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[April 2021]

Not easy to gain from reselling, contrary to expectation!

Sample Case

I searched "net business" on the Internet and found a side job agency advertising "buying goods at low prices and reselling them at high prices in online flea markets". I bought a 10,000-yen guidebook from the agency. Later, the agency called me and said, "There's a 500 thousand-yen course with support service. If by any chance it turns out to be unprofitable, we offer a money-back guarantee." I paid 100,000 yen with my credit card and remitted 400,000 yen to a specified bank account to place an order.

I displayed some goods in an online flea market as I was told. However, no one buy them while the cost is accumulating. There are some conditions for the money-back guarantee to be offered (e.g. being followed by over 150 persons in a flea market). It seems impossible for me to meet the conditions.

(woman in her 20s)

Problems and Advice

There has been an increasing number of inquiries and complaints about online reselling business. In the reselling business, profits are made from buying goods on online shopping sites and reselling them at higher prices in online flea markets.

After making a contract with a company providing knowhow and support service to make money from reselling goods, consumers often face trouble (e.g. "It was not profitable contrary to ads and prior explanation that anybody can earn a high profit with ease," "My request for cancellation was not accepted.").

(1) Do not believe any tempting offer on ads or from your friends.

Information on reselling business is seen on a variety of media: online ads, social media, video sites and so on. Although reselling business is sometimes described as a profitable side job, many consumers have found not so profitable as advertised or described.

Some other consumers started reselling business after encouraged by friends or online acquaintances and faced similar trouble. Do not believe any tempting offer like "Easy to make money" on ads or from your friends.

(2) Be careful when you are told that a large amount of money is necessary to start reselling business!

Fraudsters often say it's necessary to make an expensive contract for support and consulting services to earn from reselling business. Even if you are told "It will pay for itself," "We offer a money-back guarantee," etc., do not believe such words easily. Refuse an offer flatly if you don't need it.

If you use lack of money as an excuse for declining an offer, you may be encouraged to pay with a credit card or to obtain a loan, which may make it difficult for you to say no. Just clearly say, "I don't make a contract."

(3) Unrealistic blurbs: "No risk," "Surely you can make money," etc.

Several expenses are needed for reselling business: support charge, cost to purchase goods, sales charge for selling goods in a flea market site, shipping cost, etc. Moreover, it's unforeseeable whether or not purchased goods will be purchased by third parties.

In some cases, consumers are induced to resell goods without stock, which is prohibited in flea market sites. Pay attention to the prohibitions set by flea market sites. Refrain from reselling goods when legally prohibited.