How to Start a Phone Case Business: The Startup Guide

Phone cases are easy to source and have an ample market to sell. Learn how to start a phone case business from scratch, with this comprehensive startup guide.

Why should you start selling phone cases?

  • Phone cases are super easy to source – Reduce your headache of finding suppliers.
  • Phone cases are perfect in size to sell online – Low shipping costs for better pricing.
  • You can use dropshipping suppliers to find low-cost phone cases – A low-risk business opportunity.
  • You can use print-on-demand services to make your own phone case designs to sell – You can start monetizing your creative skills too.
  • Most of the mobile phone users buy a new phone case every two years – An excellent opportunity for repeat customers.
  • New phone models are released almost every single day – Gives you an ever-expanding market.

How to start a phone case business

  1. Choose and target around 5-7 mobile phone brands/ types.

  2. Find popular phone case types and designs to sell online.

  3. Choose whether to re-sell or design your own phone cases.

  4. If you choose to re-sell, search for the phone case dropshipping suppliers.

  5. If you are going to design the phone cases, pick a good print-on-demand service.

  6. Plan your phone case business strategy.

  7. Build an e-commerce store, or list your products on an online marketplace.

  8. Advertise your products

  9. Start making money from your phone case business.


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Starting a phone case business: The challenges

Today, starting an online business is super easy. But, surviving the market is a real challenge. ๐Ÿ˜

There are plenty of low-cost services and tools, which enable anyone with basic computer knowledge to build their own e-commerce business. And, you don’t even need a big budget to start an online business.

So, many people get into e-commerce businesses every single day. But, only a few of them can survive.

Most of the new startups fail to face the competition in e-commerce. The main reason for these failures is the lack of online marketing knowledge.

The Internet opens your business to billions of potential customers. So, there is always a market for you. But, you need to know how to stand above the competition and reach your potential customers first.

So, the main challenge in starting a phone case business is to learn some good online marketing strategies.

But, don’t worry, we got your back. Casually go through our online marketing lessons (they are totally free to read) and learn how to stand above an average e-commerce seller. ๐Ÿ™‚


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Let us start building your phone case business

Alright then, how to start a phone case business? We will guide you through all the steps of starting a phone case business. Don’t forget to keep this page bookmarked. ๐Ÿ™‚

Choose and target around 5-7 mobile phone brands/ types

There are thousands of different devices in the market. And, obviously, you cannot make or sell, phone cases for each of these device types. So, you need to pick the most popular devices to start your phone case business.

In e-commerce, you should never sell to everyone. If you try to sell to everyone, you will not be able to sell to anyone. ๐Ÿ™‚

So, make sure to pick just one or two brands, with five to seven device types. For example, if you choose iPhones, you can select the current and still sold brands.

You can find the most popular smartphone brands from this research on deviceatlas, or from any keyword research tool. For example, here are the Ubersuggest‘s keyword suggestions for “iPhone case.”

popular searches for iphone cases

Likewise, you can pick the devices with the highest search volumes for the phone cases.

Btw, since we are here, I just want you to notice another critical point. As you can see in the above image, the search difficulties (SD) for the above keywords are incredibly high. That means, it is harder to rank-up your e-commerce site on Google for those keywords. So, we need to find other ways to promote your content. We’ll get back to that a bit later.

Find popular phone case types and designs

There are many different types of popular phone cases.

Thin flat type phone cases

Thin flats are a popular choice for print-on-demand phone cases. These phone cases are often made with PVC or rubbery silicon material. You can find thin flats for low prices, compared to the other phone case types.

thin flat phone cases
Photo by Matthew Henry from Burst

Rugged phone cases

Rugged phone cases are also a good choice for an online store. These cases visually align with a dark themed, masculine store design. Also, you can easily find the dropshipping phone case suppliers for the heavy-duty, rugged phone cases.

heavy duty phone case
Photo from Aliexpress

Bumper phone cases

Bumper cases add extra protection around the edges of the phones. The bumper cases are usually made with a shock-resistant material to absorb the socks. Some bumper cases only cover the sides of the phone, and some bumper cases are just the thin flat types with an extra protective layer at the edge.

bumper phone cases
Photo from Aliexpress

Fabric phone cases

Fabric phone cases are also catching up in the trends lately. Those phone cases are especially popular among the eco-friendly consumer communities. Also, the fabric phone cases can be modified using embroidery designs, painting or even by printing.

fabric phone case
Photo from Aliexpress

Wallet phone cases

Wallet phone cases can be another great addition to your phone case product portfolio. There are different types of wallet phone cases. Some wallet phone cases with foldable designs and some are super minimalistic with only a set of credit card holders.

wallet phone case
Photo from Aliexpress

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Choose whether to re-sell or design your own phone cases.

As I have mentioned in the beginning, you can re-sell the phone cases from wholesale suppliers, or you can sell phone cases with your own touch of creativity.

Re-sell phone cases

Re-selling phone cases from the dropshipping suppliers are one of the easiest (and, low-cost) ways to start a phone case business.

Since you donโ€™t have to maintain a product stock with dropshipping, you can just add or remove the products from your store to meet the trends. Also, since the dropshipping suppliers will take care of the shipping and order fulfillment, you can use your full steam on business development and marketing.

Finding dropshipping suppliers is not a hard thing to do. The easiest way is to dropship from Aliexpress. Also, if you decide to build your phone case store on Shopify, you can use Orbelo to find dropshipping products too.

But, if you like to earn more profits, you can use wholesale directories to find real wholesale suppliers for phone cases.

