The following is our honest Tradesy review. Debt Free Dawn has not been compensated for our review.

Updated: October 11, 2016

tradesy300x100Pros

  • Flat 9% commission is very competitive
  • Complementary processing of your uploaded images
  • When creating a listing, you can see expected earnings after commission

Cons

  • No mobile app for sellers
  • Pre-paid (non ship-it-yourself) shipping options are expensive
  • No men’s marketplace

Tradesy Review: Summary

Tradesy boasts impressive functionality…from their website. The process of listing items on their website is easy and intuitive, and I love the feature allowing you to compare your expected payout and fees for each shipping option. Their free image upgrade service is great, too.

Sadly, the mobile app doesn’t have seller functionality and Tradesy is a smaller marketplace than both Poshmark and eBay with higher fees than the fee-less Mercari. For me, Tradesy is mired in the middle, and I use the other marketplaces depending on the goods I’m selling.

Of note: If you’re selling wedding stuff, use Tradesy!

Marketplace & Potential Buyers

According to a USA Today article from March 2015, Tradesy has over 3 million people signed up with the service with over $300 million in goods available for sale at any given time.

Tradesy is your standard women’s resale business, focusing primarily on women’s clothing, but they do have a wedding niche as that was the company founder’s original line of business. You can find a complete list of things you can sell on Tradesy by clicking here, but below is a recap:

  • 12 categories for women’s clothing, including shoes, bags, and accessories
  • 10 categories for wedding items, including decorations, grooms & groomsmen, gifts, and invitations
  • Swimwear must be new with tags, and bottoms must have the sanitary liner
  • No designer or brand restrictions

Their Android app has over 50,000 downloads.


Website

Tradesy’s online listing application is extremely straightforward.

First, select the listing’s category:

  • Women’s clothing
  • Shoes, bags & accessories
  • Weddings

Within that category, select a subcategory. For example, under women’s clothing you can select tops, dresses, outerwear, activewear, swim, bottoms, jeans, suiting, or maternity.

After selecting your category and subcategory, it’s time to upload photos. Tradesy allows you to either upload files one-by-one, or drag and drop in all of your photos for a quick mass-upload. You can drag and drop the photos to re-order them, and you can click the arrow to rotate them, but you can’t crop or alter the photos other than rotating them.

(Additionally, Tradesy understands the value of high quality photos and as a service to their sellers will process your photos for higher quality within a few days of your listing’s launch.)

The next step is to select item type, style, designer, color, and size, and then make any notations about item condition. If an item has signs of wear, you can choose from their stock options (such as discoloration or stains, hole or tear, hemmed or altered, odor, or missing hardware), or you can add your own custom note.

The item description is optional, though obviously encouraged.

When pricing your item, you’re allowed to input the item’s retail price.

After pricing items it’s time to select your shipping option. The shipping method you select will directly affect how much commission Tradesy charges, so please take a minute to read the Shipping Items and Commission & Fees sections below. Those sections detail the different shipping options and the way Tradesy will calculate your payout from any sale.


Mobile App

It’s a good thing the Tradesy website listing interface is so great, because the mobile app is completely useless for sellers. You can’t list items, you can’t edit your listings — you can’t even view your listings. It does seem to be a good interface for buyers looking to purchase items, though. That has a lot of value as as I’ve seen estimates peg mobile commerce as being 30% of all online shopping, and that’s only going to go up.

But as a seller, the app doesn’t offer any tools to help you manage your listings.


Shipping Items

Tradesy offers three different methods of shipping:

  • Shipping kit: they’ll ship it to you (not available for wedding items)
  • Pre-paid label: printable for use on your items
  • Own postage / materials: you select how much you want to charge the buyer and then you’re responsible for organizing shipping

With the shipping kit Tradesy charges the buyer between $10 (regular bag) to $35 (medium box), depending on the item and what you select. The shipping kit will arrive within 3-5 days of the buyer’s purchase, and then the seller packages the item and ships it out from there.

With the pre-paid label, Tradesy will add $8.50 to the cost of the item to cover shipping. The seller then prints, packages, and ships.

With the own shipping / materials options, the seller can choose whatever shipping cost they want. Note that different shipping options have different commissions and fees (read below). Also, please read Tradesy’s detailed process. Note that if you ship yourself, you’ll need to add the shipping info to the sale.


Commission & Fees

Tradesy charges a flat 9% commission, but how that commission is charged depends on the type of shipping you select. Let’s look at a couple examples for a theoretical $20.00 item:

Commission using Tradesy’s shipping kit

If you select the “regular bag” option for $10.00:

  • The buyer will be charged $30.00 ($20.00 for the item + $10.00 for shipping)
  • Tradesy will charge a 9% commission on the cost of the item ($20.00 x 9% = $1.80 commission)
  • The seller receives $18.20 ($20.00 – $1.80 commission)

If you select the “medium box” option for $35.00:

  • The buyer will be charged $55.00 ($20.00 for the item + $35.00 for shipping)
  • Tradesy will charge a 9% commission on the cost of the item ($20.00 x 9% = $1.80 commission)
  • The seller receives $18.20 ($20.00 – $1.80 commission)

(It’s unlikely you’d use the $35.00 shipping option with a $20.00 item, but bear with me for the sake of this example.)

