Whether you’re looking for a new way to make money on the side or are dreaming of starting your own business, you have something in common with a lot of successful entrepreneurs. Forget what you think you know about entrepreneurs— not all of them have launched giant software companies like Apple or Microsoft. In fact, many have built and scaled businesses right out of their homes by reselling products for profit.
What is reselling?
The process of reselling is simple: You find desirable items for a great price, buy them, then sell them to someone else.
When you buy low and sell high, that’s called arbitrage. “Retail arbitrage” is when you purchase items from a retail store — like hitting a big sale at Walmart — and sell it to your own customers for more. “Online arbitrage” is the same thing, except instead of going to a store, you source inventory off the internet.
Why do it?
There are countless reasons to go into the reselling business. Maybe you’re tired of working a desk job and are ready to take your career into your own hands. Maybe you need more flexibility. Many resellers are parents wanting to stay home with their kids, and reselling gives them the flexibility to work when they choose.
Whatever your motivation, reselling gives you the flexibility to scale as big (or small) as you want, when you’re ready. You decide how much time and capital you’re willing to invest, and grow accordingly.
Who are resellers?
Anyone can be a reseller, as long as they’re willing to put in the work! For some, reselling is just a side hustle. But for others, it’s an opportunity to scale their business into something much bigger.
The basics of reselling
To get started, you’ll first need to find items to resell. Sourcing is the process of finding and purchasing inventory and is perhaps the most important aspect of your reselling business.
Inventory can be sourced in a variety of different ways, including from traditional retail and online arbitrage. Depending on your niche, you can hit up the sales rack at retail stores, thrift shops, flea markets, bulk membership clubs, overstock websites, online marketplaces, and especially wholesale liquidation sites. Be sure to be on the lookout for deals—finding good products at below-market prices is key to good margins!
Keep in mind, whether you choose selling a niche market or selling based on consumer demand, you’ll need to invest in inventory. It’s harder to turn profits if you’re only selling a few things at a time, so plan to stock up!
If you’re just getting started, it’s time to think about your online strategy. Fortunately, online marketplaces make it easy for resellers to get started and scale up. On Amazon alone, top third-party sellers are generating millions of dollars in sales. You too, can be one of these top sellers!
Most people associate reselling with eBay and Amazon, but it’s also worth considering other marketplaces like Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, Etsy, and local flea markets.
Before you start selling, we recommend reading up on seller guidelines for Amazon and eBay to familiarize yourself with basic marketplace rules and regulations. We also recommend joining reselling Facebook communities to get real-time advice from other successful resellers. And, of course, be sure to check out the BULQ Blog for deep dives on a variety of beginner, intermediate, and advanced reseller topics.
Reselling is an easy step into entrepreneurship, with many different paths to success. Whether you want to start a small side hustle or are ready to resell full-time, there’s a way to scale to your ambition.
Want to learn more? Check out our full “Getting Started” Guide to Reselling now!