How to Start a Reselling Business: Steps and Ideas

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For all the “internet gurus” telling you that their way of making money is THE way to make money online – the reality is that there are lots of legitimate ways to generate profit on the internet. The trick is picking one that appeals to your own interests, skills, resources, and goals.

For example, building an online store can be highly profitable, but will likely require a high level of financial input and time before sizable profits are generated. It can be a little more tricky to make large profits with dropshipping, although getting started can be considerably easier than some other methods.

In this article, we explore one tried and tested method of generating profit online. Reselling has been used by many small businesses and entrepreneurs to help them achieve success. We’ll look at what a reselling business is, how to start one, and explore some ideas to get you started.

What Is a Reseller?

Resellers are much as they sound. Someone who purchases something (usually a product) and then resells it. The goal of a reseller is to resell the item at a profit. 

You can find resellers in practically any niche. There are two approaches you can take to making a profit by reselling:

  1. Buying below market value and selling at market value
  2. Buying at market value and selling above market value

Option one typically sees businesses buying products wholesale and/or tax-free in order to make a profit once resold at market value.

Those who take option two rely on products with scarcity such as event tickets or hard-to-find game consoles. For example, many people have generated large profits by purchasing hard-to-source PS5 consoles and reselling them at a profit at a later date.

Although often more profitable, option two can be considered ethically questionable. Profits from this option can also be short-lived.

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Advantages of Starting a Reselling Business

There are countless benefits to starting a reselling business. We list seven of the biggest ones below:

  1. Get selling/making a profit quickly
  2. No need to carry or manage ecommerce inventory
  3. No product development costs
  4. No direct manufacturing costs or challenges
  5. Leverage already well-established brands
  6. Easy to scale
  7. Low commitment to one product or brand

How to Start a Reselling Business: Step-By-Step

Ready to find out how to start a reselling business yourself? We’ll walk you through the six simple steps now!

#1. Choose Your Niche

Picking a niche is essential to reselling success. Finding your niche and developing a deep knowledge of it will help you find better deals and resell for higher profits.

For example, a great comic book reseller will easily be able to spot popular/rare comic books that are priced below market value. This makes it easy for them to find opportunities to make profits. In niches such as comic books, developing skills for spotting potential fakes can also be beneficial to help protect you from making expensive mistakes.

When picking a niche ask yourself:

  1. What am I passionate/knowledgeable about?
  2. What products can be purchased cheaply and sold at a profit?
  3. Which products are popular?

#2. Register Your Business

Before you start reselling you will need to register your business. This can be fairly straightforward, simply:

  1. Pick a business name
  2. Choose your business structure
  3. Incorporate your business

Doing this will provide you with the licenses you need to start operating. Once you are incorporated you will be able to leverage business advantages such as tax breaks and wholesale buying options.

#3. Research Laws and Permits

Depending on where you are based and the types of products you are reselling, you may need to apply for a permit. You may also need to check the rules of other states if you plan on selling across state lines.

Simply search for the rules based on the states you are operating in.

#4. Set Up an Online Store

Once all the formalities are taken care of, it’s time to set up your online store. Thanks to leading ecommerce website builders such as Shopify, Wix, and Squarespace this can be a simple and even highly enjoyable task.

Simply:

  1. Pick your platform of choice
  2. Decide on your URL
  3. Start building your store using the tools provided

#5. Source Your Items

Without items to sell, it is impossible to make a profit. So, sourcing your items is an important part of getting set up with reselling.

Where you source your items will depend on the niche and the approach you are taking. Here are a few examples of places you may be able to source products from:

  • Direct from brands
  • Online marketplaces (such as eBay)
  • Wholesalers (such as Alibaba)
  • Garage sales
  • Collectors

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#6. Promote Your Online Store

At this point, you should have everything you need to start reselling online. Well, almost everything… you also need to find customers who want to buy the product you are selling.

This is where digital marketing comes in.

There are countless digital marketing methods you can use to promote your online store. Some of the most popular include:

  • Social ads – which allow you to target individuals based on several factors such as location, interests, and income.
  • Email marketing – helping you nurture potential customers and drive direct sales.
  • Organic social media – building trust with your customer base through posting high-value content
  • Search engine optimization – driving traffic to your online store through search engines such as Google
  • Influencer marketing – working with influencers in your niche to get your products in front of your audience and endorsed by an individual that is trusted by them

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Best Reseller Business Ideas

Still not sure where to get started? We have some reselling business ideas to inspire you!

Here are some products you can sell online that are typically great for reselling:

  • Antiques – often one-of-a-kind, can buy low and sell high, perfect if you know what you are looking for
  • Concert tickets – high-demand tickets often sell out, making reselling highly profitable
  • Games consoles (such as PS5) – supply chain issues can lead to these being hard to get hold of
  • Trainers – always in demand, rare pairs can be resold for high profit
  • Toys – buy low at garage sales and make a profit by selling them on your website
  • Collectibles (such as Pokemon cards or comic books) – easy to make big profits when you know what to look for
  • Fine art – big profit to be made when you can connect the right piece with the right buyer
  • Luxury handbags – always in demand

How to Start a Reselling Business: Summary

It is clear that reselling can be a great way to develop a revenue stream online. And now you know how to start a reselling business yourself! Picking a niche will help you focus your efforts and develop your knowledge in the best ways to drive the most profit possible. Follow the steps and advice we have outlined in this guide to give you the best possible start in reselling.

FAQ

Reselling is the simple process of buying and then selling products. The goal of reselling is to buy low and then resell the product at a profit. This is a popular method for profit generation in many areas such as fashion, events, and electronics.
Getting started with reselling is pretty easy. Simply pick your niche, get your business registered, create an online store, source your products and start selling.
Written by:
I’m a content writer for Website Builder Expert. I’m a bit of a business and marketing nerd and love sharing my knowledge and experience to help others achieve their business goals. From complex engineering and brewing to international events and brand design agencies, I’ve worked in marketing roles for well over 10 years now. During this time I developed a skill for turning complex (and occasionally dull) information into exciting, easy-to-understand, and actionable content. I also set up my own content marketing consultancy and launched my own ecommerce business on Shopify.

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