How to Buy and Sell Products for a Living | Reselling Product (2023)

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Editor's note: This article is excerpted from 202 Things You Can Buy and Sell for Big Profits from Entrepreneur Press.

A buy-and-sell enterprise is nothing more than purchasing cheaply new or previously owned products that we all need, use or want, and reselling these same items for more than cost. The difference between what you paid and what you sold it for, of course, is your profit. The mantra of every buy-and-sell enterprise is simple, and easily memorized: Buy low, sell high. That is precisely the purpose of this book-to show you how you can start and operate your own independent buy-and-sell enterprise so you can buy low and sell high, and make a bundle of profit in the process.

Buying and selling for profit is nothing new. It has been around for thousands of years; the only difference is that the currency has switched from goats and bread to paper and plastic. With that said, however, there are two primary reasons why buying and selling has recently exploded from being the closely guarded secret of a few, to the popular occupation of hundreds of thousands of people worldwide, who are now buying and selling as their sole source of income. The first reason is the advent, wide acceptance and use of the internet, and the second reason is what I refer to as the new economy.

The Internet Makes It Easy to Buy and Sell

The proliferation of the internet gives entrepreneurs from every walk of life and from every geographic location access to a global audience of buying consumers, eager sellers, information, and resources as in no other time in history. The internet has not only made it easier to sell products into the global marketplace utilizing online sales venues such as eBay, e-commerce websites, e-classifieds, and e-storefronts, but to also source a nearly limitless number of in-demand products, which can be bought cheaply from domestic and overseas suppliers and resold for a handsome profit. Once this task was out of the reach of most small businesspeople because of the amount of time and money required to research and often travel to foreign and domestic product suppliers to inspect, negotiate, and ink an agreement. Much of that has changed. Now with the simple click of a mouse you can buy products cheaply from thousands of suppliers spanning the globe, and resell these same products worldwide through numerous online marketplaces, or locally through community retailing opportunities like your weekend flea market-all for incredible profits.

The New Economy Is Buying and Selling

The new global marketplace has also created a second reason why buying and selling is not only the wave of the future, but also likely to become a large part of what makes up the new economy in industrialized nations such as the United States and Canada. It is no secret that manufacturing, technology and middle-management jobs continue to disappear daily, swallowed up by overseas economies with cheaper labor, raw product, and production costs. In fact, some studies suggest the job drain in these areas is occurring at an alarming rate, faster than most people, including politicians and policy makers, are aware of or care to admit. Call centers in India, furniture manufacturing in Indonesia and chemical processing in China. The resulting fallout in North America is a dramatic increase in the numbers of new small-business start-ups. Many people who have been or who will soon be affected by the new global economy have chosen self-employment as a way to keep in tune with changing times, make money, and secure their long-term future. History has taught us evolve or end up like the dinosaurs-extinct!

The Advantages of a Buy-and-Sell Enterprise

When you consider the advantages of a buy-and-sell enterprise over traditional retail or service-provider businesses, it quickly becomes apparent why many people have wisely elected to buy and sell, and why buying and selling will make up a large percentage of new business startups and the new economy. Consider some of these reasons.

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  • Low investment. The vast majority of buy-and-sell enterprises require only a minimal investment to start. Most require under $2,000, including inventory.
  • Minimal financial risk. Because almost all the money you spend to get started goes into buying inventory, there is limited financial risk involved. If you decide to quit, you can simply sell off stock, recoup all or most of your investment, and live to fight another day.
  • Incredible profit potential. As mentioned in the introduction, a 15-year-old high school student is earning $5,000 a month part-time selling vintage T-shirts! Needless to say, the profit potential is excellent.
  • Work from home. For people wanting to work from home, a buy-and-sell venture is a great choice, because most can largely be operated and managed from home.
  • Flexibility. No other business opportunity or career choice offers as much flexibility as buying and selling, especially if you concentrate on online sales. Part-time, full-time, seasonally or occasionally, you set your own schedule and level of commitment as determined by your goals and objectives, not your boss's.
  • Minimal skill requirements. With the exception of a few specialized products such as real estate and antiques, there are few skill requirements needed to start, operate, and prosper in a buy-and-sell enterprise, and those skills that are needed can be mastered by novice entrepreneurs over time. This is a rare opportunity where ambition and motivation are more important than special skills.
  • Tax advantages. Operating a legal buy-and-sell business has numerous tax advantages and business write-offs, which will leave more money in your pocket and less in Uncle Sam's.

