How To Start A Reselling Business: The Complete Guide

How To Start A Reselling BusinessWondering how to start your own successful reselling business? Here is the complete guide to get you started on your way to becoming a crazy successful reseller.

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What Is Reselling?

First off, you might be wondering what exactly reselling is.

Reselling is simply buying something at a low cost and turning around to sell it at a higher amount for profit.

It usually involves buying (a.k.a “sourcing) locally and then selling on online platforms.

What Is A Reselling Business?

A reselling business is a business that continually repeats the process of buying low and selling high?

Does Reselling Work?

Wondering if reselling actually works?

Yes, it does!

There are countless (probably tens of thousands) of resellers who have made a business of flipping items for profit.

If you’re still skeptical, I’d encourage you to check out my monthly income reports.

I’m simply a busy stay-at-home mom of three young kiddos, and I’ve used reselling to make over $65,000 to date!

Reseller Bootcamp

If you’d like to learn how to start your own profitable flipping side hustle, I’d love to help you get started!

The best way to learn is through my FREE 5-day e-course called Reseller Bootcamp. I’ve been able to help thousands of students get started with their own successful reselling businesses!

It’s 5 days worth of lessons jam-packed with all the secret you need to know to get started.

Sign up here to get started:

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Tip: Check your junk mail and make emails as “safe” so you get all the days of this valuable course!

Why Does Reselling Work?

The reselling model (buying low, selling high) works because of the demand for items.

When you source locally, they may not be much demand for items. Therefore you are able to pick them up cheaply.

Take for example a particular brand of double stroller. Put it at a garage sale, and the right person would have to come along that would even want a double stroller, let alone that particular model.

Contrast that to selling online. When customers shop online, they are looking for something in particular. Something very specific.

They are not having to drive all over town, visit a million and one garage sales, to find what they are looking for.

Simply search online, and voila, what they are looking for comes up.

And that’s what drives goods to sell for more online that in person.

Who Can Become A Reseller?

Virtually anyone can reselling items for profit, and anyone can become a “reseller.”

It’s a great business for:

  • Stay-at-home moms looking for extra money
  • Those wanting a side hustle
  • Retirees who want some supplemental income

Running a reselling business is one of the easiest businesses out there to run.

It’s easy to get started! And it doesn’t take a lot of money to start!

How Much Does It Cost To Start A Reselling Business?

Starting any business takes some sort of capital to get started.

Thankfully, there is minimal (to even no) start up cost to get started with your own reselling business.

I started with just $7 of my own money. I’ve never invested another dime out of my own pocket and I’ve managed to turn it into over $65,000!

Continue reading to find out what you need to get started.

What Do You Need To Start A Reselling Business?

You can start your business with as little money as possible.

If you’re really strapped for cash, consider starting with selling a few items from around the house to raise some money to get started,

Use your phone and natural lighting to take pictures.

Once you’re ready to take your business seriously, you’ll want to invest in a few things.

One of the best ways to get the most for your items is to take amazing pictures.

You’ll definitely want to invest in a lighting kit like this one. It is a beginner kit, that is affordable and it will make all the difference:

Last update on 2021-08-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

You may also want to consider taking pictures with a cute background like this one:

Last update on 2021-08-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you’re primarily selling clothes, you’ll probably also want to look at using a mannequin for tops and dresses:

Last update on 2021-08-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Remember: you are investing in your business. These items will quickly pay for themselves!

How Do I Start A Reselling Business?

Alright, now you understand what reselling is, why it works, and what you need to get started.

Next, we’ll cover exactly how to start your own successful reselling business.

Here are 10 steps to get you on your way to running a successful reselling business!

1. Decide What You Want To Resell

To get started with your reselling business, first you’ll need to decide what it is that you want to resell.

The sky is pretty much the limit here.

I recommend choosing something you know.

Are you an expert in a certain field? Start there.

Maybe you really know your video games! That’s a great place to start.

Car enthusiast? Car parts, including vintage parts, can be very profitable.

If you don’t really feel like an expert in a field like these, consider used clothing.

Reselling used clothing is simple and it’s what has made me the majority of my money.

When deciding, you’ll also want to take into account a few things:

  • How easy is it to source items for your reselling business?
  • How much can you make on each flip?
  • How easy is it to ship items?
  • How much storage room are you going to need?

Related:

50+ Best Things To Sell On eBay
100 Best Brands To Sell On Poshmark
67 Things To Sell To Make Quick Cash
27 Non-Clothing Items I’ve Sold

Get started making money today by joining my FREE 5-Day e-course.

2. Find Places To “Source” For Your Reselling Business

Now that you’ve determined what it is you want to resell, next you need to identify where it is you’ll be finding things for your reselling business.

