How to get started with Reselling
Updated: Jun 12
Thrifting has always been a passion of mine but it wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I started to look at it as a way to make some extra money. Taking my love of vintage fashion and good deals to the next level has brought so much joy, now I want to help you get started.
Whether you are in-between jobs, wanting to supplement extra income, or looking to have a full time home based job, reselling provides many options for income.
Nowadays there are a plethora of reselling apps (eBay, Depop, Poshmark, Mercari and so many more!) and they all have their own vibe and customer base to try. Within minutes you can set up an account and begin selling on their marketplace. There are no barriers to entry. All you need is a phone and a little bravery to get started.
However, reselling is like a lot of other businesses, if you want to see results you have to put in the work. To have a consistently successful shop you’ll need to work fast and have a good eye for quality. The competition is also high, and things don’ t usually sell instantly, so it takes patience. But with some consistent listing and good, competitive prices, you’ll be on your way.
To start you will need stock.
Lots of resellers get started by listing items from their own home, or things friends and family might be getting rid of. Thrift stores, garage sales, and estate sales are another good place to start with building up some inventory. You will quickly learn what has resale value simply by listing it on the market. It's a good idea to track your listings and sales to see how quickly an specific article sells. Track your progress in the best way for you.
You will need basic shipping supplies.
To start, re-use what you have on hand and reach out to friends/neighbors to see if they can save packaging for you. If you are scaling up fast, think about buying your supplies (mailers, wrapping, tape, etc.) in bulk. You won’t run out as quickly and you will usually get a better price. I now use all compostable materials because I was able to see an increase in my sales that would allow for this additional consideration. But for my first few months of reselling, I was able to get by on re-used packaging at no cost. Make the right choice for where you are at with your reselling.
You will need the ability to take decent photos.
This is a 100% online visual media. Your customers can’t try something on or even feel what the fabric is like. Good photography is important to attract the right buyer to your items. You should aim to display each piece in an appealing way, but most importantly in an accurate way. Be sure your photos capture the correct color and fit of each item to avoid returns. Many resellers use a DSLR camera. I have always used the camera on my iphone because it is easy to upload to the apps I use. It has worked out really well with some additional lighting elements.
TOP PRO TIPS:
Selling things you love and know about will make it a lot easier in the long run.
Start small without investing in stock. Keep your overhead low so you can adjust if you need to.
Make sure photos are clear and that you photo and list any damage.
Do your research. Check to see what similar items are priced at so you can price competitively to sell, but still make money.
Follow other resellers on social media channels for tips and inspiration. The resale community is a diverse group of people from all walks of life, but the vast majority of them want you to succeed.
Above all make sure you are having fun. It can be lots of work to start something new. But if you start it right from the beginning and have fun doing it...well it will still be a lot of work, but it will be a good time.