Used items are making a comeback and this is particularly true with second-hand gadgets. If you are tech-savvy and searching for fresh opportunities to make money online, then this Swappa review will show how you can make a small profit leveraging from the emergence of consumer electronics.
What Is Swappa
Swappa is an online marketplace for digital goods. You can buy and sell used but functional laptops, phones, video games, and consoles. With the right collection, you can even sell obsolete stuff like retro video games which is kind of a popular business these days.
Swappa seeks to let you cash in on these while earning a little extra on the side with fewer fees compared to the big brand competitors. Their categories of sales product include:
- Video Games
- Home Tech
This online platform for tech products introduces the world of recyclable technology to the global market. Not only does it present opportunities for earning some cash, it also helps us to reduce, reuse, and recycle our digital products in line with the current climate emergency.
How Does Swappa Work?
Swappa provides its sellers with accurate pricing data so that they can list their goods at actual market values. They then charge listing fees that buyers pay, rather than the sellers – as it seems to be the case with most online marketplaces.
There are two ways to make money from the platform. You can either list and sell products OR recommend products through the affiliate program. We shall look at each in more detail, below and how it works.
Making Money Selling with Swappa
Selling electronics in Swappa is a little different from what you might expect to find. Unlike the Amazon or eBay marketplace where fees are paid monthly by the seller, the buyer, in this case, pays for the fees on the listed item.
This means sellers aren’t left with a potentially huge bill at the end of each month. It also means that fees are paid there and then, and nothing is left to mount up.
A frequent problem with sellers on eBay and Amazon is that they tend to charge a percentage on each sale, but do not do so until a later date. This means sellers can lose track of what they owe over the course of the month.
This can lead to accounts being closed due to non-payment. When accounts are closed, sellers cannot take any more sales, and cannot, therefore, pay the fees. This is a vicious circle in which nobody makes any money.
Swappa bypasses this system by placing the fee on the buyer’s side, rather like VAT. Once the item is bought, everyone can go home happy. All you need to sell on Swappa, in fact, are the goods to get you started. You can even pick those up on Amazon or eBay and take a mark-up to cover costs.
Alternatively, you can also sell products to buyers within your area. This feature is currently in beta so you may or may not see your city listed in the directory. Local listings allow customers to pick up from a designated place assigned by you, allowing customers to save on shipping fees.
To get started, find the product in the Swappa catalog in relation to the brand. Make sure the item’s condition meets the criteria for sale because it’s against the marketplace policy to sell junk or broken products. Then, create a listing by providing a brief description, photos and price offer.
When the item sells, you will be paid immediately via PayPal so you actually have the funds in hand before shipping or meeting the buyer. Sellers and buyers also have a proper channel to communicate when dealing with trading.
Making Money with the Affiliate Program
The Swappa Affiliate Program was rolled out in 2018 so they have had time to iron out the kinks. You earn by referring customers to the Swappa marketplace through your referral links. When listing items in your own online store such as on Shopify, you can use the links to sell Swappa products as well.
The program comes with a 30 days cookie window, banner ads and real-time pricing widgets. They offer decent payouts per sale made and depending on the price range you promote, the commission can be anywhere between $2.50 to $50 per sale.
To get started, you need to create a blog that is relevant to the products on Swappa. Your targeted audience here would be people who are interested in buying and selling used technology so you are probably looking at college students, gadget flippers or those who have a lower budget to spend on electronics.
Use the builder below to create a WordPress blog if you haven’t got one already.
Now, let’s look at some of the perks of using Swappa as your side gig.
- According to Trustpilot, close to 90% of customers who had used Swappa find the marketplace to be trustworthy and reliable. This is partly due to the good user interface and secured payment system through PayPal.
- The fees fall on the buyer, so selling on Swappa is technically free.
- The commission for the affiliate program makes good, steady cash if your store is profitable.
- Digital technology is an expanding market and trading platforms will also have its value in the near future. As long as the item is in good condition and still functional, it still carries reselling value on Swappa.
- You get to deal directly with the buyers yourself, allowing ample opportunity for feedback.
Since the marketplace deals mostly with used-electronics, some restrictions and limitations should be within your radar.
- Swappa primarily works for US residents only and most sellers do not ship internationally. If you are not from this region, check with your local consignment stores instead.
- It can be hard to find stock and drop shipping doesn’t work quite so well when dealing with second-hand products.
- It’s not a place for tech junk. If you want to cash out from those items, it’s much better to go through sites like Decluttr.
- You cannot deny a refund if the device isn’t as advertised; another reason drop shipping isn’t great on this platform.
- At any given time, there can be tens to hundreds of listings for a given product so your item can be hard to notice among the crowd. Your listing can only gain more exposure if you pay for featured listing at the cost of $5.
- All listings must be verified and reviewed by the company before going live. If the device doesn’t comply with the criteria, you will not be able to sell.
- The market for brand new electronics and tech is generally larger than used-products. As an affiliate, you must understand the spending behavior of the audience in order to successfully promote the marketplace.
Is Swappa Worth Your Time?
Swappa has come a long way since 2010 and is relatively a safe tech marketplace with a people-oriented team. I think it serves as a good outlet for small businesses to sell off excessive-tech/electronics stocks at a cheaper rate and also for regular people who are looking to cash-in from their used items.
Recommending buyers to the marketplace as an affiliate may seem a bit cheap but the opportunity is definitely there as long as you know how to target the right kind of audience. However, if you prefer to leverage from brand new electronics, the Amazon Associate Program may be a better choice with commissions ranging between 1% to 4%.
For more tips on how to make more money as an affiliate marketer, check out my recommended training here.
I hope this Swappa review has given you some insights into the world of selling used gadgets. Let me know if you have any questions or comments below.