With any business, it takes time to turn a profit and it also requires a lot of frugality and smart resourcing. When I look back at beginning my business, I spent money on things I shouldn't have, and learned a lot of tricks to help maximize my profit. Keep scrolling for a few of my tips I've learned along the way since started my reselling business to save money, most of which I still use!
1. Utilize Your Free Shipping Tools
Beautiful little packages are fun to send and even more fun to receive, and is something to look into down the road, but in the beginning the bottom line is very important. If you are selling on Poshmark (which is my favorite!) you are eligible to use priority mail boxes and envelopes (!!except for priority express!!) which are completely FREE and can be ordered to your door from USPS. For eBay or other sites, save the boxes you receive from amazon and online shopping to recycle and reuse. Also, if you subscribe to an eBay store you get a credit for eBay shipping products which is another great way to get shipping supplies.
2. Your storage system Can Be Found around your house
I would love to have a storage unit or warehouse so that my reselling business was not sprawled across over 50% of my house, but this is currently the best option for my start-up business. My wonderful hubby built me two wall to ceiling shelving units and I reuse large shipping boxes we receive in the mail to sort my items. I would love to have cute, matching storage tubs for all my inventory, but the couple hundred dollars is just unjustifiable for me to spend when things work so well for free.
3. Keep Organized
I got a cheap three pocket laundry hamper that I keep next to my desk, which has been a godsend to my efficiency! The first pocket is for items that need to be photographed, the middle pocket is for items that have been photographed and are ready to list, and the third pocket is to hold items that are listed and need to be packaged and sorted in my inventory. This has helped me save money by keeping me visibly accountable to what needs to be done, and to avoid bags of inventory to be stored around out of sight. Unlisted inventory does not make any money!
4. Sometimes Spending More Is Cheaper
There are some resources I have found throughout reselling that require to pay up at the beginning, but save money over time. For starters, the first month of reselling I did not pay upfront for an eBay store, which for a monthly fee allows a higher number of free listings than a personal account (after the 50 free listings it is .10 cents a listing)and lower selling costs. I didn't do the math in the beginning, but spending the $50/month was much cheaper than spending the .10 cents per listing. Another resource I paid for is MileIQ, an app that tracks how much i'm driving for tax purposes. I drive alot between the post office and thrift stores, so the amount I will be able to write off for tax purposes is a lot more than what I paid up front for the app.
5. Don't Be Afraid To Tell People What You Do
When you tell people you resell, or flip clothes from thrift stores, you'll be surprised to hear people tell you how much they donate, or how they have a pile of clothes waiting in their garage that they are too lazy to take in. Offer to help them out! ;) Offer to take care of their unwanted clothes and sort through them for items of interest to you to resell, and then remember to donate any of the items you don't want to sell. And now you've got free inventory!
6. Figure out your local thrift store's sale schedule
Many big thrift stores (Goodwill and Salvation Army) hold special sales, like weekly 50% off color tags. I made way too many thrift store hauls before realizing that many of my local thrift spots before knowing that had dollar days one day a week! I didn't actually find out until I luckily stumbled into one the stores on one of those days. Save yourself the time and money, and don't be afraid to call your local stores to make sure you are finding the very best, cheapest inventory!
1. Flexible Tape Measure
I measure every item I list, whether it is a pair of jeans or a bag. This not only helps your customers feel more comfortable with purchasing your items, but can also save you in the event that someones wants to return an item citing the item was not properly described. I have had people try to open returns on items purchased through Poshmark (which only allows returns if the item was not as described) citing that the item is not true to size, and that I should have brought this to the buyer's attention. But when you provided measurements in the description, it's harder for the buyer to win this case.
2. Fabric Shaver
This thing is my buddy! It can really transform an item to remove any pilling and give new life to an item. Some areas that typically show the most signs of wear and pilling are underneath the arms and between the legs on pants. This little machine has allowed me to invest in more items that I otherwise would have left behind at the thrift because I know I can removed minor to mild pilling!
Paper Mate, Amazon, $4.90
Who knew erasers could renew an item so well? A lot of times, Goodwill and other thrift stores will write the price on the bottom of shoes. You want to remove these before you try to sell the shoes, because the bottom of the shoes is a picture you will definitely want to share, and people definitely won't be happy to pay your asking price when they see how cheap you originally purchased them. Also, I have found that erasers are fantastic for removing stains out of suede! Shoes or bags, this is a great way to revamp your items!
Boho Spirit, Amazon, 5 Pack $11.99
Whether you are full or part time reselling, running your own business involves many moving pieces and LOTS of multi tasking! To thrive in this work it is so key to stay organized and create a daily schedule to ensure efficiency and the best use of your time. Things pop up all the time so I always keep a notepad near by to write down to do's and things I need to pay attention to!
5. Sewing Kit
Taking a few minutes to make little tweaks here and there to items that are otherwise in great condition has made me a lot of money! A lot of times an un-hemmed pant leg, detached tag, or missing button (check inside tags for extras!) can be easily fixed with just a few quick stitches! If you try to sell these items "damaged" or "as is" your price range considerably lessens. Take 5 minutes to fix these minor issues can greatly affect your sale price!