Whether you have been intrigued by the idea of reselling for years or a recent upheaval in your life has got you looking for a way to make some extra money from home, flipping stuff online can be a great side hustle (or even main hustle!).
When I started reselling…oh back in 2006ish…the main options for places to sell your stuff were pretty much Ebay, Etsy (if you had heard of it and had handmade/supplies or vintage things to sell), Amazon (early days were mostly just books and media) and local options like Craigslist.
Oh how things have changed!!
Some of the links below may be affiliate links and I may benefit monetarily if you click them.
Websites and apps have made it easier than ever to make a few extra bucks selling your castoffs or even to support yourself with a reselling business.
Here’s a quick rundown of some of the popular selling sites and apps and their details for using them such as criteria and fees. And maybe a few you haven’t heard of! I’ll add a few thoughts of my experience with the site (if I have any, of course).
Note: Fees and rates are as of August 2021. Marketplaces are constantly changing so check details for yourself if there’s a site you’re interested in.
There are 2 ways to sell on Amazon: Merchant Fulfilled- shipping items yourself from your home or Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) – sending a shipment of goods into an Amazon warehouse and letting Amazon “fulfill” the order, shipping it to your customer.
In short, though, there is an Individual plan and a Professional plan. Under the individual plan, you pay $.99 per item and with the Pro plan it’s $39.99 per month no matter how many units you sell. Obviously, if you’re selling more than 40 items, it makes sense to sign up for the Professional plan.
That’s just the beginning though. There are also referral fees which can vary from 8% – 15% depending on the category, fulfillment fees – depending on whether you are Merchant Fulfilled or FBA, plus some additional or optional fees such as storage fees and advertising.
One thing to be aware of is that Amazon limits sellers from selling in certain categories unless they’ve had a lot of experience selling in those categories and are grandfathered in or if they can become “ungated” or approved by Amazon to sell in those categories. For example, I cannot sell in the Music category…so no CD sales for me.
My thoughts: I have sold on Amazon in the past. I only ever sold Merchant Fulfilled. I’ve sold some books, some discontinued items and sewing patterns. I recently stopped selling there. It was not a major source of income. Amazon has recently increased the categories and brands that they’ve restricted so it just wasn’t worth it to me.
There are different levels of store subscriptions on Ebay. However, you do not need to sign up for a store subscription to sell on eBay.
There are basically 2 fees on Ebay. An insertion fee (when you list an item) and a final value fee (when you sell an item).
Fees will vary depending on store subscription level and category. It’s fairly complicated and too much to go into here, so check this link to see all the details. It’s safe to say you can start without a store subscription and you’ll get 250 “free” listings (no insertion fees).
Tip: Keep in mind that eBay restricts new sellers with how much they can list until they can prove themselves with shipping on time and being reliable. You can usually call and request more listings as you go.
My thoughts: eBay has been the main source of my reselling income since I started. There have been many changes – major and minor – over the years but I usually just roll with it. eBay has a huge audience of buyers and I’ve never had serious issues with selling on there.
Things start to get a little simpler from here on out. 😉
Many people think Etsy is just for handmade items (due in part to the majority of their marketing focusing on that) but they also allow you to sell craft supplies and vintage items (20 years old and older).
Etsy charges $.20 to list an item and that listing lasts for 4 months. You can choose to auto renew your listings and at the time of renewal, you are charged another 20 cents.
Once an item sells, Etsy charges 5% of the total sale price including shipping.
They also charge a Payment Processing fee which varies by country. In the US it is 3% plus $.25.
TIP: There are also some other optional fees including Etsy Ads and Offsite Ads. Pay particular attention especially to the Offsite Ads. They are defaulted to ON and you have to opt out if you don’t want them. They are only charged when an item sells but can be significant.
My thoughts: I have been on Etsy for many years- since about 2007 and have always enjoyed it. It’s my second highest source of income but I love vintage and it’s been a good fit. I’ve written about Etsy over the years on this blog. If you’d like more information about selling on Etsy see these posts:
Mercari is a selling app great for all kinds of merchandise. You can list and sell totally on the app on your phone but you can also use it on desktop.
Mercari is a very simple app to use. You take some photos of your item, add some description, figure out what shipping you’d like to use and list. There are no listing fees.
They charge a 10% selling fee when an item sells. Plus a 2.9%+$.30 payment processing fee. Everything is spelled out for you at the time of listing, which is nice.
You can use Mercari’s shipping options – just choose based on the weight of your packaged item – or you can charge “free shipping” and use your own shipping service, such as Pirateship. Make sure to upload a tracking number if you choose the second option.
You will not receive your payment for the item until the buyer receives and accepts/rates the item or 3 days from the delivery date – whichever comes first. Some buyers are super fast at rating, some never do it – so Mercari will release your funds for you.
My thoughts: Like I said, Mercari is super easy to use. I’ve sold about $1600 worth of items on there. I mostly use it for selling personal items I don’t need anymore. I use it as an online yard sale. But it does not need to be limited to that. Many sellers have been using it as their main selling site. My husband has made quite a bit of extra cash on Mercari selling Lego.
Many people think of Poshmark as a clothing selling site and that’s how it started. They have added more categories including Home and Pets so many things can now be listed there.
Poshmark is also an easy site to list on. App or desktop. To me this is really the lovely part of listing on apps. So much faster to get things listed for sale than eBay and Etsy.
Fees are also fairly simple on Poshmark. For sales under $15, Poshmark takes a flat $2.95. Over $15, they take a 20% commission.
