My Photo

ReSellers Excel File

Tip Jar

Support ATG

Tip Jar

find me here

Join Me

Blog powered by Typepad

Must Read Blogs

Book Blogs & Friends

Related Posts with Thumbnails

« Thrift Share Monday - November 1st | Main | Make Share - Embroidered Star Child »

November 02, 2010



The problem I see about this is that you'll be under-capitalized the first half of the summer. I'd suggest starting with $200 (and preferably more) rather than $20 (the type of person that visits this page should be able to find a few items that could sell on eBay for a total of $200 to get them started).

Otherwise, you'll drive somewhere and spend your $20 and have to wait for the revenue --often underselling, so you can turn it in a week. Also, when you spend your $20, there might be a lot more items that you SHOULD pick up, but will have to pass on because of the game --or they might have been at the next sale (the one you skipped because you spend your $20).

Also, with $20 --if you make a mistake with your first two $10 items and you are out of the game. Multiplying everything by 10 makes lot more sense to me.

Another problem I see is that of "rounds" --as you buy more and more, it will take more and more bookkeeping effort to define each round --because items sell at different rates.


OOPS - I reread the above comment and in addition to a few typos ("spend" instead of "spent", etc.), I also want to make it clear that I like your idea of a trial period like this for someone thinking of starting thrifting or bookselling --my comments were meant to be constructive --I'm not trying to shoot the idea down.

Selena Cate

I can see where you are coming from Jim. Maybe it is a good idea to start with a higher budget. Yet some people might be nervous to spend so much money on something that they dont know about. That is why I was encouraging a small amount of money to start with. What do you think readers? What would be your ideal suggestion for someone that has no ReSelling experience. Should they start small, a bit bigger as Jim suggested or even more money such as $500? Did you do this when you started ReSelling? What was your initial investment?


Great! Sounds like a fun challenge to test the waters.

As a fellow eBay seller (and I know you've mentioned this before), I think it's important that beginners considering doing this full-time are aware of the numerous less-obvious costs such as packing materials/printer paper/etc. (when you can't thrift them), eBay/Etsy and related internet fees (these can REALLY add up), dues and fees for research-type groups' specialized knowledge/monthly newsletters/etc. (if you use them), gas, monthly fees for devices such as the iPhone (if business use is the justification for its purchase), marketing fees, stagnant inventory that you're unable to sell (if it doesn't move at your own garage sale, presumably it goes to charity and the original cost of those items counts as a loss, even with the write-off), and on and on and on... I know I'm forgetting a lot...

Therefore, doubling your money and doubling your profit are two different things. : )

In my experience, success requires a tight rein on ALL expenses, however minor they may seem, and constantly refining and tightening of your business practices to maximize net income. However, for me anyway, that's a huge part of the fun! Good luck, everyone!

Linda @ A La Carte

I think you idea has real merit for someone 'thinking' about it. I have only sold on Etsy and would be willing to try the EBAY if I knew more about it.


This is very helpful as I have been thinking about it. I even have stuff to sell; mainly need to just jump in!


I would love to do project resell with you!


I think Project ReSell is a great idea!. I've often thought about trying something like that, but never committed.


Hi Selena - I think it's a great idea to start with some sort of budget for the thrift. However, it might be better to set a limit per ITEM rather than a flat limit for the month or whatever. Maybe like no more than $3 on an item at the thrift. But keep track of the spending just to make sure you don't go hog wild though... =)

Also, I'd suggest starting out trying to buy and sell items that you actually LIKE instead of just any old items. The reason is not only that you'll be more selective and focused, but that you'll tend to want to learn more about your "field". Nothing against iPhones or scanners, but it's a lot more efficient if you actually know your stuff. Plus, it's just more fun!

I will echo Leah's point on the other non-obvious costs - gas completely kills us. Also not obvious is the actual time it takes to visit all these garage sales and thrift stores.

Also, even if you're not certain about doing it as a "real" business, would suggest saving every single receipt you get, recording your mileage, etc. If you decide you want to actually do this legally (i.e taxes) then later on you can deduct the cost of goods, mileage, research materials, shows, conferences, etc. You could probably claim all that stuff anyhow, but it's probably safer if you have the actual receipts. Disclaimer, I'm no tax person =)


I am brand new to reselling. I just began listing items on Etsy in September. As someone who is new and learning (there is a LOT to learn) - I would love to participate in this experiment. I think it would be very rewarding to track the initial investment while posting the results and sharing the info with other thrifters.

I began picking up items for my shop in the early summer and I've dutifully recorded everything to date. Including items I've already listed and inventory that hasn't been listed yet, my investment so far has been nearly $200. So, I agree that $10 might be a little low, but $200 seems high. I think $50 or even $100 would be a good number for the challenge. I'd imagine that anyone who wants to participate can set their own investment cost and track the results accordingly.