So, my advice is, in the beginning, use Aliexpress or Orbelo to source products for your phone case business. But, once you get a good grip on this phone case business, you can start working with the wholesale phone case suppliers.

Designing your own phone cases

As you can understand, selling phone cases can be a competitive business segment. So, if you need to get some competitive advantage, you might need something to make yourself different from your competitors.

There are many online tools and services to design your own phone cases. And, some print-on-demand services even handle the shipping and order fulfillment for you.

Print-on-demand services like printful have easy-to-use phone case design tools to create your own designs and to generate mockups.

Here is an example of a design that I made using printful’s design tools. Beautiful huh? ๐Ÿ™‚

phone case design

Tip: You can use these mockups for your product listing.

If you are not getting any design ideas, do not worry. Just surf around Pinterest to get plenty of design inspirations. Or, you can even hire a freelancing designer on Fiverr to get your design done.

Once you come up with a design, generate the mockups using the above tools, and use social media to validate your design. Post you mockups on Facebook or Instagram and measure the amount of engagement and positive comments to get a better idea of your design.


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Plan your phone case business strategy

Any business without a proper strategy is not going to work at all. Starting a business without a strategy is like gambling.

My luck never works on my favor. So, I always try going with a strategy. But, if the luck is always on your side, maybe you can skip this step.

When I say that you need a business strategy, I didnโ€™t mean that you need to hire a business adviser or anyone like that. You can do it by yourself.

We have a complete guide about how to plan a business strategy. I strongly recommend you to read it. I know that it is not the most interesting blog post on the internet. But, it has some vital content ๐Ÿ™‚

Build an e-commerce store, or list your phone cases on an online marketplace

If you are running low on cash, you can start by listing your phone cases on online marketplaces like eBay. It will not cost you anything, except your time. And, on the other hand, it is the quickest way to getting your business off the ground.

But, when you list your phone cases on eBay, make sure to have a proper sales agreement with your wholesale supplier. A lot of people just use dropshipping from Aliexpress to sell on eBay. But, if the eBay found out this process, they will suspend your account.

Apparently, dropshipping is allowed on eBay, as long as you can prove that you have a reliable supply of products. You can prove this by providing a dropshipping agreement from your supplier.

If you like to build your own brand with your phone case business, creating your own e-commerce store is the best option.

There are different options to create your own e-commerce website.

The easiest way is to use an e-commerce site building platform like Shopify. With Shopify, you can create your own e-commerce store with even a basic computer and internet skills.

But, if you like to have a bit cheaper solution, with more design flexibility, you can use a self-hosted e-commerce store, made with a package like WordPress + Bluehost + WooCommerce.

There are plenty of tutorials and forums to learn how to build an e-commerce site using WordPress. But, if you are not a techie person, maybe it is better to find a freelancer to make your store.

But, even though you do this at the beginning, it is better to learn how to manage your system by yourself. Because, down the road, you will need to do a lot of changes to your e-commerce store. So, it can be costly for you to pay an external consultant every time.


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Advertise your phone case business

There are a few different ways to advertise your phone case business.

  1. Paid advertising
  2. Using social media
  3. Getting ranked-up on Google

Paid advertising for your phone case business

To be honest, you cannot run a business without paid ads. Well, you can, but you will not be able to make enough sales.

You can run paid ads on Google and on social media platforms like Facebook.

In the beginning, forget all other paid channels and just focus on advertising on Facebook.

There is a reason to focus only on Facebook ads. The paid advertising for online business has to done very carefully. As a beginner, you will find it is hard to measure and keep track of the cost of conversions.

And, sometimes your paid ads won’t work from the very first try. Most of the time, you need to do a little bit of tweaking to make it work. If you do not understand this, your paid ad campaigns can go wild and eat up all your marketing budget without making any sales.

Trust me; I have a firsthand experience losing more than $2000 for this very reason.

So, in the beginning, only focus on a single paid channel. Facebook ads are cheaper and easy to analyze. You can start from there and later grow your paid advertising to multiple channels.


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Using social media to advertise a phone case business

2.5 billion people are waking up to social media. So, if your phone case business does not have a proper social media marketing strategy, you are basically leaving your money on the table.

Read our comprehensive guide on social media marketing for e-commerce.

Getting organic traffic from Google

Do you remember that I told you something about “Search difficulty” at the very first step? Now we are going to talk about it a bit more.

As you can see from the below image, it is hard to rank up on google for the direct keywords like “iPhone 7 phone case“. So, my honest opinion is that your SEO (Search engine optimization) efforts will be wasted if you try to rank for such keywords.

popular searches for iphone cases

But, that doesn’t mean you should forget about organic traffic from Google. Organic traffic from Google is the cheapest and most effective traffic you will get to your phone case store.

So, we are going to have a different approach here. What if we can grab the attention of our potential customers, even before they search for an “iPhone 7 phone case“?

There is a way to do this. We are living in an information age. Many people search for more background information before they decide to buy something. If you know how this new customer journeys work, you know exactly how to grab their attention with low-competitive long-tail keywords.

So, start a content marketing strategy to get organic traffic from Google. Remember, content marketing strategies are super slow. But, once you can get the traction, it will give you the cheapest conversion cost for you.

Are you ready to start a phone case business?

In this article, we have discussed how to start a phone case business from scratch.

We have discussed how to select devices and phone case types to focus on your business. Then we have discussed how to find phone cases to sell, and how to design your own phone cases. Also, we have discussed where you can sell phone cases online. Then finally we have talked about how to advertise your phone case business.

I genuinely believe that this article provides a comprehensive guide about how to start a phone case business.

If you find this article useful, please share it with your friends. Or else, comment and let me know what I missed about starting a phone case business.