Whether you're new to reselling or a seasoned reseller, there are many things you can do to boost your exposure, increase revenue, and grow your reselling business.
Looking to take your business to the next level? Here are ten tips to help you grow and scale your small business.
1. Establish Goals & A Business Model
This is obvious, but do you really have your goals recorded? Be specific. Is there an annual amount of profit you wish to earn? Do you want to operate your business independently, or scale with employees? Do you wish to give a portion of your proceeds to a charitable cause? Do you seek to be sustainable and ecologically friendly? Goals should be fluid and establishing a general projection will help you to grow strategically. Ascertaining long-term and short-term goals will help you to stay motivated and concentrated.
If your goal is to scale and grow a successful business, focus on profit and maintain organization by way of Cost of Goods (COG), Return on Investment (ROI), inventory management, and book-keeping practices. For business success (as well as tax-purposes), stay mindful of your expenses and earnings.
As your business grows, strategically make improvements to your business model. Strive to save money and maximize efficiency in each step of the resale process. Research how to cut costs while maximizing efficiency and return. With growth and revenue, consider investment in supplies and software to streamline your processes. Remember that time is money.
2. Broaden Your Sourcing Opportunities
To keep fresh, desirable inventory that yields a comfortable profit, get creative with your sourcing model.
In addition to thrifting, there are so many ways to source inventory to sell online including:
Yard Sales, Estate Sales, and Flea Markets
Storage Unit Auctions
Sample Sales & Mailing Lists
Retail Arbitrage (and Online Retail Arbitrage)
Secondhand Wholesale & Liquidation
Seeking Consignment Clients
You might also consider sourcing right on the resale marketplaces (Facebook Marketplace, Offer Up, eBay, etc.), where many non-resellers sell things at amazing rates. With some time and research, you can find some amazing deals for fast flips and easy profit.
To learn more about different ways to source for inventory, you may be interested in How to Source for Free or With a Low Budget.
3. Research and Analyze the Market
One of the most important things when running a business is to understand your customers and prospective customers.
It is important to know what people are looking for. While everything sells (eventually, maybe), you will be much more successful if you sell items that are on trend and in demand.
Keeping up to date in current consumer sales trends will help you to scale your business. Ongoing research and training is essential in every profession, and this one is no different! If you sell fashion, for example, you will likely want to follow social media accounts for major brands and fashion magazines and subscribe to channels of well-known resellers with similar products. Research the top-selling brands, categories, and styles in your niche and on the marketplaces that you sell.
While trends certainly aren’t everything, the more you know about the ecommerce market, the more you will be able to attract prospective consumers.
Did you know that we feature educational and lifestyle content on the Vendoo Blog and Youtube? We do the market research for you, be sure to subscribe to keep updated!
4. Enhance Your Listing Quality
Analyze your listings for quality and be sure they are maximized for searchability. In reselling, listing is not all it takes. You should focus on quality over quantity.
Looks matter. Are your listing photographs clean, clear, and bright? Do your items appear wrinkle-free, sparkling, and enticing? Are you showing your items in their best light, literally? Shopping is a psychological process, and presentation matters.
You will sell your items with poor photos if they are priced low enough, but if you want to raise your margins, raise your items up off of the dirty floor and pamper them for a photoshoot!
Listing Details & Item Specifics
Are you checking all of the boxes? All of the drop-downs and optional fields on the reselling marketplaces should be executed entirely. Generally, these enhance your visibility and ranking, maximizing your exposure and chances of sales.
In each listing, consider including language that encourages actions such as making offers, bundling items for a discount, or following you. Each of your listings provides valuable advertisement space (you might even include a graphic in lieu of an image).
Many reselling marketplaces also provide you with the opportunity to promote your listings via free actions like “promote” on Mercari, and paid actions such as promotions on eBay. These activities can be very beneficial and directly result in sales. Be sure to check them out and see how you can benefit from various promotional activities.
5. Focus on Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Speaking of listing quality, are your listings optimized for SEO? This is absolutely crucial in selling online.
In the reseller context, search engine optimization is the process of getting listings to rank higher in search engines (both on the marketplaces and major web-based search engines such as Google).
Most sales do not happen by chance or by frivolous scrolling; instead, they are a direct result of a search performed by a buyer.
Make sure that your titles and descriptions include all the relevant, searchable terms so that your listings are yielded in more searches.
