We live in an exciting world where it’s pretty straightforward for anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit to start a business. However, you don’t need a groundbreaking idea to launch a company; you can resell other brands’ products.
That’s an excellent way to get your business going without starting entirely from scratch. Many people rely on reselling as a side hustle, but you can quickly turn it into a profitable business if you play your cards right.
Although the reselling business model is not a novel concept, many people still don’t understand it. This guide is an ideal starting point if you’re an aspiring entrepreneur looking to dive into the reselling world and get your piece of the pie.
What is reselling?
The history of reselling takes us back to the early 2000s when many platforms for reselling sneakers were launched, helping many people turn a side hustle into a full-time job.
Reselling is a form of drop-shipping that includes purchasing products from manufacturers, suppliers or other sources — and reselling them to consumers.
Resellers typically buy items at lower prices and sell them for more to turn a profit. The practice is called arbitrage, and it can be retail (sourcing products from brick-and-mortar stores) and online (finding reselling opportunities online).
Platforms like Amazon and Etsy are some of the most prominent resellers worldwide. Etsy doubled its revenue in 2020, witnessing a 110.75% year-over-year increase, hitting a record $1.7-billion revenue mark. Amazon is even more impressive, making $469.8 billion in net sales in 2021.
Six essential tips for starting your reselling business
The reselling world has fierce competition, making it challenging for newbies to stand out. The following reselling tips and tricks will help you cut through the noise and springboard your new company to success.
Professionalism is a necessity.
Professionalism is the first characteristic that distinguishes successful resellers from those who fail. The more professional you are, the higher your chances of building trust and long-term loyalty with customers. That means higher revenue and profits.
Understanding and applying the principles of professional selling will help you seize more opportunities and drive continuous business growth.
It all starts by creating value for consumers by understanding their needs and offering solutions to address their pain points. Delivering value translates to sales, but that’s not the end of the road. You must nurture customer relationships and provide an enjoyable experience to keep the door open to more future deals.
Being professional also means behaving ethically and morally — not hounding customers, responding positively to all feedback, being honest, transparent, polite, and responsive.
You can still build a brand regardless of the fact that you’re selling someone else’s products.
Reselling someone else’s products doesn’t mean there’s no room to build a brand. Hundreds of branded resellers stand as a testament to this business model’s potential for success.
However, you can’t build long-term success without a solid marketing and branding campaign. After all, many of your competitors sell similar or, often, the same products. You must develop a marketing plan to prop up your brand and keep it recognizable and relevant.
Here are several actionable steps for building a reseller brand:
- Define your goals. Short-term and long-term goals will guide you and help you measure your success.
- Create value. Determine your unique selling proposition (USP) and highlight your brand’s benefits on relevant landing pages. For instance, a unique loyalty program or a subscription model can make you stand out from other resellers. Build on your uniqueness, and you’ll create a thriving business.
- Increase brand awareness. Spread the word about your business on social media and through paid ads. Advertising on social channels will also raise your brand awareness, expand your reach, and drive more sales.
- Improve your website’s user experience. Your website must look professional, load quickly and provide a frictionless shopping experience. Being fast, mobile-friendly, error-free and easy to navigate is necessary for higher conversion rates.
- Build an email list. Email is an excellent communication channel for helping your target audience learn more about your business and nurturing customer relationships. Exclusive content and offers will compel people to sign up for your email newsletter.
- Measure your success. Tracking your goals and KPIs (key performance indicators) will help you assess your marketing and branding campaigns’ effectiveness and optimize them for higher conversion rates. Don’t forget to A/B test different offers to see what motivates your customers to buy and what makes them bounce.
Find inexpensive product sources.
Lower prices are some of the top factors for sharpening your competitive edge. People will flock to your website to get their hands on cheaper items of the same or higher quality than your competitors’ products.
To make lower prices feasible, you need to find affordable product sources.
You can find cheap products for resale at brick-and-mortar retailers, including thrift shops, consignment stores and resale outlets like Goodwill. Flea markets and storage units are also worth considering.
However, you have significantly more options online.
B2B marketplaces like Alibaba, Amazon Business, Tundra, Faire, Mirakl, TradeGala, Boutsy and SaleHoo are some of the top sources of cheap items you can resell. B2B wholesale liquidation marketplaces like Quicklots, BlueLots Liquidation, B-Stock and BULQ also offer excellent deals from leading retailers.
Cross-listing platforms are a lifesaver.
Listing your offers on multiple e-commerce platforms takes a lot of time. That’s where cross-listing apps come into play.
Cross-listing apps enable you to integrate multiple platforms in one click, create bulk product listings and cross-list them across all desired marketplaces, saving you a lot of time. They also let you upload and edit product photos to present your items in the best possible light and are perfect for keeping track of your inventory.
However, not every app offers the same features. For instance, a Vendoo vs. List Perfectly comparison reveals that their image-editing tools may not meet all your needs, and you might need add-ons to cross-list items on multiple marketplaces.
So, conduct thorough research before choosing an app to ensure you get the best value for money.
Interact with the community.
It’s safe to say most of your target customers hang out on social media, the best platforms for building meaningful relationships with them and attracting more buyers.
Fostering two-way communication on relevant social networks is crucial in humanizing your brand and enticing more people to engage with your business. You’ll build trust and loyalty, generate qualified leads, boost conversions and sales, and increase revenue.
Besides interacting with customers and generating leads, social channels offer many more opportunities, from market research and gathering feedback to networking with fellow resellers. Harness their power, and you’ll grow your new company quickly.
Manage your inventory well.
Managing your inventory well will eliminate the risk of issues like being unable to locate products ready for shipping and angering customers with late delivery, incorrect orders or missing products.
Such situations could drive away consumers and damage your reputation and sales.
Utilize a reliable inventory management tool to organize your stock, track and manage orders, and supercharge efficiency. Many cross-listing platforms offer similar features, so look into those if you decide to use them.
Reselling is a brilliant way to enter the entrepreneurship world without investing into product development and design. You can quickly start generating profits and scaling your company, opening up opportunities to expand to additional markets and build a global brand.