How to Be a Pro At Sourcing Second Hand Inventory
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OneShop Team
1 min read

Opening your own reselling business is a reliable and interesting source of income because this kind of business occupies a fun and distinctive position in the world of fashion and shopping. Be prepared to invest a lot of time and energy in the venture, including stocking the store with a lot of merchandise and maintaining correct inventory records. Sourcing new inventory is an enjoyable activity, but it often requires time and patience to find the best pieces.

When is the best way to source inventory?

The best time to source or restock your shop is by starting with a plan to gather inventory per any specific apparel categories or brands you want to offer, such as maternity and children's wear.

Do some quick research, find out what is trending and what people are buying on the marketplaces you sell on before you head out. There is no purpose in stocking anything if it won't sell. There are exceptions to this rule - sellers often find items at exceptionally low prices that are not particularly on trend. Pay attention to your potential profit margins and don’t completely ignore items that are not in high demand.

Where resellers can source their inventory

Owners of secondhand shops frequently source their inventory from consignment shops, auctions, and donation centers. Here are some recommendations on where you can source your secondhand inventory:

Thrift shops These are easy and simple for sellers to frequent, like well-known thrift shops such as Goodwill, Salvation Army, Savers, and 2nd Ave, as well as smaller shops owned by churches and charitable organizations. Most have sale days, and if it's not on their social media, make sure to do your research and frequently check Google Reviews or Yelp.

Goodwill Outlet This is sometimes known as "The Bins" because the price of items is paid by the pound. Most individuals spend at least four to five hours here; therefore, it's important to have an existing knowledge of what you are looking to get.

Garage/Yard Sale These rummage sales are a hidden treasure trove of possible high-ticket items, but full disclosure, it's all about knowing what to look for. To spot where these sales are, you can use both the website and the app for GSALR or Craigslist and Yard Sales Treasure Map.

Auctions Always aim to purchase at the most affordable price when bidding at auctions and on consignments. These hard-to-find items will be the star of your inventory since they will justify the highest markups and generate sales.

Essential things to bring when sourcing

When you begin sourcing, you want to make things a lot easier by developing a system to curate and cutivate the potential goods you want for your shop. It's a huge time saver to remember to bring all these essential things with you when you plan a day to source:

  • Shopping or checklist

    Keep your eye on the prize by planning out ahead of time what items you need to have in your shop so when you do see an item that has potential, you can map out where you are inventory-wise for your shop with your list.

    A common misconception is that it's difficult to find what you're looking for while shopping at thrift stores, consignment stores, and similar establishments. With a little bit of time and persistence, you’ll be able to leave with some fantastic pieces to resell.

  • Cleaning cloth

    It's a no-brainer that when you shop for secondhand items, they won't always be in pristine condition when you find an item that you want to examine further. So make it easier by carrying around a handy cleaning cloth or tissues to help you see the item clearly so you don't miss a single detail that could be the turning point for finding a gem or coal for your shop.

  • Magnifying glass

    Again, this depends on the things you're looking for, such as jewelry or pieces of art, etc. The key to finding valuable, hard-to-find items at a secondhand store is by knowing what to look for and making informed decisions. So a magnifying glass can help you spot minuscule details that could help you win big or save your money.

Things to consider before getting an item

We've talked about what to bring when you shop second hand for your shop. Now, let's discuss what are the things to consider before purchasing an item.

  • Look each item over carefully.

    You will come across products with small flaws and high-quality items when you shop secondhand. Before making a purchase, spend some time thoroughly inspecting each item. This is because when you go home, the last thing you want to find out is if something has a hole in it or a stain that you don't think can be removed. So always make sure you are aware of the store's policies before purchasing because many secondhand shops do not accept returns.

  • Make time for it.

    The thrill of the quest and discovering wonderful items at reasonable costs make secondhand shopping enjoyable to a certain extent. Remember to keep a calm mind and always take your time; it can take some searching to find those good ticket items. Look around numerous shops and, as we said above, inspect the merchandise before making a purchase.

  • Don't buy it if you don't like it.

    Whether you are purchasing new or used items, follow this general guideline. Don't buy something from the store if you don't like it just for the sake of having something to sell. While each of us has different preferences, listing something that you don't like in the first place means a low chance of conversion.

Boost your sales through automation

Run your business as efficiently as possible by boosting your sales with the use of automation. OneShop is a specially designed automation tool that introduces new features on top of the essential features to ensure that merchants stay on top of their game. Such as photo enhancement and editing tools like OneShop’s Photo Stash tool to enable you to take photos from the app or upload a current one from your phone quickly and effortlessly to your listings.

As a result, you can finish activities fast and with ease without sacrificing the quality of your photographs. You can also easily manage order shipping supplies, schedule package pickups, print shipping labels directly from the app, and keep track of your seller goals, rankings, and so much more!

Best of all, you can cross-list your listings across multiple marketplaces like Mercari, Poshmark, Depop, eBay, and more soon to come. Give it a try now by signing up and setting up your account in less than three minutes, and enjoy a 7-day free trial!

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