While out thrift shopping, you’ll likely locate some great pieces. Some of these you may keep for yourself and others you might find are not to your liking or style but still hold value. One easy way to take advantage of the second group of finds is to resell these items for profit. Here are four places online to sell items and my take on each based on my experience using them.
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By the way, I created a handout on 5 things to do before you start selling online. Be sure to click on the button below to grab a copy!
If you're interested in signing up for any of the sites and apps mentioned here, here are some referral codes. On Poshmark, you can get $5 when you sign up with the code SFGIRL2015. On Mercari, you can get $10 when you sign up with the code JENMHM. The amount may vary by promotion.
Pros: Selling on Poshmark (PM) is a fun and social experience! It's easy and quick to create listings. You share your and other people's listings to gain exposure for your items and hopefully sell them. The app has improved over recent months so that you can set filters to locate items by features (e.g., brand, color, and price), and you can sell men’s and children’s clothing. On the community side, Poshmark promotes virtual and real-life parties and even hosts a PoshFest convention each year to help sellers develop their business skills.
Cons: Poshmark has the highest commission of all the sites and apps I use. PM takes $2.95 on all sales of $15 or below and 20% on all sales above $15. Shipping is a flat rate of $6.79 for USPS Priority mail no matter how small or light the item may be. Another downfall of PM is that sharing items can be intensely time-consuming. My experience is that sharing more leads to increased sales, but if you divide your dollars earned by hours spent sharing listings, you may be disappointed. Be mindful of how much time you want to spend on the app and stick to it.
One issue I’ve noticed on PM and other sites is that LOTS of counterfeit and prohibited items are listed for sale. PM states that the take this seriously and moderate listings, but I’ve seen many obvious counterfeit items remain posted for days after they've been reported. There are also scammers or lousy buyers such as those who trade but send empty boxes, cancel a purchase after it has shipped, and send crazy lowball offers. It holds true that buyer and seller should both beware, not just on PM, but every online resale site. I've been very fortunate to encounter few problems and enjoy a good selling experience so far.
Bottom line: I would recommend PM for selling higher priced (above $10) fashion-forward items aimed primarily at younger or trendy buyers.
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Pro: Mercari is a Japanese marketplace app that charges a 10% commission on sales. It's simple and fast to list items from your phone. Shipping can be cheaper than on PM with the offering of $4.25 first-class shipping for items under 16 oz (as of 1/2019), perfect for sending a basic shirt. Customer service has been responsive too. The one time I didn't get a timely response, they sent me a $2 credit to spend on the app.
Cons: Once your listing is up, there's no way to share and publicize it. People have to actively search for your items in the sea of Mercari. When people look at your page, it defaults to a mix of sold and available items in mixed order. Potential buyers have to set a filter to see what is available for sale. This means your available listings can get lost on your own page and older items have less chance of being sold. The set-up of the Mercari app is fairly basic as well. It could do with a few more features but hey, for the lowest commission out there, I'll take what I get.
Bottom line: A great place to sell both low- and high-priced items primarily because commission is lower that on other sites mentioned here.
Pros: While I have no firm data to back this up, I think eBay reaches the most people of all the sites and apps I use. It's been around for over twenty years and is very well-known with the general public. I've sold many things on eBay that just sat on other sites. Plus, your first 50 listings are free each month with occasional offers to list hundreds of other items for free. I've noticed that less trendy brands seem to sell on eBay versus other sites mentioned here, maybe because they reach a different audience.
Cons: Commission is acceptable but not great at approximately 15% of sales if you combine both eBay and PayPal fees. It also takes more time to create listings on eBay than on other sites because eBay asks for more details and has more features (e.g., auction vs. buy it now and selecting shipping method and rate).
Bottom line: While I talk about eBay as a supplement to the other sites and apps listed here, it's actually essential to my sales. I'd recommend trying it out because it reaches a lot of people and it's amazing what sells on the site.
Pros: Tradesy was the first online selling site I used and I genuinely like the site. They remove the background from your photos to highlight the item you're selling.
Cons: I sold very few items on Tradesy while sales took off on other sites and apps. My impression is that items, at least the clothes I typically sell, don't move quickly. It might just not be the right site or target audience for me. Nonetheless, I stopped selling on Tradesy after a few months. I found listings more difficult to complete when using a combination of my phone and computer. I also had a hard time navigating through the site and searching for specific items.
Commission increased to 19.8% in October 2017 plus an additional 2.9% fee if you want to cash out. Commission is $7.50 for all items sold for $50 or less. A minimum selling price of $10 is required.
Bottom line: Tradesy seems popular for high-end and contemporary fashion. It was not worth my time to pursue, though you may feel differently if you give it a try.
Some final thoughts: These are just a handful of the many places to resell items online. There are others I would like to try like thredUP, but haven't managed to yet because shopping and selling (and running a blog) can be time-consuming. Still, like most activities, you decide how much time to devote to it and you get what you put into it. I will say that this has been great activity for me because I love shopping and it's more productive than spending hours playing my favorite game of Angry Birds.
If you're wondering where to start, try selling things already in your closet and around the house. Over time, you'll learn the ins and outs of whatever site or app you use and what's popular with buyers. Then you'll be more knowledgeable and confident to handle thrifting for resale. I'd love to hear about your experience using any of these or other resale sites.