Online Reseller Business in India: All You Need to Know

online reseller business

Reselling as a business, both online and offline is not uncommon in India. But in recent times digital transformation has led to a notable surge in the number of enterprises reselling products on the internet. It is relatively easy to start, profitable, low-risk and consistently growing.

India’s burgeoning reseller community is propelling the growth of social commerce. Its market size was valued at $2 Bn in 2020 and is expected to reach $70 Bn by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 42.6%.

Report by Bain & Company

For those embarking on their entrepreneurial journey, reselling can be a good way to begin. This article explains who is a reseller, the benefits of online reselling as a business, steps to get started and a few popular reselling ideas that are ideal for the Indian market.

Reseller meaning and overview

A reseller sources goods from manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers and sells them to their own customer base. This business focuses on ready-made products that can efficiently be promoted and marketed to a specific segment of the audience.

Resellers in most cases do not need a huge warehouse to maintain and store inventory and sell one or multiple categories of products depending on their business model.

This business can be especially appealing for entrepreneurs who are skilled at marketing and sales. Additionally, the online reselling business can be successful if the reseller is able to add value to the products when compared to the supplier. This could be in the form of customer service, offers, easy availability and so on.

While reselling is a relatively uncomplicated online business idea as well as simpler to execute, the market is highly competitive and demands unique strategies to attract and retain customers. 

The reselling business has a number of benefits too and can be a profitable business model, especially if you back your business idea with thorough market research. 

What makes reselling a viable business option?

Here’s why young entrepreneurs find online reselling an appealing business model.

Setup easily: Reselling makes the necessity for a warehouse redundant and takes away the hassles involved in managing an inventory. Moreover, you can launch it faster and don’t have to go through the tedious steps of product development, research, production and so on.

Try varied products: A reseller can experiment with numerous products and easily move between categories based on the market demands. It allows you to continuously explore and expand by easily diversifying your range according to the trends and demands.

Start instantly: With a website and in some cases a social media page, you can instantly go live and start selling your goods online. It is certainly important to improvise on the channels and have full-fledged processes in the long run. An online reseller can also display their products at marketplaces that permit third-party sellers.

Invest less: Since there is no storage space required, or bulk buying involved, the online reselling business can be established with limited capital. Minimum investment businesses also let you try different things and not worry about losing money. Moreover, digital tools have made it easier to reach a larger audience base even with tight budgets.

Manage remotely: Other than the procurement of products, reseller business can be completely set up and managed online. It thus offers the flexibility of working from a location of your preference without the need for designated office premises.

How to start a reseller business: Key steps 

The following steps will give you an overview of the initial stages of the business and the prerequisites.

Research: Having a broad understanding and insight into the market helps in figuring out the right approach for a business. Any kind of venture must grasp the challenges, develop product awareness, and analyse data insights. Research helps achieve all of this and can be broadly divided into 3 areas.

Industry research: To understand the growth curve of this industry, ideal platforms to sell, products that dominate and the recent trends.

Competitor research: To assess the market performance, price and offers, what works best and what can be improved

Category research: To realise the demand for your product, its target audience, the possibilities of expansion, the demographics and psychographics.

Product sourcing: Sourcing must be streamlined before planning the other aspects of a business. It shall require meeting various suppliers, examining products, quality checks, etc.  

After having finalised your vendors, it is also important to initiate logistical support to ensure that the orders reach you or your customers on time.  

Some of the easily approachable avenues for product sourcing include:

  • Online reseller apps such as Meesho which offer a huge inventory for reselling
  • Local craftsmen with unique and handmade art pieces
  • Antique/vintage items that have been refurbished
  • Popular flea markets in a particular location 
  • Sellers on social media who can supply in bulk 

Online presence: You may either decide to start with a full-fledged website and market it through social channels or begin with social media and later build a website. In either case, a strong presence on the digital platforms is of utmost importance and here are some of the popular mediums:

Website: To display your inventory with detailed product specifications and images. The website also helps users access all the information about your business in one place in addition to helping them transact smoothly.

