The fishermen who cast their nets in the water each day are providing a service that offers a chance to earn a living.
Even when you work in the traditional sense for an employer who gives you a paycheck, you are embracing the spirit of the entrepreneur.
You are using the education, skills, and talent that you have to provide for your family and others.
The world of commerce took a step forward on the evolutionary chain of existence with the invention of the Internet.
Thanks to continuing improvements in manufacturing, transportation access, and online communication, anyone with a great idea can start a global business because of the things that they can make and sell.
Thanks to e-commerce, the people who are creators have more reach than ever before.
Apps can help you to build a business that runs effectively and efficiently.
That means you can focus on the making, while your network of partnerships can work together to help you earn a full-time living doing what you love.
Why Choose to Make Things to Sell Online?
It seems like what you can earn in a paycheck isn’t able to stretch as far as it once did.
Instead of working outside of the home in a second job to make ends meet, your talent of creation can help you to build a side hustle that could make a surprising amount of money one day.
There are numerous ways to start building a DIY business venture with an e-commerce platform today.
You don’t even need to be a “crafty” person to be successful when selling goods or services online.
All you need to have is a plan, some willpower, and a little money to invest in your first products (and your online store) so that you can begin to sell the things that you make.
Even if you are working full-time right now, the process of an online store with handcrafted goods is one that is passive.
You can set the inventory levels that you have, upload an image and description of your item, and then post it on your website to sell.
You might get orders when you’re at work!
Best DIY Items to Sell Online Today
The best products to make and sell online are the ones that you are passionate about creating.
Although the items in the list below are the most popular products that typically sell well right now, there is a market for almost anything online.
If you are an expert at a specific hobby, craft, or service, then follow that passion.
There might be a broader market for it globally than you might expect!
If you are unsure about what DIY products might serve as the foundation of your online store, then here are some ideas to help get your creative thinking processes started.
Selling jewelry is a business idea that can involve some low-tech items that you can make at home in a few minutes.
Woven bracelets and beaded necklaces also have lower price points for customers, allowing you to reach an impulsive purchasing market that can help you to start earning some revenues right away.
You can also embrace this type of product through a skilled trade with specific equipment, such as being a silversmith.
Although this market is saturated, finding a niche that allows your work to shine can help you to build a brand that stands out over time.
Make sure to track trends in jewelry, follow popular fashion blogs, and pay attention to the images you upload for each piece so that they reflect an accurate representation of what you offer.
2. Bath Bombs
You can quickly learn how to make your own bath bombs, soaps, or similar beauty products at home.
Simple recipes for bath salts can help you to get products up on your website in 24 hours or less.
Then you can focus on creating items with preservatives or emulsions that will help you to craft something that is specific to your brand.
If you choose this option, your packaging is arguably more important than the actual product.
Spend some time developing an effective logo and product descriptions which reflect a message that resonates with your core customers.
When your product arrives with an inviting visual aesthetic, then that value immediately transitions to the actual item your clients use.
It is helpful to keep inventory levels tight with this product category since fresher products offer better results.
You may also need to have your home or business certified and licensed as meeting health standards before you can legally sell items through your online store.
Did you know that Americans spend over $2 billion per year on candles?
This product is such a fantastic idea for a side hustle because there are several niches to explore without much of an investment.
You can make beeswax, eco-friendly, birthday, novelty, holiday, and plenty of other items that can support an initial inventory surge for your store.
If you don’t know how to make a candle, then don’t worry.
There are several DIY videos and tutorials online that can take you through this process.
Because candles are fairly similar from an ingredient perspective, the value that you can provide comes from your branding, packaging, and niche marketing efforts.
Frostbeard Studio creates candles that are meant to evoke a love of literature as a way to stand out from the rest of the industry.
You can even find candles that are marketed toward gamers who play titles like Overwatch, Destiny, and Halo.
Before getting started, you will want to make sure that you include a safety label on your product.
Carry a suitable level of insurance to protect your business against injury or fire-related civil lawsuits.
4. Baked Goods
If you love to cook, then offering sweet treats to your local community and through your online store is an easy way to get a business off the ground.
Instead of trying to certify your kitchen as a safe place to create these items, see if there is a local incubator in your community with the equipment you need to create pies, cookies, candies, and other things instead.
Renting a facility when you want to increase your inventory is often cheaper initially than trying to get your own space up to code.
There are several unique complications to consider in this category, including labeling and ingredient identification.
You will need to determine a shelf-life for many products as well.
Then trace your supply change to ensure that your raw ingredients are an accurate reflection of what you put on the label.
Then work to rotate your inventory so that there is something new for your customers to enjoy frequently.
Variety might mean a little extra work, but it could result in a lot more sales for your new business.
5. Printed Merchandise
For the people who feel like they don’t have any skills that could help them create handcrafted products to sell, printed merchandise is the perfect solution.
You can take an original idea, and then have someone else make the graphics needed for t-shirts, mugs, totes, or any other similar item.
This business opportunity is also an excellent option to consider if you want to be hands-off with a chance because you have multiple responsibilities in other areas of life.
