When considering new business options you can start on a limited budget, reselling merchandise has become a particularly interesting option. Reselling merchandise you purchased at a low price is the sort of business you can run (on any scale), from purchase to sales, from the comfort of your home. However, jumping headfirst into a business will bring you more trouble than profit. In fact stats show that around 20 percent of businesses close their doors one year after starting up. Only 30 percent of businesses survive their first decade.
In fact, if you are employed currently and are not sure whether you should leave your job and explore the entrepreneurial waters full time, starting your resale business on the side would be the best option for you, at least until you find the right market and business model to commit to.
Selling refurbished electronics online is an increasingly attractive option in recent times. With the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic still affecting our lives and the way we do business, electronics have become our link to the world, be it social or professional.
Why Refurbished Electronics?
Electronic devices have been in high demand over the past year, and the trend is expected to continue throughout 2021 and beyond, for both new and refurbished electronics. Due to production challenges related to the pandemic, in 2020 vendors struggled to keep up with the demand for these products, and even began running out of stock. This stimulated the demand for refurbished electronics. People who couldn’t afford expensive new electronics, or could not afford to wait for long delivery times, opted to buy refurbished instead.
Many businesses made the best out of the initial demand wave for refurbished electronics, but the demand is not expected to drop any time soon. In a tense trade climate, with unclear restrictions and changing consumer behaviors, the secondary market is expected to benefit from the biggest work culture shift of recent times. Hop in the ocean and ride the wave of rewards.
Overview: How to Start a Refurbished Electronics Resale Business?
Before you set up your own refurbished electronics resale business, you need to understand what refurbished electronics are, and how to set up your business for success. Throughout this series you will be given pointers and tips on how to buy refurbished electronics and resell them for the highest profit. We will look at the advantages and potential pitfalls of dealing with this sort of merchandise, and much more.
While you have a number of options to source refurbished electronics, we will help uncover companies specialized in dealing with reselling refurbished electronics in bulk.
What Are Refurbished Electronics?
The purpose of the refurbishment process is to prepare customer-returned or used electronics to be sold as new. This includes reviewing the products, as well as, repairing and replacing any needed parts, supplying new packaging, etc. In many cases, the inspection reveals that these items need no repairs, but may still require new packaging which the refurbisher will provide. All refurbished electronics sourced from companies such as Go Wholesale, for example, are guaranteed to be shelf-ready, immediately for resale.
It’s important to keep in mind that a customer-returned product is often not a damaged product. Products get returned for a number of reasons, like damaged packaging, buyers remorse or a wrong color being delivered.
Some products that undergo the refurbishment process may not even be customer returns at all. Some have been displayed on the shelves of a store and have been used as a showcase model. While others may have been turned in by the buyers who traded in their older model for a brand-new one. Regardless of their origin, these items go through the same inspection, refurbishment, and verification process. We will go into the refurbishment process in more depth in the next article in this series.
Where to Buy Refurbished Electronics
When it comes to purchasing refurbished electronics, your best option is to look for a specialized company that focuses on buying and refurbishing electronics. This will ensure the quality of the repairs is top-notch, and you know exactly what you are getting. The most reputable will also offer you a full warranty on any refurbished product, and easy shipping options, including self-pickup, and buyer-arranged.
At Go Wholesale, we specialize in selling refurbished and brand new smartphones, laptops and wearables. We work with major retailers and vendors to provide you with top-tier electronics, from the biggest, most desirable brands.
Who Does The Refurbishing?
We conduct all inspections and refurbishing in-house. Each unit goes through a four step process that ensures it is brought back to manufacturer’s specification. We also include a 90-day warranty. Other companies may bring in external technicians, or simply outsource their refurbishment. It is critical that when dealing with certain refurbishment requirements, repairs, and data security sensitivities, there are trained and certified professionals handling the process.
What is The Condition of Refurbished Electronics?
A proper refurbishment process produces a product that is fully-functional, and works as new. The fact that we supply a full 90-day warranty on any unit we refurbish signals how confident we are in the quality of our refurbishment process. Other companies’ terms will vary, and you need to check the details of their refurbishment process and returns procedures before any purchase.
With top-tier wholesalers you can expect a product in either its original or replacement packaging, accompanied by its accessories and product documentation. It’s also fair to assume that units will function as new, and that they will be graded on their cosmetic appearance, which will also affect the pricing and resale value.
How to Buy Refurbished Electronics?
