Re-sell of used items is one of the ways that a stay-at-home mom can earn extra cash while staying at home raising her kids.
The idea of reselling used products has been an age long way of disposing items you no longer need in your home.
According to statistics, the Used goods market size in the US alone is about $12.6Bn as of 2021.
This presents a huge market that is available for you to start a business in.
However, this post will be dedicated to writing about secrets that any stay at home mom can use to make a living from a successful re-sell of used items.
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Used items that command fair value is a market for people who want to shop close to originals without having to pay the price of brand new items.
We oftentimes buy stuff which we may not end up using or there may be items that the useful life has passed by in our own time.
Therefore, we need to sell it off in other to declutter our homes.
For anyone wanting to start up a business in buying and reselling used items, I would recommend starting with your own stuff.
You can start by getting organized and sorting out those things which you no longer use and then categorize them into different niches and check which one of them you have good knowledge about.
For example, if you are a stay at home mom that has been having kids for some time, it’s inevitable that you will already have knowledge of baby gear.
Before I had my first child, I needed a breast pump that I will use.
So I went and bought a particular brand which I liked so much because of its brand appeal.
After I had my baby, I assembled the pumping gear and tried using it but it didn’t work for me.
My breasts were still engorged after attaching it and using for some time, so I had to return the pumping gear which was quite expensive by the way.
The next one I bought was way less expensive and It worked.
With that, I learned that brand name may not always be the thing to consider when buying baby stuff.
Because I have 3 kids, I have gathered some invaluable knowledge about baby gear which I believe will be of tremendous use to me should I choose to start a business of re-sell of used items.
For you, it may be something else, but whatever it is, it is always better to start with a niche you are knowledgeable about since it’s a new business, that way you can grow steadily.
Table of Contents
Facts to consider before starting the Re-sell of used items.
-Start with a Niche that you are already knowledgeable about
I have already written a little about it above, choose a niche that you are much more comfortable with.
This will enable you to pick winners in the business of re-sell of used items.
-Buyers want a good value for the money they pay for items even if it is used
Most people who shop for used items are those who are usually on a budget but have a good quality taste.
Just because they are shopping in a fairly used market does not mean they will buy any trash available.
Therefore your knowledge of that product will make it easier for you to know the likely places where there are scuffs on a product and avoid buying stuff that will be hard to re-sell.
For example, people will want to buy almost new baby stuff.
Remember because it’s baby stuff, their emotions may be involved so if you are selling such stuff, make sure that you buy items that are almost new, this will make it easier for people to purchase.
When I had my last baby, I went to a garage sale to get some items for my baby.
It was going to be my last baby so I didn’t want to buy baby stuff that I will end up giving away in a few months to come.
So I got there, and saw this beautiful baby playpen, I purchased it and when I was about to leave I saw an almost new baby mattress because it was almost new, I purchased it too.
I guess if it had been weather-beaten I wouldn’t have considered it.
The reason I bought it was because I could fit into the Playpen and make a baby bed with it.
It solved the problem of buying a brand new baby bed and mattress which will have cost me more.
-Shopping in the high-end neighborhood and mobile areas will give you better margins
In the business of re-sell of used items, shopping in a high-end neighborhood is a must.
It’s always better to go to areas where a lot of rich people live, this is because they tend to acquire stuff that they no longer use.
In a short time, they are willing to offload from their garage to make space for more. This means you get good quality products from willing sellers at a low price.
The second option I talked about earlier is that you are likely to get a load of free stuff to resell from areas where there is a lot of moving and resettling going on.
You find this in places where there is a high number of rentable apartment buildings.
This because most people that live in apartments are either there for a short time or are young people who often move with short notice.
Because they don’t want to incur storage costs or transportation costs, they often throw away valuable stuff, from furniture to electronics.
If you are someone with a good eye, scoring that kind of area can give you free stuff to resell for a profit.
