Well, I’ve survived my first six weeks in online reselling! It’s been so much fun, and I’m learning more than I ever thought I would! Keep reading to find out how my new adventure is playing out!
My First Six Weeks in Online Reselling
I went into my new side hustle with an open mind. I knew anything was possible, and that I could either find immense success or utter failure.
So far, I haven’t found either. Ha! I am slowly learning the business, and I have to say, there’s way more to learn than I expected!
I’ve been an Ebay user for over ten years now, so I know the basics of online selling. I know that you should always check comps on the product you are listing, for example.
You should search current listings to see what other sellers are pricing the same product at. But more importantly, you should search SOLD listings to see how much it has actually sold for in the past.
By checking the comps you can get a decent idea of what price you should list at. I always look back several months because there are certain times when some products sell for more money than other times.
By doing that, I can decide if I want to list something right away, or if it’s worth holding onto until I know I can get more money for it.
Since I’m branching out to other platforms, I’m realizing there’s a lot I didn’t know, despite my time using Ebay.
What I’m Learning About Online Reselling
Online Community– The online reseller business is a booming one! I have found a great support system in the online community. From Facebook groups to Instagram accounts, everyone is there to cheer each other on.
If I need advice, I can throw it out there to other resellers and they answer my questions honestly and without hesitation. They don’t have the mindset that we are each other’s competition. It’s truly a community.
New With Tags (NWT) Doesn’t Automatically Equal Sales– You would think (or at least I did) that new items that still have tags on them would sell easily. However, that doesn’t seem to the case.
When I started sourcing, I loaded up on NWT items that I found great deals on. Surprisingly, I’ve only sold a couple of those. My other sales have been used but in great condition.
I’m learning that it’s really more about the brand than the condition. I bought a men’s Polo by Ralph Lauren sweater for 99 cents, it was in good condition, but definitely not brand new. I was able to sell it for $19! After fees, I made a $15 profit!
There Are a Lot of Scammers Out There– From being in groups with other online resellers, I’m learning that a lot of people try to scam others. Not that this is anything new, but it’s still unnerving.
I had someone message me on Poshmark asking to contact his wife through email to set up the sale. It was obvious to me immediately that this wasn’t right.
I simply deleted the message and moved on. Some buyers, I’ve seen, will even purchase your item, then switch it for a damaged item of their own and claim you sent it to them damaged! Talk about shady!
Antiques and Collectibles Don’t Sell Very Quickly– So, it might just be the selling platforms I’m using, but I’m figuring out collectibles and antiques are not fast sellers.
It may be that antique enthusiasts like the thrill of the hunt and prefer browsing antique malls in person. I can’t blame them, that’s one of my favorite hobbies!
It could also be that I have no clue what I’m doing with collectibles! Retail items are one thing because you can always find comps, but with antiques, there may not be any like it that have sold recently.
At that point, it’s trial and error. I list it a little high, then lower the price if I don’t see any interest. So far I’ve sold an antique toy guitar and a vintage set of Lord of the Rings Goblets.
It’s Okay to Decline Offers/ Counter Offers– After I had several items listed and the offers started coming in, I was accepting low-ball offers out of fear of losing the sale.
After a couple of times, I started catching on that most people will typically start out with a 50% offer, but they are usually willing to go higher if you send a counter-offer.
If they come back with a lower counter, it’s perfectly okay to decline and wait for the right buyer. I was so worried about losing THAT sale, that I didn’t consider that I would have more offers coming in.
Because I like to help others find great deals as much as I like finding them myself, I already tend to price my items lower than other sellers. I am just a little pickier with offers I’ll accept now. I still need to make money!
Trying out Poshmark
I started out primarily selling on Ebay, with the occasional Facebook Marketplace listing. After following several resellers on Instagram, I noticed Poshmark seems to be a pretty popular reselling platform.
So, I created a Poshmark account to test it out. Here’s what I’m finding out:
- Easy Shipping– Poshmark automatically charges a flat shipping rate to the buyer and emails you a prepaid shipping label. As long as the item is under 5 pounds, you can use any priority USPS box to ship the item.
- Great Community– As I said before, the online community for Poshmark is great! People are very informative and eager to help each other succeed.
- Professional Selling Environment– Poshmark has a different vibe than Ebay or Facebook Marketplace. You can tell most of the sellers do it for a living and take pride in their work. Poshmark also has helpful customer service if you have questions.