You’ll want to make a list of all the possible locations.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Local thrift stores
  • Consignment shops
  • Garage sales
  • Auction houses
  • Estate sales
  • Flea markets
  • Storage unit auctions

Brain storm and come up with your list.

Once you’ve done that, you will want to make trips to visit each location or type of place.

Take notes of pricing, quality of items, etc.

It may take some time to figure out the best places to source, but chances are there are profitable items all around you if you just look!

Related:

21 Places To Find Clothes To Sell On Poshmark
Buying Clothes By The Pound: What You Need To Know Before Visting A Goodwill Outlet

3. Determine What Platforms You Want To Sell On

There are many great places to sell on for your reselling business.

Some of the big names are:

  • eBay
  • Poshmark
  • Mercari

There are many websites and reselling apps, but my best advice is to learn one at a time.

Each has their own pros and cons. If you need help deciding which one to start with, you’ll want to make sure to check out my article here:

eBay Vs. Poshmark Vs. Mercari: The Ultimate Comparison For Sellers

While Poshmark and Mercari are easy for beginners to get started on, you’ll eventually want to tackle the giant that is eBay.

eBay is by far the biggest platform out there as far as reselling goes and it is the one that will get you the biggest results.

Once you are selling on multiple platforms, you will want to look into a cross-listing tool like Vendoo.

You can get 25% off your first month of Vendoo with my affiliate link here! (You can also try it out for free!)

Related:

How To Sell On eBay: 8 Easy Steps For Beginners
13 Things You Need To Know To Be Successful Selling On Mercari
21 Easy Tricks To Sell On Poshmark Fast
15 Best Places To Sell Used Clothes For Cash

Insider Tip: Master one platform at a time.

4. Set Up A Separate Checking Account For Your Reselling Business

Once you’re ready to get started with your reselling business, I highly recommend setting up a separate checking account for your reselling business.

It will be much easier for accounting if you can keep the money from your business separate from your personal monies.

It’s easy to get a checking account opened up and it can be done in a matter of minutes online.

Using your own name is fine. There’s no need to have a business name at this point.

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5. Create An Accounting System For Your Reselling Business

Don’t let this one scare you off!

It sounds daunting, but is relatively easy.

There are two things you will want to keep track of for your reselling business:

  • Income (money coming in)
  • Expenses (money going out)

It’s really that simple. Your profit is simply the difference between the two.

Your accounting system can be as simple as you need it to be.

If you’re comfortable using Quick Books or another similar software, go with that.

Otherwise, excel or a simple pen and paper works fine.

The important thing is to have something in place to keep track of all your income and expenses.

In addition, you will want to set aside time each week or month to keep up on your accounting.

6. Create A Storage System For Your Reselling Business

Part of running a reselling business is holding goods for a bit.

You are definitely going to want to be able to find your items quickly and efficiently. And a good storage system is the key to this.

Place To Store Inventory

This doesn’t have to be fancy and you don’t need a ton of room either.

I started by using a few of my dresser drawers before converting to storage boxes.

Here are some items you may want to use as part of your inventory storage.

If you’re short on space, under- the-bed storage is a great use of space. There are many options, but this is one that is very sturdy, has wheels, and is clear (read: easy to find your items!).

Last update on 2021-08-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you’ve got more room, these clear boxes work well. Again, you’ll love that they are clear so that you can find your items easily. They also stack well if you don’t have shelving yet.

Last update on 2021-08-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

When you’re ready, you’ll also want to consider some sort of shelving unit to store your boxes on. I highly recommend getting shelving units that have wheels so you can move them around as needed. You’ll also want one like this that as adjustable shelves:

Last update on 2021-08-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

7. Have An Inventory System In Place

An inventory system will help you keep track of the items you have in stock.

Having a good inventory system will help you run your reselling business more efficiently.

This is especially important if you are selling on multiple platforms.

If you are selling on just one platform, then that basically serves as your inventory system.

Here are some things you may want to track as part of your inventory system:

  • Where the item is listed
  • What the item is
  • How much you paid for the item
  • When you listed it
  • When and where it sold
  • The selling price

You can keep track of this in a notebook, or you can create a simple spreadsheet to track your inventory.

If you’d like a premade spreadsheet (Google Sheet) and printable template, I’ve created an inventory tracker!

I’m also offering a limited time discount of 50% off! Just enter HALFOFF at checkout.

You can get the inventory & profit tracker here:

Learn how you can make money flipping items!

8. Get Ready To Ship

When you are setting up your reselling business, you will also want to take the time to be prepared for when those sales start coming in.

You will want to make sure you are all ready to ship your items out quickly as it doesn’t take long to start seeing the results of your efforts.

Be sure to have your shipping supplies ordered and on hand.

