How To Make Money Reselling

Posted on August 3, 2021 in Investing

Buying and selling is what a market is all about.  Every consumer knows how to purchase.  The act of buying is something we’re taught almost as soon as we learn to walk.  Even if it takes a little longer to understand true value and quality, we begin assigning worth to things at a very early age.  Most people don’t realize the ability to buy and sell is ingrained in them.  They naturally assume their role as consumers but shy away from becoming sellers.  Part of what keeps people from selling is not knowing what to sell.  People ignore the bounties all around them and usually don’t spend the time to learn how to make money reselling.  We are surrounded by merchandise in the form of used clothes, old books, secondhand shoes, and antique furnishings.  Making these items available for resale is a business model that’s lucrative and easy to do to earn extra cash.  Reselling has nearly double in recent years.  Two thirds of consumers, especially women, show a firm interest in secondhand goods.  The reselling market is a way to make thousands of dollars a month.  It can be done in your spare time or as a full-time business.  You just have to decide what to sell, research where you will sell it and establish a steady supply of goods and customers. 

What Is Reselling: How to Make Money  

Reselling is the process of taking a used or secondhand item and putting it on the market for someone else to buy. Understanding how to make money reselling can be a great side hustle.  Items that have been discarded for one reason or another can have value to someone who needs and wants them.  If that value has a dollar or selling price that’s worth more than it cost to collect the item, then that item is a good candidate for reselling.  Obviously, the more items you locate, the more your sales potential.  Resellers don’t usually manufacture their own merchandise; instead, they collect goods wherever they can find them. 

Resellers can be flexible with their hours.  It’s a self-driven business model.  The time you put into it is up to you.  Your availability and passion are the only determining factors when pursuing ways how to make money reselling.  You decide when you will do business and what goods you will sell.  Resellers go where the market leads them.    They follow the trends and look for repurposed goods that fit the needs of the day. 

A good reseller isn’t afraid of research.  They investigate market patterns and patiently build a stock supply that fits them.  Some private resellers earn six-figure incomes per year.  Secondhand stores have been known to pay just as much to their full-time employees. 

What Items Will Resell Best?

The first order of business when working on how to make money reselling is to decide what products to sell.  The reseller begins by looking at personal items they no longer need or want.  From there the reseller can approach friends and acquaintances about their used items. If reselling is more than just a side-hustle or hobby, the reseller must branch out.  They begin to scour yard sales, flea markets and sales listings such as Craigslist or eBay.  In the latter case, when they’re making purchases, the reseller’s goal is to buy low and sell high.  Every reseller must have an eye for bargains and value.  If they buy an item, they must be sure they can sell it for a profit.  Even discounted items in stores can be a good choice if the open market allows the reseller to sell the item at a good mark-up. 

The specific items suitable for resell are literally endless.  Here is a useful list of items in high demand: 

  1. Antiques – Nothing adds value like age.  If it’s in reasonably good shape and has a lot of years on it, an older product can go for a good price. 
  2. Clothing – Thrift shops have made an industry of used clothing.  If it can still be worn, chances are someone will buy a used article of clothing. 
  3. Furniture – Furnishings that are still intact or able to be refurbished are a real bargain for buyers who need to save money. 
  4. Books – Textbooks and fiction of any genre never go out of style for the people who read them.  Even in an age of tablets and e-readers people still like to buy an actual book. 
  5. Shoes – Sneakers and dress shoes are the most lucrative items in this category.  Some vintage shoes sell for thousands of dollars.   
  6. Apparel – Purses, designer handbags, wallets and luggage are durable and useful products.  If they’re made of good material, like leather or suede, they can sell for quite a lot. 
  7. Appliances – People throw away used appliances and think you’ve done them a favor if you take them away.  If the machine still works or can be repaired cheaply, the seller is almost certain to make a profit on it. 
  8. Photo Equipment – Lenses, flashes, camera bodies and lights are expensive to buy.  Their resale value is generally high, so long as the gear is still usable.
  9. Bicycles – Bicycles and bicycle parts are good sellers.  Some of the older models are even better deals for buyers than the new bicycles in department stores. 
  10. Toys – Most toys are still as much fun to children as they were the day they were made.  Clean them up and sell them to grateful parents and their children. 
  11. Yard and Power Tools – Anyone with property that needs tending will appreciate good tools sold at a good price.  
  12. Art – Paintings, statues, recordings, or even bric-a-brac can help someone accent a home or office.  People will buy attractive artwork, whether the creator is famous or unknown. 
  13. Rugs – If they’re clean and look attractive, rugs will often catch a buyer’s eye.  Even worn-out rugs make good coverings in home shops or work areas. 
  14. Dinner Ware and Utensils – Full sets of china, or single items like teakettles and frying pans, are worth keeping in stock and putting on the market. 
  15. Puzzles – People who like puzzles need more and more variety. Make sure all the pieces are present and offer the set for sale. 
  16. Jewelry – Adornment never goes out of style.  Any variety of accouterments can be a good seller. 

