A SECOND-hand expert has turned her side hustle of selling old CDs into a thriving business worth £1million.
Roanna Korling has revealed the secrets to her success after starting selling items on eBay in 2001.
Originally the mum began flogging her unwanted Pearl Jam CDs online as a way of getting some extra cash alongside her day job.
Now, she has a team of employees and it has become her full-time work.
At first, she would set herself a £200 budget and then go out searching for things she could sell for a profit.
She’d go to TK Maxx and pick up £30 designer handbags which she’d sell for £80 and would visit markets to see what she could find.
On one trip, she even bought up a bulk of belly dancing outfits which were then listed online.
Roanna told the Mirror: “Things took off from there really – I was selling everything from perfumes to exchange store clothing. I’d visit brand warehouses and buy remnant stock to sell online.
“Before listing, I would cut the labels off and then sell them on for a small profit.
“Often, I’d fill entire suitcases with stock – but the thing is, it wasn’t making me much money and the relisting process was becoming exhausting.”
Most read in Money
She kept at her day job and continued to manage her side hustle until 2015 when she decided it was time to take the plunge and start her family.
Roanna said: “In 2015, I handed my notice in and walked out to pursue exactly this. I wanted flexibility and the freedom to start a family – and I knew it wouldn’t be possible with my daily commute into London.”
She began to go to trade show where she’d build up her contacts with suppliers, some of which she still uses.
As well, she started focusing her items on rockabilly, punk and fashion from the 1950s, because she had found out these were hard to track down and spotted a gap in the market.
Out of her hard work, Ro Rox Boutique was formed.
At first, she would place small orders of around eight items in different sizes each for about £250 and then do her research by using eBay to find out how much she could sell each product for in order to make a profit.
Roanna’s tips for success
She says once you have found something that works you need “time and dedication” adding the more time you have, the more items you can put online and start to grow.
Roanna also says “not to be greedy” and start off low and expect just a small profit margin. That initial success will spur you on.
As well, she advises to “sell in quantities”. The trick, she claims is to sell as much as possible.
Try and be specific too. If there is a lot of competition about, the less chance you have of making a sale. Try to offer items no one else has.
Also, start your auctions at 99p – at least at first. According to Roanna, Ebay algorithms mean buyers are less likely to see items that have a high starting price, so start off low.
Find a memorable name as shoppers will remember it and hopefully keep returning for more.
Things took off and now the company is selling around 1,300 items a week on eBay and their website.
After four years, Roanna and her partner, Martin, now have a warehouse in New Malden, South London and employ four people to manage their sales and transactions.
They have also formed partnerships with factories around the world who produce their own designs.
She said not having to take maternity leave has been a huge help.
Husband Martin currently runs the warehouse on a daily basis while she takes care of her kids at home.
When she was pregnant last year their turnover hit £1m, their biggest milestone to date.