After college, I had to find a way to make some money while living at my parents’ house and sending out job applications. What I discovered was a lucrative side hustle. Here’s how I did it.
The key to becoming a successful online reseller was understanding margins — the cost at which I bought an item and the price at which I sold it. The greater the margins, the higher the profitability. I realized that lowering the cost of my inventory and business supplies could increase my margins. I found that sourcing all my clothing from the Goodwill Outlets and taking advantage of free post office supplies was the way to go!
The Goodwill Outlet offered a discount once I reached 25 pounds of clothing. To maximize my savings, I made sure to leave with 25 pounds every time. My strategy was to shop for clothing of all sizes so that I could reach 25 pounds within a reasonable amount of time. On average, it took me 3 to 4 hours. While most of the items I picked up were women’s clothing, I also made sure not to neglect men’s clothing because they shop online too!
Let’s do the Math
To qualify for the Goodwill discount, I needed 25 pounds of clothing. Assuming the average article of clothing weighed 10 ounces:
10 articles of clothing = 6.25 lb.
20 articles of clothing = 12.5 lb.
40 articles of clothing = 25 lb.
Fortunately, I didn’t have to market the products I was selling because brand recognition had already taken care of that. The better I became at identifying brands, the more cost-efficient my business was. I made sure to avoid buying fast fashion brands as they had a low resell value.
- I paid $7.99/month for 100 listings.
- My audience was global.
- I had a free subscription.
- I didn’t have to pay for shipping.
- There were no seller profiles.
- They took care of everything.
Managing storage turned out to be less of a hassle than I initially thought. I could fold clothes and tightly pack them into a plastic bin. Based on my estimation, a 12-gallon bin could hold approximately 50 articles of clothing.
When it came to taking photos, I followed one motto: “Give them no reason not to purchase.” I knew people needed to be convinced that they had seen everything. So, I made sure to include upwards of 6 photos to provide that reassurance. My recommendations were close-ups, front, back, and side views.
- Mannequin (optional): I was fortunate enough to acquire male and female mannequins from a store closing in the mall.
- Lightbox (recommended): It removed all shadows and was excellent for close-ups.
- Steamer (necessary): It not only removed wrinkles but also eliminated odor and bacteria.
- Photography Lights (necessary): Natural lighting and room lighting were usually insufficient, so I invested in photography lights.
- White Brick Wallpaper (recommended): It reflected light, eliminated shadows, and had an aesthetically pleasing effect.
I always checked the comps (comparable prices) and priced my items accordingly. I was open to reasonable offers, as I understood that I wasn’t in the storage business.
Thank you for reading, and happy selling!