Etsy, Poshmark and More Dominate Consumer-to-Consumer E-Commerce Sites

// March 7, 2019
Reading Time: 3 minutes

A few years ago, a discussion on the topic of consumer-to-consumer e-commerce platforms would have been solely focused on websites like eBay, Amazon or Craigslist. These were the only websites people knew to access to sell old valuables or buy hand-crafted items from other consumers.

Today, the possibilities are endless with more companies launching websites and apps to tap into this market. Here are a few examples:

  • ArtFire
  • ArtYah
  • Depop
  • Etsy
  • Facebook Marketplace
  • Letgo
  • Mercari
  • OfferUp
  • Poshmark
  • Shopify
  • ThredUP
  • Tradesy
  • Uncommon Goods
  • Zazzle

With all of these websites and apps in the marketplace today, a unique buying and selling experience puts an emphasis on social media and being mobile friendly. All a consumer has to do is open up their “Etsy” app on their iPhone, and they can browse over 50 million products, including crafts, home décor items, jewelry and more (DMR). Or, a consumer can visit the “Poshmark” website, which is “the leading fashion destination where people come together to buy and sell clothing and accessories from each other” to make a quick purchase.

Not only is it easier to browse millions of products with the click of a button, but it is just as easy to start your own “business” by utilizing these platforms to sell products. Today, just about anyone can create their own home based business with the tap of their finger. Within minutes, you can create a “Letgo” profile, for example, and start selling items to other consumers.

Many consumers see sites like Etsy, OfferUp or Mercari as simple and easy ways to sell some items in their spare time for some extra cash. However, what they do not realize is that the risks involved in those transactions can be significant, regardless of the fact that they might only be selling on these sites in their spare time. Whether individuals are creating new items like holiday wreaths or costume jewelry to sell on Etsy or simply re-selling old trendy clothes that are wasting space in a closet, as soon as the person receives payment in exchange for their items, it’s considered a home based business. And there are significant risks to running any business.

As insurance professionals, we should be asking insureds if they partake in any “hobbies” that earn income, and we need to educate them on the risks if they do. One solution for these individuals can be providing them coverage under USLI’s Home Based Business product.

USLI’s Home Based Business product can cover individuals selling jewelry, clothing, accessories, embroidered items, home décor, gift baskets, personal care products, cosmetics and more via these consumer-to-consumer sites. The Home Based Business product provides up to $1 million in liability coverage, up to $100,000 in business personal property coverage, loss of business income and more.

Contact your Personal Lines Underwriter today for more information on this product, marketing materials or for a quote today!


As always, thank you for your support and business.

Product not available in AK, HI, WV and LA.

Contact Matt McShane,
Home Based Business Product Team Leader | 888-523-5545 Ext. 2142

Written by Lisa Spitko
March 7, 2019