What Relationships Should You Build as a Resale Business?

As the old saying goes, no man is an island – and this is especially true for small business owners and independent contractors. The success of your resale business depends largely on the people you know and the contacts you build, and taking the time to cultivate those relationships may make the difference between a profitable business and a money pit. If you're serious about the auction business, here are a few people you should take the time to find:

  • Someone with a flat-bed truck or trailer. If you don't own one yourself, finding a way to rent or borrow this item can make a major difference in the ease of emptying your units. If you know someone who's willing to tow cars, furniture or other bulky items for a reasonable fee, it's well worth cultivating a relationship with that individual. The fewer trips you make while emptying a unit, the more time you'll have to deal with other aspects of the business.
  • A restoration and repair company. It might be worthwhile to learn restoration on your own, and fixing small appliances yourself can come in handy. As you start moving larger quantities of items, though, it's no longer practical to do your own restoration. Finding a company or two who can repair nice items at a reasonable rate will save you time and enhance your profits.
  • Other resalers. Sometimes you will end up with more items than you can reasonably resell on your own or simply have no interest in dealing with. Selling them to people who sell in greater bulk can often be a smart solution. Look at people who buy bulk clothing or own thrift stores; they'll often be quite willing to work with you.
  • Collectors. If you can find buyers in a specific niche, you'll have a good go-to person for unloading certain types of items that may not earn the same profits when sold in an open market. Some collectors are willing to spend a substantial sum on items that others may find essentially worthless, and the more collectors you have in your black book, the more possible buyers you'll have for any item you're trying to sell.
  • Antique dealers. Occasionally, you will come across a very nice item that is worth more than a layperson might realize. In these cases, it's always important to get a proper appraisal and speak with someone who knows about the item. By keeping in touch with a few antique dealers in different niches, you can improve your odds of profiting on these rare items. Whether you're getting an appraisal or selling the item itself, knowing someone in the industry will make a huge difference to your bottom line.
  • Scrappers. Having a good relationship with a scrap yard is smart when you deal with large quantities of appliances, electronics and other items with scrap metal. It may also be a good idea to find an independent scrapper who's willing to take whole items from you for a decent price so you don't waste time tearing them apart for scrap.

As you build your business, you're likely to develop many relationships with fellow bidders, auctioneers, storage facilities, buyers and more. Don't neglect that side of your business as these relationships can help your enterprise grow.

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