Reselling During 'Rona
How Online Reselling Has Changed for Me During the Pandemic
I started reselling long before COVID-19 was even a consideration. I thought it would take me at least five to ten years before I was ready to make the jump to full-time reselling but the pandemic accelerated that timeline when I was laid off in early March of 2020.
I was probably one of the first people to lose their jobs solely because of the Pandemic. I was working as a Program Coordinator for the Alzheimer's Association. My state (Ohio) was very early to start lock-downs and it began with nursing homes and rehabilitation centers, aka exactly the places I was supposed to be working with through my job. I received the call on March 11, 2020, that my job would be terminated because there was no point in paying me to sit around and do basically nothing.
I was CRUSHED. I loved that job more than anything I'd done in the past. It was the first position where my superiors really seemed to trust my abilities and insight and the first one where I felt ready to take on the challenges of a nearly full-time job. I had a purpose with that job and loved spreading knowledge about a disease that had personally affected me and my family.
When I was laid off I felt lost and like I had no direction. Working in the non-profit sector had been my biggest ambition since my sophomore year of college and now, just 3 short months away from graduating, that world and all jobs in it seemed to be completely gone.
Luckily, I had been reselling my old clothes and some thrifted clothing on Poshmark so I had a small stream of income still coming in the door. I decided to listen to the message the universe seemed to be sending me and dove headfirst into expanding that small trickle into a full-blown river and I haven't looked back since.
I took forced lock-down as a chance to start posting to new platforms like Mercari and Depop and grow my new(ish) business. I'd never considered branching out before because I was scared of becoming overwhelmed, but now that it was my only focus, I had no excuses.
I used third-party cross-listing platforms like ListPerfectly to help me expand (more info in my blog article Work Smarter, Not Harder).
ListPerfectly has helped me get on over five different platforms so far and I'm not stopping there. They also gave me my first chance to partner with a company in the form of a referral code! (use code: THEHIPPYEDIT at sign up to get 30% off your first month!)
Sourcing was probably where the biggest change occurred. I was used to going to thrift stores and sourcing there or from retail arbitrage. Not being able to get new inventory was a struggle but I, fortunately, had a large enough death pile to get me through the first couple of months. After that, I started sourcing through the platforms I was selling on.
It started with mystery boxes, but I quickly decided after one slightly negative experience that method just wasn't worth the risk (see my blog article I Bought Two Different Mystery Boxes on Poshmark and Here's How it Went).
After that, I turned to a different way of sourcing through Poshmark and started sourcing "Just In" listings by lowest to highest price to find some awesome deals. I was able to make a couple of bundles from some smaller closets just looking to offload their personal clothes and have managed to flip most of it for a decent profit.
I don't necessarily recommend this method because you never really know exactly what you're getting or the condition it will be in. Some items I purchased had some major flaws that weren't disclosed by the seller, but for the price I got them at I can't really complain.
I was also incredibly lucky to have family members donate clothing to me for me to sell. My mom and grandma have both been great about giving me old clothes they don't wear anymore and my grandma has been passing down a lot of her old fabric for me to use to make the scrunchies I include with orders of $25 or more! I would have completely run out of material if it wasn't for her!
It's a little mind-boggling to look back at where my business was in March and compare it to how far I've come. I've learned how to build a website and write blog articles. I've taught myself SEO and social media management and I've finally invested in the Adobe Creative Cloud, something I made excuses for not doing for MONTHS.
Building a website is what I'm probably the proudest of because it had the steepest learning curve and grew my business the most. I went to school for Political Science, meaning I did absolutely nothing with computers beyond typing papers and completing simple projects. Taking the time to build my initial site for The Hippy Edit was stressful and overwhelming and there were many times where I had to put my laptop down and take some space from it because I would get so worked up. But I did it and then even rebuilt that site to make it even better for all you awesome people that come check it out!
I've been really fortunate to have the chance to buckle down on something I'm so passionate about but as great as it has been, it's definitely had its downsides too. I struggled a lot with isolation and my mental health took a nosedive, but my amazing boyfriend and my business were always there to scoop me out of my bad days and get me back on track. I love having creative outlets through my business and despite those challenges, I'm beyond grateful for the direction my life has taken.