Of the many methods people can use to make money online, joining the resale industry is drawing some much-deserved attention. The conditions for its boom are perfect, with rising living costs, the need for more sustainable commerce, and the recent failure of supply chains only fueling interest in buying and selling used or pre-owned items, especially clothing.
And the resale industry delivers on its promises, too. Resold clothes can be more affordable. Reselling clothes in good condition instead of throwing them can extend their useful life. Local sourcing can also offset supply chain and logistics issues with new items.
The only thing left for the resale industry is to be profitable. For the seller who knows how to operate within it, it is. Michael Chierchio, developer of the Magiscriptor app and an experienced reseller, has some tips for people looking to boost their sales or tackle some of the common issues resellers face.
Harness the Power of Cross-Listing
In the analog world, resale occurs at consignment shops, thrift stores, and second-hand boutiques. The digital world, however, is dominated by platforms. eBay might be the one that most successfully laid the groundwork for re-commerce, but over time the industry has seen more variety with different platforms.
From Etsy to Poshmark and from Mercari to Depop, resellers can pick where to sell their goods today. And while each platform might have different features and target different niches, it might still be best to invest time into getting on more than one.
“Poshmark’s algorithm, for example, is up one day, down another. People are making sales one day, and the next week they can’t sell anything,” explains Michael Chierchio. “With that kind of algorithm, people cannot figure out how to make sales. That’s why they need to cross-list onto multiple platforms. Because if they’re not doing well on Poshmark, they might do better on eBay. It’s so important to diversify your portfolio.”
One of the apps Chierchio developed, Crosslisting, aims to help resellers with that. It allows users to link accounts on several marketplaces with the app, create listings within the app, and then add them to the in-store inventory.
Attack the Death Pile
Reselling can be a time-consuming business. Items need to be sourced, inspected, cleaned, photographed, have some product description created, and then eventually listed. And the work doesn’t end there — they also need to package and ship the items. And while the process might vary depending on the platform, it often results in the same phenomenon.
“We call them death piles in the industry when sellers have a pile of clothes in their inventory room that they haven’t gotten to yet to take pictures and put up for sale,” explains Michael Chierchio. Death piles are inventory that’s not moving, is taking up space, and is not making a profit for the reseller.
What Chierchio suggests is to reframe the task and find some help doing it. “We want people to get excited about listing and not feel like it’s a chore,” he says. “Having tools that can help you, like Magiscriptor for product descriptions or Crosslisting for listing to multiple platforms, can help you list things easier.”
Ultimately, dealing with that pile is essential, ideally by putting items up for sale. Making it easy and fun can reduce that initial aversion to starting the task.
Get Creative with Sourcing
The quality of one’s offering will be inevitably tied to their success as a reseller. Sourcing desirable items in good shape and priced to allow for a profit is vital for serious resellers. Keeping the sourcing local can keep the costs down, but it might also reduce the item’s carbon footprint, which is something eco-conscious sellers and buyers might appreciate.
Again, Michael Chierchio has an idea that might work. “Find local consignment shops and boutiques, try to get in touch with the owners, and let them know that if they have some stale inventory that’s not moving, that’s been sitting around for a while, you’d buy it,” he says.
This type of deal could be a win-win solution. The shop gets to move the products they’ve had trouble moving, and the reseller gets a good source and whatever else they manage to negotiate.
“Maybe you could buy it in bulk at a discounted rate and negotiate the price to under $5 per piece,” Chierchio adds. “And then at the end of the month or the end of the season, whatever inventory they didn’t sell and want to get rid of, maybe they will call you and make a deal with you.”
For all the potential the resale industry is showing, there’s much room for it to grow. Michael Chierchio’s vision of it includes solutions for automation and AI-powered assistance. Thanks to advancement in both fields, the changes Chierchio sees seem inevitable, leaving resellers to catch up — the sooner, the better.
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