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The Best Back-to-School Supplies for Dropshipping in 2023

  • system
  • 2022-08-23 10:29:44
  • 1 min read

Updated: 2023-07-01 16:54:44

The school year has ended, but one-quarter of back-to-school and back-to-college shoppers are already planning for a new stage. With the start of the back-to-school shopping season, what can dropshippers sell online to make the most of this time of year?


Even with concerns about the U.S. economy, families and college students never decrease the demand for back-to-school supplies. The average planned back-to-school spending per household in the United States has gradually increased year-on-year, reaching about 865 U.S. dollars in 2022.


According to the NRF’s survey, school supplies are consistently part of the back-to-school and college for most people's purchasing plans. As dropshipping sellers, all you need to do is sell school supplies and take advantage of this opportunity to boost your sales!


Read more below for insights into back-to-class shopping trends this year. We have also listed the best back-to-school supplies for dropshipping you can sell!


Back-to-School Shopping Trends 2023


Inflation Affects Back-to-School and College Shoppers


Inflation this year is the top shopping factor that consumers are most concerned about. 80% of people expect to see higher prices for back-to-school and college items, especially clothing and accessories, and school supplies. And higher prices are causing consumers to change their back-to-school shopping behaviors this year.


Consumers are doing more comparative shopping online, shopping for sales more often, buying a different brand, and buying more store brand/generic products. All the shoppers are finding ways to stretch dollars for everything needed for the first day of class. One of the best ways to get more potential customers during this year's back-to-school season is to offer attractive enough discounts and offers. To ensure adequate profits, you can choose a sourcing agent like SourcinBox to cut costs down.


comsumer behavior


Most Essential Spending for Back-to-School and College


People's spending plans always include school supplies, clothing, accessories, and shoes. Among them, school supplies are always the most essential for a new school semester. About 94% of customers plan to purchase school supplies for back-to-school in 2022 and 88% plan for back-to-college.


back to school purchasing plans


back to college purchasing plans


Back-to-School and College Spending Keep Surging


According to NRF’s Annual 2022 Back-to-School Survey, the expected back-to-school spending is leaping ever since the pandemic. Families with children from elementary through high school planned to spend an average of $864 on school supplies in 2022, an increase of about $15 from last year. And 69% of them planned to start shopping at least three weeks before school starts.


Meanwhile, the total back-to-college spending in 2022 was reaching nearly $74B, up from the record $71B set last year. Compared to the previous year, more college students and their families plan to shop this year and are expected to spend an average of $1,199 on college or university supplies, matching last year's record of $1,200. And 63% planned for shopping at least three weeks before school starts.


back to school spending


back to college spending


Online is the Top Back-to-School and College Shopping Locations


Unlike pre-pandemic habits, back-to-school and college shoppers plan to shop centrally rather than spread out to multiple destinations. Most parents and college shoppers would prefer shopping online.


The top five back-to-school shopping destinations are online (50%), department stores (45%), discount retailers (40%), clothing stores (37%), and electronics stores (28%).


The top destination for back-to-college shopping is online (43%), followed by department stores (36%), discount stores (29%), office supply stores (27%), and college bookstores (26%).


back to school purchase locations


back to college purchase locations


25 Best Back-to-School Supplies to Sell Online 2022


Some back-to-school categories are not suitable for dropshipping, such as computers, phones, large furniture, and some other brand products that may put you at risk of copyright infringement.


So we are recommending back-to-school products that are small, light-weighted, low-cost, and safe for dropshipping.


If you want to dropship the products mentioned in this article, or you have other product ideas, you can send us sourcing requests or contact us directly. We are able to source the products you want directly from manufacturers in China at good prices. Then you can easily import the products to your store via our SourcinBox app and your store orders will sync to our app automatically. We will take care of the rest for you.


Now let's dive into the list of back-to-school supplies!


1. Ballpoint Pens


Ballpoint pens are must-have school supplies that have stable high demand all over the world. As this, people can easily buy normal ballpoint pens at grocery stores. So can you sell ballpoint pens online?


Of course, you can, and we have some good ideas. Such as 6 in 1 multi-tools pens, magnetic metal pens, multi-color ballpoint pens, and stress relief sponge pens. Compared to ordinary ballpoint pens, these creative ballpoint pens are more attractive and only popular and sold online.


Ballpoint PensBallpoint PensBallpoint PensBallpoint Pens


Google Trends Ballpoint Pen


2. Highlighter Marker


Highlighter markers are great for note-taking and are favored by high school and college students who will definitely consider buying a brand-new set of highlighter markers before the start of school.


In addition to the classic highlighter markers with fluorescent colors, you can also sell acrylic paint markers and double-ended markers, which will be more attractive to girls.


Highlighter MarkerHighlighter MarkerHighlighter Marker


Google Trends Highlighter Marker


3. Big Capacity Pencil Case


Pencil cases are also must-have back-to-school supplies and now is the best time to sell them online. If your audience is the parents who value product quality and practicality, then it’s perfect for you to sell these big-capacity pencil cases.


The following pencil cases are best sellers on SourcinBox. And you are able to add them directly to your store and fulfill your orders at lower costs.


