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So, you’re already reselling and want to level up your game? We have a few tips that will set you on your journey to becoming a ‘Power Seller.’ These are individuals who gross above a certain amount in GMV and are purchasing larger amounts of inventory to resell. That can also mean you’re a wholesaler selling to other wholesale businesses, or you’re considering opening up a retail location or expanding into a warehouse. Well, there are several routes you can take that will get you there!
With B-Stock as your go-to source for buying liquidation inventory like customer returns and overstock, you can source merchandise from top-tier retailers and browse thousands of auctions. Below, we offer seven tips for becoming a power seller.
Important categories to consider include consumer electronics, apparel, mobile, appliances, home and garden, and even furniture. The more you know about a category, the easier it will be to discern between different models and resale values. And of course you know by now, the higher value the item is, the more you will earn in profit. (Note: That doesn’t mean you have to stick to one retailer! Several B-Stock marketplaces offer general merchandise, while others are more specialized.)
There are other reasons why you may want to stick to one category. First, you become an expert in that category. Second, you can grow customer loyalty by offering a steady and reliable source of inventory. And finally, you establish a good reputation as someone who knows their inventory well and what they can offer. Imagine walking into a cell phone store to find bins of clothing one day? This would seem out of character and it’s likely that the seller doesn’t know much about the quality of inventory.
If you’re a sole proprietor or one-person operation, this can take time to work up to. Essentially, you want to be able to buy more. Perhaps you’re going from parcels to pallets, or maybe less-than-truckloads (LTLs) to full truckloads (FTLs). Whatever the case, buying more inventory means you will need more cash flow. B-Stock Partners like Behalf and MyUS allow buyers to secure financing and logistics help. This can be critical for buyers looking to take the next step in becoming power sellers.
It’s common for individuals to get into reselling as a part-time gig. In fact, that’s the easiest way to test the waters and see if the business is right for you. The incentive for most people is to be their own boss, but there’s also a financial benefit. More time spent buying and selling means it’s more than likely you will yield higher profits (compared to, say, selling old clothes on the side here and there). According to a recent B-Stock survey, our average full-time buyer makes roughly $200k in revenue annually versus part-time at $25k.
We found that 24% of full-time buyers purchase truckloads of inventory versus only 6% of part-time buyers. Simply put, going full-time as a power seller means you will have to purchase more inventory. It helps to look daily as thousands of auctions open and close every day on B-Stock marketplaces. Start browsing auctions featuring truckloads of liquidation inventory.
Growing your operation usually means hiring employees. With more helping hands, you can get through more inventory – and more efficiently. That way, you can focus on higher-level operational decisions and selling more merchandise. Be sure you’re ready for the time and monetary commitment it takes to hire and manage employees for your resale business!
Important roles you may want to hire for include: a warehouse manager, a fulfillment team, individuals to handle customer service, and someone that is good with the financials and administrative work. Most importantly, you will need someone to help you source more inventory and bid and buy on the right liquidation auctions (maybe this is you).
Investing in a physical space can put you on the fast track to becoming a power seller. In fact, B-Stock data tells us that full-time buyers were 4x as likely to own a brick-and-mortar location versus part-time buyers. So if you’re ready to take the next step, you have two routes you can take: you can either establish a brick and mortar location, like a storefront, or have your own warehouse. We break down the considerations for both.
Certain categories, like appliances and furniture, require physical spaces. These are by nature, larger items. Which means you need more space to hold your inventory. Imagine a showroom, where customers can come in and browse a selection of scratch and dent appliances on the fly (since these are usually replacement purchases) or peruse your furniture selection.
While apparel or consumer electronics can often be sold strictly online, don’t rule out the possibility of a retail storefront for these categories either. You can take the secondary market shopping experience—and with great prices—and bring in customers just like a normal Macy’s or Best Buy would.
If you’re ready to level up your reselling, buying or renting warehouse space is also an option. Some resellers operate completely out of their warehouse – even allowing interested buyers to come check out and pick up inventory that day. Other times, your warehouse can function as a home base for your receiving, sorting, shipping, and storage.
It takes time and effort to sell only to consumers. With so many individual shipments and customers to answer questions for, it can require a lot of your time! This is why there are businesses that operate by purchasing liquidation inventory and selling it to other businesses and retail outlets. Mobile buyers in particular find success selling to other mobile wholesalers. A good tactic for appliance buyers, too, who purchase salvage inventory to sell to other repair businesses for parts.
The data supports this as well. Of buyers who were surveyed, 62% of all part-time buyers serve only consumers while 70% of all full-time buyers serve both other businesses and consumers. Next time you’re looking into a liquidation auction, consider selling to other businesses as an alternative to listing individual items on resale platforms like Poshmark, Facebook Marketplace, and eBay.
While exporting is a completely different ballpark, it’s worth looking into if you want to expand your selling channels. Since you can’t export without a buyer on the other end, it helps to have a good reputation so you can broaden your network and customer base. Companies will need the proper documentation and abide by all export regulations and guidelines.
Cell phones and home and garden were the most exported category in a recent B-Stock survey. Another consideration is which countries you will export to. Asia and Central America were the biggest export countries among full-time B-Stock buyers. If you sell overseas it’s best to offer large quantities (versus single units) to save time and money on shipping costs. If you want to explore the possibility of exporting, check out Export Education: An Introduction.
Whether you use one or all of these tips to become a power seller, you should have a steady source of inventory. B-Stock hosts private liquidation auctions for some of the biggest names in retail. Registered buyers can purchase returns, overstock, and other liquidation inventory – and for pennies on the dollar – from retailers like Amazon, Target, The Home Depot, Lowe’s, Best Buy, Walmart, and more. Take a look at live auctions happening now!
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"I feel so confident shopping and bidding on items knowing that I am going to get what I paid for. And if not, there’s a killer customer service team that’s going to make sure everything’s alright in the end. That’s huge. It’s hard to take that risk when you’re first starting out."
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