If you’re interested in starting an ecommerce business then chances are you might already have thought about making things to sell online.
Making the items you sell by hand can come with an array of benefits (and some negatives!) and can be a great choice for smaller businesses and entrepreneurs who are just starting out on their ecommerce journey.
In this article, we’ll explore some of the most popular things to make and sell online for extra money.
There are various benefits to making things to sell online including:
- You’ll have much lower setup and running costs than businesses that outsource their products.
- Your business can be operated from anywhere… even from home!
- You have no opening time restrictions, nor are you reliant on the opening times and availability of factories or suppliers.
- The scalability is huge.
- The cash flow and profit margins are potentially extensive, especially if you manage to keep your material costs low.
Of course, nothing is perfect and there are some downsides to making things to sell online. Firstly you’ll need to buy all of your materials and depending on what you’re making, you may need a lot. This means you’ll need somewhere to store the materials and an initial investment to purchase them.
As you’ll be making the products yourself, you’ll also need to consider how much of your time it’s going to take up.
Advice from the Experts
Top tip! Remember, your time is valuable and the final price of your product should reflect the effort you’ve put into making it. That being said, sometimes the final profit potential of your chosen product just isn’t worth the time it will take you to make it.
If you decide you want to make things to sell online, there are some things you’ll need to consider. Before getting started, we recommend you ask yourself the following questions.
What do you have experience in making?
First things first, you need to know how to actually make the item you’re considering. In an ideal world, you’ll already have experience doing so. Think about what you already know how to make and if you need to brush up on your skills, carefully research everything you need to know before you start.
What are you knowledgeable about?
It’s not enough to simply know how to make the product in question, you’re going to need extensive knowledge of the items too. For example, you may know how to make soap but if you don’t know which ingredients and scents complement each other, and the benefits certain ingredients provide, you’re going to struggle to create a product that people will buy.
What can easily be posted?
If you’re planning to sell your handmade products online then you need to think about how you will ship them out to customers. If you want to sell your woodwork, for example, making wooden ornaments and toys will be much easier to post out than large dining tables or cabinets.
What is in demand?
Just like any ecommerce business, you need demand for your products. It’s all well and good to be able to create a masterpiece, but if nobody wants to buy it then you’re going to have a spare bedroom full of unsold bath bombs/pottery/whatever you decide to make. Be sure to conduct some market research before you get started to understand what the demand is like for your planned products.
We’ve put together 15 of the best things to make and sell online to provide you with some inspiration
Printed t-shirts are the perfect item to make and sell online – and making them couldn’t be easier.
First, you need to decide on your design (this is the fun part!) You can opt for anything from cool graphics to slogans, motivational quotes, or personalization.
Once you’ve created your designs you have two choices. You can either get to grips with screen printing and print the t-shirts yourselves, or you can cheat a little (we won’t tell anyone) and use a print-on-demand company like Printful to fulfill your orders.
Printed t-shirts are a great creative side hustle, but they’re also an easy thing to make and sell online if you already have an established brand. For example, if you own a gym or fitness brand, printed t-shirts could be the logical next step to help build an ecommerce empire. You can add your logos or straplines to t-shirts which will also act as free marketing too!
Find out more
Making candles to sell online is one of the easiest craft methods to explore. Even if you have no previous skills in candle making, there are plenty of online tutorials, and basic melt-and-pour methods are super easy to get to grips with.
Candles are a big business and there are an array of niches you can explore such as scented candles, holistic candles, celebration candles, holiday candles, etc.
If you decide to make candles to sell online, think about what can set you apart from other candle retailers. Choose interesting scent combinations or ensure your packaging stands out from the crowd.
Advice from the Experts
Top tip! If you make candles to sell online make sure you provide customers with clear safety instructions to avoid burns or fire accidents.
Handmade jewelry is a popular choice for many people who want to make things to sell online and depending on your skill level, can target various different markets.
From simple beaded necklaces to highly skilled silversmith collections, the options for handmade jewelry are vast… and very popular. After all, who doesn’t love a new piece to add to their jewelry box?!
