Has the term “wholesale” caught your attention as an entrepreneur? If so, it’s an exciting and challenging industry to be part of. Knowing the wholesale definition first will give you the basics of the industry. Next, you should read about how to become a wholesaler and how to run a wholesale business to get familiar with purchasing, retailing, distribution, and what to look for in a wholesale purchase agreement. You may find how to run a wholesale distribution business informative, too.
Once you’ve decided to create a thriving wholesale business, you’re probably wondering how to buy wholesale. Thanks to global access for thousands of brands, you can source wholesale goods from virtually anywhere, through what's called a wholesale directory.
It’s important to select wholesale goods that are in demand, can be sourced from multiple suppliers, and that support the eCommerce business ideas you have. Continue reading to learn about dozens of wholesale products that you can compare, purchase, and sell.
Wholesale Products to Sell
The wholesale industry is known for strong competition. However, your business can succeed if you have a great wholesale sales and B2B marketing approach. A major part of this is using proven wholesale niches to kickstart your profit.
Bear in mind that the categories below aren’t an exhaustive list of the wholesale goods you can sell. However, these are categories that have done historically well and continue to offer promising outlooks and some high demand products:
Books, Magazines, Comics, and Print Media
Print media, comics, and books are some of the easiest products to sell wholesale. The low costs, wide availability, and universal appeal of books means you don’t need a lot of capital to get started.
There are dozens of online print media wholesalers you can choose from. Make sure you understand any outlet’s reseller rights, restrictions, and minimum order quantities (MOQ) before you purchase.
Below is a list of popular wholesale publication types to consider:
- Mass market paperbacks
- Educational books
- Coloring books and activity books
- Comic books, back issues, and reprints
Food and Grocery Items
It may be surprising to know that food, beverage, and grocery items are sold wholesale, as well. Many wholesale food and drink items are shelf-stable, making it easier to store, package, and ship them. A product that is shelf-stable means it can be stored without refrigeration or moisture control for months, if not years at a time. Wholesale food goods that aren't shelf-stable include wholesale dairy, wholesale seafood, and wholesale meat.
This makes them ideal for selling through a wholesale marketplace, online marketplace, or headless eCommerce site. They're also a great choice for a wholesaler looking to make consistent B2B sales (see B2B meaning).
Here are just a few wholesale grocery, food, and beverage items you can sell:
- Cereal and oatmeal
- Food gift baskets
- Noodle and pasta packs
- Wine aerators and accessories
- Candy, gum, and treats
- Gourmet food packages and items
- Drink powders and packets
- Condiments, spreads, and sauces
- Dehydrated foods
- Bar supplies and equipment
- Coffee presses and accessories, like those from the best coffee roasters
- Local farm produce
- Dried wholesale produce, which is partly driving 2022 food trends
Movies, CDs, and Other Entertainment Media
Hundreds of millions of people enjoy older films, documentaries, and cult classics. You can build a profitable wholesale business selling these types of media.
Like other wholesale products, suppliers have limitations on what you can sell and in which markets. Double-check that you’re adhering to any commercial requirements before you stock up on products.
Here are some of the entertainment media types you can sell:
- DVDs and classic movies
- Anime movies and DVDs
- Sommelier documentaries and movies
- CDs and older music releases
- Documentaries and educational films
Clothing, Jewelry, and Footwear
Most wholesale markets have low costs to get started, but this is even more true of clothing. Shoes, pants, shirts, underwear, socks, and more are commonly available for less than $5 per unit.
As it turns out, wholesale clothing and shoes are difficult to become a reseller for. The global clothing market is already saturated with hundreds of millions of products; many brands don’t want wholesalers contributing to this situation. Due to this, you should always perform independent research and read brands’ selling restrictions before getting started.
Here are some other clothing, shoes, and jewelry products you can sell wholesale:
- Sweatpants and leisure clothing
- Jeans and shorts
Toys, Games, and Children’s Products
About 385,000 babies are born each day, which means there’s always going to be demand for kids’ products. Games, toys, books, and other products are plentiful from wholesale suppliers.
