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Shop Smarter: Make Purchases With Resale In Mind

Updated on January 6, 2013
Shopping has become a "sport" for a lot of people.
Shopping has become a "sport" for a lot of people.

Become the Ultimate Shopper

Are you addicted to shopping? Is it the hunt, the find, the deal, or a combination of all three? While accumulating items is nice, what if I told you that the initial purchase is only the beginning of the process. That thrill that you feel when you purchase an item can be felt just as strongly when you enjoy and then resell that same item some time later. Amazing as it seems, read on and I'll show you how easy it can be.

Look for limited editions like this 2013 American Girl doll of the year. She will fetch a lot in resale!
Look for limited editions like this 2013 American Girl doll of the year. She will fetch a lot in resale!

Brands Matter

Like it or not, we are a brand-driven economy. Companies like Coca-Cola and McDonald's make sure that every man, woman, and child across the globe know who they are.

If you are watching your budget, name brands might not matter that much to you. But, if you are like me who enjoys a side business of reselling used items, I pay a lot of attention to an item's resale value. There's nothing better than enjoying an item for awhile and then reselling it for a decent price!

Some companies have spent millions to get to their top spot in the "must-have" section of the consumers' market. How else can one company charge a premium for a product while another can only get a fraction for similar quality?

Let's start with purses. My mother likes to purchase leather purses from Macy's. Some of her favorite ones are from Fossil and Liz Claiborne. They are nice. Unfortunately, when she asked me to help me resell them, I was unable to do so. Even though these bags were in excellent shape, there is little to no resale market for those brands.

Here are some purse brands that have an excellent resale market:

  • Vera Bradley
  • Coach
  • Michael Kors
  • Louis Vuitton

The same can be said about clothing, children's specifically. I typically sell my children's gently used clothing at my local church consignment sales (not shops). These sales give me the opportunity to set my own prices as well as keep more profit.

Children's items with little resale value:

  • books
  • stuffed animals (except Build-A-Bear)
  • outdated computer games
  • discount store clothing
  • newborn clothes
  • VHS & outdated DVDs

Clothing brands in hot demand:

  • Abercrombie & Fitch
  • Under Armor
  • Nike (newer & in good shape)
  • Gymboree
  • Polo

Then there's electronics. Some electronics have an excellent resale value. I've been shocked to see how much a Game Boy Advance will get on Amazon! When I list one, it never lasts longer than a week!! Games do not enjoy the same high resale value, especially older ones. Certain ones are more popular than others, of course, while others are worth only a small amount and should be bundled.

Here's a list of electronics I have had great success reselling:

  • Apple (of course)
  • Nintendo
  • XBox
  • Playstation

Reliable place to find all kinds of printable coupons and online codes.
Reliable place to find all kinds of printable coupons and online codes.

Calling All Super-Shoppers

Now that you know which items are hot, you need to find them at as low of a cost as possible. One of my friends likes to frequent discounters like TJ Maxx and Marshalls. She regularly buys Abercrombie & Fitch items for around $10. You could also shop off season sales like I do. That same store A&F is having a 40% off sale online right now. I like discount racks and tables as well.

Some items never go on sale such as American Girl or Apple. The trick for high resale is taking good care of your items and keep ALL packaging and paperwork. Another hint for high resale value is to look for limited edition items.

Research, Research, Research Before You Sell

Before deciding if an item has any value, research online for how much that item has recently sold or is being listed for. Just because you think your item is worth $X, doesn't mean you can get that much. Also, WHERE you sell determines how much you can get as well. For example, I had gotten a stack of old DVDs from a friend to sell. I began to look up their going rates on Amazon. Many were going for a couple of dollars and had lots of competition. For those items, I decided that the church consignment sale is where I can get the most money. There were a couple, namely the Disney limited edition sets, that had surprisingly high resale values. In particular, "Monsters, Inc." was worth the most. I just sold it for a whopping $28!

When all else fails, be creative. It never surprises me what people are willing to purchase on places like Ebay. Recently, I was doing research on GI Joe prices and stumbled across a completed listing for a single ARM of a vintage GI Joe doll. It sold for $12.99!


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    • my_girl_sara profile imageAUTHOR

      Cynthia Lyerly 

      5 years ago from Georgia

      I see you understand the return on investment principle. To me, it's worth spending a couple of extra dollars knowing that I can resell the item for much more.

      Thanks for the comment! We should share deals:)

    • CraftytotheCore profile image


      5 years ago

      Well said! I used to dabble with an online boutique for a couple of years when my children were very small. I did very well, especially with Gap and Gymboree. Then I found out about Baby Lulu. The thrift stores here caught on to eBay, so the prices skyrocketed, even at Goodwill. Resellers were going in to the Goodwill store and bragging about how they make this much money on eBay. It used to be a fun place to shop and find bargains. Now it's expensive even though most of the stuff has stains and is really not worth much. Although I had found a few items in Goodwill that are near perfect.

      I hit a $1 sale at the Gymboree store here in town one time. That was fun. My children were young enough to fit in to those clothes then. I got some really awesome deals. And then I was able to sell what they grew out of for a few more extra dollars to purchase their next size.

      Everything you say here is right on! It's good to keep in mind the value of the item for resell, especially if the initial investment is a lot.


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