How To Start a Reselling Business In The UK

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Have you ever tried buying something and selling it to friends, family, or coworkers? Congratulations! You are a reseller!  Even if all you did in school was buy and trade some candies for a few pennies, that’s still reselling. The best part is that the work can be done full-time or part-time and does not require a large investment to begin.

However, becoming a mainstream reseller in the UK or anywhere else is a whole other ballgame. It is more than just buying items and selling them to someone else for profit. You must conduct research, put several factors in place, and prepare for a trip. In this article, we are going to put you through how to start a resulting business, opportunities in the reselling business and tips on how to run the business successfully

What is a Reseller?

A reseller is a company that buys goods from manufacturers, liquidators, or other retailers and resells them to its customers. A reseller business permit, also known as a resale licence, resale certificate, or tax exemption certificate, enables resellers to buy certain items tax-free, such as Items to sell at wholesale, Retail sales items, and Ingredients or parts used in the production and sale of goods.

Reselling is essentially a form of dropshipping in which businesses source products and materials from various suppliers and make them available to customers through an online store. This business model makes it simpler for the average consumer to find and purchase products.

How To Start A Reselling Business

Whether you’re beginning a shoe resale or a clothing reselling business, this form of trade can become your principal source of income, even if you’re just starting. What you must do is as follows:

#1. Select A Niche

Choosing a niche is critical to reselling success. Finding your niche and becoming well-versed in it will enable you to find better deals and resell for higher profits.

When deciding on a niche, consider the following:

  • What do I care about/know a lot about?
  • What products can be purchased cheaply and profitably?
  • What are the most popular products?

#2. Register Your Business

Before you begin reselling, you must first register your company. Simply put, this can be fairly simple:

  • Choose a company name.
  • Select a business structure.
  • Incorporate your company.

This will provide you with the licences you require to begin operations. After you incorporate, you will be able to take advantage of business benefits such as tax breaks and wholesale purchasing options.

#3. Research Law and Permit

You may need to apply for a permit depending on where you are located and the types of products you are reselling, and you may also need to check the rules of other states if you plan on selling across state lines; simply search for the rules based on the states you are operating in.

#4. Source Your Items

It is impossible to make a profit if there are no items to sell. Sourcing your items is an important step in getting started with reselling.

The niche and approach you take will determine where you source your items. Here are a few examples of places where you might be able to find products:

  • Direct from the manufacturers
  • Online marketplaces (for example, eBay)
  • Wholesalers (like Alibaba)
  • Collectors who go to garage sales

#5. Promote Your Online Store

You should now have almost everything you need to start selling online. You also need to find customers who want to buy your product. This is where digital marketing enters the picture.

There are numerous digital marketing strategies you can employ to promote your online store. Among the most popular are:

  • Social ads will allow you to target people based on their location, interests, and income.
  • Email marketing can assist you in nurturing potential customers and driving direct sales.
  • Organic social media for establishing trust with your customer base by posting valuable content

How to Obtain a Reseller Permit

In general, you’ll need to do the following to obtain a reseller’s permit in the United Kingdom.

#1. Register Your Business

You must first obtain a business licence in the state in which you intend to operate. If you already have a business incorporated outside of the state where you want to run your resale venture, you may need a foreign qualification.

#2. Get to Know Your State’s Laws

The rules that govern the resale business differ by region. Some states, for example, will allow you to use an out-of-state reseller’s permit to avoid paying sales tax on items. Others, however, will not allow it. As a result, before crossing lines or setting up shop, you should become acquainted with the rules.

#3. Obtain Application Materials

Gather all of the requirements for obtaining a reseller’s permit and finalise all preparations to obtain the licence.

#4. Obtain a Resale Permit

Obtain a licence for each region in which you intend to operate. You should also expect to pay some fees while obtaining the permits.

How To Find A Supplier For Your Business

Are you ready to start looking for resale suppliers? These pointers will give you everything you need to get started on your search.

#1. Request Referrals

Check with professional networks in your industry to see who is recommended and who is not. Because others in your industry are immersed in the field, they will be aware of what is going on right now.

#2. Examine The Following Product-sourcing Sites and Apps:

There are entire websites and apps dedicated to putting you in touch with suppliers and manufacturers. Among the most popular are: the dropshipping services used by Haulsafe and Faire. Dropshipping services can help you solve a variety of problems that you might not be able to solve on your own. These businesses have the warehouse space, knowledge, and personnel to receive goods, inventory them, and ship them to their customers accurately and quickly.

Reseller Business Opportunities

Because you don’t have to invest in product development and manufacturing, reselling opens up a lot of new business opportunities. These characteristics also make reselling a great home business or side hustle that can eventually be turned into a full-time job. Here are six ideas to get you started with a reselling business.

#1. Dropshipping Business

You can start a dropshipping business, which allows you to offer a wide range of products without stocking any inventory. In a dropshipping business model, all you have to do is market and sell the products. Your dropshipping supplier handles everything product-related, from product development to warehousing and tracking to even order fulfilment.

#2. Sneakers Business

Shoes provide retailers with a diverse range of niches, including athletic shoes, stylish heels, trendy sneakers, and everything in between. People will always need shoes, and you can keep things interesting by releasing seasonal designs. There is plenty of opportunity to resell shoes and make a tidy profit.

#3. Vintage Boutique

You can resell vintage clothing, antique furniture, and other trinkets at garage sales, yard sales, thrift stores, or donation centres. The key to a successful vintage reselling business is learning what items people seek and the price points at which they are willing to pay. For example, vintage Corningware is in high demand among a select group of customers.

