11 Trending Low-Cost Product Ideas for 2018
Posted Jan 15, 2018 by Jesse Ness, Ecwid Team

11 Trending Product Ideas for 2018 that Require Minimal Investment

A new year brings new tastes and trends. What worked well in 2017 can suddenly be out of fashion in 2018.

We showed you how to spot product trends before. We then used the same methodology to find the hottest products to sell in 2017.

In this new year, we want to help you find products and niche ideas that don’t require a huge investment to sell. Whether you’re starting a new online store or restocking your existing one, these ideas will help you get started with minimal outlay.

Dryer Balls

If you could shave a few dollars off your electricity costs each month for a one-time investment of $5, wouldn’t you?

That’s precisely the promise of dryer balls. These are fabric (usually wool) balls used in dryers to help dry clothes faster. The balls fill up with water, become heavy, and get in-between clothes, preventing them from sticking together in the dryer. As a result, there is more hot air circulation in-between clothes. This helps clothes dry faster, saving you time and electricity.

Dryer balls have been around for years but have grown in popularity recently. This is partly due to increasing awareness of the environmental impact of electricity wastage.

Dryer balls google trends

Google Trends data shows a slow but steady increase in search interest for “dryer balls”

Fortunately, this is a cheap product to buy. You can buy them in wholesale from Alibaba for just a few cents.

Dryer balls on Alibaba

At under $1 from some wholesalers on Alibaba, dryer balls are quite affordable

With the eco-friendly promise, this is a great product to sell in 2018.

Related: The Science of Contacting Suppliers When You’re Starting a Business

Car Air Purifier

It’s no secret that air pollution levels are at an all-time high in major cities across the world. Your customers are obviously concerned about air pollutants in their private spaces — their homes, offices, and cars.

In this context, car air purifiers are a fantastic product to carry in 2018. Increasing demand has brought down costs, especially for ionic air purifiers. New innovations have also helped reduce the form factor. Modern purifiers can plug into your car’s lighter socket without any modifications. Some even double up as a charging port.

Car air pufifier on google trends

This Google Trends screenshot shows search interest for “car air purifiers”

While not as cheap as some of the other products on this list, car air purifiers are still affordable for a starting business, as seen on Alibaba:

Car Air Purifier

Ionic car air purifiers wholesale for under $5 on Alibaba

Given that air pollution shows no sign of abating, you can bet demand will continue to increase in the coming few years.

Related: How to Work With Focus Groups to Test Your Niche or Business Idea

Dog Water Bottle

Being out on a long walk with your four-legged friend is amazing. The only hitch? You have a strut around a backpack with your dog’s water bowl. Then you have to remember to dry it off before you pack it in again.

Dog water bottles promise a simple solution to this problem. These are bottles with a foldable tray attached to them. When your dog needs water, just pull down the tray and pour in the water. When you’re ready to go, pull the tray back in and off you go. This simple innovation has been ramping up the popularity charts:

Dog water bottle google trends

Google Trends shows a gradual increase in search interest for this product

It helps that the product itself is incredibly cheap. As this screenshot from Alibaba shows you, you can get a bottle for under $2 wholesale.

Dog water bottle on Alibaba

At under $3 per piece on Alibaba, dog water bottles are a low-cost business

Moreover, this isn’t a product with a trending demand. People will continue to keep dogs and dogs will continue to get thirsty. This makes dog water bottles a great product to stock in 2018 and beyond.

Related: 7 Ways to Sell With Ecwid’s “Buy Now” Button

Bluetooth Earbuds

They get in the way of your workout, fall out of your pockets, and somehow always end up in a jumbled mess.

We’re talking about wired earphones, of course. There are few things as universally disliked as jumbled earphone wires, especially during any athletic activity. Fortunately, there is a solution now — Bluetooth earbuds.

