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According to a 2023 Statista report, 60% of online shoppers in the U.S. buy secondhand goods. As the demand for used products increases, so does your profit potential as a reseller. This makes reselling one of the most lucrative businesses to consider.

Online reselling is a cost-effective way to earn extra cash. You don’t need to worry about the cost of setting up and managing a brick-and-mortar store. This helps you cut down on start-up costs and maximize profit.

Flipping items on your website gives you more control over your business hours and allows you to automate the sales process. So, you can earn money 24/7.

But, if you want to run a profitable reselling business on your website, you must follow the right steps. Let’s take a deep dive into the best items to resell and how to start a profitable flipping business.

Reselling: An overview

Also known as flipping, reselling is the process of buying an item at a low price and selling it at a higher price.

To make more profit, resellers sometimes add value to the item they want to resell. For instance, if you’re reselling a piece of wood furniture, you can repaint it or modify its original design by adding or removing some components.

While reselling is one of the most popular ways to start your entrepreneurial journey, your success largely depends on the quality of the products you sell. But besides product quality, there are other factors that determine whether or not a product is worth flipping.

Factors to consider when choosing items to resell

Factors to consider when choosing items to resell.

To thrive as a reseller, you need to offer the right products to the right people. Here are key factors to consider when choosing the best items to resell.

Demand

A high-demand product will likely sell quickly, helping you generate more revenue. To determine the level of demand for the product you want to resell, conduct a product demand analysis using tools like Google Trends.

This free analytics tool reveals popular search terms and can even help you discover trending items you can flip for profit.

Profit potential

Before starting a reselling business, consider the total profit you’ll make from each sale after deducting expenses such as the cost of the product, marketing, storage and shipping.

Your profit needs to sustain your business in the long run. The key to profitability is finding low-cost items with high profit margins.

Availability

When choosing the best items to flip, prioritize products that are readily available. Product availability ensures you consistently meet customer demand and avoid running out of stock. This helps you generate a steady income stream.

On the other hand, product unavailability can drive customers to your competitors, causing lost sales and poor reputation.

Condition

Selling products in pristine condition increases customer satisfaction and fosters brand loyalty, while products in poor condition cause customer dissatisfaction and high returns.

Carefully inspect each item you wish to resell. Search for flaws that could potentially reduce the product’s resale value. The condition of the items helps you make an informed decision on whether or not to resell them.

Expertise

Before you launch a reselling business, consider your level of expertise in the product category you choose. Expertise allows you to position your products in a way that appeals to your target audience.

Your expertise also enables you to effectively address customer concerns and build credibility in your niche.

Restrictions

Not all products can be sold freely. Some products may be restricted or even banned by the government. Selling restricted products may attract monetary fines and damage your reputation.

So, before starting a reselling business, conduct in-depth research to ensure there are no restrictions on the product you want to resell.

The most profitable items to flip

The most profitable items to flip.

There’s no shortage of items to resell. With so many options, it can be challenging to make a choice, especially if you’re a beginner.

To speed up your decision-making process, we’ve curated a list of the best items to flip.

1. Home appliances

Appliances simplify many tasks at home. It’s no wonder they’re highly sought after. But new ones are expensive, hence the high demand for secondhand appliances.

While secondhand appliances can also be costly, you don’t have to start big. You can start with small appliances like coffee makers, blenders, microwave ovens and electric kettles.

Test the appliances to ensure they’re in good condition. Some of them may need to be repaired before reselling. When flipping such appliances, factor in the repair cost to ensure your selling price covers all expenses.

2. Books

Books just sit there collecting dust after you’ve read them. You probably have a few yourself. But if you don’t, it’s alright. There are many places where you can source used books for a fraction of the retail price. You can attend a library sale to buy secondhand books at discounted prices.

Another great source is your family and friends. Find out if any of them has old books they’d like to get off their hands. They may even give you these books for free.

3. Commercial equipment

There’s a wide range of commercial equipment you can resell. These include lawnmowers, leaf blowers, insulation blowers, pizza ovens, dishwashers and deep fryers.