- Three Day Acceptance Period– Rather than creating your own return policy, Poshmark gives the buyer 3 days from the date of delivery to either accept the item or open a case. If they take no action within the three days, Poshmark takes it as acceptance and releases your funds to your Poshmark account. If they open a case, Poshmark reviews the case and determines if they will accept the return. Upon accepting the return, they will email the buyer a return shipping label and the funds will not be released to you.
- Higher Seller Fees Than Ebay– Poshmark’s seller fees run at a flat 20%, Ebay’s basic seller fee is 10% for most categories, 12% for book, dvds and music. Ebay may also include an insertion fee of .35 per listing depending on how many listings you have, and even taking into consideration Paypal fees, it’s still less than Poshmark’s 20%.
- Buyer Pool Seems Pickier– From what I’ve read in my Poshmark groups, it seems buyers on the selling platform are very particular. I’ve heard a lot of complaints about cases that were opened for reasons I would consider trivial, such as stitching on a purse not being perfect. I get the impression most buyers on Poshmark are looking for higher-end designer brands, not your basic mall clothing (which is what I tend to sell).
- I’m Nervous About Not Looking Professional Enough– Since I’m just starting out, I don’t have an elaborate photography setup yet. If I’m selling clothing, I usually lay it flat or take photos of it on a hanger. I will eventually purchase a mannequin or dress form, but until then I feel like I’m not really the “professional” Poshmark buyers prefer to buy from.
- More Time Consuming– Poshmark seems to me almost like a social network rather than a selling site. Unlike Ebay, where you simply list your item and make revisions as needed, Poshmark requires much more involvement. To make sure your items are viewed as often as possible, you have to share them with your followers multiple times a day. You are also encouraged to share other sellers’ products and join Posh Parties.
I’m currently on the fence about whether I will continue selling on Poshmark or not. I’m not seeing enough sales to make it worth the time required, and the sales I have made, I accepted offers significantly below what I was asking.
I’ve still got a lot to learn about Poshmark, and as I learn more I may feel differently. I’m taking it one day at a time!
What’s Working and What’s Not
Since beginning my online reselling adventure, I’ve noticed that some things seem to be selling more than others, and some strategies work better than others. So far I’m learning:
- Athletic Clothes– Athletic clothes such as Under Armour running gear are great sellers.
- Dresses– Dresses seem to always be in demand, and I have sold more dresses than any other item I have listed.
- Sending Offers to Buyers– Sending offers to buyers is an option on Ebay and Poshmark to encourage sales. I have made several sales by taking advantage of this selling strategy.
What’s Not Working
- Skirts– I have several shirts listed, and I have yet to sell one. I have read in online reseller groups that others seem to have trouble moving skirts as well.
- Boots– I really thought a couple of pairs of boots I have for sale would have sold by now. Although others seem to have success selling shoes, it seems that boots might not be as great a seller.
- Social Media Marketing– I’ve tried several Social Media platforms for sharing my listings, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. However, I am not seeing much benefit from sharing on social media.
Online Reselling Income Report
As of my last online reselling post (a month ago) I had sold ten items totaling about $175 in sales. Since then, I have sold another 16 items, totaling about $292. My numbers are going up, so I’m excited!
A Breakdown of my sales in the past three weeks look like this:
- Ebay: 11
- Poshmark: 3
- Facebook Marketplace:2
(I’ll be talking about Facebook Marketplace in my next post. Stay tuned!)
I haven’t been actively listing or updating any listings in the past week with everything going on in the world. The kids are currently out of school for Spring Break, so I haven’t had much free time to dedicate to my reselling.
I fully believe my numbers would be significantly higher if I had been more active recently. Next week I will get back to it, and I’m anxious to see progress!
Related: My New Stay at Home Mom Side Hustle
My Online Reselling Recap
- Check current listings and sold comps to figure your asking price
- Online Reselling is a growing hobby/profession
- Every day there is something new to learn
- Join Online Reselling social media groups
- Watch out for scammers
- Pay attention to selling trends
- Try different selling platforms (I’m on the fence about Poshmark, but I love Ebay and Facebook Marketplace, and I’m going to try Mercari soon)
That sums up my first 6 weeks as an online reseller! I hope you’ll stick around as I learn my way through this fun new adventure!
As always, please stick around and check out the rest of my money-saving tips and recipes!