Can you make money buying in bulk and reselling items individually? Absolutely! If you have a little bit of money to invest upfront, you may be able to to make some quick cash by reselling bulk items.
Flipping your money by buying wholesale products and reselling them really isn’t anything new. This is one of the oldest side hustles in the books, and people have been using this strategy ever since money has been around.
However, it’s crucial to know what to sell so you have enough margin and demand to turn a nice profit.
That’s why this post is covering some of the best things to buy in bulk and resell that you can use to boost your income.
The Best Things To Buy In Bulk And Sell Individually
Finding the right products for this sort of retail arbitrage hustle is crucial. This is because you need a wide enough resale margin to turn a worthwhile profit. You also need enough demand to resell your wholesale items quickly.
Let’s dive into some popular wholesale items to buy in bulk to resell.
1. Bottled Water & Drinks
One of the most popular things to buy in bulk and resell are beverages. And if you’ve ever seen people selling bottled water or pop cans at sporting events or in public parks, this is exactly what they’re doing.
This is a perfect wholesale item to buy in bulk and then resell during summers, especially if there’s a lot of events going on in your city.
All you really need are some drinks, coolers, and ice to keep things cold. You can then set up shop on a street corner or near a sporting event to start selling.
In the video above, YouTuber He Creates TV shares how one boy in Atlanta makes money selling water bottles to cars stuck in traffic during the hot summertime.
For some context, a 24-pack of Nestle Pure Life at Walmart costs $12.55. If you sell each water bottle for $1, you’re almost at a 50% profit margin when you account for the bottles and ice.
This is a genius and very easy side hustle you can start. The only thing you need to be careful with is if you need permits to do this sort of thing in your city or area.
Got an eye for fashion? If so, clothing is one category where you could make big bucks when you buy in bulk and sell individually!
Some discount and thrift stores sell clothing by the pound for fantastic prices, and you can turn around and resell that clothing for a profit.
Some sellers make incredible money buying clothing and then reselling on Poshmark as well. Just check out how this Poshmark seller has earned over $10,000 from about 400 sales.
A friend of mine is making big profits doing this with some of her vintage fashion finds.
She was able to leave her day job to thrift shop and resell full time. While it takes a bit of hunting to find the perfect items, her profits more than makes up for it.
When reselling clothing and shoes, look for name brands or cool and unique items. You also want to keep an eye on the condition of the items and be sure to take great pictures.
As for sourcing clothing to buy in bulk and resell, discount aisles in Walmart can be a good starting point. You can also look at local thrift shops for deals.
Affordable to buy and easy to ship, books are another item to consider when you want to buy bulk items for resale.
New and gently used books can be found for very cheap at thrift stores, garage sales and flea markets and easily resold online.
When looking for books to resell, keep an eye out for those that are in the best condition possible. To know what books are selling the best right now, watch Amazon’s bestseller lists.
You can download the Amazon reseller app and scan the books to see what titles are selling well and for what price. Look for early editions of books as well as those that are autographed for particularly high values.
Books that are being turned into TV shows or movies tend to sell well, as do popular series by top authors if you can get multiple books in the same set.
Some book resellers also focus on particular niches like rare books, text books, kids books or other categories. Tom actually interviewed someone who sells books on Amazon who explains the whole process.
Wondering where to sell your used books? Try eBay, Amazon, BookDeal and Textbooks.com to get started.
You can also try reselling in person at local flea markets or consider opening up your own book shop either in person or online.
4. Trading Cards
Another classic example of things to buy in bulk and resell are trading cards that are collectible.
Many individuals don’t know the value of their collections and are willing to sell lots, or groups of their cards all together for a flat price. If you’re willing to take the time to review the collection and price and sell the most valuable cards individually, there’s some nice profit to be found.
Here are just a few of the types of trading cards to keep an eye out for:
- Pokemon Cards: People buy booster packs all the time to fish for ultra rare cards they can resell.
- Yugioh Cards: This follows the same strategy as Pokemon since you can find rare cards and turn a profit.
- Sports Cards: You can also invest in sports cards with the hopes of appreciation or to then flip cards one-by-one.
- Magic Cards: Another popular trading card game where selling individual cards can yield a nice profit.
You can buy these trading cards from official card game retailers or comic and games stores that specialize in these collectibles.
When reselling trading cards, it’s important to note that condition matters significantly. So, make sure to photograph your collection and to note conditions, including any damage to the card since that can impact value.
5. Snacks & Candy
Like selling water and beverages, another great idea for buying wholesale items to resell is to sell snacks and candy.
Much like beverages, candy and snacks can easily be resold locally through brick and mortar business, restaurant or concession stand. You can also sell them well at local events like garage sales, flea markets and city festivals.
