7 Online Marketplaces for Secondhand Items

There’s been a rapid change in consumer perspectives about shopping that is adjusting the course of the secondhand market. Many online shoppers buying secondhand items like clothes, handbags, shoes, and home goods are pursuing a sustainable lifestyle. 

Re-using an item costs fewer resources than creating a new one, and it usually comes with a lower price tag. Due to the rise in eco-conscious shoppers, secondhand items are for more than just bargain-hunters and those trying to scrape by. 

The secondhand market is expanding rapidly, and there are many online platforms for secondhand items exploding in popularity. According to a recent study, this market grew 21 times faster than the traditional market. The pandemic also helped expand the market, as people facing job loss searched for cheaper options or started selling their items. 

A report by ThredUp compared the growth of the secondhand industry before and after the pandemic. They found that the secondhand fashion market in the United States tripled, further stating that its value would rise from $28 billion to $80 billion between 2019 and 2029.

We agree with this forecast, given the market situation. Large retailers agree too, seeking to carve their own place out in this market. JCPenney and Walmart both have a partnership with ThredUp, allowing them to have a place in the secondhand industry. 

We can easily see how the secondhand market fosters the recycling ethos and saves waste, benefiting the environment. It also helps lower-income people and budget-conscious people alike. The secondhand market enables people to purchase high-valued items at reasonably low prices.

The Pros and Cons of Selling Secondhand Products

Some people might hesitate to sell clothing and other items on secondhand platforms. They prefer other, larger marketplaces like eBay, which are less geared toward secondhand items but still provide a market for it. There are some advantages to using secondhand-focused online stores, as well as some downsides. Selling your stuff online can seem complicated, but it doesn’t have to be.

Pros

  • You can earn significant payback by selling your products.
  • There are numerous platforms available, allowing you to sell pretty fast.
  • You can create your own branding for your small business.
  • Engage with new people and markets.
  • Sourcing can be fun; many sellers enjoy the thrill of the hunt. 
  • It’s easy to get started; start out by selling items in your home and build a business from there. 
  • Better for the environment; you recycle the items you sell, rather than reselling new items. 

Cons

  • You might not get the actual value of the product as buyers demand low prices.
  • There is too much competition.
  • Choosing a suitable platform can be challenging.
  • You need to source one-off products; there’s no buying in bulk.

How to Source Secondhand Products

The best part about secondhand selling is the sheer number of platforms you can use. Secondhand selling is a niche market. Yet with current economic conditions and environmental concerns, many people are considering buying used goods instead of new ones.

Many bargain hunters find flea markets, yard sales, and garage sales fun because of the enormous sourcing community, each willing to buy your products. There are three main types of sourcing for secondhand products:

  1. Social Media Platforms

You can sell and/or buy your products through the Facebook marketplace.

  1. Auctions

Communicate with the organization that hosts auctions. They will inspect your items for sale and include them in their listing.

  1. Online Platforms

Numerous platforms are available, providing you easy-to-use features to source your secondhand products. These eCommerce platforms are competitive, enabling you to sell your products instantly.

How to Market Secondhand Products

With the boom in digital availability, there are numerous platforms where you can market your products. For instance, eBay is a popular platform to buy and sell secondhand products. They offer different features to sellers so they can find new buyers and earn some additional cash. Apart from eBay, there are other online platforms available where you can market your used items.

Marketplaces for Secondhand Products

1. eBay Marketplace

eBay is a popular online marketplace for buying and selling products. Initially, buyers and sellers could only deal in secondhand products, but they introduced new items with time. Selling your products on eBay will boost your online exposure.

eBay Pros

  • Sell anything.
  • Reach a wide range of buyers and sell internationally.
  • Established marketplace in the secondhand market. 
  • List up to 50 items without paying account fees.

eBay Cons

  • Seller fees.
  • Rules and restricted options for selling.
  • Huge competition for potential buyers.
  • User experience can be confusing.

2. Poshmark Marketplace

Selling your products on the Poshmark marketplace is fun and fulfilling. You can become a member by simply downloading the application and creating a profile. This addictive application is perfect for buying and selling shoes, clothes, handbags, and jewelry.

Poshmark Pros

  • The community is supportive (Posh Parties really do drive sales). 
  • You pay little or no additional expenses.
  • You can make easy money.
  • Buyer pays the shipping, and the marketplace provides pre-paid shipping labels. 
  • No returns.
  • No monthly fees or costs to set up a seller account.
  • Fast payouts. 
  • Sell a wide variety of items including women’s fashion, men’s fashion, kid’s fashion and accessories, small home goods, handbags, and more. 

