How to Start a Reselling Business (And Make Profit!)


Are you ready to turn your finds into funds?

Whether you are a seasoned treasure hunter or an entrepreneur looking for a flexible and rewarding business model, starting an online resale business might just be the right next step for you!

Recent statistics have shown that resale is growing 21 times faster than the retail industry.

This is great news for those looking for a highly profitable industry to kickstart their journey of success.

Whatever your goal is, there is no better time to learn what a reselling business is and how to make money from it. 

Below you will find 8 tips to guide you in starting a successful reseller business. We’ll go over:

What Is a Reselling Business?

How Profitable Is Reselling?

How to Start A Reselling Business- 8 Steps To Success!

  1. Think About What You Want To Sell
  2. Choose The Best Marketplace For Your Niche. (BONUS: Automatically list to all marketplaces)
  3. Source Products With Profit In Mind 
  4. Invest In Tools That Will Help You Grow
  5. Connect With Other Resellers
  6. Create a Business Plan
  7. Legal Considerations
  8. Develop an Effective Marketing Strategy

What Is a Reselling Business?

There is no secret to the name.

A reselling business simply involves the purchase of products from a manufacturer or wholesaler and then selling them to customers for a profit. 

A reseller will typically sell their items for a price that is either higher or lower than the original.

Popular product categories to resell include:

  • Clothing
  • Jewelry
  • Sneakers
  • Electronics
  • Watches
  • Antiques & Limited Edition 
  • Baby gear

Find out more: Best Things to Resell – Ultimate List

How Profitable Is Reselling?

Online reselling can be a highly profitable (and rewarding!) business model. 

Most successful resellers can make anywhere between 10% to 50% profit margins on their sales; although it is useful to note that certain product categories- like luxury items- can increase profits even further. 

Therefore, it is safe to say that product type, demand, competition, and marketing efforts can all influence your sales.

For instance, products that are high in demand, but have less competition are likely to attract a greater number of sales. 

Here’s why starting a reseller business is a great business idea:

Low Initial Investment

Setting up an online store comes with minimal overhead costs. Whether you build your own website, or take advantage of existing marketplaces, you can reach a wide audience without the need to spend a fortune.

Flexible Business Model 

Flexibility is at the core of online reselling. 

For starters, you are free to choose whether you want this to be a side gig or a full-time career. You can even switch between them if your preference changes along the way. 

On top of this, you can run your ecommerce business from virtually anywhere- giving you complete geographical independence for a higher chance of great profits!

Finally, as the CEO of your own business, you are free to experiment with different products and strategies, allowing you to channel your creativity through different mediums. 


An environmental study found that if every shopper replaced a new purchase with a pre-loved one, 5.7 pounds of carbon emissions would be reduced- enough to plant 66 million trees!

So, it is safe to say that a circular business approach is one of the most impactful ways to minimize the environmental impact of fast fashion and hyper-consumerism. 

Adopting ethical and fair trade practices by offering products that are sourced responsibly is a great way to be part of the change, while also finding a strong niche of sustainability lovers for your reseller business! 

How to Start A Reselling Business- 8 Steps To Success!

While we have established that online reselling can be a lucrative career, it won’t magically happen overnight. 

Not to worry!

To make your reselling journey as smooth as possible, we put together a complete guide to help you start selling online:

Think About What You Want To Sell

Choosing the right niche is the foundation of a successful ecommerce business.

A rookie mistake is trying to appeal to everyone in the hopes of reaching a wider audience.

This should be avoided at all costs!

Having niche expertise will help you target specific communities of buyers that already have an interest in products like yours; giving you a headstart in the game!

Demonstrating expertise can help customers feel more confident in their purchase decisions, as can see that you specialize in your product. 

SbriStudio specializes in personalized leather purses and accessories.


This is a great example of an online business portraying itself as a product specialist.

Would you be more likely to trust a shop that sells glasses, electronics, and leather purses or one that specifically specializes in leather products?

We both know the answer here!

So, to niche down make sure that you:

  • Identify your areas of expertise
  • Research current market trends with growth potential
  • Find niches with high demand
  • Research your competition

The ideal product category should be one in which you can showcase product specialty, and is high in demand with low competition.

Choose The Best Marketplace For Your Niche

Now that you have chosen your perfect product niche, it is time to find the best marketplace to sell on. 

There are a myriad of ecommerce platforms, each with its own communities of buyers:


This popular online marketplace is best known for its fashion-savvy users. 

