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Top 20 Things To Sell at School to Make Money

Best things to sell at school to make money
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Ever dream of having some extra money for that new video game, concert ticket, or weekend outing? Luckily, there are tons of things you can sell at school to make money without breaking from your studies. 

Here’s your guide to turning your backpack into a mini-mart. With creativity and these clever ideas, you’ll be the go-to source for your classmates’ needs. From sweet treats to forgotten essentials, here are the 25 best things you can sell at school to make money and become a schoolyard business mogul!

Check this before selling things at school

Before you fill your backpack with goodies to sell, getting permission to sell at school is key. Chat with a school representative about insurance needs, risk assessments, or permits – they’ll be your best guide. Get the green light on these first, then dive into the money-making fun! 

Let’s get to that list of awesome things you can sell at school to make money!

20 best things to sell at school to make money

1. Food

Food and drinks are goldmines when it comes to school sales. They’re the perfect impulse buy – affordable, convenient, and oh-so-tempting for classmates stuck with the same old cafeteria options. You can be the hero with a backpack full of delicious possibilities. 

Quick and easy meals are a lifesaver for busy students. Offer a variety of cup noodles, instant ramen packets, or microwaveable meals for those who need a hot lunch fix. And if you have the time, why not build your own lunch or snack boxes to sell?

2. Snacks

Everyone gets the afternoon munchies! Stock up on grab-and-go classics like crisps, chocolate bars, and granola bars. Offer also healthier options like fruit, nuts for protein bars for a balanced selection.

3. Baked goods

Freshly baked cookies, brownies, muffins, or cupcakes are irresistible money-makers. Don’t forget about dietary restrictions – offer gluten-free or vegan treats to cater to a wider audience.

4. Drinks

School days can be thirsty work so drinks are often high demand items! Offer a variety of drinks to keep your classmates hydrated and happy. Stock up on popular flavours of soft drinks, juice boxes or sports drinks. For students needing an afternoon pick-me-up, consider offering single-serve options of popular caffeinated drinks like colas or energy drinks (check school rules on this one!).

5. Gum and mints

Stock up on a variety of gum flavours – classic mint, fruity chews, and even sugar-free options! Toss in some mints too, perfect for a quick breath refresh after lunch. This pocket-friendly duo is a lifesaver for those who forget theirs and a great way to make money for you.

Food to sell at school to make money

6. School supplies

Even the most prepared student can forget a crucial pen refill or lose a trusty binder. Be their hero with a well-stocked selection of school supplies! Here are some top sellers:

  • Pens & pencils: A classic! Stock up on different colours, styles, and writing points (fine-tip, bold, etc.) to cater to everyone’s preference.
  • Notebooks & paper: Offer a variety of sizes (wide rule, college rule) and lined/unlined options for different subjects and note-taking styles.
  • Binders & folders: Help classmates stay organised with colourful binders and folders in different sizes. Consider pre-labelled options for popular subjects.
  • Extras essentials: Don’t forget smaller, forgotten items like highlighters, sticky notes, mini staplers, and erasers. These little lifesavers can bring a big smile (and a sale) to your customers!

7. Personal care items

Make life easier for your fellow students by offering personal hygiene products for sale. These products also have a long shelf life, so you don’t need to worry about them expiring. Here a some great examples:

  • Deodorant
  • Body spray or mist
  • Affordable perfumes
  • Hairbrush or comb
  • Nail clippers and files
  • Wet wipes
  • Lip balm
  • Plasters

8. Feminine care

Let’s face it, periods can be unpredictable. Be a lifesaver for your classmates by selling a discreet and well-stocked selection of feminine hygiene products, including pads and tampons. Individually wrapped wipes and over-the-counter painkillers for cramps can be a thoughtful extra too.

9. Hair products

Bad hair days can strike anytime! Make money at school by selling handy hair products to help classmates achieve a quick fix or maintain their look throughout the day:

  • Hair ties and scrunchies
  • Bobby pins
  • Hair accessories
  • Hair spray
  • Styling gel

10. Makeup

Lipstick, lip gloss, concealer, mascara – there are tons of options for makeup you can sell at school to make money. It might be difficult to choose the shades and colours that will appeal to the most people, so you may want to buy several to satisfy your customers. Alternatively, you can do some research to find popular, classic options that suit most skin colours and types.

Related: MLM Makeup: Can you really make money with it?

11. Phone chargers

Running out of phone battery can be a real pain! Help classmates stay connected with a selection of phone chargers. Phone charging equipment you could sell ranges from charging wires and plugs to portable power banks so students can charge on the go. Instead of selling the charging equipment, you could also provide phone charging as a service.

12. Tech accessories

These days, everyone relies on their tech! Therefore, selling tech accessories can be a profitable venture within a school setting. Here are some options to consider:

  • USB cables
  • Cheap headphones
  • Screen protectors
  • Phone cases and accessories

13. Gadgets and toys

Toys and gadgets aren’t just for primary school children – many older students also appreciate them! Fidget spinners, stress balls, bubble mats, and slime can be very popular choices, depending on your target audience. These small toys are great things to sell because they help some people focus more fully on their schoolwork.

14. Hand-made jewellerly

Handmade jewellery is a fun and easy way to express yourself while making some extra cash. With some creativity and a few basic supplies, you can design unique earrings, bracelets, or necklaces that people will love to buy. 

15. Access to subscription service

Want to make the most of a subscription service you’re already using? Sell access to your shared Netflix, Spotify Premium or Amazon Prime account to other students. This can cover the cost of your own subscription and even earn extra money fast. You can also get recurring income from students who pay month to month.