You can find commercial equipment at auction sites and online marketplaces. On average, 4.4 million new businesses are launched each year. This fuels the demand for used equipment because entrepreneurs aim to keep start-up costs low.

4. Car parts

Expertise plays a critical role here. In-depth knowledge of the different car models — and which parts are compatible with which model — is key to profitability and credibility in this field.

There are two ways to source car parts. The first method is finding cheap car parts on marketplaces like Car-Part.com and listing them on your eCommerce website.

The other method is to buy cheap old cars and disassemble them to sell individual parts. To be profitable in this field, the total value of parts sold must exceed the cost of purchasing the vehicle.

5. Baby products

The baby products niche is evergreen and profitable. The baby care products market is estimated to be worth $88.72 billion by 2026, up from $67.35 billion in 2020. An average of 385,000 babies are born daily, so baby products are always in demand.

The best things to resell in this category are toys (even vintage toys), strollers, feeding accessories and body care products.

6. Used mattresses

Most mattress companies offer a 100-night trial period and allow customers to return mattresses if unsatisfied. Companies like Sharetown handle those returns using agents across the United States.

You can sign up as an agent to collect and resell returned mattresses in your area.

Alternatively, you can buy used mattresses and resell them as a side hustle. Remember, used mattresses can be a breeding ground for bugs. So, it’s important to thoroughly clean them before reselling.

7. Board games

Secondhand board games are significantly cheaper than new ones. In fact, some people sell them for next to nothing because they receive them as gifts but never use them.

The only challenge with board games is that it’s time-consuming to ascertain whether all the pieces are present. This requires counting the pieces and comparing the tally to the number on the box.

8. Clearance items

Most businesses run clearance sales to get rid of old stock and make room for new inventory. Products on a clearance sale are heavily discounted, so you just might get wholesale prices at a retail outlet.

Although reselling clearance items can be profitable, you should first conduct in-depth research to find out if the product you want to flip is in high demand.

9. Antiques

Antiques are valuable items that are at least 100 years old. Prices of antique items vary according to age, rarity and market trends. Generally, the older an antique item is, the higher its market value.

You may need to attend estate sales to find antiques, as these events are a treasure trove of collectibles. But you can also find them at auction sites like Bidsquare.

10. Vintage clothing

Although often confused with antiques, vintage items are between 20 and 100 years old. Vintage clothing usually depicts the style of the era in which they were produced. Finding these items can be challenging, but the profit is worth the effort.

Popular vintage clothing includes Levi’s jeans, fur coats, cowboy boots, sports jerseys, t-shirts and Hawaiian shirts.

11. Secondhand clothes

The secondhand clothing market is valued at $211 billion in 2023. Clothes are, by far, the bestsellers in the resale market. The market’s total value is expected to exceed $350 billion by 2027.

The best part is you don’t have to look too far to find good quality clothes. You can find them at online marketplaces and thrift stores.

12. Sporting goods

Sports fanatics are in every corner of the globe. Each sport has its legion of followers, most of whom express their passion for their favorite sport by getting sports memorabilia.

Memorabilia ranges from signed baseballs to jerseys, shoes, hats and exercise equipment. Interestingly, these can also be considered vintage or antique if they’re old enough.

13. Watches

Watches are also considered collectibles, and they’re some of the best items to resell, especially if they’re luxury brands. However, there’s a catch — they can be quite pricey.

Whether you opt for vintage and antique watches or high-end limited edition pieces, prepare to spend large sums of money. But also be ready to reap big because rare watches have a high resale value.

14. Picture frames

Picture frames are often passed down from generation to generation. These are usually vintage items or antiques that can fetch a good profit at the market. Finding them can be difficult as they’re often sentimental possessions.

Keep an eye out for picture frames at yard and estate sales because you’re more likely to find them there.

15. Power tools

Power tools are essential in professions like carpentry, plumbing and auto repair. However, they’re usually pricey. Secondhand power tools are a cost-effective option for professionals who want to cut down on expenses, so there’s a high demand for them.

You can source these from online marketplaces and flip them for a decent profit. Popular power tools include drills, jigsaws, planers, circular saws and routers.

