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How to Make Money Selling Used Makeup

Is it illegal to sell used makeup? Do you want to start a business and make money selling makeup online? If YES, here are 7 steps on how to sell used makeup.

If you are a beauty buff, there is a high chance that you have accumulated more makeup than you know what to do with. There is always the new cosmetics you wanted to try out but they didn’t quite fit with your skin, or makeup tools never really needed, makeup you no longer wear, or perhaps never even opened.

If you find yourself in this kind of situation, there is yet hope as you can sell your preloved makeup to others and at least earn some cash off them.

Can Used Makeup Products Be Sold?

To start, you should know that you cannot sell your used makeup the same way you can sell unopened makeup. This is because used makeup carries the chance of transferring diseases and infection from the original user to the new user, so much care is taken in the sale of this makeup.

Even eBay has decided to regulate the used makeup market. In their site, they wrote that,

“Used cosmetics present some serious health and safety concerns because the products and applicators used to apply them often come into direct contact with the body. This is why we generally don’t allow the sale of used cosmetics on eBay.”

So you have to do your research before you can start selling your used makeup.

Why Do Women Buy Used Makeup?

High quality designer makeup can come at quite a hefty price. So, it is not a surprise that people will try their best to get a good bargain even if it means going to the extreme of buying makeup that has already been used by someone else. However, is it legal to sell used makeup to others in the united states of America?

If you are someone who is beauty savvy, then you may most likely have a lot of makeup, like old palettes, lipsticks and funky mascaras, which you cherished at a point but had to jettison in order to move over to the next big thing.

If you have a lot of unfinished makeup, then the idea of selling them to others will definitely appeal to you a lot more than just letting them lie dormant in the bottom of your makeup drawer. Well, the truth is that for the most part, selling used makeup is not easy.

Is It Illegal to Sell Used Makeup in USA?

The answer is that it is totally legal to sell your used makeup in USA but there are certain conditions and measures you must adhere to. We will look into these conditions and measures in detail.

How are Used Makeup Sold?

There are two main ways for buying and selling used makeup. The first is through a site that specializes in the beauty black market. Online beauty retailers such as Glambot will grant you the permission to exchange your partially used makeup for money.

According to the terms on their website, for you to sell your used makeup on their website, it has to contain at least 50 percent of the product left, and it has to be in “sellable condition” (what this means is that the package must not be damaged in any way and the makeup itself must not contain contaminants like pet hair or mold).

The second way of selling used makeup is through regular resale sites like Poshmark that have developed a used makeup section within the community of buyers and sellers already trading their used goods.

7 Steps on How to Make Money Selling Used Makeup Online Legally

In the same way that the unbranded makeup market is getting quite some publicity, many people are selling their used makeup online. Outlined below is how you can prepare your used makeup for sale and how you can sell them off both on and offline.

  1. Sort your used makeup

The first step to take when intending to sell your used makeup is to sort your used makeup. You have to go through your stash and throw out expired makeup and those that were used roughly. If the product is up to 80 percent gone, then it has to hit the trash as well. You may also have to get rid of products if their labels are gone.

  1. Clean and sanitize your makeup

Once you have the required makeup sorted out, you now have to clean and sanitize them to make them acceptable to your buyers. This is more especially if you are selling your used makeup products to friends and acquaintances. There are various ways you can sanitize your various makeup to reduce and prevent the spread of disease and infections.

Before selling your used makeup, you have to get them disinfected to prevent spreading infection and germs to others. Here is how you can do it.

  • Start by lightly wiping all palette surfaces with a dry Kleenex, you may need several to avoid mixing colours.
  • Next, dip your makeup brush into a small amount of rubbing alcohol and shake off any excess.
  • Take the brush and lightly sweep it across the top of each colour and powder

On the alternative, you can sanitize your makeup with a spray bottle filled with isopropyl alcohol from the drugstore (do not use ethyl alcohol).

To clean lipstick, you just have to turn your lipstick tube up slightly, and wipe off the top layer of lipstick, just with a tissue. Then, pour a small amount of rubbing alcohol (or vodka) into a glass or shot and dip the exposed lipstick into the alcohol for 30 seconds. To clean mascara, wipe the clumps off your mascara wand with a paper towel.

