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Best products to sell during a recession: 10 categories exploded

products to sell during a recession

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We read that the economy is in recession and all e-commerce store owners get ready for it. Before diving into the best products to sell during a recession, let’s first understand what the recession is.

What is a recession?

A recession is a period of economic decline, typically marked by a decrease in GDP, high unemployment, and low consumer spending. It is generally defined as two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth, although the exact criteria can vary depending on the specific country or region. Recessions can have a range of causes, including financial crises, policy mistakes, and external shocks like natural disasters or pandemics. They can also have significant impacts on individuals, businesses, and governments, and can lead to social and political unrest.

Once you understand what the recession is, it is time to find products to sell during a recession.

Here are 10 categories of products that an eCommerce store owner might consider selling during a recession:

1. Necessity items

necessary items as products to sell during a recession

Products that are essential for daily life, such as food, cleaning supplies, and personal hygiene products, may be in high demand during a recession as consumers try to cut costs by limiting non-essential purchases. Here are 10 examples of necessity products to sell during a recession:

  • Groceries: Foods that are non-perishable, such as dried beans, rice, and pasta, as well as canned goods and frozen foods, may be in high demand as people try to save money by cooking at home.
  • Cleaning supplies: Products such as bleach, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant wipes may be in high demand during a recession as people try to keep their homes and workplaces clean and safe.
  • Personal hygiene products: Items such as soap, shampoo, and toothpaste are essential for maintaining personal hygiene and may be in high demand during a recession.
  • Medicines: Over-the-counter and prescription medications may be in high demand during a recession as people try to stay healthy and avoid costly medical bills.
  • Baby supplies: Diapers, formula, and other baby supplies may be in high demand during a recession as parents try to save money by avoiding disposable products.
  • Pet supplies: Pet food, litter, and other pet supplies may be in high demand during a recession as people try to take care of their furry friends without breaking the bank.
  • Laundry detergent: With more people staying at home, demand for laundry detergent may increase as people do more laundry.
  • Batteries: Batteries are essential for powering a range of electronic devices and may be in high demand during a recession as people try to get the most out of their existing gadgets.
  • Light bulbs: Energy-efficient light bulbs may be in high demand during a recession as people try to save on energy costs.
  • Water filters: Water filters and purification tablets may be in high demand during a recession as people try to save money on bottled water.

2. Value items

value products to sell during a recession

Offering products at a lower price point or with a high value for the price can be a successful strategy as consumers may be more price-sensitive. Here are 10 examples of value products to sell during a recession that an e-commerce store owner might consider:

  • Private label products: Creating and selling your own brand of products, such as clothing or home goods, can allow you to offer high-quality products at a lower price point.
  • Discounted products: Offering products at a discounted price, either through sales or bulk discounts, can be a good way to attract price-sensitive consumers.
  • Generic or store-brand products: Offering generic or store-brand products can be a way to offer similar products to well-known brands at a lower price point.
  • Multi-use products: Products that have multiple uses or that can be used in multiple ways can offer a high value for the price.
  • Durable products: Offering products that are built to last can be a good way to provide value to consumers, as they will not need to be replaced as frequently.
  • Bundle deals: Offering bundle deals or combo packs can be a way to offer value by bundling multiple products together at a discounted price.
  • Subscription services: Offering subscription services, such as monthly boxes of products or access to exclusive deals, can be a good way to offer value to customers.
  • Refurbished products: Selling gently used or refurbished products can be a good way to offer high-quality products at a lower price point.
  • Secondhand products: Selling secondhand products, such as clothing or furniture, can be a way to offer value to consumers while also reducing waste.
  • DIY kits: Offering DIY kits or supplies can be a way to offer value by giving customers the tools they need to tackle projects themselves.

