Have you ever purchased a really expensive eyeshadow palette, tried it out, and then realized you actually hate it?
To make things worse, you waited too long and now you can’t return it for a refund.
But it’s not too late to get your money back. You can sell makeup online, even if it’s used. In fact, selling used makeup is not only legal, it’s a welcome practice on many websites and in many online communities.
8 Places to Sell Cosmetics from Home
When it’s time to replenish your own stash, where are your favorite places to shop for on-sale makeup from home? Take those into account when starting your makeup home business.
Here are some of the best places to get started.
Poshmark is an incredibly popular app known for being one of the best places to sell clothes online. Many people don’t realize that you can sell new makeup on Poshmark, too.
Poshmark doesn’t accept liquids, like perfume, and makeup has to be brand new. This is a great place to sell items that you might have received in a beauty box or as a gift that you don’t want to use. For example, I once received a bright purple lipstick that I would never use, from a beauty subscription box. Things like that are great items to sell on Poshmark.
Reddit is a social news website with forums on a variety of different topics. You can find a couple different Reddit groups, known as subreddits, that revolve around buying and selling makeup.
The most popular one is called MakeupExchange. Though it’s not a traditional marketplace, subreddit has a long list of rules and several moderators to ensure things run smoothly.
Because there is no official middleman, it’s difficult to guarantee authenticity for buyers. If you’re a seller, be sure to read the rules carefully before joining.
Related: 23 Legit Ways to Make $500 Fast
Glambot is another popular website to sell new or used makeup. It only accepts specific brands and has some restrictions on the type of makeup you can send, so be sure to check its frequently asked questions to find out if your makeup qualifies.
Glambot provides a lot of information to buyers, like how much the product has left. For example, a buyer could purchase a used lipstick that is 80% filled.
What’s nice about selling makeup on Instagram is you don’t have to pay for website hosting or give commissions to third-party sellers.
Items with good photos sell best on Instagram, so take more time to prep your items listed for sale. Once you do, research hashtags to make sure that buyers can find your images easily.
5. Facebook Marketplace
Facebook Marketplace is another great spot to sell makeup because there’s a large customer base. However, Facebook has a specific set of rules on what you’re allowed to sell.
There are also numerous buy/sell/trade groups on Facebook. These groups usually have moderators and their own rules.
Be careful when posting items for sale because you’re sending items to buyers you might not know. There’s a level of risk involved when selling to people in person, but if you’re willing to take that on, selling your makeup on Facebook can be a solid option.
If you are meeting a buyer in person, make sure you meet in a well lit and highly-trafficked area such as a mall.
Mercari is similar to Poshmark and is another app to list your items for sale. Mercari has fewer rules than Poshmark. It doesn’t seem to prohibit used makeup items and the fees are 10% of the listing price.
For decades, eBay has been one of the best marketplaces for selling almost anything. Makeup is no exception.
Like Instagram, it’s important to have professional images on eBay so your products stand out against other listings. Bundles do well on eBay too, so consider putting a couple of similar items together if you want to increase your chances of a sale.
Pay attention to the fees on eBay and watch for promotions for lower listing fees.
MUABS stands for Makeup Addict Blog Sales, and there are many listings for new and used items.
There are also listings for perfume, which is prohibited on some other sites. MUABS takes a 10% commission of all sales, which is equivalent to Mercari (10%) and lower than Poshmark (20%).
6 Tips for Getting the Highest Price when Selling Makeup
Selling makeup online can be a profitable side hustle if you follow a few simple best practices.
1. Learn to take professional photos.
Your photos are the most important part of selling your makeup. Make sure to take pictures in focus with excellent lighting.
You don’t have to purchase an expensive DSLR camera. Most newer smartphones come with high-quality cameras already installed. You can also can buy a lightbox on Amazon for $40 or less. The lightbox provides a clean source of light so you don’t have to wait until day time to take good pictures.
2. Make your prices competitive.
Do some research before pricing your items, and factor in fees if you’re using a middleman like Poshmark or Mercari.
You want to make sure you earn enough so it’s worth your time. If it takes an hour to photograph items, create listings, and package and ship the items, you’ll want to make more than a $3 profit.
3. Be honest about flaws.
Online buyers are very observant customers. They want to know exactly what they’re getting, and they want to make sure the product they receive matches the pictures. So if you notice an item has a flaw, write that on your listing. If an item is used, make sure to list it as such. The more details you give, the less likely your buyer will be to return the item or ask for a refund.
4. Respond to questions quickly.
No one likes waiting for a response, and customers are much more likely to buy from a communicative seller. Some sites will even show how responsive or how slow you are.
If someone asks you a question, be sure to answer it as quickly as possible, even if it’s to say you need more time to give a full response. If you’re out of town, note that on your profile or set up an automatic vacation response.
5. Package your items well.
Makeup can be fragile to ship, especially if you’re sending anything powdered like eyeshadow, so be sure to package things well.
It’s better to add extra bubble wrap than to wing it and hope your item gets there in one piece. You’ll save yourself money in the long run if you package things correctly in the first place, and you’ll also save the headache of dealing with returns and negative reviews.
6. Ask for reviews and testimonials.
If a customer has a good experience, make sure you get reviews and testimonials. Buyers like purchasing from trusted sellers, so it’s important to build a solid reputation.
FAQs About Selling Makeup Online
There are a few basic strategies to follow when selling makeup online, but this can be a confusing process if you’re new to e-commerce and the makeup home business.
What’s the best way to find cheap shipping supplies?
There are many different places to purchase cheap shipping supplies. If you’re only shipping a few items, you can get bubble mailers at the dollar store or on Amazon. If you’re going to be shipping several large packages every month, it might be wise to buy in bulk from Costco.
Can I make a living selling makeup online?
As with any online business, you can start small and scale it over time. There are people who make a living selling their makeup online. Keep in mind that they likely have to source discounted makeup to resell in order to build their business.
Selling the makeup you already own can only last so long, so if you want to build this into an ongoing income stream, you’ll need to continuously look for makeup items you can sell for a profit.
Does the makeup have to be new?
It depends on where you sell your makeup. Some platforms, like Poshmark, require new makeup; but there are lots of platforms that let you sell used makeup too.
Flipping Makeup Can Be Lucrative
Selling makeup online can be a good side hustle, especially if you already have barely-used makeup to part ways with. Try out a few different platforms like Poshmark, eBay, or Facebook Marketplace, to see which ones you have the most success with.
Remember to follow the best practices such as writing honest descriptions of your products, responding quickly to potential buyers, and asking for testimonials and reviews from your customers. If you enjoy the process of selling your own makeup, you can even turn your side hustle into a small-scale business finding free or deeply discounted makeup items and selling them for a profit.