Who Can Buy and Sell?

The answer is simple-anyone. One of the best aspects about starting and operating a buy-and-sell venture is that everyone is qualified. Buying and selling knows no boundaries-anyone with a need or desire to earn extra money, work from home or to start and own a business can buy and sell, regardless of age, experience, education and financial resources. This is perhaps what makes buying and selling the ultimate self-employment option for the vast majority of people; it's cheap, easy, quick and proven to work and generate huge profits. Imagine the flexibility that buying and selling offers. You can buy and sell part time to pay off debts. You can buy and sell full time to replace your current income and in all likelihood earn more. You can buy and sell seasonally, enabling you to pursue other interests like travel. Or you can buy and sell to help supplement your retirement income and stay active in your golden years.

Need a few ideas about just which products have buy/sell potential? Here are five products that work well in this arena:


The potential to profit from buying and selling antiques is as great as the potential to lose money. Replicas, paying too much and purchasing items in poor condition are just three of the hazards you need to hone your knowledge and skills to guard against if you choose to buy and sell antiques. However, those who do take the time required to become antique experts are usually rewarded with big profits and gratifying work.

Antiques is a broad subject, so pick an area in which to specialize-furniture, art, farm implements or architectural antiques. The best places to dig up antique treasures include garage sales, auctions, estate sales and advertising placed by private sellers in the classifieds. Secondary buying sources will include flea markets, secondhand shops and online marketplaces. Always take along your antiques-hunter toolbox, which should include antique value guides, camera, flashlight, magnifying glass, angled mirror and measuring tape. The best way to sell for top dollar is directly to collectors via clubs, associations and shows. Next to selling to collectors, list on eBay and online antique buy-and-sell marketplaces, sell at flea markets, and sell directly from a home showroom supported by local advertising.

Buy: Auctions, Flea Markets, Garage Sales, Estate Sales, Classified Ads

Sell: Collectors, B2B, Auctions, Homebased Sales, eBay, Flea Markets


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Used and Rare Books

You have the potential to hit the jackpot if you specialize in rare books such as first editions, antique and author-autographed copies. There are an infinite number of used books available at rock-bottom prices. You can buy them at garage sales, flea markets, online marketplaces, auctions, estate sales, library sales and secondhand shops.

Even better, few people take the time to find out the true value of the books they are selling, and because of this, many rare and valuable books can be purchased in the process. For instance, you might stumble upon a first-edition copy of The Old Man and the Sea, by Ernest Hemingway and purchase it for far less than the $600 to $1,000 it is currently worth to a collector. You will want to invest in rare-book pricing guides so you are armed with the resources needed to make wise purchasing decisions. Whether or not the books you sell are run-of-the mill used books for $10 or rare ones worth hundreds, the internet is your best marketing tool. List books for sale on Amazon, eBay and any number of the used and collector book marketplaces on the net. Also, if you plan on volume selling, be sure to invest in barcode scanning software such as Scanner Pal , which automatically scans all book information retrieved from the barcode for simple listing.

Buy: Garage Sales, Online Marketplaces, Flea Markets, Secondhand Shops

Sell: eBay, Collectors, Flea Markets, Online Marketplaces, Amazon


Golf Clubs

Golf ranks as one of the most popular sports and recreational pastimes in North America, and you can make a bundle by selling new and used golf clubs and equipment. If you have some mechanical aptitude, you can dramatically increase profits by purchasing golf club components (heads, shafts and grips) wholesale, and assembling the clubs at home to meet your clients' individual needs. That is, you build custom clubs.

Or if you're not the handy type, then you can purchase preassembled new clubs from wholesalers and manufacturers. Used golf clubs and accessories such as bags, electric carts and pull-carts can be bought at flea markets, garage sales, online golf portals, auction sales and estate sales. New and used clubs and accessories can be sold through eBay, via a homebased showroom supported by local and online advertising, and by exhibiting at golf shows.

