The Tools & Resources For Beginning Resellers
I’ve been asked a few times since launching the podcast, “What do I have to buy up front to start reselling?” Well truthfully, and probably not what you’ll hear very often, you don’t have to buy anything. You can in fact start reselling successfully with nothing extra or no up front costs. Actually, I recommend you not invest anything or much when first starting.
Although, there are some things that can help you get started if you choose. I’m a big believer in “shortcutting” processes as much as possible. Meaning, I’ll gladly pay for an online course if it’ll save me hours of my time. Why? Because I know my time is valuable to me.
Understanding the Reselling Business
Before we get into some tools and resources to start your reselling career, first I want to address a few things.
- Reselling is work. There is no such thing in any successful business that is an overnight success.
- Reselling can be a full time business. It can also be part time. Regardless, if you want to succeed, you need to treat it like a business and remain professional throughout.
- See #1. Yes. You can do this as a hobby. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. But if you want to make 6 figures plus like I have, then you need to understand this is work. I can show you how, but I won’t do the work for you.
To download the tools and resources file click here now. Otherwise continue reading.
So what kind of tools or resources could you possibly need to be a reseller? You should have some essentials, some not so essentials, and then services or resources to make you more efficient.
Let’s consider the essentials as the tools I highly recommend you purchase ASAP. The Non Essentials will be things you don’t necessarily need right away. And the resources will be services that I personally use to help track, grow and improve my reselling business.
Essentials Tools & Equipment For Reselling
In order to resell successfully, I can’t stress the importance of a good scaleenough. Not only will a scale at home allow you to accurately weigh your packaged items, but will save you so much money in the long run. You save up to 70% from printing labels at home, and if you’re accurate with your weights you avoid extra shipping charges later.
This scale is small enough to fit in a home office, durable enough to weigh heavy packages, and accurate enough to not worry about any mistakes. This scale was my first and my only scale in this business.
You can’t mail a box without properly securing it. You would be surprised by the amount of people who try to use household tape that you would use to hang a note on your fridge. Pro tip – buy more to save more.
Again, you would think this is a no brainer. But there are plenty of people who try to cut tape with scissors. Save your time and your sanity and grab one.
This little tool has saved me hundreds of dollars each year by being able to resize a box that’s just too big into something smaller. Sure you could try to free hand it, but again, we want to look as professional as possible.
PhotoRoom is a paid and free app that allows you to eliminate the background of pictures. Seriously I've tried dozens of apps. This one is HANDS down the quickest, most efficient. You can get away with the free version as long as you don't mind cropping out their logo. Personally, I list 50-150 items at a time so I take picture of that many. The one time cost of the premium version has paid for itself 10000x just in the amount of time and headache I've saved. Try it. Let me know what you think.
Bubble wrap is crucial in packaging and reselling. You can try to find sources of it elsewhere, but it’s always a good practice to keep some on hand or at least have an affordable resource available.
Don’t waste tons of money buying these from Walmart or the dollar store each time you ship something. Buy different sizes in advance and keep them on hand.
Yes, the thermal printer. This guy has saved me no less than $700 annually from saving on ink. And it’s so quick and easy.
It’s a good practice to keep at least one back up on hand. I recommend not buying a single roll at a time to save money.
You can try to make something homemade. I did at first. But once you want to invest a little of the money back into the business this is an essential.
Incredibly affordable, this handy tool has removed thousands of stickers or labels allowing me to once again, look more professional.
There will be a time when you run out of things in your house to sell. You can probably source many items for free like we covered in our previous episode. Eventually, you’ll want to start thrifting or buying to resell. Keeping track of your numbers is an absolute must.
You need to know the dimension of your packages. Not your items, but what the size is after boxed up and ready to go.
The Non Essentials Tools of Reselling (Still Very Useful. Only Buy When You Have The Funds)
The following are things that aren’t absolutely needed, but good to buy to have on hand.
Sharpies – Yes, you’ll be writing tons.
