Everyone likes to hear about good side-hustle ideas, but reselling can be much more. GlobalData’s report sizes the market at $182.4 billion in 2022, with projected average yearly growth of 16% through 2026. People’s closets contain more second-hand items than they ever had in the past, providing that pre-owned is as “in” as it’s ever been.
Brands are catching up to the fact, too. Besides making them money, the practice can also net brands some sustainability points by giving their items a longer life and reducing the overproduction of clothes — a severe environmental problem.
Individuals wanting to join the fun don’t have to worry. The market is big enough for everyone. Michael Chierchio found out about it early on in his resale days.
“In the early days of reselling marketplaces, my wife Erica would take things from the closet, list them on there, and get up to $1,500 in a month doing that,” he recalls. “It was crazy, and we needed to find a way to scale that. So eventually, we got into finding things and flipping them.”
What started as a way to get some extra money to cover living costs in Brooklyn soon became a lucrative business opportunity. Michael’s and Erica’s story mirrors countless other Americans who’ve turned to the industry for a quick buck only to find a serious business opportunity.
The opportunity, however, comes with its fair share of problems. One of them is that reselling, when scaled up, is a time-consuming business. People who engage in it must invest time and money to find high-quality items they can sell for profit. In some cases, cleaning the clothes might be called for.
Then it’s time to take good pictures of each item because people want to take a long look when shopping for used items online. Finally, each item needs a description to be uploaded to the platform. Different platforms have ways of doing things and letting users grow; sellers must adapt to them and learn to grow with or sometimes against them.
For Michael Chierchio, however, learning to grow meant creating specific tools to help users deal with some of the more significant hassles of using these platforms. One of his earlier tools was created to help manage the social side of the platforms that required following other people, for example.
“When you automate some of the things you had to do manually, it leaves you with more time to go out and source the items,” says Michael Chierchio. “We were able to find better quality items to put on the site and grow the business that way.”
As he was increasingly interested in entrepreneurship, Michael Chierchio found himself looking for problems he could solve for others. This eventually led him to create tools and release them online.
The problems he tackled are various. As always, when posting something online, doing it at the right moment can increase the effectiveness of the share. That’s one of the areas where he saw room for automation. Michael Chierchio took a special interest in sharing in general and found ways to make it more accessible, efficient, and less time-consuming.
After spending some time on these platforms, he realized that some have unpredictable algorithms to the point of being dysfunctional. For example, people couldn’t find a way to consistently get their listings in front of enough people on Poshmark.
Michael Chierchio found the solution in cross-listing or posting the same product on several platforms and removing it from all of them as soon as it’s sold. The tool he created for it is called Crosslisting, and it can help people do exactly what its name says.
In his most recent endeavor, however, Michael Chierchio tackled one of the most tedious parts of selling things online — creating product descriptions. These short pieces of copy are essential for e-commerce in several different ways. First, they provide the necessary information about the product. They also describe it enticingly. Finally, product descriptions serve search engine optimization purposes, making it easier to find the products online.
That’s how Magiscriptor came into being, to automate the process of writing descriptions to a large extent. And while it came at a time when other writing automation tools became prominent, Michael Chierchio still found a way to give Magiscriptor an edge over them.
“We train the models on product descriptions, which makes us unique,” he explains. “We also tuned the models for search engine optimization. It’s trained on reselling data.”
As he continues exploring reselling, Michael Chierchio is bound to come across other problems calling on him to offer a solution. As the industry’s been growing, more and more people and their livelihoods will be at stake. All the more reason for Michael Chierchio to stay vigilant.
McClatchy newsroom and editorial staff were not involved in the creation of this content.