How to Sell on The Whatnot App

Marketplace Strategies
How to Sell on The Whatnot App

The Whatnot App is an online marketplace specializing in live auctions selling collectibles, toys, and many other categories.


Think of Whatnot as the modern-day QVC, except you bid and buy through the Whatnot app instead of calling a 1-800 number. 


With its user-friendly interface and built-in tools, the Whatnot App makes it easy for sellers to list and sell their items.


Key Takeaways

  • Have a wide variety of selections to keep the viewers engaged
  • Setting up for a Whatnot live stream is fairly simple and straightforward
  • Follow the advanced tips to grow your following on the app


whatnot app

(Image source: Small Business Labs)


You Have to Get Approved As A Seller

Unlike other reselling platforms, on Whatnot, you must go through an approval process to sell items rather than immediately listing them upon sign-up. Here are the steps to apply to be a seller on Whatnot:


  1. Download the Whatnot app and create an account

  2. Apply to become a seller


Seller Application Walkthrough

The seller application process on Whatnot involves the following steps:


1. Preparation: Before beginning the application, sellers should have the following items readily available:
  • Government-issued ID 
  • Payment Method
  • Social media and/or selling profile links
  • 1-3 photos of the inventory to be sold 


2. Agree to the Rules: The application process starts with agreeing to the rules and uploading a payment method. Sellers are required to enter their full name that matches their government-issued ID for the application. 


whatnot app

(Image source: Whatnot)


It’s also mentioned that sellers cannot use APO addresses.


3. Accept Terms of Service and Provide Phone Number: Sellers need to accept the Terms of Service and provide their phone number, which should be associated with their Whatnot account. Additionally, sellers must be at least 18 years of age to sell on Whatnot.


4. Social Media Engagement and Selling History: Sellers are required to select their biggest social media account and provide a direct link to their social media profile. They are also asked to select the platform where they have made the most sales and have the most feedback. If sellers have an established selling history on Whatnot or a third-party platform with overwhelmingly positive feedback, it can strengthen their application.


5. Return Address and Category Selection: Sellers need to select the category they are most interested in selling in and ensure that their inventory photos reflect products within the selected category. It’s emphasized that the inventory photos should match the selected category to avoid application denial.


Once the application is submitted, the Whatnot team reviews it and makes a decision within two weeks.


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Additional Information

  • The application to sell on Whatnot takes an average of 10-12 minutes to complete.
  • There is no set amount of inventory required for approval, but applicants are expected to display enough inventory to go live consistently.
  • Social media accounts with relevance to the category sellers plan to sell in or a large social media following without category relevance are preferred, but there is no set amount of required followers.

Your First Show on The Whatnot App

whatnot app live selling auction

(Image source: Pexels)


Once you’ve been approved as a seller, I highly recommend actually doing some preparing instead of just hopping on a live show and winging it. 


Here are the step-by-step instructions on setting up, hosting, and managing a Whatnot show.


Choosing Inventory for the Show

When running a Whatnot show, one of the first crucial steps is selecting the featured inventory. People on Whatnot can get bored really easily, so it’s important to have a wide variety of brand selections to keep the viewers engaged.


For instance, if you are a women’s clothing reseller, you can offer a diverse selection of brands, such as Lily Pulitzer, Lululemon, Lacoste, and others.

This approach allows for flexibility, as viewers can request specific items, thus catering to their preferences.



  • Sort your inventory by size and style
  • Hang your inventory so you can easily grab it
  • Keep note of how much each item weighs
  • Have combined shipping turned on, to encourage buyers to bundle multiple items


At Whatnot, they offer a flat rate Priority Mail shipping of $8.35 for up to five (5) pounds. 


You might also be interested in Best Items to Flip in 2024 Using Vendoo


Setting Up the Show

To set up a Whatnot show, the first step is to navigate to the Whatnot profile page and schedule a livestream. 


Here’s a quick YouTube tutorial on how to schedule a live stream: click here to watch



Crafting a captivating show title might seem like a daunting task, but it's crucial to the success of your Whatnot live show. 


A well-crafted title can entice potential buyers to tune in and join your livestream, leading to increased sales and a wider audience.



  • If you are planning to do a giveaway, make sure to list that on your title first 
  • The starting bid of your auction
  • The condition of the items
  • Brand names of items


A title example would be: “$100 in giveaways. $1 pre-loved Lululemon, Free People, and Victoria's Secret”


Please make sure that you add a thumbnail and select the appropriate category and tags.




Creating Auctions and Adding Giveaways

Following the show setup, the next step is creating auctions for the items to be featured. 


Unlike traditional reselling platforms where the more photos of the item the better, it is the complete opposite in Whatnot. This is because you can show more of the item during your livestream.


Therefore, I recommend focusing on these only:


  • A good cover photo of the item
  • A descriptive title
  • Include measurements for clothing
  • An estimated weight of the item


Adding giveaways to your auction is the same step as above. 


To increase your Whatnot channel followers, make your giveaway exclusive to followers only.


Also, to encourage buyers to purchase more during your livestream, select the ‘buyer appreciation’ option.


Setting Up the Streaming Space

To ensure a smooth livestream, it's best to organize your setup beforehand to avoid fumbling around for the next item to show or frantically looking for your phone charger.


Here are some recommendations:


  • Make sure your phone is plugged into a power source
  • Your phone is on a tripod 
  • Have ample lighting; use a ring light
  • Do a livestream standing up (so it’s quicker to grab the item) with a table in front of you
  • Have a sticky note/pen or a way to label an item once it’s sold
  • Stay hydrated!


Make sure to create a playlist if you plan to have background music.


During The Livestream

Whatnot app live stream

(Image source: Pexels)


When you're all set to showcase an item, just pick it from your inventory and hit 'pin'. This will pop the item's title up on the screen for your viewers. 


You have the option to select the length of time of the auction. It is highly recommended by successful Whatnot sellers to choose between 15 and 20 seconds. 


If a bid is placed in the last 10 seconds of the auction, extra time is added to the clock. This gives other bidders a chance to react and place higher bids, potentially leading to a more engaging and competitive bidding environment.


What happens after your first live show on the Whatnot App?

Whoohoo, congratulations on your first livestream! Now it’s time to ship your sales ASAP! It is best practice to ship the next day so you can start building loyal buyers.


Shipping Procedures and Post-Show Organization

shipping on whatnot app

(Image source: Pexels)


Whatnot makes shipping your items very easy. Just note, that you can only do this on a desktop or laptop.


Head over to your dashboard, click on the "shipping" tab, and pick the show you need to generate shipping labels for. 


You have the option to either generate one shipping label for every single item. Or generate all shipping labels (including the packing slips). 


If you have a giveaway, the shipping will always be zero, and if you have combined shipping, it’ll just charge the customer up to what you have allocated. 


After you drop off the packages at the Post Office, make sure to go back to your Whatnot dashboard and hit “bulk confirm USPS drop off.”

Tips to Growing Your Whatnot Account

These invaluable insights have been carefully curated to help you achieve success in the Whatnot platform:


  • Try to establish a rapport with the individuals you are chatting with. Show your human side and be friendly.
  • Find other streamers (sellers) that allow you to promote yourself in their livestream chat
  • When scheduling a show, upload a video thumbnail (instead of a photo) because this allows your Instagram followers the ability to share your post. 
  • Livestream on your YouTube channel, Instagram or Facebook (obviously, on another device) when you are livestreaming on Whatnot. Make sure to pin the link of your Whatnot livestream in the comment or description.


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I hope this blog is helpful, and if you are planning your first Whatnot live show, feel free to tag us on Instagram!

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