WhatNot Live Auctions

In the current landscape of social media, video content, particularly live video, has become a dominant force. This trend has naturally extended to reselling platforms, with pioneers initially venturing into live selling via platforms like Instagram Live. Now, dedicated apps are emerging to streamline the process of hosting live sales, with WhatNot leading the charge.

The platform, intentionally designed for live selling, has sparked a trend in the reselling community, attracting interest from various platforms, including Poshmark and Etsy. But what exactly is live selling, and how can you determine if it’s a suitable strategy for your business?

HYPD examines the pros and cons of live selling on WhatNot to provide insights for an informed decision.

Understanding Live Selling:

In the traditional model of online reselling, sellers present their goods through images and descriptions, allowing buyers to browse at any time. Live selling, in contrast, involves scheduling a specific time for a live video session where sellers showcase and describe items. These live sales typically take the form of auctions, injecting an element of excitement through bidding.

While traditional online selling suits those who prefer to remain behind the camera, live sales offer resellers a platform to host mini-TV shows, showcasing their personalities. The thrill of bidding has proven addictive to audiences, contributing to the rising popularity of live selling.

Live-selling platforms charge a fee for transactions, but in return, they offer features like digital auctions, giveaways, sales and shipping labels, show scheduling, customer service, and discounted shipping. However, some traditional sellers are deterred by the lower profit margins in high-volume, low-profit live sale auctions.

Buyers in live auctions generally fall into two categories: those seeking elusive or rare items willing to pay a premium, and those looking for deals and steals on everyday items.

WhatNot Auctions

Is WhatNot a Legitimate Way to Make Money?

WhatNot, established in 2019 as a live selling platform for Funko Pop collectibles, has evolved into a legitimate selling platform covering various categories like sports trading cards, comics, fashion, and estate sale items. The platform’s primary focus on live selling ensures a smoother transaction process. Sellers need to apply, be accepted, and attend an onboarding session, maintaining a positive buying experience. WhatNot’s selective approach also controls the number of sellers in each category.

The range of items you can sell on WhatNot has expanded significantly over the past year, encompassing fashion, jewellery, accessories, vintage finds, sports cards, shoes, collectibles, comics, NFTs, coins, music, books, health and beauty products, food and drink, home and garden items, sports equipment, return pallets, handmade crafts, Disney merchandise, and crystals.

Is Live Selling Right for My Business?

The decision to embrace live selling hinges on various factors, and its long-term sustainability remains uncertain. The surge in live selling during the pandemic prompts questions about its future as the world returns to a new normal. While the efficiency of traditional online shopping through search bars may pose a challenge to the sustained popularity of live sales, the interactive nature of live video could continue to captivate audiences.

For some sellers, incorporating live selling into their business model while it’s trending might be worthwhile, even if viewed as a passing fad. Others may prefer sticking to proven processes, allowing the live selling trend to pass them by. The versatility of online selling ensures that there’s a business model suited for everyone.

Pros and Cons of Live Selling on WhatNot:

To aid in your decision-making process, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons of live selling. Here’s a breakdown:


  • Interactive experience
  • Fun and high-energy
  • Enables fast sales (quick flips)
  • Facilitates selling a high volume
  • Allows a process of low-cost sourcing and high-volume shipping to save time
  • Utilises marketing or social media skills to promote shows
  • Platforms like WhatNot make running auctions easy
  • Trendy – though it might not last forever, it provides an opportunity to ride the wave

The primary advantage of live selling lies in the ability to sell a substantial number of items in a single show within a few hours, making it an excellent option for quick flips. While items may not fetch top dollar, it offers a swift turnover without tying up capital in inventory. The less detailed nature of WhatNot listings compared to other platforms reduces the time spent on item listing.


  • Requires an interactive and high-energy approach (may not be suitable for introverts)
  • Lower profits per sale, following a “fast nickel” sales model with higher volume but lower individual item profits (unless selling hot “grail” items)
  • Auctions involve risks, potentially selling items below the desired price
  • Demands marketing efforts to build your audience
  • Not passive income, requiring planning, marketing, and performance at scheduled times

The main drawback that may discourage resellers from live selling is the necessity to act as the host of their own TV show. Not everyone is comfortable in front of the camera, and even though some live sellers choose not to show their faces, the most successful shows often feature charismatic hosts enjoying the limelight. In some cases, hosts become so compelling that audiences bid more than intended just to own something from that particular seller.

In conclusion, live selling presents both exciting opportunities and challenges. Whether it’s the right fit for your business depends on factors like your comfort with video, marketing skills, inventory type, and willingness to embrace a dynamic, interactive selling environment. As with any trend, assessing its longevity and considering your business model are crucial steps in making an informed decision.

Sharing is Caring

Related Post