What is Reselling? The Flip Life… Explained in Depth

Reselling is a fantastic way to make money, but it’s not a very popular side hustle. It’s not as glamorous as Trading Stocks, Rental Properties or even Amazon FBA… but if you look at it on paper FBA is infact Reselling.

In this article today, I will be explaining everything about Reselling. We will be focusing on Online Reselling, with a reference to local reselling using your local marketplaces. Let’s get into it.

Oh, and before anybody gets confused, there isn’t just one type of reseller. I’d categorise this into 5 individual types:

  • Arbitrage Resellers – Find a high demand product and selling it above it’s retail price
  • Wholesale Resellers – Purchasing in bulk from a Distributor at a reduced price, to then sell for profit
  • Distributor – Buying Product directly from a manufacturer to then resell to a retailer
  • Retailer – Buying Product from a Distributor, to then sell to the general public

As you can see, although they are different types of resellers, they do integrate with eachother. Let’s take for example, Disney Lorcana Booster Boxes. These are made by the manufacturer and purchased from a Distributor. They will then sell to the Retailer. The retailer will then list the items for sale, and Arbitrage Resellers would purchase the stock, to re-list on eBay for a profit.

At the same time, Wholesale Resellers would be attempting to buy stock in bulk, but it doesn’t work in the above example as it’s a bit of a ‘rare release’. Now we’ve explained that, we can get into this mega reselling guide.

Historical Overview: Tracing Reselling Through Time

Reselling, in its essence, is the act of purchasing goods or products with the intention of selling them at a higher price to make a profit. Its roots can be traced back to ancient marketplaces, where traders and merchants bought items from one region and sold them in another, often capitalizing on differences in supply and demand. This historical practice laid the foundation for the reselling phenomenon we witness today.

Have you heard of the saying ‘Robbing Peter, to pay Paul’? It’s very relevant to what we are doing here.

In the Middle Ages, traveling peddlers played a vital role in distributing goods to remote areas, effectively acting as resellers. They carried a variety of products, from textiles to spices, and facilitated trade between distant communities. This period marked the early evolution of reselling, driven by the simple yet powerful concept of buying low and selling high.

The Rise of Online Reselling: The Digital Revolution

Fast forward to the 21st century, and we witness a transformative shift in reselling with the rise of e-commerce platforms and social media. The digital revolution has democratized the reselling business, allowing individuals to become entrepreneurs from the comfort of their homes.

E-commerce platforms like eBay, Amazon, and Etsy have created global marketplaces where resellers can reach millions of potential customers. These platforms provide the infrastructure for listing, marketing, and selling products, making it easier than ever to engage in the reselling trade.

Social media platforms, particularly Instagram and Facebook, have also played a pivotal role in the growth of modern reselling. Resellers use these platforms to showcase their products, connect with customers, and build brand identities. The visual nature of these platforms complements the reselling model, enabling sellers to attract and engage with their target audiences.

Modern Day reselling started out with ‘Sneaker Kids’ buying the rarest of Nike Shoes, such as these Virgil Abloh Louis Vuitton Trainers.

Reselling Shoes

At retail, they would have set you back £2,000. Now, you can’t find a pair for less than £7,900. Albeit, this is an extremely limited release and not something that cook groups would do on a weekly basis.

Sneaker Resellers make £10-£20 a pair usually, but have a high volume of sales. Personally, I don’t get involved in Sneakers. It’s never been something I fancied. I think that’s because I really like clean white trainers, and when I have purchased in the past, things like Supreme AF1 White, I end up keeping instead of reselling them.

I have no issue with trainer resellers, but there is a common feeling that they get involved in collectibles and ‘brick’ the prices. However, they’re also helping the items to sell out, so they are doing their part. Afterall, as Stephen Bartlett says, you should treat your money like soldiers, going out to war and capturing more and more money. Profit is profit!

Defining Reselling: Setting It Apart

To truly understand reselling, it’s crucial to distinguish it from related concepts like retail and dropshipping.

  • Retail vs. Reselling: Retail involves the sale of new products directly to consumers through physical stores or online channels. In contrast, reselling typically involves the sale of used or pre-owned items, though it can encompass both new and used goods. Resellers often act as intermediaries between consumers and the secondary market.
  • Dropshipping vs. Reselling: Dropshipping involves selling products without physically stocking inventory. Instead, dropshippers work with suppliers who fulfill orders directly to customers. Reselling, on the other hand, usually requires resellers to purchase and possess the items they intend to sell before listing them for resale. It involves more hands-on management of inventory and shipping.

In essence, reselling is about finding value in products, whether new or used, and leveraging market dynamics to profit from them. It combines elements of entrepreneurship, market analysis, and customer engagement, making it a multifaceted business model that has evolved over centuries and continues to adapt to changing consumer behaviors and technological advancements.

Before I go on to talk about the current landscape of reselling, I will advise that the Pandemic of 2020 did seem to fast-forward Reselling and helped lots of people, to make lots of money.

