Wut…is WhatNot?

Erin L. Albert
3 min readOct 15, 2022


Secret confession: I’m an auction junkie.

When I was a kid, and much younger, auctions were exciting. Digging through the junk, finding treasure in it, the excitement of bidding — has always been exhilarating to me. (And I am by no means a shopper. I hate traditional shopping!)

Also, in the past, I sold stuff on eBay. I kind of got away from it over the years, just because work was front & center. But I always kept my eye on online auctions and places to buy second-hand items as an antique collector and admirer. I still haunt a goodwill store or the local antique malls too. I love nostalgic older things — there’s some type of comfort in them for me.

I’ve been studying the online thrifting/vintage community again of late in my free time, and throughout the years, eBay has really remained the same and dominates with views and eyeballs, but now has a lot of competition. While eBay is still the dominant auction listing service. Others include:

  • Etsy — focuses mainly on handmade & vintage items
  • Poshmark — known for clothes, but also has some housewares
  • Mercari — helps “declutter”
  • Grailed — fashion
  • Tradesy — higher-end fashion
  • Depop — Fashion, but seems to have a mystery box vibe by ‘aesthetic’ like dark academia or barbiecore — the Gen Z folks seem to be there
  • Kidizen — Kids' clothes
  • The real real — designer clothes, high-end and validated for knockoffs, apparently
  • Thredup — clothing, but a little different model than consignment — more like you sell it then they re-sell it to the larger community
  • Let’s not forget the fancy newer Goodwill online, GoodwillFinds
  • Even Instagram has a lot of secondhand sellers, so does TikTok, and Youtube has channels where people teach how to maximize these online platforms.

Whew. That’s a lot of choice. Overwhelming.

But we haven’t even touched yet on my favorite new online portal for auctions, live, real time: Whatnot.

WTH is Whatnot?

If you’re unaware of these online live, real-time interactive auctions on whatnot, you should consider checking them out. It’s so much fun! (And full disclosure: it can be a bit of a rabbit hole.) Originally, it apparently started as a place to sell collectible toys, but recently, it’s grown to so much more. Now, you can hop on at any time, and check out several different categories — like vintage clothing, estates, jewelry, postcards, comic books, toys, and…whatnot. And, it’s relatively new enough that you can still get deals and interact with the auctioneer real-time.

The tricky part right now is that it’s not easy to be a seller. There’s a form and process that you have to go through with sellers that have a ton of followers and already are considered thought leaders as resellers in the US. People have been rejected, apparently. (Full disclosure — I have not even tried to apply to be a seller on it.)

Why I dig it: so many reasons: 1. Selling secondhand saves the environment — stuff doesn’t wind up in a landfill. 2. You have access to items that may not be made anymore. 3. You have access to QUALITY items that may not be made anymore. 4. Sellers can make a nice full or part-time income from it. 5. No one has to get in a car to buy. Everyone wins!

I also understand that recently, Poshmark was sold and now also is experimenting with live stream selling. Of course, Amazon has been around now for live-stream selling, and the classic HSN and QVCs of the world are probably here to stay.

So, I’m going to Kondo my closets and jewelry boxes this fall and winter — it’s time to clean it all up! And — I’m going to experiment and see if online selling is something I personally can revive. Maybe I’ll see you — online soon for an auction? 🗣