Social media channels: To promote your products and get your audience to the website. Social media also helps in selling products directly and offers several marketing strategies to promote your business.

Blogs: To create awareness about the product and educate the audience about your offerings, Blogs are a great way to help your users locate you through organic content.

Marketing: Marketing is the fundamental skill set needed for a successful reseller online. You will have to consistently develop new ways to reach out to your buyers and set yourself apart. 

While every business needs an exclusive strategy here are some commonly used marketing strategies for reselling

  • Competitive prices with intermittent discounts and offers
  • Free shipping for a minimum cart value
  • Annual and festival sales
  • Promotions through testimonials and reviews
  • Influencer collaborations
  • Referral discounts
  • Paid partnerships

5 reseller business ideas 

Here are some tried and tested reselling ideas that you can explore for your business.

1. Apparel: The apparel segment offers an extremely wide range of options to work with. Moreover, the growth in demand for fashion and apparel is perpetual making it one of the best reselling business ideas.

In the financial year 2020, the domestic textile and apparel market size in India continued to grow, reaching a total of 106 billion US dollars with apparel making up 78 billion US dollars of the total. This is expected to increase significantly to 190 billion US dollars in 2026.

2. Beauty and cosmetics: The recent years have seen a plethora of homegrown beauty brands that focus on specific concerns and their solutions. Many international labels are also available in India now, catering to the rising demands. 

A reseller store around cosmetics can cater to a niche market while focusing on ensuring the availability of multiple brands on a single platform. 

In 2021, India was ranked fourth globally for generating the highest revenue from the beauty and personal care market.

3. Pet supplies: India’s pet care market is expected to grow at a value of INR 7500 Crores by the end of 2026, on account of rising nuclear families, double-income households, change in lifestyle, urbanisation, and increasing pet ownership.

An online pet supplies store is a fairly profitable business if backed by a strong marketing strategy.  Apart from the regular food supplies, the product range can also include grooming items, health essentials and even clothing & accessories.

4. Home decor: The online home decor market share in India is expected to increase by USD 3.75 billion from 2021 to 2026, and the market’s growth momentum will accelerate at a CAGR of 10.24%.

The urban population has been investing heavily in improving their personal spaces, particularly with the rise in the availability of home improvement brands. The profit margins for a home decor reselling business are fairly high and there are a variety of categories to explore, ranging from soft furnishings to art and indoor plants.

5. Subscription boxes: This business offers the creativity and flexibility to curate unique packages for your customers by partnering with multiple suppliers. The recurring delivery of products ensures a steady revenue. You can identify and zero in on subcategories from diverse sectors such as personal care, meals and beverages, handmade goods, etc.

The global subscription box market reached a value of US$ 18.8 Billion in 2020 and expects to grow at a CAGR of 20.1% during 2021-2026.

How to become a reseller with Paytm Payment Gateway 

Paytm Payment Gateway offers a robust payment technology for instant and hassle-free transactions to support online reseller business opportunities in India. Here are its key benefits:

Quick integration: A complete online onboarding process with powerful APIs and custom SDKs to activate payments with minimum documentation. Paytm Payment Gateway also has plug-in support for e-commerce platforms such as WooCommerce and Magento.

Multiple payment options: Paytm Payment Gateway supports 100+ payment sources with options like credit cards, debit cards, net banking, EMIs, and UPI. Your customers can also choose to transact through Paytm Wallet as well as Paytm Postpaid.

Merchant discount rate: Paytm Payment Gateway does not charge a Merchant Discount Rate (MDR) for payments that are initiated through UPI and RuPay cards. Additionally, there is no cost incurred by you for setting up and maintaining the payment gateway.

Fastest settlements: The default settlement cycle by Paytm Payment Gateway is T+1 which is the fastest in the industry and is irrespective of weekends or bank holidays. You can also choose other options such as real-time settlements and batch settlements based on the business needs.

Paytm Payment Gateway supports online reselling business in India by efficiently solving the transaction-related processes and offering you industry-best success rates. Apart from being the preferred payment gateway of India’s leading unicorns, Paytm Payment Gateway is also built with tech and features to support businesses that are beginning their venture online.


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