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Tools to scale your resale shop: Advice from a pro seller
Sourcing only after inventory is fully processed is what has worked for Taylor Jochim-Smoot, founder of Portland Revibe, to scale her business. Photo: Jaime Cartales/Voyage and Vine courtesy Portland Revibe

Tools to scale your resale shop: Advice from a pro seller


We get specific about the scalable and time-saving technology tools and technology that allow solo resellers and small vintage businesses to do more with less

It's time to evaluate the tools that support and contribute to your reseller business to help it scale, so you can do more with the limited time you have.

There are countless articles and business entrepreneurs that tout this message about scaling loud and clear: Outsourcing helps companies reach new heights.

While there is a lot of truth to this, small businesses and solo shop owners are often limited to what they can initially invest in if they want to be debt-free and not yield to the whims of an investor or partner.

As a follow up to my first article, “5 steps to set up your vintage resale business for growth,” I will expand on some of the basic tools and processes I mentioned that will give your business space to scale and help you do more with less.

Resources may be tight starting out, however, putting up the initial investment into these core processes and resources up front will ultimately pay off down the road.

It’s important to get into a growth mindset: You will need to invest money and time into your business processes, planning and tools in order to grow.

1. Financial management

When starting a resale shop, it’s critical that your business and personal banking accounts stay separate. This helps to reduce future financial liabilities and accounting time while providing an accurate picture of how your shop is doing.

Using a tracking system such as Quickbooks Online provides real-time record keeping on the go, automated transaction reports for reconciliation and many analytics and data processing tools to make filing taxes at the end of the year a cinch.

You don’t need to be running a shop of a certain revenue to begin using a financial management platform. Quickbooks offers small businesses an affordable and scalable set of tool options at various price points.

It is worth the monthly cost to keep records documented, organized and easy to access, and it sets you up to grow right away.

At the higher tiers of service, Quickbooks has a library of additional tools that come in handy when managing contract workers, capturing receipts, tracking mileage, invoicing, etc., but you don’t need more than the basics right away.

If you start with just the basics and end up needing all of the other bells and whistles listed above, you can add them without losing the data you already have established on their platform.

Quickbooks is highly adaptable with most banks and other financial institutions, making it a breeze to sync and track transactions in real-time.

Along with the perks of having a system to automate and manage financial tracking more effectively, platforms like Quickbooks can allow you to track your spend with various shipping carriers (so that you can begin to unlock volume discounts) and identify and evaluate various revenue streams to focus on the areas that are yielding more for your efforts.

Pro tip: if you eventually decide to hire an accountant, be sure to ask if they can work with Quickbooks Online as it will provide more support and visibility.

2. Inventory support

Tracking vintage and secondhand inventory poses its own distinct challenges. Unlike big box stores that have the same product in different sizes and colours, resellers run the gamut on a variety of one-off items and furniture.

Processing inventory can be a huge time suck for the reseller who is operating solo or with a small team. Sitting inventory also means potential revenue loss.

Creating a streamlined process and “rules” around inventory helps you stay on top of new incoming inventory and get products in front of your customer base sooner.  

For inventory processing and tracking, my business Portland Revibe uses Shopify as the main streamlined virtual inventory management system and an internal proprietary tracking sheet (mainly used for end-of-year accounting and data triangulation).

Shopify is a highly scalable platform that goes beyond just standard e-commerce (more on this below).

As part of the Portland Revibe inventory process and rules, it has been established that new items sourced in a single day or sourcing trip are considered a new “batch” of inventory. Sourcing activities will not commence again until that batch has been properly processed from start to finish.

This approach helps avoid an unmanageable pileup and gets products in front of our customer base faster.

Our processing includes receipt documentation for each new item, item quality assessment, SKU assignment, item measurements, photo documentation and Shopify draft creation.

When drafts are finalized, they are activated and then synced to other e-comm sites and officially open for purchase across all platforms.

Sourcing may be the fun part, but it's what comes after that can truly set your resale shop up to scale. Photo: Jaime Cartales/Voyage and Vine courtesy Portland Revibe

3. Marketing tools

As a small business or solo reseller, managing marketing activities can feel like a full-time job. However, actively marketing your shop is critical to promote the brand and increase sales.

Consolidating your efforts with all-encompassing social media management tools will not only save you time, but will keep those feeds well fed and the algorithms happy.