The key to success in selling handmade jewelry online is finding your niche and shouting about it. With such a saturated market, you need to determine what exactly is going to make you stand out.
Remember, the thing that makes your handmade jewelry different from the rest is you. Shout about your skills and craftsmanship and make sure you’re presenting your jewelry to the right audience. Beaded or woven bracelets for example may be more popular with a younger audience, while high-quality silver and gold pieces may appeal to an older audience or those looking for a special gift.
The clean beauty movement is continuing to grow at pace with more and more people wanting to look and feel their best, without worrying about what chemicals or nasty ingredients their beauty products may contain.
Making natural cosmetics to sell online, therefore, is a popular and potentially lucrative choice.
While you will need to take the time to do your research, if you manage to successfully market your natural cosmetics to the right audience, you could see your ecommerce business really take off.
Options for natural cosmetics include organic, cruelty-free, vegan, and environmentally friendly items and ingredients.
We all love our pets and making pet products to sell online can be a great way to target a huge market, after all, millions of people have pets at home!
From healthy treats and snacks to handmade toys, leads, jackets, and beds, the options are endless.
If you’re a whizz at pottery, why not create a range of bespoke dog bowls? Or if you’re a haberdashery expert, making clothes and accessories for pets could prove popular (plenty of people love to dress their pets up for the perfect Instagram photo!)
Advice from the Experts
Top tip! If you decide to create edible items for animals, make sure you do extensive research to ensure the ingredients you are using can be consumed safely, and always list your ingredients on your website.
While making pottery to sell online is one of the more skilled options on this list, it can also be one of the most fruitful.
If you can master the potter’s wheel, you can make everything from bowls, plates, and mugs to vases, ornaments, and even jewelry.
The one downside to pottery is that it requires extensive materials and tools such as the aforementioned potter’s wheel as well as access to a kiln.
If you incorporate this into your overheads and costs, however, you may find that selling unique items of pottery is both popular and profitable.
Think about it, how many times have we mentioned in this article the need to do your research and look online for help? We’ve lost count! This is why creating online courses could be the perfect option.
Online courses can span anything from how to promote your business to how to knit, if you can teach it the chances are someone is looking to learn it.
One of the great things about creating an online course to sell online is that once you’ve put together the content for the course, the creating side is complete. Unlike, say, making handmade mugs, where you have to keep making new mugs to fulfill customer orders, with an online course – an online marketing course, for example – you only have to create it once.
When selling a course online make sure that your course is offering something that users can’t already find for free on the internet. This could be downloadable templates or access to specific services or platforms.
Find Out More
- Wondering what’s already been done? Our list of the Best Online Coding Courses can give you an idea within this niche
- You may be wondering: How Long Does It Take to Develop an Online Course? Luckily, we have a whole article dedicated to answering that question!
- Selling products that aren’t physical items can feel daunting. Find out more on How to Sell Information Products in our guide.
If you’re looking for a relatively easy thing to make and sell online then bath bombs could be a great choice.
There are plenty of online tutorials and once you’ve bought the ingredients and molds, you can have fun experimenting with scents, ingredients, shapes, and colors.
There are already plenty of bath bombs on the market so think carefully about how you can make yours stand out from the crowd. Opting for natural ingredients or fun shapes and colors can help to attract customers to your products.
Packaging is crucial when it comes to making and selling bath bombs. You’ll need to ensure your packaging choice is watertight, the last thing you want is rain or water to get into the packaging while in transit and your customers to open up an already fizzing bath bomb!
The shelf life of bath bombs can be shorter than other cosmetics so be sure to keep this in mind when managing stock levels and determining how many to make in each batch.
If you’re an artist or at least skilled with a paintbrush then now is a great time to start selling your art online.
People are always on the hunt for new and unique artwork to add to their homes and thanks to the visual nature of the product, it’s super easy to showcase your work on social media platforms such as Instagram, Tik Tok, and Pinterest.
