Apps and Websites

Swap.com Review: Earn Money Online By Cleaning Out Your Closets

There are plenty of sites that let you sell your used stuff online. Swap.com is one of them, branding itself as the “largest online consignment and thrift store.”

The site has been on the web since 2013, so it’s not necessarily old, but those who use have used Swap frequently over the years don’t seem to have many negative things to say about it.

As a Swap user of over two years myself, I wanted to bring Frugal for Less readers an in-depth review of one of the most popular sites for selling clothes online.

This unbiased review will show you some of the pros and cons that come with selling your stuff on Swap, along with some helpful information for you to make the most of your time there.

So, let’s look at what I’ve found out about Swap, from my own time using the site and from what other users and customers say.

What is Swap.com?

Swap is much like an online version of your local consignment shop. The site offers users the chance to buy or sell clothing in various sizes.

You can shop for women, men, kids, and babies here, and Swap has even added more categories over the years to include maternity clothing, video games, books, movies, toys, and more.

On Swap, you’ll find that items are priced to save you money over what you’d pay in stores.

The clothing and items sold here can either be new with tags or in a gently used condition. But, you can typically find even brand-new items marked down significantly from their original retail prices.

Basically, Swap exists so that you can keep some money in your wallet.

As a seller on Swap, you have access to your items within your dashboard to find out what you’ve sold, see how much you’ve made, and even donate items that didn’t make the cut.

Swap takes the confusion out of selling your clothing online and makes it a streamlined process for even ecommerce amateurs to take a stab at it.

Can You Be Both a Seller and Buyer on Swap?

One of the best things about Swap is that it’s a two-way marketplace. You can be both a buyer and a seller on the site (I am!) and can even use your earnings from selling clothes to go right back into your clothes-buying funds.

It might be a good idea to buy a couple of things on Swap before you start selling. This can give you a good idea of the quality of items that Swap expects you to send in.

You can also learn more about fair pricing, what categories are available, and how Swap works in general.

If you want to save some money on your purchases, you can refer your friends to Swap!

Swap gives you a chance to earn $20 when your friend makes a purchase of $20 or more, and you’ll even give your friend a 20% discount code when you refer him or her to the site.  

Pros and Cons of Using Swap

Since this review is mainly about making money from selling your clothing on Swap, I will focus my benefits and drawbacks on the selling aspect of the site.

I started selling on Swap in 2015, so I know all it has to offer sellers. As with most similar online marketplaces, Swap has both pros and cons that are important to share with anyone considering becoming a seller:

Pros of Selling with Swap
  • Swap takes care of sending you everything you need for shipping your items.
  • Swap takes all the photos of your pictures to place on the site, so all you need to do is ship them.
  • There are tons of accepted brands and types of clothing.
  • Swap offers a SureSell Guarantee, which ensures that you’ll at least make some money from your items.
  • If your items don’t pass the Swap tests, you can have them donated or shipped back to you.
  • You can get a decent income stream if you send in boxes to Swap every few months.
  • You can choose to get paid with store credit or PayPal cash; you’ll get paid every two weeks, on the 1st and 16th of the month.
  • Commissions are fairly high, with up to 70% for store credit and 60% for cash.
  • You don’t have to worry about customer complaints, returns, or anything else with the selling process. Once your items are accepted by Swap, Swap takes care of the customer service side of selling.
  • Send in up to three boxes per month.
Cons of Selling with Swap
  • Swap does have a lot of sellers and, therefore, a lot of items to review. It can sometimes take months for reviewers to get to your box and place your items on the site.
  • The selling model changed recently, which no longer allows sellers to set their own prices for their items.
  • Swap has a very extensive review process and strict acceptance criteria (this is great for buyers, but can be difficult for sellers to get used to).
  • Consistent shipments with rejected items may cause you to get banned from selling on Swap.com.
  • There are shipping and selling fees involved, which can cut into your profits.
  • You may also find your sales are low when Swap’s sales affect your items. The site runs frequent sales, which can affect how much your commissions are.

What Do the Reviews Say?

Before I ever use a service, I check out other online reviews to see what real customers have said.

