One legitimate way to make extra money is to buy and resell items online, at yard sales or flea markets. As you might imagine, this can be a great way to earn some extra income.
But you can also waste a lot of money if you don’t know what you’re doing. So what items should you buy?
In this article, we talk to a full-time reseller who tells us about his strategy for buying and reselling items to make some quick cash.
How to Buy and Resell Items to Make Quick Cash
The key to making money as a reseller is preparation, according to Shawn Taylor, who’s been buying and selling items for 25 years.
Shawn is an Atlanta-based reseller who sells on eBay under the name CollectingObsessions. “I specialize in vintage pop culture items. Also, I sell vintage items at Highland Row Antiques in Atlanta.”
He says he gets his stuff not from one resource, but through various means.
“It’s a combination of yard sales, estate sales, and online, but also since I deal in collectibles I buy from other collectors when they decide to sell their duplicate items or sell the collections they have lost interest in.”
Here are five things that you can buy and resell easily, according to Shawn:
1. Vintage Furniture
“At the higher end, vintage furniture is very popular, especially when you have knowledge of period styles or designers and brands that can help you spot something valuable under layers of old paint,” he says.
2. Kitchen Appliances
“For online selling, unused kitchen appliances are usually reliable items because people are often looking for specific brands,” Shawn says.
Other things that make unused kitchen appliances hot sellers are “features that are only included with a specific older model that you might not be able to buy off the shelf or on Amazon.”
3. Vintage Electronics
“Vintage electronics are popular for the same reason, but it can be tricky because all of the features need to work to get a good price, and depending on the media involved that can be difficult to test,” he says.
4. Movies on DVD & Blu-Ray
Budget copies of older movies and full screen editions don’t sell, but classic movies in widescreen format and box sets with extra features are becoming very collectible, Shawn says.
“Movies on DVD and Blu-Ray are surprisingly good for resellers, especially as stores are limiting the shelf space they offer for physical copies of movies. The streaming wars are gradually thinning out the selection of movies that are available on any one online platform,” he says.
5. Movie Posters
“Most sellers have specialties, and every specialty has reliable standards,” Shawn says. “For example, one thing I sell is old movie posters and after years of doing so I know that science fiction and horror posters are always desirable.”
He says one marketing tactic he uses is to make sure he has a high volume of movie posters to choose from.
“I’ll even stock some posters that don’t have a very high value because collectors/customers appreciate a good selection to browse through, so they will keep coming back to look as I get more stuff in.”
Before you go out and start buying merchandise, Shawn says it’s imperative that you do your homework first.
“Research is very important,” he says. “It’s a good idea to keep an eye on the online market, because prices fluctuate with collectibles just like in any other market.”
He says if you’re not knowledgeable about a product, “it’s easy to pay too much for something you remembered being scarce and popular, only to discover the market has been saturated since the last time you checked.”
“Many sellers are suckers for a good deal… that can definitely lead to overpaying for something only to find out later that it’s more common than you thought, or a less sought-after version of the item you were thinking of.”
Finally, Shawn says, always get a second opinion, whether that’s through online research or asking other dealers.