How to Start a Successful Reselling Side Hustle

Reselling can be a highly lucrative side hustle for those who are technologically savvy and great at fixing up a certain niche of products.

Do you want to increase your wealth this year and beyond? One fantastic way to create a new stream of income is by starting a reselling side hustle. Whether you want to buy broken phones to fix, acquire rare vintage items to resell, or purchase old vehicles that you can repair and put back on the market, there are so many ways to get into the reselling business. This kind of side hustle is very promising for enterprising folk who are skilled at fixing all kinds of products.

Photo: Greg Berry, Founder and CEO of Municibid | Source: Courtesy Photo
Photo: Greg Berry, Founder and CEO of Municibid | Source: Courtesy Photo

If you’re interested in pursuing a reselling side hustle, below is an overview of what you need to know about this venture. Use these pointers to launch a successful reselling side business that brings you healthy profits (and a lot of fun!) for years to come!


How to get started

First, determine which items your skillset is best suited to refurbishing. You’ll increase your profit margin by fixing up items yourself rather than paying someone else to do it. For example, if you’re great with electronics, try fixing computers or phones. If you’re brilliant with the mechanics of a car, try fixing and flipping vehicles. If you’re great at woodworking, you can also buy old furniture that you can repair, repaint with an in-demand color or pattern, and resell.

Next, do research on how much those items typically sell for and what kinds of upgrades consumers are looking for in those items. You don’t want to invest in refurbishing items with features that no one wants or needs. Make sure to pick items that are in demand so you can easily resell them. This will help you flip your products quicker, allowing you to reinvest your profits into buying more items to fix and resell.


What sites to use

While there are still the traditional flea markets and garage sales, sourcing your items online saves you a lot of time and money because you won’t need to drive to individual events on specific days.

There are all kinds of seller apps and websites you can use to find the perfect items to buy and flip. Also, an often overlooked resource for resellers is the Municibid online government auction marketplace. Online government auctions have a wide range of items like vehicles, heavy equipment, boats, computers, tools, furniture — even real estate!

One great thing about government auctions is that you are a lot less likely to deal with all the con artists that plague many reseller apps and websites. This is because in government auctions, you are purchasing items from municipalities and government agencies with credibility (not an unknown individual with no accountability).


Time commitment

The benefit of online government auctions and reseller apps and websites is that there isn’t a set day and time you have to be there in-person like there is with a traditional live auction or flea market. You still have to do your due diligence, but it’ll be a lot faster than driving to a dozen different markets. It is recommended to check these websites daily to see what new items have been listed for sale so that you don’t miss out on potential cash cows!

Depending on the refurbishments you’re performing, your turnaround time from buying the item to reselling it will vary. If you’re doing everything yourself, your greatest time commitment will most likely be fixing up the items. You also have to take into account the time it takes to create ads and listings to market your refurbished items on reseller websites and apps.


Potential costs

Common costs you’ll have are the picking up or shipping of items, purchasing tools and parts for the refurbishment, and marketing your upgraded items. You could save on shipping costs by picking up items yourself and requiring your buyers to pick up from you or to pay for shipping themselves.

Ideally, you’ll find similar items that need the same types of upgrades and so you can save money on parts by buying in bulk. For marketing your items, keep your cost low by leveraging sites like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and local classifieds.


Potential financial gain

Depending on how you upgrade the items, you could easily see a 50-100% increase on resell price. Keep track of your expenses and you can identify which items had a greater profit in order to find more of those items to resell. Overall, you’ll see higher profit margins with items that are already a higher value, like vehicles, as opposed to lower value items like furniture.

Specializing in a niche market would give you a huge advantage with higher demand. For example, converting ambulances into RVs is in high demand. It’s an opportunity ripe for resellers to sweep in and satisfy this market need. Finding a unique, high-demand market that you can service will put you in an excellent position for great profits!


To Wrap It Up

Reselling can be a highly lucrative side hustle for those who are technologically savvy and great at fixing up a certain niche of products. To get started, choose which products your skillset is best suited to fix and flip, check to see the kinds of upgrades consumers want in those products, and make sure that the items are in demand to ensure quicker sales.

Consider purchasing your items in online government auctions to help prevent the risk of scammers, keep in mind that the time commitment and costs will vary depending on what you repair and resell, and know that there is huge potential to make fantastic profits! Good luck on your new reselling venture!


Greg Berry is the CEO and founder of Municibid, the go-to online marketplace for government auctions. Municibid is the top platform for municipalities, public schools, fire departments, police departments, agricultural departments, and other government agencies all over the US and Canada to sell their surplus vehicles, forfeitures, and more directly to the public, 24 hours a day. 


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