If you’ve started researching ways to make money online, you will no doubt come across hundreds, if not thousands of different options. As you can imagine, with so many different money-making paths to consider, it can leave you feeling a little perplexed and no doubt frustrated in some respects.
One of the “tried and tested” methods of making an income using the Internet is buying items cheaply to resell again, obviously for a profit. If you’re wondering whether such an enterprise is worthy of your time and effort, the answer is yes. The thing is, how can you maximise your chances of success when pursuing such a venture? Here’s what you need to know.
Focus on a specific niche market
It would help if you decided what you will focus on when you buy and sell items on the Internet to make money. For example, you may wish to direct your attention to buying and selling power tools. Or your niche market might be vehicle parts, like brake calipers.
Before you decide to quit your day job and start buying and selling things online, what you must first do is research the viability of your niche market. Next, you must think about whether you want to have a quick turnaround on items or are happy to sit on products until the right buyers come along. The latter option could make sense if you’ve got a job that covers your bills each month, and your target market is a very niche one.
It’s best to focus on a singular product or category. Once you’ve got used to buying and selling items online, you can then diversify your market into other products and services.
Learn the tricks of getting items cheaply (or free)
The first rule of buying and selling items online is that you must source your products for as low a price as possible. If possible, try to acquire those items for free (through legitimate means, of course)! Doing so means you will make the most profit possible when it comes to making and saving money through the Internet.
When it comes to searching online for potentials items to purchase, there are a few ways and buying channels you can explore. For example, you could look to social media sources such as Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree, and Shpock. There’s also eBay, but it can be challenging to get a bargain from there given the volume of active users on the selling platform.
You will need to get creative when it comes to finding items and paying the lowest possible prices for them. Here are a few things you need to bear in mind:
Some people are terrible at spelling
Let’s say, for example, that you’re going to buy and sell petrol lawnmowers. Logic dictates that you should search online sources using the keywords ‘petrol lawnmower’, but you’ll end up missing ads because of typos in the advert’s title and description.
Did you know that in the world of Internet marketing, SEO (search engine optimisation) professionals use typo generator tools to find misspelled variations of keywords that people use when searching for things on Google? You could use such tools to help you see ads with misspelled variations of your search terms.
Old ads don’t always mean missed opportunities
You will doubtless come across ads that have been up for several days or even weeks. You may not realise it, but those people might not have had much luck in attracting buyers. Or they could have forgotten they put up their ads! It’s always worth messaging those sellers because you can often grab yourself a bargain, especially if they’re willing to let items go for a much-reduced price than advertised.
Don’t be afraid to drop low-ball offers
‘If you don’t ask, you don’t get’ is an old saying that you’ve probably heard a few folks tell you in your lifetime. To that end, you should always put in a low-ball offer for something and see what the seller says to you. Yes, some will laugh at you and ask if you’re serious. But, there will be times where other sellers accept your low offers because they are desperate for the money.
A general rule of thumb when offering a low-ball offer is to message sellers offering a third of the asking price. For instance, if an item is up for sale at £50, offer them £16. It might seem like a ridiculous strategy, but it does work!
Making items more presentable for resale
When you’ve acquired items to sell on for a profit, it pays to spend a bit of time making them more presentable. People will generally pay more money for something that looks looked after. With that in mind, take some time to give your items a good clean. If you’re selling vehicle parts, consider using parts cleaner on them to get rid of baked-on oil and grease.
And if you’re selling workshop tools like bench vices, consider cleaning them up and giving them a fresh coat of paint. Even better, if you own an air compressor at home, consider investing in a powder-coating gun and oven and powder-coat those vices instead.
If the items you are selling have broken parts, and those parts are cheap to replace, mend your items to gain the highest selling prices.
Stick to your price limits
You will have no doubt researched what prices you can realistically achieve when reselling used items you’ve bought or obtained for free online. A good pricing strategy is to consider the amount you are happy to sell an item at and advertise it at a slightly higher price. That way, if someone negotiates on the price, you can lower it to the amount you had in mind.
But, make sure that you don’t go any lower than that price. Otherwise, you will only eat into your profit and not make much money.