Cast your mind back to 1994: the grunge scene was winding down and being steadily replaced by Brit pop and Hip Hop; Nelson Mandela was about to make history in the first multi-racial elections ever held in South Africa; the colourfully clad Mr Motivator graced our screens with fitness sessions on GMTV; Top of the Pops still reigned supreme on Friday night telly; and one of the most successful sitcoms to ever exist, Friends, was on the horizon.
But did you also know that 1994 was the year that the first ever online purchase was made? Well, you do now. And we’ve come pretty far since that day! You see, this purchase heralded the start of a shopping revolution (albeit one that took time to be fully realised). At the time, no one could envision the effect that online shopping would exert on the humble high street. As of 2020, there were approximately 7-8 billion people in the world, and over 25% of those people were online shoppers – 75% of whom reportedly shopped online at least once a month.
So, as you can probably guess, with the high street slowly dwindling and many physical shops being replaced by cafés, restaurants, bargain and charity shops, the online market is beginning to become packed with sellers, each utilising a variety of platforms to peddle their wares to the general public and hoping to make a success of it. To stand out in such a market, then, requires either a unique selling point, superior marketing skills or prices that undercut the vast majority of other sellers with similar items.
But why are we telling you all of this? Well, because many independent sellers have come to the fore online over the past year since the onset of the pandemic, with thousands of budding entrepreneurs creating quirky businesses selling a whole host of different items – from homemade, crafty items and artwork to electrical items and services. And what we want to do is help you stand out to become the most successful seller you can be.
Aside from careful consideration of your marketing techniques and the platform you choose to sell on, what you’re actually choosing to sell makes a big difference – particularly if you’re in the buying and reselling game!
As we’ve discussed before, collectors’ items can consist of anything from classic action figures and trading cards to ceramic ornaments and pieces of obscure artwork. In mint condition and with a hefty collection under your arm, the potential for identifying an eagle-eyed collector who would willingly part with a substantial sum to claim the items is off the scale – most serious collectors are avid searchers, sometimes spending many years attempting to find a particular item and place a steep value on the items they desire to bolster their own collection.
If you want to go down this route – and it could be well worth your time, if you’re willing to really search to find such collectables – you’d do well to bear in mind current trends and complete some market research beforehand, to determine what types of collections are most in demand today. For example, stamp collecting is no longer as popular as it once was, thus you may struggle to find a decent market for such a pursuit. Old games consoles, on the other hand, hold a particular sway for the nerd culture present in society today, and may be a better road to travel down.
Previously a pursuit for older gentlemen, recent years have witnessed the return of all things vintage, with items harking back to simpler days (well, in comparison to the technology-drenched society we live in today, anyway). Part of this resurgence surrounds the restoration of vintage cars.
You see, restoring such items to their former glory is not only incredibly satisfying, but it also raises the value of an item. So, for example, you could identify a model that has perhaps seen better days and is selling at a bargain price and, if you have the time, requisite skills, and motivation, can purchase it to restore for the purpose of reselling it once the restoration is complete. Providing you make more money on the item that exceeds what you spent on the initial purchase and restoration process, this is a pretty handy way of earning some cash.
As with classic cars, there’s a large proportion of the market occupied by those willing to part with their money to own a vintage or classic piece of furniture, meaning that this corner of the market has huge money-making potential for purveyors.
Hunting around for used and old furniture – particularly if it hails before the 1960s – can help you to pick up some bargain items that need a little TLC (which, thankfully, can be a relatively low-cost endeavour if done correctly). Once either restored updated to match modern tastes, these pieces of furniture can then be resold for a decent profit, especially if you highlight their origin in the seller description.
People, of all ages and genders, covet pretty things, with humans being a bit like magpies – we like shiny things to call our own and adorn our bodies as a symbol of status or to enhance certain features or outfits. This means that there is always going to be a viable market for jewellery, whether costume or pieces that are more special.
A good way of making a profit from reselling jewellery is to search around specialised jewellery auctions and bulk buy. You can then clean these items up – maybe they need a bit of polish, perhaps a clasp requires soldering back together – and resell them individually.
Sustainability and recycling items has come back into fashion, so the market for fixing up and reselling older items of jewellery is growing, and now could be just the right to get in on it!
An alternative way to generate a profit from reselling is to purchase large pallets of miscellaneous items, separate the items out into categories of products, and resell them either in small bundles or as individual items.
Retailers including John Lewis often have sales of raw returns that are only available to purchase via online auction as entire pallets. Often these have no reserve and contain stock with thousands of pounds in RRP inside. You know what you’re bidding for, you just don’t know what condition it’s in until you receive the goods. Buying from these auctions is incredibly savvy and thrifty, and gives you access to desirable household brands, which massively helps when it comes to resale.
Whether you’re just entering the reselling game as a bit of side-hustle or want to be a more viable player in the market acquiring larger profit margins, these are just some of the ways that you can achieve such a dream. In an online market that is becoming increasingly busy, the options above are some of the best ways of generating a decent turn over and making a success of your reselling endeavour.
Take a look at our current live auctions to see what you could be bidding for today.