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Tips for a Successful Online Resale Business


The online resale market has exploded over the last few years. Anyone can sell just about anything online these days. It has become so simple, that you don’t even need a computer to list, sell and ship; it can all be done in the palm of your hand on your smartphone.

Some people sell clothes or shoes that they don’t wear anymore in hopes to make a few bucks. And others make it a full time job, and make a living, off of hunting for deals at thrift stores, yard sales, and clearance sections, to then resell and make a profit.

I’ve been somewhere in the middle for several years. Here are some tips and tricks I have found beneficial, as well as advice from some very successful online resellers, specifically for reselling clothing and shoes.


1. List on multiple platforms

There are many online selling platforms that are very popular for clothing resale right now. Some of the most popular are:

  • Ebay
  • Poshmark
  • Mercari
  • Kidizen
  • Curtsy

There are a lot more worth researching, but these are what I have seen to be the most well known, and have personally used. After you have tried some of them out, see which ones you like the best and are comfortable with, or that fit a certain category that you’re selling. For example, Kidizen is for selling baby/kids/mom clothing. Whereas Curtsy may be geared more towards teens.

When you are going to list an item, determine which platforms they fit best (if not all), and cross list them. The easiest way to do that is on a laptop of desktop. That way you can easily copy and paste the information for your listing into each different platform, as well as drag and drop all the item photos. You can do this on your smartphone as well but it takes a bit longer. And of course, time is money!

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2. Put some thought into your packaging

Most buyers will be happy to get what they paid for, in the expected condition, and move on. But, taking the time to dress up your shipment can make a big impression. A little thoughtfulness makes a buyer feel good, they’ll remember you, and they will be more likely to leave you a positive review. Good reviews usually equal more sales.

To dress up the items for shipping, highly rated sellers use things like:

  • Tissue paper (colors or plain white)
  • Thank you cards
  • Stickers
  • Twine for wrapping

You can buy all of these things at the dollar store. You’ll be able to use them for multiple packages, so you‘re not spending too much and eating into your profits.

3. Use free boxes for shipping

Another way to save money and not take away from the profits of your reselling business, is using free shipping boxes. You can get free boxes from the post office if you’re going to be shipping with USPS (they are usually the most affordable shipping option). If your local post office doesn’t have any for grabs in the lobby, you can order them ahead of time on the USPS website. You’ll have to create a user, and add them to cart to checkout, but they will be free and delivered to your home. You can pick different sizes and amounts so that you always have some on hand and ready to go.


4. Find stock photos

The photos you use on your online listings make a huge statement about you as a seller, and can determine whether or not a customer will buy from you. The first thing I do before staging a lot of photos for an item, is do some research and see if there are stock photos from the original brand’s website. If not on their website, you can also check eBay or Poshmark for the item and see if anyone else has found a stock photo if the item is a bit older. Doing a Google image search can sometimes find the item as well.

Using stock photos can make a big difference to see how an item may fit and look on the buyer, versus a hanger which doesn’t give the piece of clothing the shape that is should have. For example, the picture above is a dress I was selling on the left. On the right is the stock photo I used for my online listings. The dress looks completely different once you see it on the model. You get an idea of the shape and details, and better lighting to see the color accurately. The photo on the right has a much better chance of selling than the photo on the left.


5. Research top selling brands

To make the best use of your time when searching for items to resell, research trending brands so that you know what to look for when you’re shopping. If you want to make a good profit, try to find out how much these items have been selling for on resale sites, and which brands hold their value. This will give you an idea of what people are willing to pay more for, even if the item is used. Putting some thought into what brands you want to sell and what price points to look for will keep you from wasting time listing things that won’t make you much money in return.

6. Connect with other resellers

Connecting with other resellers on social media was a huge help in growing my online resale business. Instagram has a huge community of resellers that are constantly motivating each other, and sharing very useful tips to improve their businesses. If you are hoping to make an income from reselling online, whether large or small, you will find lots of useful information there!

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