Where Can You Resell to Make Money?

Once you have your inventory, you need a place to sell your wares.  The alternatives fall into three major categories. 

  1. Private residence – The business can be run from the seller’s private home.  This is usually the choice of people who resell only as a side gig or temporary experience. 
  2. E-commerce online – This is one of the most popular and common choices.  Platforms like eBay, Craigslist, DeCluttr and others are good full-service choices for resellers.  There’s also the option of going ala Carte or through other social media sites to resell.  A seller can also build their own site via platforms like Wix or WordPress, and use their e-commerce tools or combine them with services like PayPal or CashApp. 
  3. Brick-and-mortar – The traditional physical location is still very viable.  A reseller can open their own shop or thrift store and build a brand, or have these locations take their wares on consignment and sell their items that way. 

No matter what location is chosen, the reseller must research how that location operates.  They should examine the clientele and look for trends and demographics.  Throughout their time with any sales venue the reseller must pay attention to movement in the market.  Resellers should watch for spikes in interest and pay attention to best-selling items and merchandise.  If the reseller can duplicate, or be a part of the most successful sales trends, they have the best chance of making a good profit.

How Much Money Can You Make From Reselling?

The whole point of having a reselling business is to make money.  Like most businesses, you get what you put into it.  A simple reseller, putting about two hours a week into basic maintenance can make about three hundred dollars a month.  As we said earlier, people who dedicate themselves to reselling as a full-time business can generate hundreds of thousands of dollars in profit and sales. Higher earnings will result from more time spent gaining efficiencies, practicing money management, and expanding ones knowledge of how to make money reselling.

FAQ’s About How to Make Money Reselling

It is legal to buy and resell most items and goods.  There are some exceptions, including animals, prescription medicines, digital media, tickets, and recalled products.  There are taxes you may have to pay, and every reseller should check federal and local laws to make sure they are compliant.  Some trademarks and copy-written materials cannot be used or resold.  A reseller cannot extend warranties on items they resell or refurbish.  

If I resell does that make me a distributor?

A reseller is different from a distributor.  A distributor receives products from manufacturers and sells them to consumers.  A reseller purchases items, as a consumer, then resells them to other consumers.  

Do I need a license to resell?

You don’t need a license to resell, but you can become a licensed reseller.  Different states have different arrangements that often go by different names.  A usual practice of resale licensing is to allow resellers to purchase items tax free, then pay state taxes on each sale.  The licenses can give reseller legitimacy in certain circles.  It’s up to the individual reseller to investigate the programs available to them and decide if they’re worth it.  

Is there a better place online to resell?

Some platforms and apps are better than others to use for reselling.  Ultimately it depends upon the reseller’s preferences.   There are selling apps like Tradesy, Mercari, Grailed, Poshmark, and Vinted.  Some of the important websites and platforms are Amazon, eBay, TheRealReal, Etsy, Craigslist, 1stdibs, and ThredUp.  The reseller should look at the terms and conditions of each venue carefully before choosing any of them for selling their goods.  Shipping costs are another key factor to be aware of when reselling items through an online marketplace such as the Facebook marketplace and should therefore be factored in appropriately.

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