How would you like to source something in your local paper for 50p and sell it for £10?
Or buy something for £10 one day, break it up, and sell it for £100 a few days later?
How would you like to source something for absolutely nothing (from a certain website I’ll tell you about shortly)… and sell it for £20, £30 or even more?
Yes, it is possible. and all from buying and selling something you may not have thought of before… used goods.
OK, second-hand stuff might have a bit of a Steptoe & Son image problem, but over the last couple of years used goods have been making a comeback. Take the time to look into it and you’ll find some great buy-sell margins to be had – second-hand (or ‘preloved’) really stands out as a potentially lucrative part-time/sideline money-maker.
Here’s what I think is really exciting about used goods:
They have NO fixed value. No fixed buying and selling prices. So there’s potential to buy for next to nothing from someone who simply wants to get rid of their junk… and sell to someone else for as much as they’re willing to pay.
In many ways it’s much better than sourcing new items where everyone can buy them at the same wholesale price and everybody knows what they’re worth.
How exactly can you turn used goods into a reliable income source?
There’s nothing complicated about this extra cash opportunity at all. It’s a simple buy-sell flipping opportunity.
Buy CHEAP from ONE platform…
Then sell HIGHER on ANOTHER platform.
What you need to know is which goods work BEST… and WHICH platforms to use. Here are a few suggestions:
Which used goods offer the best potential profits?
Quite frankly, you could make buy-sell profits from almost anything, but some things inherently have more profit potential than others.
Look for things that are expensive and desirable new, but whose value doesn’t fall off a cliff when they’ve been used.
Things that have good residual value.
Also good, quality durable products – well-known and respected brand names are perfect.
Here are a few suggestions for goods I think fit the bill perfectly: Electronics, such as phones, tablets, laptops, cameras, audio and video equipment and accessories. Audio and video products. Small electrical appliances.
Office equipment. Tools and machinery. Scientific and technical instruments. Good quality clothing – and particularly specialised clothing, like uniforms, wedding items and formal wear. Designer goods. Baby goods.
Watches and jewellery. Good quality toys. Bikes. Optical goods. Hobby and sporting goods, like golf clubs, fitness equipment, riding tack and specialised clothing. Camping gear.
Anything that could have a collectable value, like china, silver, brass, pictures.
The best places to source used goods
Remember, the idea behind this opportunity is to buy as low as possible. So, you want to source your goods in places where asking prices are cheap – go for small, local and offline marketplaces.
Why? Well, these are places that don’t attract many browsers and buyers – meaning sellers’ price expectations are rock bottom.
Such as these:
- Local ‘classified’ press ads. Try placing your own
‘Goods Wanted For Cash’ advert.
- Shop window cards/supermarket notice boards.
- Junk shops, jumble sales, charity shop surplus.
- Car boot sales, especially charity ones.
- Surplus stock and household auctions – good for
sourcing items in bulk and multiplying your profits.
- Local freecycling schemes, where (as the name suggests) you can actually get things for FREE!
The best places to sell used goods
Now to the second part of the secret… You want to sell into marketplaces that attract more buyers and that have much wider coverage – i.e. national or international rather than local.
Go for online marketplaces; there’ll be more potential buyers (read higher demand) which should push up prices.
Also, look at platforms which specialise in the item in question. By reaching buyers who are searching for a particular item, rather than just browsing, you should be able to achieve a much better price.
Here are some suggestions:
• eBay: This is absolutely perfect for selling items you’ve bought locally into a much larger, potentially higher paying market. eBay final sales values are almost always higher than the asking prices of similar items in local small ads.
• Amazon: If the item falls within their product range.
• Online marketplaces for used goods: E.g.
Gumtree (www.gumtree.com) and Preloved (www.
• Specialised online marketplaces: For example,
ASOS Marketplace at www.asos.com for clothing.
Abebooks at www.abebooks.co.uk for collectable, interesting or out-of-print books.
Take a look at these examples…
Just to show you why I’m so excited about the used goods market I want to give you a few examples from my research. These are real-life examples… you will probably find some just as potentially lucrative – or even more so – in your area:
- A used (but working) Epson printer for sale in a local
newspaper for 50p, yes 50p. Similar models are selling
on eBay for £10-£12.
- A box of 100 (ish) old football programmes. I saw these go
at a local household sale for £10. These would easily sell on
a collecting site for £1 each – maybe even £2 or £3 depending
on rarity etc.
- A bag of good quality baby clothing (approx 50 items). £7,
advertised in a local shop window. How much could you sell
these for on eBay? Anything from £1 to £5 each judging by
current sales on eBay.
- Preloved is great for sourcing things too. For example,
I saw a box of approximately 100 VCR tapes for £20…
perfect for listing on Amazon at £2/£3 a pop.
- One of the many listings on my local freecycling site was for
a portable DVD travel kit – free for members to take away. I
found a completed listing on eBay for the exact same product at £20.51.
- A Marin Fairfax Bike. (This is a good quality bike, by the way,
selling for £600 new.) It failed to attract any bids at a local
auction sale I went to. I reckon a canny buyer could have
secured it for £250 and sold it on Amazon for at least £350!
Buy-sell is a classic biz opp and there are some great margins out there just waiting to be
found in used goods. Just take a look for yourself!
This opportunity would suit anyone looking for a sideline income rather than a ful-blown business.
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