10 Essential Tools for Starting Your Ebay Fashion Resale Business

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Actually, you don’t need to find an awesome antique toolbox. You probably already have most of the things you need to start your ebay business. Here’s your go to list:

  1. Computer
    • USE: Listings items, editing photos, and printing labels. You can’t do everything you need to do on a smartphone, and you’ll wear out your thumbs trying, so you need a computer.
  2. Internet Service
    • USE: Accessing the Ebay website. A home internet connection would be ideal, but theoretically you could make a public internet connection work, it just wouldn’t be as convenient.
  3. Printer.
    • USE: Printing labels. Listen, you save SO MUCH MONEY by using the Ebay label printing service because Ebay offers a discount off the regular price of shipping for USPS and FedEx services. It’s free and it’s already part of your Ebay selling account. When you use the Ebay label service, it automatically updates your tracking info to your sale. It saves you a trip to the Post Office. There’s no reason not to use it! So you HAVE to have a printer, even if that means buying one.
  4. Adhesive Labels.
    • USE: Printing shipping labels. Large, printable adhesive labels cost about $0.05 each. It’s about the cost of the tape you’d use getting a paper label to stick to your packages and it saves lots of time, so buy some. My favorite supplier ValueMailers on ebay.
  5. Smartphone.
    • USE: Researching potential inventory. I wish I could say that you could get by without a smartphone.  But without mobile access to the internet, you  seriously impede your business growth. When you’re thrifting, you’ll inevitably come across some unknown brands. Without access to ebay sold listings, you’ll make a lot of expensive buying mistakes (ask me how I know) because you won’t know if that brand is worth buying. It saves time and money to look up items on the spot and that’s where a smartphone comes in handy.
  6. Camera.
    • USE: Photographing inventory. Actually, you can get away with using your smartphone if it has a good camera. If your phone works for you, use it instead.
  7. Food scale.
    • USE: Weighing items for shipment. In order to print labels at home, you have to provide accurate weight and physical dimensions to the label printing service. You need a scale with precision up to 0.25 of an ounce, and food scales are a widely available and inexpensive choice.
  8. Tape Measure.
    • USE: Measuring your items.  Sizes are not reliable–especially for vintage clothing–and you’ve got to give your buyers the information they need to make an educated purchase. Measure all of your items. It will boost your sales, cut down on returns, and offer you protection if a buyer falsely claims an item is not described because of size.
  9. Storage bins or bags.
    • USE: Storing inventory. Whether it’s under the bed, in a stack in the hall, or hanging in the closet of your spare room, you’ve got to have some place to keep all your inventory. I number my zipper bags and slide them under the guest bed. I hang up anything that doesn’t fold easily (like coats and suits) in the guest closet. I put the appropriate number in the item’s description so I can find it quickly when it sells. It doesn’t matter how you organize your inventory just as long as you can find it when you need it.
  10. Packing material.
    • USE: Packing and shipping orders. Review my posts Cheapest Way to Ship Clothing–I go over all the basics. The one thing I don’t mention is tape: I usually get mine on sale, in bulk, at Costco or Sams. But you can certainly buy it online. Scotch tape and masking tape don’t work so well, and duck tape is overkill, so go with packing tape.

When you get all these little ducks in a row, you’ll need one more thing: inventory. And I’ll tell you all about start up inventory in my next post.

Is there anything else you consider essential to your Ebay fashion resale business? Comment below!

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