How to Start a Phone Case Business: The Ultimate Guide (2023)

Today, there are more mobile devices than there are people in the world.

That means there’s ample opportunity for you to grab a slice of the growing market for smartphone accessories.

Phone cases, in particular, are easy to source and appeal to people who are looking to inject some individuality or extra functionality into the one device they can’t live without.

Building a business around making and selling your own phone cases comes with a variety of benefits:

  • It’s easy to hold inventory and ship due to their small size.
  • They’re relatively low cost to produce.
  • You can sell them both online and in an offline kiosk.
  • Print-on-demand to start with lower risk or buy in bulk for better margins.
  • Every new phone model offers a new opportunityto cater to the 44% of smartphone owners who upgrade every 2 years.

But as with any business where the barrier to entry is low, there’s going to be competition. However, all you need to succeed is a piece of this massive market.

The following is a guide that answers common questions about starting a phone case business, such as:

  • What types of phone cases are there?
  • Where do I get designs for phone cases?
  • How do I know what phone cases/designs will be popular?
  • Where can I sell my phone cases?

If making and selling phone cases sounds like a compelling business idea, but you don’t know where to start, you’re in the right place.

How to Start a Phone Case Business: The Ultimate Guide (1)

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How to make and sell your own phone cases

Before you get to creating your own phone cases, there are a few things you’ll need to know, namely the types of phone cases out there, how to choose which phones you want to support, and how to come up with designs.

Types of phone cases

Some phone cases are more practical, while others are more visually appealing. Some offer protection, while others are more like a second “skin” than a case.

There is a multitude of options, but here are some of the most common types to get you started.

Slim and gel cases

How to Start a Phone Case Business: The Ultimate Guide (2)

Slim cases are on the thinner side andlet you add an eye-catching design and some additional grip to a phone, often through a flexible, rubbery silicone gel material.

(Video) studio vlog 01 // owning a phone case business

These are some of the cheapest phone cases you can produce and customize with designs, especially if you want to print them on demand (more on that later).

Bumper cases

How to Start a Phone Case Business: The Ultimate Guide (3)

Unlike slim phone cases, these cases usually only cover the sides/border of your phone, and are often made of a harder, shock-resistant material to protect your phone from dings and scratches.

Bumper cases can be minimalistic, only cover the edges of a phone, or they can come with an additional piece for protecting the back from scratches too.

Folio or wallet cases

How to Start a Phone Case Business: The Ultimate Guide (4)

Folio cases have a cover that folds over the front of your phone to protect the screen from dust and scratches, and give the phone the appearance of a small notebook.

Some even have wallet-like features, such as the ability to store cash or credit cards, while others can be turned into a stand to prop up your phone.

You’ll typically find these in a leathery material and they will likely cost more than the slim cases but also appear to more practical consumers.

Tough Cases

How to Start a Phone Case Business: The Ultimate Guide (5)

Many people look at having a phone case less as an aesthetic choice and more as a way to protect the hundreds of dollars they invested in their phone should they ever drop it.

Tough cases are bulkier and add more weight to a phone, but afford customers greater protection.

It’s important to recognize this when you write your product descriptionsfor tough phone cases, as anything from drop tests to details about water resistance can help give customers peace of mind.

Battery cases

How to Start a Phone Case Business: The Ultimate Guide (6)

Battery life seems to be a problem regardless of what phone you have these days.

While they’re more expensive than most phone cases, battery cases are also very practical and offer a lot of utility for those moments when we wish we had just a bit more juice.

Since these cases not only protect your phone but provide some extra charge, battery cases are a good companion for models of phones where battery life is a constant complaint.

Choosing which devicesto focus on

It’s not just a matter of deciding what kind of phone cases you want, but what kinds of phones you want to support.

(Video) HOW TO START A PHONECASE BUSINESS (essentials + supplies & links)

However, this can also offer an opportunity to dig into specific niches based on phone models. If you can foresee a need for cases for upcoming phones or spot any underserved smartphone types, there may also be an opportunity to consider.

While the latest iPhone models are probably a safe bet, you can take a look at this research by Device Atlas to see which phones are popular in the regions of the world where you want to sell.

Alternatively, you can do some basic keyword research in Google’s Keyword Planneror KWFinder to get a look at search volume as a reflection of demand for cases for specific types of phones. If you plan on using Google Ads to sell your products, it’s definitely worth looking into this in advance.

How to Start a Phone Case Business: The Ultimate Guide (7)

Where to get designs for your phone cases

Design can be one of your biggest differentiators, especially if you’re selling the standard slim cases.

