What to Buy and Sell for Profit

December 11, 2019 Dean

Reselling is one of the oldest professions known to man. Buy one item and sell it to someone else who wants or needs it more for a higher price. Out of the many items you see around you, from the screen on your phone, which is likely not made by the manufacture, to the tires on your car which were made my one company and have passed several hands to reach you, reselling is everywhere.

(If you'd prefer, you can watch this video or read the article)


But let's be real, how does this apply to you or me. How can I make money reselling? More importantly what can I realistically resell that will make me a considerable and consistent income as a completely NEW Reseller?

What you should be buying and selling for profit comes down to a few macro factors that can severely help or limit your ability to be successful and profitable reseller:

  • Current Demand: Are there people out there who want this item and are willing to pay the cost to buy it and you have the ability to reach them

  • Capital Intensity: How much money it costs to buy something, can you ever afford to buy this in the first place. 

  • Turn-around-time: How long will this thing (whatever it may be) will take to sell. I don't want to buy something and wait a decade before anyone else will buy it from me. 

  • Inventory Holding Cost: How much does it cost me to hold onto this item while I wait for it to sell.

  • Regulations: Are there laws and rules I need to know about that can restrict how I can buy and resell a particular item. 

  • Access Price: Can you buy this item at a lower price or is it already being sold at an inflated price by someone else?

Considering these items will help you start thinking about a few commonly resold items. Here are some commonly resold ideas you should know about.

What to Buy and Sell for Profit: 

1. Cars and Car Parts

2. Real-estate (Land or Property)

3. Shoes/Clothing 

4. Furniture 

5. Watches

6. Tickets 

7. Etc...

The list could go on forever, but we must consider the macro factors above that have a tremendous impact on what most people can resell. 

For starters, both Cars and Real-estate are fairly capital intensive, meaning they will cost a lot up front to buy, hold, fix, and resell. Although a lot of money can be made with these options, the majority of people will be limited by the shear amount of money needed to enter this type of business. Not to say that these are not attractive markets (which they are) but they are better left for when you do have some money saved and are able to buy and hold these investments before selling them. One more thing to note here is that there are also many regulations that can impede successful resale on these segments such as requiring a real estate licence, or car dealer licence. (You cannot buy and resell more then 3 cars without license in a single year)

Shoes/Clothing is an attractive segment because you can find good deals on these items. Your Access Price can be fairly low and you can buy discounted brand name items from stores like Marshall's, TJ-Max, etc... and sell these items on Ebay and Amazon for higher prices where the Current Demand is aggregated online into these massive search engine stores. This access to Demand via the internet is perhaps another of the important factors. If there was Demand but there was no way for someone to find or contact you, then it would be entirely useless. 

A similar market exists for Furniture, where you can find discounted furniture to buy on apps such as Offer- Up, Let-Go, Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and more. There pieces can be purchased and resold on Ebay or again on those same marketplaces simply by having patience and waiting for the right buyer, or by refinishing the items. (paint/stain/etc...) Again the capital intensity on furniture can also become fairly high depending on the quality and size of the items. At the same time cost can run up as you hold and store these larger items which can cause your inventory holding costs to eat into your profit margins at the end of the day. Overall this segment is still fairly attractive with many people making good money flipping/reselling furniture. 

When it comes to Watches, it can be a fairly complicated game. There are a million and one kinds of watches and different people will place different values on the watch. The most important thing when it comes to reselling watches is buying limited edition, collections, or brand, and finding the RIGHT Buyer. There may be someone willing to pay a huge premium on a watch where as someone may not think it worth nearly that amount. Finding the right buyer really applies across all reselling fields but especially to watches. Another important aspect to keep in mind is that watch restoration can also significantly increase the price you can sell at, so keep that in mind as well. 

Lastly, we have Tickets, and of course this being our resale business of choice we will explain some of the factors that make Ticket Resale one of the most attractive resale Businesses of ALL time. Lets' consider the 6 Macro Factors and how they relate to tickets. 

    • Current Demand: Ticket Demand is much easier to gauge by looking at statistical data across the internet. Thing as twitter hashtags, Google Search Trends, Current Billboard listings, Spotify Listen Volume, Ticket Counter Data on the event sales page, and much more. You can also reach the people who want to buy these tickets through the marketplaces that already exist. Stubhub spends millions of dollars informing people of tickets for sale. All you do is upload your PDF's and the buyers will find you. (This is one the largest perks of reselling tickets online)

    • Capital Intensity: Tickets are fairly cheap when you compare them to other resale options. They can range anywhere from $30-$500+ dollars. The benefit is that you can go in at whichever price range you can currently afford. From there you can scale up and invest more and more.

    • Turn-Around-Time: Tickets can vary greatly on how long they will take to sell. Sometimes you can sell really good seats within a few hours of buying them, and other time General Admission tickets may not sell until the last week prior to the concert. But you can choose how much to price your tickets to sell quicker or slower. It really is an art and you can choose which method of attack you want to make. If you can't wait for your tickets to sell, and you want to pay your credit card off faster, then you can lower your pricing and and take a smaller profit on your tickets. 

    • Inventory Holding Costs: One of the biggest benefits of tickets is that it is almost 99% online and never have to see a physical tickets. This means your house isn't full of shoes or furniture and you are not paying for storage, you simply have another PDF file on your computers nicely organized into the "ticket resale folder". (Or at least that's how we do it)

    • Regulations: Similar to clothing and furniture, ticket resale is largely unregulated. You can buy and resell as you want. Once you sell a large enough amount of tickets you will get a a tax form from Stubhub and that's it. 

    • Access Price: You can buy tickets at the cheapest price they are available if you buy during the presale. This is big advantage over buying from another person who has already tried to make a profit margin on the ticket. 

Overall, you can see how many of Marco Factors are skewed in favor of the seller when it comes to buying and reselling tickets. And since events have a specific date, it causes the demand to increase tremendously until that day as people want to not miss the show or game. There is also the risk of your tickets not selling, but that is why understanding the demand with proper research is so important.

To learn more about buying and reselling tickets for profit click this link to watch the Ticket Reseller Introductory Explanation. 

Just FYI in case you missed it, you will be buying from Ticketmaster.com and selling on Stubhub.com. It important to know the primary and secondary markets ticket resellers use.