Best Things To Buy & Sell For A Profit In The UK – Easy Guide

James Beattie By James Beattie 16 Min Read

Buying and selling things for a profit is a great way to earn extra cash. Some people even do it for a living, making thousands of pounds every month. But you can’t just buy and sell any old thing and expect to make a fortune. There are better things to buy and sell than others, as well as the right way to go about it.

Quick Overview
The best things to buy and sell in the UK are rare, high-value items that you can easily sell on because there is a demand for them. These include antiques, designer clothes and rare games. The tricky part is to find these items very cheaply, perhaps online or in junk shops and charity shops.

What is Reselling?

Reselling is when you buy something and then sell it on to make a profit. For example, you might find a rare comic book in a charity shop for a very good price. You would buy it, then sell it on for a lot more than you paid, probably to a collector who knows its worth. 

Buying and selling things on is a great way of making extra cash, or starting a side hustle that fits around your work schedule. It is even a full time business for some people. 

Why You Should Buy and Sell 

  • Save yourself money: If you only need something for a one-time event, like an outfit for a wedding that you’ll only wear once, sell it on to recoup some of the money you spent.
  • Help you save up for something important: Put all the money you make from reselling into a savings account to help you save up for something special, like a holiday or a house.
  • Allows you to be creative: Get creative by taking pictures and marketing the things you are going to sell.
  • Learn the skills to run your own business: You’ll learn about the principles of business, including profit and loss and viable market, which are very useful.
  • Design your own schedule: Unlike a part-time job, you don’t have to commit to specific hours. Instead, you can work around your other commitments.
  • Fun side hustle: Lots of people love finding a rare item and feel a thrill when they manage to make a huge profit on it. 

Best Things to Buy and Sell for Profit

Buying and selling for a profit isn’t always easy. Some things are much harder to sell because they lose value over time, like electronics. Ideally, you want to find rare items that people are willing to pay a lot of money for in order to maximise your profit. Below is a list of items that you can easily sell for high amounts of cash – if you do it right.

1. Antiques

Reselling Antiques

The antiques trade is a massive industry, with expert appraisers making lots of money selling on rare items. These can be anything from a Victorian tea set to an Edwardian snuff box. It is very competitive, but also lucrative if you know what you are doing. This means that it’s a good idea to do some research on antiques and maybe niche down to a particular time period to begin with. After all, you don’t want to lose money!

Where to Find

Junk shops, charity shops and car boot sales are great places to look. You should also visit estate auctions for people’s old possessions. 

2. Designer Clothes

Designer or name-branded clothes are often great items to resell – especially limited edition items because people will pay more money for something that they can’t get elsewhere. Be careful about quality control when it comes to clothes because a small tear or a stain could massively decrease the item’s value. If you’re good at sewing, it might be a good idea to repair the item first. You could also get it cleaned professionally, but be aware that doing so has an extra cost.

Where to Find

Ebay, Amazon and other online e-commerce platforms, as well as charity shops and vintage outlets. You might also find great deals from people selling their old clothes in your local area through Facebook Marketplace or your local community page. 

3. Furniture 

Large furniture, such as beds and sofas, dining sets and even wardrobes and chest-of-drawers, can sell for a decent amount of money. A great tip is to look for solid, well-made items that stand the test of time. Flimsy items are difficult to make a profit on because they are often sold cheaply as new by companies like Ikea. You can also upcycle old furniture if you are good at DIY to increase the value.

Where to Find

Car boot sales, thrift markets, junk shops and charity shops often sell second-hand furniture at very low prices. Some people even give their old furniture away on social media when they are moving house and need to get rid of it quickly.

4. Books 

Rare Old Books

Rare books are a collector’s dream. They are very hard to find, but when you do, are worth a lot of money. Since there is still a high demand for physical books, popular titles and first editions tend to sell quite well. You can also clear out your own books to make some quick cash.

Where to Find

Charity shops, car boot sales and junk shops are the best places to find cheap books. It might also be worth checking if anyone you know is getting rid of their books. You could help them clear out their collection in exchange for being allowed to keep the ones you want to sell.

5. Games and Gaming Consoles 

There is a huge market for rare games and vintage gaming consoles. Plenty of people are obsessed with gaming and will pay a high price for both games that are difficult to source and the consoles they need to play these games on. A great tip is to stick with games and consoles that are no longer made. 

Where to Find

Anywhere people sell their old games, such as online retailers like Ebay and Facebook Marketplace. It is definitely worth scouring car boot sales and charity shops. But you probably want to avoid buying from anyone who is a games expert because they’ll have priced the item correctly to begin with.