Check for the ongoing price of goods before you buy
The reason you are in business is to make money, this means it will not make sense to spend all your time running around to get goods that will just occupy your garage space without moving.
Hence be sure to check the price of the goods you are about to purchase for a resell before you pay for it.
The easiest places to check is eBay, that’s one of the oldest platforms for re-sell of used items.
Ensure you know the going rate for that product you want to buy at the flea market or garage sale before you buy it.
It pays to do your research at home before moving out, that way you are more focused on what you want to buy, how much you are willing to pay for it and how much you will make from selling it.
-Shop on heavy discount days
With re-sell of used items, the lower you can keep your costs, the better, that is why it’s advisable to shop on discount days when you know that thrift stores will be trying to empty their stores in other to make room for new ones.
It’s not only in thrift stores that you will find such deals even real stores sometimes sell unused items at ridiculously low rates because they need to clear out their stores for a new season.
Therefore having this in mind and taking the time to research when it will happen will help you attain some good deals which you can flip later for a good price.
Unused items with their tags on is always a winner because people will like to purchase it given that it is still new.
-Beware of shipping costs:
Most times in our rush to buy used items for a little amount with a good re-sell profit we forget that we have to ship those goods.
Ensure that you factor your shipping costs into your sale price before you start purchasing.
A low-cost item that is heavy may not be a good deal at all when you find the shipping cost alone will take almost all your profit if not all.
Categories of Used items you can re-sell
-Baby Goods: e.g baby clothing, toys, strollers e.t.c
-Clothing and accessories: Designer wears, Shoes, Bags, Jewelry, hats etc
-Furniture: Bed, couch tables, chairs, wardrobe.
-Gadgets: Games consoles, phones, camping gear.
-Crockery and ware: Dinner plates, cooking pots, pot stands, grill gear
-Electronics: Tv, Radio, speaker, etc.
-Antiques: Rarely seen items that had value, vintage items that are no longer in production.
-Tools and Hardware.
In this next section of this post, we are going to deal with how to start off, where to get your goods from and the tools you will need for your new business.
How to start
As I always reiterate, start from what you have, at the beginning of this write-up, I mentioned how you can start with selling your own used stuff.
Looking at all the categories above, there are hardly families which do not have some unused stuff in some if not most of these categories, so you can start by organizing your own garage sale in other to test the market and see how buyers are likely to behave.
This will give you a good idea of how your intending customers will look like and what are their most likely buying habits.
If you find that you don’t have enough used stuff to sell, please tell your friends and ask if they have stuff they want to dispose of, you can go collect it from them and see how you can sell it.
If you tell them that you want to do market testing with it, am sure you will likely get if for free from them.
Remember that if your business starts succeeding you may not always get it for free. So be ready to start bargaining with them the next time you want their used stuff.
Places you can get goods on sale
Garage sales: you can scout for garage sales that take place around your area and know when they are likely to open so you can go check out their stuff.
There are a lot of apps you can use to check for garage sales that are in your location, some of them are:
Garage sale finder, varage sale, Vendu, Glicking garage, yard sale treasure map, these ones are mainly for Android phones.
If you have an iPhone then you may consider these ones: Garage sale rover, garage sale by map, Yard sale mapper.
Consignment stores: consignment stores are shops where people go to keep their stuff for some amount until it sells, so you can also find good deals there
Flea market: Flea markets are absolutely the place to hunt for treasures because you can find goods that you can resell at a very good price.
I believe the apps above also apply to flea markets too.
To add to the list above you can check these apps out Listia, 5miles, carousel.
The good thing about these apps is that it’s a two-way thing, you can buy from them and sell somewhere else or you can also sell on it.
Community market sales: sometimes you can go to a community market and get a good bargain which you can resell online for a profit.
The key is to look out for good quality products that are being sold at very low prices because of the change of seasons, you can resell such when a new season arrives.
Thrift stores: Thrift stores are also a major place where you can get a good item for sale.
