Best Wholesale Products to Sell Online

I’m often asked, “What are the best wholesale products to sell online?” When selling online, there are several important factors to consider. First, we’ll go through my top considerations when choosing a product to sell online. Then we’ll look at a few products that meet the recommended criteria.

1. Shipping

Shipping is possibly one of the most important things to consider when selling online.
First, I look for small items to keep the shipping costs to a minimum. If your plan is to sell wholesale furniture online, you might be in trouble here. Your shipping costs could easily be higher than the product you’re selling.
I also want a fairly durable product to minimize breakage during shipping. Nobody wants to deal with returns, so let’s choose a product with a very low likelihood of being broken during shipping.

2. Style Agnostic

If you are dropshipping, or just don’t want the hassle of picking and choosing specific styles out of your inventory, choose a product that either doesn’t come in many different styles, or one where there are many styles and random variety is an accepted practice.

3. Minimum Complexity

We want our product to have low complexity for 2 reasons. First, to reduce products that arrive DOA (Dead On Arrival). This also goes back to our points in “shipping”, but bears repeating. Most customers expect their product to work when it arrives. Having a complex product increases the likelihood of something going wrong, resulting in a dissatisfied customer.

Second, we want minimum complexity because customers can get confused. They might not understand all of the features from the description on your site, and without a live person to walk them through the sales process, they might buy something based on a incomplete understanding of the product. When the product arrives, they’ll be dissatisfied and they’ll want their money back, at your expense.

4. High Profit Margins

This might seem obvious, and is generally a goal with any product being sold. However, when selling online, I like to have some extra padding to cover shipping on returns and exchanges. Ideally, I’m aiming for profit margins over 100%. This allows me to sell a product and even offer an exchange or replacement, and still make a profit.

5. Popular Product but Not a Saturated Market

There is a balance to be found here, because we’re looking for a product that many people want to buy, but not one that everyone with a website is selling. This is where it pays to get into a specific niche. There are many people who have found very obscure but in-demand products to sell, who are making great money.

6. Knowledge

It helps if you personally have some knowledge about the product you’re selling. This is both because it will be reflected in the product descriptions on your site, but also in the event that someone actually calls you. (yes, even with an online business, phone calls are made on occassion)

7. Price

This can vary tremendously, but for the most part, you want an inexpensive product. If you are marketing to individuals, flea-marketers, or small businesses, many of them will be reluctant to spend large amounts of money with a company that only exists online. Keep the price as low as possible, while keeping the necessary profit margins, or expect to do some trust-building during your sales process.

That should cover the main considerations when choosing a product to sell online. If you can find a product that fits all of these descriptions, you should have no trouble selling your products online.


Product Examples

Here’s a list of products that meet the above criteria and should sell nicely online:

  • Wholesale Sunglasses (Wholesale to avoid style choices.)
  • Office Supplies
  • Watches
  • Kitchen Utensils
  • Stuffed Animals (small plush animals)
  • Books
  • Playing Cards / Poker Chips / Accessories

Yes, some of those are fairly boring choices, but they meet our criteria and sell nicely online. If you have other products that you think would sell online, please leave us a comment below.

You can start your search for wholesale products at our wholesale suppliers page. I’ve listed several good sources, and we recently added a wholesale search engine which pulls results only from wholesale suppliers.

How to Sell Wholesale Jewelry

Jewelry is a huge seller on eBay and on the internet in general. One of my favorite
things about selling it is that it’s so lightweight that
your shipping costs don’t eat into your profits. Plus,
because wholesale jewelry items are so small, you don’t
need to arrange for any type of special storage for them. They are a very economical
choice for sellers.

If you are just starting out on eBay, or you are
looking for a new niche, you should definitely give wholesale jewelry a try.