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Buy: Wholesalers, Manufacturers, Classified Ads, Auctions

Sell: Homebased Sales, Online Marketplaces, eBay, Golf and Recreation Shows



For the innovative entrepreneur, there are numerous ways to sell cosmetics and make a bundle. You can enlist contract salespeople to organize and host home cosmetics sales parties. You can sell cosmetics in any number of online marketplaces, including eBay. You can establish a customer base via community advertising and direct contact methods like telemarketing and mail, and offer home delivery and consultations much like Mary Kay and Avon. You can rent kiosk space in malls and sell cosmetics on weekends. You can rent vendor space at fashion, health, and beauty shows and sell cosmetics. Or you can combine any or all of these selling methods to maximize sales and profits.

The first step to getting started in cosmetics sales is to source a reliable supply of decent-quality cosmetics. You can create your own cosmetics brand and have it manufactured under a private labeling agreement. Or you can strike a deal with an existing cosmetics manufacturer or distributor and market that line on an exclusive or nonexclusive basis. You may also want to specialize in organic cosmetics products and market to people with skin sensitivity or allergies.

Buy: Wholesalers, Manufacturers

Sell: Home Parties, Direct Delivery, eBay, Kiosks

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Computer Parts

A great full-time or part-time income can be earned buying and selling new computer parts such as CDRW and DVD drives, hard drives, memory, audio and video cards, processing chips and motherboards. Buy from wholesalers and sell directly to businesses for upgrade purposes, from a homebased showroom/repair shop, and through various online marketplaces.

Buy: Manufacturers, Wholesalers

Sell: B2B, Homebased Sales, Online Marketplaces


Editor's note: This article is excerpted from 202 Things You Can Buy and Sell for Big Profits from Entrepreneur Press.


Can you make a living reselling items? ›

Reselling is quite profitable when things are found on sale and sold for market value somewhere else. Electronics like video cameras are good to flip because they have a higher profit margin. Lower-priced items would offer a return but might take a while to accumulate.

What companies will pay me to sell their products? ›

The Best Direct Sales Companies
  • Mary Kay. When you work as a distributor for cosmetics company Mary Kay, your job will be to sell beauty products to other people in your community. ...
  • Avon. ...
  • Tupperware. ...
  • Pampered Chef. ...
  • Thirty-One Gifts. ...
  • Scentsy. ...
  • Traveling Vineyard. ...
  • Beachbody.
Jan 19, 2023

Can you make a living buying and selling? ›

Buying and selling is an art, and anyone can make money buying and selling depending on how much time and energy you're willing to put into it.

What is the most profitable item to flip? ›

The Best Items to Flip for Profit show
  • Clearance Items.
  • Bed-in-a-Box Mattress Returns.
  • Furniture.
  • Sports Memorabilia.
  • Sports and Exercise Equipment.
  • Musical Instruments.
  • Power Tools.
  • Baby and Kid Gear.

How much do full time resellers make? ›

How much does a Reseller make? As of Jan 11, 2023, the average annual pay for a Reseller in the United States is $82,797 a year. Just in case you need a simple salary calculator, that works out to be approximately $39.81 an hour. This is the equivalent of $1,592/week or $6,899/month.

What is the easiest to resell? ›

The 15 Best Items to Flip
  1. Apparel. Whether you're simply looking to clean out your closet or want to turn reselling into a part-time gig, apparel of all kinds is perfect for flipping. ...
  2. Cameras. ...
  3. Smartphones, Tablets and Tech Accessories. ...
  4. Exercise Equipment. ...
  5. Household Appliances. ...
  6. Used Books. ...
  7. Designer Bags. ...
  8. Vintage Jewelry.
Dec 2, 2021

What can I sell to make a lot of money fast? ›

What Can You Sell to Make Money Fast?
  1. Old clothes. If you're looking for things to sell to make quick cash, your clothes just might top the list. ...
  2. Sneakers. Have some cool sneakers you want to get rid of? ...
  3. Jewelry. ...
  4. Watches. ...
  5. Your wedding dress. ...
  6. Baby items. ...
  7. Home décor items. ...
  8. Holiday decorations.
Nov 10, 2022

What can I sell to get instant cash? ›

The 20 Best Things to Sell for Quick Money Right Now
  • Jewelry and watches. ...
  • Video game consoles. ...
  • Old phones and accessories. ...
  • Purses, wallets, and backpacks. ...
  • Yard equipment. ...
  • Jeans, workwear, and designer clothing. ...
  • Furniture. ...
  • Baby gear.

