Starting an Online Reselling Side Hustle: A Beginner's Guide

In the digital age, the opportunity to earn extra income is at your fingertips. One such opportunity that has gained popularity is online reselling. Whether you're looking to declutter your home, capitalize on your knack for finding hidden gems, or simply make some extra cash, online reselling can be a rewarding and profitable venture. In this guide, we'll walk you through the process of starting an online reselling side hustle, delve into the pros and cons, and share insights on where to source items to sell.

Embarking on Your Online Reselling Journey

Identify Your Niche

The first step in your online reselling journey is to identify your niche. This is essentially deciding what type of items you want to sell. It could be anything from vintage clothing to electronics, books, or handmade crafts. The key is to align your niche with your interests and what you have readily available. This not only makes the process more enjoyable but also leverages your existing knowledge and expertise. It is important to enjoy your side hustle otherwise you may find yourself facing burnout, especially as you leverage time with your other responsibilities. 

Choose Your Platform

Once you've identified your niche, the next step is to choose your platform. The online marketplace is vast, with numerous platforms catering to resellers. These include eBay, Amazon, Etsy, Facebook Marketplace, among others. Each platform has its own unique features, audience, and fee structure. It's important to research each platform to find the one that best fits your needs and the items you're selling. For instance, Etsy is a great platform for handmade crafts and vintage items, while eBay and Amazon cater to a wide range of product categories.

Amazon is unique in that it offers a comprehensive service called Amazon FBA. This service allows sellers to use Amazon's sales channels and distribution process for a fee. While this will certainly eat into your profit margins, Amazon FBA makes online reselling much easier because they handle all aspects of fulfillment after you list the product on their site and ship to one of their fulfillment centers!

eBay is cost efficient because its site and pricing are catered towards small sellers. While this is a cheaper option that'll help you increase your profit margin, it is important to keep in mind that you will be personally responsible for the fulfillment of your orders which will require more time and effort. 

List Your Items

After you've chosen your platform, it's time to list your items. This involves taking high-quality photos and writing detailed descriptions. A trick you can use for product images is simply downloading product images from the manufacturer or other similar listings on platforms like Amazon or Walmart.

It's crucial to be honest about the condition of the item to build trust with your customers. If an item has a minor defect, make sure to disclose it in the description and reflect it in the photos. This transparency not only helps avoid customer dissatisfaction and potential returns but also builds your reputation as a trustworthy seller. 

Most small sellers neglect the importance of lowering returns. Returned items on sales channels like eBay not only hurt your reputation but also your pockets. Each time an item is returned you have to worry about refunding the purchase, covering shipping costs, and then relisting and reselling the product all over again.   

Set Your Prices

Setting your prices is another critical aspect of online reselling. This involves researching similar items to determine a competitive price. Consider the cost of the item, the time you spent sourcing it, and any fees from your selling platform. While it's natural to want to maximize your profit, it's also important to set a price that is fair and attractive to potential buyers. It is important to ensure your product pages and their prices are competitive in order to have success when selling online. 

Weighing the Pros and Cons of Online Reselling

Pros of Online Reselling 

Like any side hustle, online reselling comes with its own set of advantages and challenges. On the plus side, online reselling offers great flexibility. You can work from anywhere, set your own hours, and choose what items to sell. This makes it an ideal side hustle for those with full-time jobs, students, or stay-at-home parents.

In terms of financial benefits, online reselling requires minimal upfront investment, especially if you're selling items you already own. Furthermore, with the right items and effective marketing, online reselling can be highly profitable.

Cons of Online Reselling 

However, it's also important to be aware of the challenges. Online reselling can be time-consuming. Sourcing items, listing them, dealing with customer inquiries, and shipping orders all take time. It's important to manage your time effectively and ensure that your side hustle doesn't interfere with your main job or personal life. Looking to outsource some of the labor? Check out services like Amazon FBA or other 3pl providers

Another challenge is the competition. The online reselling market can be competitive, with many sellers vying for customers. To stand out, you need to offer quality items, provide excellent customer service, and use effective marketing strategies. Keep in mind that other sellers may be listing the same products as you, sacrificing some profit will help you remain competitive. 

Sales can also be unpredictable and fluctuate based on factors like seasonality and market trends. It's important to diversify your items and not rely on a single product or category.

Sourcing Items to Sell

Finding items to sell is a crucial part of online reselling. Here are a few places to start:

Your Own Home

One of the easiest and most cost-effective places to source items for your online reselling side hustle is your own home. Start by selling unused or unwanted items around your house. Not only does this declutter your space, but it also allows you to practice selling and learn about the process without a significant upfront investment. From old books and clothing to electronics and collectibles, you'd be surprised at what people are willing to buy.

Thrift Stores and Garage Sales

These are treasure troves of unique and low-cost items. You can find hidden gems that could fetch a good price online. It requires a keen eye and some patience, but the thrill of the hunt can be part of the fun. Plus, you're giving a second life to items that might otherwise end up in a landfill, which is a win for the environment.

Online Marketplaces

Sites like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace often have free or cheap items that you can pick up and resell. This can be a great way to source items, especially larger ones like furniture, that people often want to get rid of quickly.

In addition to these general marketplaces, there are also specialized platforms that sell returned items. These platforms work with retailers to sell items that have been returned, often at a significant discount. This can be a gold mine for online resellers, as you can find high-quality, barely-used items at a fraction of their original price.

One such platform is right here. We offer a wide range of returned items, from electronics and appliances to clothing and home goods. By sourcing items from our extensive collection, you can find great deals and unique items to boost your online reselling venture.

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