To help get you started, below are 5 tips for selling wholesale jewelry on eBay:

1. Find a reliable source of jewelry. Wholesalers are a
great option. All good suppliers offer low prices and attentive
customer service. When you are looking for a wholesale jewelry supplier, make sure
you take the time to find source you can trust. I always make
sure my suppliers meet the following requirements:

a) They offer safe payment options such as PayPal or
credit card payments. That way, you can do a charge back
if something goes wrong. b) They are a member of a
directory such as SaleHoo.com who verifies all their
suppliers. c) They have been in business for more than 2
years. (You can check this by going to
http://www.domaintools.com and entering their URL to see
their company information.) *If you are doing any amount of business online, you should become familiar with DomainTools.com. They are a fantastic resource for domain information.

2. Before you go dealing with a new supplier, order a
sample of the wholesale jewelry from them first. This way
you can assess their quality before committing to a larger
order. When ordering samples, make sure you take the time
to wear the jewelry yourself to see if it tarnishes or
breaks easily. Buyers are always looking for good quality
items when it comes to jewelry.

3. Avoid fake goods. This is vitally important. The
penalties for selling fake items are very serious, and
auction sites like eBay are dedicated to keeping their
sites free from fakes. Sometimes it can be hard telling
the difference between a genuine designer item and a fake.
The trouble is, many suppliers of fake wholesale jewelry
sell them at very low prices to entice new sellers in.

What these sellers don’t know is that even at a
wholesale rate, designer goods are very expensive. There
really is no such thing as a $100 Rolex watch, or a $50
pair of Tiffany earrings… unless of course, they are fake!

*If you are caught selling “fake” products, the law actually refers to that as felony counterfeiting. This is very serious…YOU ABSOLUTELY SHOULD NOT SELL ANYTHING THAT YOU MIGHT REFER TO AS “FAKE” OR “KNOCKOFF”. These are just nice ways of saying they are counterfeit. The minimum fine in the USA is $250,000 and 2 years in prison. You have been warned.

4. Once you have sourced your jewelry, give yourself
more of a chance of making a sale by including more than
one photo of the wholesale jewelry items. Buyers love to
see the item thoroughly, and photos are the only way to do
this. While it does cost extra in eBay fees to list more
than 1 photo, it is proven that listings with more than 3
photos sell better than those which do not. If you are
concerned about paying more in eBay fees, look into using
a free image host such as supload.com.

5. Research the current hot sellers on eBay. Even if
you aren’t selling your wholesale jewelry on eBay,
researching what are currently the big sellers there can
give you the snapshot you need to sell to succeed on any
market. eBay Pulse http://pulse.ebay.com/ is a fantastic
tool that eBay provides sellers to give them a bird’s eye
view of what the hot selling items are.

For jewelry sellers, you can find out the hot sellers
by drilling down to the Jewelry and Watches category and
seeing what comes up. eBay Pulse will then give you the
top 10 hot sellers. This will give you some great ideas on
what to sell.

Follow these 5 tips, and you’ll be well on your way
to succeeding in the wholesale jewelry niche.

Internet Marketing and the Wholesale Industry

Well I had a revelation today. For as long as I’ve been writing here, I have thought of this primarily as a wholesale blog. I have concentrated on how to find wholesale suppliers and sell wholesale products. However, I’ve been overlooking the “sell” part of the Sell Wholesale name. It’s all well and good if you can find great wholesale sources, but if you can’t sell those products, you won’t have much of a business.

Therefore, I have decided to start providing more information about Internet Marketing. Essentially, internet marketing refers to things like Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising, Social Media, and any other methods for generating traffic to your website. I will also begin posting reviews of internet marketing systems. This is one area where internet marketing and the wholesale industry are very much alike. They are both teeming with scams and excessive hype around every corner. As I have tried to do with some of my wholesale reviews, I hope to provide clear and unbiased information about internet marketing systems that might otherwise seem too risky or scammy.

I hope you will offer up your questions and suggestions as we continue on this journey. I look forward to helping you grow your business.

Tips To Establish A Sustainable Income With Drop Ship Products

One of the greatest tips and best ways to make money with drop ship products is to do research and analysis of the items that you are thinking about reselling. The most common mistake that people make is to decide to sell items without getting information that will make a critical difference is your overall business growth and success.

