With inflation rates still naggingly high and recession fears creeping across cable news and social media, it seems everybody could use a few extra bucks.
Reselling, and in turn consignment, is one way to make some of that extra cash. And, with the right attitude, the habit could even turn into a full-fledged side hustle.
What’s the difference between reselling and consignment?
- Reselling essentially entails purchasing products from manufacturers, suppliers or other sources — and reselling them to consumers. Do you collect rare music records? Or vintage books? You could have hundreds or even thousands of dollars’ worth of goods sitting on your shelves.
- Consignment is a business model in which a retailer, also referred to as a consignee, agrees to pay a seller, or consignor, for merchandise after the item sells. Do you have entire wardrobes your toddler has outgrown? Plenty of parents are on the hunt for them.
“Consignment arrangements generally do not give the sellers top dollar for their items,” according to Shopify, “but they do give sellers the opportunity to make some cash for items that may otherwise go unused or donated in the future.”
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Resellers typically buy items at lower prices and sell them for more to turn a profit. This arbitrage can be placed into two main buckets: retail (sourcing products from brick-and-mortar stores) and online (finding reselling opportunities online).
In fact, the global secondhand apparel market will grow three times faster than the global apparel market, according to thredUP, an online consignment & thrift store founded in 2009. The global second-hand clothing industry is projected to nearly double by 2026 to reach $218 billion.
The beauty of reselling is that anybody with a computer and a camera can do it, in large part thanks to Amazon, Etsy and Facebook Marketplace.
So, what could you start with? Here are 10 of the most common products sold through consignment, according to Shopify (these products could also fall under the “reselling” bucket):
- Athletic equipment and gear
- Baby furniture and accessories
- Antiques and collectibles
- Musical instruments
6 Essential Tips for Starting Your Reselling Business
What’s next? Here are six tips for starting your reselling business, according to Gilles Couvreur, the founder of Crosslist, a productivity tool that allows sellers to list on the world’s largest online marketplaces.
1. Professionalism is a necessity.
“The more professional you are, the higher your chances of building trust and long-term loyalty with customers. It all starts by creating value for consumers by understanding their needs and offering solutions.”
2. You can still build a brand regardless of the fact that you’re selling someone else’s products.
“Hundreds of branded resellers stand as a testament to this business model’s potential for success. However, you can’t build long-term success without a solid marketing and branding campaign.”
3. Find inexpensive product sources.
“To make lower prices feasible, you need to find affordable product sources.”
4. Cross-listing platforms are a lifesaver.
“Cross-listing apps enable you to integrate multiple platforms in one click, create bulk product listings and cross-list them across all desired marketplaces, saving you a lot of time.”
5. Interact with the community.
“Fostering two-way communication on relevant social networks is crucial in humanizing your brand and enticing more people to engage with your business.”
6. Manage your inventory well.
“This will eliminate the risk of issues like being unable to locate products ready for shipping and angering customers with late delivery, incorrect orders or missing products.”
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