Some people take this a step further and start a vending machine business, which is actually just another wholesale-type business if you think about it.
But you can also try this bulk selling idea the old fashioned way and sell door-to-door or at events.
YouTuber Snack God actually has excellent videos on how to buy candy and snacks at wholesale prices to then resell for some quick cash.
Beauty and fashion accessories are always in demand and can be purchased at affordable prices online for resale.
Some examples of accessories you can buy in bulk to resell include:
- Cheap jewelry
- Hair accessories
- Handbags or clutches
- Makeup bags
You could amass a small collection and then try selling at a local flea market to find buyers.
7. Beauty Products
Beauty products are great sellers and because so many of them sell at high prices, buyers are often looking for a great deal. If you can purchase and sell popular products and brands at a lower price, it can be an easy profit and help your customers save money as well.
Just be careful with buying very cheap beauty products from wholesale websites since the quality is generally low.
And make sure you don’t buy bulk beauty products that have ingredients that aren’t approved for use in your country if you’re importing them!
Toys are always popular and those in good condition, and especially those new in the package can usually be easily resold.
Watch for toys on deep discount such as those on clearance or for sale through liquidation retailers and find name brands that can be easily sold for a profit.
If you can do this leading up to Christmas time, it’s even better. And once you have some inventory, you can list it on marketplaces like Mercari or eBay to start finding buyers.
The fan market is extremely hot for movie, TV, anime and comic book collectibles! And like other collectibles, if you find popular merchandise at a low price, you can probably resell it for a profit.
My husband scouts these items at thrift stores, garage sales and bin stores, reselling his finds online on eBay and Amazon for a great profit.
When shopping, he scans the items with an app on his phone to get an idea of the value and if the profit is there to make purchasing worthwhile.
10. Cheap Electronics
Inexpensive electronic items are another thing that can be bought in bulk and resold. Whether they are for the kitchen, office or for individuals on the go, here are some popular items to resell.
- Massage devices
- Battery pack chargers
- Flash drives
- Air fryers
- Charging cables
YouTube Financial Wolf actually has a great video on how he flipped electronics for profit.
He mainly tries selling PS5s for profit, but the entire electronics flipping space can be very lucrative if you find in-demand products at decent prices.
Extra Reading – How To Make $500 By Tomorrow.
11. Small Home Goods
Shoppers are always looking for nice items to spruce up their personal space, so buying and reselling home items can be a popular niche.
Here are some of the home items to look for when buying wholesale items to resell:
- Garden items
- Signage and wall decor
- Throw pillows
- Sheets and bedding
Extra Reading – The Best Things To Sell On Mercari.
The Best Places To Buy Wholesale Goods To Resell
Now that I’ve covered some of the best things to buy and sell in bulk, it’s time to cover where you can actually purchase a lot of this inventory at wholesale prices.
Here are some of the most popular resources that wholesale resellers use:
- Costco & Sam’s Club – These two popular retail stores have had shoppers buying in bulk for years and are a great go-to when you’re getting started. They’re particularly helpful if you are reselling beverages or food products, and many restaurant and food stand owners shop here regularly for the best pricing.
- AliBaba – One of the leading sites to go to when finding the best things to buy and sell in bulk. This Chinese marketplace has bulk pricing and typically requires buyers to make a minimum purchase.
- AliExpress – Another China based retailer, this site for buyers looking for wholesale prices. You can work directly with manufacturers and even create custom products if you want to white-label.
- DHgate – This Chinese based online marketplace specializes in offering affordable products at wholesale pricing.
- eBay – You may have purchased individual auctions or buy now items on eBay, but did you know that they also have bulk listings? To find them, use the advanced search option and look for items listed in lots.
Just be careful when buying very cheap wholesale products, especially from overseas since you can’t inspect it in person. Buying in bulk to resell is a viable strategy, but you can’t get away with selling junk.
Extra Reading – The Best Ways To Make $2,000 A Week.
Reselling bulk items has become a popular side hustle, and it can be very profitable if you manage your costs and know where to sell your items. The key is to not invest more than your budget allows and make sure that you find sales opportunities for your inventory.
Also remember: start out slowly so you can test how well products sell before buying too much in bulk.
The last thing you want is to get stuck with a bunch of inventory that doesn’t sell. So, take your time, learn the ropes, and you can slowly scale this side hustle over time.
Do you have any particular ideal products or tips about buying bulk items to resell? Leave a comment below!
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Kim Ritter is a frugal living expert, blogger and mom of two from small-town Iowa. What began as an effort to help her family save a few dollars a month has now transformed into a full-time passion to help others save and make money. Kim is also an expert in money-making apps, side hustles, and personal finance. Visit her online at Two Kids And A Coupon and follow her on Twitter for more money tips.