The marketability of a product is determined using calculations and factors from several different areas. When you are using a tool like that provided by World Wide Brands, you can get some important information before you commit a product to your website or ebay account. Evaluating the products you are selling and knowing the realistic return that you can expect will give you the opportunity to focus your efforts on growing your business and generating traffic to the product site.

Some of the information that will be important to your successful sales will be an analysis of the number of people on the Internet that search for the item and the number of people selling the item. When you are selling a product that is sold on a massive scale by several sources, your margin for profit will be reduced.

Knowing about the current advertising and marketing techniques and methods currently used by people who are currently selling the item will aid in gauging what type of marketing you will need to do to compete with your competition.

When there are several variations of a product on the market it will dilute the profitability of the product. This can significantly decrease the net profit on the product and reduce your return. The most common variations on products are found in software programs and products that can be hacked or replicated easily.


A great advantage for success with drop shipping products will be driving traffic to your product site and increasing visibility and credibility in your market. When a person is reselling items in a niche market, the necessity of visibility is further increased because the competition for many of these markets is intense.

Clothing Wholesale Dealers To Build Your Fashion Store Online

When you decide to make retailing clothing your job, you still need to find clothing wholesale dealers to give you the products you need. Checking online may show you companies that can get them to you, but in many cases this is a middleman that will eat into your profits.

You need to find dealers that have been approved by the manufacturer for wholesale when you get your product sourcing. This can be found sometimes by contacting the manufacturer and asking, or you can more easily find it through a network like World Wide Brands who has already checked for these dealers and listed them within their network.

If you look for these independently, you need to make sure that you can easily access their contact information, including numbers and length of time in business. Make a call to see if they answer it as a house phone, or if it is a business. When you place orders, they will always require you to give your business and tax id information.

Using a place like World Wide Brands has the benefit of letting you search for the products you want and other options. They mark the ones that allow smaller orders at the wholesale price, which clothing wholesale dealers let you sell the items on eBay and even which do the drop shipping for you. They did the leg work, making this an easier option in many cases.

Once you have your distributors, research. Go to the place you want to sell at and look at the items that are hot and selling well. Make note of the color, cut and design and what the name brand is. Check the prices they sell for and then go back to your wholesaler and see if they can get this for you. If you are in a network, this is a simple search. You can use this information and be able to compete effectively for your profits and be able to earn money.

Having good clothing wholesale dealers to give you the items you want can help to make your business perform well and make you money. A company like World Wide Brands can make this process easier, giving you time to manage your business and grow it.

Find Cheap Wholesale Sources

Do you ever wonder how some sellers can make money on the rock bottom prices they sell their items for? Believe it or not, many long running sellers are not only surviving while selling at those rock-bottom prices, many are also be making more profit than others who are listing the same items at a much higher price! This is because these big-time sellers can get their goods super-cheap from the very best wholesalers, meaning they can buy more, sell more and make more profit!

How can the large retailers can sell goods so cheaply?

Because they buy their items in big bulk (and I mean big!) and as a result, they can sell their items for very competitive prices. They order huge quantities at a time, often spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a single bulk order which considerably reduces the price per unit. Large retailers have often spent years building relationships with their suppliers which means they get the best possible deals when they buy in such high volume. While you might be a few years away from being able to spend a few hundred thousand on making a bulk order, there are plenty of things you can do to help you get the best deals possible from the very best suppliers. Here are a few tips to follow when you search for new suppliers:

  • Be prepared to spend a lot of time do conducting pricing research. This is absolutely essential for all retailer sellers. Top sellers differ from other sellers in that they understand the amount of time that goes into pricing research and they get stuck in and do it! Pricing research will help you to determine whether it is possible for you to compete in a particular market.
  • Go for suppliers who offer a guarantee or warranty for all items they sell to you. This is very important for keeping your costs down and profits up, as if you end up with a few faulty items, you need to be able to return them to your supplier, rather than refund your buyer yourself. This also helps to increase your sales as it gives buyers confidence in your products and your customer service. Usually, the warranty will be between you and the supplier – meaning if the items proves to be faulty, your buyer will return it to you then you will return the item to your supplier for a refund or exchange.
  • Avoid any suppliers who charge extra fees. This will help to keep your costs per unit down and there are plenty of suppliers out there who will not charge any extra fees such as monthly memberships or charges to access their web site’s store – you wouldn’t pay a supermarket to look around at what they have to offer would you? So don’t do it with any suppliers!
  • Import your items! You can save (and make!) a lot of money by importing goods from abroad. Countries such as China and India are much cheaper to produce items in than Western countries which means you can make a lot of money when you sell them in your own country.

How do they find these amazing suppliers?

There are several ways to find the very best suppliers out there:

Call manufacturers directly – this can help you get in touch with the very best of their retail suppliers, and if you can call and say “Hi, I’m Mike. Gary from Precision Manufacturing gave me your number and told me you are the man to talk to about…”. You can find names of manufacturers by visiting Manta.com an online directory of businesses in the US, UK, Australia, Canada as well as other countries. Here you can search for manufacturers by entering the name of the product you are looking into sourcing then following the links to the contact information for the manufacturer.
Use online wholesale directories such as SaleHoo which lists over 8,000 of the best suppliers on the internet. Also, check out our review of salehoo.
Go beyond the Internet. There are other ways to find great suppliers – try trade magazines and trade shows – a great way to build all-important relationships with suppliers. You can find trade shows near you by Googling ‘your state + trade fair/trade show’ or if you are really serious, you can visit the massive trade shows held in China. (I feel another post coming on…)

By using the above tips and information to find your next supplier, you’ll be profiting like an eBay PowerSeller in no time!

*** Update: We now have an ebook available detailing how you can make money on ebay. Just fill in the form on the right and you’ll receive this free ebook as well as occasional updates about new wholesale suppliers. ***

Top 10 Online Business Myths

There seem to be two groups of people when talking about starting a business online. There are the people that think the internet is easy money, and you just have to come up with one interesting idea to become a billionaire. On the other hand, there are the people that think it’s too hard, or you have to be a computer geek, or there’s already too much competition. The list of 10 myths below about starting an online business isn’t meant to convince you one way or the other. It’s simply information from experience that it may not be as easy or hard as you think.

Let’s start with 5 myths that make you think it’s too hard to start an online business:

Myth #1: You Need a Professionally Designed Website

The truth is that you can find endless amounts of free or very cheap templates. For example, Smashing Magazine has a list of 100 free standards-compliant website templates. You may need to learn basic HTML, but you do not need to pay an expensive web developer to build you a custom site.

This is especially true if you’re opening an ecommerce website. With free ecommerce platforms like OSCommerce and Magento, you can basically load your products and have the platform take care of the rest.

Myth #2: It’s too Easy, So Everyone’s Already Doing It

You should find a way to bring value to the market with your individual skills, but being totally unique is not necessary. There are many millions of people online. All you need to do is stand out from the crowd a bit and you’ll be in a position to enjoy your piece of the pie.

Myth #3: You Need Funding or an Otherwise Enormous Budget

It is absolutely possible to start an online business with no money. (or at least very little) A domain costs about $10, and hosting between $50 and $100 per year. There are free alternatives to these, but you’ll be forced to advertise someone else’s services. Beyond that cost, there’s no requirement for spending a lot of money. If you’re savvy with the computer and don’t mind learning some new tricks, you can absolutely do all of the work yourself.

Myth #4: You Need to Update Your Website Every Day

At first, you’ll have a lot of updating/customizing to do. However, once your site is finished, there’s rarely a need to make daily updates. Of course, unless you’re running a blog or have daily product updates. Most websites can be launched and left alone for extended periods of time. Is it better to update your website often? Yes, but it’s not essential.