Although wireless sports earbuds have been around for quite some time, better technology has brought down costs drastically. Battery life and sound quality have also improved. What used to be a niche product is now accessible to anyone. This is reflected in the demand for Bluetooth earbuds as well:

Bluetooth earbuds on google trends

Google Trends data shows a steady incline in search interest for “Bluetooth earbuds

You can get an idea of their affordability for general consumers when you look at their wholesale price on Alibaba:

Bluetooth earbuds on Alibaba

Although not cheap, wireless earbuds still wholesale for under $10

This product is in a hot niche — mobile phone accessories — and should continue to see growing demand for years to come.

Wireless Charging Pad

Speaking of wireless mobile phone products, how would you like to charge your phone without fiddling with charging cables?

That’s exactly what wireless charging pads have promised for years. Working on inductive charging technology, these pads deliver juice to your phone’s battery without any cables. The only requirement is that the phone is placed on the pad screen-up.

Thanks to everyone from Apple to Samsung adopting wireless charging technology, the cost of these pads has dropped drastically. Demand, on the other hand, has gone up:

Wireless charging pad on google trends

Search interest for this product has increased sharply in the last few months

For a fairly sophisticated tech product, wireless charging pads are quite cheap on wholesale. At the lower end, you can buy them for under $5/piece.

Wireless charging PAD on Alibaba

This screenshot from Alibaba shows the relatively low price of wireless charging pads

This is another popular product in a hot niche. Keep an eye on it if you want trending product ideas for 2018.

Touchscreen Gloves

With record-breaking winter temperatures, you can bet people are struggling to use their phones with cold, numb fingers. It doesn’t help that conventional gloves are completely useless when interacting with a touchscreen.

The solution: touchscreen gloves. These are specially designed gloves that allow users to operate their phones without exposing their hands. A small conductor built into the fingertips allows the gloves to conduct electricity, which is necessary for using smartphones. The demand for these gloves has shot up with dropping temperatures.

Touchscreen gloves google trends

Demand for touchscreen gloves sees a spike every winter as this Google Trends screenshot shows

The good part is that touchscreen gloves are affordable — both for retailers and customers. You can buy a pair from wholesalers on Alibaba for as low as $0.25/pair.

Touchscreen gloves on Alibaba

Touchscreen gloves wholesale for under $1 on Alibaba.com

You can even diversify into multiple sub-categories such as women’s touchscreen gloves, gloves for extreme cold, etc. But hurry up, the demand for this product is seasonal.

Related: Checklist: How to Find the Right Supplier on AliExpress

Cold Brew Coffee Maker

Espressos, cappuccinos, lattes, and now, cold brews.

This is the latest trend that’s taking over the coffee drinking world. Cold brew coffee is made by letting coffee grounds infuse in water for hours (often overnight). There is no hot water involved at any stage — a big departure from traditional coffee making methods.

The good news for you is that cold brew coffee makers are a) in demand, and b) easy to retail. Usually made from glass or food-safe clear plastic, these coffee makers have a built-in ‘infusion chamber’ for keeping ground coffee. Pop a couple of tablespoons of coffee, fill the bottle with water, and get a cup of cold, refreshing coffee in a few hours.

Demand has been strong:

Cold brew coffee maker

There has been a gradual interest in search interest for cold brew coffee makers in the last 3 years

The price, meanwhile, keeps dropping. You can buy cheap coffee makers wholesale for under $2.

Cold Brew Coffee Maker on Alibaba

Although prices vary depending on the material (glass or plastic), cold brew coffee makers are relatively cheap as this screenshot from Alibaba shows

Given the world’s undying love for coffee, this is sure to be a hit product in 2018.

Vape Cartridge

You probably already know that vaporizers are immensely popular. We even included them on our hottest product list last year.

The latest trend in vaporizers is to use vape cartridges. These can be either used in an eVape pen or a conventional vaporizer. Some of them are pre-filled with vaporizing liquids. Others can be filled with any liquid of your choice.