Goo Gone – Clean up pesky residue quickly. Again, looking more professional.
Cardboard Scissors – I debated adding this to the essentials, but that’s because of how much I use them. I have broken my hand many times while boxing while in college. Because of that, my hand needs these. You might have that issue.
Fragile Stickers – Either write it out (less professional) or put a sticker on it (more professional). Either way it’s good practice for customer service.
Do Not Bend Stickers – I sell a lot of collectible comics and magazines. It’s absolutely crucial to collectors that you take every step available to ensure the item is delivered in the best shape possible.
Magic Erasers – Get rid of markers, scuff marks, and more quickly and easily.
Packing Paper – Fill the extra space in packaging to secure your items. Cheaper than bubble wrap.
White Background Photo Paper – Selling on eBay specifically (as I recommend everyone does at first) you’ll need to have a plain white background for search rank. Plus, it looks more professional.
Suffocation Warning Sealable Bags – I use these for almost every small, used, and unboxed item. You can never protect yourself enough.
Boxes – When you first start you can find free boxes in all sorts of places like department stores or grocery stores. Can even have friends and family save them for you, but eventually for your convenience it’s really nice to have different sizes on hand.
Shelving – I recently upgraded to more commercial shelving so I’ll include it as well, but staying organized will save you money and headaches down the road.
Plastic Bins – If you’re reselling different items like most people do, you’ll want to stay organized. Create an inventory system and use these to stay organized.
Post-It Notes – The amount of Post-Its I use is actually obscene. Grab some in bulk.
MacBook Air Laptop Computer – This can be seen as a vanity thing. You can run your reselling business from an old, beat up laptop; some even use their phone, but when you can, upgrade and see the difference it makes. I promise you'll be so much more productive and efficient with a proper working computer.
Other Tools Are Item Specific
Gemini Comic Book Mailers - https://amzn.to/2J1KWCy
Comic Bags & Boards - https://amzn.to/3p45PfD
Magazine Bags & Boards - https://amzn.to/34tlOw1
Poster Tubes - https://amzn.to/37yO2HQ
LP Mailing Boxes - https://amzn.to/34oGi92
Disc Cleaner for DVDs & Video Games - https://amzn.to/3rl0ClQ
Mannequin for Displaying Clothing (This link is for a male torso mannequin. Sorry I don't sell or know much about women's clothing) - https://amzn.to/2J34qa1
Canon Rebel T7 DLSR Camera - https://amzn.to/3pivce7
SD Card for Memory - https://amzn.to/3r8bYt7
External Hard Drive to Save Pictures & Documents - https://amzn.to/3h4ZGNx
You can grab the Reseller Tools & Resources file to keep on hand here. **Make a COPY. You can not edit it until it's copied to your drive.
Services & Resources
USPS.com - Using the site you can order FREE Priority Mailing supplies as well as schedule pickups from your home, saving you the time and trip to the Post Office.
I use QBO for my bookkeeping and taxes. You can use other services, but personally I have found they have more integrations and an easier learning curve.
**As always, check with a tax professional regarding best practices.
I use Size.ly to create amazing listing art that helps display actual sizing of my clothing items. You can describe the items in a description, but the old saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” couldn’t be more true.
I’ve tried plenty of listing services over the years, but I always come back to 3DSellers. They make listing with SEO optimized listings a breeze. In addition, they have built in features like Feedback Reminders, telling your buyer to leave feedback helping your ranking, and GTC Automation allowing me to “refresh” stale listings and give me a bump in rankings.
I use these features and a whole lot more through automation. Meaning, I set it once and forget it. 3DSellers does the rest. It’s 100% free to try and I can not recommend them more. In fact, 3DSellers will be a key sponsor/co-marketing partner of my book on how to sell on eBay.
Full disclosure, I’m probably biased to Zocial because I helped build it. However, I truly believe that it is one of the best social media tools on the market. The reason I know? I tried dozens before just developing my own.