Myth #5: You Need a Huge Advertising Budget

You don’t need to spend a dime, but you will need to spend some time. If you have products with descriptions and features, your site will naturally be “picked up” by the search engines. You will need to do some advertising on your own, but it’s not necessary to shell out a bunch of money to have a banner on someone else’s site. (btw…banners are very 1995) The name of the game is search engine optimization (SEO). You’ll need to get in good with the search engines and I promise you will receive traffic. How you get in good with them is the center of an entirely separate industry known as internet marketing.
Some good SEO / Internet Marketing blogs are: SEOMoz, SEOBook, and Awesome-SEO.


And now to pull you back to reality, because everything you just learned above isn’t really that easy.

Here are the top 5 myths that make you think starting an online business is easy money:

Myth #1: Just Launch a Website and Start Collecting Your Money

This is probably the longest-running myth of starting a business online. Simply putting up a website does not mean anyone will ever see it. You may be able to get 50 or 100 visitors a month by accident if you have a decent amount of content on your site. However, you need to write quality content, offer quality products, and you’ll still need to do some advertising. You need to build links from other websites to rank higher in the search engines, and you need to optimize your site so your visitors do what you want when they get to your site.

Myth #2: You Can Buy an Online Business Plan or System and Become Instantly Successful

That eBook or seminar is NOT going to be the key to your internet riches. In the decade that I’ve been doing this, I’ve seen hundreds of these offers, and even purchased quite a few. They’re just like any other business. You need to work at them and have your own plan for making them succeed. The only people making money from these systems are the ones selling them.

Myth #3: A Home-Based Online Business Will Give you More Free Time

Until your home business gets really successful, don’t plan on quitting that day job. And since you’ll be working a day job and moonlighting with your online business, you’ll have LESS free time. This may go on for 6 months, a year, or many more than that. You will need to sacrifice some free time if you want the future benefits of owning your own business. (So I guess this isn’t really a myth because you will eventually have more free time if you’re wildly successful. Unfortunately, many of us aren’t successful right away, so it may be a grind for a very long time. *It’s after midnight as I write this.)

Myth #4: You Can Get a Grant or Loan to Start Your Business

There are government grants to aid local businesses, and the Small Business Administration (SBA) does help people get loans, but you cannot expect to get much help from either of these sources. The government and SBA are interested in creating jobs. They will help you out if you expect to create X number of jobs in your region, but for a home-based business, you really need to assume everything will come out of your pocket. (See the first 5 myths if you’re scared about not having enough money.)

Myth #5: You’ll be able to Claim Everything as a Tax Deduction

This is one where you can get into big trouble if you don’t take it seriously. Business and personal expenses must be tracked separately. Now remember that I’m not a tax advisor, but if you claim your tickets to the Steeler’s football game as a business expense, you better be able to prove it was a legitimate business-related activity. You can absolutely write off parts of your house and your utilities, depending on your local tax laws, but if you start writing off personal expenses, expect a call from the tax man.

I hope this list helped you to better understand what’s really involved in starting an online or home based business. If you thought it would be too hard, I hope this inspired you to give it a try, and if you thought it would be easy, I hope you take a second look at your plan before making any crazy decisions.

There are so many more myths about starting an online business that I’d like to discuss, but let’s leave it up to you what we talk about next. Please comment with your own myths or ideas you have about working from home.

How do I cancel my DOBA.com Account?

I have been frustrated more than once at the fact that DOBA.com can accept my membership via electronic means, but absolutely won’t allow me to cancel my membership with the same method.

For anyone searching for ways to cancel a DOBA membership, I give you the text from their help file:

To cancel your account, please call 1.877.321.3622 to speak to a Member Services Representative who can help you cancel your account. Member Services is available between the hours of 7 AM and 7 PM Mountain Time, Monday through Friday. Please note that, at this time, we are unable to process cancellation requests via email.

