So, you’ve decided to sell wholesale. Perhaps you already have a niche and are looking to expand your product range, or maybe you’re just starting out on your wholesale journey.
No matter where you’re at, it’s well worth doing some research on what are the best products to sell wholesale before jumping in. Before we do, we should preface this by saying this is by no means an exhaustive category list, but has been compiled using CREOATE’s data insights for peek behind what makes our platform tick. Hopefully, this information will provide some insight for anyone looking to ascertain which are the best wholesale products to start selling.
Here are the best products to sell wholesale:
Clothing & Accessories
According to the British Council, the UK fashion industry was worth £26 billion in 2021, making it the UK’s largest creative industry. A source of inspiration and identity for many, fashion is as influential as it is lucrative.
Fashion & Jewellery in particular tops the list of best-performing categories on CREOATE, including a number of varied sub-categories. With a suggested margin of 45-55% for retailers —50-60% for kids’ clothing and accessories— there’s profit to be made here if you can breakthrough. However, proceed with caution. Such a vast market comes with unique challenges for sellers and retailers alike.
The fashion and clothing industry is extremely competitive, so make sure you do your research and know your niche. Many customers are also a lot savvier now when it comes to the ethics and values behind the clothes they purchase. With fast fashion the second largest polluter in the world, consider using responsibly sourced materials, and thoroughly vetting any factories you work with to ensure ethical practice. Doing so not only ensures the quality and integrity of your brand, but future-proofs it as a forward-thinking fashion innovator.
Paguro Upcycle shows us that upcycled fashion doesn’t have to be boring, with its range of eco-friendly jewellery and accessories made from recycled materials. Love Kidswear specialises in colourful clothes for children, made from sustainable materials using ethical labour practices. Meanwhile, Summit Crazy offers clothing and accessories for adventurers made from natural and recycled materials.
Homeware & Decor
With everyone having spent a lot more time at home over the past two years, it should come as no surprise that there has been at least a 42% increase in homeware sales as a result of pandemic purchases.
A varied market
Like clothing, the way people decorate their homes is extremely personal. Part of the fun of home decor is crafting interiors to reflect your personality and tastes. Homeware and decor as a category is extremely varied, including everything from furniture and functional accessories, to art prints, storage, and soft furnishings. Though it depends on product specifics, the suggested retailer profit margin here sits between 45-50%.
In this space, there’s room for a broader lifestyle focus, as well as making your mark on more specific sub-sections with your own creative style. A super versatile category, homeware is not only sought after by retailers as part of curated seasonal collections for home decorators, but for giftware, too. Among those retailers, department stores, mom-and-pop outlets, market stalls, pop-ups and gift shops are always on the lookout for fresh new products to sell.
Pens! Notebooks! Can we have enough of them? Research says no, with UK households reportedly having purchased approximately 2.6 billion pounds worth of stationery and drawing materials in 2021.
Perhaps it’s in part down to the rise in homeschooling and remote work over the past couple of years, but maybe it’s also down to the idea that the right notebook or planner can help change your life. A blank page can hold a world of possibilities, both for your customers, and you!
Another super versatile category, stationery encompasses everything from greeting cards to pens, boxes and wrapping supplies, as well as notebooks and organisers, hobby kits and more.
As with homeware, it’s a category that’s in high demand with a range of retailers, with many designers opting to print their designs on stationery to cast a wider net. Sounds like a goer? You’re looking at retailer margins of 45-55% if you can make it work in the stationery world.
Make your mark
Decide whereabouts you fit in. Whether you’re a wordsmith who can come up with punny slogans for greeting cards, or if you’re more of a visual storyteller, able to whip up a storm of patterns and illustrations perfect for adorning everything from washi tape to wrapping paper — the demand is there for fresh and exciting designs.
Beauty & Wellbeing
Having seen growth of up to 15% in 2021, the market for pampering and beauty products is alive and well, despite people having spent more time in their PJs over the pandemic. Growth is especially noticeable amid organic and natural beauty, with sales reaching 138.21 million in 2021 in the UK alone.
We can only speculate, but it seems there’s a heightened awareness among consumers of what’s going into our bodies. Staying healthy on the inside has never felt so important, and maybe this has translated to our outward appearances, too. In any case, natural beauty is in, and it’s not going anywhere. If you’re thinking of entering this market, we’d suggest a retailer profit margin of 35-40% on your products.
The natural way
Customers here often look for transparency when it comes to ingredients, and can be quite discerning. So, buckle up and educate yourself, as retailers need educating, too. Not only on why your product and its ingredients offer benefits competitors don’t, but on customs and trading rules, something Evolve Botanica founder, Jennifer Tice knows only too well:
‘Skincare going across borders is a whole different beast. There are so many specific regulations regarding how each country handles what is accepted, what products are allowed, and how you have to have your labels done. You really have to learn what those very specific retail challenges are from both the retailers, and for yourself as you’re exporting that product into different countries. It’s not just on you to understand what you need to do — you have to educate your buyers on the processes they have to go through when they’re importing skincare products into their country, too. It’s definitely the biggest challenge for our industry.’
Pet Supplies & Accessories
Following the pandemic pet boom, Pets at Home has seen record sales, with the trend not looking to go anywhere anytime soon.
People love their pets, and are willing to pay out for them. Whether you offer toys, food and treats, collars and harnesses, or a mixture of items. Despite its niche appeal, depending on your products, there’s a chance a lot of retailers will be looking for stock. Specialist pet stores, as well as gift shops, and outlets with more general appeal are often looking to stock pet supplies. To stay competitive in this market, a retailer profit margin of around 30-40% is generally the rule of thumb.
Product Research for Wholesale Selling
When considering what to sell wholesale, pay attention to what makes the most sense for your brand. Many brands sell across multiple categories, with artists and illustrators often straddling stationery and homeware as a way of reaching different audiences with their designs.
Also, notice and decide whether or not to engage with certain trends. While crystals have crept up in popularity over the past few years, consider whether the timing is right to wade into this category if it’s not something that already makes sense for your brand. There’s nothing worse than dead and dated stock, so when it comes to what’s fashionable, always do right by your brand first and foremost.