Reselling Leads to Freedom

Exclusive Interview with The Commonwealth Picker

"You can't have everything. Where would you put it?" - Steven Wright

In Todays Newsletter:

  • Reselling Leads to Freedom: Exclusive Interview with The Commonwealth Picker 😁

  • ADHDave Flips: I’m done with this chapter of my life (NOT CLICKBAIT)✅

  • On the Web: Surviving on €0.01 🪙, Ford Saving Marriages 💍, Climbing Skyscrapers 🧗

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Reselling Leads to Freedom

"I've never been asked that question before"- Kevin Brown, The Commonwealth Picker

What do backyard sheds, Tupperware, and enema-shaped superhero plush dolls all have in common?

Answer: Kevin Brown, The Commonwealth Picker

Kevin began reselling over 20 years ago out of necessity to help supplement his income as a teacher to support his family. Over the years, he has built a very successful income-producing business that far surpasses his teaching salary, which he now operates full-time.

Over the past two decades, Kevin has honed his part-time reseller skills and built a social media following with hundreds of thousands of subscribers and followers across multiple platforms.

I've had the opportunity to sit with Kevin and ask him some hard questions to learn from his decades of experience and knowledge.

Now, I get to share it with you.

I believe wise people learn from their mistakes, but really wise people learn from the mistakes of others. So, I asked The Commonwealth Picker:

"What was the hardest lesson you had to learn as a reseller?"

In the beginning, the biggest mistake Kevin would make was overbuying. When he started his reselling journey, there were no smartphones. Resellers then would buy things with high hopes of a good payoff, all without the ability to research items at their fingertips, like we have today. Back in the day, there was also much less competition, so when Kevin found a valuable item, the profit was usually significant enough to more than cover the losses incurred from his bad purchases.

Another common mistake Kevin made as a new reseller was buying things designed to be "collectibles." Think of things like figurines and collectible plates, for example. After purchasing "collectible" items perceived as valuable, Kevin would return home with them and learn they were worthless. To put it in his words, "If it's made to be collectible, a lot of times it isn't."

Remembering that mistakes are only valuable if we learn from them, I asked, "So Kevin, what did you do differently after making these mistakes?"

His answer revealed much about who he is and how he approaches business.

There was no money to waste, and Kevin knew this when sourcing at thrift stores. Mitigating the risk of losing money was necessary, so he had to get creative. With a pen and paper, Kevin would go to thrift stores looking for items presumed to be valuable. When he found one, he'd write down what it was and collect essential information like model numbers. After filling pieces of paper with potential items, Kevin would go home and look up every item on his list to see what they were worth, crossing off the ones of no value. With a revised list of vetted items, he would return to the thrift store and purchase those items with value.

Kevin's tenacity and creativity also stretched into how he sourced from garage sales. When he would go out sourcing, he had a family member be on standby at home, ready to answer the phone and look up items in real-time to see what they were worth.

So, what is the key takeaway I learned from Kevin:

Get creative and mitigate your risk by doing what it takes to become an informed buyer.

Learning lessons can be a painful and sometimes costly process in the reselling world, and that's okay. But learning from others with more experience who carry the scars of hard lessons learned is a faster way to get where you want to go as a reseller.

I asked Kevin, "What is one thing you wish someone had taught you as a reseller that would have helped you get to where you are now faster?"

It didn't take long for him to give me two answers that would have helped him as a young reseller.

The first answer:


Kevin explained that when he started reselling, he didn't know enough about shipping and would ship everything USPS Priority Mail. He even admitted that he didn't know what First Class Shipping was. Anytime he had to send something, he was paying retail shipping prices.

By learning how to ship things correctly, resellers can use it to their advantage to become more profitable. Also, by keeping shipping costs low for buyers, resellers become more competitive in the market.

Key takeaway:

Learn all you can about shipping and how to utilize it to become a more competitive reseller. It will add dollars to your bottom line.

The second answer:

The importance of the actual words used in listings themselves matters.

If you consider how selling platforms operate, they function like search engines. People type keywords into a search, and the algorithms within each platform search for listings that best fit the search terms.

Kevin explained that by utilizing all of the space available in the listing title and by focusing on keywords that buyers may use in a search, the more likely your item will show.

He explained that a great way to find keywords for listings is to review completed listings and focus on ones that have higher sold prices. By analyzing the titles for these completed listings, it's possible to find keywords or phrases that specific audiences are searching for who are willing to pay a premium price.

This practice also applies to the pictures used in listings as well.

The key takeaway:

Learn the tricks for the categories you are selling in to make your items more searchable. Ask yourself, "How will the buyer search for this item, and what words will they use?"

As Kevin and I continued our conversation, I asked him, "What is one question you wish someone would ask you about reselling?"

He responded," I've never been asked that question before."

He took a moment and pondered the questions and said, "I wish people would ask me, 'How has reselling changed your life?'."

Without me even having to ask, he gave me the answer:


Reselling has given Kevin the freedom to live his life the way he wants to live it and be his own boss. The incredible joy he has found doing something where he doesn't have to answer to a boss is undeniable. The only people he has to report to are himself and his family.

He put it this way, "With reselling, what you put in is what you can get out, and you're working for yourself and your family, and it's a thousand times more rewarding to work for yourself than it is for someone else."

So, what did I learn from Kevin:

Freedom comes from working for yourself. You don't have that when you're working for others. Reselling can lead to that sort of freedom.

Now there are always new things to learn about an industry, no matter how long you have been a part of it.

So I asked Kevin, "What is one question you have about reselling that you haven't had answered yet?"

After pondering for a moment, he shared a concern stewing on his mind. "Because I love this job so much and I want it to continue for me, what is it going to look like in 10 years? How is AI going to affect reselling?"

But even with these questions, one concern was more significant than them all.

Who is protecting small second-hand e-comm resellers against government regulation and new legislation, and what are companies like eBay doing to protect reselling?

This is such an important question.

Now begins my work on finding the answers to this question. It's the least I can do to show my appreciation to Kevin Brown, The Commonwealth Picker, for sharing his knowledge and stories with me.

So, read next week's newsletter because I will have some answers.

And to give you a heads up, I've already talked directly with eBay about this issue, so you don't want to miss it.

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