These days, who couldn’t stand to make some cash for bills or for life’s little extra? While there are many side hustles you could start, reselling secondhand items online is one of the cheapest and easiest business ideas around. You might be surprised to find out just how much money some sellers are making each month selling trash for cash.
What Is Reselling, and How Can I Use It To Make Cash From Trash?
Resellers make money by buying goods that are usually (but not always) used, secondhand, or bought from a secondhand market to sell for a profit on an online platform such as eBay or Poshmark. Some people are interested in reselling because it extends the life of consumer goods and reduces waste. Other people get into reselling because they know they are good at spotting value in items others might simply discard. Either way, reselling is a great way to make extra money and help the environment at the same time.
Resellers can sell both new and used items, but they almost always get their inventory from their own homes, the thrift store, a yard sale, or a wholesale liquidation company. You can find some great vintage or collectible items at yard sales and estate sales that can turn quite a profit on eBay if you know what to look for.
How Much Does It Cost To Get Started Reselling?
The best thing about becoming a reseller is that you can get started without investing a penny. While having a few bucks for sourcing, supplies, or tools would certainly help you get started, if you have no money in the bank for this adventure, that’s no problem.
To earn your start-up funds from scratch, simply go through your own belongings at home and sell what you no longer need on one of the simpler platforms, such as Poshmark for clothing or Facebook Marketplace for quick local sales of just about anything. Household items, kitchen gadgets, toys, and tools all sell great on Facebook, and since the sales have a chance to be local, you could have cash in hand instantly. Once you have $100 - $200, then you’re ready to start doing some serious sourcing for your new reselling business, all without ever spending a dime out of pocket.
I was able to start my business with just $4 when I spotted a great deal on some crafting tools at my local thrift store. My hunch paid off, and I sold the items for $80 in less than 24 hours on Facebook Marketplace. Once I had that experience, I was hooked. I sold some things from my garage until I had a grand total of $250, which I used to start sourcing at thrift stores to sell on Poshmark.
Where Can I Find Good Inventory Cheap or Free To Get Started Reselling?
Now that you have some funds, it’s time to learn how to source. Since you aren’t yet making consistent sales online, you need to be super frugal with your spending, but that’s not a problem with reselling.
Here are some great places to start sourcing with very little money:
Yard Sales or Garage Sales
Clearance Sections Of Your Favorite Stores
Donations From Family, Friends, And Neighbors
At the curb - literally saving items from the trash!
People generally throw away or donate items they no longer need or want. Since not everyone has the time or the desire to become a reseller, they simply try to get rid of their items as fast and cheaply as possible. You’ll find great deals on mid-level and high-end brands at yard sales and in thrift stores for this reason.
Sometimes people throw away perfectly good items as well because they don’t know what else to do with them. I once rescued a pottery kiln from the garbage (it was huge and very heavy), but I suspected that if it worked, it would be worth my effort. I was able to test it and sell it for over $300 with a zero cost of goods.
Don’t forget to ask people for donations. It might take a moment of bravery on your part, but you’ll be surprised at how many people are willing to help you! You can also sell high-end designer items on consignment, which will also allow you to get started without spending money upfront.
Where Can I Sell Trash For Cash Online?
Reselling has become very popular in recent years, and that means there is no shortage of online selling platforms. Here are some of the most popular sales platforms, reasons why they are popular, and some examples of what to sell on them.
If you’re selling women’s or men’s fashion, home decor, beauty, or other smaller items, then Poshmark is a great place to start selling. Their claim to fame is super simplified shipping and a strong community of like-minded sellers who support each other. Poshmark is one of the simplest platforms to list items on, making it ideal for new resellers.
Check out this blog The Poshmark Bible: How to Get Started Selling on Poshmark
The original online sales platform, also known as the first online garage sale, you can sell practically anything there. This is a great place to sell vintage, collectibles, media, electronics, clothing, and so much more. While eBay does have the most complicated shipping options and longest listing form, they also boast the largest audience (by far) of all the reselling platforms.
eBay can be intimidating, so we’ve rounded up the Top-Selling Items on eBay in 2023 for you!
Mercari is a lot like eBay in terms of what you can sell, but it has a much simpler listing form and easy-to-understand shipping options. The buyer pool is significantly smaller than eBay’s, but it’s still around 20 million active users.
Facebook Marketplace is a great place to sell larger or heavier items locally. You can also list just about anything, within reason, there and offer it for sale both locally or with shipping. They have low seller fees, and it’s fairly easy to list your items for sale. Popular items to sell on this site include toys, tools, baby items, clothing, kitchen gadgets, electronics, and more.
If you sell trendy clothes that teens and young adults would love to own, then Depop is the place for you! You can sell trending fashion, vintage, and anything unusual or funky! Depop is one of the news platforms on this list, so they are still adding new features.
Etsy is more restrictive in what you can sell. Basically, you can sell handmade items, crafts, craft supplies, and vintage items. Many resellers that sell clothing and home decor will use Etsy to sell their vintage inventory. Remember, vintage means anything over 20 years old.
If you have a lot of children’s clothing to sell, then Kidizen is the place for you! This is one of the smallest marketplaces, but it is very niche specific, so you’ll have no trouble finding your target buyers.
Grailed was originally created to sell men’s high-end fashion but they have recently added women’s clothing and accessories as well. Grailed is mainly for highly collectible vintage clothing (or “grails”) and high-end or designer brands.
Interested in selling on Grailed? You might be interested in The Holy Grailed: How to Get Started Selling on Grailed
If you have a big personality and are super outgoing, you can try live selling on Poshmark or on Whatnot. It’s like hosting your very own Home Shopping Networking show.
You might also be interested in: 9 Steps to Start a Reselling Business Online for Profit
How Can I Turn My Trash Selling Side Hustle Into A Business?
Once you get the hang of one or two marketplaces, then it’s time to expand your business. More eyes on your inventory means a higher sell-through rate and more money in your bank account. Use a crosslisting tool like Vendoo to manage your inventory, crosslist to multiple marketplaces, and keep track of sales and analytics.
Sourcing enough inventory to sell as a full-time job will likely include bulk buys at warehouses or liquidation centers. Don’t forget to save some of your profits to reinvest in your business. You might even become successful enough to necessitate hiring a small staff to help you run things.
A software solution like Vendoo can help to make running a business at that level a breeze. You’ll even have access to a CSV download of all your data to help with tax time. You’ll have a hard time convincing your family and friends that you build your business from trash to cash!