“Reselling” purchasing things to sell online for a profit, is becoming increasingly popular. Marketplaces like eBay, Poshmark, Mercari, Depop, and Facebook Marketplace are great places to buy and sell items online for a profit. Reselling is a great hobby, side hustle, or scalable business opportunity for anyone and everyone.
When you start reselling, it is always best to start with the items around your house. When you begin to actively source for things to purchase and “flip” for a profit, it can be difficult to determine what to buy to sell online.
Here are some top-selling categories and “BOLOS” (Be on the lookout) items to sell online for a profit.
1. Clothing & Fashion Accessories
Clothing is a great thing to sell because everyone needs it. Many resellers sell clothing, shoes, and accessories online for a profit. There are many reselling marketplaces devoted exclusively to fashion. Resellers sell clothing everywhere, including eBay, Mercari, and Facebook Marketplace which are not specific to fashion and clothing.
While you can sell most clothing on many platforms, some reselling marketplaces are known for certain categories, brands, or styles. For example, Poshmark is known for mid to high-end fashion, Tradesy is known for designer and luxury, Grailed and Heroine are known for vintage (for men and women, respectively), Depop is known for vintage, streetwear, and one of a kind or custom pieces, and Kidizen is a place for children’s fashion.
For a new or hobby reseller, it is valuable to learn about the reselling platforms to determine where your items are most likely to sell “best” (that is, to sell fastest for the most money). However, if you are scaling and growing your reselling business, you may consider cross-listing your items to everywhere that you can list them. I use Vendoo to cross-post my inventory on many different reselling marketplaces.
The most desirable clothing inventory is that which is the most valuable and can yield the most profit. This includes luxury and designer items, vintage items, custom or one-of-a-kind items, or items that are trending and highly desirable right now.
- a) Luxury brands such as Gucci, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Louboutin, Balenciaga, Prada, Fendi in almost any style or age.
- b) Designer brands such as Kate Spade, Coach, Dooney & Bourke, Armani, and Calvin Klein in most styles.
- c) High-end brands such as Ralph Lauren, Lacoste, Diane Von Furstenberg, Fossil, and Marc Jacobs in some styles.
- d) Classic brands such as Levi’s, L.L. Bean, Tommy Hilfiger, The North Face, Nike, and Converse in classic styles, usually when the brand or logo is prominently displayed.
- e) Trending brands which currently include Lululemon, Barefoot Dreams, Anthropologie, Free People, Patagonia, Brandy Melville, Farm Rio.
Click here for Vogue Magazine’s list of top-searched brands in 2021.
Women’s handbags are a top-selling category on Poshmark, eBay, and Mercari. Similarly, Jewelry and watches are top-sellers on eBay. Don’t forget phone cases, which are often used as a fashion statement. Selling accessories can maximize your chances of making sales, as they are not size specific.
It’s Not Just About the Brand.
Many sellers focus heavily on the brand of an item, without an emphasis on the style, and style sells, too. There will always be a market for basic items, workwear, outdoor wear, and clothing specific to activities such as athletic wear, uniform wear, and costumes.
Style matters. Fashion trends heavily influence e-commerce analytics. For example, with the Y2k Aesthetic trending right now, items from (or that resemble) the Early 2000s are highly desirable. Flared Jeans, Pastel Colors, Baguette Bags, Camisoles, platform shoes, and nostalgic logos such as Bratz, Playboy, and Nickelodeon are hot right now, regardless of the brand. Capitalizing on style is a great way to yield profit reselling, but it requires that you stay informed as to what is trending, and to use relevant keywords in your descriptions to increase exposure.
Season Matters. The season highly influences e-commerce sales. Like physical stores that roll out new stock before the next season, it is important to feature inventory with respect to the season. Nearing the end of the summer, it is a great time to list and promote fall and winter fashion, coats, jackets, boots, and sweaters. Nearing the end of the winter is a great time to sell spring and summer fashion such as swimwear, sundresses, and sandals. While anything can sell at any time, shifting your focus in respect to the season is a great way to yield more exposure and sales.
Fun Fact: According to recent data, there is more men’s clothing sold on eBay than women’s clothing.
You may also like: How to Source Inventory for Free or With a Low Budget
2. Electronics & Media
There is a huge market for electronics and media across the internet. Electronics are great to sell because they appeal to everyone, irrespective of gender or age.
I analyzed the top-selling categories and subcategories across eBay, Mercari, and Facebook Marketplace to create this list of the top-selling types of electronics:
including desktops, laptops, accessories, keyboards, monitors, printers, and supplies such as printer and toner ink.
Cell Phones & Accessories,
including smartphones (Apple and Android), cases, and accessories such as speakers.