Design communities like Dribbble are great places to shop around for designers based on the aesthetic you’re looking for. Or, if you’re looking for cost-effective designs, you can always find them on Fiverr. Try to look specifically for designers that do custom phone cases.

You can also create your own design mockups in Photoshop or Photopea, andmany phone case print-on-demand services like Caseapp and Printful also have phone case mock-up generators you can use.

How to Start a Phone Case Business: The Ultimate Guide (8)

Be wary that not all phone case suppliers will print onthe sides of the case. Many will only print on the back alone, so make sure you pay attention to that during the design phase and when looking for a supplier.

Try to source several different designs so you’re not just betting on one idea, and get feedback as early as you can:

  • Post your designs on image-oriented social media sites like Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest, and use engagement (likes, shares, comments) as an indicator of interest. You can even put some money into promoting your designs to a wider, more relevant audience and see which ones dobest.
  • Ask friends and family for their input.
  • Reddit is great for feedback if you're selling to a specific niche. Post your designs in a relevant subreddit (r/pugs if you're selling cases for pug owners) and the anonymity of Reddit will help you solicit good input. You can even follow up with another post when your cases are finally available for purchase.

Speaking to a niche, a group of people who feel passionately about a specific interest, through your designs will give you an edge in terms of garnering interest. After all, accessories like phone cases for many people are simply a way to show off to the world who they are.

How to get your phone cases made

Once you’ve got some designs you feel good about, it’s time to bring them to life. Unless you're willing to invest thousands in your own printing equipment, you have threemain options when it comes to getting your phone cases made.

Use a print-on-demand service

Printful and Printifyare just some of the many services that let you print phone cases on demand. While selling on-demand will eat into your margins a bit more, it also takes shipping and fulfillment off your plate so you don’t need to keep any phone cases on hand or even order them in bulk.

If you’re selling these phone cases on your own Shopify store, these print-on-demand services can integrate with your online storefront, taking care of fulfilling orders and customer support so all you need to worry about is making sales.

Whether it’s at-shirt, an enamel pin, jewelry, or phone case, validating which designs people like can be tricky. These print-on-demand services offer a low-risk way to test design ideas, especially for slim phone cases.

How to Start a Phone Case Business: The Ultimate Guide (9)

(Video) Start your own phone case business

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Learn how to create your own custom phone case shop in minutes. Expert Shopify merchant Adrian Morrison shares his framework for starting and launching a successful print-on-demand shop.

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Find a manufacturer to work with

Finding a manufacturer to work with is the route you’ll likely want to go in order to maximize your profits.

Alibaba offers a directory of manufacturers in China who make a variety of phone case types from slim to folio to battery

While you will have to buy in bulk with a minimum order quantity that’s anywhere from 10 to over 200, you’ll have the potential to offer better prices and make more off of each sale when each case can potentially cost you as little as$1.

You can also choose to partner with a local manufacturer to appeal to consumers who are interested in supporting businesses in their own country. Either way, be sure to order a sample first before you go in on a bulk order.

It’s worth noting that you don’t necessarily need inventory on hand in order to make sales. Sales can be used to decide which phone cases you actually order so you’re not stuck with hundreds of cases that just aren’t selling.

Since inventory won't take up much room, if you're confident about your phone cases, you can invest in an offline presence to sell by setting up a kart or kiosk in a high traffic area like a mall.

Dropshipping existing phone cases

Instead of making your own phone cases, you can use a dropshipping model so all you really need to worry about is building a website and making sales.

The only major downsides are that you'll have far less control over the product and lower margins, but in exchange, the product, shipping and fulfillment are taken care of for you.

It's as easy as using an app like Oberloto import phone cases from Aliexpress into your Shopify store. Learn more about dropshipping with Aliexpress in The Definitive Guide to Dropshipping With Aliexpress.

Selling your phone cases online

Now that you’ve figured out your market, your product, and your supply chain, it’s time to figure out how and where to sell your phone cases.

While marketplaces like Etsy and Amazon are good places to list your phone cases, you can also open an online store to own your brand, expand your marketing efforts, and build a long-term business. And, if you want, you can even sell them offline in a kioskusing a POS system.

Openyour own Shopify store—free for 14 days.

As far as marketing goes, the following are recommended channels and tactics you should try, as well as resources for how to execute them:

(Video) making phone cases for my small business!

