There are many advantages of getting into the distribution business and selling wholesale. But before you jump into it, a little bit of research into popular wholesale business ideas could go a long way.
Knowing which categories or niches are trending helps to lay the groundwork for a successful entrepreneurial venture in distribution.
In this post, you’ll find a list of the 20 best wholesale business ideas in 2024. These ideas are supported by hard facts and figures to help guide your decision.
Wholesale business ideas in fashion
Fashion is one of the most popular industries many aspiring entrepreneurs consider when looking at profitable wholesale business ideas.
This is no surprise, considering the US fashion market is forecasted to reach $148.7 billion by 2023. It actually accounts for 16.3% of the total ecommerce market in the US.
Let’s have a look at the different niches this giant umbrella category covers.
In 2022, retail sales of jewelry in the US totaled a whopping $91.5 billion. It saw significant growth in 2021 compared to 2020, and it continues to trend upward. It’s clear the jewelry industry is a solid investment for any aspiring entrepreneur.
One of the biggest advantages of becoming a wholesale jewelry business is that both the raw materials and the finished products don’t take up much space. This reduces the need for warehouses for inventory management.
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Come rain or shine, summer or winter, footwear is one thing people don’t leave the house without, and that’s why it ranks among the top wholesale ideas.
If consumers living in sunny states like Texas, Arizona, or Florida are among your target markets, summer footwear such as sandals and sneakers are fantastic wholesale ideas. Up north, boots would probably be a safer bet.
Shoes aside, there are also other footwear-related products to sell wholesale. For instance, you can also get into shoe care and sell polish, brushes, and wax.
The global fashion accessories market is forecast to grow at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 12.3% from 2021 to 2026, which presents lots of growth opportunities.
Bags and hats, eyewear and beachwear accessories, and even keychains—there are plenty of wholesale business opportunities in the accessories niche.
That said, there are things to consider before starting a business in the wholesale accessories market. Because of the sector’s highly competitive nature, constant innovation and development are necessary to stand out from the competition.
Valued at $12.7 billion, the lingerie market in the US sees an average growth rate of about 3% each year. This spells big potential and is certainly a niche to consider when thinking about wholesale business opportunities.
Selling lingerie wholesale can get competitive, which means knowing exactly what types of products are trending (and what to sell) is key to ensuring your business takes off.
In 2020, revenues from loungewear and leggings skyrocketed 1,300% and even prompted some brands to refocus their sales strategies.
Though we’re no longer living in the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, loungewear staked its claim in the market and is here to stay in a post-pandemic world. The 2020 lockdowns helped consumers rediscover the pleasures of staying indoors. With that, the loungewear trend has stuck around, which makes it a great wholesale business idea.
The global activewear market is valued at $303.44 billion as of 2022, with a CAGR of 5.8%. And more people are working out than ever before.
Reports show that about a third of people work out in a gym or group class studio, and another third work out in a community space.
One great way to tap on this trend is by selling activewear wholesale. And since many people will be looking to work out in public, products that are as attractive as they’re comfortable will sell best.
Wholesale business ideas in wellness
Long gone are the days when “wellness” was thought of only in terms of what we eat and how much we exercise.
These days, it’s a concept that encompasses physical beauty, mindfulness, and mental health.
That’s not all. According to recent research, the global wellness market is currently worth $1.5 trillion, with increasing interest by consumers, especially in the past two to three years.
Here’s a look at some wholesale ideas in the wellness sector.
7. Skin care
Skin care products have always been a big hit among consumers, and this is expected to continue in the foreseeable years ahead.
What’s been driving the skin care industry in recent years is the pivot toward “clean” beauty products. More and more consumers are starting to purchase products that are free of chemicals and toxins like paraben, phthalates, and sulfates, and made only with organic and natural ingredients.
The good news is, where there’s demand, there’s supply. So if skin care is an appealing niche for you, you’re in luck. There are plenty of skin care suppliers at your disposal that you can start talking to about your wholesale business options.
Up until the 2018 Farm Bill was passed, CBD products were considered illegal in the US. Despite it being a fairly new market, CBD products have skyrocketed in popularity. Sales of CBD products in the US came in at $5.3 billion in 2022, with more than 40% happening online. Sales are expected to more than triple by 2026, to hit $16 billion.
If you’re looking to start selling CBD products wholesale, there are legal requirements to abide by. You may also need to acquire a special license to sell. These barriers may appear to be a hindrance for new wholesalers, but as long as you do your due diligence and keep up to date with federal and state laws, you’ll be good to go.
If you’re a producer, make sure you’re up to date with federal and state laws. If you’re operating as an intermediary, source your products only from trusted wholesale suppliers.
9. Spa and spiritual
Spa and spiritual products also rank among the top wholesale businesses in 2024. The global spa market is worth an estimated $47.5 billion with forecasts to grow 12.1% annually.
Whether it’s bath salts, incense, or crystals, these wellness products have triumphed recently as consumers take to alternative healing. All this potential translates into great distribution business opportunities for anyone looking for wholesale ideas.
Cosmetics are a viable wholesale distribution business idea because it’s a thriving and huge market worth nearly $300 billion in 2022. The products tend to be small and lightweight, making it easy to store and ship them.
Plus, cosmetics trends change so quickly there’s likely to always be something new to develop or sell. This also feeds continuous demand as consumers look to replace outdated cosmetics products with new trendy ones.