Shipping is also very simple. Poshmark charges a flat shipping rate to all customers for items up to 5 pounds (including bundles of items). When you get a sale, Poshmark emails you the shipping label. You print it out, use it on your package and drop it off! It’s a Priority label so you can use free Priority mail shipping boxes and envelopes for your shipment.
Again, you receive your money when the item is delivered and the buyer rates it.
My thoughts: Poshmark is easy to use and I’ve increased my use of it in the past year. I’ve made about $2300 since I started. There are aspects to it that are a bit different that I don’t have time to go into here, such as the social aspect of it – the sharing, etc…Not my favorite part but necessary if you want consistent sales.
You can use my code MODCATTREASURES to save $10 off your first purchase.
Depop is one of the newer apps I’ve started using. There’s a heavy emphasis on vintage on the site with the most focus being on 80,s 90s and Y2K items. The audience (buyers) are a younger demographic. The more unique the better. Funky photos and backgrounds definitely have a place on this site.
Again, no listing fees and just a flat 10% selling fee when something sells. Depop uses Paypal to process payments and Paypal has its own fees hovering around 3%.
My thoughts: I’ve only sold a handful of items on Depop and I definitely have not given it much attention. I pretty much ignore it unless I have something funky or that screams the 90s.
Facebook Marketplace is one of the new kids on the block in the sense that they started adding shipping options to sellers’ accounts fairly recently. You can still use it fee-free to sell locally but many people have had the option to sell to a wider audience added to their account.
FBM is probably one of the cheapest selling options as they currently only take 5% of every sale. Again, you don’t get paid until after the item is delivered. They have one of the longest payout systems – they claim you receive a payout 15-20 days after you mark the item shipped.
My thoughts: the jury is still out on this one. I’ve heard of people having amazing success with FBM. I’ve heard of many glitches as well. There is not a lot of protection for sellers from what I’ve heard. I have sold a handful of items through FBM and had no problems…but now my items get no views when I list them. I’ve read of many others with a similar issue. So I think it has great potential if the bugs can get worked out. Just my experience with it.
Ruby Lane is for vintage and antiques – but they do not have to be high end. They do have to approve your first 10 listings to make sure the quality of your listing matches their overall standards.
Basically, there is no setup fee and no listing fees. There is a $25 maintenance fee charged at the beginning of each month (except your first month, that’s free). But here’s the kicker: If you list at least 15 items each month…you’ll get a $25 rebate. It encourages shops to stay active.
When you sell something, Ruby Lane charges a 9.9% service fee which is capped at $250.
My thoughts: I’ll probably expand on this in a future post but so far I’m really enjoying selling on Ruby Lane. It takes a bit of time to get established but that’s fairly common on most sites. I’ve been open since July and I’ve only been able to list 80 or so items. I’ve sold 12 items so far. If you’re a vintage seller, I’d definitely recommend it. If you want to see my shop, it’s here.
Now we get into some apps and sites that I don’t have any experience with. One of these is Kidizen – a site for selling kids clothes, maternity and women’s (mama’s) clothes.
It looks like the marketplace fee is 12% + $.50 on sold items. You get paid when your item is shipped and scanned by the USPS.
(Interesting to note that you can opt in to have your items automatically also posted to Facebook Marketplace. You can read more about that here.)
The focus on both definitely seems to be streetwear and higher end designer fashion.
The fees on Grailed are 9% and they use Paypal to process payments so there are Paypal fees as well. Heroine is slightly lower at 6%.
This unique approach continues as Vinted charges the buyer a small fee to cover the costs of providing the shipping label and payment processing. Pretty much every other selling site charges the seller for such things.
They also have optional listing upgrade charges that the seller can use to gain more exposure for their items.
I almost forgot about Bonanza! This one has been around awhile as well…back when I sold there, it was called Bonanzle. Anyone remember that?
I’m sure there are many sellers who use it differently, but many sellers I know take advantage of the import feature to import their listings from Ebay, Amazon or Shopify. They view it as extra exposure for their items and are happy for whatever extra sales it brings.
There are no store or listing fees on Bonanza and they charge 3.5% on the final sale. Specific details on this can be found here. There are additional optional advertising fees as well. It looks like they use either Paypal or Stripe for payment processing, so there would be those fees as well.
TrueGether is another site with no fees! No listing or selling fees. There are advertising fees that can be added on.
TrueGether uses Paypal and Amazon Payments which charge a processing fee.
Along the same lines as Bonanza, you can import your listings from other sites or manually add new ones.
A few others to mention..
Chairish – an online consigment store focusing on high quality furniture and home decor.
GoAntiques – Antiques marketplace similar to Ruby Lane.
Craigslist, Offer Up and Next Door – for selling locally, in person.
Shopify – build your own website
Discogs – for selling music in different formats.
eCrater – similar to Bonanza, TrueGether
Curtsy – seems to be similar to Poshmark, without the sharing
The list of online sites where you can sell your items is still growing. You may know of even more. One thing I’ve learned over the years is that there’s no ONE absolute recipe for success. Certain platforms match your personality and habits better.
Many sellers have turned to listing their items on multiple platforms at once. They use cross-listing software (I will talk more about this in future posts) and are diligent about removing items that sell on one platform from the other platforms.
Other sellers choose one platform, are very loyal to it, and really work on building up that one platform.
And then there are sellers like myself that do a little of it all. I have several shops on a few different platforms and dabble in a bit of cross-posting.
If you’re just starting out, I’d pick just ONE platform and get really comfortable with it before branching out.
Have any questions? Feel free to reach out. Another suggestion is to search the help pages of the platform you’re interested in. Most sites have FAQ pages or seller handbooks with all sorts of great info.