  • Search engine marketing: Search engine marketing help you reach people who are searching for phone cases for particular smartphones. The buying intention behind these searches means you’ll get the most relevant clicks through to your products and the phones you support. You can achieve this organically through SEO or paying to promote through Google Ads.
  • Facebook advertising: If you’re targeting a specific interest group with your designs, Facebook ads can help you market to people who fit a certain profile.
  • Instagram marketing: Instagram is a highly visual platform, perfect for showing off your designs with the option for paid advertising as well.
  • Influencer marketing: Partnering with micro-celebrities, YouTubers, Instagrammers, etc. lets you harness their influence and established audiences to get your phone cases in front of more people.

When you're writing product descriptions for your phones, be as specific as possible in your messagingand consider the biggest selling points for your phone cases.

Anything from the material to water resistance to a video of your phone case passing a drop test can make your cases more appealing to customers beyond just the design.

Ready to start your own phone case business?

Don't get bogged down by the competition for phone cases. Like any other competitive market, what you need to focus on is appealing to the right niche and getting your products in front of these people.

Over time, you can figure out winning designs and phone cases, as well as ways to source them to increase your margins, so that you can double down on selling them.

Frequently asked questions about starting a phone case business

How do I start my own phone case business?

Firstly, create a few phone case designs and decide the models you want to make the phone cases for. Then partner with a print on demand service. After that, upload your file and place an order online. Post which, you can market your phone cases either on social media or even set up an online store to do so.

Is a phone case business profitable?

Depending on the designs you sell and the target market, you can add a decent margin on your phone case pricing. On an average, businesses have seen a 50% profit in their phone case business.

Are phone cases good for dropshipping?

Yes, they are. It gives you the flexibility to add a wide range of phone case designs to your store without actually having to get into manufacturing or working with print on demand services. In fact, if you're testing out the market for phone cases, you can consider starting with a dropshipping model first.

How much does it cost to start a phone case business?

The costs of starting a phone case business vary. It includes the design costs, the print on demand service costs, your marketing costs and of course your shipping costs. So it entirely depends on what business model you make use of and how you take the products to your target consumer.

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FAQs

What qualities make a good phone case? ›

For a baseline level of protection, choose a case made of a shock-absorbent material (like silicone or rubber) that covers your phone's vulnerable corners. Shoman advises smartphone owners against plastic cases, which do not effectively absorb shock and are likelier to translate any impact to the device itself.

How do you put designs on a phone case? ›

And then i took the clear varnish. And sealed it so it would be permanent. Another design you can

How do you open a cell phone case? ›

And this our thumb is going to be used as leverage pretty much take your fingers. And just kind of

What do you need to make sublimation phone cases? ›

What do you need to Sublimate a Phone case?
  1. Design Software.
  2. Sublimation Printer.
  3. Sublimation ink.
  4. Sublimation Paper.
  5. Heat Press.
  6. Phone Case Blanks.

Which material is best for phone case? ›

Hard Plastic

PC is more rigid and hard, while TPU is slightly softer and more flexible (but still not as soft as silicone and rubber). Both of these types of plastic are great at maintaining their shape, making them a durable option for people who are tough on their phone cases.

What is the best type of phone case? ›

For a phone case that will look amazing and protect against light bumps, scratches and scuffs, your best options are either silicone or leather cases, but, for protection against harder impacts, you may want to consider a hard polycarbonate case.

Are phone cases profitable? ›

They typically are lightweight and cheap to ship and often have decent profit margins. You can find phone cases for as little as $5 on a dropshipping sites and sell them for $10+—an easy 50% profit. The best part? It doesn't take much upfront investment to start a phone case business.

Where can I find the manufacturer of my phone case? ›

Thomasnet.com, for example, is a searchable directory that you can use to find possible phone case suppliers for your company. One of the best ways to find a reliable manufacturer is to ask a company in the phone case business about the manufacturer that they use.

How are phone case made? ›

Holes are drilled into mold to allow cooling fluids to enter into the mold and help the plastic harden. Once the mold is the correct shape, it gets smoothed and polished to remove any rough edges. After that it is ready for action. Hot plastic is injected into the mold and forms the correct shape.

How do you make a silicone phone case? ›

DIY | How to make an Silicone Phone Case | Tutorial - YouTube

Is a hard or soft case better for the phone? ›

Hard plastic is considered to be the best protective cover for a phone case. The polycarbonate plastic used to make it is the best plastic to use for phone cases. It's tough and lasting and protects your phone from unwanted scratches.

How long does it take to sublimate a phone case? ›

Time: 9-10 minutes

Place phone case in vacuum bed of 3D sublimation heat press and press according to the time and temperature listed above. After pressing, remove paper immediately. Remove case from tool and lightly squeeze edges inwards to retain original shape. Drop in cold water bath to preserve case shape.