Big Capacity Pencil CaseBig Capacity Pencil CaseBig Capacity Pencil Case


Google Trends Pencil Case


4. 3D Cartoon Pencil Case


For kids, a 3D cartoon pencil case would be a great back-to-school gift idea. Astronauts, dinosaurs, and unicorns are all cartoon elements that kids like. If you are interested, please contact us to source the product you want and get a quick free quote.


3D Cartoon Pencil Case3D Cartoon Pencil Case3D Cartoon Pencil Case


5. Food-shaped Pencil Case


Parents may not be interested in back-to-school products with strange shapes. However, the following food-shaped pencil cases are great back-to-college product ideas for college students to showcase their personalization. If you're going to sell them, don't forget to remind your customers that these are not real food.


Food-shaped Pencil CaseFood-shaped Pencil CaseFood-shaped Pencil Case


6. Animal & Food & Puzzle Erasers


Erasers are necessities for schooling. The following animal and food-shaped erasers are a great back-to-school product idea, they're cute and more of a stress-relief toy for students. You can sell these at higher prices than common erasers.


But please note that these kinds of erasers in small pieces are not safe for toddlers. So do not sell these to parents of toddlers.


FoodE-shaped erasersPuzzle ErasersAnimal-shaped Erasers


Google Trends Erasers


7. Loose Leaf Notebook


A loose-leaf book is easier and more convenient to use than a traditional notebook, and the pages come in different sizes and texture patterns and can be adjusted. We can see that the search interest for loose-leaf books reaches the highest before school time. So you must add this product to your back-to-school product list if you are selling to high school and college shoppers.


Loose Leaf NotebookLoose Leaf NotebookLoose Leaf Notebook


Google Trends Loose Leaf Notebook


8. School Stationery Set


40% of back-to-school shoppers are likely to purchase bundled supply kits. Busy parents may not have much time to pick all kinds of back-to-school supplies for their children. A stationery set would be the most convenient choice. According to Google Trends, you can find that the popularity of stationery sets peaked two times during the school season and during Black Friday in November in the past year. So you’ll have a long time to list and sell school stationery sets in your online store.


School Stationery SetSchool Stationery SetSchool Stationery Set


Google Trends Stationery Set


9. Large Capacity School Bags & Backpacks


Selling what kind of school bags depends on what kind of audience you have. For college students who live in school dormitories, there are a lot of supplies to carry when going back to college. So a large-capacity school backpack would be a perfect choice.


Large Capacity School BagsLarge Capacity School BagsLarge Capacity School Bags


Google Trends School Bags


10. Toddler Backpacks


If you are going to sell back-to-school supplies for toddlers, then don’t miss toddler backpacks which are trending at this time. Backpacks in the shape of cute animals are a favorite choice for parents. With a unique backpack, parents can easily recognize their children when picking up them from school.


Toddler BackpacksToddler BackpacksToddler Backpacks


Google Trends Toddler Backpacks


11. School Water Bottle


School Water Bottles are back-to-school supplies in high demand since their search interest is growing. Motivational water bottles with time markers and misting water bottles are the best-selling ones for dropshippers.


School Water BottleSchool Water BottleSchool Water Bottle


Google Trends School Water Bottle


12. Planner Notebooks & Scrapbooks


Scrapbooking art is not just something that older people like to do but now is popular among young students for journaling, planning, and recording their life. Scrapbooking supplies include planner books, scrapbooks, albums, stickers, decoration papers, washi tapes, highlighter markers, glue, stamps, and more.


It is a great niche that you can sell through dropshipping and there are diverse styles you can choose from. Since most of the scrapbook planners are girls, you can sell the following styles of planner notebooks and scrapbooks as back-to-school supplies.


ScrapbooksScrapbooksPlanner Notebooks


Google Trends scrapbooking


13. Scrapbook Stickers & Decals


Students love decals for water bottles, laptops, suitcases, etc. to look cool. Besides, various styles of stickers are favored by scrapbooking planners. It's a good idea to cross-sell decals and stickers with other school supplies such as bottles and scrapbooks.


Scrapbook StickersScrapbook StickersDecals


Google Trends scrapbook stickers Decals


14. Washi Tape Set


Another cross-selling choice is washi tapes, which are also used for scrapbooking. There are many styles of Washi tape, and everyone's preferences are different, so you can choose to sell the basic style of washi tape set or customize washi tape under yourbrand to cross-sell with other back-to-school products.


Washi Tape SetWashi Tape SetWashi Tape Set


Google Trends Washi Tape


15. Portable Utility Knife


A portable utility knife is a small gadget that can cut papers, stickers, and tapes. You can cross-sell it with stickers and tapes. Improving the customer shopping experience can encourage them to purchase more related products and cross-sell products, increasing the repurchase rate.


Portable Utility KnifePortable Utility KnifePortable Utility Knife


16. Journal Kit & Planner Kit


If you don't know how to match scrapbooking supplies, you can sell journal kits or planner kits directly. If you can't find dropshipping suppliers for journal kits & planner kits, you can try to find a dropshipping agent who can source products from China.