They can tell you a lot about how the service works and if it holds up to its promises. If you check the web, you won’t find many negative things about Swap.com, which has kept a steady A+ rating with the BBB.

If you don’t want just to trust my review, you can see for yourself that Swap’s reputation is consistently high on other trustworthy reviews sites:

All About Selling on Swap

Let’s get into the actual selling part of Swap.com.

Basically, you send in washed, non-wrinkled clothing in good or new condition. You can use either your own box that fits specific dimensions or request that Swap send you one of its shipping boxes or bags.

You’ll have to pay a shipping fee either way, but it’s a little more expensive to use Swap’s shipping materials.

Then, you wait until Swap lets you know that your boxes have been sorted and you’re ready to start selling your items. You should be able to see all of them on your dashboard, including the photos Swap took of everything and the prices for which they’re selling.

When your items sell, you’ll get notified via email. You can also track all of your sales on your dashboard.  

What Can I Sell?

Swap.com used to be all about selling clothing. But, it’s since expanded into some other areas, now allowing you to sell and buy books, DVDs, toys, and more.

But, there are some stipulations with anything you sell here, and it depends on the item. Clothing has different rules than books, obviously. And, even different types of clothing will be subject to different requirements.

As of this review, Swap.com lets you sell:

  • Men’s, women’s, and children’s clothing and shoes
  • Accessories
  • Baby clothing and gear
  • Maternity clothing
  • Movies
  • Books
  • Home décor
  • Toys
  • Video games and accessories
  • Sporting and outdoor equipment

You can sell both used and new items, but the condition for any item must not be any lower than “Fair,” with slightly noticeable wear. If your book’s binding is very worn or your DVD has scratches on it, then, it’s likely that they’ll get rejected by Swap.

And, if you expect any item to be marked as “New,” it must have its original tags or packaging in place.

How Do I Get Started?

First, you need to sign up for Swap.com. Once you register, you can both buy and sell, so there’s no need to register for separate accounts.

Then, go to the main selling page and click “Send items to Swap.com”. You’ll want to check out the helpful link with acceptance criteria guidelines before you send anything in, though.

You can greatly increase your chances of having a high acceptance rate if you follow the guidelines to a T and don’t send in anything that Swap won’t accept.

You should also check out the shipping guidelines and figure out what size box or bag you’ll need. I suggest going through all your items you want to send in, inspecting them closely, laundering them, inspecting them again, and folding the ones that make the cut.

This will help you get a sense of how big you’ll need your box to be.

What Rules Do I Need to Follow?

I won’t cut any corners here – there are quite a bit of rules to follow for selling on Swap.com. But, when you think about it, this is a good thing. Swap’s strict requirements are why the company has such a great reputation with buyers.

People know they can trust that what they buy from Swap will be of good quality. So, when you adhere to the strict requirements, you’re helping to establish that trust factor, which helps keep Swap – and your online consignment business – in business!

I’ll get into the shipping rules in a moment. Let’s focus on some of the important rules for selling in general.

For Clothing:
  • All clothing must be clean. You should launder every piece you want to sell before sending it to Swap.
  • No clothing can have any tears, holes, loose strings, etc., or excessive fading.
  • The clothing fasteners, like zippers and buttons, must all be accounted for and working.
  • Clothing can’t have odors, pet fur, dirt, or stains of any kind. Be sure to look at your clothing in natural light to spot anything out of the ordinary.
  • Sets of clothing, like a jacket and pants for a tracksuit, should be pinned together or placed in a bag of no more than three items per set.
  • Your clothes must also be an accepted size, which you can find out more about in Swap’s FAQ section.

Since there are various other types of items you can sell, you’ll need to look at the FAQ section to find out the particulars about each of them. Generally, though, as long as you stick to the rules for condition ratings, you’ll be safe.

How Does Shipping Work?

One of the things I love about selling on Swap.com is that you can print a shipping label right from your printer. You don’t need to pay anything for it at the time or worry about figuring out the package weight and shipping cost.

It’s all prepaid. Just print the label and attach it to your box. The shipping cost will come out of your selling proceeds once you start selling items.

