If you’ve just lost your job because of COVID-19, you’re not alone. The New York Times reports that tens of millions of Americans have lost their jobs in the past few months, and those numbers might get worse as more data is released each month. While you may have already filed for unemployment, it’s a good idea to start thinking about how you can start making money in quarantine.

Thankfully, you can start your own liquidation business with only a little bit of equipment. If you’re getting unemployment payments or have a bit of money saved up, you can easily recoup your investment with some savvy business practices. Here’s everything you need to know to start a liquidation business.

Buy a work laptop

The first thing you should do before starting an online liquidation business is to buy equipment specifically for it. This mostly means buying a separate laptop to use, rather than relying on your personal laptop to run your business from.

Keeping two separate laptops makes it much easier to write off the cost of your laptop as a business expense since you don’t have to figure out how much of your time you’re using your laptop for fun and how much you’re using it for business. You don’t need to get a particularly high-end computer, either. As long as it’s reliable enough for internet browsing, email, and some light photo editing you should be good to go.

Build a website

A website is crucial if you’re going to be selling items online. While you’ll also want to create and share content and wares on social media, all of your posts should point customers back to your website as well. This is especially true for advertisements you may run online. Even if you have an account where you’re also listing your inventory on Amazon.com or eBay, having one dedicated landing page is much more beneficial when you’re marketing your business than pointing people to a website where they could easily look at competitors’ prices, too.

 Create a seller account

As was just mentioned, it never hurts to list your wares in multiple places. Thanks to feedback and star ratings, you can become quite notable as a source for products in your niche thanks to the word of mouth of others online. One thing to note if you’re selling on your website as well as on a user account like Amazon or eBay is to be sure to monitor all of the places you’ve listed your items. The last thing you want is for two people to buy the same item from two different websites because it can hurt your business and credibility as a reliable seller.

Source products people want

This may seem obvious, but it’s always a good idea to list only the items that you think buyers will be interested in. Liquidation auctions are a great way to get all kinds of items to sell, since their pallets are comprised of items from big-box retailers like Target, Walmart, and even Amazon. When picking out products to sell, it’s a good idea to stick to one or two niches. This is because focusing on clothing or electronics makes it easier to target your advertisements to particular demographics where you’re more likely to succeed.

When shopping from liquidation auctions, make sure to try and estimate how much shipping will cost, so that you budget for your inventory properly. The last thing you want to happen to your business is to lose out on a higher profit margin because you didn’t account for shipping fees on the pallet you’re bidding on. When you get your shipping pallet in the mail, make sure to properly test every item before you list them, too.

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