Selling used merchandise can be a profitable business. It's estimated that over 170 million tons of trash is transported to our landfills every year; trash comprised of treasured merchandise or products that are greatly in demand.  There are several contributing factors to this massive waste, the  environment is of little or no concern to many, lack of appreciation, affluence, as well as lack of knowledge.

Although a number of markets or niches have become saturated,  the business of buying used products for resale is here to stay, and can bring you a tidy income.  You can get a piece of the action by providing these much-needed items to those who are scouring, Ebay, Amazon and Craigslist on a daily basis, or fill up consignment stores with your finds. The key to doing well is:  product knowledge, keeping abreast with demand, and finding inexpensive sources.

Product Knowledge

Every aspect of  sales must have people with a strong understanding of the products they sell. The simple fact is: companies know they will do better when they hire or train their workers to sell or present their products in a convincing and professional way. You're at an advantage when you know the facts about your products;  such as value, how it works, price comparison and history.


 Customers rely on you to know about the product you sell. In doing so you will build confidence and trust by being able to communicate correct information and offer solutions.  Moreover, lack of product knowledge can hurt your business and cause you to pass up the deal of a lifetime.




What to Buy

As mentioned, the key to doing well is also determined by what you buy. If you're considering selling online, frequently research what people are looking for on the internet: search Ebay auctions and look at what people are bidding on, search the wanted section of Craigslist.  Buy everything and anything as long as the price is right and you have determined you have a good market. On the other hand, carve out your own niche if you prefer.  Handbags

If you're an individual with a sharp flare for fashion, clothing and accessories could be your starting point or the focus of your business. Talk to teenagers and get the scoop on what’s popular and trendy,  get the buzz on what the 20-30 something’s are buying. If interested in furniture and jewelry then learn about antiques and vintage items, visit consignment shops and thrift stores, talk to people in these places,  and pay close attention to what's going on around you.  Lastly, get to know people who are in the business, these folks could be your ticket to great success.  



Hot Sellers

Brand Name Clothes and Accessories


Signed Paintings particularly those from the 50's, 60's and earlier



Small Exercise Equipment

Old LPs


Household Appliances

Old coins

Scrap Metal


Fishing Rods

Golf Club


Signed Sports Memorabilia

Cell phone, blackberry, Iphone

Another product to consider is empty ink cartridges.  Get empty cartridges for free, Print business cards and hand out to office managers at various offices or places of business.  Let your friends and family members know you are collecting cartridges. Companies such as Eycle will pay shipping cost and pay anywhere from .50 to $10 for certain cartridges. They will also pay you for cell phones, Iphone and blackberries, however, if in excellent working condition, you are likely to do better selling selling them on Ebay and Amazon. 

Places To Find Products or Merchandise

Flea Markets

Church Sales

Thrift Stores (paying close attention to price)


Craigslist (free Section)

Storage Unit Auctions

Yard Sales

Drive through neighborhoods especially a day or two before bulk trash

Salvation Army Auctions

Library Sales

Closeout Retail and Outlet Stores

Estate Sales

And always take your phone and any mobile connection you have to the internet.



Customer service

You may have great products, and product knowledge, but a poor attitude, no communication, and poor people skills will hinder you from reaching the level of success you could achieve. Finally, always be ready to give an answer and treat the customer with respect.