Science & Technology



How to get started reselling common products on eBay and other sites

Ronald D. White, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Science & Technology News

Lots of people got into reselling common consumer products during the pandemic because of money concerns or too much extra stuff lying around the house they suddenly were stuck inside.

And demand skyrocketed as some goods became difficult to find or new remote-working and remote-schooling needs developed.

There are dozens of websites on which to sell merchandise, whether they're items you already own or, to take it up a notch, a stream of goods you acquire from somewhere else at a cost that's low enough to make a profit when you unload it.

There are the big generalists — including EBay, Amazon and wholesale site B-Stock — and a wealth of specialized online marketplaces for books, vintage clothing, jewelry and other things. Most sites have basic get-started guides and communities of sellers that share tips.

Here are some basic questions and answers:

Is this even legal?


As long as the merchandise has been legally purchased, retailers can't prevent you from selling it again to a different buyer.

Some retailers require resellers to deface labels, bar codes and QR codes. And there have been instances in which brand owners issued cease-and-desist demands, but those appear to have been rare. Hang on to sales receipts, however, just in case.

There is one way folks involved in reselling can get themselves into serious trouble, and that is by not being careful about where they obtain their goods.

Selling fake or stolen items is not only illegal but also wrong and can be downright dangerous. A simple internet search will turn up stomach-churning cases involving counterfeit electronics that were faulty or even fire hazards and bogus brand-name cosmetics containing bacteria and feces.


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