Is Reselling Worth It? What They Don’t Tell You About Reselling

Reselling online is becoming one of the most popular ways to make extra income. Online marketplaces such as eBay, Amazon, Facebook marketplace, Poshmark, Depop, Shopify, and a slew of others make it possible for anyone to resell as their side hustle. But what is the work actually involved in being a successful reseller? And is reselling worth it?

Reselling Basics

To evaluate whether reselling is worth it, let’s cover the basics. Reselling is simply buying goods for a lower price and then reselling for a profit. Many resellers actually start by selling off their own personal items to declutter their home and make extra cash doing so. We cover reselling basics to know in this article here, including where you can resell, what to resell, and other associated costs you can expect.

What Is Involved In Reselling?

Many people love the idea of making extra money through reselling. After all, who wouldn’t love being their own boss, working on their own time, all while bringing in extra income? Reselling can be a profitable and fulfilling side hustle. So much so that successful resellers have turned reselling into a business that becomes their primary source of income.

However, reselling is not as simple as buying items for cheap and selling them for a profit. So we will go over what is involved in reselling so you can make a decision in the end for whether reselling is worth it for you.

Reselling Requires Learning

There is a lot of knowledge that successful resellers have that many may not realize. To start as a reseller involves learning about products that are in demand. Within each product, there are brands and styles to know. For example, clothing, in general, will always be in demand. But what brands do well in reselling? Even within brands, there are styles that are more sought-after than others. Has a celebrity or some public-figure have worn it?

Is the material made of expensive material like down or cashmere? Is it for technical wear such as hiking in the cold or cross-country biking? There are a lot of factors that determine how much a piece of clothing will be worth in reselling. It can all get overwhelming as a beginner but it really does not have to if one is willing to do a bit of learning.

You can choose anything that you’re interested in whether that is electronics, sports, fashion, or whatever category it may be. When you get started, it may be that you start with items you personally own. You will learn real quick what depreciation is based on what people are willing to pay for it.

But where can you learn more about reselling? You can learn by going on online marketplaces such as eBay or Poshmark and typing in the product you’re looking for. Then, you can see what the same or a similar item has sold for recently. Another source is to look on YouTube for those that are successful in the reselling space and follow their social media for tips.

Many resellers are willing to share their experience and knowledge freely with others. There are also Facebook groups and Reddit posts around reselling. Successful resellers have built communities and courses on the subject. So there are plenty of resources for learning about reselling as much as you’re willing to.

Reselling Requires Work

Reselling does take work, no matter how little or much you do. The good news is that it is not a difficult job. You will have to source items, list them online, and package and ship them. Sourcing can include going into stores or online for deals that you can resell for a profit. Or browsing for wholesale vendors to work with.

As mentioned, many people start with items that they already own. So even if you already have items you’re planning to sell, you will have to join a marketplace and look up how much to sell them for. Then you will have to take clear pictures and describe the items to post it.

Once the item sells, you will package and ship them in the most affordable way possible for you and your buyer. Needless to say, all of that is work. To some, it may not seem like a lot of work while it is a huge hassle for others. It is entirely up to you how much work you’re willing to put in.

Reselling Takes Time

The most important factor that every single person will have to deal with is time. Reselling, like any other activity, will take time. It takes time to learn trends and demands. It takes time to source, whether you’re driving around town for estates and garage sales or other discount stores. And it takes time to take pictures, list, pack, and ship items.

When you source items to resell, it is important to evaluate what is worth your time and what is not. A 50 cents shirt to resell for $10 takes the same amount of time to list as a $25 snowboard to resell for $100. But it may be easier to ship the shirt than the snowboard. If you bought the same exact 50 cents shirts in the bulk of 50 and you only have to list it once, the time spent on the listing may be worth it.

