Third-party order fulfillment is a business model in which you send your inventory to a fulfillment center. Whenever a customer places an order for a product, you forward it to the company in charge of picking, packing, and shipping your products.
Here, we’ll step through some of the best product niches that are perfect for getting started with third-party order fulfillment. By the time you’re done reading, you’ll have a clear understanding of everything you need to source profitable products to sell through your online store.
Selecting Products for Third-Party Order Fulfillment
Choosing products to sell can be a daunting task considering you have to purchase products in bulk and store them in a fulfillment center. If you’re just starting, consider going with lightweight, durable products that ship in small packages and have a low retail price.
This way, you’ll be able to rest assured that you’re able to fill your inventory with high-quality products which you can sell at affordable prices to your customers.
Best Niches for Third-Party Order Fulfillment
#1: Women’s Clothing and Accessories
One of the most popular (and best selling) product niches is women’s clothing and accessories. This includes a wide range of items – everything from handbags to jackets – in many different product categories such as luxury clothes, winter wear, athleisure, beachwear, jeans, and scarves.
Intimates and lingerie are the most in-demand products in this niche. And, over the years, the demand for bottoms (jeans and skirts) has been on the rise. You might also consider selling accessories (such as socks, headbands, and gloves) since they’re usually low-cost products ordered in high volume.
Jewelry, such as necklaces, pendants, rings, earrings, bracelets, and bead jewelry, make for excellent products to purchase in bulk and sell online.
Necklaces and pendants are one of the most popular product categories in this niche. Merchants offer them at low prices and you can earn 100 percent markup on each sale and employ smart marketing strategies. For example, you can upsell a pair of matching earrings when a customer purchases a necklace.
#3: Home and Garden
The home and garden product niche includes a large variety of items ranging from flower pots to kitchen utensils. These products are generally in-demand all year long, which makes them ideal candidates for starting an online business.
Some of the product categories included in this niche include pet products, home textile, housekeeping, garden supplies, home décor, household merchandise, and bathroom products.
For example, you could sell home décor products like gag decals and scratch-off maps. Coffee mugs, potato peelers, and cheese boards are best selling products in the kitchen and dining category.
#4: Beauty and Health
Beauty and health is a broad niche that includes many sub-niches. These include men’s grooming products like shaving cream, beard balm, and razors in addition to women’s beauty products like night creams, sunblock, shampoos and beauty soaps.
The different product categories that make up this niche include beauty essentials, makeup, makeup accessories, health care, hair care and styling, nail care products, shaving and hair removal, bath and shower, and hygiene products.
Makeup products are profitable for online businesses that operate a third-party order fulfillment method. They are generally low-cost items with high markups. Lipsticks, nail polishes, and powder brushes are some examples of makeup products.
However, you have to be careful with health products. By law, you need to inform the customer about any risks that come with using the product, for instance, a skin cream that could cause damage to baby skin or a massage roller that requires people with spinal issues to consult their doctor first.
#5: Men’s Clothing and Accessories
Men’s clothing and accessories are trendy niche products that are expected to overtake the market for women’s clothing in the next few years. Items in this niche include formal wear, outerwear, tees, accessories, and winter wear.
Men’s fashion items are usually cheap, and there is minimal risk involved. Although there is an established market for high-end men’s wear, you have the option to target casual wear buyers. A simple button-up shirt will cost you around $8 to $12 which you can sell for around $15 to $25.
#6: Mother and Kids
Baby care products and toys have a huge demand throughout the year. Parents are always in need of various baby products such as baby bottles, diapers, teething toys, baby shampoos, sunscreens and more. This niche also includes products like strollers, rockers, cribs, and swings.
Every year more than 1.2 billion watches are sold around the world. The watch niche includes a wide range of product categories that you can sell online like aviator watches, ladies watches, sports watches, smart watches, field watches, dress watches, and dive watches.
You can even sell other types of similar accessories like sunglasses, cufflinks, belts, and jewelry along with the watches. The great thing about selling watches under a third-party order fulfillment model is that it’s a low-risk, low-budget business. You can earn a markup of around $15 to $20 on cheaper watches and higher profits on the more expensive ones.
#8: Sporting Goods
The demand for sporting goods has dramatically increased over the years due to the healthy lifestyles trend. These include products used for backpacking, hiking, and camping. Backpacks are the most popular items, though their demand is highest around August when schools start back up after summer break.
The demand for other sporting goods accessories like sunglasses is more stable throughout the year. You can target this niche to men and women of all ages. Selling sporting goods is relatively low risk, and there are a wide variety of sporting goods that can be sold at high markups to help you make substantial profits.
The market for phone accessories has peaked to almost $100 billion and is showing no signs of slowing down. The sophisticated technology in phones means you’ll want to be sure and protect yours, which has created a soaring demand for cell phone cases. They’re easy to manufacture and ship all across the world.
Phone accessories include items like phone cases, chargers, grips, repair kits, earphones, and screen protectors. You can use upselling to maximize the money from each sale, for instance, if someone buys a phone case you can upsell them a pair of earphones. They’ll cost you around $1 to $5 which you can sell for around $10 to $30 making them incredibly profitable products.
#10: Toys and Hobbies
There is a huge demand for toys and hobby products. The items included in this niche range from low-cost products like lighting fixtures, plastic filaments, and natural color tints to high-end items like 3D printers, microphones and headgear for vlogging, solar powered electronics, and more.
Selling products using third-party order fulfillment services can be incredibly lucrative if you’re able to identify and market profitable products. We shared some of the most popular, and best-selling product niches and, hopefully, you’re in a good position now to take things further.