Updated: 2022-08-27 14:22:49
With the start of the back-to-school shopping season, what can dropshippers sell online to make the most of this time of year?
2022 has been a tough year, with soaring prices for gasoline and other products causing shopping pressures and inflation weighing on retailers' sales during the critical season. People's back-to-school shopping behaviors are changing. But the back-to-school and college spending is still going strong!
Families prioritize back-to-school and college spending amid rising inflation. According to the NRF’s survey, the expected total back-to-class spending is on par with last year’s record highs and exceeding pre-pandemic levels. As online retailers, all you need to do is dropshipping school supplies and take advantage of this opportunity to boost your sales!
In this article, let’s take a look at how inflation affects people's shopping behaviors on back-to-school supplies. We have also listed the best back-to-school supplies for dropshipping you can sell this year!
Inflation this year is the top shopping factor that consumers are most concerned about. The US CPI rose to its highest level in 40 years as inflation continued to rise. And higher prices are causing consumers to change their back-to-school shopping behaviors this year.
Consumers are switching to cheaper alternatives, looking for coupons and sales, buying a different brand, and shopping at discount stores. At the same time, they are cutting back on other areas to afford necessities.
We can easily find that people's spending is shifting from services to goods, with essentials being the most protected part of retail.
Families prioritize essential back-to-school and college spending amid rising inflation. That's why when you look at inflation for the back-to-school categories, there's no noticeable inflation for most categories except furniture and stationery.
According to NRF’s Annual 2022 Back-to-School Survey, the expected back-to-school spending is matching 2021’s record high of $37B. Families with children from elementary through high school plan to spend an average of $864 on school supplies, an increase of about $15 from last year. Back-to-school spending has increased dramatically since the start of the pandemic as families adjust to changes in virtual and hybrid learning.
Meanwhile, the total back-to-college spending is expected to reach 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.
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%).
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!
Ballpoint pens are must-have school supplies that have stable high demands 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 pen, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 schoool and college shoppers.
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.
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.
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.
School Water Bottles are back-to-school supplies with a high demand since their search interest is growing. Motivational water bottles with time markers and misting water bottles are the best-selling ones you can choose.
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.
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.
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 your brand to cross-sell with other back-to-school products.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
With customized name stamps, kids can print their name on clothes, books, backpacks, water bottles, or other personal items to prevent loss or mistaken. And the trends of name stamp 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 classroom since teachers are also potential back-to-school shoppers.
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.
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.