I originally heard of selling on Swap.com in 2015. There have been so many niche marketplaces, I really did not give it much thought. For used merchandise, Ebay and Amazon still seemed like the places to be that had both the easiest interface for sellers and the most customers. There has been a lot of publicity lately on changes to both the Amazon and Ebay marketplaces by their respective CEOs (Jeff Bezos since the days of the dinosaurs and David Wenig since 2014).
I have changed my tune and come to see Swap as a contender for these reasons:
- Swap’s product selection has grown. Originally they just had toys and kids clothes then added some women’s wear. Now they also carry men’s. Their women’s department has a very good selection of plus size clothing which is still a very underserved market.
- People love shopping on swap so much that they literally make youtube videos of themselves opening their boxes of goodies. Can you imagine doing that with the latest box of stuff from Amazon?
- I love shopping on Swap. I now buy clothing for myself and both of my kids there and look there first for toy purchases as well.
- The photos and listing are created by their staff so there is a visual and content consistency to the catalog that eBay lacks.
- They warehouse everything so if you buy 6 things, it all arrives in one fabulous branded box (sound familiar?).
- The customer experience is the best of I’ve seen of any used shopping website and they are scaling and growing rapidly.
In the past they’ve had an issue with seller boxes accumulating for months as they did not have the staffing to keep up with the influx of goods. Their recent fundraise, some policy and fee changes, and subsequent warehouse and staffing expansion is helping with this backlog.
So how do you sell there?
Their acceptance criteria is pretty strict. They are looking for current clothing, here is what they say, “Our best sellers are fashion forward items, that have been in the mall/department stores in the last 3 years.” It must be in new or like new condition as well. Read here about their full acceptance criteria in every category.
Here are the selling on Swap.com details:
- Swap fees are 30% of the sell price of each item plus a $1.50 fee. So the payout on a $10 item is $5.50. Payouts are disbursed via PayPal every 2 weeks.
- All the seller does is ship the items in and then price them, every other part of the sales process (including listing and photographing) is handled by Swap.com staff.
- Box size for inbound items must be no larger than 20″ x 20″ x 20″ with a maximum weight of 50lbs. A MEDIUM box from either Home Depot or Lowes is just under that size. You can also use a bag that is 24″ x 24″. Read full packing instructions here.
- Each box costs $11.90 if you print a label and for $14.90 they will send you a box. (This is up from their original price of $8.90.) Drop your loaded up and labeled inbound box at any FedEx location.
- Each item will be reviewed and either accepted or rejected. Rejects can be returned to the seller or else disposed of. They are looking for a reject rate of less than 20% per box.
- Sellers can only ship in 3 boxes per month. It is unclear as to whether they will allow sellers who consistently send in good boxes (with less than 20% reject rate) to send in more product eventually.
- Accepted items can be stored for up to 9 months before incurring a storage fee.
- Sellers are encouraged to engage in swaps of their items for other items. Their swapping policy is here.
- If an accepted item has not sold in 45 days, sellers have the option of selling it directly to Swap.com as part of their SureSell Guarantee. They will pay up to 30% of the item’s average new retail price.
I do not have any great conclusions from a sellers perspective yet. I’ve met several sellers who make a nice side income from selling on Swap. It can be a good way to dispose of Amazon returns. If you source and low cost items it may be a useful additional stream of income. We will be doing some testing of the sales process and will update this post in the next few months.
Please let us know what you think. As a seller and a buyer.