Commission using Tradesy’s pre-paid shipping label

This option adds $8.50 to the cost of the item to cover shipping:

  • The buyer will be charged $28.50 ($20.00 for the item + $8.50 for shipping)
  • Tradesy will charge a 9% commission on the cost of the item ($20.00 x 9% = $1.80 commission)
  • The seller receives $18.20 ($20.00 – $1.80 commission)

Commission using the “I’ll use my own postage and packaging” option

The seller enters an amount to charge the buyer for shipping. For the sake of this example, let’s say you want to add $8.50 — the same amount as the pre-paid option above:

  • The buyer will be charged $28.50 ($20.00 for the item + $8.50 for shipping)
  • Tradesy will charge a 9% commission on the cost of the item plus the cost of the shipping (28.50 x 9% = $2.56 commission)
  • The seller receives $25.94 ($28.5.00 – $2.56 commission)
  • However, the seller ostensibly spent $8.50 on shipping, so subtract that from the amount they received
  • The seller actually keeps $17.44 ($25.94 payment – $8.50 shipping cost)

So, what shipping option should I choose?

For small items that can be shipped using USPS First Class shipping (under 1 pound for $3.65 or less through PayPal) or with a USPS flat rate envelope ($5.75 through PayPal), it makes sense to ship it yourself, declare the amount you want to charge the buyer, and add the difference into the cost of the item. (Or better yet, make shipping free and add the whole shipping amount into the cost of the item.) With these smaller items, an $8.50 or $10.00 charge for shipping is just too pricey and will eat into your profit margin.

Let’s use that $20.00 item again as an example. Let’s say it’s a nice pair of 7 For All Mankind jeans. And let’s say the buyer thinks $28.00 is an acceptable amount to pay for them (including shipping). How much would we actually pocket with each type of shipping? (Remember, the buyer only wants to pay $28.00 for the item and shipping combined).

Tradesy Shipping Example, $28.00 Jeans

Shipping MethodTotal Buyer Pays$ on Item$ on ShipCommission OnTradesy Commission$ Seller Gets
Shipping Kit$28.00$18.00$10.00Item Cost$1.62$16.38
Pre-Paid Label$28.00$19.50$8.50Item Cost$1.76$17.74
Ship It Myself$28.00$22.25$5.75Item Cost + Ship Cost$2.52$19.73

In this example, it makes sense to select the “I’ll use my own postage and packaging” option and send the jeans via a USPS Flat Rate envelope for $5.75. Though we’re paying 9% commission on the whole $28.00 amount instead of just the cost of the jeans, the amount we save on shipping is more than the additional commission we owe!

Let’s look at a second example: a pair of Frye boots that the buyer is willing to pay $90.00 for. We can’t fit these in the Tradesy shipping bag; instead we’d need to use the Tradesy shipping box. We also have to use a USPS large flat rate box as a medium box just won’t do. In this example, which shipping option makes the most sense?

Tradesy Shipping Example, $90.00 Boots

Shipping MethodTotal Buyer Pays$ on Item$ on ShipCommission OnTradesy Commission$ Seller Gets
Shipping Kit$90.00$55.00$35.00Item Cost$4.95$50.05
Pre-Paid Label$90.00$81.50$8.50Item Cost$7.34$74.16
Ship It Myself$90.00$73.65$16.35Item Cost + Ship Cost$8.10$65.55

It’s the pre-paid label by a landslide!


Buyer Disputes & Returns

From the Tradesy site:

Buyers have 4 days from the date of delivery to request a return online. Since Tradesy handles all non-wedding and select wedding returns, the buyer will send the item to Tradesy HQ, where our return specialists will review the item.

When an item is returned, Tradesy will rule whether the seller has to repay the original sale. The seller gets to keep the funds if the error is on the buyer’s end, meaning the item doesn’t fit, the buyer changed their mind, or they just don’t like what they purchased. On the other hand, the seller will have their earnings rescinded if Tradesy rules the item was misrepresented, the condition description was inaccurate, or the sizing was incorrect.

Click here for Tradesy’s return policy info.


Getting Paid

After every sale, you’ll need to log into Tradesy and select “Confirm Sale” from the “My Sales” page. After doing this, your funds will be held in pending for around 96 hours, after which point they’ll be available to withdraw.

When your funds are ready to withdraw, you can choose one of 3 methods:

  • PayPal
  • Debit card
  • Checking account

Per Tradesy, you’ll be charged a 2.9% safe transfer fee for every transaction (so factor that into your cost of business). Money should be available to you after 1-5 days. If you’re a frequent Tradesy seller and accrue over $1,000 in available funds, Tradesy may require you to verify your identity before allowing any additional withdrawals.

Please note that if you withdraw via PayPal, you may need to pay PayPal’s fee of 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction on top of the Tradesy 2.9% safe transfer fee. That said, I have never made a withdrawal on Tradesy through PayPal and thus can’t speak to this for certain. If anyone out there has experience with this, please let me know!