When you’re dealing with the buying and selling of previously owned items, you might come across the terms “resell” and “resale.” While they may seem interchangeable, there are some distinct differences between the two. Understanding these differences can help to clear up any confusion and ensure you use these terms correctly in your business dealings.

Resell is a verb that refers to the action of selling something you have previously bought, often with the intention of making a profit. You might purchase a collectible item at a low price, for example, and then resell it at a higher price to make a profit. This commonly happens in the world of entrepreneurship, e-commerce, and retail.

Resale is a noun that represents the entire spectrum of businesses and marketplaces where previously owned or used goods are sold. This includes thrift stores, consignment shops, and online platforms that specialize in selling these items. By understanding these nuances, you can better navigate the resale market and gain a clearer grasp of the world of buying and selling used goods.

Definitions: Resale vs Resell

Although “resale” and “resell” are very similar, they have distinct meanings and usage rules. Here, we will take a look at their respective definitions, which will help you understand these two words better.

Resale is a noun that typically refers to the market or environment where previously owned or used goods are sold. It encompasses various businesses, physical marketplaces, and online platforms that deal with buying and selling pre-owned items. These goods can range from clothes and accessories to furniture, electronics, and more. The process of selling such items is called a “resale.”

Resell is a verb that denotes the action of selling something you have previously bought. It doesn’t necessarily specify the type of goods, and it can encompass various types of items. Reselling may occur in many ways, from authorized dealers to individual sellers using platforms like eBay, Craigslist, or local consignment stores.

To better comprehend the difference between resale and resell, consider these examples:

  • Resale shops are popular places to find unique clothing and accessories at affordable prices.
  • When you want to clear out some space in your home, you might decide to resell items that you no longer need.

Remember “resale” describes the entire market or industry of previously owned goods (noun) and “resell” refers to the action of selling those items again (verb). Understanding this distinction will help you use these words correctly in your professional or personal life.

The Process of Buying and Selling

Here are a few tips to remember when dealing with resale and resell in the marketplace:

  • Buying: As a buyer, you can search for resale opportunities to find good deals on used items. Keep in mind that reselling may mean the item you purchase has been marked up for the seller to profit.
  • Selling: When you’re the seller, consider the resale value of the items you’re offering. If you plan on reselling items, you need to think about potential profits and investment.
  • Sale: A successful resale involves a strategic balance between the buying price, selling price, and the market demand for the item.
  • Purchase: As a purchaser, you should be aware of the differences between buying an item in a resale market versus purchasing it directly from the original retailer. You may find better deals on resale items, but product guarantees and support may vary, so it’s possible for you to pay more for an original item, but still end up with better value.

The Retail and Resale Markets

As you navigate the world of commerce, it’s essential to understand the differences between the retail and resale markets.

Retail vs Resale Stores

Retail refers to the sale of new goods from businesses to consumers, typically through physical stores, e-commerce platforms, or a combination of both. This sector encompasses various business models, from large brick-and-mortar stores to small online boutiques.

The resale market focuses on the buying and selling of previously owned or used items. This industry includes thrift stores, consignment shops, and even online platforms like Depop and Etsy. Over the years, this market has experienced significant growth, primarily driven by shifting consumer preferences for more sustainable and cost-effective shopping options.

Retail vs Resale Prices

In the retail market, brand-new items are sold at their original price or with occasional discounts. This sector is characterized by seasonal collections, designer collaborations, and consistent product launches. Retail businesses often invest heavily in marketing and advertising efforts to differentiate their brands and attract customers.

The resale market offers used items at a fraction of their original cost, often with unique one-of-a-kind pieces that can’t be found in traditional retail stores. This sector appeals to shoppers looking for more sustainable fashion alternatives, unique vintage finds, and budget-friendly options. Many resale platforms also focus on fostering a strong sense of community among buyers and sellers, creating a more personal shopping experience.


E-commerce has played a significant role in expanding both the retail and resale markets. Retailers have embraced online platforms, launching digital storefronts and utilizing social media marketing to reach a broader audience. In the resale market, platforms like Depop, Poshmark, and ThredUP have made it easy for shoppers and sellers to connect, creating a global marketplace for used items.

