Getting Started With Reselling! The Basics I Wish I Knew
I started reselling during the Fall of my Junior year of college. I was insanely busy with classes, my sorority, and everything else that comes with being 20 years old, but I still needed to earn some money to support my Dunkin' Donut's addiction.
My roommate was actually the one that suggested I try selling on Poshmark. She'd made over $500 in 6 months and all she was doing was selling the clothes that she'd stopped wearing in her own closet.
It seemed to good to be true. There was no way I'd be able to make that much with that little work. Right? Well, I gave it a try anyways and two weeks later I'd made my first sale! And... then... I had my first sale canceled. That's right. Canceled. It was my own fault. I took way too long to ship because I had no clue where to get boxes or how to package anything.
Luckily I made my second sale just a week later and I took my shoes and shipping label down to the Post Office to get a box and ship them off. Luckily, since I decided to start on Poshmark, I didn't have to pay for the shipping supplies when I got them because Poshmark's partnership with the USPS allows you to use their free priority shipping materials.
That's right, I said FREE shipping materials. The best part about these supplies? The boxes are made from recycled materials and they can be recycled again after you use them!
They're available right at the Post Office for you to package right there. You can also order bundles of boxes and other supplies from the USPS's website, but keep in mind that it can take a while for them to deliver the supplies to you depending on your location and the demand your local office may be dealing with.
If I'd known about this awesome resource before I started listing on Posh, I wouldn't have lost that first sale. Having the ability to get shipping supplies for free also meant I could focus entirely on putting my profits right in my pocket instead of into materials to get my sales to their new owners.
I started looking into blogs, Instagram accounts, and YouTube pages that were run by full-time or part-time resellers to learn more ways that I could be successful on Poshmark. I still had no plans of making this my full-time job, but I wanted to make as much as I could with it while I wasn't able to work a "normal" job due to my crazy schedule.
I started to get really intimidated if I'm being honest. These amazing entrepreneurs were earning thousands a year, enough to quit their jobs and live off of. They were spending their entire days sourcing inventory and packaging sales. I kept comparing my two $10 sales to their thousands of designer scores and I got incredibly discouraged. Why would anyone want to buy my second-hand, Forever 21 when there's Chanel and Gucci listings for 50% off retail?
Comparison is the thief of joy. There is a market for absolutely EVERYTHING and that's the amazing thing about being a reseller. Sure, there are brands that will be more popular than others or may resell for a higher profit, but there is someone out there for every listing. I didn't start investing money into my inventory until I had been going for over a year. Everything came from my personal closet, and I still made plenty of sales. I wouldn't be here if I hadn't been successful starting like that!
What matters is that you take well-lit, clear photos of your item from every possible angle. Include photos of the size and material tags if they're attached and take measurements! Your descriptions should be detailed and include plenty of key words for search engines to pick up on! Start by selling items that you already own that you haven't worn. The rule I used for myself was: If I haven't worn it in the last 6 months and I won't wear it in the next 6 months, it's getting listed.
If you want to start by thrifting, make sure you do your research before going for the first time. Take time to look up what is selling well on the platform you're selling on and don't buy anything without looking up how it's sold in the past. One of my biggest mistakes when I did start sourcing for inventory was overpaying for basic pieces. I'd see a brand tag and immediately buy without checking to make sure that piece would actually sell well. I've had so many pieces sit for months before finally selling for barely any profit.
Spend time looking at what other resellers are recommending. That doesn't mean every brand that's popular for one reseller will be the same for you, but it'll help you get familiar with the labels you may see when you do source. It also doesn't mean that those are the only items you should buy! If you like it and you'd wear it, someone else probably will too!
It's also important to keep in mind what YOU would want as a customer. What would get you to buy from your shop? Is it the style, price, or brand? Is it free shipping, cute packaging, or free extra goodies included? Whatever experience it is that would get you to spend your hard earned cash is what you should give to your customers.
I'm so incredibly grateful that I started reselling two years ago, and that I had this side-hustle
to rely on for that last several months. I never had intentions of actually pursuing this as my full-time job or career, but this pandemic put a wrench in my plans for after I graduated this past May. The "normal" and secure job that I was supposed to have suddenly wasn't so secure or even existent any more. The Hippy Edit became my new normal and quite literally saved me. I have a pretty strong suspicion that being an entrepreneur will be the new normal for most people in the future, and that's so exciting!
If you want to earn a living as reseller or even just a decent side-income (it won't be passive, that's a myth), you have to be willing to do what sets you apart from the massive, and incredibly affordable, fast-fashion industry that's pumping out millions of clothing items and listings a day. It'll take work and time, but if you enjoy what you do, you'll never really work a day in your life.