3. Used or refurbished products

selling during a recession

Selling during a recession gently used or refurbished items can be a good way to offer high-quality products at a lower price point. Here are 10 examples of refurbished products to sell during a recession that an e-commerce store owner should consider selling during a recession:

  • Electronics: Refurbished electronics, such as phones, laptops, and tablets, can be a good way to offer high-quality products at a lower price point.
  • Appliances: Refurbished appliances, such as refrigerators, washing machines, and dryers, can be a good option for consumers looking to save money on household necessities.
  • Furniture: Gently used or refurbished furniture, such as couches, chairs, and tables, can be a good way to offer value to consumers.
  • Tools: Refurbished power tools and hand tools can be a good option for DIY enthusiasts looking to save money.
  • Musical instruments: Gently used or refurbished musical instruments, such as guitars, keyboards, and drum sets, can be a good way to offer value to musicians.
  • Sports equipment: Refurbished sports equipment, such as basketballs, soccer balls, and golf clubs, can be a good way to offer value to sports enthusiasts.
  • Toys: Refurbished toys, such as dolls, action figures, and board games, can be a good option for parents looking to save money on gifts for their children.
  • Home decor: Gently used or refurbished home decor items, such as vases, artwork, and rugs, can be a good way to offer value to consumers.
  • Jewelry: Refurbished or gently used jewelry, such as rings, necklaces, and earrings, can be a good way to offer value to consumers.
  • Books: Gently used or refurbished books can be a good option for readers looking to save money on their purchases.

4. DIY products

DIY tools to sell during a recession

Home improvement and DIY products, such as tools and supplies, may be in demand as people look for ways to save money by tackling projects themselves. Here are 10 examples of DIY products to sell during a recession:

  • Tools: Home improvement and DIY projects often require tools, such as hammers, screwdrivers, and saws.
  • Building materials: Products such as lumber, drywall, and insulation can be in high demand for home improvement projects.
  • Hardware: Nails, screws, and other hardware items can be essential for many DIY projects.
  • Paint and painting supplies: Paint and supplies such as brushes, rollers, and drop cloths may be in demand for home improvement projects.
  • Plumbing supplies: Products such as pipes, fittings, and plumbing tools may be in demand for home repair projects.
  • Electrical supplies: Products such as wire, outlets, and light fixtures may be in demand for electrical repair or installation projects.
  • Gardening supplies: Products such as seeds, soil, and gardening tools may be in demand as people look for ways to save money by growing their own food.
  • Home security products: Products such as security cameras, alarms, and locks may be in demand as people look for ways to secure their homes.
  • Home organization products: Products such as storage bins, shelves, and organizers may be in demand as people look for ways to declutter and organize their homes.
  • Furniture repair supplies: Products such as wood glue, sandpaper, and furniture hardware may be in demand for furniture repair projects.

5. Home office products to sell during a recession

sell during a recession

With more people working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, products related to home offices, such as laptops, desks, and office supplies, can be in high demand. Here are 10 examples of home office products to sell during a recession and that an e-commerce store owner might consider:

  • Laptops: With more people working from home, laptops may be in high demand as a portable, flexible option for remote work.
  • Desks: A good desk can be an essential piece of furniture for a home office, and demand for desks may increase during a recession as more people work from home.
  • Office chairs: A comfortable, supportive office chair can be important for maintaining good posture and reducing the risk of back and neck pain.
  • Office supplies: Products such as pens, paper, and envelopes may be in high demand as people work from home and need to purchase office supplies.
  • Computer accessories: Products such as keyboards, mice, and monitors may be in demand as people set up home offices.
  • Phone and video conferencing equipment: Products such as headsets, microphones, and webcams may be in demand as people communicate with colleagues remotely.
  • Printing supplies: Products such as printer ink and paper may be in high demand as people work from home and need to print documents.
  • Office organization products: Products such as file folders, binders, and label makers may be in demand as people try to keep their home offices organized.
  • Lighting: Good lighting can be important for maintaining a comfortable, productive home office, and demand for lighting products may increase during a recession.
  • Home office decor: Products such as plants, artwork, and desk organizers may be in demand as people try to create a pleasant, inspiring home office environment.

