Starting a Resale Business

starting a resale business

The resale market in the United States has snowballed in recent years. Reselling is when you source a product second-hand to resell for a profit. ThredUp, a popular website to resell clothing items, reports the resale market, now valued at around $28 billion, will grow to $64 billion by 2025. There are many theories about why the resale business is exploding. The global pandemic is producing cost-conscious shoppers. The rising unemployment rate means many buyers are looking for bargains. Another theory is that the younger millennial consumer base cares deeply about resources used to make clothing and find second-hand shopping more comfortable. Finally, widespread access to technology to resell items has made the industry much more mainstream and efficient.

Storage auction bidders have been reselling items for decades. Reselling is their business, and they were doing it long before the internet provided easily accessible places to resell items. Storage bidders have been sourcing goods to sell since before eBay and the dot-com bubble. Their success and the popularity of storage auction TV shows led to an explosion in the resale trade. Unfortunately, the TV shows glamorized a business that is much more than an easy side hustle. Many people don’t realize when they start bidding on storage units; buying and selling items from storage auctions is a material, legitimate business. It is a resale business. Here, we will share some tips with you to be a successful reseller.

 

Setting Up Your Resale Business

Success in any business requires a lot of pre-planning. First, you will want to obtain your business license from your state. See here for a state-by-state guide for obtaining a business license. If you plan to have a second-hand store or sell items in person, you might want to consider getting liability insurance. Liability insurance provides protection against claims due to injuries or damage. Insurance will protect you, your employees, and anyone who visits your shop. You will also need a resale permit. This permit allows you not to pay sales tax when you buy your inventory. You will need to charge sales tax when you sell the items and then report your sales tax collection each year. You can get a resale permit from your state’s Department of Revenue.

Besides licenses and insurance, you will need a way to track all of your purchases and sales. Think about purchasing an accounting program, like QuickBooks or Zoho Books. You should have a business bank account separate from your personal account. Co-mingling your personal finances and your business finances could lead to a tax nightmare in the event of an audit. It is important to know which purchases were made for your personal use and which ones were made for the business.

You will also need an inventory management system. When you are ready to file your taxes, you will need to know what sold and for how much. Additionally, you will need to know what you purchased that did not sell. Zoho offers an inventory management system with a free edition. eBay also offers the Easy Auctions Tracker. The Easy Auctions Tracker is an Excel-based spreadsheet, but it is sophisticated and robust.

Do Your Research

What are you planning to sell? Do you know what typical prices are? Some reseller pros recommend finding a niche market. Still, as storage auction bidders, it is difficult for you to pre-plan your inventory, so you might need to become an expert on selling many different types of items. Below is a list of things you might find in a storage unit to resell:

    • Electronics
    • Video games
    • Clothing & shoes (especially sneakers)
    • Collectibles
    • Sports equipment (varies by season)
    • Kitchen appliances and parts
    • Auto parts
    • Legos
    • Plush toys

Resellers can get overwhelmed when it comes to shipping items to their items. One problem is there are so many shipping methods to choose from. Another problem is online sites, like eBay, have shipping fees built into their platform. If you don’t have a clear understanding of how these fees work, you can end up overpaying.  Do you want to set up used fixed shipping fees or use a shipping calculator? You also do not want to price yourself out of the sale if your shipping rate isn’t competitive. It is worthwhile to learn about how shipping works unless you plan only to sell locally. You can consult the United States Postal Service about the weight of shipments and shipping rates. You can get free boxes and mailing envelopes from the USPS. Many of the online resale programs also offer guidance on shipping. For example, you can find out about shipping with eBay here.

Where to Sell

There are so many websites you can use to resell items. Some sites, like OfferUp or Letgo, allow you to sell almost anything. However, several sites like Poshmark and Etsy have specific requirements for what you can sell. Other sites specialize in a certain type of goods. You could get more money selling on the specialty sites than you might on a general resell site. Be sure to look at all different places to see where you might get the best return for your items.

  • Poshmark – designer brands, on-trend fashions, and shoes
  • ThredUp – new and used women’s and kids clothing and accessories
  • The Real Real – jewelry and designer goods
  • Kidzien – kid’s clothing
  • Etsy – vintage or hand-made goods
  • Ruby Lane – antiques and collectibles
  • Chairish – high-end furniture and décor
  • Swappa – tech gadgets
  • 5miles – sell within a 5-mile radius

The most important thing you can do to be successful is to treat reselling like a real business. Be active and consistent with your postings. Post often and follow through with all requests. You might find other resellers in your area and network with them. They might be willing to share their experiences and tips with you. If you want to get started right away, check out our two-part blog series Reselling Clothing: Best Practices. You can find part one here.