If you are an artist, musician, or charity, then this category also gives you an opportunity to sell swag that reflects your brand.
When other audience members see these items, then they might want them too.
You generate sales and marketing in the same transaction.
Then you can use a fulfillment app like Teelaunch or Printful to ensure that the items your customer’s order get shipped right to their door.
6. Subscription Boxes
Loot Crate was founded in 2012 by Chris Davis and Matthew Arevalo.
Their goal was to create a “comic-con experience in a box” for their customers.
It only took them two years to build a business that had over 200,000 subscribers.
By 2016, the company became the fastest-growing private organization as ranked by Inc., and it also made the Deloitte Fast 500 list for North America.
Their process is fairly simple.
The company works with vendors to create unique products that ship in themed boxes.
Subscribers pay a monthly, quarterly, or annual fee to have a package sent once per month with these items inside.
This structure is a business opportunity that you can follow as well.
Numerous subscription boxes exist today, providing everything from razors to Japanese candy.
Look for a niche that is interesting to you, and then talk to some vendors to see if you could source some unique items to include in your first boxes.
You can also reach out to family, friends, and others on social media to see if there is any interest in the subscriptions that you are thinking about offering.
Because there is a lot of saturation in this space, you will need to find a niche idea that is relatively untouched by others.
Then CrateJoy suggests that you follow eight simple steps to turn your idea into a reality.
“The foundation of any strong business is a good idea,” says CrateJoy. “When it comes to subscription commerce, what separates good ideas from great ones is specificity. Being as detailed as possible when analyzing your market fit, competitive analysis, and customer profile is the first steps in building a successful subscription business.”
7. Digital Products
There are numerous items that can be digitized today to create a unique business opportunity that can earn you some extra cash.
Everything from wedding invitations to webinars are all ways that you can begin to license products for use.
You’ll need to create something before you can sell it digitally, so that means creating files, artwork, templates, or presentations that are ready for customer use.
The best items in this category allow people to drag-and-drop their data into your file to create something useful.
If you are selling artwork in this manner, you may need to include terms and conditions that provide a link back to your artwork page to prevent a copyright violation or outright plagiarism.
The advantage of going in this direction with your business is that it creates passive income once you have the products produced.
There are no physical goods to store, zero shipping issues outside of email delivery, and none of the other traditional pain points that you would experience when starting a business.
8. Enamel Pins
One of the unique items that you can receive in a Loot Crate subscription box is an enamel pin.
These custom products are remarkably popular across numerous industry categories.
Although you will need to work with a manufacturer to produce the designs you envision, the opportunities are almost endless if your original artwork gets turned into one of these items.
You will usually need to work with Illustrator or Photoshop with this product idea because the manufacturer requires the design elements from the software to turn your concept into reality.
Some might allow you to work with GIMP or Pixlr, which are free alternatives.
Use solid colors instead of gradients in your designs because that will create a product that is more consistent for you to sell.
Then make sure that you speak with your vendors about the material options you can afford, clasp examples, and if there are physical samples you can review before placing your first order.
It might be helpful to discuss packaging options for your pins too.
If your product arrives in a fancy box with lots of glitz and glamor, then you can turn this product idea into an experience that your customers will enjoy from start to finish.
How to Start Selling in an Online Store Right Now
- Start with your niche. Decide on what you want to sell, and then stick to your idea. It will need time to build.
- Choose between holding your own inventory or choosing a drop-shipper.
- Create and register a domain name, and then talk to your local government about any business licenses you may need to operate legally.
- Select the products to sell, and then list them on your site.
- Choose an online store builder that works with your website to have your products listed quickly and easily.
- Make sure that you keep track of any sales tax you are required to collect, and then file your taxes according to the schedule that you are provided.
- Market what you have. Even the best product in the world won’t sell any units if no one knows that it exists.
Selling Traditional Goods Through an Online Store
Some of you may have gone through that list above and thought,
“I like to make things, but none of those categories relate to me.”
What makes the handmade goods sector such a potential moneymaker for entrepreneurs is that any skill can become a marketable trade.
You could be a pottery maker, a woodcarver, an embroider, or a leather tooler and an online store can help you to begin selling your items to customers who are already looking for what you offer.
If you only have a handful of items that you want to sell, then creating an online store through a website like Etsy or eBay might be helpful.
When you start your own e-commerce platform, you can skip the listing fees, commissions, and other costs of representation since you’re doing all of the work yourself.
The only risk you face when selling these traditional goods involves scaling.
How will you be able to meet demand levels if your idea takes off?
If you are unable to maintain the quality of your work, then your customer levels will eventually start to decline.
Could you hire contractors to make items for you?
Would you be able to outsource some of the work to an independent manufacturer, and then finish the remainder of the process by hand?
The ideas never really stop when you want to take a hobby to the next level as a side hustle or full-time income opportunity.
When you create something fantastic, make sure that your online store can reflect this quality through your branding, product images, and overall description of each item.
Then use the ideas shared here to expand your inventory, even if you don’t consider yourself a crafty person.
You might discover that the inner entrepreneur has many more thoughts that could help you to start making money today!