Reselling as a Profit Making Endeavor

Reselling is a popular entrepreneurship activity where you, as a reseller, purchase goods at a lower price and sell them for profit. This often involves finding items on sale or at discounted prices, and then selling them at a higher price through various channels, such as online marketplaces or brick-and-mortar stores.

In the world of reselling, the key to success is identifying items with high demand and low supply. These are the products that consumers are willing to pay a premium for, allowing you to generate significant profit margins. Keep an eye on trends, constantly research the market, and stay up-to-date with the industry to be successful as a reseller.

There are several types of resellers you might encounter in the business, including:

  • Wholesalers: They buy products in bulk and sell them to other businesses at a discounted rate.
  • Retailers: They purchase items from wholesalers, suppliers, or manufacturers and then sell them directly to consumers for a profit.
  • Dropshippers: They partner with suppliers to make sales, where the supplier takes care of the inventory and shipping while the reseller focuses on marketing the products.

To start your reselling business, follow these steps:

  1. Choose your niche: Identify which type of products or industries you are most interested in or have experience with.
  2. Find reliable suppliers: Establish relationships with wholesalers, manufacturers, or distributors who can provide your chosen products at competitive prices.
  3. Determine your sales channels: Decide whether you want to sell your products online, in physical stores, or through a combination of both methods.
  4. Develop a pricing strategy: Analyze the market to determine how much you should mark-up your products to achieve an attractive profit margin.
  5. Create a marketing plan: Leverage various marketing techniques, such as social media, email campaigns, and content marketing, to attract customers and drive sales.

By following these steps and implementing effective strategies, you can successfully embark on a profitable reselling venture. Remember to stay adaptable and continually analyze your sales data to make informed decisions for expanding your business.

Types of Resale and Resell Goods

When considering diving into the world of resale and reselling goods, you’ll come across a wide variety of items. It’s essential to know what types of goods are popular in this market, as some might generate more profit than others.

Clothing is a common resale item, particularly when it comes to designer or vintage pieces. It’s an easy way to turn a profit, as many people purchase second-hand clothing, whether it be for affordability or for the sake of being environmentally friendly.

Toys can also be profitable in the reselling market, especially if you manage to find collectible or rare items. Used toys from popular brands and franchises often attract buyers looking for a specific toy, a great deal, or a nostalgic purchase.

Vehicles are another type of item often resold, especially if they’re in good condition or boast custom features. Car enthusiasts may invest in used vehicles to restore them, while others simply prefer buying at a lower cost than new models.

Furniture is yet another popular resale item, as it tends to be expensive, and many seek budget-friendly alternatives. From antique pieces to refurbished items, selling furniture can appeal to a wide range of customers.

Including vintage items in your inventory can attract collectors and enthusiasts who appreciate the value and uniqueness of these products. Such items can include clothing, accessories, home décor, and more.

Finally, there is a broad category of used goods that varies from electronics and gadgets to books and sporting equipment. When entering the resale business, it’s crucial to identify your niche or items that you feel confident in marketing and selling to maximize your chances of success. This knowledge of the types of resale and reselling products will help you make informed decisions as you start your business journey.

Reselling in Different Industries

When it comes to reselling, various industries offer opportunities for you to buy and sell products for profit. Let’s take a closer look at some of them:

Event Tickets

In the ticketing industry, you can resell event tickets for popular concerts, sports events, and sold-out shows. Many resellers secure tickets early and resell them at a much higher price when the event’s date is closer. This practice is known as scalping and can be controversial, but is still widely done.

Real Estate

Flipping houses is an excellent example of reselling in the real estate market. Here, you purchase a property, make improvements, and sell it at a higher price. This process can be lucrative if you have a knack for spotting potential in underpriced properties and can successfully make the necessary improvements without overspending.


The software industry is another space where reselling thrives. You can buy licenses for software programs and resell them as an authorized dealer. This type of reselling is perfectly legal, provided you adhere to the original software developers’ terms and conditions.


In the automotive industry, buying used cars, fixing them, and reselling them can be a profitable venture. To succeed in this sphere, you need to have a good understanding of cars, their value, and the costs involved in repairing and refurbishing them.

Remember to always conduct thorough research of the industry you want to enter and ensure your reselling activities are legal and profitable.

Resale Shops vs Consignment Stores

When you’re looking to sell your gently used items, you might consider resale shops and consignment stores as options. But what’s the difference between them, and how do you decide which one is right for you? Let’s take a closer look at these two types of stores.