Video game consoles, games, and merchandise.
If you’re unfamiliar with video games like I am, you may like this article from Digital Trends to help identify what is popular and valuable.
also including lenses and accessories. The top-selling photography brands are Nikon and Canon.
Music, DVD & Movies.
Some media is incredibly valuable, depending on form (vinyl, CD, VHS, etc.), age, condition, and trends. Like fashion, media offers “classics,” as well as heavy influence as to what is popular now. Selling media (and books) can be very lucrative, and the items are widely available in thrift stores. To determine if a particular item has a high resale value, I recommend using SellHound to analyze “comps” or comparable sold prices.
Reseller Tip: Don’t forget parts. There is a huge market for parts of electronics, and even broken or damaged electronics, which are purchased to refurbish or to use for parts.
3. Home Decor and “Hard Goods”
Home décor is a top seller on platforms such as Etsy, eBay, and Facebook Marketplace. Due to increasing popularity and demand, you can sell décor on most fashion platforms, too (Poshmark and Depop have both recently expanded to allow some categories of décor).
Home decor is often referred to as “hard goods” by resellers, (as opposed to fashion items, electronics, or consumable products such as food and beauty). Many fashion sellers have branched out to “hard goods” with small items such as mugs and glassware, trinkets, jewelry boxes, or vanity accessories.
Home décor is more about style than it is brand (although brand recognition drives exposure and helps to make sales). When selling home décor, it is helpful to be consistent with modern trends, such as “minimalist”, “bohemian”, or “retro.” Although, people enjoy décor of any style, so be sure to include keywords that are relevant for various styles of decoration. This article about home décor will help you to understand the common décor styles. In addition to style, age is a major factor in the value of home décor. Antique and vintage collectibles, figurines, and statement pieces are top sellers on eBay and Etsy.
Surprisingly, it is tough to find authorities data on the top-selling brands in home décor, or even a cumulative list of the best vintage brands in home décor. As such, I recommend that you use eBay or SellHound to search for the prospective value of items that you come across.
For inspiration, check out the Trending Home Décor page on Etsy, which is regularly updated to include the most popular styles of home décor.
According to Etsy, the best-selling categories in home décor are pillows and bedding, candles, frames and wall art, trinkets, and desk accessories. The top-selling home décor brand on Poshmark is Anthropologie.
Reseller Tip: Don’t forget that Facebook Marketplace, Craig’s List (and now Mercari, in some areas) offer local pick up and drop off, making them a great place to sell larger décor and furniture without shipping.
4. Toys & Games
Toys and games are top sellers in e-commerce, especially in Q4 (the last quarter of the year) approaching the holiday season. Toys and games can be very lucrative to sell, especially when you stay informed as to trends.
While classic board games, educational games, super-hero figures and baby dolls, and puzzles will always sell, staying informed as to what is trending right now is important to maximize profit. Many resellers engage in retail arbitrage, whereas they stock up on trending items at Department stores to resell online for a greater profit (often once they are sold out or harder to acquire in person). If you don’t have little ones that beg you for the newest toy and exposure you to children’s toy commercials, browsing the Amazon top-selling toy page will help you to determine the current trends in toys and games.
5. Health & Beauty
Health and beauty can be a top seller, as it is a commonality amongst almost everyone, especially women. Selling health and beauty can be lucrative, but also a bit more complicated due to policies, shipping, and storage.
A few disclaimers and considerations:
- Be sure to review the terms and conditions of the selling platforms to be sure that health and beauty products are allowed.
- Used or even open or “swatched” cosmetics and beauty supplies are not safe and are generally prohibited on all platforms.
- Exercise caution in the storing of products and adherence to the expiration date to ensure safety.
- Be sure to ship with a shipping method that allows for your type of product. Liquids, nail polishes, fragrances, and aerosols all require special shipping and handling due to the chemical structure.
The top-selling categories in beauty on e-Bay are fragrances, skincare, makeup, and vitamins.
For inspiration, check out this article from Luxatic about the top-selling beauty brands in the United States in 2021.
The resale market is booming, and there is a market for almost everything online. Remember that it only takes one customer to make a sale, and the true value of an item is what a customer is willing to pay for it. While this list is intended to show you the most popular categories, understand that the influence of trends and pop culture is highly influential in the ever-changing consumer market.
A viral TikTok video about a mascara or potato chip could lead to the product quadrupling value tomorrow, at least for a short-term period. Regardless of what you are selling always stay up to date on trends, research and acquire knowledge about the “classics”, and always use eBay or a selling platform to search for comparable items to get a sense of the selling range.
What do you sell? Have you narrowed it down to a “niche”, or do you sell anything that can yield a profit? Tell us below!