One of the most valuable tools you have as a reseller is the character space in your listing descriptions. The perfect listing is a detailed one that includes the following, as applicable:
What it is (you would be surprised how often this is overlooked)
Actual Style Name or “Title”
Fit and Type
Style & Occasion (All the trending hashtags and “aesthetics”)
Colors & Patterns
Attributes & Features
For a full-guide to Reseller SEO, how it works, and how to maximize your descriptions, check out this article- It’s a good one!
Expand Your Presence Across Different Marketplaces
There is a big reselling world out there! There are so many marketplaces that each offer a unique audience, demographic, and top-selling categories.
What are you waiting for? Here is your sign. With Vendoo, you can cross-list to various platforms in seconds!
Before you start listing everywhere, it is a good idea to learn a bit about each marketplace and what they have to offer.
You will want to be sure that you understand what you can sell, the listing process, how shipping works, the fee structure, and how much maintenance is required to produce consistent sales.
On some platforms such as eBay and Mercari, you can sell almost anything, where others have a narrower niche. Consider cross-listing your children’s items to Kidizen, men’s items to Grailed, women’s higher-end items on Tradesy, and trendy and vintage pieces to Depop. While some of these platforms have a smaller audience, it is often narrowly-tailored to exactly what you’re selling!
If you’re looking for an overview of all of the places to sell online and the top-selling categories on each, you might be interested in the article 10 Great Marketplaces Every Reseller Should Consider.
7. Practice Consistent Activity & Engagement
To sell in high volume, listing is not all it takes. You cannot just “list it and leave it,” but instead must be ready to do a little work in maintaining your marketplaces.
Some are certainly higher maintenance than others, such as Poshmark which requires daily sharing and Depop which requires daily refreshing. Ultimately, all of the marketplaces require consistent activity to achieve consistent sales and grow your revenue.
Every marketplace wants you to spend time on the marketplace, whether that be scrolling, sharing, engaging with prospective buyers, responding to offers, or participating in promotional activities. Generally, you will be rewarded via exposure and promotion for your consistency and activity.
More importantly, it often requires some work to turn a “liker” into a buyer. Buyers expect offers, discounts, answers to questions, and your attention. There is a lot of competition as the reselling industry is booming, so engaging with buyers is more important than ever.
While you needn’t stay up all night engaging with your marketplaces, establish a consistent daily routine that is feasible for you and includes adding new listings daily.
8. Consider Automation & Outsourcing
There are only so many hours in a day, and to truly scale you will require tools and services to optimize your time.
As your business grows, it is important to maximize efficiency by investing in tools and assistance as necessary.
Invest in Tools for Your Reselling Business
It wasn’t until seven years into reselling that I purchased an industrial steamer. Prior to my Jiffy, I was using a handheld dinky thing that I thought worked great. I was so hesitant to invest $300, that I failed to recognize how it would pay for itself in a matter of weeks because it allowed me to steam ten times faster, saving me time. Time is money.
I have undergone similar revelations as they pertain to photo editors, inventory management software, and automation services to refresh listings and make automatic offers to likers.
Investing in tools and outsourcing labor can be intimidating: spending money and losing control, but once you have reached your capacity, it is the only way to scale and grow. Most tools have a free trial, see for yourself how you can benefit with them!
The best investment I have ever made for my business is Vendoo. It offers the fastest cross-listing, superior inventory management and book-keeping, and the ability to bulk delist and relist for hundreds of brand new listings every day!
After you have maximized efficiency with tools and products, you might consider outsourcing labor to allow further growth. Many resellers use virtual assistants “VA”s or services such as SellHound that draft SEO-optimized listings. You may also consider hiring people to perform tasks such as photography, listing, organization, or whatever else you need help with.
Do not be afraid to invest in tools and labor: that is how to grow your business. However, be diligent and mindful of your overhead costs in comparison with your revenue: make sure the investments are worth it for you!
9. Network & Build a Brand
Do not under-estimate the power of social media.
According to Statista, nearly 4 billion people worldwide use social media, and the projections over the next two decades predict a significant increase. As a business owner, social media provides you platforms to connect with and advertise to prospective customers.
Connecting with consumers is important to build customer loyalty, and each time you turn a purchaser into a returning customer, you are scaling your revenue potential indefinitely.
Even if you are not ready to deep-dive into social media, reserve your username on the platforms where the user demographics personify your customer profile. You might also consider reserving a domain (URL) to what could one day become your own ecommerce website.
Reseller Tip: If your username is currently YourName123_4, change it to something unique and memorable!
What are your best tips to grow your small business? Share them below!