Here are some of the supplies you should be ready with:

You will definitely need a shipping scale. If you can only get one item on this list, this is the one! It’s pretty hard to ship without one. Otherwise you will need to go to the post office to have your items accurately weighed.

Last update on 2021-08-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

You will also want some poly mailers on hand. These are very light and will save you so much money compared to shipping in boxes.

There are lots of different cute designs. I love these buffalo plaid ones:

Last update on 2021-08-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

I also recommend packing items in tissue paper where possible.

Plain tissue works just fine, but I really dig these gold-patterend ones:

Last update on 2021-08-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Eventually, you will probably want to get a thermal shipping label printer as well. Unlike traditional printers, they don’t require ink, which will save you money in the long run.

Last update on 2021-08-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

But for now, it’s fine to use the printer you have (if you have one already). You can either print on regular paper and tape your labels on, or you can use sticky label paper like this:

Last update on 2021-08-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

9. Find Out If You Need To Create A Business Entity

At some point, you will want to create a business entity for your reselling business.

For smaller business, a sole proprietorship is fine. For larger businesses, you may want to consider an LLC.

You will need to do some research with your state’s department of licensing to determine at what point you need to create a business entity.

For my state, the threshold is $12,000 annually of gross receipts. Your state may be different.

Getting a business license is pretty easy to do and relatively inexpensive.

10. Know Your Tax Liability

As with any business, when you run a reselling business, you will have a tax liability.

Unfortunately there is no legal way around this. Paying taxes is part of being a responsible citizen and there are so many things we take for granted that our taxes pay for (roads, water supply, education, etc.).

You will want to consult with a tax professional regarding your business. I also recommend using a software like Turbo Tax to help you out.

Last update on 2021-08-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

In addition to federal taxes, you’ll want to educate yourself on taxes for your state/city.

As far as state sales tax goes, each platform will collect and remit sales tax for you. There should be no need to collect yourself or to remit it to each state. Your state will likely require quarterly filing of taxes as well.

Conclusion To How To Start A Reselling Business

While starting a business can feel like a huge task, it is so rewarding to do it!

It’s amazing to have money coming in each and every day. And it’s amazing to be helping others find the items they want.

I hope this has made the process a bit easier for you and I know that you can become a successful reseller too!

I’d like to extend one last invitation, in case you missed it earlier, to join my free 5-day course, Reseller Bootcamp.

I’ve helped thousands of students and I’d love to help you next!

Hope to see you there!

-Lee

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FAQs For How To Start A Reselling Business

Here are some answers to some frequently asked questions regarding how to start a reselling business.

What is the best reselling app?

The best app will depend on what you’re selling and you’re preferences. I suggest trying out several before deciding which to master first.

Some apps to look at include: eBay, Poshmark, Mercari, Grailed, Vinted, Facebook Marketplace, Tradesy, Depop, The RealReal.

Do I need to get a reseller’s permit?

A reseller’s permit allows you to bypass your local sales tax as you are passing the sales tax obligation onto your customer.

You will need to look into your state’s requirement.

Typically, you will be issued a certificate that you can present to retailers so you don’t have to pay sales tax on your purchases that you will be reselling. (Note the permit can’t be used for personal items or for business supplies – only goods which you are reselling.)

Sounds great, right? The problem is, your mileage may vary depending on where you are sourcing your goods.

If you’re shopping a lot of garage sales, flea markets, etc., there may not be a lot of benefit as you are probably not paying sales tax anyways.

Also, some thrift stores, for whatever reason, don’t accept reseller’s permits.

My recommendation is, if it’s easy to obtain, you might as well get a permit and keep it on hand just in case.

 

How can I start my reselling business on a budget?

If you’re on a shoestring budget and can’t spend money right away, that’s okay!

Try to sell items you already own.

Another option is to find free items that you can flip for a profit. It’s amazing sometimes what you can find for free (check garage sale free bins and items your neighbors may set out marked “free”).

Pick up cheap shipping supplies from your local dollar store. Some items to look for are bubble wrap, tissue paper, and manila envelopes (great to use in place of poly mailers). While you will pay more per item, this is a great way to get started with just a couple of bucks.

Once you’ve sold an item or two, you can use the money to purchase more goods to flip.

Then you should have enough to really invest in your business, such as getting a good lighting kit.

How long does it take to start making money with my reselling business?

One of the great things about a reselling business is that you will start seeing money come in relatively quickly.

It is much quicker than other businesses such as creating and selling your own products or starting a blog. With these businesses, it usually takes weeks or several months before the first money even starts to come in.

With reselling, money can start coming in within just a few days to a few weeks!

How much money can I make with my reselling business?

How much you make is totally up to you!

You can make as much or as little as you want.

Reselling can definitely provide a full-time, livable income if you need it to! Many people make a full-time living flipping items for profit.