Here are a few products you can easily get started with:
- Board games
- Developmental toys
- Jumping rope
- Bath toys and rubber ducks
- Foam arrow and dart sets
- Blow-up, foam, gel, and rubber balls
- Art and paint sets
- Toy microphones and speakers
Electronics, Gadgets, and Digital Accessories
As more consumers turn to electronic technology and digital entertainment, there’s a growing need for accessories. You can enter the wholesale market with low overhead and generate strong profits with focus and hard work.
Remember that many electronics suppliers have licensing agreements or selling restrictions. It’s always in your best interest to research laws that apply to your business.
- Security cameras
- Power banks
- Lightning cables
- Bluetooth speakers
- Car chargers
Outdoor Toys, Supplies, and Goods
Who doesn’t want to have some fun in the sun? As an outdoor goods wholesaler, there is plenty of opportunity to build a business.
Outdoor products have seasonal sales spikes just like sports equipment, so build this into your projections. It’s wise to make a sales plan well before warm seasons arrive so you can be ahead of the competition.
Below are popular outdoor toys and products you can offer as a wholesaler:
- Swimming goggles
- Inflatable pool toys, noodles, and rafts
- Water guns
- Inflatable beach balls, buckets, shovels, and blankets
- Bug nets
- Swimming armbands
- Bubble wands
Computers and Laptops
Believe it or not, laptops, computers, and related equipment are available for wholesale as well. Sometimes these are from discontinued product lines, other times they’re simply products that are low cost.
Selling computers and laptops wholesale can be a great way to expand your electronics line. There’s already a strong market for personal computers and the number of people who use one grows every year. Just make sure to invest in high-quality eCommerce packaging to keep these safe during eCommerce shipping to avoid losses.
Here are a few wholesale computers and related types of equipment you can sell:
- Desktop towers
- Desktop computers
- Bulk towers
- Hard drive caddies
Gifts, Holiday Goods, and Home Accents
Do you enjoy selling home accents, gifts, and decorations? This is a significant sector of the wholesale market that only continues to grow.
Between gift shops, retail stores, and mom-and-pop outlets, there are diverse opportunities to get placements for products. Here is a short list of wholesale gifts and home accents to consider:
- Home decorations
- Table and wall accents
- Lifestyle items
- Essential oils and diffusers
- Scented products
- Planters, succulents, and greenery
- Cologne and perfume
- Holiday decorations and trinkets
- Mugs and decorative glasses
Automotive and Motorcycle Parts and Accessories
In addition to being a primary mode of transportation for millions of people, many people drive and repair cars for fun. The automotive industry is constantly evolving with customers expecting rich new features every couple of years.
Motorcycles are also a big hobby interest and attract millions of buyers annually. Check out some of the wholesale parts and goods you can sell to this market:
- License plate frames
- Steering wheel covers
- Car air fresheners
- Floor mats
- Emergency lights
- Alarm systems
- Hitch covers
- Roadside kits
- Sun shades
- Wiper kits
- Booster cables
- Seatback organizers
- Baby rearview mirrors
- Spare and replacement parts
Sports Equipment and Athletic / Leisure Goods
When it’s time to kick back with friends, family, or children, millions of Americans turn to sports. Some companies may have selling restrictions for sports gear similar to those of media products, but overall this is a lucrative niche to operate in.
Wholesalers selling sports goods should also be mindful of seasonality. In most cases, these products sell between late spring and early fall, especially where the weather is warm.
Here are popular sports products that millions of families and children use every year:
- Frisbee discs
- Bubble kits
- Table tennis kits
- Sports balls
- Tents and camping gear
- Pepper spray and training materials
Auxiliary Parts, Add-ons, and Products
Many times buyers are happy with the product they have, but a particular accessory could enhance the user experience. Examples of this include phone accessories, like chargers, earbuds, adapters, and phone cases.
There are numerous suppliers for wholesale phone accessories and the list keeps growing. About 3.8 billion people own a smartphone today, which is roughly half of the world’s population.
Here are some of the other auxiliary products and parts you can sell as a wholesaler:
- Screen protectors
- Tablet cases
- Camera harnesses and clamps
- USB accessories
- Extension cables
- Bluetooth auxiliary parts
Wholesale Items to Sell from Home
If you want to run your wholesale business entirely from home as an eCommerce business (see what is e commerce), it’s easy to do so. There are many 3PL companies and warehousing services available to businesses so you don’t have to keep inventory at your house.