Resale shops will offer to buy your items upfront, giving you cash or store credit for your pre-loved clothes, shoes, and accessories. They usually price the product based on its quality and demand in the market. The profit or risk of the sale lies with the store after you receive your money. This means that once you sell your items to a resale shop, you don’t have to worry about whether or not they actually sell, as that responsibility falls on the store.

Consignment stores attempt to sell your items on your behalf. In this case, you maintain ownership of the items until they are sold. The store helps you sell your clothing and accessories, and you receive payment only after the items have been sold to a third party. Each consignment store sets its own policy, but generally, the items are dropped off and marked for sale for a predetermined cycle, such as 30, 60, or 90 days.

While consignment stores may seem like a riskier choice, they can often lead to a higher return on your items. This is because they typically sell items at a higher price point than resale shops. However, this also means you may have to wait longer to see a profit, as you only receive payment once your items sell.

Thrift stores differ from both resale and consignment stores, as they primarily sell donated items. The prices in thrift stores are often considerably lower than those found in resale or consignment shops, making them a great option for budget-conscious shoppers. However, since thrift stores rely on donations, it’s not a suitable option for selling your items.

The Impact of Brand and Condition on Resale

When it comes to reselling items, two key factors play a crucial role in determining the resale value: the brand and the condition of the item. Let’s dive into how each of these aspects can affect your potential profits in the resale market.

Renowned brands tend to hold their value better compared to lesser-known ones due to consumer trust, loyalty, and recognition. Top-tier brands often come with a perception of higher quality, and people are willing to pay a premium for such products, even when they are previously owned. That’s why you may notice that luxury products, like designer handbags or leading tech gadgets, resell at higher prices and retain much of their initial value.

The condition of an item heavily impacts the resale value as well. Generally, the closer a product is to its original state, the better its resale value will be. Here’s how different conditions can affect resale value:

  • Mint or Like-New: Products with no visible signs of wear or defects and often still in their original packaging will command the highest resale values.
  • Good to Excellent: Items in good or excellent condition may show minor signs of use, but are still very presentable and functional. They will likely hold a significant portion of their initial value, depending on the brand and market demand.
  • Fair to Poor: Products in fair or poor condition may have notable wear and tear, damage, or functionality issues. These items will have a lower resale value, and it might be more challenging to find buyers willing to purchase them.

To maximize your resale value, it’s crucial to take proper care of your belongings and store them responsibly. Ensure that products are cleaned, repaired if needed, and presented in the best light when listing them for sale. This way, you can capitalize on both brand power and item condition, increasing your chances of success in the resale market.

Reselling on Online Platforms

When you’re considering reselling, several online platforms can help you effectively sell your products.


One popular option for reselling is Depop, an app that has gained popularity for reselling clothing. It’s perfect for vintage, handmade, and unique fashion pieces.

Facebook Marketplace

Another option to consider is Facebook Marketplace, which allows you to sell a wide variety of products without any fees. This platform is user-friendly and easily accessible, as a large portion of the population already uses Facebook.


If you’re into selling handmade, vintage, or one-of-a-kind items, Etsy is an excellent platform for you. This online marketplace specializes in unique and creative goods, making it a great place to showcase your products.

Amazon and eBay

Of course, you also have the giants of online retail: Amazon and eBay. Both platforms offer a vast audience and the opportunity to resell products to a broader customer base. However, keep in mind that there could be fees associated with selling on these websites.

When choosing a platform, take into account the type of products you’re selling, your target audience, and any fees associated with the platform.

The Role of Demand in Reselling

Understanding the role of demand in reselling is crucial for a successful resale business. As a reseller, you’re responsible for recognizing the needs of your customers and meeting them with the right products and services.

Demand plays a significant role in resale businesses because it determines the potential profitability of the items or services you’re selling. When there’s a high demand for specific goods, it’s easier for you to sell them at a favorable price point, while a low demand for products can lead to stagnant inventory, forcing you to reduce prices or find alternative ways to generate sales.

To thrive in the resale market, it’s essential to research and monitor trends in your niche. This helps you identify what products or services are in high demand and then source them accordingly. By doing this, you can not only attract more customers but also secure higher profit margins.