Non Essential Resources & Services
Think of these for the future, or if you’re catching on quickly and want to scale you could try these now. Plus it never hurts to start building your future brand.
When you want to start building your own website to sell your products from. BlueHost can not be matched or beaten in regards to price for the amount of value.
If you’re building a brand you want to collect emails. Email marketing can be done by other services or doing it yourself, but again; I like things that are efficient, easy to learn, and saves me time.
Canva – Build your own gaphics for your social media and website fast and free.
Fiverr – I’ve used Fiverr to hire my Virtual Assistants for mostly my one time jobs. This includes logo creation, html eBay templates, and more.
When it was time to scale and hire a full time Virtual Assistant (VA) the best place I’ve found was OnlineJobs. I now have VA’s for bookkeeping, listing, editing, and more web services.
Understand the analytics of your website with simple to read reports as well as more indepth reporting. I have over a half dozen websites that I've built and maintain personally. I use MonsterInsights on every one of them. Can't beat it.
Hands down the absolute best tool for SEO research and finding keywords for your content. I use this from everything to creating eBay titles, to searching titles for YouTube, to blog posts, to podcast topics and more. Seriously well worth twice of the price they ask.
I’ve used Teachable to learn a variety of different business ideas. Again, I like to “shortcut” my way as much as possible. Could you learn it on your own? Absolutely. But I prefer not to spend years when I can learn in hours.
Admittedly I don’t do a ton of clothing or PoshMark listings, but this service is second to none to help grow your Posh sales. And the customer service is fantastic.
eBay Partners – Grow your wallet as you grow your sales. The Partner network allows you to gain commissions from selling your own products on social media.
This is a bit more advanced that reselling online, but when you want to grow social media presence to promote your reselling store, I use MissingLettr for content curation. I do NOT want to spend hours making content. This fixes that problem.
Last, but definitely not the least, is StartUps. This site teaches you so much about business in general. If you’re new to running a business I highly suggest you do some research through them.
And there you have it. I know that’s a lot. But again, you do not have to buy or use all of this at once. You might not ever need a lot of it. I’m suggesting to you what I personally use. Maybe you’re better at certain areas than I am, but I find all of these to be extremely helpful.
You can grab the Reseller Tools & Resources file to keep on hand here. **Make a COPY. You can not edit it until it's copied to your drive.
My suggestion, start small. If you’re 100% new, start selling the things around your house to keep your up front cost at zero. As you get a few bucks, reinvest it into things that will make your sales increase.
I’ve helped hundreds of people just like you start, grow, or scale their reselling business. I personally have made over 6 figures in a year doing nothing but reselling. I still do it because I enjoy it and I’m good at it. Plus the $$$.
You don't have to use the links in this post to purchase anything. But I do appreciate anyone who does. Some of the links are affiliate links. It's my moral obligation and I believe a law to be completely transparent about affiliate links.
Just know, however; I never recommend anything that I personally do not use myself. Some people say I'm missing out on big ticket affiliate items, but that's not why I include them. I include the links to the items/services that I personally buy or use because I have found them to be the best value for the price.
In most cases they're actually free or the least expensive. Others, not so much. But I want you to succeed so if you ever have an issue with any of the affiliates that I have recommended, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know so I can reach out to them and see if I can fix a wrong.
I hope you found value in me putting this list together for you. If you did, please do me a favor. Head to my free Facebook group, The Resell Basics and join the conversation with other resellers like you and I.
If you have ever wanted to start a reselling business, start here. If you have questions, please let me know in the comments. I’ll gladly help out. You can also join my totally free Resell Basics Facebook Group. There you’ll network with other resellers of all levels.
The best advice I can give if you’ve ever wanted to do this is to just start. Starting and getting over that fear is the hardest part. Once you master this, I’ll show you how to move to other platforms, then drop shipping, then other online income streams. Good luck. Remember, I’m here to help so use me as a free resource. Just please, keep track of your finances now and not later.
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