Does Amazon pay you to sell? ›

Amazon's Payout Cycle and How it Works

For most sellers, Amazon issues payouts every two weeks. Each payment includes proceeds from 14 days of orders (minus Amazon's fees) that were successfully delivered to your customers at least seven days ago.

Is it illegal to buy something and resell it for more? ›

Generally, it's not illegal to resell an item that you have legitimately purchased. Once you have purchased something at retail it is yours to do with as you choose. Manufacturers tend to have little or no control over a product past the first customer they sell to.

What can you buy cheap and sell for a profit? ›

30 Low Cost Products With High Profit Margins
  • Jewelry. As far as unisex products go, jewelry is at the top. ...
  • TV Accessories. ...
  • Beauty Products. ...
  • DVDs. ...
  • Kids Toys. ...
  • Video Games. ...
  • Women's Boutique Apparel. ...
  • Designer & Fashion Sunglasses.

What item makes the most profit? ›

Some of the most profitable products that are sold online are:
  • Jewelry.
  • Beauty Products.
  • Bamboo Toothbrushes.
  • Sunglasses.
  • Watches.
  • Women's Apparel.
  • Fitness Equipment.
  • Yoga Leggings.

What sells quickly on Facebook marketplace? ›

Top Selling Items on Facebook Marketplace in 2023
  • Fashion Apparel. Branded fashion apparel are some of the most selling stuff on the Facebook marketplace. ...
  • Furniture & Home Decor. ...
  • Mobile & Accessories. ...
  • Books. ...
  • Baby Care Products. ...
  • Sports Supplies & Fitness Equipment. ...
  • Health & Wellness Products. ...
  • Toys.
Dec 7, 2022

What is the most sellable item? ›

The most sold item in the world is clothing and fashion items. This ranges from women and men's outfits to children's clothing, shoes, accessories, and more. People love their clothes, and fashion isn't going anywhere!

How do you start off as a reseller? ›

How to become a reseller
  1. Register your business. Get a business license where your business operates and/or is incorporated. ...
  2. Research state laws and regulations. ...
  3. Gather your application materials. ...
  4. Get a resale permit.
Nov 10, 2022

Where do resellers get their products? ›

5 Places to Source Inventory for Reselling
  • Finding the right inventory. Sourcing products for your reselling business can seem like an intimidating task because you have to find inventory to sell and make a profit. ...
  • Online Sourcing. ...
  • Yard Sales/Estate Sales. ...
  • Retail Clearance. ...
  • Thrift Stores. ...
  • Amazon Bin Stores.
Feb 17, 2022

How much do Amazon resellers make a month? ›

Almost half of Amazon sellers earn somewhere between $1,000 and $2,500 per month, with some sellers reporting earnings of up to $45k per year. Amazon allows you to put your products on display for everyone to see, which means more sales and ultimately more profit.

Which product is best for reselling? ›

Many products can be resold for profit, including clothing, electronics, furniture, even food! The most profitable products to resell are usually in high demand and have low competition, so choose your products wisely.

What can I make at home to resell? ›

21 Things to make and sell
  • Bath bombs and handmade soaps.
  • T-shirts and printed merchandise.
  • Jewelry.
  • Curated gift and subscription boxes.
  • Candles.
  • Sweets.
  • Art and prints.
  • Digital products.
Oct 12, 2022

What are the easiest items to sell online? ›

10 Easiest Items to Sell on Amazon and eBay
  1. Electronics. Selling electronics such as stereos, electric homeware or other gadgets on Amazon or eBay is a great way to make some extra income. ...
  2. Clothing and accessories. ...
  3. Books. ...
  4. Toys. ...
  5. Home goods. ...
  6. Sporting goods. ...
  7. Jewelry and Watches. ...
  8. Health & Beauty Products.
Dec 15, 2022

What is the most profitable thing to make and sell? ›

What are the most profitable crafts by category?
  • Jewelry.
  • Art.
  • Photography.
  • Soap.
  • Candles.
  • Sewing.

How to make money without a job? ›

11 ways to make money without a real job
  1. Get paid to test websites.
  2. Become a crowdworker.
  3. Design and sell t-shirts.
  4. Work as a transcriber.
  5. Shop for others.
  6. Sell crafts online.
  7. Get paid to pet sit.
  8. Sell your photos online.
Feb 8, 2022

What is the minimum amount to sell on Amazon? ›

You can start your product stock with just one product. There are no criteria for having a minimum quantity of products (i.e, 50 or 100 products). You can start with just one.

