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!