The Ultimate Guide to Reselling Items for Profit in 2023

Dear friend,

You asked about reselling items as a profitable side hustle and I‘m here to provide a detailed guide to get you started. I‘ve been reselling for over 5 years, making enough profit to leave my office job, so I‘m happy to share everything I‘ve learned. With some grit and the right know-how, you can be pocketing some solid extra income too.

Why Resell?

The reselling industry currently generates over $30 billion in sales every year in the US alone [1]. And that excludes income from the multi-billion dollar real estate flipping market. Whether you‘re motivated by following trends, scoring bargains, or going green through recycling unused goods, reselling offers flexible earning potential.

Popular online platforms like eBay and Facebook Marketplace make it easier than ever to access millions of buyers. Even with their selling fees, the profit margins are immense if you source items at low prices. Apps like Mercari and Poshmark also let individuals easily resell clothing and accessories from their own closets for extra cash.

Choosing the Best Items to Flip

When considering what items to resell for the biggest ROI, keep an eye out for:

Retro Clothing and Accessories

Iconic pieces from past eras or limited edition and rare contemporary pieces can fetch high prices from collectors and streetwear aficionados. For example, heritage Italian luxury brand Supreme has built a cult-like following of fans crazy for their caps, hoodies and t-shirts, with sought after pieces reselling for 200-300% more than retail pricing [2]. Ensure clothing is in excellent condition before listing. Vintage band tees and accessories like bags and jewelry also perform well.

Collectibles

Signed sports memorabilia, trading cards, rare coins and stamps, and vintage toys still in packaging appeal to hobbyist collectors. A 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle baseball rookie card in mint condition recently sold for $12.6 million dollars [3]! Before listing collectibles, research sites like Cardboard Connection to gauge item demand and confirm authenticity with certificates or provenance documents if available.

Designer Goods

Investment collectible pieces from heritage fashion houses retain and often increase value over time, especially if limited edition or uncommon colors and materials that appeal to high-end consignment buyers. For example, the iconic Hermès Birkin bag has been known to double in resale value from retail pricing. Confirm authenticity by reviewing online guides and checking hologram stickers and date stamps.

Antiques and Vintage Furniture

Mid-century, industrial and Danish-style vintage furniture is back in high demand as the styles make a comeback. Refurbishing and restoring unique retro finds can bring in huge returns if you master basic repair skills. Understand common eras, styles, and wood types of sought-after brands when identifying and pricing finds. An iconic 1958 vintage Hans Wegner Papa Bear chair recently resold on 1stDibs for over $15K!

Sound Profitable? Where to Source Hot Items

Now that you know some top flippable categories, where do you find inventory to get your reselling side hustle started? The key is to aim for extremely low buy-in prices so your profit margin remains very healthy. Don‘t be afraid to bargain hard at yard sales and estate auctions!

I‘ve had great luck picking up unique vintage finds and brand name steals at:

  • Yard and garage sales
  • Thrift stores and charity shops
  • Estate sales and auctions
  • Foreclosed home listings
  • Online auctions via eBay, Facebook and Craigslist
  • Specialized groups on Reddit and Discord

As you build knowledge around designers, trends and collectibles, your eye will quickly sharpen. Don‘t forget to scour your own home too! Decluttering can uncover worthwhile fashion, electronics and decor worth reselling you no longer use.

Do Your Homework Before Committing

It can be tempting to impulse buy intriguing items while sourcing, but take time to thoroughly evaluate potential flips beforehand to avoid getting stuck with worthless inventory. Join online niche communities in Reddit or forums like TreasureNet to connect with experts for liquidity checks before purchasing big ticket items.

For signed memorabilia, check reputable online databases like PSA and JSA to verify authenticity. Study coin and stamp collecting guides to identify rare valuable editions. Use gemstone and precious metal testers like a jeweler’s loupe to spot valuable jewelry.

For flipping furniture or décor, assess required repairs and refurb costs against potential resale value and factor those expenses into your max bid price.

Fix Up Finds & Create Compelling Listings

While some items can be resold just as you source them, others require repairs, cleaning or updates to maximize profitability.

Consider basic enhancements like:

  • Light mending, polishing or touch up painting
  • Testing electronics, replacing batteries/cords
  • Swapping outdated components like old laptop hard drives
  • Cleaning shoes or handbags

For collectibles, take care not to damage existing labels, logos or signatures that could reduce vintage appeal.

To attract the highest bids once your flip is photo-ready, create compelling listings with:

  • A short, keyword optimized title
  • Detailed condition descriptions noting any flaws
  • Multiple high-resolution photos
  • Background stories for one-of-a-kind items

Time to Sell! Choosing the Best Platform

Finally, the fun part – turning your sourcing and sprucing into cold hard cash!

eBay and Etsy give easy access to millions of buyers, but require you carefully consider shipping logistics. For bulky or fragile items, try local online groups to save on transport fees. Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist let you arrange local pick-up.

For high ticket collectibles or designer pieces, specialty auction houses like Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Heritage Auctions have experts to manage listings and ensure items reach targeted wealthy buyers globally. Consignment at niche vintage boutiques is another option if you prefer delegating sales.

Scale Up Your Reselling Business

Once you get comfortable with the reselling process, consider expanding into storage locker auctions, wholesale bulk lot purchases or upcycling. Some dedicated flippers even get into more lucrative domains like house flipping or website domain name arbitrage. But regardless of niche, the key is honing your eye, profitably producing inventory, and mastering marketing.

I hope this guide gives you clarity and confidence to get started reselling. Trust me, with some dedication and persistence, you can absolutely turn this into a great income stream. Now get out there hunting for inventory! Wishing you the best of sourcing luck 🙂

Your friend,
[Your name]

Sources:

[1] https://secondhandstats.com
[2] https://stockx.com/news/2020-resale-report-by-the-numbers
[3] https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/33410487/mickey-mantle-1952-topps-baseball-card-sells-record-126-million