No matter what size your bank account may be, everyone loves the idea of making money with minimal effort. Opposite to popular belief, you don’t have to be a millionaire or even have a large financial starting point to achieve significant financial gains. One of the many options lies in buying cheap items and upselling them for a much higher price. This article will define what upselling is and give an overview on how to make money buying and upselling items.

What is Upselling?

Upselling refers to the practice of persuading customers to purchase additional services or products that are usually priced higher. This usually occurs once the customer has already decided to purchase a product. A salesperson might suggest higher-end products or upgraded models, but might also add-on products or services to the sale.

This differs from cross-selling, which is the practice of persuading customers to purchase products from different categories. Whereas upselling usually occurs when the customers already have an item in their cart, cross-selling is more concerned with influencing customers to buy related items that they hadn’t originally planned to purchase.

Buying Items to Upsell

Buying items to upsell requires careful planning and research. Before you venture out and buy items, you must find the right sources to get items at a cheap price, as well as identify a selling platform where those items can be resold at a higher price.

A great source for buying items at discounted prices is through bulk buying. Carry out research to find bulk buying platforms, both online and offline. These platforms take care of the time, effort and processes associated with bulk buying. This can be from joining a group of buyers to use wholesale and discounted services to buying from international distributors. You can also purchase items from websites offering liquidation, overstock or clearance items at discounted prices.

Identifying a Selling Platform

Once you’ve identified the right sources for purchasing items at reduced prices, you can start searching for selling platforms that will enable you to upsell and maximize profits.

Many selling platforms offer services like drop shipping, which is ideal if you don’t have the space to store your items before they are sold. This option also means you won’t have to handle packaging or delivery, as those processes are usually taken care of by the selling platform.

If drop shipping isn’t the ideal option for you, you can choose to use online selling platforms such as eBay, Etsy, Amazon and craigslist. You can also explore eBay and Amazon’s programs for third-party sellers who set their own prices and enjoy access to a wide customer base.

Offline selling, such as flea markets, auctions, consignment shops or local classifieds, are all possibilities when it comes to upselling items.

Factors Affecting Profitability

Although making money by buying and upselling items can appear to be an easy business model, there are certain factors that influence profitability and should be taken into consideration.

Increase in Competition

as the popularity of upselling grows, so does the competition. As much as you don’t want to, purchasing items to upsell puts you in direct competition with other sellers who have similar items. This can lead to reduced prices and lower profits, particularly in close proximity to each other.

Supply and Demand

it’s crucial to understand the market and identify trends that affect the supply and demand of particular items. For instance, seasonal items such as clothing, will typically be in very high demand for short periods of time, resulting in greatly reduced prices due to the temporary overrun in supply.

Cost of Shipping

If you are shipping the items yourself, the cost of delivery is something to take into consideration in your purchasing and upselling strategy. This can not only take a chunk out of your profits, but can also cause you a great deal of hassle .

Time Required For Upselling

Upselling items is a very timely process. From finding the items to purchase, to selecting an appropriate selling platform, to then having to answer customer queries, you will need to factor in the amount of time it takes to do this process.

Overall Strategy

The most successful strategies follow a process of research, purchasing, and selling.


The best way to start is by researching items that have a reasonably high demand and a gap between the buying and selling price. Also be sure to do your due diligence and check for potential competitors for the specific item you want to purchase. Taking this data into consideration is crucial for you to understand the profitability of the item.


Once you’ve done the necessary research and identified the items to purchase, you must then determine where you will buy these items and the quantity you require to stay competitive in the marketplace. After this, you must factor in the cost of shipping and storage, if necessary.


The last step involves selecting a selling platform and deciding on the prices of the items. You must also factor in the cost of fees and the time involved in answering any customer inquiries.

Overall, making money buying and upselling items involves strategy and understanding the complexities of the marketplace. Nonetheless, it offers a great option to individuals looking to make a passive income without having to make a huge financial investment upfront. If done correctly, you can potentially break even (on the item cost of purchasing and shipping) or profit from the upselling of the item.

If you can commit to the time, effort and research involved in upselling and want to start today, good luck!