How to Become an Online Reseller in 5 Minutes

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  • Online resale is expected to quadruple by 2026.
  • Quickly set up a seller's account to start your online resale business.

Once you've sold your first item, you've sold them all.

Online resale is more straightforward than many people think. Despite having zero sales experience, I became an official "online reseller" in under five minutes by following a handful of easy steps.

If you're on the fence or just browsing for quick ways to make money, consider this: online resale is expected to quadruple by 2026, according to GlobalData. Shoppers are flocking to online stores like pigeons to cookie crumbs.

It's easy to set up a seller's account on shopping apps like Mercari. Five minutes (and preferably a smartphone) is all you need to start selling.

Here's how.

Answer the question

What are you selling? Some platforms are better for selling clothes. Others are great for antiques. Before you pick a platform, know what you'd like to sell. 

Pick a platform

Facebook Marketplace is excellent for quickly cleaning out apartment furniture. Mercari is great for selling electronics and seasonal decor (happy almost Halloween!). OfferUp works for just about anything, but niche items like antiques probably sell better on detail-heavy platforms like eBay.

I've highlighted these three platforms because they're easy to get started with. Poshmark and eBay are great, but it'll take you longer to get set up -- and that's beyond the scope of this article.

Set up an account

Surprise! You'll need to fork over some personal information to prove you're not a serial killer posing as a 30-year-old mom with three kids. Depending on your paranoia, you might prefer to stick to sites like OfferUp, which only makes you connect a money source before setting you free on the interwebs (bon voyage).

At a minimum, you'll want a credit card and bank account information handy. Extra credit: a driver's license, an email address you actually use, and a password idea that doesn't end in an exclamation (!) mark.

Snap photos

Take a couple of attractive shots of whatever you're selling. Make sure the lights are on. Don't fake it -- if your Adidas shoes or whatever have a scratch, show it. Most platforms police honesty. If you want to keep your money, you'll have to be upfront about wear and tear.

Write a simple description

This isn't high-school English. It's just stating the facts: name the brand, the item's condition, and whatever else you're required to say. There will be plenty of optional stuff. Start basic. Posting is free, and you can update listings.

Post that listing

Congrats! You did the thing. You're officially an online reseller. People can find your item, check it out, ask questions about it, and buy it.

Order supplies (optional)

If you are selling items to be shipped, consider stocking up on packaging supplies. Here are the essentials:

  • Packaging boxes
  • A printer (for labels)
  • Mailing tape

USPS offers free Priority Mail packaging on its website -- try ordering a bunch of different-sized boxes and go from there. Experienced resellers tend to save and reuse shipping material, so don't be afraid to use beat-up boxes. If they work, they work. 

You're all set. Start shipping, and don't hesitate to experiment. There are thousands of resellers out there. You can resell casually or ramp up listings -- people will find your products. Give yourself five minutes to get started.

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