5 Basic Products That Have Made People Filthy Rich

Have you ever fantasized about opening a small business in your garage and turning it into a multi-million-dollar conglomerate? A lot of people have done it. Come to think of it, there are a lot of basic products that have made people filthy rich. They are made cheaply and easily, then sold for a lot more than they are really worth.

Here are five such products:

1. Sunglasses

You might spend $100 or more on a new pair of sunglasses. Heck, dropping $300 might mean nothing to you. What you might not know is that the retailer spends next to nothing buying products from a wholesale sunglasses distributor at a fraction of the cost.

According to Olympic Eyewear, an American eyewear distributor and wholesaler, a typical pair of plastic-framed sunglasses can be made in a factory for less than the cost of your lunch. And yet some brands are turning around and selling them for hundreds of dollars. Talk about a basic product that makes people filthy rich!

2. Cotton Swabs

One of the most basic consumer products in your medicine cabinet is the cotton swab. There is really nothing to it. It’s a piece of rolled paper with a blob of spun cotton on either end. That’s it. Manufacturers can make them by the millions for mere pennies. And what does a box sell for these days? Maybe $5.00 for a pack five hundred? You might pay only a penny or two per piece, but the manufacturer is making them for 5 to 10 times less.

3. Plastic Utensils

Plastic utensils are a lot like wholesale sunglasses in the sense that they are cheap and easy to make. Your typical plastic fork is manufactured using injection molding. The manufacturer makes a stainless-steel mold into which is injected liquid plastic. The plastic cools and hardens within seconds. Pieces are then ejected, cleaned, and packaged for shipping.

Injection molding is an attractive manufacturing process because it is cheap and repeatable. A manufacturer can make dozens of plastic utensils for mere pennies. Even selling them for five cents apiece can add up to a small fortune over the course of a year. What is the lesson here? Basic products made of plastic are big money makers.

4. Tomato Soup

Tomato soup is the canned food equivalent of wholesale sunglasses. It is the most basic of all canned soups. You crush up some tomatoes, add water and a few spices, and cook it. You can produce entire vats of tomato soup for next to nothing. And thanks to automated packaging, canning the stuff doesn’t cost much either.

You might spend $.30 on a can of tomato soup at a discount grocer. The manufacturer probably produced the soup for less than a penny. Somebody’s getting filthy rich off your love for a hot bowl of soup on a cold, rainy day.

5. Bottled Water

Is there any consumer product more basic than bottled water? No. And if you are buying bottled water, you’re paying some company a lot of money to put a bottle under a tap, fill it, and put a cap on it. Even if a bottler justifies its cost by saying its water is filtered, we all know that filtering doesn’t cost a lot of money. No matter how you slice it, bottled water is making a lot of people filthy rich.

What do you think? Are there other basic products that cost very little to make but still have a significant retail value? They are all around us. Just open your eyes and look.

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About the Author: Paul Petersen