Another aspect of reselling that takes time is providing customer service to your buyers. No matter how small of a scale your reselling operation is, there is a human on the other side that is buying and (hopefully) using your item. So you may have to deal with complaints, returns, or any other shipping issues. These are all important factors when it comes to allocating your time.

If you normally spend your free time scrolling on social media anyways, any time spent on making a little extra money may be better than nothing. Only you can put a price on your time to determine whether this aspect of reselling is worth it.

Reselling Requires A Small Investment

No matter how small or big you want to start your reselling ventures, there is a small initial investment that is required. The first is with sourcing your items. You can source very profitable items for cheap buying from thrift stores and garage sales. As mentioned, you can start with your own items that you no longer use.

Another cost involved with reselling is packing and shipping. Check this blog for where you can get FREE shipping supplies. You will need to know the weight and dimensions of your package so a shipping scale and measuring tape is a must. They do not cost a lot and will save you money in the long run from over-estimating your package or being penalized for under-estimating.

Reselling Requires Space

Reselling is extremely flexible. How much time and effort that you’re willing to give to reselling is entirely up to you. However, the one aspect of reselling that many may not realize is that it does take space. You will need space to take clear photos of items and then store them. If you own a home, depending on what you’re reselling, it may not be a problem.

For example, you could fold clothing and put it away on a shelf and they will not take as much space. As opposed to multiple vacuums, skis, or blenders, which are much bulkier and will require quite a bit more space. If you live in a small city apartment, space could be especially challenging, no matter what you’re reselling.

So while some people may be limited by other factors or reselling, space is an issue that may prevent many from starting a reselling venture. Or scaling one as a side hustle to a business.

Reselling Requires Organization

As with space, another aspect that is often overlooked when it comes to reselling is organization. Many people can get excited about the prospect of making extra income. One can go overboard with sourcing and listing but mistakes can be made without proper organization. It is important to have a system for tracking inventory, how much profit was made, and how you’re storing the items.

You would want to have your inventory stored nice and neat, away from foot traffic of young kids or pets. You would want to make sure that you store cloth items away from odor or moisture. And for those with partners or spouses, you may want to have a storage system in place that does not cause clutter to your home.

Another crucial aspect of being organized is when it comes to numbers. Bookkeeping and taxes are not ones to overlook. Bookkeeping can be as simple as you want it to be with an excel sheet or a small notebook. We personally use the GoDaddy bookkeeping linked below (affiliate link) because we have hundreds of transactions. You may not need a bookkeeping service as a beginner but it is extremely helpful to have for being organized.

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Is Reselling Worth It?

Reselling is a great option to make extra income for anyone. However, there is learning, work, time, a small investment, organization, and space required that many people may not realize. You have to know what products are in demand, where you can source the products, whether the sales margins are good enough to take up your time, and the best place to sell the items.

If reselling is easy and profitable for everyone, a lot more people would be doing it. It may take trial and error to learn what works for you. Reselling is also always evolving and changing because just like retail, what may be popular one year may not be the next year. Some trends may come and go and then come back years later. Online marketplaces may increase fees or certain rules may change. The post office could increase shipping costs as they have been for the last year.

Successful online resellers have adapted to market demands. They adjust their reselling strategy as changes happen that are outside of their control. Reselling does not take someone with a marketing or business degree to be successful. But it does take patience and time to learn about what products are profitable, source them cheaply, list them, pack and ship them and provide excellent customer service.

Evaluating these factors will help you determine whether reselling is worth it for you. We have been resellers for the past decade and it has been a fulfilling and profitable way for us to make extra income. You can also learn lessons on sales, marketing, and customer service to apply to other corporate settings. It also taught us about the depreciation of products and how much you can save money by not buying retail.

Needless to say, reselling is worth it for us. That is why we have many resources to help others in their reselling journey here at the blog. We cover topics such as selling on multiple e-commerce platforms, shipping tips, and other tools to streamline your business. We understand that reselling is not for everyone but for those that are interested, you can find many related articles on this subject linked below.

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