Can you use a Cricut heat press to make phone cases? ›

Sublimate Phone Cases With Cricut Easy Press - YouTube

What are the most popular phone cases? ›

The 15 best brands for phone cases
  • Pela.
  • Urban Armor Gear.
  • Otterbox.
  • Mous.
  • LifeProof.
  • Tech21.
  • Smartish.
  • Speck.
24 Jun 2022

How long should a phone case last? ›

Hard plastic cases could last a lifetime because plastic does not die. It's forever and eventually becomes permanent waste. It can serve its purpose to protect your phone from scratches and dents for five years. That's if they chip or fall causing an early phone case retirement.

Is TPU or silicone better? ›

The key difference between TPU and silicone is that TPU material is better than silicone to be used in the production of mobile phone cases. Moreover, TPU material is more transparent in colour, environmentally friendly, and more importantly, TPU gives the user a good grip of the phone.

What are the top 5 best phone cases? ›

Top 7 Best Cell Phone Cases
  • #1 Spigen Tough Armor Samsung Galaxy S10 Cell Phone Case.
  • #2 Kitoo Military Grade 12ft Drop Protection iPhone 6/6S Cell Phone Case.
  • #3 Youmaker with Screen Protector iPhone Cell Phone Case.
  • #4 Speck iPhone CandyShell Grip Case.
  • #5 Joto Universal Waterproof Pouch Phone Dry Bag.
19 Jul 2022

What are the two holes in phone cases for? ›

see less To answer your question there is two hole because there are two light sensors. If you look very very closely at your phone to the left of the light sensor you see there is a very faint sensor also. I could only see it in a bright light.

Do cheap phone cases work? ›

Are cheap phone cases good? Cheap phone cases are good as long as they are made of the right materials and are compatible with your phone's dimensions. Do not buy leather cases since they're not good at protecting phones.

How much money does it take to start a phone case business? ›

Startup costs for a phone case business range from around $4,500 to $30,000 with an average of around $17,000. At the low end, you can start with a phone case making kit to make your own cases and sell via an online marketplace like Amazon or Etsy to avoid the cost of creating your own website.

What is the markup on phone cases? ›

Most cases sold in these stores are sold at a roughly 80% markup ensuring maximum profitability for the salesperson. This reality has created a culture where people believe that they must “protect their investment” with a high-quality phone case and screen protector.

How can I sell my mobile cases? ›

How to sell mobile phone cases online
  1. Step 1: Conduct market research. Proper market research helps lay the foundation for a successful enterprise. ...
  2. Step 2: Pick your niche. ...
  3. Step 3: Design a style. ...
  4. Step 4: Source phone cases. ...
  5. Step 5: Choose selling channels.
18 May 2022

How do you make a hot glue phone case? ›

DIY PHONE CASE Life Hacks - Hot Glue Craft - YouTube

How do you put vinyl on a phone case? ›

Make a Phone Case Vinyl Decal - YouTube

Is mobile phone accessories profitable? ›

Mobile phones require a lot of accessories that increase their efficiency and protect your phone. Thus, this opens a gateway for a big business opportunity. Commencing a mobile phone accessory business can be highly profitable, but for that, you need a good cell phone accessories business plan.

What is the margin in mobile accessories? ›

Usually, if taken average you can observe a net margin ranging from 50% to 75% depending on different accessories. According to a Founder of retail consultancy, the profit margin of mobile accessories is very large as compared to the margin provided by mobiles itself that is usually 10%.

What phone do they use in Kdramas? ›

The mobile phone in Korean Dramas

Which is why, in some of the top dramas now, the Galaxy Z Fold 2 was placed exactly in the hands of the achievers in each of the dramas.

Who invented phone cases? ›

Answer and Explanation: Andy Fathollahi invented the first phone case for the company Palm Pilot, one of the manufacturers of PDA (Personal Digital Assistants).

How much plastic is used to make phone cases? ›

Each phone case is roughly 20 grams of plastic.

How many phone cases are thrown away each year? ›

1.5 billion phone cases are thrown away each year. That's a lot of plastic waste.

What kind of silicone is used for phone cases? ›

Part of the reason why Apple uses liquid silicone as the main material for the iPhone protective case lies in the flexibility of the liquid silicone. As mentioned earlier, liquid silicone is made of a silica and oxygen backbone called the polysiloxane chain.

Is TPU case hard or soft? ›

TPU is a hard plastic material. The cell phone covers produced using TPU cover most parts of the phone. This is what gives complete protection to the device. Hard plastic cell phone cases are the best option when it comes to cell phone cases.

