One of the cheapest businesses to start out of your own home is the business of reselling. Most people start by selling their own items that they no longer want. Once you’ve sold everything in your home except for the family dog, then you’ll need to restock to keep reselling.
Fortunately, there are several places to find items to resell without paying too much. Yard sales, thrift stores, auctions, and tag sales are all places that you can find bargains. It’s even possible to find items online to resell online. It sounds crazy, but I do it all the time.
If you’re serious about reselling items as a full-time job, then there are some key traits that may benefit you in the long-run. I’ve been reselling items for the past 10 years casually. It wasn’t until the end of 2014 that I took it to the next level of making it my full-time job.
Over the years, I have witnessed how possible it is to make this your full time job. Anyone can do it if they’re willing to stay dedicated, market their items, and stay focused.
Here are some of the most beneficial tips that will help you make it as a reseller:
1. Be Honest
Honesty is always the best policy when you’re trying to run any business. The same is true for anyone serious about reselling items as a full-time job. It’s extremely easy to buy an item that appeared to be flawless. Then, you bring it home and it is practically worthless because of a hairline crack down the middle.
Don’t worry, it’s okay to try and resell it. “Try” is the keyword. Always be 100% upfront about any damages to the items that you are trying to resell. Otherwise, you will earn a fast reputation for being a liar or crook.
Nowadays, selling on the internet from your own home is one of the most convenient, low-cost businesses. One negative feedback can ruin your reputation as a seller. Not only can it drain your enthusiasm and confidence, but it can caution future buyers from making any purchases from you.
However, you will also have to deal with people who may not be so honest. Be prepared to deal with dishonesty, which leads me to my #2 tip for making it as a reseller.
2. Be Professional
If you’re planning on reselling items completely online, then expect the unexpected. While it’s quite convenient and seemingly easy to earn a living behind the screen of your computer, it’s also easy to act in a way that is unlike the “real” you.
You may find yourself conflicted between the devil on one shoulder and the naive angel on the other. If you ever feel like either one of those extreme personalities, then by all means, take a break. Take advantage of your internet business and step outside for some fresh air to clear your mind. Once you’ve rationalized the situation, whatever it may be, then respond to the buyer appropriately.
It’s not often that you should encounter a situation that makes you feel like you need to take a time-out. As long as you’re honest, you shouldn’t have many problems with buyers.
Here is a short list of do's and don’ts for professionalism as a reseller:
- Respond to the buyer in a timely fashion.
- Use proper language and punctuation at all times.
- Tell the truth about everything you know in regards to the item for sale.
- Use swear words.
- There’s a good chance that someone may not understand internet abbreviations. Always spell everything out.
Also, don’t abbreviate things that shouldn’t even be abbreviated. Examples: “Plz, thnx, u” for “Please, thanks, and you”.
3. Buy Low
This is key when you want to make a decent profit from reselling items. “Buy low and sell high” is the motto that you will want to embed into your brain.
It’s also okay to take a gamble on an item that you’re unsure about, as long as it’s cheap. You win some, you lose some. Just don’t lose a lot, or you’re going to end up needing an hourly paying job to finance your gambling problem.
Auctions conducted in-person are some of the worst places to get caught up in overpaying for items. On the flip side, you can score some excellent items for next to nothing at these auctions. You just need to know how to control your ego.
4. Remain Detached
Depending on what you plan on reselling, it can be very hard to pass some items up. Even if it would look perfect in your Etsy store, remind yourself that it’s not for you. Don’t pay anything close to what you could resell it for.
No matter how cool or unique you may think an item is, it’s value is only in what someone else is willing to pay for it. Successful people who resell items usually always have one thing in common: they have no emotional attachment to what they buy to resell. You’ll find out that you are far more minimalist than you’d ever imagined because everything you own has a price.
5. Don’t Cheat Yourself
This mainly pertains to shipping costs. Everyone hates to pay shipping, myself included. Most of the emails that I receive are from people who want me to offer free shipping. Sure, I could offer free shipping. But then I would probably have to increase the price of them item to cover the actual shipping fees, shipping supplies, and cost of the item that I paid to purchase the item myself.
If you’re going to offer free shipping, then make sure you’re still leaving room to make a decent profit. Otherwise, you’re just doing everyone a favor but yourself, which will leave you broke.
Flipping items as an occupation is a lot of fun. There are countless ways to make money by reselling items. I hope these tips help if you’re considering giving it a shot or just starting out!
Emily Belcher is the blogger behind TheUnextreme.com, where she enjoys writing about various topics from toxic mold to life as a work at home mom. She also writes for some of the top coupon and nursing websites as a freelance writer and editor. Some of her hobbies include hiking with her husband and young son in beautiful North Carolina, practicing yoga, and reading tarot cards.