It takes some research to know what wholesale items you can sell from home and how to find vendors that are compatible. You'll still need the relevant paperwork too, so make sure you know how to get a wholesale license.
To simplify this process, we did some research for you. Here is a list of goods you can make a home-based wholesale business with:
- Educational materials, toys, and books. Education and curriculum materials are always being updated to provide new insights for learners. There is a large market here to be leveraged.
- Candles, fragrance products, and home decor items. These products make great year-round gifts and housewarming presents. It’s also an inexpensive way to start a B2B business model by selling to retailers.
- Clothing, shoes, jewelry, and accessories. People want to express variety in their appearance and the number one way to do this is through clothing. Fashion is constantly changing, especially for women’s clothing, so there is plenty of opportunity here. Even though there are a lot of direct to consumer brands in this sector, there's plenty of space for niche markets.
- Food, especially dried and prepackaged food. Being a DTC food wholesaler is one of the fastest and easiest ways to start a home-based business. Find a niche you’re passionate about so you can break into the market more easily.
- Purses, bags, backpacks, and handbags. These items tend to be inexpensive and pair well with clothing and shoes. Hundreds of new designs are produced every year, so be sure to select products that match your brand.
- Kitchen materials and auxiliary supplies. Families move frequently and are often in need of new kitchen supplies. There are thousands of kitchen tools, materials, and supplies to browse from hundreds of brands. Make sure you buy quality goods to support retailer and customer satisfaction.
- Health and wellness products. From personal beauty and cosmetics to nutrition and coffee, the health and wellness niche is great to be involved in. As an example, you could buy wholesale coffee to make a coffee bean subscription business. Just make sure to invest in custom subscription boxes for all of your subscription box ideas. People who buy personal wellness goods tend to be brand loyal, which means you should research before you sell. If you sell excellent products, you’ll have no problem attracting customers.
- Pet supplies and products. People love their furry and feathered friends, which is a big reason why the pet industry generates multiple billions of dollars. There are thousands of wholesale products to choose from, including toys, food, treats, and litter supplies.
- Party supplies. Decorations for parties are among the cheapest products available, which means it’s easy to get started. You can sell streamers, plates, tablecloths, balloons, cutlery, ribbons, tableware, and more.
Getting the Whole Picture
While all of these products make good direct to consumer (DTC) options, many of them can be used to manufacture more complete products for your own business. By identifying wholesale products that match your business, you'll have a more efficient wholesale marketing plan and strategy.
Remember to use a reasonable wholesale price for all of the goods you sell, whether to consumers or businesses. Strategic pricing is closely related to fill rate, which means you're able to satisfy customers on an ongoing basis. Keep fine-tuning the details for long-term wholesaling success with our wholesale management guide.
Frequently Asked Questions About Wholesale Items to Sell
Knowing the right wholesale items to sell requires a little bit of research. We looked up some of the top selling products that you can sell as a wholesaler to make it easier. Check out our list and other frequently asked questions below:
What products are in high demand?
Depending on what category or niche you’re looking at, there are dozens of high demand products at any given time. That being said, here are some high demand products in 2021 and beyond:
- Bookshelves and bookcases
- Smartphone and audio accessories
- Tea and coffee
- Eco-friendly cleaning supplies and lifestyle goods
- Subscription food products and meal replacements
- Pet toys and supplies
- Furniture and office equipment
What are easy things to sell online?
There are several products you can find or easily make for some fast cash online. Here are a few examples:
- Desserts and cookies
- Natural cosmetics and beauty products
- Upcycled clothing, bags, and t-shirts
- Planners, art, and other printables
- Gift baskets, jewelry, and other handmade creations
- Photos, art, and picture frames
- Soap, bath bombs, and homemade cleaners
What sells more on Amazon?
Here are eight of the top-selling product categories on Amazon:
- Amazon gift cards
- Baby wipes and diapers
- AA batteries
- Security cameras
- Video games
- Shoes and socks
- Books, new and old
- Household appliances and products