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There are tons of people looking for ways to make money from home online. An easy way to do this is by reselling liquidation inventory! Merchandise is constantly being liquidated from big-name retailers looking to offload excess or customer returned inventory. Many shopper-savvy people are starting their own business buying and reselling this inventory in the secondary market.
With public health concerns over COVID-19, working from home is becoming a more and more attractive solution. Yes, there are other things you can do to make money from home online, like transcribing services, product reviewing, or even teaching. But a quick and scalable business can save you from having to work gig to gig. Becoming a reseller is easy to jump into if you do your research. It’s likely you’re already browsing online anyway, so why not make money from home in the process!
Reselling is based on the principles of retail arbitrage. Which is essentially purchasing products from a retailer at a lower price and reselling them for profit. People start entire businesses based on this concept because there is always consumer demand and it has the potential to earn you quite the profit.
So the process of reselling involves buying merchandise and reselling it in places like online marketplaces or brick & mortar discount stores. Online resellers, for example, will often buy merchandise in bulk quantities and then resell single items – for a profit – on commerce sites like eBay or Poshmark.
Categories that good for reselling:
Becoming a reseller is actually quite simple and anyone can do it! Whether you are looking for some extra cash to supplement your income, or want to turn this into a full-time gig, you’ll follow the same steps.
Better to do this early on to avoid any mess or headache come tax season. You’ll need documentation to support your reselling efforts and be a legit business in the eyes of customers. Even if you still plan on doing this on the side, many wholesale or liquidation sites won’t allow you to purchase anything as just a regular consumer.
A reseller certificate shows that you are a business and intend to resell the items you purchase, but it also does more. The purpose of having a resale certificate is to allow you to buy goods through your business without paying local sales tax at the time of purchase. It’s then your responsibility to collect the tax from your customer when you sell the item. It benefits your business by allowing you to avoid sales tax and pass those savings on to your customer. It can also allow you to buy more merchandise to grow your business.
That’s it – you’re a reseller! As long as you’ve done these two steps, you can resell just about anything and start making money.
We know there are plenty of get-rich-quick schemes floating around out there. Well, this isn’t one of them. Because you actually need some startup money, not a lot, but enough to think of a reselling business as an investment. Making money from home online does not mean that there is any less work involved than a regular job. You do get more flexibility, the chance to be your own boss, and decide how to set your prices. But you’ll also probably work irregular hours, be on your computer or mobile frequently, and coordinate tons of post office runs or delivery pickups.
Here are the main components to turn reselling into a business:
Let’s start with sourcing. You have to source discounted inventory that you will be able to flip for profit. Since you’re doing this online, you will want to avoid individual trips to brick-and-mortar retailers like Target, Walmart, and Best Buy. Instead, consider sourcing options that allow you to get your hands on more inventory at once. For example, liquidation pallets of customer returns, overstock, and seasonal inventory. All the big retailers do it, you just have to access their official online marketplaces!
Next, shipping. It’s oftentimes the biggest challenge for resellers. This is usually the biggest consideration for resellers as it will determine if they are going to place bids on liquidation auctions. You don’t want shipping to eat into your profits. Check your proximity to certain warehouses—this is one way to save on shipping.
Last (but not least) selling. Setting your prices is relatively easy. In most cases, you can set the price at or just below market value. You may also check comparison prices on the site you’re using. Plus, don’t forget to factor in your shipping costs, taxes, and seller fees. You should maintain a profit minimum of at least $3. We go into more tips for selling and choosing your platforms below!
When deciding to place a bid on liquidated merchandise, carefully review the provided manifest. You’ll want to see what the retail MSRP is for the items in the lot. You might find a mix of things, with a few higher-ticket items, or vice versa. Cross-reference this value with whatever the average going rate is for the same items being resold online. That will be your potential profit once you factor in the number of items, shipping, and other buying fees!
Many resellers find success within a category they know well. For example, if you’re a fashion guru and know you want to focus on designer handbags, apparel marketplaces might be a good bet for finding and sourcing inventory you know you can flip for a profit. You can buy liquidation pallets by store and find merchandise your customers will love from retailers like Nordstrom Rack, Costco, and QVC.
If you’re busy sourcing individual items, growing your business will become quite challenging. The goal is to make money in your sleep. Once you’ve listed inventory on your chosen marketplaces, you can make that sale while you’re doing other things! You’ll need to increase your amount of inventory to do that. Here are a few ways how:
Retailers, especially those in e-commerce, see product returns at a rate of about 30%. These companies often sell returns by the pallet through auction marketplaces. Many of these products are resold directly from the retailer at 30 cents on the dollar. This leaves a lot of room for profit and it’s completely open to certified resellers.
Sourcing great inventory for reselling is one thing, but learning where to sell it is another. Marketplaces like eBay and Amazon are a safe bet for beginners, they both have a huge built-in audience of shoppers for you, and let you sell almost anything. Emphasis on almost! It’s important to note what items might be gated or restricted on particular platforms. Also consider the category you’re in. For example, if you’re reselling footwear, you have platforms like Vinted, Depop, and Thredup at your disposal. If you’re reselling Kitchenaid mixers, you aren’t likely to touch these types of selling platforms.
Finally, you can use B-Stock to meet all your inventory sourcing needs. Learn more about buying return pallets, or get your business started by reading our Buying Basics Series. We help dozens of top retailers and manufacturers across the globe offload their unwanted inventory. So if you’re ready to become a reseller and make money from home online, start buying heavily discounted products at B-Stock.