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I personally use a variety of tools to help manage posts across multiple platforms to ensure there isn’t a missed free opportunity to promote our shop and sell our products.

With these tools, I typically dedicate a couple marketing-focused days a month to refresh the content library feed all at once. That way, I don’t have to worry about what to post on a daily basis.

Apps and technology are constantly changing, so be sure to continually evaluate tools every year as they become available. Often, new apps will offer promo deals and long trial periods to help you find the right fit. If you are a first adopter and end up loving the platform, they may even give you a great lifetime deal.

Tools to help with marketing

Here's what Portland Revibe swears by to streamline your resale business processes.

Plann or Later

Social media management consolidation

Spare yourself the dreaded manual daily posting routine.

For streamlined posting across multiple platforms (Instagram, Tiktok, LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, Pinterest and others), these tools manage bulk content building in various formats, posting and analytics tracking directly from a phone or desktop.

These apps have insights on best times to post, what posts are trending and even help generate high search hashtags.


Marketing material creation

Can’t afford a graphic designer? Canva is a great way for small businesses to create elevated content for any purpose. They provide different package rates depending on what you need.


Video production editing

This app is free and helps create reels and video content quickly.


E-commerce hosting

This platform makes Instagram pins shoppable and syncs to TikTok Shop. This allows consumers to make purchases directly on the featured products.

AI technology

Use AI, like ChatGPT or Canva’s built-in AI tools, to craft social media posts and item listing write ups with key SEO terms.

Using tech allows you to streamline your operations so you can focus on the parts of your business you are good at — like curating! Photo: Jaime Cartales/Voyage and Vine courtesy Portland Revibe

4. Robust e-commerce solutions

While independent e-commerce platforms like Squarespace, Wix and others seem within easy reach, they can be very limited in the long haul.

There are some real headaches associated with needing to migrate to other platforms when you exhaust its capabilities. It is important to find an e-commerce solution that will meet anticipated future goals and flexibility to pivot.

When it came to evaluating the proper online e-commerce platform, I had our brand, scalability and functionality in mind. I selected Shopify knowing that it would come with a bit of a learning curve yet be worth the time and resources for the flexibility and scalability.

Developers around the world have created endless solutions in the form of add-ons to expand Shopify’s capabilities to seamlessly connect with other platforms in real-time, consolidate data and service providers for convenient access, and create automated processing for many different tasks.

Shopify allows our shop to do more on the back end for internal processing (see more below), has options to expand into new business ventures and automates more processes than any other platform. This made Shopify the obvious choice for value per dollar and hour of time spent to help streamline and expand the business.

While Shopify's monthly base rate is very comparable to other platform monthly fees, this cost can go quickly up if you are adding additional paid apps.

Annual rates are also provided for additional cost savings. There are a mix of free and paid apps to help with a variety of internal and external requirements.

With Shopify, Portland Revibe has been able to:

  • Automate and virtually capture core inventory data (see “inventory support," above).
  • Connect and market our social media links to enhance platform followings.
  • Sync all online e-comm marketplaces for easy and automated inventory management. Shopify automatically pulls sold inventory from all sites where that product is listed. It also allows you to create the parent listing on Shopify and export it to other sites to avoid having to manual duplicate listings across platforms.
  • Generate internal scannable SKU labels.
  • Consolidate our shipping carrier accounts to get rates in real time on each order versus logging into each business account to manually enter shipping information to obtain quotes and generate shipping labels.
  • Automate the client experience with Mailchimp updates and other direct outreach marketing tools.
  • Have full visibility into core data points with Shopify’s robust analytics system (product performance, site traffic, overall shop conversion, etc.).
  • Integrate with Quickbooks and other third-party platforms.
  • Adequately represent our company capabilities beyond our e-commerce.
  • Make our Instagram and social media posts shoppable.
  • Create order bundle bulk rates in addition to general product sales.

There are still so many features our shop has yet to explore and it feels like the skies are the limit with Shopify.

Overall, tools can be an amazing asset and don’t have to be a budget buster to bring value to your resale business.

Time is valuable. Running all of the departments of your shop is no small task.

Finding the right tools can create some major time savings and are worth the initial cost and time to drive more sales and provide opportunities for long-term support and expansion.


Taylor Jochim-Smoot is the founder of Portland Revibe, a company dedicated to supporting progress toward more eco-sustainable practices that also support local communities. We strive to source and process unique previously loved decor for use in residential and commercial design.

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