This relatively new product has built up immense demand in the last couple of years. Just look at this Google Trends chart as an example:

Vape cartridge google trends

Vape oil cartridges have seen a sharp increase in search interest in the last two years

Plenty of wholesalers will sell vape cartridges for $1 per piece (or even lower).

Vape cartridge on Alibaba

Vape oil cartridges wholesale for cheap. Plenty of sellers on Alibaba also ship low quantities

If you’re looking for a low budget product with guaranteed demand in 2018, this should be one of your top picks.

Related: Should You Make, Manufacture, Wholesale or Dropship Your Product? The Definitive Answer for eCommerce Store Owners

Microfiber Towel

Light, affordable, and incredibly absorbent. That’s microfiber towels for you in a nutshell.

Microfiber cloths have typically been used for cleaning purposes. The microscopic fibers that make up the cloth trap dirt and moisture, making cleaning a breeze.

Now thanks to technological improvements, microfiber is affordable enough to be used even in large sizes, such as towels. As a result, microfiber towels have seen a steady increase in demand over the last few years, as Google Trends data indicates:

Microfiber towel on google trends

Although not an immediate spike, search interest for microfiber towels has been on a steady incline

The price is competitive as well. Wholesale rates for standard-sized towels start as low as $1 and below.

Microfiber towel on Alibaba

Microfiber towel prices have come down drastically, as this listing from Alibaba shows

Moreover, this isn’t just a single product; it’s an entire category. You can easily expand to a number of related microfiber products — cleaning cloths, mops, dusters, etc.

Reflective Dog Harness

Yet another product targeted at man’s best friend. This one is a new take on the standard dog harness.

This dog harness is either made of a reflective material or has built-in LED lights. This makes it easy for others to spot the dog when you’re out on a walk after dark. If the harness has LED lights, it can also act as an ambient light.

Reflective dog harnesses have seen a slow but steady growth in demand as shown below:

reflective dog harness google trends

Search interest for reflective dog harnesses has been on a slow but steady upward curve

Your initial investment will depend on the product type, but you can usually find wholesalers selling LED harnesses for under $5/piece.

Dog harness on Alibaba

LED dog harnesses wholesale for under $2 from some sellers on Alibaba

Given the size of the pet industry (for example, the average UK dog owner spends 1,252 GBP on their dogs each year), this is a niche with a lot of growth potential. You can easily expand beyond dog harnesses to cover related dog products.

Also read: New Ecwid Starter Site: A Great Look For Your Online Store From Day One

Fanny Packs

From the latest Thor: Ragnarok to the success of the Stranger Things TV series, all trends show that things from the ‘80s are making a huge comeback. One of these things, of course, is fashion. And when we talk of ‘80s fashion, it is impossible to forget the unmissable fanny pack:

Fanny Pack

Fanny packs, an ‘80s staple, are coming back in vogue (Image source: Pinterest)

For all their practicality, fanny packs had earned a bad reputation in fashion circles in the last few years. However, thanks to the re-emergence of ‘80s nostalgia, fanny packs have come back in vogue. Just look at this chart from Google Trends:

Fanny pack google trends

Google Trends data shows a steady increase in search interest for fanny packs

This is a great product to stock since you can choose from a huge range of designs. You don’t need a huge investment either — wholesale prices are usually under $5/piece.

Fanny Pack on Alibaba

Not only are fanny packs available in a huge range of designs, they are quite affordable as well

Taking the ‘80s resurgence into account, investing in a quintessential fashion product from the decade seems like a smart choice.


Picking a low-investment trending product to start your store is a good way to improve your chances of success. What matters more is how you grow your store after the initial product selection. Some product ideas can easily be expanded to cover entire themes or categories (such as an ‘80s themed store).

The beginning of a new year is a great time to test out these product ideas. Go ahead and create your free online store to start selling!

About the author
Jesse is the Marketing Manager at Ecwid and has been in e-commerce and internet marketing since 2006. He has experience with PPC, SEO, conversion optimization and loves to work with entrepreneurs to make their dreams a reality.