Whatnot’s slogan is “Buy, Sell, Go Live.” They are most simply defined as a live auction marketplace done virtually. A pop up shop type atmosphere from the comfort of your smart phone. There are roughly 50 categories on Whatnot and they range from trading cards, sneakers, and clothing, to even NFTS.
Whatnot started as a platform with an iPhone and Android app for buying and selling Funko Pops, but has expanded into Yu-Gi-Oh cards, sports slabs, sneakers and even NFTs. The most popular category has been sports cards; however many categories are quickly catching up.
Some of the main categories of items that you can find on Whatnot Include:
- Trading Card Games
- Sports Cards
- Comics & Books
- Video Games & Movies
- NFTs (Non Fungible Tokens)
- Other Miscellaneous Items
Is Whatnot Legit?
Yes, whatnot is a legit place to buy and sell collectibles. Live stream shopping is a rather new industry in the United States, but in other parts of the world, live stream shopping has been around for several years.
Shopping on Whatnot is totally different than other online platforms. When you shop on Ebay or Poshmark, you can clearly see photos and descriptions of the items. On whatnot, a seller can list an item for a 30 second auction, and you may not get the best view of the condition of the item, due to lighting and live stream conditions.
With that being said, sellers are generally trustworthy on whatnot. The company makes sellers go through a very intense verification process. Whatnot makes sure that its sellers are established on other platforms such as Ebay, Instagram, and YouTube prior to letting them sell on Whatnot.
All sellers must attend a training session with whatnot, on how to best use the platform. In the case that a buyer is not happy with how the order went, Whatnot may help out on a case by case basis.
What to watch out for on Whatnot
Mystery Bag Auctions
As a buyer one of the things you should look out for are the mystery bag auctions. In various categories such as clothing and comics, sellers sell mystery items which you have to buy before you can see what is inside. You bid on the bags without knowing the exact contents inside. The bags may contain a variety of items, ranging from rare to average. You can get lucky in win a great item, and mystery bag auctions can be fun and exciting. However, they also involve some degree of risk, as the value of the items inside the bags may not be worth the amount paid in the auction.
Here are some reddit threads that have commentary on this issue. Note that they should be taken with a grain of salt, but they can be helpful to potential Whatnot shoppers:
- Overpriced Trading Card Slabs and Mystery Packs
- Chapstick and Candy Mystery Bag
- Bought a Comic Book Mystery Bag on Whatnot
Shill bidding is when someone is placing bids on an item for sale with the intention of artificially driving up the price. The person placing the bid is either working in collusion with the seller or is the seller themselves, using a dummy account or another bidder to place false bids on their own items. While Whatnot does its best to limit these actions, buyers should look out for patterns of inflated bidding. There have been several cases of suspected shill bidding reported on Reddit:
- Seller Repeatedly Rerunning an Item
- Whatnot Seller suspects larger sellers
- Multiple Failed Payments in a Stream
Does Whatnot Have Good Prices?
With auctions starting at $1 sometimes you can get really good steals and deals on items. If you get lucky, you can purchase an item for $1 that can be worth a lot more. In fact, some resellers actually source items on Whatnot to then resell on their own ebay or Poshmark accounts.
Can you use Whatnot on a laptop?
You can shop on Whatnot from your mac or pc laptop. While the platform is best accessed from an iPhone or Android, Whatnot does allow users to shop from their desktop.
Why do sellers use Whatnot?
Sometimes people that resell online or at conventions need to get rid of extra inventory or want to move items quickly that haven’t been able to sell. With auctions starting at $1 sellers can go on the platform for several hours and end up selling 100s of items. Whatnot lets sellers diversify how they make money. If you are someone who primarily sells on Ebay, whatnot lets you reach new customers.