This policy is also outlined in the Terms of Use. See the Terms of Use by checking on the following link: http://www.doba.com/site/fees.html

~~~~~

Basically, you have to call during their normal business hours. They will not accept your cancellation via any other means.*

*I was able to cancel electronically several years ago by making this same argument. Unfortunately, I recently created a trial account and tried to cancel it the same way, but it was a no go this time.

DOBA might be a good way to get your wholesale business started, but be warned that it’s not as easy to cancel as it is to sign up.

If you do want to give them a try, they’ve just increased their free trial length from 7 days to 14. Definitely worth a look. (and now that you’re going to bookmark this page, you’ll know how to cancel if you decide you don’t want the service.) 🙂

Click here to try DOBA.com

Magento Ecommerce and Google Website Optimizer

I have found the e-commerce platform that I’ll be using for the “start a wholesale business” project. I’ve always been a fan of osCommerce because they were the platform I used when I owned SellSunglasses.com. However, Magento eCommerce has a ton of absolutely awesome features!

1. Integration with Google Website Optimizer : This is the most fantastic feature I’ve ever seen in any CMS ever!? With the latest version of Magento, they have created a tab where you can very simply create a multivariate test for your landing pages. Google has a video of this on their blog if you need more explanation. This is the main reason I’m using Magento as my eCommerce platform.

2. Optimized for viewing on the iPhone.

3. Flexible Pricing : Coupons, free shipping, tax rates, etc…? All of this is highly configurable.

4. Automatic Cross-Selling : Yes, it will suggest similar products for your customers to buy.

5. Shipping to multiple addresses on one order.

6. Search Engine Friendly : Automatically creates a Google sitemap and a sitemap for users.? Allows URL rewrites. (ie.. category=electronics vs. category=12)? Auto-Generated popular search terms.

7. Integration with Paypal, Authorize.net, Google Checkout.? Also allows checks, credit cards, and money orders.

8. Batch import of product catalog: You have no idea how much time this will save.? Or, if you don’t believe me, go type the name, description, price, and shipping options for 1000 products. (Let me know how it goes.)

9. Multiple Images per Product : Handy if you want to show different angles of your products.

10. Integration with Google Analytics : As if I wasn’t excited enough about the Website Optimizer integration.? This will automatically configure Google Analytics to track your users’ activity across your site.

Overall, Magento eCommerce is light years ahead of what I used just a few years ago.? I’m very excited to get it up and running so I can write another review.? I hope I like it as much as I’m expecting to.

Amazon.com Gift Cards

I just received an email from Amazon.com selling gift cards.? First, I’ll mention that I am an Amazon.com affiliate and might benefit if you click these links.? It will not hurt you in any way, but if you buy something, I might make a few pennies.? 🙂

Anyway, I honestly love Amazon.com for books.? I used to go to my local chain bookstore, but Amazon always has the best prices.? The shipping isn’t all that expensive, and I’m always extremely surprised at how fast I receive my books. (Less surprised each time, but still happy.)

Many times, I go for the used books available on Amazon.? I’ve seen $50 books priced below $10 just because they’re no longer the latest fad or new technology.? So, you can go to Amazon and buy the latest wholesale business book, but it may be hit or miss. By getting a gift card, you give the control to the person who will spend many hours reading the book.

The reason I find this marginally blogworthy is the variety of ways they allow you to buy and send your giftcards.? No longer do you have to go to the store and pick up a physical gift card!

(Copied from the email I received.)

1. Email a personalized gift card for immediate delivery.

2. Print a personalized gift card on your own printer. (Remember to have your credit card handy when you’re ready to print.)

3. Mail a personalized gift card (shipping is free, of course). Please allow 5-7 business days for delivery.

4. Add a $25, $50, or $100 Gift Card – or a box of them! – to your other purchases in your Amazon.com shopping cart.
I think it’s awesome that you can buy a gift card and email it to someone.? True it’s not very personal, even if it is “personalized”, but hey, it’s a gift card.

I suppose the ability to print your gift card might be handy if you’re in an extreme hurry and need something to slip into a card.

And if anyone is having trouble coming up with a last-minute Christmas gift for me, consider this a hint.? 😉

Get Amazon.com gift cards here!