There is endless information about reselling that you can find on the internet. We are going to share several tips and tricks of the trade here on our blog. For example, do you know how the descriptions in your product listings become keywords for shoppers to find your items? Check back next month for marketing tips to enhance your listings.

Be sure to visit our website to see what great units await you to jumpstart your resale business.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is Reselling on Etsy Good for Storage Auctions?

Etsy for reselling items

There are many places for reselling items found in a storage unit in today’s digital marketplace. From eBay to Facebook Marketplace, Offer Up and so, so many more, your resale options are endless. However, some platforms may prove a better place to sell your storage auction finds. Etsy describes itself as a shop for hand-made, vintage, custom, and unique gifts. Have you found items like these in a storage unit you won at auction? Is Etsy the right place for you to resell items you find in a storage unit?

Etsy is a website where you can find homemade items such as birthday cake toppers, hand-made cards, costumes, wedding décor, pre-made scrapbook pages, and so many more special items. It is the go-to place for busy Moms who want to provide that special touch to their gifts or home. Etsy is not just for women. I have purchased several music-related items for my husband on the site as well. It is a great place to sell or find vintage t-shirts and clothing. Again, I ask, is Etsy the right place for reselling items you find in a storage unit? Let’s take a more in-depth look at the platform to find out.

Etsy Fees

Etsy is very user-friendly, and they have a mobile app for you to use. The first thing you should do is learn about the fees that Etsy charges. They have listing fees, transaction fees, advertising fees, and more. You can learn about all of Etsy’s charges here.

Setting Up Your Shop

Setting up an Etsy shop is easy. You will need to create a shop name and fill out some background information. You are not required to have a business license to list items on Etsy, but they do expect you to follow all applicable state and federal laws regarding commercial transactions.

The following is a list of other items you will need to set up your Etsy shop.

  • A banner and shop logo
  • Shop announcement – a brief welcome message to shoppers
  • About section – a place to upload videos or stories behind your products
  • Shop members – if you have other members on your team
  • Shop policies for shipping, returns, exchanges, downloads, and other guidelines
Marketing & Optimizing Your Shop

This part of the process is what will probably be most difficult for you. You have to promote your shop personally. Etsy does offer advertising space for an additional fee, but otherwise, you will need to rely on your network. You can link your social media accounts and use the location search to help people find you, but ultimately, it comes down to making your listing stand out and get recognized.

Just like eBay and Facebook, there are ways you can optimize your listing for Etsy search. Below, you will find optimization items to consider.

  • Tag and title relevancy
  • Item attribute relevancy
  • Listing quality
  • Customer experience

You can read more about Etsy’s recommendations for optimizing your shop here.

In 2019, Etsy reported over 45.7 million buyers worldwide and a sales volume of $4.97 billion.* It would be a shame to leave this market untapped when reselling your storage finds. If you need to hunt for more items to list in your Etsy shop, go to www.StorageTreasures.com now.

RELATED ARTICLE – If you are interested in being an eBay seller, check out our recent article, Storage Auction Winnings: Become an eBay Pro.

*Source: https://www.veeqo.com/us/blog/etsy-statistics

Storage Auction Winnings: Become an eBay Pro

Sell storage auction items on eBay

You finally won a storage auction. What do you do with the items now? Re-sell that inventory, of course. There are many different options available for reselling, eBay is one of the most popular places for storage auction buyers to resell their inventory. However, successfully selling on eBay is a little more involved than posting a picture and waiting for the bid to go up. eBay makes several recommendations for successful listings. You can read more about them at this LINK.

Even with all the tips from eBay about selling, it seems like some people are still better at selling on eBay than others. Have you tried all the eBay tips and still not had great results? Have you wracked your brain trying to figure out what other people know that you don’t know? You are in luck; some successful eBay sellers are willing to share their secrets to make you a better reseller.

eBay

In addition to the best practices listed above, eBay also offers the eBay Seller Center, the eBay Community, and eBay Upfront to help you resell items purchased at storage auctions. The eBay Seller Center resources like the eBay for Business Podcast and shipping tips. The eBay Community includes discussion groups and a weekly chat with eBay staff. The eBay Upfront is a traveling conference in which eBay sellers and groups come to you!

eBay Radio by Voicemarketing, Inc.

eBay Radio is an internet radio program produced by Voicemarketing, Inc. They host live shows with eBay’s top sellers, eBay news, and general e-commerce. One of the hosts of eBay Radio is a long time eBay employee and the Dean of eBay Education. Their website also features an extensive archive of past shows you can watch anytime.