As well as making paintings to sell online you can branch out into creating postcards, prints, and shirts with your paintings on.
If you have a local gallery then try and partner up to get your work in front of even more eyes.
We all love a trip to the candy store but what if you could have your favorite sugary snacks delivered straight to your door? Well, in the last few years, the demand and access to candy delivery services have risen tenfold.
Making candy to sell online comes with various restrictions, such as ensuring health and safety standards and using the correct labeling, but also endless possibilities.
Try to find a niche for your candies, perhaps they’re vegan or themed around a specific holiday season? Maybe you want to go old school and make retro candies or create brand-new flavors that are unique to your brand?
Whatever you choose, finding something to help you stand out is important. As well as this, like with any food creation, make sure your kitchen and finished product meet all the relevant regulations.
Advice from the Experts
Top tip! When sourcing your ingredients make sure you can trace back the full supply chain. Take the time to select raw ingredients that are up to standard.
You don’t need to be a professional photographer to take photos and sell them online – in fact, you don’t even need a professional camera.
Anyone with a smartphone can take high-quality photos to sell online. From travel landmarks to pets, you can take photographs of just about anything.
When it comes to selling them online you have various options. You can sell digital copies of the images via your own online store or you can license your images to stock photography websites.
If you decide to take photographs to sell online, research the best lighting and compositions to help get you started.
Find Out More
- If you want a website to sell your photos on, you may want to take a look at Photography Website Builders – we’ve reviewed the best for you to choose from!
Making unique furniture to sell online could be a great option, especially if you already have existing skills.
From tables to shelves, chairs to cabinets, what you choose to make is totally up to you.
There are already plenty of furniture companies out there but the fact that yours will be handmade, and therefore more unique, will be a big selling point.
As furniture items are usually on the large side, it may be worth making your items to order which means you only make each item once a customer has placed an order. This avoids you having to pay out for storage space while you await orders.
When pricing your furniture, ensure you’re offering a competitive rate that considers the materials, time and skill, packaging, and delivery costs.
If you enjoy cooking or coming up with new flavor combinations in the kitchen then making bottled sauces to sell online could be the perfect way to make extra money.
Simple ideas such as oils, spices, and unique flavored sauces are all perfect for those just starting out on their ecommerce journey.
If you decide to make your sauces at home you’ll need to ensure your kitchen meets all of the relevant local health and safety regulations.
Remember that your sauces will have a use-by date so don’t make too large a batch before you’ve understood the customer demand. You don’t want to be left with endless jars of out-of-date sauce on your hands!
Find Out More
- Get more top tips on How To Sell Food Online in our full guide!
Making tote bags to sell online is a good choice for business owners of varying skill levels.
If you’re good at sewing and designing, you can make your tote bags from scratch with materials such as linen and canvas.
Don’t worry if you’re not nifty with a needle and thread though – you can bulk-buy plain tote bags to decorate with your designs or even opt to use a print-on-demand service.
With people becoming more and more eco-conscious and less keen to use plastic shopping bags, reusable tote bags are a great environmentally friendly product choice.
If you want to make something to sell online, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a physical item.
Although the music industry may be incredibly difficult to break into, creating and selling your own music online can be a great way for aspiring artists to get noticed.
Utilizing platforms such as Tik Tok and YouTube are great ways to promote your music and it’s not just the music itself you can make and sell online.
Sheet music, instrument accessories, and even music lessons can all be sold in conjunction with your music.
These 15 items are just some of the things to make and sell online to earn some extra money.
No matter what you choose to make, there are important things to remember such as:
- Think about what skills you already have that you can utilize.
- If you don’t know how to make the item, how easy will it be to learn?
- Do you have the space at home to make the items or will you need to find a different location?
- How easy will the items be to package up and ship to customers?
- Is there a large enough demand for the items to make the process worthwhile?
If you can answer all these questions and feel confident that your business could be a success, then what are you waiting for? Pick one of these easy things to make and sell online and get started!
If you enjoyed this article, let us know in the comments and why not check out our guide to finding trending products to sell online?