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What is Whatnot? Everything you need to know

Collectibles were never so fun to buy or sell!
By
December 15, 2023
Whatnot logo on smartphone next to collectibles and toys Stock photo 2
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

There are plenty of options for buying and selling products online, so any new platform needs to find a way to differentiate itself. Whatnot takes another angle, harnessing the success of the popular live video sales method and centralizing it into a hub full of all types of collectors. What is Whatnot all about? We’ll cover everything you need to know about the service, so stick around.

What is Whatnot, and who is it for?

Whatnot is a community marketplace for buyers and sellers. Sounds simple, right? The main differentiator is that all sales are made through live video. This creates a social aspect in which people can interact during the process. In fact, the first time I entered a sale, the host greeted me personally, saying: “What’s up, Sasquatch? Welcome in.”

The website is mainly geared toward the sale of collection items. This includes figurines, toys, trading cards, jewelry, video games, arts & crafts, and whatnot.

How does Whatnot work?

Whatnot main page

When you sign up for a Whatnot account, you can either become a buyer or a seller. Once you’re ready to go, you must browse through the list of categories, look through the live streams, and join one. The host will talk about the product he’s selling, and geek out over the topic with all the other members.

If you want to purchase any of the items, you can either bid for them or buy them immediately. The options are titled Auction or Buy Now. You can also look through the Sold and Purchased sections to see what you missed.

After a purchase, the seller will ship the product and get paid for it.

What can you sell on Whatnot?

An image of money surrounded by wireless audio products like the Bose SoundLink Micro speaker, Samsung Galaxy Buds Live, 1MORE Colorbuds, Jabra Elite 45h, JBL True Wireless Flash X, and Shure AONIC 50.
Lily Katz / Android Authority

Whatnot is mainly meant for selling and buying collectibles, but the list of supported products is comprehensive. Here’s Whatnot’s official category list.

  • Trading Card Games
  • Sports Cards
  • Toys & Hobbies
  • Comics & Manga
  • Coins & Money
  • Estate Sales & Storage Units
  • Arts & Handmade
  • Electronics
  • Action Figures
  • Men’s Fashion
  • Sneakers & Streetwear
  • Women’s Fashion
  • Bags & Accessories
  • Beauty
  • Baby & Kids
  • Jewelry
  • Watches
  • Music
  • Books
  • Movies
  • Video Games
  • Antiques, Vintage & Ephemera
  • Sports Equipment
  • Food & Drink
  • Home & Garden
  • Rocks & Crystals
  • Disneyana
  • Kawaii
  • Pet Supplies
  • And Whatnot

What are the pros and cons of using Whatnot?

Whatnot logo on smartphone Stock photo 3
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Like any other platform, Whatnot has its good and bad sides. Let’s talk about them.

Pros

It’s fun and interactive!

The art of selling is complex. Simply posting a product on eBay may seem a bit cold and distant. With Whatnot, sellers interact with potential customers and usually have fun while doing so. People can geek out on items and ask questions live. The seller can respond to questions immediately and convince buyers to purchase an item. Additionally, some sellers do fun things like host giveaways, or randomize sales by letting a wheel decide what you win for a set prize.

You can find hard-to-get collectibles

Collectors know how hard it is to find some products. Sometimes, getting specific items from giants like eBay or Amazon is hard. Because Whatnot is full of like-minded fans of the same things, you’re likely to find rare items.

It’s pretty safe

Whatnot acts as a mediator between buyers and sellers. You can do everything from the app to finalize a purchase. Sellers aren’t paid until a product is shipped. There’s also a process for ensuring items are authentic. Chances of fraud or scams are slim.

Cons

There aren’t many people using it

Whatnot is a relatively new service from 2019. As such, it’s obviously not as popular as other marketplaces. The website has been getting 2.8-3.1 million visitors monthly for a few months. That’s nothing compared to the over 667-690 million monthly eBay visitors.

Most people using Whatnot are like-minded individuals with similar hobbies, making each customer and seller more valuable, but numbers still help sell things.

You have to watch to buy

Many of us still feel like watching a livestream to buy things is a bit too much. Sometimes, I don’t want to socialize or listen to someone when I purchase something. Whatnot doesn’t give you this option.

How much are Whatnot fees?

Money Stock Photo 1
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Nothing in life is free, and neither are Whatnot’s services. The company will take an 8% commission on all sales. Additionally, the seller will have to cover a transaction fee of 2.9% plus $0.30. This processing fee is applied to the total, including the subtotal, tax, and shipping costs.

How much is shipping?

Amazon boxes stock photo 2
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Shipping prices depend on the product’s weight, and also where you ship the product to and from. If the transaction happens within the USA, shipping starts at $3.59, and can reach $6.78, for up to 1lb of weight.

Whatnot breaks down its US shipping costs here, and you can learn more about international shipping here.

Want to give it a try?

Whatnot logo on smartphone next to collectibles and toys Stock photo 4
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

If you want to try Whatnot, all you have to do is go to the website and sign up for an account. You can also download the Android and iOS apps.

We know many of our readers will likely be interested in selling phones. Whatnot isn’t the best place for this. Instead, look into our guide on how to sell used phones for better alternatives.


FAQs

Whatnot is a startup founded by Grant LaFontaine and Logan Head. LaFontaine is also the current CEO.

Whatnot’s headquarters is in Marina del Rey, California. It’s part of the Los Angeles area.

Yes. Whatnot takes an 8% fee from every item sold. Additionally, it charges transaction fees of 2.9% of the total cost and an extra $0.30.

Whatnot doesn’t usually allow returns, because of the nature of most products sold on the platform. These are mainly used and sold as is. There are some exceptions, though. You can get items refunded if they are damaged during shipping, damage doesn’t match listing photos, if you get an incorrect item, if the item has no images and doesn’t match the description, or if the item is counterfeit.

You can request to cancel an order on Whatnot as long as the seller hasn’t printed the order’s shipping label, or within 24 hours after you place the order, even if the label has been printed. That said, all Whatnot sales are final. It’s up to the seller to accept or deny a cancellation request.

Whatnot ships to the USA, Canada, the UK, and most other countries. It will also ship to PO/APO/FPO addresses. This only helps buyers, though. Sellers must be in the USA, Canada, France, Germany, or the UK.