Udemy

Udemy is a website where professionals can host all sorts of classes to share with those looking to learn. A search of “eBay” returned 997 results for classes, of which 113 were free. The paid classes range from The Complete eBay Course – eBay from Beginner to Advanced to eBay Hacks: Optimize eBay Seller Listings. The average price of a lesson on Udemy ranges between $10 and $15.

Skillshare

Skillshare is an online community with a focus on creativity. There is no charge for the classes listed on Skillshare, but there is a membership fee of $8.25 per month. They do offer a two-month free trial. Skillshare offers a course titled eBay Mini Newbies Boot Camp. The class has 14 lessons, and you can watch the first lesson for free to see if the content is right for you. The website boasts an attendance of 756 students so far to the Boot Camp.

Ed2Go

Ed2Go is a virtual continuing education platform. They offer classes and certifications to help people educate themselves and advance in their careers. They offer a 6-week course called Learn to Buy and Sell on eBay for $149. That price might seem a little steep, but the class has twelve sections, including one on The World of Digital Photography. It is also taught online by a real professional, rather than a series of videos you watch independently. The class is recurring, with different start dates available.

Facebook Groups

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of eBay Groups on Facebook full of people willing to share their knowledge. Some examples are: eBay Selling Basics Nothing but eBay Basics, EBAY SELLERS, Stay at Home Moms Selling on eBay, eBay Warriors, and eBay Sellers Helping Each Other. You can also join Facebook groups dedicated to storage auctions to learn more.

YouTube Videos

YouTube has long been the go-to source for how-to videos for those who prefer to learn by watching. That includes all things Storage Auctions, such as selling your winnings.  Searching “Selling on eBay” returned several titles. There are also videos for how to sell specific items on eBay, such as books. Some of the videos include tutorials for using the website, and others explore how to spot things you can resell on eBay.

To win another storage auction to help hone your eBay skills, check out all of our units on StorageTreasures. If you want to learn more about being a bidder on StorageTreasures, check out our Help Center articles here.

Header Image Source: Daniel Krasoń – stock.adobe.com

 

How to Appraise Your Self Storage Auction Finds

st branded image

Appraisal of antique and various items found in a self-storage auction can be daunting which is why you need to carry out diligent research to get an adequate knowledge of the value. An antique could be worth a lot of money, however, to value the item, you need to know ways to appraise all your finds.

 

A Verbal Appraisal.
You can get a free appraisal at some auction houses. Many times antique and auction houses offer free verbal appraisals on special dates. To know when an auction house or appraisal service offer such events, you can perform an internet search for the name of your city together with tags such as “appraisal day,” or “valuation day”,. Another way you can get a free verbal appraisal is to bring auction finds to a major local antique fair, thrift store or pawn shop. A lot of them usually have an appraiser allowing ticket-holding visitors to get free verbal appraisals. However, they may limit the number of items you are allowed to have appraised for free.

 

A Professional Appraisal
This is another way to get an appraisal for your items, should you be in possession of an item which you believe to be very valuable. You can employ the service of a professional appraiser who will issue a written estimate of your item. A professional appraiser is the best place to get an accurate price for your items. There are appraisers whose field is limited to a specific category such as artworks, vintage collections, etc. Additionally, you should note that a written appraisal generally will charge upwards of $150 or more per hour.

 

Online research for the Value
In the digital age, it is pretty easy to get a general idea of the value of an item by making use of the internet. Here are just a few ways you can research the value of your items online…

  • Check the labeling; this is used to identify the object, from the label you can get helpful information such as the manufacturer, year of manufacture, etc.
  • Search for the item online; using an online marketplace like eBay, Amazon, Bonanza. You can also make use of online pricing resources such as invaluable.com. You can make use of the advanced search features to narrow down your search using terms like “completed sales” to get the actual retail price of the item.
  • Take a picture and post your item to appropriate groups on Facebook, Reddit and/or Quora.

 

Once you settle on a price for the items won in your self-storage auction you can decide on the ways you would like to sell them.