  • Soak your mascara wand in hot water to loosen dried product.
  • Soak the brush in a cup of isopropyl alcohol to sanitize and remove any remaining mascara.
  • Use a cotton swab to clean the area that threads into the tube.
  1. Choose an online platform that sells used makeup

There are numerous online platforms that sell used makeup legally. They can be found by a simple search online. One of the most popular websites that sell used makeup is Glambot. You can ship your used makeup to them and they will sell and send you the money after sale.

This website has a rigorous method it uses to sanitize and package used makeup before sales. This is the process Glambot goes through while selling used makeup.

  • They check the approved list to make sure the makeup, brushes  and tools, unused skincare or perfume samples sent in are preferred brands.
  • They print out your free shipping label.
  • They make sure the new or pre-owned items contain at least 50 percent of product remaining and aren’t expired.
  • They make sure containers are in sellable condition and makeup tools are clean or new. Glambot doesn’t accept artificial lashes (except new velour lashes), used skincare products, or makeup bags; items with reusable applicators such as mascara, lip gloss, and liquid eyeliner pens; or hair products, body products, nail products, or retail-sized fragrances.

If you’re U.S. based, you are required to send a minimum of 20 items from the approved brands list (international sellers are require to send 30 items).

  1. Take pictures of your makeup

If you are selling your pre-loved makeup by yourself, you have to take pictures of them so you can post them on your social media pages. Try and make the pictures as natural as possible but they should be high quality images so as to attract people to them.

  1. Share the images on your social media pages

You now have to share the images on your social media pages while including a brief description of the makeup product and the price you are selling them for. If you are shipping your products to a reseller, then you may not have to bother with these procedures, as the people would handle them for you.

7 Best Places to Sell your Used Makeup Online and Offline

Here are great places you can make a bundle while selling your used makeup.


You can use this app to sell unwanted high- end beauty items. The seller and PayPal fees, plus postage and packaging costs, means it is more worthwhile listing top brands such as NARS, Mac and Estee Lauder rather than drug store brands. This does not mean that you cannot sell drugstore brands here though.

2. Glambot

One of Glambot’s taglines is “trade makeup for cash,” and they are not kidding. The skincare and cosmetics online shopping site allows you to sell your new and pre-owned makeup and skincare items that are, of course, not expired with at least 50% of product remaining.

Products must also be free of contaminants, like dirt, mold, pet hair, smoke, etc., and lip gloss, nail polishes, and fragrances are not accepted.

Also, Glambot only wants your high-end makeup. They don’t want drug store brands, like Revlon, Rimmel, or CoverGirl allowed. Brands like Givenchy, Urban Decay, Kat Von D, and Lime Crime, however, are just a few of the many chic makeup lines Glambot is happy to accept.


Better for more unusual stuff. You can sell that waxing kit that may not sell anywhere else here. Fake tan and other such beauty products can be sold here too, though you have to note that eBay does not accept the sale of used makeup.

4. Car boot

Selling unwanted stuff at a car boot is always an option. But you have to note that buyers are reluctant to pay more than 50p for anything.

5. Friends and Family

Hosting little parties is a great way to sell your unwanted makeup. But be prepared to lower your prices because the buyers are your loved ones, after all.

6. Social Media

Pitch your unused beauty and make-up products for sale to a wider circle of friends on sites like Facebook. When using Instagram, make sure you add hashtags of the brand and product so your item surfaces in users’ feeds.

Ebay Policy on Selling Used Makeup on their Platform

Ebay does not allow used makeup to be sold on its platform. Makeup and applicators come in direct contact with the body, and so they try to prevent spread of germs from place to place.

“Used cosmetics present some serious health and safety concerns because the products and applicators used to apply them often come into direct contact with the body,” the company’s policy states. However, ebay allows the sale of opened makeup as long as it has not be used, and the cosmetic brushes that you’ve cleaned thoroughly.

In conclusion, even though buying used makeup can seem like an ingenious way of getting your hands on those very costly makeup if you are on a budget, you should however bear in mind that it is not without its concerns- the major one being that it is unsanitary.

Like it was stated above, eBay actually bans the black market beauty practice because the risk is just too high. According to its website, Glambot cleans the used makeup received from sellers using a “proprietary five-step authentication and sanitization process,” however, breaking the seal of a product yourself, will make you feel better assured of the sanitary condition of the product.