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?

What is reselling?

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 a 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 are good for reselling:

  • Apparel
  • Toys
  • Electronics
  • Appliances

How to Become a Reseller

Becoming a reseller is quite simple; just about 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.

Register your business

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.

Get a reseller certificate

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. However, you are responsible for collecting 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 customers and 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.

Make Money From Home Online by Reselling

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: Sourcing, Shipping, and Selling.

1. Sourcing

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 storefront!

2. Shipping

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.

3. Selling

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!

Tips for Your Reselling Business

Work out the numbers

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. There may be 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!

Find a category that works for you

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 storefronts 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.

Increase your amount of inventory

If you’re busy sourcing individual items, growing your business will become quite challenging. The goal is to make money in your sleep. Once items are listed on your chosen marketplaces, you can make that sale while doing other things! You’ll need to increase your amount of inventory to do that. Here are a few ways how:

  • Buy in bulk
  • Find reliable suppliers
  • Bid on online liquidation auctions

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 storefronts. 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.

Pick a selling platform

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. But if you’re dealing with Kitchenaid mixers, you aren’t likely to touch these selling platforms.

Use B-Stock

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.

Join the largest global network of B2B liquidation marketplaces.

Buy directly from the world’s largest retailers and manufacturers

register now

Andrea Vargas

Andrea is the lead content writer for B-Stock Solutions, the largest online network of B2B liquidation marketplaces. She specializes in creating buyer resources and tools for entrepreneurs and power buyers looking for liquidated merchandise.

Amberly Bliss, Owner

Amberly Bliss, Owner

Retail Deals

"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."

More from the B-Stock Blog

Pushing Corporate Responsibility Forward with Modern Recommerce Solutions
Pushing Corporate Responsibility Forward with Modern Recommerce Solutions

Unilever Aims High on Sustainability—and We’re Helping If you’re reading this, odds are you’ve used many of Unilever’s products over your lifetime. In fact, you’ve probably got at least a few of them living in your bathroom, pantry, or fridge…

May 23 2024 · 10 min read

Podcast: Addressing Excess Inventory With B-Stock Solutions
Podcast: Addressing Excess Inventory With B-Stock Solutions

While the matter of what to do with slow-moving and unsold consumer goods is a constant challenge for brands and retailers, it’s also a very common one. That’s why leaders from recommerce organizations like B-Stock are working to develop smart,…

May 15 2024 · 1 min read

Name Brand Liquidations Are Happening Every Day
Name Brand Liquidations Are Happening Every Day

Name brand liquidations – it sounds exciting, and it is. It refers to the process where well-known brands sell their unsold, overstocked, or returned products at significantly reduced prices. Most of the world’s largest retailers all liquidate. That’s right –…

May 08 2024 · 4 min read