It’s a scenario many beauty enthusiasts are all too familiar with: you’ve just splurged on the latest eyeshadow palette only to find its cool violet-based shades clash with your warm complexion. You’ve barely made a dent in one shade, 11 others remain untouched and there’s nothing you can do except give the palette away to a paler friend or stash it in a drawer, where it can keep company with the many other cosmetics you purchased and never used.
With so many beauty options–and far too many opportunities to buy products that aren’t the right fit for us–a number of smart companies offer services that allow you to sell back brand new or lightly used cosmetics for money or credit. Here are 6 to try ASAP.
Glambot. You can shop ’til you drop on Glambot, a fantastic cosmetics and skincare shopping site that offers discounted products from top brands like Yves Saint Laurent and MAC. But you can also sell your new and pre-owned products (meaning: lightly used) as long as they meet the following requirements: they can’t be expired, at least 50% of the original product must be intact and products must be clean and free of contaminants, Additional restrictions include no mascara, liquid eyeliner, lip gloss, perfume, or nail polish and no drugstore products from brands like Revlon, Rimmel, Cover Girl, or Wet ‘N Wild. A full list of accepted brands can be found here. Additionally, your sell package must contain at least 20 full-size products. Glambot predicts you can earn between $15-$150 on a box of 20-25 name brand cosmetics and $25-$260 on luxury brands. You can opt to receive payment as cash via PayPal or earn 30% more in store credit, aka “Glambucks.”
MUABS. MUABS, which stands for Makeup Addict Blog Sales, takes the risk out of buying lightly used or new luxury and drugstore makeup products from blogs and offers PayPal Guarantee protection. To sell makeup, you have to register on the site for free and open your own “shop,” where you simply list your products, their condition and a price. Once they sell, you keep 90% of the profit and MUABS takes 10%. The nice thing about MUABS is that they really are a great middle man–they even send you an email when someone is interested in buying your product so you don’t have to check into your shop 12 times a day. The products sold on MUABS vary and can range from Dior nail polish to Revlon foundation, so anything goes.
Poshmark. While Poshmark is making a name for itself selling used designer clothing and accessories, a small, growing demand for lightly used makeup means it’s also now possible to purchase hot products like an Urban Decay Naked palette or MAC’s legendary Ruby Woo lipstick for $12 instead of $20. To sell makeup, you have to download Poshmark’s free app on your iPhone, iPad or Android. Upload photos of your products, include descriptions, and help advertise what you’re selling on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr or email. For all sales under $15, Poshmark collects a flat commission of $2.95. Anything over $15 and you keep 80% and Poshmark gets a 20% commission. You then have the option of spending what you earn on Poshmark’s app or withdrawing your money as cash.
Instagram. Granted, you may have to work a little harder to target your desired clientele on Instagram, but all it takes to sell used cosmetics on the social media site is a few clear photos and the right hashtags. For example, if you’re selling nail polish, you’ll want to be sure to include #beauty, #nailpolish, and #makeup to cover your bases. You’ll also want to set up a separate Instagram shop page and not merge it with your personal account to keep it focused and free from clutter, and it’s wise to delete items as soon as they sell so that your page remains up to date. Unfortunately, the bulk of the work needed to sell and ship products will fall on your lap, but if you have an entrepreneurial spirit and love social media, this could be the way to go.
eBay. If you’ve already opened up that tube of lipstick, used it once and decided it’s the wrong red for you, sorry, but eBay isn’t going to be much help. The shopping site has strict rules for what it will and won’t allow in the makeup category. Items on the can’t-sell list: no used makeup, applicators, or sponges and no cosmetics, perfume, colognes, or lotions that are not in their original packaging. Here’s what you can sell: new cosmetics in their original containers, used cosmetic brushes that have been sanitized, homemade cosmetics that comply with FDA regulations, lotions, perfumes, and body washes that don’t have an applicator that comes into contact with the body and sample cosmetics in their original packaging. Information about the commission eBay takes varies–when you list an item, you could be charged a listing fee. And if the item sells, you’re charged a final value fee calculated based on the total amount of the sale.
Reddit. If you long for the days when selling online was more simple–no fancy, high-res photos or customized pages–Reddit may be perfect for you. Boards like Skincareexchange allow you to sell or swap any skincare product under the sun, though Reddit doesn’t beat around the bush: all exchanges are done “at your own risk.” You can submit a photo, which will probably result in more interest, but you don’t have to. You’re also expected to provide truthful information about what you’re selling because it’s the right thing to do and Reddit advises that you include links to reviews on Amazon or Makeup Alley to drum up more interest. The only “guarantee” you have that a customer will hold up his or her end of the bargain is that Reddit vows to ban them if they don’t pay you or ship to you. Similarly, Makeupexchange requires a photo of the product you’re selling (outside of its box) for verification, but then you’re left to sell on your own. A few caveats: your Reddit account has to be at least one month old and have 50 “karma comments” to create a new post and you can only post once every seven days. If you happen to find a buyer, you have two weeks to ship their cosmetics.
For more beauty advice and news, check out the best-selling products from top beauty brands and 3 stunning eyeshadow looks that aren’t a smokey eye.
[Photo: Fashion Meow]