6. Health and wellness products

wellness products to sell during a recession

During times of stress, people may be more focused on their mental and physical health and may be more likely to purchase products related to wellness, such as supplements, exercise equipment, and meditation aids. Here are 10 examples of health and wellness products that an eCommerce store owner might consider selling during a recession:

  • Vitamins and supplements: Products such as multivitamins, fish oil, and probiotics may be in demand as people try to support their immune systems and overall health.
  • Exercise equipment: Products such as treadmills, stationary bikes, and weights may be in demand as people try to stay active and maintain their physical health while at home.
  • Meditation and relaxation aid: Products such as guided meditation CDs, yoga mats, and essential oils may be in demand as people try to reduce stress and improve their mental health.
  • Natural remedies: Products such as herbal teas, homeopathic remedies, and essential oils may be in demand as people look for natural ways to support their health.
  • Skin care products: Products such as moisturizers, serums, and face masks may be in demand as people focus on taking care of their skin.
  • Hair care products: Products such as shampoos, conditioners, and styling products may be in demand as people try to maintain their hair health.
  • Oral care products: Products such as toothpaste, mouthwash, and floss may be in demand as people focus on maintaining good oral hygiene.
  • Personal hygiene products: Products such as soap, deodorant, and feminine hygiene products may be in demand as people focus on maintaining good personal hygiene.
  • Weight loss products: Products such as protein powders, meal replacement shakes, and weight loss supplements may be in demand as people try to maintain or improve their physical health.
  • Sleep aids: Products such as melatonin supplements, white noise machines, and eye masks may be in demand as people try to improve their sleep quality.

7. Educational products

educational services and products to sell during a recession

With more people at home, there may be an increased demand for educational products, such as online courses or educational games and toys. There are a lot of products to sell during a recession and, here are 10 examples of educational products that an ecommerce store owner might consider selling during a recession:

  • Online courses: Offering online courses in a variety of subjects, such as language learning, computer programming, or personal finance, can be a good way to provide educational content to a wide audience.
  • Educational games and toys: Products such as board games, puzzles, and science kits can be a fun and interactive way to educate children and adults.
  • Educational software: Products such as language learning apps or math tutoring programs can be a good way to offer educational content in a digital format.
  • Books: Selling books on a variety of educational topics, such as history, science, or literature, can be a good way to offer educational content to a wide audience.
  • Workbooks: Workbooks on topics such as math, reading, and writing can be a good way to offer educational content for children and adults.
  • Educational videos: Offering educational videos on topics such as science, history, or art can be a good way to provide educational content in a visual format.
  • Music education products: Products such as sheet music, music theory books, and instrument instruction guides can be a good way to offer music education to a wide audience.
  • Educational kits: Kits on topics such as biology, chemistry, or engineering can be a hands-on way to educate children and adults.
  • Educational games: Offering educational games, such as trivia games or word games, can be a fun way to educate people of all ages.
  • Educational software: Offering educational software, such as language learning programs or math tutoring software, can be a good way to offer educational content in a digital format.

8. Hobbies and entertainment

simon hurry RhYiBB FR8 unsplash

Selling during a recession can be hard because people may be looking for ways to pass the time and may be more interested in purchasing products related to hobbies and entertainment, such as craft kits, board games, and streaming subscriptions. Here are 10 examples of hobbies and entertainment products to sell during a recession:

  • Craft kits: Products such as knitting kits, painting sets, or scrapbooking supplies can be a good way to provide materials for creative hobbies.
  • Board games: Offering a variety of board games can be a good way to provide entertainment for people of all ages.
  • Card games: Selling card games, such as poker, bridge, or solitaire, can be a good way to provide entertainment for people of all ages.
  • Video games: Offering a variety of video games, either physical copies or digital downloads, can be a good way to provide entertainment for people of all ages.
  • Streaming subscriptions: Offering subscriptions to streaming services, such as Netflix or Hulu, can be a good way to provide entertainment for people of all ages.
  • Books: Offering a variety of books, such as fiction, non-fiction, and self-help books, can be a good way to provide entertainment and education for people of all ages.
  • Music: Offering a variety of music, either as physical copies or digital downloads, can be a good way to provide entertainment for people of all ages.
  • Movies: Offering a variety of movies, either as physical copies or digital downloads, can be a good way to provide entertainment for people of all ages.
  • Television shows: Offering television shows, either as physical copies or digital downloads, can be a good way to provide entertainment for people of all ages.
  • Audiobooks: Offering a variety of audiobooks, either as physical copies or digital downloads, can be a good way to provide entertainment for people of all ages.

