A reseller is a company or individual (merchant) that purchases goods or services with the intention of selling them rather than consuming or using them. Individual resellers are often referred to as middle men. This is usually done for profit (but can be done at a loss). One example can be found in the industry of telecommunications, where companies buy excess amounts of transmission capacity or call time from other carriers and resell it to smaller carriers. Resale can be seen in everyday life from yard sales to selling used cars.

Branded Jeans on hanger inside of a local thrift store, with a price tag listed at $13.99.
Branded Jeans from a local thrift store, at a discounted price.

According to the Institute for Partner Education & Development, a reseller's product fulfillment–based business model includes a corporate reseller, retail seller, direct market reseller (DMR), and an internet retailer (eTailer); less than 10 percent of its revenue comes from services.

A floral summer top/blouse on hanger inside of a local thrift store, with price tags listed at $4.29.
Summer Top/Blouse from a local thrift store, at a discounted price.



Resellers are known to conduct operations on the Internet through sites on the web.

For example, this occurs where individuals or companies act as agents for ICANN accredited registrars. They either sell on commission or for profit and in most cases, but not all, the purchase from the registrar and the sale to the ultimate buyer occurs in real time. These resellers are not to be confused with speculators, who purchase many domain names with the intention of holding them and selling them at some future time at a profit. Resellers, by the very nature of their business are retailers, not wholesalers. It is not unheard of for online pawn shops like iPawn to also act as a reseller, and purchase rather than loan against valuables. Online auction and classifieds websites, such as those owned by eBay Inc. and Craigslist provide services for resellers to sell their goods and services. However although resellers are indeed retailers it does not follow that retailers are resellers.

Another common example of this is in the web hosting area, where a reseller will purchase bulk hosting from a supplier with the intention of reselling it to a number of consumers at a profit.

Digital Platforms for Resale


Some of the platforms used to resell are websites and apps such as Poshmark, eBay, Mercari, thredUP, Facebook Marketplace, and many more. All these platforms have products that are new, resold, and even used.[1] Several major companies have an extension to their franchise in which they sell their own products that may be "out of season", used, or recycled and resell them. Examples of this would be COACH (Re)Loved[2] and LEVI Secondhand.[3] By reselling, these companies are decreasing the amount of waste they produce, reducing their carbon footprints, and bringing back past styles/trends.

Software and ebooks


Software[4] and ebooks are two products that are very easy to obtain by resellers. Their digital format makes them ideal for internet distribution. In many cases, such as brandable software, the reseller can obtain even the right to change the name of the software and claim it as one's own and resell it on an ebook shop hosting platform.

A software reseller is a consultant who sells the software from large companies under a licence. They have no legal employment status with the parent company and generally operate on a freelance basis.

Business model


The companies visited to and pitched to by software resellers are often small and medium enterprises (SMEs), local businesses and niche operators. This benefits the software house as they may not hold the resources for the legwork needed to spread their network on a lower scale. While it benefits the reseller because they can build up networks of smaller clients and become a single point of contact for them for every aspect concerned with the software, be it advice, training or updating.

Web resellers


A subcategory of reseller is a web operative who will buy a large amount of hosting space from an Internet service provider (ISP) and then resell some of this space to clients. Their hosting is often managed through a virtual private server (VPS) which allows them, through a control panel, to administer bandwidth, databases, passwords etc, for the client.

The popularity of this business model grew with the rise of freelance web designers as it enabled them to be the sole service provider for the client. After an initial consultation with the client they could subsequently design, develop and also host the site as a single operation.



Reselling creates a circulation of products, whether that be clothes, technology, books, etc. This circulation extends the lifespan of products and reduces the amount of waste in landfills.[5] This process of reselling also minimizes the carbon footprints of clothes. Carbon footprints can be reduced by approximately 82% when purchasing used clothing in place of new clothing.[6] A used product purchased over a new one, such as clothing, is capable of saving about 1 kilograms of waste, 22 kilograms of CO2, and 3,040 liters of water.[7]

The Rise of Resale


$175 billion is the amount that Global Data predicted for the total resale market of 2023 in the United States.[8] But in fact, Global Data confirms that this value was exceeded and in 2023 the total resale market reached approximately $193.7 billion.[9]



Dating back to the Middle Ages, trading of secondhand clothing was common for impoverished communities. Although the concept of "thrifting" sprouted long before, it wasn't until the formation of official organizations such as The Salvation Army and Goodwill that secondhand clothing/items flourished. Even though the popularity of resale/secondhand items fluctuates, it remains familiar in the 21st century.[10]

Artificial Intelligence


AI is being used in the works of resale, allowing resellers to automatically purchase high-demand products without actively being present. With such technology, resellers can focus on other important tasks all while getting their inventory at the best possible price with the help of AI. This doesn't mean that people should disregard their involvement with business purchases, as it remains essential for resellers to monitor expenses and participate in decision-making.[11]

See also



  1. ^ Vargas, Andrea (2021-12-23). "16 Best Places to Resell Online". B-Stock Solutions. Retrieved 2024-03-13.
  2. ^ "Coach (Re)Loved | COACH®". www.coach.com. Retrieved 2024-03-13.
  3. ^ "Thrift and Vintage Levi's Jeans and Trucker Jackets". www.secondhand.levi.com. Retrieved 2024-03-13.
  4. ^ Karl M. Popp; Ralf Meyer (2010). Profit from Software Ecosystems: Business Models, Ecosystems and Partnerships in the Software Industry. Norderstedt, Germany: BOD. ISBN 978-3-8423-0051-4.
  5. ^ "The Environmental Impact of Resale » Uptown Cheapskate Franchise". uptowncheapskatefranchise.com. Retrieved 2024-03-13.
  6. ^ Reinhart, James. "2021 Resale Report". ThredUp. Retrieved March 12, 2024.
  7. ^ "The Rise Of Resale: How Second-Hand Became Fashion's First Port Of Call". British Vogue. 2022-01-15. Retrieved 2024-03-17.
  8. ^ Robertson, Thomas S. (2023-11-01). "The Resale Revolution". Harvard Business Review. ISSN 0017-8012. Retrieved 2024-03-17.
  9. ^ "Apparel Resale Market Report Overview". Global Data. November 30, 2023. Retrieved March 17, 2024.
  10. ^ "Thrifting through the ages: How we've strayed from central values - The Arizona State Press". www.statepress.com. Retrieved 2024-03-18.
  11. ^ administrator (2023-12-13). "How AI Is Impacting Consignment and Resale". Aravenda Consignment Software. Retrieved 2024-03-18.

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