Wondering what to do with the clothes in your closet that haven't been worn in a while, still have the tags attached, and maybe no longer fit? POSHMARK is the answer for those who want to resell their clothes AND for those who want to shop. If this is news to you, Poshmark is a phone app (there is also a desktop version) that you join - for free - in order to buy or resell. I'm sharing my experience in hopes that your personal closet decisions will become better, brighter, and easier when you discover the fun, useful, and economical benefit of a digital closet.
This week marks my one year Poshmark anniversary! I have waited to write this article so that I could fully test the reseller system before sharing my experience with the Here We Are readers. After a slow start in building my closet and generating sales, it has become a very pleasant experience, and I've made some money along the way.
I've also become a Poshmark Ambassador, which is a distinction that says my closet is Poshmark compliant, that I've completed a number of statistical requirements, and gotten great ratings from buyers. It is important because (while there are many ambassadors who have done the same) it helps tell shoppers that they can buy with confidence. It says there is an established, positive track record, thus lending the closet recognition among the millions of closets (to date there are approximately 3 million closets on Poshmark).
Once you join, you set up your "closet" with a unique closet name, your photo, and some information about yourself. At this point, you can just shop everyone else's closets and/or you can create individual posts that contain photos (up to 8 pictures per item) with a detailed description of the item for sale. This step is called "listing an item," and each listing builds the inventory of your digital closet. NOTE: Poshmark only allows things that can be worn, including makeup, so electronics, household products, sports memorabilia, etc., are not allowed.
BONUS: When you sign up, if you use my closet name, @LOVELUCI, we both get a $5- credit deposited by Poshmark into our accounts to shop with! Please know that I am not an affiliate of Poshmark, this is an offer that everyone gets when a closet (like mine) invites a new user to join.
If you plan to sell, I can say that you get out of it what you put into it. It isn't hard work, but it will take a bit of your time at first. Fortunately, the more you Posh (yes, that is the term), the simpler your system becomes and you can post a listing, market it, and get a package out the door in no time. Figuring out my own process took a few months, but now it is easy. For aspiring fashionistas, if you ever wanted to run your own boutique, now is your chance to do it right from home with a built-in customer base.
Overall, as a reseller and shopper community, Poshmark offers a supportive group. There are follower games to help build your follower count, themed online parties, sharing of ideas, camaraderie among fellow sellers, and respect for buyers. If you don't want to sell clothing or accessories from your own personal closet, than they offer a long list of wholesale companies from which you can purchase inventory. To date, I've only sold from my own closet, and a few items from family and friends, so I can't elaborate on the wholesale system but I do know people who are doing very well with it. If I add wholesale garments, also know as "Boutique" items, I will update this article with my results.
Over the year, besides improving my photography skills, I have learned to see items in my wardrobe - and my sense of style - more clearly. That is to say, some things belong in someone else's closet, even though it may be pristine. You know what things I'm talking about! We all have them hanging around that we don't want to part with but know we should. Having a Poshmark closet helps prompt me to pull something to sell if it isn't for me or I'm tired of it; I also sell clothing that you've seen me wear in my One By One videos.
You are wondering what all this will cost? Not that much! I did make an initial investment of about $100 for a mannequin and packing supplies like tissue paper, packing tape, and a few small decor items for styling my pictures. You will also pay fees to Poshmark upon each sale. There is NO cost to join or set up a closet, and there are no listing fees no matter how many or few items you list. The rate, as of 10/3/18, is 20% paid on sales totaling over $15, or a flat $2.95 for sales under $15; there is no "per piece" fee, the rate is applied to the total sale, exclusive of shipping costs.
What about the shipping costs? The buyer pays for shipping - unless you choose to offer free or discounted shipping. All shipping is done through the United States Post Office (currently, shipping is available only in the USA). NOTE: While you may think 20% is high, most consignment shops take at least 50% fee, and your stuff gets handled a lot. I've gotten items returned from consignment shops that were not in the fine condition I consigned them in. An online closet gives you control over how your inventory is maintained and cared for.
My return on investment came after the third month of sharing, listing items, getting to know people, gaining followers, and following the suggested tips. It was slow going for me at first, you need to follow and be followed so when you share your items a lot of people see them in the universal feed. You also share other people's closets - this is a Poshmark courtesy - with the bonus that you start to make friends with other closet owners whose closets you share often and visa versa. Eyeballs help make sales; as do good descriptions so when people search within the app they find your item(s).
The key is not to give up. After my first sale, it was steady with some ebbs and flows, just like life! In conferring with other sellers, it seemed to be slow post tax season, but picked up in the summer. The holidays are coming and people are shopping for gifts and themselves. The easy part is that when you need a break, you can put your closet on "vacation hold" for as long or as short a time as needed.
How much can I make? That all depends on your merchandise, and your effort; there are closets that are run as a full-time gig, but I believe the majority are side-hustles. You need inventory to sell, so start looking at your wardrobe and get those items ready to list; more experienced Poshers say, "Don't buy things to sell when you are new until you decide reselling is for you." I agree with this sentiment.
Begin the process and set a reasonable monthly sales goal. This works because it will keep you listing items, sharing, and negotiating offers to create a stream of items in and out, yielding sales. TIP: Don't give it away BUT don't have expectations about what an item should sell for. Be grateful that you can recoup money on items you won't wear again, or never used, and have fun clearing out your closet knowing it will go somewhere it is wanted.
The pricing of your clothes and accessories is important and there are a lot of opinions on this point. I do a bit of research on used pieces, evaluate the condition, and check how other people are pricing similar items. For your items that are "New with tags," the consideration is supply and demand with a generous but sane discount from the retail price. In my closet, the average discount across all items is 70% OFF of the retail pricing (in other math, the item is priced at about 33% of the original cost with varying totals according to brand or designer), with some items selling at a better price than others, but in the end, it all evens out.
So you want to shop on Poshmark? Get ready, you can search and find pretty much whatever brand you are looking for at sometimes very amazing prices. If you don't like a price, you can make an "offer" to the seller and see if you can negotiate a better deal. "Offers" are part of the Poshmark culture. When sending an offer, remember to be realistic, polite, and account for the fees that the seller pays. You can use your sales money, a credit card, or PayPal to pay for items you buy. Since all sales are final, Poshmark offers buyers a protection policy called "Posh Protect." TIP: Ask questions of the seller and pay attention to the listed "condition" before you place an offer.
Thinking of something specific? I bet it's waiting for you in someone's Poshmark closet! Right now, I'm sourcing a new charm for my Pandora bracelet; it's a fun quest for a specific item. In general, you can find everything, in every size, from shoes, dresses, jewelry, makeup, handbags, pants, coats, accessories, to socks, men's clothing, kids wardrobes, and even underwear (new, of course).
While it isn't exhaustive, I hope this primer on Poshmark helps any shoppers and sellers that are on the fence - or stuck in their closets - as to how to clear out and update in a cost-effective and possibly profitable way! Think REPURPOSE, REUSE, RESELL!!!
Let me know if you sign up on Poshmark, I'm happy to follow you and give you more poshing tips. Not sure about something I've written? Want to know more before you join? Leave me a question in the comments below and I'll be happy to help you. ~ LoveLuci
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