Wondering 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.
Affiliate Link Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links from which I may make a small percentage if you make a purchase. This is at no extra cost to you and helps to keep this website running. Thank you for your support!
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!
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:
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:
You may also want to consider taking pictures with a cute background like this one:
If you’re primarily selling clothes, you’ll probably also want to look at using a mannequin for tops and dresses:
- DURABLE & SOLID CORE STRONG: Solid mannequin body, quality tested wooden stand and stainless steel tube combination, making the mannequin form steady and durable enough to support heavy weight clothes, garment, wedding gown, furnishing and decorative material. The mannequin torso with stand is made of strong foam to allow direct pinning anywhere.
Last update on 2021-05-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
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.
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?
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!
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:
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:
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!)
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.
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.
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!).
If you’ve got more room, these clear boxes work well. I love that they are clear so that you can find your items easily. They also stack well if you don’t have shelving yet.
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:
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
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.
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 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.
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:
I also recommend packing items in tissue paper where possible.
Plain tissue works just fine, but I really dig these gold-patterend ones:
You’ll also want to take advantage of the free shipping supplies from USPS.
Here are the envelopes and boxes I use most:
- Priority Mail Flat Rate Envelope (unpadded) EP14F
- Priority Mail Legal Flat Rate Envelope (unpadded) EP14L
- Priority Mail Padded Flat Rate Envelope EP14PE
- Priority Mail Regional Rate Box A2 (side loading)
- Priority Mail Medium Flat Rate Box (side loading)
- Priority Mail Regional Rate Box B2 (side loading)
- Priority Mail Large Flat Rate Box
9. 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 you.
In addition to federal taxes, you’ll want to educate yourself on taxes for your state/city.