There can be a number of reasons you are stuck at home and unable to get out to your favorite spots to get more clothes to sell on Poshmark and other online platforms. It’s been winter here in the Heartland, so my favorite opportunities have been few and far between. I’ve had to get a little resourceful and creative.
Today, I wanted to share with you a few online opportunities to get more inventory when you are stuck at home. The most important thing to remember with any of these avenues is to watch your profit margins. The prices are often a lot higher than thrift stores and you may also need to pay for shipping. Check your comps carefully before making an investment.
1. Retail Arbitrage
If you aren’t familiar with the term retail arbitrage it is simply buying an item directly from a store as opposed to secondhand and selling it for a profit. I love having “new with tag” items in my online store, so this is one of my favorite ways to get inventory. I prefer shopping in-store locally, but this can also be done online.
That being said, you have to be careful. Prices are usually higher than buying items secondhand. While you may be able to price your items higher because they are new, you have to make sure there is enough meat on the bone. Remember, there are a lot of people out there who aren’t willing to pay more than 50-60% of the retail price regardless of whether an item is new or not.
Also, you need to remember there are probably a lot of other people shopping those same websites as you. That means the market can quickly be flooded with identical items. This happened to me with some things I purchased from Nordstrom Rack last year. They are still in my closet today. There are still tons of those items available on resale marketplaces.
Try to find lesser-known online clearance events that may not be as popular among other resellers. Be strategic. Be smart. Keep your investment low.
I have purchased several Rescue Boxes from thredUP in the past. You can choose from categories like denim, shoes, handbags and more. The prices on these boxes make them very appealing. In my first boxes, I got 25 pairs of shoes for $120 and 30 pounds of jeans for $48. But, these items will not all be sellable.
You have to remember these are items that thredUP was unable or unwilling to sell on their own site. Some will have damage. Some may be Walmart or Target brands that aren’t going to net a good profit and/or move quickly.
At the end of the day, my average price paid for the shoes I kept to resell came to $5.37 per pair and $2.34 each for the jeans. Not too bad, but many of these items I’m only going to be able to sell for $15 or $20 before fees.
If you want to try one out and are new to ThredUp, use my referral link to get $10 off your first purchase.
3. Facebook Marketplace
Maybe a lot of other people are stuck at home right now with nothing better to do than clean out their closets. I don’t find a lot of good deals as a reseller, the prices are often too high, but maybe you will have better luck. Don’t forget to include your time and gas when figuring out whether an item is worth it.
While stuck at home, I have taken to eBay for inventory. Since I’m looking to buy in bulk and at a price with enough room for profit, I search for terms like “reseller boxes.”
Reseller boxes usually differ from traditional clothing lots because they are often created by resellers for resellers. They know you need high(er) quality merchandise and at a good price.
Before purchasing, I recommend checking a seller’s reviews. I also recommend asking questions to make sure you are clear on what you are getting if the description doesn’t lay it all out.
How many pieces can you expect? What brands? What sizes? Are the items damaged?
Then, break down your price per item including shipping. $35 for 10 pieces might sound good, but not if the shipping is an additional $25.
5. Goodwill Online
Maybe you aren’t able to shop at your local Goodwill right now. Did you know that you can shop Goodwill online too?
Goodwill Online is often items hand-picked from the stores – things they think should sell for a premium price. These items may be available as “buy it now” or an auction. You can choose to shop only your local regional branch or any store across the country.
I did quite a bit of shopping for inventory on Goodwill Online last year. This year? Not so much. The items available from my closest Goodwill outlet are outrageously priced right now – and the stuff isn’t that good in the first place. If you will need your orders shipped, the shipping and handling charges can be expensive (there are some one-cent shipping items). So, for me, it isn’t worth it anymore. Depending on your location, you may be able to get a better deal.
6. Liquidation Companies
There are some companies like BULQ, BlueLots, Via Trading and more that will allow you to buy bulk lots of customer returns and overstock inventory. This avenue usually requires plenty of room for storage and some available capital. These boxes, pallets and even truckloads of inventory can run from several hundred dollars up to several thousand.
Read the FAQs. Some companies will require that you be a registered business and/or have a business license.
I highly recommend reading a lot of reviews on an individual company before making a purchase. It’s always a gamble, but the more informed the better.
7. Other Online Marketplaces
In addition to Facebook Marketplace and eBay, you can also source inventory from Poshmark, Mercari, Kidizen and elsewhere. Look for those reseller boxes, read seller reviews and ask a lot of questions. And don’t forget to include any shipping charges when calculating your profit potential.
New to these platforms? Use the below links for a little shopping credit:
For many reselling, shopping for inventory is part of the fun. The above opportunities may not be your first preference, but they may be able to get you by in a pinch.