People were spending lots more time at home, and this saw rises in demand for Hot Tubs, Egg Chairs, Fire Pits and even Rattan Furniture. Again, I didn’t get involved in this as I was working throughout, and extremely busy… or I would have been able to make a lot of money. Looking back at my spreadsheets though, I did sell lots of Blade Beer Machines… so I did get involved in one way.

The Reselling Landscape Today

Platforms and Marketplaces: The Digital Bazaars of Reselling

The contemporary reselling landscape thrives on a multitude of online platforms and marketplaces, each offering unique advantages and catering to diverse niches within the reselling ecosystem. These platforms have revolutionized the way resellers conduct their business, connecting them to a global audience and streamlining the selling process.

  • eBay: One of the pioneers of online reselling, eBay remains a cornerstone of the reselling world. It offers a broad spectrum of product categories, from vintage collectibles to electronics. eBay’s auction-style listings and Buy-It-Now options provide resellers with flexibility in pricing and selling strategies. The Prime place for selling Collectibles.
  • Amazon: As the world’s largest online retailer, Amazon has created opportunities for resellers to tap into its vast customer base through its Marketplace. Resellers can list both new and used products alongside Amazon’s own offerings, benefiting from its robust fulfillment infrastructure. The place to sell replenishable goods, via FBA.
  • Poshmark: Catering specifically to the fashion-conscious, Poshmark focuses on clothing and accessories reselling. Its social commerce model encourages interaction between buyers and sellers, fostering a sense of community and style. For Limited Edition Clothing pieces.
  • StockX: This platform specializes in reselling high-demand, collectible items such as sneakers, streetwear, and luxury fashion. StockX employs a unique bid/ask pricing mechanism similar to a stock exchange, providing transparency in pricing and market demand. You can sell anything on StockX, just be careful as their fees are quite high.

Product Categories: A World of Possibilities

One of the exciting things about reselling, is that you’re always selling something new. I can imagine it would get a bit boring selling the same item all year round, but as resellers we get to see the latest in demand goods before selling them on.

  • Fashion and Apparel: This category includes clothing, shoes, accessories, and vintage or designer items. Reselling vintage and limited-edition clothing has become especially popular, thanks to the resurgence of vintage fashion trends.
  • Electronics: The rapid pace of technological advancement ensures a constant influx of new gadgets and devices. Resellers can profit by selling both current and older tech products, as well as hard-to-find electronic components.
  • Collectibles: From rare coins and stamps to vintage toys and sports memorabilia, the collectibles market is a treasure trove for resellers. Niche collectors often pay a premium for unique and well-preserved items.
  • Home Decor and Furniture: Home improvement and interior design enthusiasts are increasingly turning to resale markets for unique and sustainable furnishings. Reselling in this category can include anything from antique furniture to handmade crafts.

The Role of Branding: Building Trust and Value

In the world of reselling, branding is more than just a logo or a name; it’s a reputation. Successful resellers understand the importance of building a brand identity that conveys trust, quality, and authenticity.

Some people put the minimum effort into reselling, but you’ll often find they also make minimal return on investment. If you can build a brand, you’ll immediately gain more respect as customers will gain trust.

Would you rather buy from “PD Supplies” or “xy119” – because PD Supplies builds immediate trust with the customer. I haven’t been too creative here either, if you do a specific niche you can change Supplies to Electronics, Health or whatever your niche is. Your cook group should really be helping you with that, but I’m always on hand to help.

  • Trustworthiness: Buyers are more likely to purchase from resellers with a positive track record. Earning trust through transparent listings, accurate product descriptions, and excellent customer service is paramount.
  • Quality Assurance: A strong brand reputation is often associated with the quality of the products being sold. Resellers who consistently offer high-quality items can command higher prices and attract repeat customers.
  • Authenticity: In the world of fashion and collectibles, authenticity is a critical concern. Resellers who can verify the authenticity of their items, often through certification or expert appraisal, can command a premium.

In summary, the reselling landscape today is a dynamic and diverse marketplace, offering resellers the opportunity to engage with a wide range of platforms, products, and branding strategies. By understanding the unique characteristics of each platform, the potential in various product categories, and the significance of building a reputable brand, resellers can navigate this ever-evolving landscape and thrive in the competitive world of modern reselling.

Conclusion: Reselling

Anybody can be a reseller, but not everybody can be a good reseller. It’s important to treat your setup as an official business, where you communicate with customers, provide an excellent customer service & offer value to your audience.

I hope this article has helped you to understand what reselling is, and how you can use reselling to make extra money online. If you’re keen to learn more, I advise my reselling tutorial next. As always, if you have any questions, let me know in the comments below.

Tom P
Hi, I'm Tom Paddock! An Amazon & eBay seller, who has helped over 10,000 people start their own online business. I provide cutting-edge techniques to help sellers with Online Arbitrage, Retail Arbitrage & Wholesale on Amazon.
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