#4. Consignment

If an online business selling vintage items appeals to you, consider expanding your business by opening a consignment shop. Consignment shops sell upscale or luxury used goods, and not all items are antique or vintage; some are newer. For example, Love that Bag is a Shopify merchant that runs a consignment shop from its online store.

#5. Subscription Box

Subscription boxes peaked in popularity with brands like Birchbox, and they continue to be a flexible business model for a reseller looking to establish a more predictable revenue stream. You can put together a collection of items and package them in a single box.

#6. Electronics

Electronics cost a lot of money for people all over the world. As a reseller, you can carve out a distinct niche in the market. Whether you want to be an electronics seller who carries a little bit of everything or a source of one type of gadget, the possibilities are nearly limitless. Some popular resale electronics include audio and video equipment and computer games.

Advantages Of Being a Reseller

Some of the benefits of becoming a reseller include

#1. Launch Your Business Sooner

You can start a business quickly by becoming a reseller. You don’t have to wait for inventory or anything else for that matter. Also, you can build your online store and launch it the same day. You can begin marketing your business once you’ve added a few great reseller products and some content to your store.

#2. Carry No Inventory

Another benefit of becoming a reseller is that you will not be required to carry inventory. You can get products from dropshipping suppliers, which allows you to resell without having to buy inventory ahead of time. Because you only pay for goods as customers order them from your website, it’s an excellent option for new entrepreneurs.

#3. Resell An Extensive Range

As a reseller, you will be able to sell a wide variety of products. If you resell clothes, you can expand your product line to include shoes, jewellery, accessories, handbags, lingerie, and other related items as your business grows. Adding additional products to your reseller online shop will not increase your costs because you only pay for goods purchased from your store.

#4. Lower Your Financial Risk

The low financial cost of starting a reseller business is an advantage. This is the ideal business for risk-averse and cost-conscious entrepreneurs. You will not need to purchase it in bulk. Shipping costs aren’t prohibitively expensive in the reseller business. You only pay for goods as customers place orders through your reseller online store.

#5. Set Your Margins

When you become a reseller, you have complete control over your margins. You are free to set your prices for your products. Since the cost of goods is low, you can price your products to ensure your reseller business is profitable. The higher you set your price, the more you can make. Be sure to look at industry standards for product pricing.

Tips On How to Run A Successful Reselling Business

Successful reselling, like any other business, is about providing something consumers want at prices that allow you to make enough money to keep buying and selling more. The following advice is geared specifically towards increasing your chances of success as a reseller.

#1. Make Your Products Look Amazing

Make sure your website makes a good first impression on your customers! How do you put your best foot forward first?

  • Professional Product Photography

As an authorised reseller, your manufacturer or supplier should have high-quality photographs.

  • A Professionally Designed Website And Marketing Materials 

There is no excuse today for having a website that does not look and function properly. In minutes, the most popular e-commerce platforms can set you up with a clean, easy-to-navigate site.

  • Personalised Packaging

It’s a small detail, but when your customers receive their items (in-store or delivered to their homes), the packaging should pique their interest almost as much as the contents.

#2. Ship Your Products As Soon As Possible

Nobody wants to be kept waiting for something they ordered. 22% of people will abandon a shopping cart simply because the seller does not provide fast shipping. While this may not seem fair, there are ways to avoid this potential stumbling block.

#3. Employ the Services of a Dropshipping Company

These companies have the infrastructure to handle everything from receiving your items to shipping and dealing with returns. While you will pay for that expertise, if you don’t have the space to store all of your goods or the budget for an in-house shipping team, it may be the only viable option.

#4. Establish a Dedicated Shipping Team

Shipping items in-house is the best way to ensure that the process meets your standards and expectations, but it does have some disadvantages. In-house shipping necessitates a large amount of storage, receiving, and packaging space. It also entails paying people directly and keeping enough supplies on hand to ship orders as they come in.

#5. Always Consider Your Margins

Your margins as a reseller are just as important, if not more important, than those of other types of retailers. Because the market can shift quickly, you must be prepared to get more products in stock quickly, but you must also avoid being stuck with too much product that isn’t moving after tastes shift.

What is the Average Profit of a Reseller?

A reseller typically makes anywhere from 20% to 50% profit on the products they sell. Many factors go into how much money a reseller makes, such as overhead costs, shipping and handling fees, and inventory costs.

What Products Usually Have the Lowest Profit Margin?

Some of them include

  • Lawn and Garden Supply Stores
  • Car Dealerships
  • Furniture Stores
  • Assisted Living and Retirement Homes
  • Travel and Accommodation
  • Recreation Service

Is Reselling Without Permission Illegal?

In general, you are free to resell any lawfully purchased item, and you are not required to purchase from an authorized source, but doing so ensures the best chances that you are dealing with a legitimate product. If the products you sell turn out to be counterfeit, you are responsible for that.

What Items Have the Highest Margins?

Products with high-profit margins include

  • Speciality products. This category includes phone accessories, kitchen gadgets, watches, and collectibles like trading cards
  • Children’s products. This category serves parents shopping for their kids
  • Candles
  • Private label products
  • Dropshipping

How Much Do Amazon Resellers Make a Month?

Most Amazon sellers make at least £946 per month in sales, and some super-sellers make more than £94,647 each month in sales. 45% of Amazon sellers make £946 to £23,660/month, which could mean £11,358 to £283,943 in annual sales.


Now that you understand what reselling is and how to become a reseller, it may be time to consider creating your own e-commerce store to sell your products. Investing in the right e-commerce tools can help you grow your business, cut costs, and stay more productive, so spend some time researching the best ways to optimise your processes.


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