I have to admit that I, myself, struggle with what to say when people ask me what I do for work. I used to just tell people that I “work on websites” which happens to be MOSTLY true.
This is because I have learned that if I tell people that I am a re-seller or that I sell used clothing online, people tend to look at me like I am a poor relative and they IMMEDIATELY dismiss me as someone who is not important. If you are reading this post, you probably know what I mean. The “Oh, that’s nice” and skip on to the next subject, or even the occasional “Can you actually make money from that?”. Their faces completely change after learning that fact.
But here is the truth. There is money to be made from re-selling. It is a business just like any other. Yes, anyone can start doing it but the reality is that it takes dedication and knowledge to grow and make actual money. You are dependent on yourself just like any other so called “legitimate” self-employed job.
Reasons you are legitimate:
1. Research – you have to constantly research what the trends are and what is selling. These change all the time and you need to change with them. This requires hours and hours of research. Not unlike writing a book or a marketing job.
2. Customer Service – you have to be constantly on to answer questions and respond to issues.
3. Time – It takes time to find the items and to actually list them. Even if you are a drop-shipper or a wholesaler. You have to actually sit down and FIND the inventory to sell or you don’t make any money. You have to actually LIST the items for potential buyers to find what you want them to buy.
4. Effort – Trust me, it takes real effort to keep going and not fall into the usual habits. Like binge watching Netflix or 100 other things I could be doing instead. Maybe I woke up and did not feel like hunting down inventory or even listing (which is my hardest area). Since you work for yourself, this may not seem like a big deal but if you worked for someone else you would get up and go to work wouldn’t you? It takes a HUGE amount of effort and self-control to do what you need to do.
4. Streamlining – It takes time to learn what works for you and what does not. Maybe what was working for you a year ago does not work for you now. Creativity and thought HAS to do into developing and expanding how you go about finding products to sell or the way you handle your inventory to make it easier to find once sold. Do you have your inventory in your basement or do you have a warehouse? Are you not finding any value in the local thrift shops? Did they change THEIR pricing strategies? This is not unlike a corporation who needs to change their own businesses to suit them.
5. Accounting – You also have to somewhat be an accountant. You can pay someone to do this for you but at some level you have to manage your own. Like monthly totals and inventory in/out. This is not only to pay yourself but for tax purposes. This is a time-consuming process that I frankly do not like:) LOL. But it has to be done.
7. Consistency – eBay, Poshmark, and all the other platforms have algorithms that monitor the amount of time and effort you put into your business. You could think of this like a boss. The more time & effort you put into your business, the better your results are. This is true even without the algorithms or the self-employment. Think if you worked as a waitress at IHOP, for example. You were always the one to come to work on time, have a smile on your face, and did the best you could every day. Would you get the next promotion or would the other guy who did none of those things?
I hope you can see by the above list why re-selling is a “legitimate” business and it helps you to overcome being uncomfortable with the question “What do you do?”. I am working on that myself and it is only recently that I have decided that I don’t care what others think.
You will be pleasantly surprised by the amount of people who then ask you “How do I do that?”. I was.
Leave a comment and let me know how it goes for you!
Take care and have an awesome day!