Grailed has recently faced some backlash from users after raising their fee / commission to 9%. We’re going to breakdown whether that fee is reasonable, or whether you’re better off selling on Ebay or StockX.
Let’s start with the obvious, that 9% fee. It was raised on August 12th, 2020 from 6%. In an attempt to explain the increase, Grailed stated that they have been spending a lot of money on authenticating items, and that they will be investing further in improving the site for sellers. We’ll discuss authentication in detail below, and we don’t have any new major seller features yet. So how does this 9% fee stack up?
Ebay is the most obvious competitor to compare against. Ebay has been charging a 10% fee for quite a while, and Paypal charges 2.9% + 30 cents per transaction = 12.9% + 30 cents. With their new Managed Payments format, that number will now be 12.35% + 30 cents. Grailed’s 9% + 2.9% and 30 cent Paypal fee equates to 11.9% + 30 cents. That’s less than half a percent difference, in favor of Grailed. But here’s the kicker; Ebay offers discounted shipping labels. Depending on your method of shipping, USPS labels will usually cost you about 15-40% less than what you’ll be paying if you purchase a label through Paypal. This means it is most likely that your fees will be higher when selling on Grailed than on Ebay once you account for shipping.
But we’re not finished. At the end of 2019 Ebay eliminated final value fees for items sold for over $100 in the Athletic Shoes category; Yes, that means 0% fee for sneakers that you sell for over $100! This is a huge advantage for Ebay over Grailed. Even if you went an easier route with StockX, they charge 9.5% (or less) and you don’t even have to pay to ship your shoes, they provide a label, which means they are definitely cheaper than the Grailed fee as well. Plus, StockX physically authenticates every pair of shoes that gets sold on the platform. Do you know who does not physically authenticate ANY items?
That’s right, Grailed. The first thing you should know is that Grailed does not personally inspect any items. This means that a seller could easily use photos of a legit item but ship you a fake. This can happen on any platform, of course, but Grailed is the only one with the lack of integrity to claim an item has been authenticated without ever actually seeing it. StockX will catch most fake items, while Ebay will not, but nor will they ever claim to be able to verify an item as authentic.
And we’re still not done. Grailed’s “authentication” process is a combination of human and machine moderation. They do not make it clear what percentage of items are reviewed by humans, or how they determine which items to tag “Digitally Authenticated,” but they do claim every item is reviewed. We have come across some oddities which are cause for concern.
Here is a listing we came across when it was first listed. This was a listing from a user with no feedback, selling an expensive sweater from The Elder Statesman, and only using stock photos from the brand’s own website. The Grailed authentication page details what is considers a “high-risk” item and this certainly meets the criteria. How it was possibly authenticated is beyond comprehension. The seller has subsequently added some real photos, but the listing was posted and remained authenticated for two weeks while it only had the stock photos.
Here is one of many Travis Scott burgers from McDonalds we saw posted when it was first released. I wonder how these made it through the filter if every item is reviewed?
Is the Grailed Authentication process good? No. Is it better than nothing? Maybe. Is it a complete waste of time and resources for them? Absolutely. At the end of the day, it’s a worthless service, and the time and money would be better spent elsewhere. It’s terribly misleading to potential buyers and a real shame if the cost of this service contributed to them deciding to increase their fee. It’s even worse considering that they certainly must know that this service doesn’t provide any real value and is probably only being provided as a marketing tool and a way for them to justify charging sellers more money.
So it is still worth using Grailed? While Ebay has its own flaws, Grailed no longer offers any real advantage to sellers since raising the Grailed fee. Ebay also still has a much bigger user base. It’s up to you to determine whether to continue selling at one or both sites, but we have made made our argument and we rest our case.