Again this is a great idea and I'm really looking forward to it! I've been lurking around thrift blogs for awhile now and this is my first response to a post. Thanks for putting out a great blog and helping out a newbie, like me =)


I started selling in June of this year. I bought plus size clothes from Savers during their 50% sale. I jumped up and down when I sold my first item. A XXL GAP Sweater.

Today, only 4 months, later..I have made Top Rated Seller. I buy from thrift stores and garage sales. I only travel a 10-15 mile radius from my house. I love how Ebay is paying for the extras for my kids. I love it.
I just started doing a part time job and havent had as much time to list as I like. My sales did slow down but I am still happy :)

Thank you Selena, your re-selling posts are the reason why I started ebaying. Remember the Griswolds..:)


As ALWAYS Selena a FAB post....I've been reselling for a while now however, if time permits, I would LOVE to participate in your challenge....!

Perhaps for those 'thinking' of testing the waters a small amount of $20- $50- would be a good starting point however, they would need to track ALL expenses....Fuel used to go thrifting, portion of internet fee, packaging materials eBay & Paypal fees.

For those of us already familiar with reselling, tracking our expenses is a 'given'. We could start with $200- as suggested by Jim.

I'll keep 'an eye out' for further details.

Cheers from Australia,
Tamarah :o)


Love the idea behind this post, and this post is SO timely for me.

I just sold my first item in my new Etsy store. Then at the same time art and other bits needed to be sent out to customers. I couldn't make it to the post office twice in a row, tried valiantly but when you work full time it's hard to make it.

Then I had my favorite art event to attend after missing the post office. Then errands. I passed out on the couch as soon as I walked into the house with the box of things to be packaged beside me. They will have to go out on my lunch break. I have not had a full night's sleep in about 2 weeks trying to be a full-time worker in an office, a reseller, and a part-time blogger.

Who can do it all NO ONE? If anyone is reading this, learn from me. You can't do reselling if you work full time and then some! Chances of success are slim.

Kelsey Kelly

I loved this post! I'm in for project re-sell! GREAT idea! Thanks for the post you are wonderful.

Alyssa @ Clever Penguin

I'm seriously considering getting into ReSelling items. At the moment, I ReSell clothing on eBay, and I used pretty much the same method that you're talking about to get started. I've only sold for about 2 months, and I'm going slowly. But I've already made my money back and then some. I'd be in for trying it with something new this spring!


I've been thinking about joining the online selling crowd and this post has got me hooked-- I'm going to go for it!! I like challenge of making the business support itself and having a budget. That way, when I'm trying the waters out (so to speak), I can see what works and what doesn't without going broke! Also, I love your blog-- thanks for all the great stuff you share!! :o)


Hrm. This is fascinating to me. I'm actually someone who made an attempt at reselling a few years ago and failed spectacularly, mostly because I overbought like crazy and then didn't sell for enough of a profit for it to be worthwhile. I don't think I really have what it takes to resell--I'm too scattered in thrift stores. That said, I do have several things lying around that I've meant to list on Ebay or Etsy and haven't done it, so maybe I should play along.

Shelly Domanski

Count me in too! I've been thinking about reselling on Ebay but have been too intimidated to start. I think I am ready to invest a few dollars and see what I can do. I recently met a woman who has been very successful doing this.
So count me in for Project ReSell :)


Thank you thank you thank you for posting this. :) I was always so curious and (if I'm assuming this was related to my question) wondering if this was something for me to do. I'm excited to try out the challenge as well! I know I have stuff around my house from thrifting (vintage things) that would possibly sell. So I may not even have to invest that much. . . .awesome post.


I have always been hesitant to sell on ebay because of their jacked up fees. So, you really think it's worth it?

Katie @ Sweet Rustic

Thanks for the great post- I think I'd like to give it a try. I started re-selling clothes on ebay a while ago, i'm not a 'labels' person & found a couple items went really well & other things that I expected to sell, didn't. I lost a bit of motivation as I've recently moved house & haven't been sure how to measure if the reselling has been viable & knowing how much to re-invest- but your methods seem really easy.
I think I'd like to start broadening the products to vintage items since some of your readers have suggested selling in your own interest area- only problem with that is parting with much loved items!!


I sold books on Ebay 3 years ago. Made money and loved it. Then the Thrift Store that would buy from moved to another location and starting doing things differently. The new location was flooded with people. It was hard to look at the books. Sadly I stopped. I would like to get back at reselling maybe not with books but with something else.

Stand Mixer

I love to read your post. I too started to sell at eBay and done some garage sale to find products to sell. but stopped coz of other things. As I read this post I will try this again and have some extra cash this summer.


Hi there ..found you over at sophie isobel- her library adventures..anyway..thanks for the post. I have been wondering which road to go down..everyone is doing the 'sell my cute stuff' online and there are alot of options out there. Thought about etsy..any advice to share?

The comments to this entry are closed.

ATG Garage Sale Pack

Taking part in


  • Used books, out-of-print books, rare books at Biblio