16. Personalised items

Everyone loves something unique! With so many print-on-demand companies out there (such as Printful) you can make money by creating unique items featuring your school logo or other personalised designs. You could offer customised stuff like T-shirts, hoodies, water bottles, tote bags and notebooks.

17. Seasonal items

By selling seasonal treats and items, you’ll be the hero for classmates looking to beat the weather, celebrate a holiday or special occasions, or simply enjoy a delicious pick-me-up! Here are some creative seasonal ideas for you:

  • Valentine’s Day: Spread the love with Valentine’s Day treats like conversation hearts, individual roses, or small heart-shaped cookies.
  • Winter: Warm classmates up by selling hot chocolate packets, festive candy canes, or even fun holiday-themed pencils.
  • Summer: Beat the heat with refreshing iced teas or even mini fans.
  • Halloween: Sell spooky treats like candy corn, mini bags of Halloween-themed chocolates, or even temporary Halloween tattoos.

18. Printables

If you have an eye for good design, why not create some printables to sell to students? 

They are cheap things to make and sell at school because they cost nothing except your time and effort. Once you have them, you can sell endless copies – even online! And don’t worry if you’re not a pro – free design tools like Canva make it easy to get started.

Here are some printables that students will love:

  • Weekly & monthly planners
  • Calendars
  • Study & revision planners
  • Budget tracker
  • Coloring pages

Related: 19 best side hustles to make money online from home

19. Study guides

For classes that you’ve already taken and aced, help classmates ace their next test with a selection of handy study guides:

  • Subject saviours: Stock up on study guides for popular subjects like math, science, history, and English. Consider offering both general guides and those focused on specific topics or exams.
  • Flashcards: Flashcards are a classic study tool for a reason! Offer pre-made sets for key subjects or blank ones for classmates to create their own.
  • Digital downloads: If your school allows it, consider offering downloadable study guides or access to online learning platforms. This can be a convenient option for classmates who prefer digital resources.

20. Tutoring

If you excel in a particular subject, why not make money tutoring other students? You can offer one-on-one tutoring for focused learning or small group sessions for a collaborative study experience.

Entrepreneur's tips for selling things at school to make money

So you’ve got a great idea for selling something at school and turning a profit! But before you get started, here are some pro tips to turn you from a student with a plan into a schoolyard tycoon:

  • Know your audience: Don’t just sell what you like. Think about what your classmates crave and will actually buy. What are their current trends, needs, or frustrations? Focus on items that your target audience will have enough money for.
  • Freshness: Especially when considering food items, choose products with a long shelf life. This gives you flexibility and avoids spoilage. Seasonal treats can be a hit (summer drinks, Valentine’s Day candy), but factor in how quickly they’ll sell.
  • Be patient: Building a customer base takes time. Promote your business using flyers, social media, or simply by spreading the word. Consistency is important! College/University students: Social media accounts showcasing your products can help you become a familiar face on campus.
  • Logistics and location: Think about transporting your goods. A trolley bag can help with heavy items like drink bottles. Find a high-traffic area with permission (lunch tables, after-school events) to set up your shop. Consider if your setup requires electricity or hot water and position yourself near an outlet if needed.
  • Presentation: Make your products look appealing! Arrange them neatly, use colourful displays, and have clear price tags.
  • Price it right: Research similar products and set reasonable prices that are profitable for you.
  • Be prepared: Have enough stock to meet demand and consider offering different payment options (cash, bank transfer, PayPal).
  • Friendly attitude: Be friendly and enthusiastic when interacting with potential customers. A good attitude goes a long way!

How to start selling things at school: A step-by-step guide

1. Brainstorm & research

Thinking of making extra income at school? For college students, consider high-demand items like tech accessories or used textbooks. For younger kids friendship bracelets or tasty treats can be a great place to start. Research what others are selling and see if you can offer a unique product or a lower price.

2. Get permission & follow rules

Always get the green light from your school administration before selling anything. Understand any restrictions on what you can sell and where.

3. Plan your inventory

Focus on long-lasting products, especially for food items. Wholesale stores (Costco), discount stores or cheap online stores (Shein, AliExpress) can save money when buying in bulk. A local thrift store and Facebook Marketplace can also be great places to buy items to resell. Start small – only buy what you think will sell quickly to avoid waste.

4. Work out your profit margin

Before you sell, figure out how much profit you’ll make on each item. A good rule of thumb is to mark up your cost price by at least 50% to 100%. For example, if an item costs you 50p, could sell it for £1? This will ensure you make a reasonable profit while still being competitive. Some items with higher demand might sell for a higher price, allowing for a higher profit margin.

5. Market & promote

Spread the word! Create eye-catching flyers or use social media or school notice boards to advertise your products. Word-of-mouth is a powerful tool too! Find a high-traffic area at school with permission to set up your shop.

6. Be responsible & learn

Track your income and expenses to see how your business is doing. Analyse what worked well and what could be improved for next time. Depending on your offering, you can even consider selling online courses or opening an online store to reach a wider audience.

Related: How to manage your side hustle finances effectively

Finally, remember: Selling things at school is not just about making money – it’s about learning valuable skills like planning, marketing, and customer service. Good luck turning your school grounds into a great place to turn a profit!

Conclusion: Best things to sell at school to make money

These are just a few of the best ways to turn your spare time at school into good money. I hope these ideas for the best things to sell at school inspire you to set up shop and start making some cash!

And remember, the key to success is finding a product your classmates will love and offering it at a fair, reasonable price. Be prepared for a little trial and error – it might take some time to discover what sells best. But with a little creativity and effort, you can become the school entrepreneur everyone wants to buy from! The easiest things often lead to the greatest rewards, so why not give it a try? You might be surprised at what you can achieve!

Related: 7 genius ways to make money online with minimal effort

20 best things to sell at school

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