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Have you been sitting on the couch contemplating whether or not you want to start selling your things online? This is for those who haven’t yet starting selling or are fairly new to the online reselling gig. I currently have experience with & sell on eBay, Etsy & Mercari. Have you picked your platform(s) yet?
If you sign up for the 1st time for Mercari using my link you get $10 to shop with right away! Then you can get set up to sell.
First off, never let me persuade you into or out of doing something. Live your life the way you see fit. Do the things you enjoy & that work for you & your business. I do the things I do now because of trial & error & finding my groove which is specific only to me.
If you’re a new reseller, awesome job for stepping out of your comfort zone! Once you get started & rolling, you’ll do great.
You’ll definitely be tested but, just remember, it’s business. Don’t take things personally. No one knows you from a hole in the ground, especially on the internet. Stay smart, stay grounded, stay good, and just stay you. We are all responsible for our own successes & failures. With that, good luck and enjoy the ride!
This list of info, while it may seem daunting now, will be things you’ll run into eventually. The information shared here will most definitely change over time. Things will be added and maybe even deleted because they’re no longer relevant. Always be sure to do your due diligence.
All of these tools I have used before or am currently using. I tried to find the same brands but, if not, they are similar. Definitely buy what fits for your needs.
- USPS free shipping supplies
- Box Resizer
- Utility Knife
- Tape Gun – Pay attention to the core, making sure it matches the core of your tape
- Dental Picks or clay sculpting picks
- For getting into really tight spaces in order to clean. Be careful what you use it on and make sure it doesn’t mar any surfaces. They are shaaarp
- Scale – Pay attention to the maximum weight to see if it fits your needs
- Camera – I used to use a Nikon 3200 but, now I just use my good ol’ Google Pixel. Use what you’re comfortable with
- Thermal Printer – I have the Zebra LP2844 but, check to see what fits your needs.
- Thermal Shipping Labels – 4×6 labels
- Photo Lights are not absolutely necessary but, I want my photos to look decent. These were my first purchase & later I purchased one of these LED lights. So, it’s a mish mosh right now but when the umbrella bulb dies, I’ll be adding a 2nd LED light.
- Poly Mailers
- Cellophane Bags
- Kraft/Packing Paper
- Lint Rollers
- Goo Gone
How Does Shipping Work?
- Some platforms such as Mercari do shipping differently than eBay or Etsy. Unless you choose to offer free shipping & purchase the shipping label on your own, this information won’t apply.
- Poshmark handles shipping differently too.
- If you’re in the early stages of learning the different aspects of shipping know there are packages that go by the weight of the box & packages that go by dimensional weight (DIM).
- You must have seen 12x12x12 in your searches. This confused me when I first started selling online because I literally thought I couldn’t ship anything larger than that before going into DIM weight.
- What it means is, boxes can’t be larger than 1,728 cubic inches (12x12x12 = 1,728) before going into Dimensional Weight.
- Example #1: 14x14x8 = 1,568 – This is NOT DIM weight. It goes by actual weight.
- Example #2: 14x14x9 = 1,764 – this is DIM. It goes by the dimensional weight.
- DIM is based on the dimension (Length x Girth x Width) & then divided by a number specified by the shippers
- USPS‘ divisor as of 12/20/23 is 166. FedEx is 139.
- According to PirateShip, UPS is 166 for domestic & 139 for international.
- FedEx DIM
- USPS DIM
- UPS DIM – look at the FAQ for DIM info
If you’re going to stick with smaller things that fit in a smaller than 1,728 cubic box or poly mailer, you won’t have to worry about DIM weight. Many people ONLY sell smaller items because they don’t want to deal with packaging up larger products or the shipping price could scare their buyer away. I’ll talk about this in another post.
International Shipping 🤔
- While I’ve sold internationally before, my understanding of selling internationally is not great.
