10 Best Products or Services to Sell During a Recession

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10 best products or services to sell during a recession will help you know what profitable businesses to start, and also may help you realize what products and services you consider necessary.

We compiled many articles about recession proof products and services (from US News, An Acclaimed Affiliate, Profitable Venture, and Investopedia) and used Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to rank their lists.

If you only faintly remember something about the Hierarchy of Needs from Psychology class, we’ll happily refresh your memory. The Hierarchy of Needs is a pyramid (much like the food pyramid). The most important, or most basic needs of human existence are listed at the bottom, leading up to the least important or least basic needs that can be found at the top.

10 Best Products or Services to Sell During a Recession


Category one at the very bottom, Physiological, includes breathing, food, water, sex, sleep, and excretion. Basic survival needs. (If you think coffee should also be included in category one, more on that later.) Category two is Safety, and it consists of security, employment, resources, morality, family, health, and property.

Love and Belonging is category three which consists of family, friends, and relationships. Category four is Esteem and covers self-esteem, confidence, achievement, respect of others and respect by others. Lastly, category five, Self-Actualization, includes creativity, spontaneity, problem-solving, lack of prejudice and acceptance of facts.

It makes sense that the lower a product or service falls on this chart, the more successful its business is likely to be, especially during a recession. This is why we chose this as a ranking system.

However, though everyone’s needs generally abide by this pyramid, priorities can differ from person to person. For example, say Ally loves to ski. If Ally is going through a rough time financially because she is paying for her son’s college, she might splurge on a family vacation to Colorado to get her mind off her troubles.

Though vacation usually falls into the fifth Self-Actualization category, it’s bumped lower on the pyramid for Ally (even though she may end up bankrupt because of it). Education (or college) typically falls into the second Safety category, but now it’s pushed up and her son may have to drop out of college. Nice going, Ally. Hope you had a fun ski trip.

All that is to say that this list generally tells us what people consider most important to spend their money on, even in a hard financial time. For more on this topic, see 9 Best Selling Products During the Great Depression.

Since we ranked many items, those that scored a 2 and a 1 are the only ones that made this list. But that just means that society really needs these things.

Here are the best products or services to sell during a recession. We hope you enjoy!

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