How to Become a Reseller

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Become a Reseller
Become a Reseller (Image: c. caseywest, flickr, creative commons)

Buying things at a low cost and reselling them at a higher rate is the business of resellers. You might offer these items online, in a home-based business or through a brick-and-mortar building. Two common examples of resellers are retail stores and the grocery stores, which buy goods wholesale and raise the price to make a profit. You can be a reseller as an affiliate for another company, which will pay you a commission for every product or service you sell. You can also be a reseller as an affiliate for many companies, which is the business of many website owners. You will notice the banners or ads on their website offering similar services and products. These are affiliate links. If you click through those links and purchase a product, the company's tracking device will credit the sale to their web affiliate and he will be paid a percentage. Tens of thousands of companies offer affiliate programs, including Microsoft, AVG Anti-Virus, USA ePay, Open SRS and web-hosting companies such as Go Daddy. E-Bay is a popular place for resellers. You may buy items from a wholesaler, at yard sales or from other people on e-Bay, and resell them on e-Bay, at yard sales or in a brick-and-mortar shop.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer with Internet Access
  • Office (home office or retail store) or Website
  • Affiliate Agreements
  • Sales-Tax Information for Your State
  • License to Operate

First decide on the product or services you'd like to sell. You can check an item's popularity on the Internet with the aid of tools such as Google AdWords tool and Keyword Discovery. These show approximate monthly and cumulative searches for particular keywords or phrases.

Know your competition. When you input the term into search engines, which companies come up on the first two pages? Research the page-one competitors. Can you offer a unique angle that will differentiate your items and your company from the competition?

Locate your products to resell using search engines. Simply type "wholesalers" into your favorite search engine or be more specific about the products you are looking for, such as "wholesale jewelers," "wholesale clothing" or "wholesale toys." You may also go to your local library and ask for a catalog or database of wholesalers. There are also wholesale clubs or businesses you may join. SMC is one of the largest gift-item wholesalers and drop-shippers, with a variety of programs for resellers. Also look at local artisan studios, yard sales and flea markets.

Decide where and how you're going to sell your merchandise. You don't have to have a brick-and-mortar store---you can use your own home. You may sign up with a company that drop-ships the items for you so you don't have to keep inventory at your home or package it. You simply procure the customers and process the orders and payments.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make sure that the products you sell are legal in your state and that you don't need a license to sell them. Other things to consider for new business owners are sales tax; laws governing companies and resellers in your state; business license to operate in your state, county or city; bookkeeping; inventory tracking; drop-shipping; shipping methods and costs; procurement costs; setting profit margins that the market can bear; and administrative costs.

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