Reselling is a Marathon Business

I know a lot of new resellers, come into the business after seeing a viral post on Facebook, or watching tv shows like Storage Wars and American Pickers, or by viewing a video from one of the many amazing resellers on YouTube, like Ralliroots or Crazy Lamp Lady. YouTube and TV are edited versions of what is normally a long process. Take the TV shows I mentioned, they only showcase “expected” sales or profits, rarely actual sales. YouTubers are more transparent, with many of them putting up regular sold videos; however, the time from listing to the time an item sells is almost never discussed unless it’s a fast sale. This can give a false impression that reselling can be a way to make quick cash.

With that assumption, new resellers commonly jump into the business and after the first week, will get very discouraged when their items are sitting and not selling. Some of that has to do with being a new seller and not optimizing their listings, some has to do with possibly not picking the best items for resell, but most of the time it’s because reselling is a marathon, not a sprint business. Let me give an example.


I listed this Affliction thermal shirt on my eBay on February 23, 2019. I listed it for $17.77, thinking at a low price and it still being cold outside it would be a quick sale. I paid $4.23 at the GoodWill with tax. This shirt sat in it’s bin until April 20, 2019, when it finally sold for full price. The fees for the sale were $2.67, ) $3.85 shipping (I offer free shipping), and after original cost of $4.23, I made $7.02. It took nearly two months from listing to shipping. I’ve been reselling on and off for a decade, and my normal break down is 15% sold within a week of listing, 65% sold within 2-8 weeks of listing, and 20% 8+ weeks.

If you are just starting out, don’t get discouraged if you don’t sell anything right away. Start small but keep at it. Do a little research and see how successful resellers list their items and take their pictures. Make some adjustments to titles and photos. It may take awhile, but if you develop your thrift eye, and list regularly, things will start to sell.