Where to sell your (barely) used makeup online
Hoarding is one of the occupational hazards of a self-confessed beauty addict. Still, while it is common, it can become wasteful when you consider all that money spent on products that were used only a few times then set aside. However, these personal care items are called that for a reason - they've touched your face, hands, mouth, and even eyes! Why would anyone (barring close friends and family who don't have laway-swapping issues) want your pre-loved cosmetics?
Well, there are those who do! For many, it's a chance to sample or own a product for much less. So long as you follow basic hygiene standards (because yes, you can make someone sick from makeup), it is possible to cut your losses and make some money back in the secondhand makeup market. Here's where you can sell after your long overdue makeup destashing!
Makeup Groups on Facebook
Joining a dedicated Facebook group can be a quick way to get rid of your extra products. Facebook groups like the popular The Makeup Revolution PH are a mother lode for both brand-new and pre-loved makeup goodies. The FB group format poses a challenge though as you’ll be competing with a ton of other sellers, whose posts may push yours down in the post ranking, so time is of the essence. Aim to sell out quickly by offering good deals and even “bundles” that will quickly catch attention before your post is relegated to the bottom of the scrolling heap.
Carousell and Shopee are popular websites/apps that make it easy for casual sellers to set up their own store. It's as simple as taking a photo and uploading it with some product info! Transacting is free, easy, and relatively safe since all exchanges happen in-app (no one gets anyone’s number/personal info), and there is actually an active secondhand beauty market, both for affordable and high-end products alike. Transactions happen quickly once you set up shop. The app also does its part in marketing you, especially if you’re someone who uploads frequently and closes a lot of deals so it can also encourage you to regularly destash!
Pro tip for selling on these mobile marketplaces: always have meetups in a public place, and/or think of investing in a courier service. It's a good safety measure for dealing with virtual strangers!
Known as “The Front Page of The Internet,” Reddit is part-forum, part-free form Facebook group. There a lot of special interest groups here who create subreddits just for their members, and it has become a rich resource for in-depth information in any topic, beauty included.
Beauty Talk PH is probably one of the pioneer subreddits for skincare, makeup and general cosmetics chatter in the Philippines, and they have an active “Sell and Swap” program that operates on scheduled threads. Users post photos and in-depth descriptions of their sale items (mandatory descriptions include percentage used, place bought, expiry dates, and of course payment methods), then exchange private messages to close the deal.
While it is possible to sell on Reddit alone, many Beauty Talk PH redditors (aka, group members) choose to use the platform to promote their other sales channels, so best have a Carousell or Shopee (or even a simple Instagram shop account) as a backup.
This last option won’t necessarily make you any money back but you end up with something you’ve coveted, at no extra cost. Organizing a swap meet with friends and fellow hoarders can be a great way to offload some of your unloved items while decreasing the “ick” factor since the people taking the products are people you actually know. The mechanics are simple: meet at a communal space (can be online or an actual physical location) where friends can dump their makeup and arrange trades, following a simple “put one in, take one out” system. This way, your “collecting” tendencies are satisfied, but you’re still technically getting rid of stuff! Technically.
Some tips before you destash.
- Pre-loved mascara and liquid lipsticks might be a bad idea. Before you start riffling through your makeup case, though, do take note: some products really are a sunk cost. While there is a market for secondhand lipsticks and mascaras, because of the close contact these products have with bodily fluids, it might not be responsible to sell (or buy!) them. Ditto for any products that you've dipped your hand into.
- If you choose to sell these products, do the responsible thing and sanitize them before selling. In fact, sanitize your products regardless, especially if you might be sharing them with anyone during the product's lifetime. This way, at least you know you’re selling clean pre-loved makeup.
- Do note the expiry dates. While it may be safe-ish to continue using products past their sell-by date, remember that there’s a reason it’s called a sell-by date. Expired makeup often changes in texture or tone, and can become home to viruses and bacteria. Regardless of whether you've even opened the package yet or not, it’s still technically expired. Cut your losses and consign it to the trash instead of the de-stash.
Have you started destashing your makeup kit? Which sites do you use?
Update: We've just been informed that Shopee has changed its terms and has banned pre-loved makeup from being sold through its channels. There are still shops who continue to sell pre-loved makeup on Shopee but since it's not clear if the postings were made before the change of terms, we recommend using different platforms instead.