How fast does Amazon pay you? ›

It usually takes 3 to 5 business days from the time we settle your account and initiate an ACH transfer before the funds arrive in your account.

Will Amazon pay you to quit? ›

Typically, Amazon pays its warehouse workers up to $5,000 to quit their jobs after peak seasons like the holidays as a way to pare down its workforce in the slowdown that follows.

Can you make a living flipping items? ›

This depends on a lot of factors, but I know people who make a full-time living (and then some) doing nothing but flipping used items. It's not impossible to make $100,000 or more, especially if you are doing it full time (and combine it with retail arbitrage, which is mainly flipping new stuff on Amazon).

Can reselling be a career? ›

Reselling can be a part-time way to make extra money or it can be a full-time job, depending on how much time you devote to your project. If you're interested in working for an eco-friendly business, you may enjoy being a reseller.

Is it illegal to resell items for profit? ›

Generally, it's not illegal to resell a product. Restrictions normally come from the platform themselves and not the manufacturer of the company. The truth is that most brands are safe to resell. You're just not allowed to claim “brand new” or “straight from the manufacturer” because that just wouldn't be true.

Is reselling a good business to start? ›

Easy to source and sustainable, online reselling even became a career of choice for some. One of the main preconditions to resell successfully and profitably is having access to a larger number of buyers, and it can be achieved easily with cross-listing.

What products are high in demand right now? ›

What products are most profitable to sell?
  • Beauty products and cosmetics.
  • Jewelry.
  • TV and smartphone accessories.
  • Designer sunglasses.
  • Children's toys and games.
  • Shoes.
  • Video games.
  • Pet supplies.

What can you buy that makes money? ›

It's easy to forget that you can buy things that actually make you money.
Here are some things you can spend your money on that likely will generate a return on your investment.
  • Vending Machines. ...
  • 3D Printers. ...
  • Start an Online Store. ...
  • Buy Dividend Bearing Stocks.
Sep 27, 2022

What do I need to become a reseller? ›

How to become a reseller
  1. Register your business. Get a business license where you do business and/or are incorporated. ...
  2. Check into state laws. In most states, you should be able to use an out-of-state reseller's permit that eliminates the need to pay sales tax on resale items. ...
  3. Get a resale permit.
Nov 17, 2022

How do you start flipping items? ›

Here are 5 simple steps to get started flipping items for profit.
  1. 1 – Declutter your space. The BEST place to find your first items to flip is your own home. ...
  2. 2 – Take Pictures of the Items in Your “Sell” Box. ...
  3. 3 – List Your Items for Sale. ...
  4. 4 – Sell Items and Ship Them Out. ...
  5. 5 – Repeat.

Do I need to file taxes for reselling items? ›

Whether you sell items only online or not, the IRS and most states see any income you earn from these sales as taxable. Whether or not you will owe taxes for selling personal items, goods, or services online will depend on several factors, including whether you made a profit.

Is it legal to resell on Amazon? ›

Is it Legal to Resell Products on Amazon? The act of reselling things on Amazon is legal. It makes no difference whether you purchase them even from a retail store or wholesale from a distributor; as long as they're brand new but not fraudulent, they also can be sold via the Amazon platform.

What things are illegal to sell? ›

Prohibited and restricted items
  • Adults only.
  • Illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia.
  • Embargoed goods.
  • Firearms and accessories.
  • Government items.
  • Hazardous materials.
  • Items encouraging illegal activity.
  • Lockpicking devices.

What is the cheapest most profitable business to start? ›

Low Cost Business Ideas with High Profit Potential
  • Personal Training. ...
  • Event Planning. ...
  • Vacation Rentals Business. ...
  • Property Management. ...
  • Home and Office Cleaning. ...
  • Car Detailing. ...
  • Catering. ...
  • Food Truck Operation. Food trucks are also relatively inexpensive to get up and running — at least for food businesses.
Jul 23, 2019

How much does a beginner reseller make? ›

Resellers can make anywhere from 15% to 40% profit with each item they sell. But successful resellers can make upwards of $650 per day. When I first started selling on eBay, I was happy when I made more than $600 a month, this is good money for a small side hustle but it's not enough for a full-time income.


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