In the world of reselling, balancing saving time and making money is key. Priorities change, customer needs vary, and it can be difficult to figure out the perfect equation to save time while maximizing profit.
Fortunately, there are reselling tools designed to help busy business owners to do just that. From online selling software to old school favorites, here are a few items to invest in now to improve your operations:
UPC Barcode Scanner
If it’s early in your reselling career, you may not be moving a lot of product yet. However, you’ll soon find manually typing in barcodes to search and list items can get real old, real fast. Having a scanner can save valuable time; just scan the item’s barcode to research product information or input it in the item’s listing.
Unlike scanners of the past, many scanners are now available within reselling apps, like Profit Bandit (Amazon) or TeraPeak (included with your eBay store). You can also invest in a small scanner that will connect with reseller apps via bluetooth, such as ScanFob. Though it’s slightly more expensive, this option usually scans faster and is able to connect with a range of reselling apps.
Inventory Tracking and Management Programs
Once you scan your items, you’ll also need a way to organize them. Reselling tools like Inventory Lab (Amazon) are great for keeping track of the merchandise you purchased and listed, and also keep a running count of estimated profits you can expect once those listings turn over. Some services, like ChannelAdvisor, even offer digital marketing and order fulfillment.
Don’t be afraid to try a few different options before you settle on what works best for your business. As your business grows, you should also reassess whether the tools you’re using still works for the amount of inventory you’re managing.
Packaging Repair Materials
As a reseller, the returned or overstock inventory you source will often have slightly damaged packaging. While the product is usually in good condition, part of building trust with buyers means making items look like they just came off the shelf. Fortunately, there are a few easy, low cost ways to do that.
A label remover, like Scotty Peeler, can peel off extraneous stickers without leaving a trace. Glue—not tape—is important for resealing open boxes or making small repairs (for the cleanest look, try acid-free glue). You can also use an iron to reshape warped boxes. If your product presentation matches the quality of the product itself, you’ll be able to list it and sell it at a higher price.
Whether you’re using a fulfillment service or handling shipping and customer service yourself, it’s essential to have a shipping system. While this can be a significant initial investment, it’ll save you time and stress in the long run.
There are a number of different printing and label tools to suit various levels of resellers. At a bare minimum, you should have a printer, shipping and item labels, plenty of boxes and tape, and a shipping scale. You’ll also need packing materials like paper or peanuts so items aren’t damaged in transit.
Smaller items might require a polybag—make sure you the ones you purchase come with choking hazard labels.
Customer Feedback Manager
In online retail, trust is a major issue that resellers need to address head-on. Since customers can’t assess your products in person, they’re more likely to be skeptical about their quality. Buyers have also grown accustomed to today’s on-demand economy, so they have very high expectations for delivery and overall service.
It’s important to accumulate positive feedback on the marketplaces you sell so customers are more likely to purchase your products. 93 percent of buyers say online reviews impact their purchasing decisions, and 88 percent will hesitate to purchase from a business that has negative reviews.
While having those positive reviews is great, they’re hard to come by. To help coax feedback from satisfied customers, it’s important to actively reach out to them. Reselling tools like Feedback Genius and Feedback Five allow you to send automated emails to customers that ask for feedback. They also help you keep tabs on your comments and ratings and send alerts if a poor review is posted. These services usually charge monthly subscriptions, but many have “freemium” options so that you can test them out before committing.