Business ideas

50 Retail Business Ideas on a Budget

If you want to start a business where you offer finished products directly to consumers, retail is definitely the direction you should be looking for. There are many types of retail businesses. But some cost more than others to operate. Here are 50 low-cost retail ideas that won’t break the bank.

Low Cost Retail Ideas

E-commerce retailer

If you want to sell products to consumers without having to invest in an actual storefront, the easiest way to get started is to open an e-commerce site. There are plenty of low-cost options, ranging from eBay and Amazon to Shopify and BigCommerce.

Craft business

You can also focus more specifically on selling your own handmade creations. You can use a platform like Etsy or sell your wares at local events.

Collectibles seller

For those who want to sell more specific items, you can focus on collectibles like coins and sports memorabilia and sell those items on platforms like eBay.

Mobile retail store

If you want to have a brick-and-mortar retail business but don’t want to invest in a storefront, you can start a mobile retail business using an old motorhome or similar vehicle that you can set up at fairs. or events as you see fit.

Second-hand bookstore

You can also open your own second-hand bookstore, either in a set location or online. Buying used books is a relatively inexpensive prospect when it comes to inventory.

record store

Likewise, you can open a store that sells records, old and new. You can even have a system where you buy inventory directly from your customers.

Thrift shop

Or you can open a thrift store where you sell a variety of different products. For this, you will need a physical location. But you can accept item donations to reduce the initial cost.

consignment shop

You can also open a consignment store, which also sells used items, but offers refunds to people who bring their items.

antiques seller

Or you can specifically focus on selling items old enough to qualify as antiques. You can collect items and then sell them at stalls in stores or at events.

ancient mall

You can also open an antique mall where you sell goods from a retail outlet and then offer any additional space to other antique dealers.


With a newsstand, you can offer newspapers, magazines, and a variety of other products from a cart or small display case.

production booth

You can also open a stand where you offer produce or other food items in a small setting.

Pastry shop

If you want to offer a variety of sweeter food products, you can open a small bakery or even a mobile bakery.

food truck

Or you can open a mobile catering business like a food truck that you can take to fairs and other events.

Fair seller

You can also simply set up at fairs with a stand or stand. Within this, you can sell various food products or even other retail products, depending on the specific event.

Coffee trolley

For those who want a more regular schedule, you can run a coffee cart where you sell coffee and other items in office buildings or busy areas.

lunch trolley

Similarly, you can create a lunch box where you sell sandwiches or other prepared meals to people during their lunch breaks.

canned goods seller

You can also make jams and other canned goods at home and then sell them online or in a small retail space.


Convenience stores are relatively small and sell a lot of inexpensive items. So you can start one in your area without much initial investment.

Corner grocery store

Or you can open a grocery store with a slightly larger assortment of items, but without taking up much space.

Butcher’s shop

You can also find a more specific niche to keep your overhead even lower. For example, you can focus on selling meat products in a small butcher shop.

health food store

Or you can focus specifically on selling organic or healthy foods at a small health food store.

juice bar

You can even open your own juice bar or cart where you sell fresh juices and smoothies.


For the greediest, you can also open a small ice cream shop.

candy shop

Or you can go even smaller and sell candy wrapped in a small display case or mobile cart.


If you want to brew your own beer, you can invest in some basic equipment and then open your own microbrewery.

farmer’s market vendor

For those who grow or manufacture various food items, you can sell these items at Farmers Markets for a low overhead solution.

Retail pharmacy

Pharmacies are quite small and offer inexpensive retail products. So you could open a small neighborhood pharmacy without a lot of upfront investment.

card store

You can also focus specifically on selling greeting cards and similar products that are inexpensive and don’t take up a lot of space.

Paper products shop

Similarly, you can open a retail business selling other types of paper products like stationery and journals without much upfront cost.

Designer of printed products

If you have design skills, you can have your designs printed on items such as t-shirts, mugs, and cards. You can order these finished products and then sell them online or at a small outlet.

Gift basket service

You can also sell a variety of different products arranged in specialized gift baskets.

Local gift shop

Or you can stick to a simpler approach and open a small gift shop in your local community.

Accessories shop

If you sell small accessories like handbags and jewelry, you can open a retail store that’s fairly small and doesn’t have a ton of expensive inventory.

wedding shop

You can also open a shop specifically dedicated to wedding-related purchases. Since this is something you can manage by appointment, you can cut down on labor costs and possibly even get away with a location that isn’t as central as other businesses in detail might need to be.

craft supply store

Arts and crafts supplies can be relatively inexpensive and small. So this is another niche around which you can potentially build a retail business.

Gadgets accessories store

You can also build a retail business around selling tech accessories like phone and tablet cases.

auto parts store

Auto parts are not necessarily cheap to stock. But you can save money in other areas, like your current location.

Workwear retailer

You can also open a retail store that focuses on selling items such as smocks and work uniforms, which are relatively inexpensive to stock.


Or you can open a print shop where you sell custom signs and other printed products from a small storefront.

Children’s shop

Children’s products like clothes and toys are relatively inexpensive and don’t take up much space. So you can open a specialized store for children without too much expense.

Pet Shop

Similarly, you can open a small store that sells pet food, toys, and other items made specifically for dogs, cats, and other animals.

Beauty salon

Or you can open a beauty salon where you sell makeup, hair products, and other beauty-related items.


You can also open a flower shop where you assemble flower arrangements and sell these finished products to consumers.

E-commerce drop shop

If you want to sell products online but don’t have a lot of inventory to begin with, you can create a storefront where you collect items to sell on consignment.

retail kiosk

You can also open a retail kiosk to sell small items directly to consumers. You can set up kiosks in shopping malls or other high traffic places and stock these kiosks with small products.

Vending machine

Or you can focus on vending machines that dispense small snacks or similar items.

Pop-up retailer

If you only want to sell items occasionally, you can sell goods in pop-up shops so you don’t have to invest in dedicated retail space.

Flea market vendor

Or you can sell different types of items at flea markets or similar events instead of investing in a storefront.

Subscription box service

Subscription boxes offer a unique way to deliver products that have become increasingly popular in recent years. You can choose a specific niche and then set up a subscription system that allows you to sell products without too much overhead.

Related Reading: 51 Business Ideas for 2020


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