’ on social media, perhaps especially Kim Kardashian, who have been showing off their shapely bodies and encouraging others to fit the same mould. Sometimes literally. In order to achieve the perfect hourglass figure, something has to be added because bodies don’t tend to grow in that way, and if you don’t like the idea of expensive surgery, shapewear could be exactly what you are looking for.
Therefore, it could be exactly what you should be selling. Once upon a time these products were pretty niche, perhaps even hidden away and kept a big secret. Today everyone knows about them, and many people want them, so selling them should be relatively easy.
The benefits of selling shapewear include:
- These garments are really easy to ship, being lightweight and foldable
- The profit margins are potentially high
The cons of selling shapewear include:
- They’re still not something that everyone understands, so there could be lots of questions coming your way – there might even be a fair number of complaints (not about your particular product, but about the trend in general)
- You need to do a lot of research before choosing the garments you want to sell – some do more harm than good, so you must only sell reputable, high quality items
Watches are not about telling the time anymore – that’s what a smartphone does, isn’t it? No, watches are now a fashion accessory, and the current trend in time pieces is minimalism. Teeny tiny watches are the way to go. Watches that are cool and chic, slimline and understated are what’s happening. Which means, if you find the right products are the right prices, you can be what’s happening too.
Why sell minimalist watches?
- They are easy to post out being small and light
- The profit margins can be high
And the cons?
- You won’t just be sending watches – you’ll be sending batteries too, and this can cause some problems depending on where you are shipping too. Or you could choose not to include batteries, which will more than likely bring you a raft of complaints
- Watches can easily be copied and cheaper versions can flood the market
Travel backpacks are the smaller, more lightweight cousin of the traditional backpack, and with travellers they are all the rage. Especially when you consider that despite their small size (which simply means backpackers and travellers need to pack light, something they should be doing anyway), they often come with phone charging points and other useful extras.
Since travel has become so much easier and cheaper, and since it is actively encouraged in many areas, these backpacks aren’t likely to lose their high ranking in products bought any time soon – this is something that could definitely get bigger, and if you’re looking for a business you can scale up, this could be your entry point.
- The profit margins can be high
- The backpacks can be customised and that’s something that boosts popularity
- You can then expand into other travel items, broadening your customer base and product range
- Travel backpacks can be tricky to ship – they’re made to have things put inside them, not necessarily to be put inside something
- If you are selling high quality items (which you should be), return customers are unlikely, just make sure to research your manufacturer carefully.
- There is a lot of competition
Korean Skincare Products
Of all the skincare products out there (and there are many of them, all great sellers when it comes to ecommerce), right now Korean skincare products are the ones to be looking out for. It is a fact that Koreans spend a lot of time getting their skincare regimes just right, and the result is gorgeous, flawless skin that the rest of the world envies. Well, envy no more because K-spa products can be bought and sold online here too, offering you a great business and a large profit.
The pros of selling Korean skincare products include:
- The massive demand – people will certainly want what you are selling
- You can use skincare as a launchpad for other products, growing your business quickly and organically
Are there any downsides? Yes, there are, so watch out for these:
- Low profit margins, particularly because of the import charges you will be paying
- Competition – as always. However, in this case the competition comes not from other independent retailers (or at least, not only from them), but from the big high street shops too since they have realised just how popular K-beauty products are
There is a definite trend towards less waste and more sustainable living, and menstrual cups feed right into that feeling of wanting to do more. They essentially replace tampons, and can be reused from month to month, which saves flushing unnecessary items down the toilet. Plus, they don’t contain any chemicals, unlike tampons. Although it’s taken a while for women to trust these devices, the evidence shows that more and more females are taking up this idea and swapping tampons for menstrual cups very happily.
So why not sell them?
Here are some of the reasons to do it:
- So, so easy to send out (as long as you do it discreetly)
- Advertising costs can be low since word of mouth is what works in this sector
- There could be lots of questions about how it all works and the advantages – make sure you know your product well
- Menstrual cups are designed to last for at least two years with proper maintenance and cleaning, so repeat business isn’t something you can initially rely on
Again, it’s the desire to reduce plastic waste that is driving this particular product, and they are extremely popular. Bamboo toothbrushes are environmentally friendly, plus they look cool sitting in your bathroom – what’s not to love about them? Should you be selling them? The answer is yes; these products could certainly boost your business.
The pros of selling bamboo toothbrushes:
- Cheap and easy to send to customers
- Since toothbrushes, even bamboo ones, should be replaced every three months or so, there is a high potential for repeat business
The cons of selling bamboo toothbrushes:
- The price. These are not expensive items, and therefore the profit potential is low (however, if you can sell quantity you can still make money)
Fairy lights? The same fairy lights that have been around forever and that aren’t a new thing, or particularly exciting? The very same. Yet, despite the fact that fairy lights aren’t new, and that everyone has seen them a million times (or so) before, there is a definite upsurge in sales of them.
Experts suggest that it’s all down to the Pinterest effect. This is basically the idea that when people see something lovely on Pinterest, they want to recreate it in their own home, and fairy lights play a big part in Pinterest loveliness. They’re everywhere, in every room, decorating every surface, and because they look so great on social media, consumers want to buy them.
The benefits of selling fairy lights include:
- They have an almost universal appeal
- They can be seen everywhere – in magazines, films, on TV, and – of course – on social media
Sounds great! What are the cons?
- Loads of competition
- They don’t make much profit
Something to remember no matter what product you choose to sell online, whether it’s from the list above or something entirely different, is marketing. Just because whatever you’re selling in trending and popular, that doesn’t mean your website is where people are going to go just like that – you need to tell them about it. If you don’t, you could be selling the most innovative, exciting, popular product ever created, but no one will know.
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