- I currently have some listings I did not offer up Int’l (for various reasons) but, if someone were to reach out to me from another country asking if I’d be willing to ship to them, I’d certainly look into it & let them know if I can or can’t.
- Some countries I’ve excluded due to rules that have arisen such as shipments to Germany. I won’t be doing what they require so I won’t be shipping there.
- The EU also has certain requirements.
- eBay offers up eBay International Shipping that you can enroll in which I’ve never done.
- Etsy doesn’t offer up anything like that but, you can, of course sell internationally.
- This list of countries via USPS will help you know what restrictions there are, if any. Take Brazil for example, they do not accept any “used consumer goods”. Well, that’s pretty much all I sell so I unfortunately can’t sell to them. When I sell things to other countries, I check to make sure the item I’m selling isn’t restricted or prohibited. I deal with it at that time.
- Also on Etsy & eBay, you can set up “Shipping Policies” which allow you to set up specific shipping policies you can attach to various listings. I’ll be sure to write more about this in another post too.
USPS International (the only shipper I’ve used for international)
- The most common way I ship Internationally is via First Class Package International (not to be confused with 1st Class Mail International). Of course, there are other categories you can use but, I’m guessing this will be the most common.
- First-Class Mail International®
- You have an envelope of documents that weighs under 1 lb. (15.994 oz).
- First-Class Package International Service®
- You have a package (or large envelope over 1 lb) that contains items worth less than $400 and that weighs less than 4 lbs.
- Priority Mail International
- You have a package that weighs over 4 lbs.
- The only things that can be sent in a USPS Priority box are items you’re shipping as Priority & with a Priority label.
- Pirate Ship was a game changer shipping wise. It’s already changed since I started using it but, it’s still really good.
- Their International can’t be beat. You will have to ask them to set you up with their Simple Export Rate option.
- Also, definitely check out the Maximum size and weight limits for USPS® International services
Help when you NEED it
My biggest thing with asking for help is most people, who run groups of any kind, hope you do your research prior to asking any questions. If you’re not going to put the work in to figure out the smallest thing, how will you handle running a business? I agree with this way of thinking.
On the other hand, I know, from experience, how much time can be spent on something when you just want to straight out ask because you can’t find an answer.
- Mark Tew from Not Your Dad’s CPA
- He has experience as an online seller.
- He offers so much information your head will explode. In a good, OMG where has this guy been my whole life, kinda way. Especially if you’re just starting out, his Accounting for Online Sellers Facebook group is perfect. He offers different types of spreadsheets depending on what type of resale business you have. The sooner you get your ducks in a row with accounting, the better.
- Also, know that legally, any & all earned income needs to be reported.
- There are a ton of reseller groups out there but, I have to share BOSS – Business for Online Selling Success Facebook group. They’re an extremely helpful, smart, kind, funny, go-getters kinda bunch. They’re also good at slapping judgment in the face.
Useful Software or Apps
Most of these do cost money so you may not be ready for them but, they are time savers & just plain helpful. I use all of them.
- List Perfectly
- This one is another head explosion waiting to happen. This allows you to cross post between platforms faster than the blink of an eye.
- I currently use their cheapest tier at $29/mos & it works for me.
- This one is tricky because I think I’ve tried all the mileage tracking apps out there and Everlance was the only consistent one. I’ve never had any glitches or things not working, etc. At least check it out and see if it works for you. If not, there are many others,
- Start keeping records now. I’ve tried many different ways to keep track of my inventory & I currently use one created by Ginger Marvin. They’re a husband & wife reseller team & the sheet is amazing.
- You can email Mark Tew on his website to get his spreadsheets. I’m pretty sure he offers up at least a couple of different ways to track what you need. He also offers courses you can purchase. I’ve taken them & still have access to them.
I will continue to add/update/delete info as I find things out. Again, do your due diligence & find out the answers you’re looking for but, be sure to pass on the help when you can.
HELP IS ALWAYS A PIN AWAY