Poshmark Cons

  • Listing items can be time-consuming. 
  • Seller fees. 
  • They have huge deals, increasing the competition.
  • While the name your price model can drive sales, buyers will sometimes lowball you on offers. 

3. ThreadUp Marketplace

The process of selling your secondhand items on ThreadUp is straightforward. You simply sign up with your email and request the cleanout bag. Once you receive the email, you can drop your item at a post office or ask for a pick-up.

ThreadUp Pros

  • You can purchase new items on ThreadUp to resell.
  • Send items in bulk to keep your closets fresh and clean.
  • It’s simple to send in tons of products with a prepaid shipping label (they pay the shipping).
  • They take photos for you, store the items, and take care of fulfillment on your behalf. 
  • Quickly get rid of items you couldn’t resell on other channels. 

ThreadUp Cons

  • They reject many items without any reason (around 40% of every haul you send them is usually rejected). However, they do recycle all of the items they do not sell. Unless you request them back and pay the shipping for them to send them back to you). 
  • The amount you receive per sale is much lower than selling it yourself on Poshmark, eBay, or other platforms. 
  • Long processing times. 
  • Only allow women’s and kid’s items. No men’s items or small home goods. 

4. Tradesy Marketplace

You can also sell your fashion items at this popular secondhand marketplace. It enables you to buy and sell women’s fashion items such as designer shoes, bags, clothing, and wedding-related items.

Tradesy Pros

  • You can sell your products on their application.
  • They have fantastic shipping options.
  • Their listing feature is easy and straightforward.
  • Buyer pays the shipping, and the marketplace provides pre-paid shipping labels.
  • They clean up your cover photo for you, giving it a consistent look.
  • No monthly fees or costs to set up an individual seller account.
  • They handle returns for you. If the customer returns the item, they will still pay you out for it and resell it themselves. 

Tradesy Cons

  • The payout time is extensive.
  • High fees.
  • They shut down many user accounts.

5. Mercari Marketplace

The user experience selling your product here is often better than on other popular platforms.

Mercari Pros

  • Easy-to-maintain listings.
  • Flexible shipping options.
  • Wide selection.
  • Buyer pays the shipping; the marketplace provides pre-paid shipping labels. You also have the option to pay the shipping if you want to.
  • No monthly fees or costs to set up a seller account. 
  • No returns. 
  • Fast payouts.

Mercari Cons

  • Slower sales rates.
  • The dashboard is complicated.
  • Lots of pressure to lower prices, both from the marketplace and the name your price model often results in lowball offers. 

6. Etsy Marketplace

Etsy has a wide range of products for buyers. This platform enables you to brand yourself, maintain an email list, and list the product without paying any fees.

Etsy Pros

  • Easy to set up a shop.
  • High web traffic.
  • Perfect for SEO content.
  • Passionate buyer base. 

Etsy Cons

  • Competitive prices.
  • Many sellers need to pay to advertise their items on the platform to stand out.
  • Monthly account fees. 
  • Only allows vintage items, not secondhand items in general. 

7. Amazon Marketplace

Sellers often find that Amazon’s marketplace provides a fantastic opportunity to sell their products. Amazon deals in the secondhand market and focuses on new products, which expands their target audience. Furthermore, their platform is available globally, which increases the opportunity to reach more potential customers.

Amazon Pros

  • Amazon has international reach in online retail.
  • Increases the attention you get from new customers.
  • This platform is perfect for both selling and buying.

Amazon Cons

  • Lack of control.
  • Monthly account fees.
  • Amazon’s customer base isn’t as accustomed to buying secondhand products from this platform. 

Conclusion

The secondhand market is flourishing, and online platforms are at the forefront of this new wave. Secondhand platforms offer numerous benefits to both buyers and sellers. Whether you’re just selling items from around your house, getting rid of items you couldn’t sell on other marketplaces, or sourcing from various places and building an entire eCommerce business selling secondhand items, it’s beneficial to find a market to sell your secondhand goods. Any of the above platforms will work well for you if you put in the effort and give it a shot. 

Victoria Sullivan
Victoria Sullivan is a Marketing Manager at Payability. She has over eight years of social media, copywriting and marketing experience. Prior to joining the Payability team, Victoria developed social media content and strategies for top technology brands such as Skype and Samsung. She holds a degree in Advertising from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. She can often be found in a yoga class or working on her fashion blog.

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