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The Business Of Resale

DATE: 20/01/22


If you’re approaching 2022 with the intention of launching your own business, have you considered stepping into the world of resale retail? At a time when sustainability and climate change continues to take centre stage, and when purse strings are feeling the post-pandemic squeeze, the business of retail is becoming increasingly attractive. Particularly if you happen to be a first time entrepreneur or have limited funding to take the leap into business ownership.

A resale business can mean two things – the first is a business that sells previously owned items, vintage clothing, antiques, second hand home items etc. The ‘resale’ title is based on items being purchased and then being sold on to a new owner for profit. The second type of resale business is that of drop shipping. Either via your own website or via a drop shipping market place, you sell items that are held and owned by a distributor and when your customer purchases them, you pay the distributor who ships directly to the customer. Both forms of resale offer several advantages to business owners, and in practice offer some of the lowest barriers to entry for first time entrepreneurs.

Second Hand Reseale

If you have a particular interest in vintage clothing, antique furniture, niche vinyl, collectible artwork, or really any other pre owned item, this type of business is for you. The real win here is that you are in complete control – you decide how much stock you invest in and how you price for resale, you can start very small and build and you can start with extremely low overheads and grow accordingly.

Resale websites like Ebay, Depop, and Etsy take the pain and cost out of setting up your own e-commerce site and also offer you protection by standardising how items are sold and how customer engagement is permitted. You have to factor in any percentage commission charge to your resale price and packing and shipping is your responsibility but you have the advantage of access to a huge customer base rather than having to invest in digital marketing to build up your own.

The downside to this type of business is the time investment necessary. Factor in set up for photography, photo editing, crafting product description and loading up for sale and you’ll find that this can add up to a large amount of your working day. As you grow your stock offering, your time output also grows so learning to streamline and setting up your own templates to expedite your process can help.


Dropshipping Resale

Many of us will have engaged with a seller on line without realising that they do not actually own the product they’re selling to us. It’s not always evident from websites or market places and in most cases it doesn’t make any difference to the experience of the shopper. As a business owner it makes all the difference.

Setting up a drop shipping business allows you to create your own business with minimal overheads, limited risk and less time investment than other business structures. Simply decide the types of product  you would like to sell (clothing, home decor items, books etc), establish where you’d like to sell on your own e-commerce site or use one of the various market place websites available (AliExpress, Avasam, Modalyst among others) and you’re nearly there. Once you’ve set up a relationship with a drop ship distributor, chosen the products you’d like to offer, you then work out what your retail price will be and post the items for sale. Only when a customer purchases, do you then pay your distributor who will ship out directly.

This business model offers several advantages in particular for first time entrepreneurs. Firstly you can choose which products you want to sell. You are not limited by a requirement to invent or manufacture your own products and you have the benefit of learning from your business and customers. Perhaps you’ll start with one range and add more as things grow, or perhaps you can add and remove product categories depending on trends and seasons.  You can set up your business quickly because you’re not waiting for delivery of inventory, or investment to allow you to purchase stock. Your overheads are naturally lower because you do not personally hold inventory, you don’t need to allow for stock storage, and you won’t need to plan for the time involved in picking, packing and shipping to your customers.

Dropshipping resale is not all plain sailing. There is tough competition so you really have to build and execute a digital marketing strategy to bring your customers to your products and grow your brand from there.  Making smart investment in social media content and advertising can build the foundation for long term gain.

So when it comes to starting a small business in 2022, consider resale as an option. Whether that’s starting small from car boot sales to resale on Ebay, or fulfilment of desirable home interiors items via your preferred on-line market place. Choosing a business model that fits your budget, your time, and your goals is vital to the success of any brand.


Whatever your business idea, whether it’s just something you’ve been mulling over or whether you’ve taken some steps on the entrepreneurial path already, we’d love to help. Read some of our Go For It Success Stories and get in touch. Our business experts will be delighted to hear from you and to talk you through everything you might need to know to move forward with your business concept.