How to find cheap wholesale products to resell: the ultimate guide

Alibaba.com MAY 17, 202110 MIN READ
How to find cheap wholesale products to resell: the ultimate guide

Flipping products is a great way to make money without developing a product of your own. Basically, this is buying products from one seller and reselling them at a higher price.

In order to make a decent profit, retailers must find source products cheaper than their retail price. With the help of a B2B marketplace, like Alibaba.com, this should be relatively easy to accomplish.

In this post, we’re going to discuss everything you need to know about finding cheap wholesale products to resell online. We will discuss where to find these products before we take a look at 5 types of products for reselling. To wrap things up, we will take a close look at how to source products on Alibaba.com.

Online reselling: the basics

Flipping products, or buying products just to resell them, is a business model that has gained popularity over the past few years. It is attractive because it doesn’t require any product development or branding efforts.

There are a couple of ways that this business model can be applied. The first is retail arbitrage. That is when an entrepreneur buys products from another retailer and sells it to consumers at a higher price.

The other way to go is to buy products in bulk from a distributor at a reduced wholesale price. This creates the potential for larger profit margins.

In both situations, the entrepreneur who is flipping the products will likely be buying in bulk. That means that both situations carry the risks that come with investing in a lot of inventory, but getting discounts by buying directly from a distributor certainly presents some advantages. Operating with less overhead reduces associated risks.

Where to buy cheap wholesale products

The best place to find cheap wholesale products is through a B2B marketplace. These sites are designed to connect retailers with suppliers and are generally quite easy to browse to find what you are looking for.

The top sites for buying cheap wholesale products online include:

  • Alibaba.com
  • Salehoo
  • Faire
  • Tundra
  • Boutsy
  • TradeGala

Many sellers on those platforms enforce quantity minimums to maintain their low wholesale prices. That means that you can get quality products at a lower price than you’d find in stores.

Some resellers may work out contracts directly with local businesses that are expanding their operations. However, this approach may be a bit more expensive.

Best cheap wholesale products

When it comes to reselling, some entrepreneurs choose a niche to master and others stay more general. Now that you have an understanding of how reselling items works, let’s take a look at some of the best types of wholesale products to purchase and resell for a profit.

1. Groceries

Some non-perishable groceries can be purchased very inexpensively which means that they can be sold for a profit. This ranges from something as simple as spices to something a bit more processed, like instant noodles.

Please note that unless you are offering a full selection of groceries, you may want to opt to sell on a B2C marketplace. That said, let’s take a look at a few grocery items that are easy to buy and resell.

Spices

Spices are easy to sell since they are non-perishable, and you don’t have to worry about special shipping methods. You can buy spices in bulk and package them individually, or you can buy spices that are individually packaged.

Some popular spices include:

  • Paprika
  • Chili powder
  • Cumin
  • Fennel seed
  • Tumeric
  • Black pepper
  • Table salt/sea salt

If you are planning to sell to a local market, we recommend going to a variety of grocery stores and seeing what is often out of stock or unavailable.

A reseller could take the approach of selling popular spice, like garlic powder or onion powder, that has an ultra-high demand and sells out quickly. A reseller could also take the route of selling less common spices that are still commonly used but not popular enough to take up shelf space in a store.

Rice

Rice is a staple in many cultural cuisines. The locality and low cost of rice are what make it so popular in the locations that have rice-centered diets.

However, when large groups of people migrate to other parts of the world, it is normal for them to maintain a large sense of their cultural identity, and diet is part of that. That creates a demand for affordable rice in different places around the world.

Of course, many grocery stores carry white rice and a variety of microwavable options, but other varieties of rice may be harder to come by. That opens the door to many resale opportunities.

Beans

Much like rice, you can buy and sell a wide variety of beans for a decent profit. Some types of beans you could sell include:

  • Black beans
  • Red beans
  • Green mung beans
  • Soybeans
  • Kidney beans
  • Dark red kidney beans

Again, it is worth going to some grocery stores that are local to your audience to see what variety they offer and determine how you can supplement that.

Specialty foods

Many grocery stores accommodate the local cuisine and only offer a small variety of specialty foods. Even if there is a small variety of specialty foods,

This could include health foods, fad diet foods, novelty treats, and more. The most important thing here is that you are selling something non-perishable so that you don’t have to worry about having to plan for special shipping conditions.

Some examples of specialty foods that you could sell include instant noodles, keto snacks, supplements, and specialty pasta.

2. Pharmacy

Online pharmacies have become important since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Having health-related supplies delivered helped to minimize contact which was important for slowing the spread.

Here are a few pharmacy items that you can buy and resell.

Vitamins

Since the start of the pandemic, many people have become more intentional about the nutrients that they consume to help strengthen their immune systems. Vitamins have.