The app is particularly useful for those interested in Gen-Z fashion, including Y2K and vintage product categories. 

Apparel and jewelry are the most profitable niches– as long as they are aesthetic and on a budget!

Find out more: How to Become a Clothing Reseller


This social network platform is known for its huge luxury fashion niche.

New and pre-loved designer pieces sell the most here. 

Popular brands include:

  • Gucci
  • Lululemon
  • Chanel
  • Louis Vuitton
  • Coach

Find out more: Where to Sell Luxury Items


This is one of the most popular platforms for sneaker resale– especially rare and limited-edition kicks. 

It operates on a bid-system and maintains anonymity for both buyers and sellers.

Find out more: How to Become a Sneaker Reseller


This second-hand app is perfect for selling new and used items of any category– although collectibles tend to do particularly well here. 

While the marketplaces above target a specific niche of consumers, Mercari attracts a diverse audience.

Doing extensive market research is a must for any upcoming online reselling business.

Your final decision should be determined by the audience you are looking to target; which should be a community of buyers that already have an interest in products like yours! 

While building a website for your brand is important for scaling your business, it is not recommended as an initial step.

Online marketplaces already have a customer base ready for your online store, along with other great features – customer support, built-in marketing tools, and inventory management-  that can help you start selling immediately.

Find out more: Best Second-Hand Apps to Sell On

TIP: There’s no need to stick to just one marketplace!

This is also known as crosslisting.

Selling on multiple sites at once can help you reach your target audience on multiple platforms, as it is common for a lot of users to stay loyal to a singular marketplace.

For instance, both Vestiaire Collective and Poshmark are great places for targeting buyers that want to purchase high-end, designer apparel and jewelry. 

Apart from reaching more customers, you will increase your brand exposure; making you a more memorable seller. 

Manual crosslisting can be a tedious, time-consuming process that can discourage even the most dedicated reseller.

This is why we recommend affordable crosslisting software that will take care of the entire process for you.

Find out more: How to Sell on Multiple Sites at Once

Crosslister is the best crosslisting software on the market and is supported by most marketplaces.

Once you make an account, you can select the inventory you would like to copy over to another marketplace and simply click Crosslist.  

It’s that simple!

Try Crosslister for FREE here.

Source Products With Profit In Mind 

The price you source products for will determine how much profit you can make in your reselling business.

So, it is key to find suppliers that are compatible with both your budget and storage.

There are several methods of inventory sourcing:

Retail Arbitrage

This business strategy refers to the purchase of products from a retailer- usually at a discounted price- and then reselling it at a higher price.

The success of retail arbitrage often depends on the reseller’s ability to identify high demand products and effectively market them to the target market. 

You can source your inventory from:

  • Garage sales
  • Yard sales
  • Thrift stores
  • Estate sales
  • Discount stores
  • Facebook Marketplace
  • Clearance sales
  • Craigslist
  • Pawn shops
  • Your own home

 (Although our home is not a reliable supplier, this should be your first option at the initial stage of reselling. Our homes are filled with unused items that would be better suited at the hands of a happy buyer, so using it as a temporary supplier is a budget-friendly start!)


This sourcing method consists of a distributor that purchases product in bulk from a manufacturer at discounted price. A reseller can then buy this product in large quantities, again, at a discounted price. 

Due to the bulk packaging, wholesale requires access to physical space, which can be an issue for those living in small apartments. 

However, the bulk discounts make this a great investment that can save you money down the road. That is, of course, if you are able to afford the start-up cost AND can attract customers to resell all the inventory. 

Make sure to calculate this risk when deciding if wholesale is for you.

Dropshipping Business 

This is a retail fulfillment method where a reseller business accepts orders without storing or shipping the stock. 

Instead, the manufacturer takes care of this process themselves. 

Once you find suppliers and get into contact with them, you will have to list their products on your own ecommerce business, and you will start earning a percentage of the sales. 

A dropshipping business is cost-effective and saves storage, making it great for a small business that is just starting out. 

However, keep in mind that you will be responsible for the safe delivery of the parcels and customer support, despite you not actually shipping the products yourself. This can have an impact on your reviews- the cornerstone of an ecommerce store. 

TIP: Use our free profit/fee calculators for each major reselling marketplace to help you:

Invest In Tools That Will Help You Grow

Although online reselling is a simple business model that doesn’t require much capital to start up, it can quickly become super time-consuming as your business grows.

