How To Find Niche-Specific Products For A Subscription BoxSep 11, 2022
Choosing the perfect items for your subscription boxes — the ones you know will create the perfect experience for your subscribers — is one of the most fun things about owning a subscription box. It’s also one of the most challenging. Finding niche specific products for a subscription box isn’t a new subscription box owner challenge. I am always on the hunt for new products to include in my Monogram Box.
When you choose a niche for your subscription box — and remember, the riches are in the niches — it can make sourcing products even more challenging. But, once you find vendors and manufacturers who supply the type of items you need, you’ll know where to go and who to buy from.
One of the members of Launch Your Box has a pregnancy subscription box. She was struggling to find organic skincare items and asked for some help. I put together a list of things I do when I’m sourcing new products to help her. Since I know these tips will help anyone who is struggling with sourcing products, I’m sharing them with you here.
1. Subscribe to a box with similar products.
Do your research. Find subscription boxes that include items similar to what you want to include in your box and subscribe to them. Look for boxes that feature a good variety of products and brands. If you are going to add them to your subscription, you’ll want to test those products out!
Subscribing to other boxes and sampling products is market research. It’s an effective way to get ideas for items to include in your box as well as figure out the brands you like. While researching similar niches, note the pricing and the contents to keep in mind as you determine your pricing.
2. Search for websites where you can apply to buy wholesale.
Get on that Google machine and search for product wholesale options using niche-specific keywords. You don't want to buy products at retail prices.
When you find sites you like, you can apply to become a wholesaler. Sometimes, the application is linked at the top of the page, but a link to learn how to apply may also be located in the footer.
In order to purchase wholesale, you will need a reseller certificate. Make sure your business is registered before you apply to become a wholesaler.
3. Go to Market and Trade Shows
Do some research to find niche-specific markets or trade shows. Use all keyword terms for your niche. While looking for organic skincare to answer my Launch Your Box member’s question, I searched "health and beauty trade show" and "skincare markets."
For my own subscription box, I regularly attend the Total Gift & Home Market in Dallas, Texas. I spend a few busy, tiring, yet fun and valuable days there each year. Market is the best place to see what trends are coming, to meet new vendors and build relationships with vendors whose products I love using in my subscription boxes.
Markets happen all over the country at different times of the year. Check out the links below for dates and details about each specific market.
- AmericasMart - Atlanta
- Las Vegas Market
- Dallas Market Center
- Magic - Las Vegas
- ASD - Las Vegas
- NY Now - New York
- Chicago Gift Market
- LA Mart - Los Angeles
You can find Markets for a wide variety of niches. The ABC Show is a Kids’ Expo. If you have a subscription box for children, this could be a great place to visit to find vendors and source products.
4. Buying wholesale on Etsy
Etsy has makers who sell their items wholesale. It can be an especially good option for anyone looking for custom designs or those who have smaller subscription numbers.
When on the Etsy website, make sure to start your search with "Etsy wholesale" to find bulk sale items. For example, if you search "Etsy wholesale organic skincare," you’ll find all the makers selling organic skincare in gross quantities. Then, if you find that you like all the products from one maker, you can start ordering regularly from them and building a business relationship!
If you’re not able to go to a Market or Trade Show, no need to worry. You can bring online markets and trade shows to you. Faire, Tundra, and Abound are great places to find a wide variety of wholesale goods for your subscription box. I use them a lot and have success finding what I need.
These sites are organized by category which makes sorting through all the vendors and their offerings a lot easier. From apparel, to home decor, to food & drink, and items for children, you’ll find it all and more.
Curating the perfect box can be time-consuming, but once you get past the overwhelm, it can be such a fun experience. Now that you know five places to go to find niche-specific products, you will need a box to hold all your new finds. Check out my Packaging Cheat Sheet for all my favorite packaging resources.
Learn from me:
- Subscription Box Blueprint eBook: This $10 ebook covers logistics from product selection to packaging to shipping. Plus a 90-day launch plan and bonus ‘Instant Scripts’ for your social media.
- Launch Your Box: My complete training program walks you step by step through how to start, launch, and grow your subscription box business.
- Launch Your Box Podcast: I share tons of practical tips and strategies to help you start, launch, and grow your subscription box business. You’ll also hear from industry experts and current Launch Your Box members who are crushing it - get ready to get inspired!
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