It’s natural, as humans, to make mistakes. But when you make mistakes in business it can cost you a lot of time, money and stress. Here are some of the most common mistakes I made as a reseller and I know a lot of resellers struggle with as well.
Don’t buy inventory just because it’s cheap
An easy trap to fall into as a newer reseller (and really even as an experienced resellers) is buying inventory just because it’s cheap. If you’re sourcing from thrift stores or yard sale, a lot of stuff is going to be very affordable. Even some stuff that’s brand new, with tags attached, and may have a high retail price. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a good buy.
Even a free item that isn’t going to sell isn’t a good deal because you’re spending your time (and possibly your money) listing that item. It’s best to save your money and your energy for items that are worth it. What is worth it is going to be different for everyone, so figure out what that is for you. Is it a $5 profit after fees? Or maybe you want to shoot for $20 or $50 profit after fees? This can evolve over time, but it’s important to know that buying something because it’s cheap doesn’t mean you’re going to make a profit.
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Don’t buy inventory because it’s cute
Similar to buying something because it’s cheap, it’s easy to want to buy things because they’re “cute” or you like it personally. But unless you are someone with knowledge about that item and you know that it’s a sought after item, just because you like it doesn’t mean it will sell. It’s important, especially in the beginning when you’re just getting your feet wet, to research every item you purchase to make sure you’re not wasting your time or money on inventory that isn’t going to sell.
>> More tips at this post: What I learned after 3 years of selling on ebay
Don’t avoid listing even if you hate it
Believe it or not, I’m notorious for procrastinating. When I have tasks to do that I don’t want to, I’m not always the type to just take care of it right away. Therefore I avoided listing because I hated it. I loved shopping for inventory, hated listing my inventory. So it would sit and I would list a couple things here and there. And this was a problem for several reasons.
The first reason not listing is a problem is because obviously if it’s not listed, it can’t sell. Buying inventory and letting it sit in the trunk of your car or your office closet isn’t going to make you any money. In addition, if you’re making sure to research the items you buy so you’re making a good profit, but then you’re not listing them right away, the market may change. If the market for that item goes down in the month it takes you to list an item, you’re losing out on profit. And lastly, one of the best ways to find success and make sales on any of the marketplaces is to list consistently.
Don’t use haul videos as your sourcing guide
While haul videos can be fun and it can be educational to see what other resellers are buying. But make sure that you’re not just automatically taking the items that they’re buying and making those the types of items you’re going to buy too. You don’t know their business model, their cost, their audience, their profit, etc. So what they might be able to sell, you may not. Haul videos are fine for research purposes or to help educate you on what you’re selling, but don’t source your inventory solely based on what others are showing you that they’re buying.
Don’t forget to be strategic
When I started it was just for fun and I was just listing a few things here and there. I wouldn’t list consistently, I didn’t have a lot of organization or processes in place to make sure that I was being efficient or making good business decessions. But as it became a business and I was selling more, it got more important to be strategic and have a plan in place for how I ran my resale business.
When you’re going to be reselling as a business, even as a small side business, it’s important to be strategic. You don’t want to waste your time and money by not having a strategy in place.
>> If you want a little guidance at the beginning of your reselling journey so you can avoid mistakes, come up with a good strategy and start profiting faster, check out my course the Reseller Roadmap and use the code SAVETIME for a discount.
Don’t wait to implement an inventory system
A lack of an inventory system means things getting lost, damaged and more. It also means you’re probably going to be spending more time looking for items once they sell. There have been a few times, especially in the beginning before I had an inventory system, when an item sold and I couldn’t find it. You may think you have an idea of where everything is, but as your inventory grows it can get harder to keep up with it all.
If you want an example of an inventory system, I share all about our inventory system in this post.
All of the mistakes I made in the beginning are pretty common mistakes when you’re running a reselling business. I hope that sharing my mistakes helps you avoid them so that you can find success too!