Starting a Resale Shop Business

What is resale? Is it a profitable business idea? How does one go about starting a resale shop? Read this article and find out the answer to these questions.

It can’t be argued that a certain sector of our society is hard up on cash.

This folks would appreciate any opportunity to stretch their hard earned dollar. Resale shopping is a good way to find what they need at a much lower cost.

A resale shop is an offshoot of the retail industry. In a nutshell, resale shops are retail stores that sell slightly used or secondhand goods. This business is a good start up opportunity especially for those with limited funds because it requires very little in terms of capital.

    There are several things you need to consider before venturing into this business.
  • First, assess yourself to see if you have what it takes to run a retail business. This business requires determination, desire, enthusiasm, hard-work and perseverance. Do you have these qualities? Can you mutli-task? Do you have a knack for spotting good deals? Are you energetic? Are you familiar with the basic business management concepts?
  • Second, decide on the manner by which to sell your products. The most capital intensive avenue is a storefront or a fixed retail location. Of course, this is not your only option. You can sell your merchandise via fairs and flea markets. And then there’s the internet. There are a number of auction sites at your disposal. You can post your goods there and do your bartering there. If you prefer, you can have a website with e-commerce capability built for your business. The cost for development and upkeep of such site is relatively minimal. If you think you can manage it, you may want to combine all these options. Also, explore alternative marketing channels, some resale retailers conduct home parties, some use independent sales consultants, and so on.
  • Third, your product inventory can be acquired in a number of ways. You can stock up on items from garage sales. You can buy items in bulk from auctions sites. You can ask your friends and family if they have items they wish to donate or if they know of people who wish to sell their items on consignment basis.
  • Fourth, the prices you assign to merchandise shall depend on its quality and demand. You must strike the perfect balance between your customers wanting the best deal and your need to earn extra profit. If you set too high a mark-up price, then expect your customers to walk away without a purchase. Of course, don’t count on them to refer your store to their friends because they won’t.
  • Fifth, you should give a lot of thought to location. The best place to set up your shop is in a highly visible area with a lot of pedestrian and vehicle traffic. The parking shouldn’t give your customers any hassle and it should be easily accessible. As a general rule, choose a place that is near or where your target market is.

In setting up your store space, you will need shelving units, racks, counters, display cases, cash register and credit card machine. You don’t have to purchase these items brand new. Given the nature of your business, slightly used equipments will do just fine. Usually, you can find items such as these in liquidation sales.


  • Duncan said on February 26, 2009
    send me any info on this, can you start a business like this in the form of pawn and get away from having to get the licence from your states dept of finance?
  • Nikki said on July 15, 2009
    I am so ready for my new shop..
  • Collette said on February 2, 2010
    Resale/Consignment software (we use ConsignmentTill) can save you a ton of time so you can focus on sales, customer service, marketing, etc..
  • EJ said on March 13, 2010
    Our Church wants to start a small shop as part of our outreach efforts.(Selling quality items extremely low) We would seek donations from friends n neighbors.
  • joseph said on May 17, 2010
    I am going to start an online resale business in ma, what lic. Or permits do I need and how do I go about registering my business with the irs, state and local tax departments? What laws do I have to obey and what obligations do I have?
  • Jeff said on December 6, 2010
    I have a banquet hall that does about 65 weddings/year. Busy on the weekends, dead throughout the week. We're thinking about starting a consignment auction program throughout the week where consignors would bring stuff in on a Mon., we would have a silent auction through Wed. and on Thursday have a live auction with (eventually) online bidding. All merchandise that didn't sell would need to be removed by Thursday. There are bid minimums of $20 per item or $30/lot with restrictions. Fees are 10% of winning bid from seller and 10% buyers premium on silent auction items and 15%/10% respectively for live auction. There are many other 'details' here but this is the jest of it. Has anyone seen or experienced a similar model in a similar venue? What do you think... ideas, suggestions, comments??? Thanks!
  • kim said on January 20, 2011
    Right on the verge of buying a building and doing this in a town of 10 thousand. I am a fashion gal and have second hand shopped for 20 yrs. Any advice?
  • Lucinda Lea Kneeland said on October 22, 2011
    What about having resale new an used items for sale from home! Like a resale party! Make invitations , have food, merchandise items! Ect!
  • Joe simone said on March 31, 2014
    Don't have store yet, but very interested. Wife and I always wanted to do this
  • el said on April 28, 2014
    I am looking to sell supplements and beauty products online, what type of license do I need for private labelling in texas? Would I need a buisness license, resale licenses, etc.?


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