How to resell: A step-by-step guide

Reselling is an excellent way to create a steady income stream. But if you want to become successful in the long run, it’s not enough to find the best items to flip. You need to follow the right steps.

Here’s a detailed guide on how to resell:

How to resell items.

1. Find a niche market

Serving a niche market is vital because it enhances your credibility and makes it easier for customers to trust you.

Instead of reselling a wide range of products, focus on a more specialized product — something that caters to a specific audience. This makes your marketing efforts more personalized, giving you a competitive edge.

Conduct in-depth market research to discover an unmet need and identify your target audience. Because it’s important to sell something you’re knowledgeable about, you may want to start by introspecting.

Create a list of product categories you’re knowledgeable about and narrow it down until you find your niche.

2. Find a reliable inventory source

After choosing a niche, it’s time to source the best items to resell. With countless categories and products to choose from, sourcing may be challenging at the initial stage of your reselling business. But it gets better with practice.

With secondhand goods, getting all your products from one source is difficult. Therefore, you have to create a sourcing process that consistently lets you find the best things to resell.

Start by visiting online marketplaces that offer a wide range of products. Identify products you can resell and inspect them — if you can do this physically, even better.

Haggle if there’s room; you want your profit margins as high as possible.

3. Set up your eCommerce website

An eCommerce website allows you to automate the online sales process so you can focus on other important tasks such as branding and marketing.

Domain name registration is the first step in building an eCommerce website. Next, choose a reliable web host that guarantees maximum speed and robust security for your website.

Building your online store yourself is a great way to reduce expenses. But if you’re short on time, outsource your web development project to an experienced team of developers, such as Bluehost’s.

Once this is done, you can start adding new products to your store. Upload high-quality images and write compelling product descriptions to convey product benefits and features in a persuasive way.

4. Price your items competitively

At least 82% of online shoppers compare prices of similar products before making a purchase. So, if you want to increase your chances of making a sale, you need to offer competitive prices.

Competitive pricing involves monitoring your competitors’ prices and using them as a benchmark to set your prices. This pricing strategy helps you stay competitive without sacrificing your profit margin.

The price you set determines the overall profitability of your business. Remember to factor in the cost of storing, shipping and marketing the items you want to resell.

5. Market your business

How to market your business.

Even after finding the best things to resell, you won’t make any sales until you put these products in front of the people who need them. This is where online marketing comes in.

Online marketing starts with building a strong online presence. This requires you to optimize your social media accounts, reach customers through emails and post engaging content on your website.

According to a 2023 report by Statista, internet users spend an average of six hours and forty minutes online daily. With millions of people browsing the internet, marketing your business online gives you more visibility and increases your chances of making a sale.

Where to buy things in bulk to resell

Bulk purchase is a strategic move to lower expenses and improve profitability. The nature of the goods you want to resell determines the inventory source. Online marketplaces like Facebook Marketplace, AliExpress, Etsy and eBay offer a diverse range of new items you can buy in bulk.

Craigslist is a great website to find used items. You can also find them at yard sales and flea markets. To buy used books in bulk, participate in library sales. Antiques and vintage products are best sourced from estate sales and auction sites.

Final thoughts: Best things to resell on your website

Whether you’re looking for a new income stream or just want to earn extra money, reselling on your website is a profitable business idea. However, success requires time and effort.

You have to choose the best things to resell, the best price and the right way to market your business. You also have to decide the best platform to sell these products.

Selling items on your website gives you full control over the user experience and provides helpful insights into customer behavior. But not all websites are made equal. That’s why you need a reliable web hosting provider for your online store.

At Bluehost, we offer WooCommerce hosting plans with free SSL certificates, 99.9% uptime and 24/7 expert support.

You can also count on the experienced team of web designers at Bluehost to handle the technical aspects of building an eCommerce brand while you focus on profit maximization.

  • Devin Sears

    Devin is a Senior Event Marketing Manager for the Bluehost brand. He is our brand steward for all things Bluehost and WordPress. You'll always see him supporting Bluehost at WordCamps around the world!

    Education
    Brigham Young University
    Previous Experience
    Social Media, Customer Experience, Field Marketing, Sponsorships, Event Coordinator
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