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How to Get Your Reselling Business Started

Guest post by: Donna Kemp

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Meet the author: Donna Kemp

When you think of a true posher, thrifting pro, and content genius, Donna embodies it all. With a growing social presence on Instagram, @mels_trading_times, and a thriving business on Poshmark, her experience makes her a reselling expert. Read on as Donna shares her guide to help get your reselling business started today!

You’ve seen the commercials for websites like Poshmark and Mercari, and may even know somebody who’s selling their items on eBay. It seems that reselling is becoming a trend where people are making a living selling used or like-new items on the internet. The best part is anyone can do it. So, if you’re wondering how to get your reselling business started, you’ve come to the right place.

So you want to be a reseller? Where do you start?

The easiest way to start your reselling business is to begin selling things you find around your house—knick-knacks, collectibles, toys, shoes, and of course, items from your closet. For example, my reselling business, donnakemp21, started with the sale of a coffee mug I pulled out of my cabinet. Once I got the momentum going, I started sourcing items from thrift stores, garage sales, and Facebook Marketplace to flip.

What to consider before you list

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“Nail polish remover, cotton balls, and scrub”

Before listing your item, make sure that it’s clean and in its best condition. You don’t want to sell something dirty. The camera will certainly pick up any hair or stains on the item, which won’t lead to a good customer experience. Take some pride, and make sure you prepare your item first. A lint roller is a great tool to have on hand to pick up any loose fuzz or hair. In addition, always launder clothing or touch up any marks on your item. Your buyer will most likely notice any imperfection, and they will mention it in your seller review. Finally, always ask yourself, “would I be happy to receive this in the mail?” The last thing you want is for a buyer to have a poor experience purchasing off a reselling platform, and even worse, leaving you a poor review for all eyes to see.

Presenting your item in the best light

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“A clear and concise photo”

Your item reflects you and your brand, so there’s much to consider. First, you need to think about where you will take pictures of your item.The images of your item will psychologically capture your buyers’ attention, stop them from scrolling by, and ultimately gain you a sale. A clear and concise photo of your item without any distractions in the picture will give your listing a spotless and professional look. Most resellers use smartphones to capture their items, and that’s perfectly fine, but be sure to use a white or plain background because it will visually pop your item.

Optimizing your listing

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“You need to make sure your listing will pop up in searches”

Another major part of your reselling business is your listing itself. The title and description part of your listing is how buyers find you. So, it’s vital to include all details of your item in the description >– the more, the merrier. Consider sharing the actual condition, the size, measurements, colors, fabric material, brand, style – everything (you can never give too many details). It will also save you headaches in the long run if your customer has questions, or even tries to return the item and open up a case against you on the selling platform, claiming they were misled or that the sizing was incorrect.

For the title, be sure to include keywords that someone might use to search your item. It’s important to make your title specific and focus on those keywords. For example, let’s pretend we’re selling a pair of American Eagle high-rise jeans. Rather than titling your listing as “high-rise jeans,” you need to add the brand, size, and even perhaps the style name associated with this brand’s high-rise jeans. You’re competing against hundreds of thousands of resellers. You need to make sure your listing will pop up in searches, especially for someone looking for your exact item. Here’s a tip; create the title as if you’re searching for what you’re listing. Instead of high-rise jeans, you’d put “American Eagle high-rise dark blue jeans.”

Research is key

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“This is a luxury fashion designer from New Zealand – her pieces go for thousands”

Researching your item and understanding the market will allow you to compete with fellow resellers. Research will help you gauge how much you should charge for a particular item, how your pricing will compare to others, and help you receive a positive ROI. You don’t want to price too low, but at the same time, you need to have a realistic idea of what the market is for your item. When doing consignments for a customer, I’ve noticed that they think their items are worth a lot of money, but that’s not the case. Always compare how much something similar to your item sold vs. other resellers’ prices. This will help you keep your eye on the competition. It’s also important to keep the condition of your item in mind. If your item has any flaws or defects compared to other listings out there that are similar to your item or the same, your item may not be a buyer’s first choice.

Once your item is listed, the waiting game begins. Some platforms allow you to send out offers to interested potential buyers. So keep in mind, sometimes if you knock a few dollars off, it’s enough to entice someone to purchase.

The end result

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“You can get creative with the packaging and have fun with it”

When your item finally sells, and after you do your happy dance (it never gets old when you see that sold notification), it’s time to pack up your order and ship it! In my opinion, presentation is important. Your customer isn’t just buying something that you found at a garage sale, a thrift store, or from an awesome liquidation wholesaler,but they’re purchasing something special. Most likely, it’s something they can’t find anywhere else. So with that being said, include a special thank you note and wrap it up nicely with tissue paper. I’ve gotten a lot of feedback from my buyers about the thoughtfulness of a thank you note. They love it. You can get creative with the packaging and have fun with it. I’ve seen other resellers dress up the boxes with stickers and pictures, too! There are even poly mailers with fun designs that you can order to ship your items out in. The more fun, the better! After all, you’re selling them something extraordinary!

Once your item has shipped, go ahead and kick back, relax, and your funds will be on their way within a few days. Then, rinse and repeat the process, and you’re in the business. And there you have it – a quick starter guide on how to get your reselling business going.

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