You can also ask Swap to send you a shipping box or bag and label, or a label by itself if you don’t need the box and don’t have a printer. This method will take a little longer, but I like that Swap provides this option if you don’t have boxes laying around the house.

If you do decide to use your own box, you’ll need to measure it. Your box can’t weigh any more than 50 lbs. and can’t be larger than 20” x 20” x 17”. If it is, you’ll get a penalty fee deducted from your proceeds for the oversized box.

You need to make sure your box is sturdy and in excellent condition so that your items stay safe inside. You also need to fill up the box so nothing is bouncing around, seal it securely, and remove any other labels and writing on the box.

Then, you can send it off to get shipped to Swap!

What are the Fees Involved?

There are some fees involved with shipping items to Swap, including the shipping fees and rejection fees. Fortunately, you don’t have to pay any of these until your items start selling.

The shipping fee for a box is $11.90 if you print the shipping label and use your own box. If you need Swap to send you the label and box, you’ll pay an extra $3.

If you follow Swap.com’s selling criteria closely, you won’t receive a lot of rejections, which can really eat into your profits as a seller. A rejection percentage of 40% to 50% results in a $5 fee, and a rejection percentage of more than 50% results in a $10 fee.

Then, there are selling fees. Since you’re selling through the Swap marketplace, Swap takes a cut of your profits. The amount depends on how much your items are priced for, which is based on their worth. For items priced over $20, you’ll earn 70% store credit or 60% cash. Items priced between $10 and $20 give you 50% store credit or 40% cash. And, items priced under $10 will give you 30% store credit or 20% cash.

So, the higher-quality items that can sell for more money will definitely earn you top dollar at Swap.com.

How and When Do I Get Paid?

Swap pays twice a month, on the 1st and 16th of the month, with PayPal if you choose to get your payment as cash. Your payment on the 1st will include anything sold from the 16th through the 31st of the previous month, and the payment on the 16th will include anything sold between the 1st and the 15th of the current month.

If you choose to get store credit, you’ll see your earnings in your account immediately.

How Much Can I Earn on Swap?

How much you earn on Swap really depends on the quality of clothing and other items you send in, the demand for those items, and the season. Basically, this answer will be different for everyone.

However, I consistently have made at least $40 per month since I’ve started selling on Swap.com over two years ago. That’s at least $40 extra in my pocket from clothing I no longer have a use for that I’d likely only get a few dollars for at a yard sale.

It’s important when you’re selling clothing on Swap.com to take into consideration the current season and what season it will be when your clothing is ready to go up on the site (give it a good three months into the future).

If I send a box in November, I’ll predict that my clothing will go up in February, which is nearing the end of winter and moving into spring. So, packing the November box full of winter clothing doesn’t really make sense with the timeframe.

Spring and summer clothing are better choices for that box.

How Can I Sign Up to Start Selling on Swap?

Simple! Head to Swap.com and click the Consign on Swap.com link at the bottom of the page. If you can’t find it, here’s a direct link to the page you need:

Sign up to sell on Swap.com!

Is Swap Legit or a Scam?

As an avid user of Swap.com, I can confidently say that it’s a legitimate way to earn some money online for your new or used clothing.

Will it work for everyone? Probably not. If you don’t have brand name clothing that people want to buy or don’t want to spend time carefully inspecting your clothes before shipping them, then Swap may not be the best place for you.

Furthermore, if you don’t have any intention of buying clothing from Swap, then you’ll need to prepare to take a pay cut to have your earnings transferred to PayPal instead of store credit.

But, plenty of people, including myself, have success selling on Swap.com. I’ve never had a late or missed payment and have had very few rejected items over the years. There’s no shady business going on at Swap.

I recommend the service to anyone wanting an alternative to having a yard sale or selling clothing on eBay for pennies.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, this review of Swap.com gave you some insight into the selling process and how to make the most of your time on the site. My belief is that it’s always better to make some money off the things you have laying around your house rather than throwing them in the trash, and Swap can help with that.

If you’re looking for some other ways to make money off your used clothing, check out these articles:

We would love to hear your personal experiences using Swap.com as a seller. Go ahead and leave a comment!

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