How do you make a liquid glitter phone case? ›

DIY Liquid Glitter iPhone Case! | Make Your Own Water Filled Phone Case!

Are silicone phone cases toxic? ›

Silicone cell phone cover material

Silicone is a highly reactive adsorbent material with the chemical formula mSiO2-nH2O, which is insoluble in water and any solvent, non-toxic, tasteless, and chemically stable.

What case is better than OtterBox? ›

Best Otterbox Alternatives: 12 Durable Cases Like Otterbox
Description
Survivor CasesCheck on Amazon
LifeproofCheck on Amazon
CasetifyCheck on Amazon
Speck CasesCheck on Amazon
8 more rows

Do silicone cases get dirty? ›

Silicone is also extremely durable. It can bend, twist, and shimmy with no structural damage. However, there is one area where silicone does suffer: cleanliness. Although silicone's rubbery finish does have its upsides, its downside is that it attracts dirt and grime over time that can be extremely hard to clean.

Is a hard or soft case better for the phone? ›

Hard plastic is considered to be the best protective cover for a phone case. The polycarbonate plastic used to make it is the best plastic to use for phone cases. It's tough and lasting and protects your phone from unwanted scratches.

Why is it important to have a phone case? ›

It protects the whole body of the mobile phone from exterior damage and also protects it against all sorts of scratches or nicks that might get onto its body. Even if you accidentally drop your phone, your phone case/cover might absorb the shock and protect your phone from getting severely damaged.

Is TPU case hard or soft? ›

TPU is a hard plastic material. The cell phone covers produced using TPU cover most parts of the phone. This is what gives complete protection to the device. Hard plastic cell phone cases are the best option when it comes to cell phone cases.

How do phone cases protect your phone? ›

Some phone cases are nothing more than accessories. Others will, at best, protect your phone from scuffs, marks, and scratches. But certain cases will protect your phone from all kinds of impact by covering the back and the edges, while some will even provide protection from water damage.

Are silicone phone cases toxic? ›

Silicone cell phone cover material

Silicone is a highly reactive adsorbent material with the chemical formula mSiO2-nH2O, which is insoluble in water and any solvent, non-toxic, tasteless, and chemically stable.

What case is better than OtterBox? ›

Best Otterbox Alternatives: 12 Durable Cases Like Otterbox
Description
Survivor CasesCheck on Amazon
LifeproofCheck on Amazon
CasetifyCheck on Amazon
Speck CasesCheck on Amazon
8 more rows

Do silicone cases get dirty? ›

Silicone is also extremely durable. It can bend, twist, and shimmy with no structural damage. However, there is one area where silicone does suffer: cleanliness. Although silicone's rubbery finish does have its upsides, its downside is that it attracts dirt and grime over time that can be extremely hard to clean.

Are phone cases worth it? ›

There Are Good Reasons to Use a Case

First, some phones are prone to slipping off things, such as your lap or a couch. Some cases offer a textured surface that makes it less likely that your phone will slip and fall.

Who invented cell phone cases? ›

Answer and Explanation: Andy Fathollahi invented the first phone case for the company Palm Pilot, one of the manufacturers of PDA (Personal Digital Assistants).

Do iphones still need cases? ›

With a case and screen protector, your iPhone is much better protected if you accidentally drop it. That means you're far less likely to need to pay for a costly repair or screen replacement. In most cases, you will probably only need to replace the case or screen protector if they get damaged.

What are the 2 holes on my phone case for? ›

You will see it. see less To answer your question there is two hole because there are two light sensors. If you look very very closely at your phone to the left of the light sensor you see there is a very faint sensor also.

Can I 3D print a phone case? ›

Will a 3D Printed Phone Case WORK? - YouTube

Why is TPU turning yellow? ›

Due to its versatility, it has become one of the most common materials for clear cases in the market. However, due to the nature of TPU, these phone cases often yellow over time when exposed to UV rays, water, sweat, dirt, and other environmental and usage conditions.

How long should a phone case last? ›

Hard plastic cases could last a lifetime because plastic does not die. It's forever and eventually becomes permanent waste. It can serve its purpose to protect your phone from scratches and dents for five years. That's if they chip or fall causing an early phone case retirement.

Are more expensive phone cases worth it? ›

Are expensive phone cases worth it? In our opinion, it is definitely worth spending a bit more on a high-quality case. While you don't need to fork out thousands, it's best to opt for premium silicone and a phone case built to protect your phone.

Do cheap phone cases work? ›

Are cheap phone cases good? Cheap phone cases are good as long as they are made of the right materials and are compatible with your phone's dimensions. Do not buy leather cases since they're not good at protecting phones.

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