9. Comfort items

what products to sell during a recession

Products that offer comfort and relaxation, such as cozy blankets and pillows, may be in demand as people look for ways to de-stress during difficult times. Here are 10 examples of comfort items that an eCommerce store owner might consider selling during a recession:

  • Cozy blankets: Soft, warm blankets can be a comforting item to have on hand during times of stress.
  • Plush pillows: Plush, comfortable pillows can be a good way to provide comfort and relaxation.
  • Candles: Scented candles can be a soothing addition to a home, helping to create a relaxing atmosphere.
  • Aromatherapy products: Products such as essential oils and diffusers can be used to create a relaxing atmosphere through scent.
  • Massagers: Massagers, such as back massagers or foot massagers, can be a good way to provide comfort and relaxation.
  • Slippers: Soft, cozy slippers can be a comforting item to have on hand during difficult times.
  • Warm beverages: Products such as tea or cocoa can be a comforting and relaxing way to warm up during cold weather.
  • Comfortable clothing: Soft, comfortable clothing, such as sweatshirts or pajamas, can be a good way to provide comfort during times of stress.
  • Hot water bottles: Hot water bottles can be a good way to provide warmth and comfort during cold weather.
  • Massage chairs: Massage chairs can be a good way to provide relaxation and comfort in the comfort of your own home.

10. Gift cards

gift cards are great products to sell during a recession

Offer gift cards for your store or for other businesses as a way for people to support small businesses and give gifts to loved ones without breaking the bank. Here are 10 examples of gift cards that an e-commerce store owner might consider offering since they are one of the best products to sell during a recession:

  • Gift cards for your own store: Offering gift cards for your own store can be a good way to encourage people to shop with you and provide a convenient gift option.
  • Gift cards for other small businesses: Offering gift cards for other small businesses can be a good way to support local businesses and provide a convenient gift option.
  • Restaurant gift cards: Offering gift cards for local restaurants can be a good way to support small businesses and provide a convenient gift option for foodies.
  • Entertainment gift cards: Offering gift cards for entertainment options, such as movie theaters or concerts, can be a good way to provide a fun gift option.
  • Retail gift cards: Offering gift cards for popular retail stores can be a good way to provide a convenient gift option for people who love to shop.
  • Online shopping gift cards: Offering gift cards for online shopping sites, such as Amazon or eBay, can be a good way to provide a convenient gift option for people who prefer to shop online.
  • Spa gift cards: Offering gift cards for local spas can be a good way to provide a relaxing and indulgent gift option.
  • Bookstore gift cards: Offering gift cards to local bookstores can be a good way to support small businesses and provide a gift option for book lovers.
  • Music store gift cards: Offering gift cards to local music stores can be a good way to support small businesses and provide a gift option for music enthusiasts.
  • Art supply gift cards: Offering gift cards for local art supply stores can be a good way to support small businesses and provide a gift option for artists.

Konklusjoner

Let’s accept this: this is not the first recession and will not be the last one. As an eCommerce entrepreneur, you need to focus on what you can control, and you can control what you can sell.

This “best products to sell during a recession” list can help you to find out your next big product to earn more money during this recession.

Go over the article again, choose the product you like most and start selling online today!

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Umut Sönmez

Umut Sönmez

Umut is a business developer and an entrepreneur with multiple exits. He arrives in Vetrina Live as Chief Business Development Officer after working in different C-level positions across the globe. He lives in Las Palmas with his wife and Yorkshire Terrier.

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