It’s the time of year when shopping lists grow longer than budgets. There are shoes to buy, clothes to try, and electronics to wrangle. The question is, where to buy them?
Online resale platforms offer discounts on the dollar. You get used goods at a fraction of the price. It’s a whole thing — one in three pieces of clothing bought in 2022 were secondhand, according to ThredUp’s 2023 report.
I’m a frequent user of three of the biggest resale platforms. Below, we’ll compare buying on eBay, Poshmark, and Mercari, including discussing shipping fees and what to buy on each platform.
eBay is the grandaddy of resale platforms. It’s got everything from shoes to lamps that look like shoes. I buy most of my secondhand items through eBay. However, the user experience can be overwhelming. The eBay app frequently logs me out — I’d recommend using the website.
eBay is better than Poshmark and Mercari for browsing. It has a huge selection of stuff to buy, and you can purchase across hundreds of categories. Shipping fees are reasonable, too.
Shipping works like this: The seller determines the shipping cost based on the size and weight of your purchase. The heavier the item you buy, the more you pay. Sometimes, sellers offer free shipping. However, many sellers roll the shipping fee into the sticker price, so it’s not really free.
Poshmark is one of the largest fashion resellers out there. The Poshmark app is cleaner than eBay’s, though less streamlined than Mercari’s. Like eBay, Poshmark gives you many filters to narrow your search to exactly what you’re looking for.
Poshmark is an excellent place to shop for everything fashion. You can shop for trendy and cheap clothes or set your sights on luxury brands. Poshmark is about level with eBay regarding selection, and it beats Mercari on apparel by a mile.
Shipping works like this: The buyer pays $7.97 for expedited shipping. Poshmark is the only platform where the buyer must pay shipping fees. This may increase the overall price. On the other hand, the buyer is guaranteed faster delivery speeds, typically one to three days.
Mercari is one of the best places to buy gently used electronics and household goods. You can find plenty of listings for gaming consoles (though you’ll need to be quick to snag those deals). Other hot-ticket buys include candles, small decor items, and popular shoe brands like Nike.
Mercari is the new kid on the block compared to eBay and Poshmark, which have had longer to build up a sizable collection of things to buy. However, it’s already the cleanest app of the three. The resale platform is built around the Mercari app, which is easy to use.
Shipping works like this: The seller determines how much to charge you and whether to charge you shipping fees. This is identical to how eBay handles shipping fees.
The better place to buy
My favorite platform of the three is eBay. It’s got everything, and shipping is reasonable. Poshmark and Mercari have a cleaner shopping experience, but eBay’s wide selection of items is the most important thing. I can buy whatever and pay less shipping (meaning more money left in my bank account).
However, I’d recommend adding all three to your shopping list this holiday season. You can compare prices across platforms by googling specific items. Sometimes, identical items will be cheaper on competitor platforms. Be sure to factor in shipping fees!
Shopping resale is how I buy holiday gifts without breaking the bank. I purchase items one to two weeks before the holidays. That way, I stay within my budget, even when shopping at the last minute, and my items have plenty of time to arrive.
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