Nic and I have been reselling for the last sixteen years. It is a hobby that has become a full time business which comfortably supports us and our daughter. Our business has taken many guises, from a tiny cramped living room and two computers, to a bricks and mortar shop, and the return to working from home again; albeit with a larger house and a lot more space to move.
We both worked in retail, Record Shops to be precise, and shared a love for bargain hunting at Car Boot Sales and in Charity Shops. Our passion for music led us to pick up obscure CD’s that we quickly learned we could sell for a profit on the then new online platforms, eBay and Amazon. Nic’s passion for all things Nintendo also found him picking up collectible ‘Game and Watch’ Handheld Consoles and selling them to collectors on eBay.
The more we learned about obscure and collectible items, the more fun we had hunting them out, and the more we sold. Eventually we realised that we could potentially make enough money buying second hand items to resell, to pay our rent and bills, and we could give up our respective jobs. This was no mean feat. I had a great job working as a Book Buyer at a very young and upcoming Amazon.co.uk but I was currently on maternity leave having just given birth to our daughter. Nic was a fingerprint officer working for the Police. It was a risk that we just new we had to take, and we haven’t looked back.
Over the years people have approached us with an interest in reselling, and the most common question we get is, ‘How do I start? Where do I start?’. Our answer is this, ‘Start at home’. Your home is your biggest commodity, filled to the brim with items you have gathered over the years that you no longer want or have use for. However the thought of a full on house declutter can seem overwhelming. The best way to approach this is one room at a time.
So let’s start here….
1. The Bedroom
Work around the room either separating the items you no longer want or need in to categories, or start with one particular category…
CLOTHES, SHOES & ACCESSORIES
Let’s face it, this is something most of us have in abundance, and I defy anyone to say that they don’t own at least a couple items of clothing, bags or shoes that they never wear, or are likely to wear again, so this is the easiest place to start. If you haven’t worn it for a while, forgotten about it, it doesn’t fit or you’ve fallen out of love with it, place it on the pile to go.
Once you have been through your wardrobe, chest of drawers, shoe cupboard etc, and you are satisfied with the items you have chosen to discard, check the condition of each item. Ask yourself the question, ‘Would I be happy with the condition of this item if I had purchased it for myself?’. If the answer is no because it’s too worn, or it has damage, the item can be placed on a pile to donate to charity or to recycle. If the answer is yes, this item is in great condition and I would be happy to receive this myself, it can be placed on a pile to resell.
‘Where can I resell my unwanted clothes?’
There are a few choices available to you. The main and obvious platform to sell your unwanted clothing on is eBay. However, there are other platforms and online apps available to you now. Let’s explore…
eBay is the biggest platform available for reselling offering the largest and most diverse market and customer base. This can be a good thing and a bad thing. The positive is that your clothes are likely to reach a bigger range of people, the bad thing is that selling clothing on eBay is becoming quite a crowded market. Don’t let this put you off though. A lovely item, well photographed and described, within the item specifics section and the description box, will always attract views.
If you are unsure what price to select for your item, look around eBay, searching similar items, looking at sold listings etc to give you more of an idea how much an item like yours can, and has, sold for.
If you don’t currently have an account with eBay it is best to start with a Personal account as you are selling your own items. If you decide to continue and you start to purchase items with the purpose of reselling, this is when you would need to upgrade to a Business account. At this point you would also need to declare this to the HMRC… but let’s not get too much ahead of ourselves just yet.
Vinted is an online website and app available to buy and sell clothes and accessories for Women, Men and Children. You can also sell toys and baby equipment.
You will be given an option to use both photos and videos of your items to bring your listing alive. The video option is great as it gives the chance for you to show how your clothing item looks when worn, from all angles, without having to take many photos.
It is completely free to use, there are no hidden selling fees and you will receive the full asking price for your item. The platform is very user friendly and easy to use. Choosing a postage option is made easy too. You choose the size/approx weight of your item and Vinted will set the price. This does not come out of your selling price, it is an extra cost to the buyer. When your item sells, again the process is made very simple and Vinted will walk you through the process of posting your item. All money is handled by Vinted and your sale price will be credited to you as soon as the item has been delivered to your customer.
This is a younger and more trend based app. You can only use this via your mobile device as there is no desktop version. Familiarise yourself with the app and the type of item that sells well here, before you decide if your items are suitable for the app’s market. Again the app caters for Women, Men and Kids. You can also sell a range of non clothing items here.
This is very much a social media based platform. Sales and customer visibility of your items rely heavily on the use of hashtags and promotion of your shop outside of the app itself i.e. sharing on other social media sites such as Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram. If you are not social media savvy, this is not the platform for you. If social media is very much a part of your life and language, this is a fun and effective app to use. It is certainly one of the fastest growing and popular resale apps.
It is free to list on Depop but be aware that the app does charge a 10% fee on your sale price and postage fee. They also use Paypal to handle any money paid, therefore you will require a Paypal account and extra Paypal fees will be incurred. See Paypal for more information on this.
Again postage costs are extra on top of the item price set, and Depop will walk you through this choice when you list your item for sale, and when your item sells.
In conclusion, the app is user friendly, making it easy and quick to list. They also offer both photo and video options to showcase your item for sale.
Mercari is a popular, up and coming, general resale app which is beginning to rival eBay. As with Vinted and Depop it is a app based shop. You are not able to use Mercari on your desktop. The listing process is very similar to its rival resale apps, and is again user friendly.
It is free to list on this app. Mercari handle all financial transactions themselves, which is similar to Vinted. Your sale price will be credited, minus a 10% fee, once your buyer has left positive feedback for you. The postage price is included in the sale price, so be aware that you will need to factor that in. Once your item sells you can choose to download a postage label from Mercari themselves, which will include a tracking number, and all you need to do is take your package to the post office. I would advise making a note of the tracking number and/or obtaining a proof of posting receipt at the post office.
I have sold a few things on Mercari now and find it easy to use and the sales I’ve had have been smooth and hassle free.
There is no option to use video here, but as with Depop, hashtags are used to gain extra exposure for your listings when similar items are searched online.
If you have any vintage clothing (Etsy class ‘Vintage’ as anything 20 years old and older) or items handmade by you, Etsy is the place to go for these. It is a very similar listing process to all other resale apps and you have the bonus of being able to also list on your computer desktop. There is no video option to use, still photos only.
More fees are incurred with the use of Etsy. Each basic listing costs $0.20 USD for 4 months. You can set your listings to auto renew if they don’t sell within this time period. There is also a 5% Transaction fee on your sale and postage price once your item sells. Once your item sells it is up to you to work out the best postal option. There are no labels to download here.
A big bonus of using Etsy is that is a large platform which is still growing in this country, therefore the customer base is a little bigger.
There may be other platforms and options to use, but these are the most popular at the moment. If you have time it is a good idea to list the same item across the platforms if you feel the item suits each market. This gives your clothing more of a chance of selling.
Other items with resale value in your bedroom include:
- Electronics in good clean working condition such as Hairdryers, Straighteners, Curlers, Tongs, Alarm Clocks, Radio’s, TV’s etc
If you decide to follow any of our tips above and/or sign up to any of the platforms we have mention, we’d love to hear how you get on. Let us know in the comments…
In Part 2 we will concentrate on items you can find to resell in your child’s bedroom…