Things to Sell to Make Money—What to Sell and Where to Sell It
Updated · Jun 24, 2022
Selling items online can be a great way to make money, but what should you sell?
In this article, we'll discuss items to be sold on a small and larger scale before giving some advice on where to sell them.
There is a wide range of things to sell and specific places to ensure the most success.
Without further delay, let’s find out about things to sell to make money.
Types of Selling in eCommerce
When deciding what to sell online, it’s helpful to separate things into two different categories: small—scale/informal selling and retail selling.
Informal selling refers to selling a couple of items, perhaps second-hand, or even making small batches of craft goods.
On the other hand, retail refers to turning selling into a full-on business.
The former is suitable for making some quick cash, whereas the latter is a process for creating a long-term business. You can also use small-scale selling to test the waters before scaling up into retail sales.
Small-Scale Things to Sell
First up, we’ll check out some of the best things to sell to make money on a small scale.
Secondhand items are neat because they’re widely available, and some can fetch a high price. Some secondhand goods are textbooks, collectibles, clothing, and even baby gear.
Textbooks are outstanding because of how expensive brand-new ones are. The same goes for baby items such as strollers and cribs.
If you can source desired secondhand goods, you can turn a healthy profit while making your customer’s happy too.
Craft goods are another item that can be sold on a small scale.
By painting, making jewelry, or even making soaps and other toiletries, you can turn your hobby into a side hustle and create items to sell from home.
There’s been an uptick in demand for handmade goods lately, and by getting into crafting, you can take advantage of this new interest. Do a little research and see if there’s any niche you could fill.
You could always learn, even if you’re not “crafty.”.
FMCGs refer to fast-moving consumer goods. While many FMCGs are retail goods made by big brands and manufacturers, homemade items can also be FMCGs.
Here we’re referring to food items, such as baked goods and even home-cooked meals sold as takeout.
Most homemade FMCGs will limit you to your local area, but if you figure out a niche that isn’t being filled, they’ll be things that sell fast, give you a solid captive market and cut out expenses such as shipping.
Selling retail goods is more complicated, but if you start small, you can slowly build the experience and capital required to grow your business in size, reach, and customer base.
These FMCGs are similar to homemade ones, but you’ll be sourcing them, in bulk, from manufacturers.
Certain items will always be in demand, no matter how high the supply is. These items are “cosumables,” such as snacks, stationery, and grooming products.
You could offer good deals and win loyal customers by monitoring the market and sourcing these supplies well.
Another excellent thing to sell to make money online are “trending products.” Here we’re referring to currently popular items. Some recent examples are N95 masks.
Trending products will see high demand, with some stores selling out quickly, leaving consumers to look elsewhere.
The downside is that it can be hard to predict when these products will fall out of favor. If you order too much stock, you can be left sitting with items you have to sell at a loss. Just look at fidget spinners.
Print-on-demand (POD) items are things like t-shirts, mugs, and posters created by another company and branded for you.
You can use POD to create good things to sell that promote your brand without creating the products yourself.
If you have art skills, this can even allow you to take that hobby from crafting to commercial.
White-labeled products are similar to POD products, but they’re more diverse.
These can be anything from tools to food items like canned produce, all branded to your company.
The benefits of white-labeling aren’t just brand awareness but the ability to “create” product lines cheaply and appear more prestigious too.
Where to Sell
When it comes to selling online, choosing where to sell is just as important as deciding what to sell.
As you’re online, you can sell things from home, but you need to choose an online place.
If you create an eBay store, you can use it to sell informally or more towards the retail side.
eBay is the internet’s most popular auction site, which is great if you’re selling rare secondhand goods, but it also facilitates the selling of products.
That means it’s an excellent place to experiment, but be mindful of making the most of it.
The Facebook Marketplace is another popular option, and it has the advantage of being integrated with a site that many people use daily.
Most Facebook Marketplace stores are confined to local areas, so the best things to sell to make money here are small-scale items rather than retail.
Would this list be complete without Amazon? Of course not. You can use Amazon for retail selling and selling “select” secondhand items, such as books and video games.
Amazon is a bit more advanced, and depending on what you sell, you may even be competing with Amazon itself. However, its infrastructure is world-class and will give you a broad reach.
Plus, it’s versatile. You can drop ship through it rather than opting for a traditional store…
Dropshipping is an increasingly popular option for those who want to get into selling from home without having to deal with physical inventory.
With dropshipping, you take orders while your suppliers ship items directly to your customers. The only downside is a lack of fine control, which could lead to you being blamed for issues you didn’t cause.
If you set up a dropshipping store correctly, it can be a very low-maintenance and low-cost way to sell.
Dropshipping is excellent for white-labeled products and other retail items.
Finally, you can choose to create an online store.
If you combine a cheap ecommerce hosting plan with some open-source software or a SaaS solution, you can have complete control of your operation, from what to sell to make money to how you sell it and scale it over time.
This solution is the most versatile but also requires the most work.
If you’re a beginner, it’ll be worth trying one of the other methods before diving into this. An ecommerce platform like Shopify can help you get going.
Now that you know about some categories of things to sell to make money, you’re one step closer to selling.
Figure out what you want to sell, find the best platform for you, and begin, but remember—that’s only the start. You’ll also need to pay attention to budgeting and other factors.
As you grow and gain experience, you can take your selling to even greater heights.
Garan is a writer interested in how tech reshapes the environment, and how the environment reshapes tech. You'll usually find him inoculating against future shock and arguing with bots.