There are a number of sources for buying refurbished electronics. We will highlight these sources as we get deeper into this series. For example, the process of buying through our platform is as easy as buying from any other major ecommerce platform you may be familiar with. The unique value proposition we offer on Go Wholesale, is that you have the option of buying as many or few units as you want.
While the price of refurbished electronics is already much lower than the price of brand new ones, further savings can be made if you stock up in bulk. The larger the order, the greater the discount.
For someone starting out in the business, buying from Go Wholesale is ideal as you don’t need a large investment to get going. You can set up your business in your home and use a spare room as storage for your inventory. Having a reliable and affordable supply source is a significant boost to your chances of success.
Where to Sell Refurbished Electronics?
There are plenty of options when it comes to selling your refurbished merchandise. You may prefer to set up shop locally, and conduct business in person, but you may also focus your business strictly online. Every choice has its pros and cons, you are the one who decides what is best for your business. We will go into this in much more depth throughout the series.
Selling products locally does not necessarily mean you have to rent or buy a physical store to display your merchandise. You can still do business from your home and use the classifieds to your full advantage. Places like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace or OfferUp are perfect options that let you advertise your inventory and reach people in your community.
The positive side of dealing locally is that you get to meet the customers, and engage with the community in person. This also allows you to deliver the merchandise in person and complete transactions the same way. On the down side, you may be living in a smaller community where demand for the products you are offering is not high enough to sustain a business in the long term.
The first advantage of selling online is the variety of platforms you may use, including building your own website. This means you are getting a lot more exposure for your inventory and reaching a lot more potential customers. The additional exposure you will gain through an online selling approach can help scale your business faster, but it also comes with a number of additional costs.
For every nation-wide or international sale you make, you have to consider shipping costs. Also, depending on the platform, you may have to take into account listing fees, monthly/annual membership fees or sales fees. In the end, these additional expenses will impact how you price your product, as well as the potential profit margin.
In terms of online sales options, you have a large variety of eCommerce platforms available, including Amazon, eBay and others. You can also build your own website with services such as Shopify, which allow you to tailor the website to meet your needs and demands. This option also comes with additional work needed to bring traffic to your website, which may incur some additional advertisement costs.
How To Set Up Your Business
Before taking any steps into setting up the business of selling refurbished electronics online, you should conduct thorough market research, and draw up a business plan that can help you succeed. We will focus on this in our third article in the series.
If you have decided to resell refurbished electronics, you have already taken a crucial first step in building your business plan. This means that your market research should start with looking into the demand for certain products, the pricing of used, and refurbished items already on the market and scouting potential competitors.
This is valuable information as it will show you what sort of inventory they are dealing with, what their warranty options are, as well as the payment options. You can track certain products to see how long they have been listed for and whether they sell or not.
We will look further into the subject later on in this series as there are plenty of tricks and tools you can use to gauge the market dynamics and see what business model would suit you best.
But, in short, here are a few things you should consider, before we move on to separate segments of this guide in more detail.
- Refurbished electronics do not usually take up a lot of space. They are easier to store than furniture and don’t suffer from seasonal demand like clothing. This is why a spare room in your house or apartment can be used as a storage space, eliminating the need for leasing or buying a dedicated storage unit. This also means you can buy merchandise in bulk and keep track of your inventory easily. It also makes the delivery cheaper when you are buying more products at once.
- If refurbished electronics are something you are comfortable with, then use it to your advantage. If you are jumping into this business because the demand is strong, make sure you learn all you can as quickly as possible. Knowing a product makes it easier for you to understand it and point out its advantages and application to the buyer. Also, dealing with something you are comfortable with makes your business easier.
- Don’t restrict yourself to either selling locally or globally; the internet allows you to mix things up. You can use the internet and the advantages of all the platforms out there to reach potential customers in your vicinity. This will reduce shipping costs and give your profit margin a boost.
- Speaking of shipping costs, explore every option and make sure you bring your inbound and outbound shipping costs to the lowest point possible. You should always factor in these costs when setting up your budget.
- Go Wholesale has a wide network of distribution centers across the United States. This means you can buy from the warehouses closest to you, reducing the delivery costs or even arranging to pick up the merchandise yourself, eliminating the delivery costs completely.
- Communicate with your customer base, research the market and adapt to its needs. Read the demand and provide the products that the customers demand. This may take time, but you should be able to pinpoint which products sell best and which option works best for your business.