How 2 students created their own buy-and-sell business during the pandemic

Anneka Kindrachuk and Jonathan Hyppolite have are earning money collecting and reselling rare items and shipping them all over the world

Jonathan Hyppolite, left, and Anneka Kindrachuk buy and sell electronics and plushies. They ship them all over the world. COURTESY ANNEKA KINDRACHUK AND JONATHAN HYPPOLITE

COVID-19 has left many people without jobs and the ability to go about our daily routines. Because of this, students have used the stay-at-home order as a way to get creative and start their own businesses.

This is exactly why 21-year-old Anneka Kindrachuk and 20-year-old Jonathan Hyppolite decided to create their own business collecting and reselling plush toys, games, and electronics. The idea came up as they learned the thrill of selling and collecting their favourite things to a niche audience with similar interests.

According to a recent Nielsen study, more than half of the gen-Zers surveyed want to be entrepreneurs, allowing them to gain independence and responsibility, while taking charge of their incomes and expressing their creativity.

How it all began

 “There was a lot less things to do and a lot less places to go because of the lockdown and closures, so I needed something to keep me occupied,” Kindrachuk said in an interview. “I started collecting, and the collecting-reselling aspect brought me joy as I joined various group chats and made friends with who we’d trade with.”

She is currently studying early childhood education at George Brown College, and Hyppolite is yet to begin his degree in computer networking this winter.

Anneka Kindrachuk with her two favourite collectible plushies (IG: @hyppobb @_.annxka)


She mentions challenges as a first-time business owner, mainly consisting of not knowing where to start. She joined a few Facebook groups and was able to resell and trade the plush toys she found in stores, known as Squishmallows, that range on the resell market from anywhere between $10 and $200, with customers locally and worldwide. Her typical customer is a collector in the same business who understands the value of an item. When wanting to sell or trade a product, she will turn to Facebook groups for collectors to advertise on, and within a week she generally finds a customer for the product. 

The Process

She applies a price on the item based on the location for shipment using Canada Post for local prices and Chit Chats, an international shipping company, for the international orders.

For Hyppolite, finding good deals and competing with other resale markets has made his job more difficult, but it’s a gratifying experience.

“I am still going to be collecting and buying and selling because it’s all ingrained in me as a person,” Hyppolite said.

Jonathan Hyppolite with Squishmallow (IG: @hyppobb @_.annxka)

For him, using Instagram or Facebook Marketplace to his advantage when it comes to selling games and electronics as he takes a lot of pictures of the item, provides a detailed description and focuses on showcasing what makes the item enticing “in the sea of other listings.” He has sold Solid-State Drive (SSD) computer hardware for around $300 and collectors’ edition games such as Persona 5 for $200, along with discontinued gaming accessories for around $60 when he had purchased them originally for $10. 

Hippolyte checks items of similar value on eBay and buy-and-sell groups online to verify the value and offers reasonable shipping rates. He appeals to the second-hand video game market as he has been collecting for a while. Although the pandemic has brought a lot of devastation, it seems to be working to the advantage of many young entrepreneurs.

As Kindrachuk mentions she, “likes to appeal to that audience and also meet others like me in the process.”

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About this article

Posted: Jun 16 2021 4:43 pm
Filed under: First-Timers News Spotlight On Small Biz