Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Online Reseller Starter's and Organization Guide: Your Beginner's Checklist

Reselling can be a very rewarding way to make income while selling thrifted wares. You can even downsize the clutter in your home and earn a living! Here's my at-a-glance starter's guide, go through it again if you're already a reseller, you may find new ideas for keeping organized! Bookmark if you're a beginner. It's time to stop putting it off. Let's get started:

1. For You? Really analyze the pros and cons (Stuff. EVERYWHERE!) Read: Frustration Confessions
2. Business Plan: Complete your business plan before you get started. Read: My fav biz plan
3. Taxes: Figure out how you'll keep track of sales and pay your taxes. Read: Tax Tips
4. Inventory: Track what you buy and sell in pedantic detail.  Read: Keeping Track
5. Stockpile: Have your stockpile of wares to sell online organized and ready. Read: My Stockpile
6. Camera: Any camera will take great photos with patience. Invest in an SLR later. Read: Reseller Photos
7. Social Media: My blog and social media sites are big money makers. Get established! Read: Blog Checklist
8. Platform: Both Etsy & eBay are great choice. I use Etsy, and will use eBay soon. Read: Etsy Tips
9. Storage: You need organized storage for receipts, merch, photos, and packaging.  Read: Reselling Station
10. Packaging: Buy in bulk via sites like Uline or Read: Free Packaging

My favorite aspect of reselling, or starting an online business, is the flexibility. You can sell make a full time living selling dinosaur and batman toys, groovy 1970s cowboy boots, or even vintage bras and panties! I'm grateful for the creative avenues for making your own income in an economy where many unemployed individuals need income to support themselves and their families! Let's get selling!

What are your reselling tips or questions? Did I leave anything out? Do share in the comments or send me a question if you have any.
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  1. Thanks for sharing this guide!

    1. Very good guide! I need to start begging, borrowing, and stealing packing boxes; am running low. And, boy, were my thrift stores lame today.

    2. I was low but recently replenished. May run out soon again with all the glass I need to pack up today and tomorrow!

  2. what are some of the challenges of mailing items you've sold? how do you know what to charge for shipping and handling?

    1. Some mailing challenges include:

      1) Accidentally under-quoting shipping was a big early challenge. I ended up breaking even a few times. Aah!
      2) Having buyers back out of buying these because the "high" shipping.
      3) Trying to balance the price (I now try to make shipping lower by putting adding the shipping to the price) and shipping
      4) Calculating shipping as accurately as possible and being as fair as possible

      As for how I charge for shipping:

      I weight the item and add a couple extra pounds or ounces depending on how much packaging I estimate it needs. Then I'll calculate shipping for the longest distance in the US, Canada, and Internationally. On some items I overestimate shipping and leave a note in my description letting people know I had to overestimate the shipping and I'll try to calculate a better rate for them if they e-mail me with their country or zip code.

    2. The more you do it, the more you get a feel for how much it'll cost to ship a type of item out around the country and/or the world.

  3. I use Google Docs for my invetory too. I made a form for the spreadsheet and made a shortcut for the form on my desktop of my android phone. Stuff does not go into the studio unless it is entered in the spreadsheet! Keeps me organized.

    1. That's an excellent idea! I have a hand-written method for when I'm on-the-go but love the droid phone shortcut idea.

  4. I would also add the following:

    1) Invest in a postal scale. It doesn't have to be anything fancy, and you can find inexpensive ones on eBay. You just need one that will accurately weigh items in the weight range of the items you plan on selling.

    2) Consider getting a reseller's permit through your state's board of equalization. This not only allows you to purchase items for resale and packing supplies without having to pay sales tax, but once you make a sale to a buyer in your state, you need to collect and remit sales tax to your state. This can sound overwhelming, and I usually don't say this to brand new sellers, but with all the recent talk in Congress about implementing an online sales tax, it is obvious that states are cracking down on sellers who don't collect sales tax. I've heard from several business people that a sales tax audit is worse than an income tax audit, so the sooner you start collecting and remitting taxes to the state, the better off you and your business will be.

    1. I need to order myself a postal scale, I use a vintage one but have to weight sets in pieces as it only goes up to 10 lbs. Do you recommend any size in particular?

      I'll definitely have to read into my local tax expectations, that's such a pain!

  5. I got one of my scales here:

    This is similar to one I got:

    It goes up to 75 lbs, so it depends on if the items you sell are that heavy, which I don't think they are. In that case, I would go with one that goes up to say, 10 lbs.


I love reading your comments. Thank you for adding to the discussion! I always reply to any and all questions.

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