Wholesale business ideas in home and living
Valued at $181.5 billion in 2021, the home décor market in the US is set to exceed $200 billion by 2024.
Like fashion, home and living is a huge overarching category that envelopes many different niches, each unique in its own way.
Here’s a breakdown of the top wholesale business ideas in this space.
11. Interior design
Interior design, home goods, and small improvement projects are great product offerings as a wholesaler. The global home décor market, for example, was worth $803.25 billion in 2021, with a CAGR of 6.6%.
Plus, the opportunities are endless. There are always new interior design trends, which means constant opportunity to develop new products and iterations of existing products. Selling wholesale home goods products like cushy throws, top-quality bed sheets, and sleep masks could be a profitable venture.
The kitchenware segment is expected to reach $16.51 billion worldwide by the end of 2023. Whether it’s décor or cookware, there are plenty of opportunities as a kitchen wholesale distributor. Trends also open the doors for matching wholesale items to sell.
Below are some kitchen products to get your wholesaling business off the ground:
- Bowls and plates
- Cabinets or shelving
- Pots and pans
- Storage and organization
- Table linens
13. Garden and plants
The lawn and garden market is worth about $129.3 billion in 2023 with an estimated CAGR of 2.64% through 2028. The most sales happen in the US.
Products like planters, hangers, and even plant accessories are all great options for products in this category.
14. Kids’ toys
From life’s greatest milestones like birthdays and graduations to special events like the holidays, there are plenty of occasions all year round for kids to receive toys. So from dolls and crayons to teethers for the smaller ones, there’s bound to be something for every single age group.
This spells great news for merchants as wholesale business opportunities in this sector abound. According to recent data, the global toys market is set to grow from $126 billion in 2023 to $230.74 billion in 2028—a CAGR of 7.3%.
Although this may be a product category that’s traditionally sold in brick-and-mortar stores, thanks to the rise of ecommerce, the tide is definitely changing. Statistics show that revenue from online children’s toys sales in the US is set to grow 7.7% in 2022 and register an 8.1% average annual increase between 2022 and 2027.
If you’re looking for something a little more traditional, grocery stores are a great place to begin. For starters, the likelihood of getting return customers is high, as people will need to restock their pantries and fridges pretty often.
And even though most people do their grocery shopping in brick-and-mortar stores, more and more consumers are starting to purchase their groceries online. Plus, it’s easy to add items like grocery list notepads and grocery tote bags to your product portfolio.
16. Phone cases
Phone cases are a great wholesale product to sell for a number of reasons. To start, 97% of Americans own smartphones, and the trend is similar globally. And the phone case market alone is worth an estimated $13.33 billion.
Logistically speaking, phone cases are small, lightweight, and easy to ship. Plus, it’s easy to come out with new designs. And as new phones are released, you’ll also have a chance to develop new cases with existing designs. It’s a constant stream of demand!
17. Educational material
There’s a large annual market for education supplies. In the US alone, there were more than 55 million K–12 students enrolled and more than four million teachers employed in 2023.
Below are some education products to consider wholesaling:
- Arts and crafts supplies
- Educational software
- Writing utensils
18. Pet supplies
About two-thirds of American households have a pet. These homes spend an average of $1,480 on a dog and $902 on a cat annually. There’s no denying that getting into the pet supplies wholesale business can be profitable.
Here are some wholesale pet items to sell:
- Beds and bedding
- Bowls and other feeders
- Cleaning supplies
- Clothing and accessories
- Crates, cages, and aquariums
- Health care
- Leashes, collars, and harnesses
One of the hottest wholesale ideas that has completely overtaken the home décor market in recent years is candles. And why shouldn’t they? Their benefits include helping to reduce stress, improve focus, and add a cozy touch to any room.
If you’re serious about starting a candle wholesale business, aside from doing adequate research into wholesale candle suppliers, you may want to pay special attention to the rise of sustainable candles. More consumers are starting to lean toward eco-friendly and non-toxic candles, which are typically plant-based and chemical-free.
20. Party accessories
The party planning market exceeded $4 billion in 2022. Wholesaling party supplies not only gives you a variety of products to sell, it gives you volume as well. Plus, the market doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.
Here are some products to consider in this category:
- Banquet equipment
- Disposable tableware
- Party favors
Summary: Successful wholesale business ideas in 2024
Getting into wholesale is a great way to start a business. It requires more products but fewer customers and fewer individual sales. One of these wholesale business ideas could be the idea that sparks your entrepreneurial spirit.
Once you’re ready to launch your wholesale business, get started with an ecommerce platform like Shopify. Shopify has all the tools you need to launch your online business today and grow it for years to come.
Wholesale business ideas FAQ
What kind of wholesale business is best?
The kind of wholesale business that’s best depends on your unique goals and background. The best wholesale business is one that has healthy profit margins, steady demand, strong customer retention, and a work-life balance for the team.
How profitable are wholesalers?
Wholesalers have varying profitability. Typically, they receive a smaller profit margin than DTC brands because they offer lower markup in exchange for bulk orders. DTC brands, on the other hand, usually sell individual units to consumers.
How do you succeed in wholesale?
- Develop and manufacture amazing products
- Create great relationships with merchants
- Smooth out logistics and operations
- Market effectively
- Price strategically