Don’t Love It, Just List It

Rebecca Reif, Editor in Chief

Thrifting is a rather trendy hobby amongst many. However, the reselling side of this activity is often overlooked. In reality, there is just as much of a market for reselling thrifted items as there is one for thrifting for fun or oneself. Popularly sold items on reselling websites consist of both high end and ordinary brands, commonly including clothes, shoes, bags, jewelry, books, vintage pieces, and accessories. These items are sourced through outlets such as thrift stores, garage sales, liquidation, and online and in-person consignment shops. While starting a business may sound intimidating at first, a reselling business is the perfect place to kick off any aspirations of entrepreneurship.

Oftentimes, reselling businesses originate from simply wanting to clear out a closet, which is how the beginning of my business came about. As I had success selling these old items that were no longer my style or didn’t fit, I began doing more research into reselling businesses, and launched into the sourcing side. The sourcing process incorporates locating low priced items, looking up prices on different reselling websites, then making the decision on whether this item will be profitable based on comparisons, and taking a chance by purchasing the item. 

Hotspots for sourcing are both Goodwill stores and Goodwill Outlets (which are even cheaper than regular Goodwill stores, since they price by the pound), Plato’s Closet, and for an online option, thredUP. Once the goods are sourced, the process carries over to online reselling websites. My favorite websites to sell on are Poshmark, Mercari, and eBay, and I would say these platforms are also many other resellers’ preferred sites. I list the items with aesthetically pleasing photos that encompass the entirety of the item, write detailed descriptions, and price reductions from the original selling price. Once the item is listed, it is now in the hands of the buyer, and purchases are most likely done through offers. 

Beyond the logistics of how to resell, starting up my own online reselling business has taught me an endless amount about how to run a successful business, and what being an entrepreneur truly takes. In terms of developing my business, reselling has a low financial risk with a high chance of profit, as the items have a small cost to begin with, and the various platforms do not have a fee. My small business is just like many other businesses, in the sense that time is what allows for any business to grow. 

Also, another way I have learned to be successful is through mastering the algorithms of these websites. The more frequent and longer an entrepreneur is active, listing items, sharing listings, and following other users, the seller’s own items get boosted, resulting in more sales. Along with these sales comes the money side of reselling, where I have accomplished managing money, as well as figuring out what my net profit is from the items. For any business owner or person working, dealing with money is a necessity, and having the knowledge of how to control money at my age will definitely be beneficial in my future.

Besides the pros of a reselling business including decent profits and getting to participate in a hobby as a job many see these businesses as taking away access points for lower income individuals that need places such as thrift stores to purchase any item they need. I do agree with that, as that is why thrift stores originated. However, from my experience in thrift stores, there is such an overabundance of clothes and other goods in these stores. Racks and racks of clothes seem to never be touched. Therefore, there is enough merchandise for both the average customer and reseller to obtain good quality items. Whether an individual is thrifting for themselves or for reselling, the key to finding these good, quality items is simply taking the time to search piece by piece through the racks and shelves to find the hidden treasures of what may seem like just donated clothes.

For me, reselling began as a hobby, with the benefit of making back a small portion of the money originally spent on my clothes, shoes, and bags. It is now an enjoyable part-time job. Instead of going along with the standard teenage route when it comes to jobs, I have been able to focus on school, as well as my other interests, all while owning a profitable small business. On top of my reselling successes in high school, this business is something I will be able to take with me into college and my further years, creating a sustainable part-time income. Reselling within itself is a community, and even though I no longer like or have use for the items I am selling, a new treasure for another individual is just a click away.

(Above) While some brands are initially expensive when bought in-store, that value does not always translate the
same to its resell value. One of my favorite brands to
resell is Lululemon because it is a consistent seller and I always make a decent profit. Photo by Rebecca Reif. (Photo by Rebecca Reif.)
(Above) In order to get good reviews, once an item is purchased, it is important to package the item in a pleasing way. I wrap the item in tissue paper, add a, “Thank you for your purchase!”
sticker, and use a colorful poly mailer. Once that is complete, the last stop is the post office, and then the item is shipped off. Screenshot by
Rebecca Reif. (Screenshot by Rebecca Reif.)