Automating tedious tasks, such as listing and refreshing items, can make your workflow more efficient.

Here are some great automation tools for various marketplaces:

Bot for Depop 

A Depop Bot can help you increase your sales by taking several tasks off your plate:

  • Auto-follow 
  • Auto-refresh
  • Automatic relist & delist functions
  • Bulk messaging
  • & More

In just a few clicks, you can make online reselling simple and faster.

Check out our Bot for Depop here.

Bot for Poshmark

Similar to a Depop Bot, a Poshmark Bot can automate your closet in the following ways:

  • Send offers automatically
  • Automatic re-list & delete
  • Automatically keeps closet organized
  • Auto-follow and unfollow
  • & More

Check out our Bot for Poshmark here


This social media toolkit can help you grow your audience on social media by scheduling posts, customizing them with suggested hashtags, and telling you what to publish to make your content stand out from competitors. 

Check out Buffer here

Connect With Other Resellers

If you want to start reselling and actually make money, having a support network is key.

Seller spaces and relevant niche forums are great spaces to meet other resellers who may be new to the scene or have years of experience. 

Take advantage of those community spaces to exchange tips, ask/answer questions, share stories, or seek advice for your reselling business. 

Here are some popular forums amongst resellers:

Many of these online communities also have real-life meetups, so we recommend that you check for any local industry events for resellers in your niche!

Create a Business Plan

A well-written business plan should outline the goals, strategies, and operational details of your reseller business. 

A business plan can help clarify the products to be sold and the target market; providing a strategic framework for decision-making around pricing, marketing, and product selection. 

Including financial projections can also aid with estimation of start-up costs and budgeting. 

A good business plan should include:

  • Overview of the business and its goals
  • Detailed description of the online reselling business- including the resale business model (sourcing), and types of products
  • Analysis of target audience, industry trends, and competitors
  • Strategies for marketing
  • Financial projections- including start-up costs and monthly expenses
  • Risk analysis and mitigation

Starting a reseller business comes with various legal considerations to ensure compliance with your country’s laws and regulations. 

This is why it’s important to take a look at your locally-specific business and tax laws, as requirements can vary by city, state, and country.

There are several legal considerations:

Business Registration

In most locations you have to register your reseller business with the appropriate relevant authorities. 

Whether this means getting a business license or registering a trade name, it is important to ensure full compliance to protect your online reselling business. 

Sales Tax Rates

A reseller business typically has to collect sales tax and remit sales tax. 

In the US, you can avoid paying sales tax for the products you source for resale by obtaining a reseller permit. In this case, the sales tax will be collected from customers at the time of the purchase. 

Keep in mind that sales tax laws vary from state to state, so it’s important to check with your local jurisdiction to find out about relevant taxation.   

Always keep track of your expenses, invoices, and receipts to be filed away with all the necessary documentation for the dreaded tax season!

International Trade Regulations

If your reseller business operates internationally, you should read further into product restrictions, import/export regulations, and custom requirements. 

Develop an Effective Marketing Strategy

A robust marketing strategy is important for any reseller business looking to achieve success. 

Here are some ways you can incorporate digital marketing into your online store:

Paid Advertising

Google ads, TikTok ads, and Facebook ads are all effective ways to increase visibility by targeting specific consumer demographics. 

Customer Loyalty Program

Customer loyalty is key for repeat purchases and a stable income. An effective customer loyalty program can offer discounts, exclusive promotions, and early access to new releases to incentivize customers to keep coming back for more. 

Leverage Social Media

Having a strong social media presence is one of the best ways to create engagement with your potential customers. For the best customer experience, interact with your audience in stories and comments, and showcase your products with creative posts.

Create Educating Material

Develop content that adds value to your potential customers. Whether that is product guides, tutorials, or other informative content, positioning yourself as a product expert will increase the chances of sales, and will even improve customer experience. 

Become a Successful Online Reseller Now!

For those that aspire to become a reseller, launching a reselling business is an exciting avenue to showcase creativity and establish a profitable venture. 

Choosing the right platform, following legal regulations, and taking marketing efforts seriously are all necessary for the success of an upcoming resale business. 

Here at SelleAider, we love to see our customers make more money while working more efficiently. 

Our automation tools are perfect for any online reseller looking to save time and money as part of their sales strategy. 

Try Crosslister for FREE and watch your sales grow!