WHEN Cheryl Parker cried every day at work for six months straight, she knew she needed to find a new job.
She’d managed to climb the ladder as a rep for a building firm, but after years in the industry the pressure became too much.
A teary phone call with a friend and then a heart-to-heart with her mum gave savvy Cheryl the push she needed to make a proper go of her side hustle: reselling charity shops and car boot sale finds.
She can now make up to £5,000 a month.
“If I didn’t have my three-year-old daughter Taylor it would be a different story, I could make double what I’m making now, I just haven’t got the time,” she told us exclusively.
Based in the north, she’s been doing it since the age of 14, helping out her mum, auntie and grandma who were all market traders.
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Cheryl would go to rag mills as a young teen and instinctively knew which old clothes would sell for the highest mark up, and carried on the hobby even when she was in full time work.
Despite having a mortgage and bills to pay, Cheryl, whose nickname is Pound Girl because of her penchant for only ever spending a quid, took the plunge and started reselling full time.
“My mum said if you need help, for first couple of months we’ll help you. As it happens, I didn’t need it,” she shares.
“I just went full hog into it. The first month and I took a full time wage and I’ve never looked back.”
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The 42-year-old has always had an eye for what sells, and mostly deals in vintage home furnishings and clothes – but she’s open to anything and everything if there’s profit to be made.
And while it might sound like an easy way to make cash, Cheryl says the reality couldn’t be further from the truth.
“For a good three to four years I can remember feeling like I was on one of those Stairmasters at the gym and I was climbing all the time and not getting anywhere,” she recalls.
“I made enough money to survive but that’s all I did. I didn’t set myself any goals, I just used to think as long as I’ve made enough to pay the mortgage and pay bills.
"But now I feel like I need to set myself goals or I’m never going to get better.”
She became a big part of the dealer world, but it wasn’t until she found the reselling community on social media that things began to click.
She explains: “You need colleagues at work. It spurs you on.
"When you’re doing it on your own, there’s no one cheerleading for you, just your mum and that’s it. I was going up a big hill and not getting anywhere but finding the reseller community made me fly.”
Following eBay’s lead of a 90-day running total, Cheryl aims to make £100 a day minimum and then sets three-month goals.
When I find something good, it feels like I'm having a panic attack!"
Her most successful run came in June this year when she raked in over £14,000.
During that time, she sold a vintage Constance Spry mantle vase she’d spent a fiver on for £320, as well as numerous pairs of curtains from a massive £200 bulk buy of 54 which has so far has netted her £4,000.
Included in her best-ever sales are White Star Line egg cups from Titanic’s sister ship, which cost her £9 and sold on to a museum for £200, and an art deco mirrored lamp stand bought for £16 in an auction job lot that a bidder paid £350 for.
And she has high hopes that a set of Juliette Belarti nesting tables she recently bagged for £23 will make at least £1,000.
The talented reseller, who lists 50 to 70 items a week, has seen prop departments snap up her goods too, including a headboard featured Men in Black: International and a tea set used by Tom Hardy in his Krays epic Legend.
“When I find something good, it feels like I’m having a panic attack,” she laughs.
“That’s the best bit, you ask anyone who does it. That’s the high; finding it’s the best bit. Selling it doesn’t give you any high at all, not really.”
Unfortunately, the market is becoming oversaturated.
“Because of all these programmes on telly, everyone knows what everything is now,” she sighs.
“The etiquette of buying has gone; I’ve noticed it more and more these last few months.
"After Covid, everything’s different. When Covid came, people started looking into other ways to make money, and then there was an influx of new buyers that were rude.”
However, with the right knowhow, new buyers can carve out a place for themselves.
Cheryl says car boot sales yield better results, and arriving half an hour after it’s started always works well for her.
Other rules she lives by is to only buy things she knows she can make five times the money on, going with her gut instinct and keeping hold of an item if she needs to research it.
And her mantra “everything sells eventually” hasn’t failed her yet.
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Cheryl shares her finds, sales and tips with a growing Instagram and YouTube fanbase, but is careful not to give too much away including her favourite “honey holes”.
“I know a lot of people who buy in the same places as I buy and as soon as I share what I’m buying, they’ll buy it all,” she reveals, before adding: “I was dubious doing YouTube, but then I thought there’s nobody on YouTube who I really watch because nobody does what I do, it’s all men that sell men’s stuff.”
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