Cough drops

Cough drops are another hot item that can be resold for a profit. There is a wide variety of cough drops, so you can shop around to choose the ones that make the most sense for your reselling business.

Having cough drops available for delivery is especially helpful for those who are sick because it gives them access to a medicine that they need without requiring them to leave their home.

Razors

Razors are another item that retails for a high price that can be sourced relatively inexpensively. There are many categories of razors, including single-use, men’s, women’s, eco-friendly, pre-hydrated, and more.

Since there are some “niche” types of razors, resellers may find success in running targeted ads that direct buyers to their product listings.

First aid

First aid kits are also very important for households, businesses, and public establishments. Everybody needs them since accidents happen.

You can resell first aid kits that you buy that are already assembled, or you can resell the supplies that would go into a first aid kit. Some of these supplies would include bandaids, alcohol wipes, cotton swabs, gauze, and medical tape.

3. Fashion

The clothing and accessory buying experience has changed in recent years. Many people like to buy clothes online to try them out in the comfort of their homes. Aside from the growing demand, the ability to source these items for very little makes clothing a prime item for reselling.

Let’s take a look at a few of the prime fashion categories for online resale businesses.

Jewelry

Jewelry, including bracelets, earrings, necklaces, and rings, can be sourced at a very reasonable price. Some jewelry businesses create brands with an elevated touch that allows them to resell these items at a decently higher rate.

Another attractive aspect of reselling jewelry is that it is typically quite light so shipping costs are minimal. Sellers could roll shipping into their pricing or charge a nominal shipping and handling fee. Either way leaves customers feeling like they got a great deal.

Accessories

Accessories are another hot buy that is perfect for this online business model. Hats, scarves, hair clips, and headbands are all great options.

Each of these types of accessories can be created and customized to fit a lot of different styles, so you have a lot of flexibility in what you could offer and the audience that you could target.

“Basics”

There are lots of different popular styles of clothing that are preferred by different types of people. However, some versatile pieces of clothing are usually referred to as “basics.” This usually describes simple or plain clothing that can be styled with a variety of other pieces.

Some examples would be plain shirts (tank tops, tees, long sleeves), sweatshirts, shorts, leggings, and undergarments.

Kids Clothing

There will always be a demand for children’s clothing. Kids and babies outgrow their clothes very quickly, so there is always a need for replacements.

Resellers have a wide variety of options and styles to choose from when it comes to children’s clothes. You can go with the “basics” approach for little ones, or you can choose something a bit more fun.

Something to keep in mind is that even though you’re selling products for children, you’re selling to their parents and caretakers. This will affect how you market the items.

4. Technology

Although a lot of electronics are pricy, there are some tech items that you can get for a reasonable wholesale rate. The thing about tech is that it is always evolving, so as long as you stay ahead of the curve, you will have a business.

That said, let’s look at a few hot items in tech that you can source for a low price.

Security cameras

The past year has seen a lot of uncertainty which has led people to protect their homes. Security cameras are a hot buy.

Although security cameras and systems can be a bit more expensive to source, the wholesale prices are still relatively low when compare to their retail prices. Of course, you assume a great risk when investing in a higher-cost inventory, but there is a demand to be filled.

Smartphone accessories

Smartphone accessories are also quite popular and can be soured very inexpensively. Some popular smartphone accessories include phone cases, headphones, mini ring lights, charging docks, and screen protectors.

5. Self-care

The last year has been very rough on a lot of people between the stress of the pandemic, losing loved ones, losing jobs, and the other negative effects of COVID-19. Many people have begun to prioritize self-care.

Here are a few self-care products that are suitable for starting a reselling business.

Skincare

Skincare is a hot commodity right now. Many people are incorporating skincare into their daily routines for several reasons. Some people are determined to reduce the appearance of aging and others like the relaxation aspect of the rituals.

Skincare products include serums, creams, tools, face masks, and supplements.

Beauty products

Beauty products, such as makeup and hair products, are also great options. There are so many products to choose from in this niche, so resellers can opt for an even more specific niche, or they create a one-stop-shop for all things makeup.

Sourcing products on Alibaba.com

As we mentioned, Alibaba.com is one of the best B2B marketplaces for connecting with wholesale distributors.

Alibaba.com functions as a search engine, so resellers can browse the listings that appear based on their search queries. Search results can be filtered based on a variety of criteria, so you can narrow them down based on your specific preferences.

Our platform also offers a “Request for Quotation” function that allows buyers, like yourself, to post their exact needs. Sellers can then reach out directly to the buyer if they are capable of fulfilling their needs.

Since Alibaba.com has millions of sellers, you are sure to find the specific products you want at the price that makes the most sense for your reselling business.

Ready to start doing business on Alibaba.com? Create an account today to start connecting with suppliers in your industry.