Planner KitJournal KitJournal Kit


Google Trends Journal Kit Planner Kit


17. Wax Seal Stamp Kit


In the past, sealing wax was used to seal letters, but it has gradually evolved into a niche art, which can be used as decorations for invitations, greeting cards, gift wrapping, etc. And wax seal stamps with various exquisite patterns have also become a part of this niche art.


There are students, especially girls, who like wax-sealing art and collecting wax-sealing supplies. If you know exactly that you have such customers, you can sell wax seal stamp kits as back-to-college supplies.


Wax Seal Stamp KitWax Seal Stamp KitWax Seal Stamp Kit


Google Trends Wax Seal Stamp


18. LCD Writing Tablet & LED Writing Board


An LCD writing tablet is a great educational toy for 3-6-year-old boys and girls. It has an eye-protection color screen for drawing and writing and it's trending during the back-to-school season according to Google Trends.


Besides, the Led writing board is also a good writing and painting tool for elder kids. And some writing boards are designed for college students. You can sell these according to your audience.


LCD Writing TabletLED Writing BoardLED Writing Board


Google Trends LCD Writing Tablet


19. Mixed Media Art Set


The art set is not exactly a back-to-school category. But painting is an effective way to improve children’s creativity. It can be a great back-to-school gift idea. As parents are cutting back on unnecessities due to inflation, buying a mixed media art set would be more cost-effective than buying various art supplies separately.


Or parents may buy a deluxe art set on Black Friday for more discounts this year. You might consider selling it in a few months.


Mixed Media Art SetMixed Media Art SetMixed Media Art Set


Google Trends Art Set


20. Privacy Screen Protector & Phone Case


The privacy screen protector has been popular as it makes the phone screen only visible to persons directly in front of the screen to keep private information invisible to other people besides. It is a good product idea for back-to-college shoppers.


College students who got a new iPhone must want to get a new phone case. If you are selling phone cases, we recommend anti-peep magnetic cases that are also great privacy screen protectors and silicone decompression phone cases.


Privacy Screen ProtectorPrivacy Screen ProtectorPhone Case


Google Trends Privacy Screen Protector


21. Wireless Keyboard and Mouse for IPad


IPad is a good choice for school study because it's lighter than a computer and powerful enough. Many students would buy a wireless keyboard and mouse for their iPad to make it used more like a computer. If you are interested in selling keyboards, then the 2 in 1 iPad case and keyboard would be the best alternative to Apple's Magic Keyboard.


Wireless Keyboard for IPadWireless Keyboard and Mouse for IPadWireless Keyboard and Mouse for IPad


Wireless Keyboard and Mouse


22. Earphone Case & Airpods Case Cover


Also, don't forget earphone accessories. Almost every college student has an earphone or Airpods and they are the potential shoppers of earphone cases. Some of them need earphone cases and some need personalized Airpods case covers. They are also trending products for dropshipping back-to-school.


Earphone CaseEarphone CaseAirpods Case CoverAirpods Case Cover


Google Trends Earphone Case


23. Laptop Stand for Desk


A laptop stand is a great tool not only for office workers but also for college students. The demand for laptop stands would not change much but you should find the most popular or trending ones to sell. The following types of laptop stands are popular now on Amazon. You can contact us to source them for you and deliver the products directly to your customers with fast shipping times.


Laptop Stand for DeskLaptop Stand for DeskLaptop Stand for Desk


Google Trends Laptop Stand


24. Name Stamp


With customized name stamps, kids can print their names on clothes, books, backpacks, water bottles, or other personal items to prevent loss or mistakes. And the trend of name stamps is growing since kids are going back to school. If you sell this product, you'll need to work with a dropshipping supplier that provides POD (Print on demand) services.


If you don't want to sell POD stamps, you can sell confidential security stamps, which is the best tool to protect private information on express packages. Or you can sell teacher stamps for grading classrooms since teachers are also potential back-to-school shoppers.


Name Stamp for clothingconfidential security stampsteacher stamps for grading classroom


Google Trends name stamp


25. Lunch Box for Kids


Back-to-school shoppers are mainly parents so you can think about what parents would prepare for their kids. One of the things most mothers will do is prepare lunch for their kids when they go to school. And they are buying new lunch boxes for their kids. If you are running a kitchen niche store, you can definitely sell lunch boxes as one of the back-to-school supplies.


Lunch Box for KidsLunch Box for KidsLunch Box for Kids


Lunch Box for Kids


Final Words


Back-to-school supplies are actually a niche market that can be profitable for a long time. Most back-to-school products have a steady demand throughout the year. And after the back-to-school season, you'll also have opportunities to increase sales on Black Friday, Christmas, and more.


All you need to do now is,


 • Import the product you want into your store and start selling;

 • Prepare advertising campaigns for your products;

 • Fulfill your store orders automatically with SourcinBox.


One thing you should note is that in the current stressful and difficult economic environment, back-to-school shoppers, especially parents, need more incentives to boost spending. Therefore, product value and discounts should be highlighted in your marketing and advertising campaigns.


You can check more weekly winning product recommendations on our YouTube channel and hot products on TikTok.


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