Starting a Successful Reselling Business
I’ve been getting a lot of people asking how to start a business if you are new to reselling and thrifting. So here you go…
- Selling from your own closet.
When people start reselling, the first thought is to run out to the thrift store and spend of money on a car full of clothes to resell. If you’re new to the business I do not recommend this. Reselling is not as quick and easy as it may think; and you want to get off to a good start. Getting off to a good start means not putting yourself in the hole right from the start. Everything in your closet (I like to browse my husband’s closet too) is yours and is already paid for. I consider this a $0 cost since you’ve already bought it and used it and probably no longer want it. So, whatever you sell it for is 100% profit! Then you take the money from those sales and head to the thrift store! If you don’t think you have anything in your closet you can sell? Think again. Even if you truly have 0 items of clothing that you want to get rid of, I’m sure you have things around the house that you could sell on eBay, Facebook Marketplace, Offer Up or Letgo. You can also ask family members that have clothes they want to get rid of (besides or spouses or kids closet which you’ve already ransacked). Starting off in the black is a crucial way to get started!
- Invest in a reseller survival kit
I think it is important to invest a minimal amount in a few handy items before heading into the reselling world. These are a few of my favorite starter tools:
- A sweater shaver. The first one I bought was from Target for about $5. A sweater shaver can transform a gross and pilled sweater to like new one.
- A steamer. This is something you can get fairly cheap. Appearance of the clothes your selling is so important, so take the wrinkles out and they will look top notch.
- White poster board or even a dry erase board works great for taking pictures. You can get a white poster board for only a few dollars at pretty much any store. A white background is ideal for great looking photos.
- A sewing kit-These at most dollar stores. It’s super handy for repairing small holes. I generally don’t buy items with holes, but every once in a while, I miss something in the store and come home and find a hole. If it’s an easy fix it sure beats tossing in the trash. And if you don’t feel you can sell it after your repair is done, you can add it to the stack of clothes to be donated.
- Shipping Supplies- You’re going to need packing tape, boxes. I like to add some sort of tissue paper to my packages to dress them up a bit. I also add a small note or thank you card to my orders. Did you know you can get Free boxes from the United States Post Office. That’s my favorite!
- Source wisely
You’ve sold everything from your closet and your families and you’re ready to start thrifting. Don’t jump off the deep end without knowing how to swim. There’re so many clothes in the thrift store, and you need to be patient and picky. Learn how to search comparable item listings or often referred to as comps to see how much the item you want to buy is worth, and what it is currently selling for on the market. You may think that Urban Outfitter top is the cutest thing ever, but if you look it up on Poshmark you might find that it isn’t selling for more than $12. If you are going to be paying $5-10 for that shirt in the thrift store, the minimal profit just isn’t worth it. Remember your time is worth something too.
Thrifting can be overwhelming at first, partly because you have no idea what you are looking for, and it may feel like you never find anything. It does get easier; and over time as you search comps on more and more brands, you’ll find you have a much better grasp of what is out there. And snagging those great thrift store finds everyone is always talking about, will be must easier and much more fun.
- Ship quickly
Shipping when you first start can be stressful. You may not have all the tools you need; you may not know what the best post office to drop off at is, or if you’re like me on occasion you can’t find the item that you just sold. I would run around like a chicken without a head trying to get this out as quick as possible trying to get that 4:40pm item that sold to the post office before 5pm. You want to have happy customers and get great ratings, but you need to realistic too. I typically ship the same day if an item is sold before 3pm. It may take some time to find your routine. Getting into good habits a routine will give you happy customers and save you much unnecessary stress.
- Share, share, share and share some more.
If you’re going to be selling on Poshmark sharing is crucial. Sharing your own closet is by far the most important thing you can do to make sales, aside from actually listing. Each time you share an item, it bumps to the top of the list on Poshmark, and the more likely to be seen. I share my closet items 3-5 times per day. Somedays it feels like a lot, but the benefits definitely outweigh the negatives.
Following other people’s closet and sharing their listing is key. Poshmark is its own community of buyers and sellers. When you follow and share other listing, those sellers can and will in turn share your listings.
- Be Consistence
One of the most difficult things about reselling is not giving up even when it’s hard. If you want to make this your full-time job, you need to put in a lot of time and effort taking good photos, listing new items, shipping quickly, and so. You need to be dedicated with the work you put in. When you start to slack, sales will slack too. When that happens, and it will, take a step back and look at what’s causing the lack of sales; more often than not the cause is probably you. You aren’t listing or sharing daily, you aren’t picking up items people what to buy, you aren’t shipping quickly. Those are all things you can change in a quickly.
- Don’t compare yourself to other resellers
This one is so important. You’re following and watching other resellers around you on Poshmark, Mercari or Instagram, Facebook and YouTube and they have tens of thousands of followers and a massive amount of sales. You may feel like you aren’t doing enough or aren’t selling enough compared to those you see around you. Remember they started right where you are now. It takes time to build a great following and become a reputable seller. All those fabulous things don’t happen overnight. So, if reselling and thrifting is what you really want to do, then do it! Be patience, consistent, stay focused and stay positive and you will get to where you want to be. Even the seasoned resellers have off days and weeks.
And there you have it.
My thoughts for getting your reselling business up and running. What works for my business may not work the same for yours. There is no one right or wrong way to run your business. If you are open to adapting and changing with setbacks, you will find what works for you, and be successful!