Last updated: April 4, 2018
Since I started reselling full-time, I’ve learned to be creative when looking for things to sell online. There are several places you can look for things you can make a profit on, and some might surprise you a little. If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to become a reseller, this list of 10 places to find items to resell online will give you plenty of sourcing locations.
Car Boot Sales
No doubt anyone reading this would expect car boot sales to make the list. Car boot sales are the source of most of our items that we resell for a profit. Generally the car boot season runs from March to October, with summer being the busiest time. Now it’s November we are missing our usual car boot sale trips at the weekends. If we’ve learned anything this year, it’s that we need to have stock available to list on eBay all year round. Car boot sales are rich sources of products and items which can be easily flipped for profit. They are usually cheaper than all other places to buy things to resell. Next year we are going to get in early and start stockpiling our stock so we always have things to list.
Selling at a car boot sale? Here are my 7 top tips to maximise sales at a car boot sale.
Second on the list but no less important than car boot sales are charity shops. People are divided over whether or not it is ethical to buy things in a charity shop to resell online. My view is that it is OK to do. I am paying the price that the charity shop has asked for, and I am bringing them a lot of business. I also give many, many items back to the shops when they haven’t sold. These days charity shops are savvy and most check prices online to see what they should price them at. I often buy things full price but also scour clearance racks and bargain bins.
It’s a little harder to find bargains in Facebook groups. People do tend to want higher prices, and even eBay prices. I recommend joining several local Facebook selling groups and sign up to receive notifications. This way you can be quick to swoop in if someone posts something which is a steal. You have to pick things up yourself usually, but that’s a good time to find job lots and other unwanted items that people can’t shift.
It is possible to make money buying things on eBay and then selling them again on the same site for more money. There are a few different methods for this. One is looking for common spelling mistakes in listings to find things others won’t have seen in their search results. Another is looking for local collection only items that you are willing to post yourself, opening them up to a much wider market.
There are also automated methods of auction sniping. I’m yet to do this but will give it a go in the future. Basically you determine the lowest price you want to pay for something in an eBay auction which will allow you to make money by selling it as a Buy It Now. Then you use an auction sniper to automatically bid for you on these auctions, up to your set price. Watch this space for when I try this out.
Clearance Aisles & Outlets
The clearance aisles could be in supermarkets, smaller shops, or shops that are closing down. Sometimes I will find a job lot of a brand’s product which is being discontinued, and has had the price cut to clear it. I’ve been able to do this quite well in the clearance sections in Boots and Superdrug, as well as Wilko. Outlets include places like TK Maxx and Homesense, as well as designer outlets like Bicester Village. It takes some sifting and a bit of luck, but I have made money online selling things I bought at these shops.
Here I’m referring to the process of Retail Arbitrage (RA) which is buying things at retail prices in shops and selling them for a profit online (usually on Amazon). We dabbled in RA a little this year, and had some success. People do make a lot of money this way, however.
The concept with Amazon is that people will pay a higher price to get an item the next day using their Prime membership. Amazon have an app you can use to scan barcodes in shops, and find out how much that product is selling for on Amazon. It also gives you the amount of profit you would make (after fees) if you sold the item with them at a certain price. You can wander around a shop, scan an item and check to see if there is profit to be made. The item does not even need to be on sale sometimes for you to make a profit online.
Your Own House
We all accumulate things over time, and if you want to get started building up your eBay selling account, for example, it’s a good idea to raid your own belongings to find items to sell. I have a list of 10 things you could be selling on eBay right now that you probably already own.
Your Friends’ Things
If you are serious about selling, make sure your friends know. Often, people find photographing, listing and selling their things quite tedious and they won’t bother. I have been given a lot of things by friends and relatives that they no longer want. They either give it to me for free, or we agree to share any profit if it is a valuable item. You take it off their hands for them, and you can make some money.
Gumtree & Freecycle
These sites have been around for a long time and are usually a good source of large, bulky items that are difficult to post. Occasionally you can find some absolute gems on these sites that you will be able to make money from. Large job lots and house clearances can be goldmines. Quite often, the people selling on these sites do not really want to get into eBay selling. It takes some searching and constant checking but is worth it for that one listing that makes you a profit.
Import & Wholesale
This process needs more money at the outset, but is where large profits can be made. Importing items in bulk from overseas and reselling in your country can make a fortune if you know what to sell and when. You must research your chosen product carefully so you don’t end up with hundreds of unsold items. If you have a flair for this kind of thing that it is a great way to become a reseller.
Did you know you can now apply for PayPal Working Capital to get funding for your business? Emma Drew reviews her experience with PayPal Working Capital here.
Check out my 10 eBay selling tips on how to maximise sales and reduce costs and good luck with your reselling endeavours.
Are you a reseller, or thinking of becoming a reseller?
Shelley Jessup says
From the age of 10 I used to be a right wheeler dealer with selling items, even buying things just to sell at a higher price. I sometimes sell my old house bits on some of these sites but I am always buying from them!
Melissa | At Home & Online says
Haha yes that’s the problem – selling things only to replace them with something else! Sounds like you are a natural at reselling though 🙂
Hi, loved your post. Very helpful… My question is…. if I want to buy in bulk and resell, where or what sights do I go to…I’m having trouble finding trustworthy overseas sites… Thanks
Melissa | At Home & Online says
Hi Jessica, thank you for your comment and question. I have heard good things about Alibaba.com – however I should note I have not personally used this service yet x
Grate places, very nice tricks.
Melissa | At Home & Online says
Thank you 🙂
Margaret Gallagher says
Great reading ! Im amazed at how many DIFFERENT ways there are ! Need to get loads of stuff sold for my hols
Iris Tilley says
We need to free up our attic and my partner hates giving and chucking things out. However the smell of money soon brings him to his senses. Thanks for the ideas.
I’m on this today after work! I have a heap in my study that needs sorting out including some brand new shoes my daughter found in her cupboard she had grown out of!
Rebecca Whatmore says
Really helpful – planning on redecorating soon so will have bits and pieces to sell but just need to work out what to sell where and stop hoarding stuff I don’t need!