So you’ve decided you want to start a reselling business for your side hustle? Congrats! It can be a great option.
But now you’re asking yourself: What does a reselling business look like?
As you start to research the types of items you want to sell, you’ll start to run into various (and sometimes strong) opinions about what you should and should not do as a reseller.
While there are a lot of great resellers on Youtube, you’ll often hear resellers telling you which business models are worth doing or not.
Everyone thinks their model is the best because it’s what is working for them, but I want to encourage you to consider your situation, your goals, and other factors to decide the best reselling business model for you.
What may work for another person may not for you.
Here are 5 areas to consider when deciding on the model of reselling business you want to have.
And while you can definitely benefit from deciding in any of those areas, they are really connected together to create your overall reselling business model.
Disclosure: I’m a member of the Amazon associate program. Some links in this article may be affiliate links, meaning if you shop using my link, I get a small commission at no cost to you.
Lower price vs higher price
When you’re sourcing items to sell, you will find that there’s not a shortage of things to resell. The issue comes when you want to make the items worth your while to pick up.
This is where you decide if you want to have a minimum price point for your items that you don’t want to go under.
For instance, you might find an item for $1 at a yard sale and it sells on ebay for $10. You have to decide if you want to have a store with items selling for $10 or if you want to make sure that every item you pick up can sell for at least $20 or $30 or whatever price point works for you.
Of course, you’re probably wondering why you wouldn’t just choose to have higher-priced items in your store.
There are some pros and cons to this actually:
- Pro: Your items sell for more and you make more money
- Pro: Can actually buy less and put up fewer listings and make the same amount of money as lower-priced items but more listings
- Cons: These items are going to be harder to find so you’ll have to shop longer (potentially)
- Cons: To find items that are valued at higher amounts, you are more likely to have to pay more for them (The chances of finding something for $1 that sells for $40 is lower than finding something for $5-10 that can sell for $40)
Considering your answers to the other areas, you have to determine if you are going to limit yourself to a certain price point minimum or not.
Here, you’re thinking about the sheer number of items you want to buy/list/sell in your store each month. This is related to choosing items based on a certain price point but slightly different.
Your two main choices are to sell a high volume of items or to sell fewer items. Pretty simple there.
Some points to consider when choosing if you want to sell more items or not:
- Pro: Selling more items can mean you make more money
- Pro: You’ll get really good really quickly at all of the steps for buying and listing an item and learn what works and what doesn’t.
- Con: Selling more items at a lower pricepoint won’t necessarily mean more money (might have been worth it to list fewer items for a higher price)
- Con: To sell a high volume of items, you’ll need to buy and list enough to fuel those sales.
- Do you have the capital to buy that many items?
- Have the time to shop for that much inventory?
- Place to store it all before and after listing it?
- The time to list so many?
- Looking back at selling your items for lower or higher values. Can you find enough to sell above that pricepoint?
For this, you really want to consider your time and how much you want to sell items for when deciding to sell more volume or not.
New vs used
When you think of reselling, you might think of buying used items to sell, but that’s not your only choice.
You can actually buy items brand new and resell those.
The number one requirement for anything you buy to resell is that you need to be able to make a profit (aka buy low and sell high).
New items can be acquired from a few sources:
- In thrift stores – you’d be surprised what’s donated
- At garage/yard/estate sales – people get rid of new in package stuff all the time
- Clearance sections of stores – this can be online or in person.
- Straight from a distributor – this is more complicated but a possibility
Used items are mostly found at thrift stores, yard sales, or consignment.
There are lots of pros to each of these, but I will give you some of the main ones to consider for yourself:
- Pro: Items can sell for more money
- Pro: Lower chance of a return since it shouldn’t have issues
- Pro: Don’t have to test or clean items (normally)
- Cons: Can be harder to find items that sell for a profit
- Cons: Often have to spend more on inventory (but remember they can sell for more)
- Cons: If returned, the item is no longer new and loses value (though returns are less)
I personally don’t care much for seeking out brand new items for reselling because I don’t enjoy shopping for new items on purpose (I love vintage items!) and I don’t like paying more for these items and having my money tied up in them.
Niche or not
There’s a saying in reselling: the riches are in the niches.
And while this can be true, it’s also not the only way to run a reselling business.
In fact, there are plenty of sellers that just buy and sell whatever will make them money (e.g. They might sell clothes, shoes and toys).
There also sellers that niche down and specialize in specific type of item or genre (e.g. vintage toys)
This is really a personal choice based on what you enjoy and are the most comfortable with buying and selling.
- Pro: Having a niche means you’ll learn a lot about specific items. This will allow you to spot value faster. It can also improve listing time if you’re not researching items all the time because you know so much about them.
- Pro: Can reduce the overwhelm with sourcing. If you’re only going to sell women’s clothing, then when you head into a thrift store or go to a big rummage sale, you know to make a beeline straight for the women’s clothes. If you find something, great and if not then you don’t have to roam the rest of the items. You’re done.
- Pro: You’re more likely to get repeat customers and become “known” as a go-to store in that niche.
- Con: It can get boring buying and selling the same products over and over.
- Con: It might be harder to find inventory. Not having the ability to consider a variety of items means that you’ll have to do more shopping to have a good number to list each week.
I personally love variety, so I don’t niche down, but like I said, there are plenty of sellers that do it both ways.
You have to decide what makes sense for you based on your goals, what’s available to you for inventory and what you’d enjoy doing long term.
One platform or multiple
There are various platforms to sell your items on as a reseller.
The main ones are:
- Ebay (anything)
- Amazon (mostly new; used electronics; FBA or merchant fulfilled)
- Poshmark (mainly fashion but now they offer home decor)
- Etsy (only vintage)
- Mercari (anything)
- OfferUp (anything; you can ship now)
- Local markets like Facebook marketplace, Craigslist, and Letgo.
You can choose to focus on one platform, or you can crosspost (list the same item) on multiple platforms.
The main pro to doing this is that you’d be increasing the chance of your item selling because more people would be seeing it.
Some cons about doing this are:
- The time it takes to crosspost takes away from you listing more on one platform
- If it sells on one, you have to remember to delete it from the other places you have it listed (there’s some automation software that does this some that you can buy)
- You run the risk of having a mediocre store on multiple sites vs an amazing store on one.
Starting a reselling business is exciting and a great way to make money online, especially for moms, but if you’re not intentional with your business model, then you run the risk of burning out on it, getting overwhelmed quickly, having a backstock of unlisted items, and not liking it much.
The 5 areas to focus on when deciding how you’re going to run your business :
- Low vs high price point (Sell anything at any pricepoint or have a minimum standard for your prices?)
- Selling volume (How much are you wanting/willing to process and sell?)
- New vs used
- Niche or not (focus on one type of item or buy and sell whatever will make you money)
- One platform or multiple (Get good at one with potentially fewer buyers or mediocre at multiple with more potential buyers)
Thinking about all 5 of these areas and how they are interconnected can really set you up for an amazing reselling business and a great experience in the process.