Another aspect of demand in reselling is understanding your target audience. Knowing who your customers are and what they want is critical when it comes to choosing which items to sell. Catering to the specific needs of your customer base can set your resale business apart from the competition.

If you’re selling second-hand clothing, for instance, you’ll want to keep an eye on fashion trends and size demands. If your customers prefer vintage styles or eco-friendly options, you should focus on sourcing items that meet those preferences.

To capitalize on customer demand, it’s essential to utilize various marketing and advertising strategies. Use social media platforms, email marketing, and even word-of-mouth advertising to engage your audience effectively. These techniques can help you stay attuned to customer needs and preferences while promoting your products and services.

Reselling as a Sustainable Option

You might wonder how the resale economy can be considered a sustainable option. There are a few good explanations for this.

First of all, the resale market contributes to the circular economy by extending the life cycle of products. By reselling items, you’re keeping them out of landfills and reducing the demand for new goods. This helps conserve natural resources and reduces waste generated by the production of new items.

In recent years, consumers have become more environmentally conscious and are choosing second-hand or used goods rather than contributing to the fast-fashion industry. The used goods resale market is expected to reach $188.5 billion by the end of 2023, indicating a growing demand for sustainable alternatives.

Choosing to resell items can also help combat unethical labor practices often seen in industries like fashion. With less demand for new products, there’s less pressure on manufacturers to produce at high volumes, which can lead to exploitation of workers.

So, as you engage in reselling, you’re not only potentially earning a profit but also contributing to a more sustainable world. Just remember to be mindful of the sources, materials, and quality when sourcing second-hand goods for your resale business.

Games and Refurbishing While Reselling

When it comes to reselling games and electronics, refurbishing can play a key role in maximizing your profits. As a reseller, you have the opportunity to acquire used or damaged items at a lower cost, refurbish them, and then resell them at a higher price point.

Let’s say you acquire a used video game console that’s not in the best condition. You can refurbish the console by cleaning it thoroughly, replacing any damaged internal components, and updating the software. After these improvements, the console’s value will likely increase, allowing you to resell it at a higher profit margin.

Refurbishing is an excellent strategy for reselling because it:

  • Increases the value of used or damaged items, allowing you to sell them at higher prices.
  • Expands your inventory by giving you access to more products that may have previously been overlooked due to their condition.
  • Improves customer satisfaction with the quality of your products, leading to repeat business and positive word-of-mouth marketing.

As you venture into the world of refurbishing and reselling, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. Research your market: Gain a solid understanding of what types of products are most profitable to refurbish and resell in your specific target market.
  2. Find reliable suppliers: Source your inventory from reputable wholesalers or online platforms that offer used or damaged items at discounted rates.
  3. Invest in proper tools and training: Ensure that you have the necessary tools and skills to refurbish the items you plan to resell.
  4. Don’t overpromise: Always be honest with your customers about the condition of the refurbished items and their potential limitations.
  5. Price competitively: Set your prices to reflect the value of your refurbished items while still ensuring a reasonable profit margin.

By focusing on these strategies and putting in the effort to refurbish items before reselling them, you can elevate your reselling business and maximize your revenue potential.

Marketing for Resale and Resell

As a business owner within the resale market, the driving force behind your marketing efforts should primarily emphasize sustainability and the affordability of your offerings. Addressing the growing concerns of conscious consumers and highlighting the advantages of choosing used items can be the key to standing out in the crowded resale market.

Marketing Channels for Resellers and Resale Businesses

When considering the most effective marketing channels, both resellers and resale businesses can benefit from:

  • Social media: Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest allow you to showcase your products, engage with customers, and build brand awareness. Use visually appealing content to feature your items and curate a consistent brand identity across all platforms.
  • Email marketing: Maintain a strong connection with your customers by occasionally sending newsletters and targeted promotions. This will be useful to foster loyalty and keep your audience informed about your latest offerings.
  • Paid advertising: Utilize Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaigns and promotional advertising on social media to reach potential customers who might be interested in your products.

For resellers and resale businesses, maintaining control over aspects like pricing, inventory management, and promotions is crucial to ensure the success of your marketing efforts. Flexibility, strong relationships with suppliers, and effective communication with your target audience can contribute to achieving your marketing goals and maximizing profitability in the ever-competitive world of resale and reselling.

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