Advice Every New Reseller Needs to Follow
A new seller—his name was Billy—came to me recently. I don’t think he sold anything before, but he wanted to know if he should purchase everything he needed to run his business—mannequins, lighting, poly bags, etc.—before he sourced his inventory or if he should get his inventory first. It was a good question, one that many new sellers might have too.
You Don’t Need It All Right Away
I don’t think having a mannequin is necessary. Having lighting isn’t necessary. Having an iPhone 6S Plus or an iPhone 7 isn’t necessary when you’re first getting started. The reason I say this is because so many people who start a business—whether it’s eBay, Amazon, real estate, or trading stocks—quit. I hate to say it, and I’m not saying Billy will quit. But most people end up giving up.
Over the years, I’ve tried to help so many people. Tons of people have taken my advice or the advice of another and made it happen. But most people, it’s sad to say, quit. Most people just don’t have what it takes to run their own business because when running your own business, you have nobody telling you what to do.
You have nobody saying, “Hey, you have to list today.” “Hey, Billy, you got to go out and source today; inventory is low.” “Hey, Billy, you’ve got to deal with this nasty customer in a nice way.” There are a million different things that could happen. And when these things happen, most people quit.
Go Bare Bones at First
So in light of that, I honestly think the best thing that you should do is just get started with whatever you have. If it’s a crummy little camera that takes okay photos, use that. If you’ve got some windows in your house, take pictures away from the window, obviously against the light because you’re going to get the best pictures that way.
Use what you have, keep the cost as low as possible, and then go out and just buy clothing or electronics—whatever it is that you want to invest in—and buy those items dirt cheap. I want you to get started at as low a cost as possible because I want you to be able to turn a profit as quickly as possible. Once you start spending—$180 on a dress form mannequin, $400 on an iPhone, $100 here, $100 there—next thing you know, you’re in debt. And you’ve got all this inventory.
When to Step It Up
I want you to get momentum. I want you to turn a profit quickly. Once you turn that profit, you see it’s possible, and you’ve got some cashflow coming in, you’re going to get really, really excited. You’re going to get hooked. But if you’re in debt, and your back is against the wall, I see a lot of people quit. Then they’re stuck with all this stuff that they don’t need. They’ve got a mannequin in their bedroom, a professional backdrop, a lighting setup, and now it’s all just wasted money.
I honestly think the best thing to do is go out there and learn first. Learn as much as you can. Watch all the videos. Listen to podcasts. Educate yourself. But then go out there and source as cheaply as possible. Get clothing on half-off days, get some books, and get some items that are cheap and don’t have a ton of risk. Then just start listing them. Start selling them, and start turning a profit.
And then, and only then, once you’ve made a couple of hundred bucks, you’ve got a firm grip on this business, you’ve built up the confidence, and you’ve got that momentum, step up your game and get a lighting kit. You can start off with a basic one. And then maybe start with an inexpensive hanging mannequin. Use that for a couple of months, and then build up to a dress form mannequin.
Slowly But Surely
Slowly but surely improve the equipment and the tools, and then maybe invest in software. But I’d say keep your costs down as low as possible at first. Turn a profit, build that momentum, get a grip on the business, and really start to believe and have faith that you can do this. Then start investing more and more in your business.
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