The term Reseller according to the dictionary means to sell again i.e. to sell a product or service to the public or to an end user, especially as an authorized dealer, while making sure that you make a profit on the sale.
Reseller hosting is no different either, a reseller buys a Web hosting package from a hosting company and tries to sell it independently. The profit for the reseller lies in either the discount or in the commission s/he gets from selling an account.
Resellers are nothing but entrepreneurs acting as middlemen, offering you hosting services by leasing time and space from another Web host‘s server rather than owning their own. Most of the times, the quality of services offered by resellers are so good that consumers do not even have the idea that they are dealing with resellers who do not have servers of their own. Resellers, since they can pick and choose their servers, are basically in a position to provide the customers with the best of services.
Of course, if you have problems selling these value added services in the beginning then you can sell them later.
The cost of becoming a reseller and the equipment and people required in order to be successful depends on many factors.
If you just plan to earn commission by referring people to the hosting company by using the Internet, then you do not have to put up a lot of money, all you need is an Internet ready PC and an Internet connection.
For a small start-up not a lot of money and resources are required. You can purchase a good reseller package from a hosting company by paying them some money upfront. All that is needed is a decent computer that can manage the accounts of customers and a good Internet connection.
It is advisable to start small if you are very new to the concept of web hosting and reselling. Then you can expand as you go on and start getting more and more customers in which case offering domain registration is also a very good way to make profits.
If you have the money and the experience then you can go as far as buying all the server equipment required, in which case you will also be responsible for all the server maintenance costs.
The other option could be leasing a server as this will be cheaper than buying the server, but here as well you are responsible for all the maintenance and running costs of the server.
In the above two cases you also need to make sure that you have multiple connections with the hosting company so there are no complications in case a connection goes down.
The best thing about being a reseller is that you do not require a lot of upfront investment.
There is no need to have a lot of technical knowledge. Account management and Internet skills are all that is required. However, it would be really handy if you have some sales and marketing experience so you can interact with your customers better.
The hosting company generally provides and maintains all the hardware and software.
You do not need to hire a lot of IT staff to provide support. Providing basic support and leaving the more technical issues to the parent company support staff can be easily achieved.