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Is Whatnot Legit: A Guide to The Live Shopping App

Image showing the screen of the fashion category on the whatnot desktop app. Users can select from the subcategories that include sneakers, vintage, and streetwear.

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
  • Toys
  • Comics & Books
  • Fashion
  • 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:

Shill Bidding

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:

Videos of Whatnot Sellers

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. 

How much is Whatnot worth?

Whatnot is valued at 1.5 billion dollars. They are one of the tech worlds latest unicorns, defined as a company that is valued at over 1 billion. During September 2021 they closed a 150 million Series C financing that valued them at 10x the raise amount. 

The financing was led by a16z and Y Combinator, and angel investors include celebrities like Logan Paul and Zion Williamson. 

Who are the top sellers on Whatnot? 

YouTubers like Hairy Tornado and NC Picker have capitalized off of their social followings, when they go live on Whatnot they have hundreds of people show up and spend money. In general, there are a ton of content creators in the video game and trading card space that go live and sell on whatnot. It’s a great platform for a viewer or subscriber to interact with their favorite content creator to support them financially by shopping with them. Instead of just donating to the content creator, you are getting an actual product or item that you maybe were going to buy anyway. Top vintage clothing sellers on whatnot include Retrohungry who goes live almost every night and has even done a 24 hour selling special. Retrohungry has built up a following on whatnot and translated it into growing his YouTube channel: Adventures of Con.

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. 

Items You Can Find on Whatnot


The trading card categories on whatnot include Pokémon, MetaZoo, Magic the Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh!, My Hero Academia, Dragon Ball Z, and more.

Whatnot started as a platform to sell Funk Pop but has since expanded into other categories such as Action Figures, Lego, Diecast Cars, Plush, and Designer Toys.

Fashion is a pretty popular category on whatnot. Specifically hype sneakers and vintage clothing. However, you can find accessories such as hats and streetwear brands like Supreme and Eric Emanuel on the platform.

  • Coins & Money
  • Mechanical Keyboards
  • Vinyl Records and LPs
  • Disneyana
  • Estate Sale and Antique Items
  • Arts and Crafts

If you are interested in becoming a seller on whatnot, I would recommend first checking out the platform and watching videos on YouTube that others have created. If you’ve never sold anything online before, whatnot is probably not the place for you to start. I would recommend a simpler and more traditional selling platform as an entry into the reselling game.