6. Sports Equipment 

Specialist sporting goods are very expensive when bought brand new. That’s why there’s a big demand for anything from skis and surfboards to golf clubs and hockey sticks. Since they are often bulky and people want to get rid of them quickly, it can be easy to find niche sports equipment for a very good price.

Where to Find

You want to target people who are getting rid of their own or relatives’ old sporting equipment. This means that car boot sales, charity shops and Facebook Marketplace are the best places to look.

7. Jewellery 

Some people have a passion for vintage jewellery and will pay a lot of money for a one-of-a-kind ring from the 1920s. Engagement rings tend to do very well because they are very expensive when bought new from a jeweller’s, so lots of people look for second-hand options. You can undercut the market and still make a nice profit.

Where to Find

Pawn shops and car boot sales are often the best place to find underpriced jewellery. Lots of people also sell things they never wear on Ebay and other online marketplaces. They want to get rid of them quickly, so they aren’t too bothered about the price.

8. Children’s Toys

Children grow up so fast. So, they go through age appropriate toys very quickly. There is always a market for buying and selling toys because parents have to constantly get new ones for their children. This is more of a high volume rather than high value item, unless you are selling rare toys to a collector, because parents don’t always have a lot of money and will worry that their kids will ruin expensive toys.

Where to Find

Charity shops are the best place for second-hand toys because parents often donate in order to make room for new toys. But you can also look at car boot sales and Facebook Marketplace for cheap deals. 

9. Memorabilia 

There are lots of genres of niche memorabilia that people collect, including comic books, props from films and stuff owned by celebrities. Since the people who will buy these things have specialist knowledge, you should do your homework on the type of memorabilia you are going to sell. Otherwise, you may struggle to figure out how much you should buy and sell for.

Where to Find

It can take a lot of work to source specialist memorabilia. You want to generally search charity shops, car boot sales and junk shops. It’s also a good idea to look at specialist online auctions.

You may also be interested in How To Make An Extra £100 Per Day

Tips for Buying and Selling for a Profit

Buying and selling is a complex business – it’s not easy to make a lot of money doing this. Here are our top 5 tips for how to maximise your profits on reselling:

1. Offer Deals for Multiple Items

You can offer deals and discounts to your customers if they purchase multiple items in one go. Shops and ecommerce stores do this all the time because it’s a great way to firstly, encourage somebody to buy more of your products and secondly, make it more likely that they will turn into a loyal customer. You do have to make sure that you are offering them real value with the deal in order for them to go for it. But make sure you are still going to earn enough money on the purchase to make a profit.

2. Purchase Items in Bulk and Wholesale

Likewise, you can get yourself discounts if you purchase items in bulk. This will allow you to make a greater profit or give you more wiggle room to create deals yourself. Wholesale items are also much cheaper than buying retail – you cut out the extra money that retailers add onto the price to make themselves more profit.

3. Stick with Items Which are in Great Condition

Trust us, it’s really difficult to sell items that are in terrible condition. This includes clothes with big rips, worn down shoes and anything that’s dirty or stained. You don’t want to find yourself stuck with a load of unsellable items. Avoid this by only buying things which are in great condition, even if they cost a little more. 

4. Think About Your Prices

We already mentioned that retailers increase prices to make a profit. Big retailers also drop the prices of some items and make a loss in order to encourage customers to buy from them. 

For example, you might do a big food shop at a particular supermarket because they are offering your favourite wine for half-price. The supermarket will make a loss on the wine, but that won’t matter because they’ll get a good profit on all the other items you bought. This technique is tricky to get right, but it’s absolutely worth experimenting with if you want to turn reselling into a full-time income.

5. Consider Market Trends

Understanding market trends is an important part of buying and reselling items. When we say market trends we mean an analysis of how the demand for a product fluctuates over time due to certain trends. 

One good example is fashion trends. Skinny jeans were in high demand a decade ago. But now that loose fitting jeans are more trendy, companies have slashed the prices of their skinny jeans. If you want to make a profit on jeans, you should target loose fitting jeans because skinny jeans won’t sell for as high a price.

Final Thoughts 

Buying and selling for a profit can be lucrative, but it is also hard work. Don’t expect to spot the perfect antique straightaway, you’ll need time to learn how to price things and get a feel for what will sell. Just do your research and you could be earning lots of extra cash in no time.

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I'm passionate about personal finance and making money. Currently trying to FIRE solely by building online assets. Grew my stock portfolio to £86,000 by 26.
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