Friends and Family: Sometimes you may have some friends who have a lot of stuff lying about in their garage which is occupying space for years.
You can ask to go through them and see the ones that are of good value which you can resell for a profit.
Rented apartment Buildings: I made mention of the fact that sometimes people who are mobile are often reluctant to pay to ship furniture that they have lived with when they are moving, so they often dump them.
If you look carefully you may sometimes find very good furniture thrown away which you know will command a fair price in the market.
Taking them up and cleaning them can give you a good amount of money when sold.
The cost of acquisition being perhaps your transport and cleaning costs.
Walmart:( Look for sale items only.): one wouldn’t take me seriously when I say that you can get good quality stuff at Walmart for a sale price.
I have once bought a nice kids pants for a dollar at Walmart amongst their sale items which I knew I could resell for 6-7 dollars when the season for that clothing type comes around.
Places to Re-sell your Used Items.
The good thing about all that apps that I mentioned above is that they are two functional, you can buy and sell on them.
But to give you more options for online sales, here is a list of places you can sell your used items.
Ebay Like we are going to miss this one out, it’s the king of market places where used stuff is sold.
People make a living from selling on eBay once you understand how it works. I will do a post on this one day.
Varage sale: Varage sale is an app that allows you to buy and sell locally.
I will try this if I am just starting out on selling used stuff, that way you might save on shipping costs for your goods.
Ebid This is also an online marketplace for buying and selling that has been around since 1999.
The good thing about this platform is that there are no listing fees and your selling fees will range from only between 0-3 percent of your final sale amount.
This means that if you list a product and it does not sell. you don’t have to pay.
Decluttr : A place to sell your used phones, CD’s, game consoles, DVDs, books. If you had like to sell your stuff to them click on the icon below to get to their website.
Bonanza : This is also an online marketplace that features different kinds of categories from women’s fashion to home and décor too.
They were named America’s best entrepreneurial company in 2016.
Etsy: Etsy is a marketplace for handmade goods, they are quite popular and people do make a good living selling stuff on Etsy.
I believe that you can sell used stuff there that is handmade.
Facebook marketplace: The Facebook marketplace is also the go-to place to sell your stuff, there is hardly anything we can sell or buy or market without Facebook so get at it and use it for your business.
The good thing is that you don’t have any listing fees involved.
Offer up: This is an app that makes listing goods for sale by sellers very easy, it has an integrated messaging system that helps the sellers to manage multiple messages from buyers.
It’s been rated well by the iPhone users as very good.
Online shop: Finally if you are willing to put in the work of building your own platform for your Re-sell of Used items business, you can start an eCommerce store using Shopify an online e-commerce platform that enables you to sell goods from anywhere in the world.
Shopify ecommerce store offers you the flexibility to sell to more people than you can at a physical location.
With Shopify, you can build a brand around your business and build a steady clientele for your business
You can even start selling your goods even before you have bought inventory.
If you would like to set up your online store yourself, I have a simple course that you can take to learn how to build your online store.
The course is Shopify Unbundled, with the course, you will learn how to install your ecommerce store, load products in it and set up your payment gateway.
To start building your online store, tap the button below
Shopify Unbundled Course
Shopify Unbundled course is designed to simplify the building of your new online store. It is designed for newbies who want to quickly start their online business
This last option is about the best of the above options because you have your own platform and you control what happens there.
The only snag is that you have to do extra marketing to drive traffic to your site, but in the long run, it pays off when you establish your business securely and you are earning a steady income from it.
Of course, there are scores of other market places and apps that you can use for your selling, but these few above should help you get started.
Tools you need for this business
-Camera for taking pictures you will use for listing your stuff
-Phone and internet connection( if you have an iPhone, the better because some of the apps mentioned above are available on iPhones alone.
Do you have any other ideas on how to turn Re-sell of used items into a good business, please leave a comment below.
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