Lessons I’ve Learned on Poshmark

There are numerous reselling platforms, but this article is specifically about Poshmark, the online reselling website and phone app. I’ve mentioned before how I came to be a Poshmark seller: essentially, I needed to pay off some retail therapy. Whatever your motivation, here are some lessons I learned during my first few months using the platform to sell (mostly) gently used clothing. I hope this information helps you start a smoother Poshmark journey.

Don’t Run Out and Buy A Bunch of Clothes From the Thrift Store

So, this is how I got into this situation, right? I spent too much money shopping. While those thrift haul videos on You Tube are intriguing to watch––I’m obsessed, actually––don’t hurry to your local thrift store to do your own haul until you’ve assessed the situation at home.

What do you already have? List that. Not only is your cost of goods zero (if we forget how much we paid retail for the item), but clearing out your closet is therapeutic.

Poshmark has a men’s and children’s market, as well as a home market. In fact, they’re coming out with new markets every day it seems. It’s all fair game! Don’t let things hang around that might go to a better home and help put gas in your car next month.

Love it or list it? That is the question.

If you don’t think your items are trendy enough or are not name brand, it is okay. List anyway. You didn’t spend money to source them. You are adding items to your closet and getting practice at using the Poshmark platform. Anyway, you will be surprised what people buy and what they don’t buy. A lot of people purchase mall brands, such as J. Crew, Lucky Brand or Chicos, because it’s what they like to wear. I’ve even discovered that certain Old Navy items sell well (in my experience, their Pixie Pants). It’s true that these types of brands don’t sell for much, but sell quickly because of brand name recognition. So, go ahead and gather up what you can and get listing.

List Daily

I recommend listing a few items each day, instead of listing all of them at once. It will keep your closet active in the feeds. If all you can manage is listing one item a day, that’s fine. It can get overwhelming in the beginning, until you develop a system that works for you. I hear of sellers listing a hundred items a day and I look at how long it takes me to list five items, which is my goal, and I am floored (and in no way envious). Just do what feels comfortable to you.

Once you get all of your own items listed, then venture out to see what you can source from your local thrift stores. Ideally, you will use the money you earned selling your own clothing to fund this little adventure.

Brands Matter

My first few hauls, I grabbed several brands I recognized, several I didn’t recognize, thinking about what other people might like. Therein was my mistake. A few months later a lot of those items were re-donated, because they never sold.

To avoid making the same mistake, my suggestion, then, is to identify brands you want to find and take that list with you. If you’re like me and don’t pay attention too much to what is trending, then you will have to do a little research. Watching hauls and What Sold videos on You Tube from successful Poshmark sellers can net a tremendous amount of knowledge about brands that sell well. Take note.

There is talk of curating your closet to fit a particular style of customer. While I think that is an excellent idea, in the beginning focus on identifying brands that sell and then curate later. A simple place to start is to see what brands are allowed in the online parties Poshmark has throughout the day. A small number of brands can be shared in specifically themed parties.

While some of these “posh parties” allow all brands that fit inside a specified theme, others are brand specific. Usually there are about twenty-five brands cited in the guidelines of that particular party. Write those brands down and take that list with you to the thrift store.

Be strong! Until you learn to recognize labels, or identify trends, only buy brands on your list. It might mean you walk out with five items or even walk out with nothing. That’s okay. That is better than spending money on items that will probably sit in your closet for months or, worse, forever.

Of course, if you happen to come across an Alexander McQueen crepe cocktail dress in perfect condition, grab it! Always pick up a luxury brand if you recognize it and there is no damage.

Then bring your items home, give them another close examination, wash, steam, iron or whatever you do, and start photographing.

Take Clear, Bright Photos

People want to be confident in what they are buying. They already know the item is used, so make sure your photos are clear and bright. Take as many photos as you need. Poshmark allows up to eight photos and I try to use them all. Get a full front and back image at the very least.

I like to photograph the tags and close ups of any interesting design details that might help sell the item. It is also equally important, if not more so, to photo any damage to the item, no matter how slight. This includes stains, pilling, pulled threads, any rubbed edges or signs of wear. Photograph these as best you can and mention them in the description of the item.

Price Items to Sell

Don’t worry. It took me about a month to make my first sale and I’m sure this number varies with every individual. Even after that first sale, I went two more weeks without a sale. It takes time. Don’t give up.

Given the nature of the platform, you will generally want to keep your items priced reasonably low, but this is especially important in the beginning when you are competing with veteran resellers who have spent a few years earning their followers. You need sales and reviews if you want your closet to stand out.

So, with that in mind, when pricing an item take in to consideration the following questions:

What did the item retail for?

Customers who purchase on Poshmark are going to the application to find designer clothes for much much less than in a retail store. Be reasonable. If you don’t know the retail price, a quick online search will usually come up with a similar item in that brand and you can estimate the retail value.

Here is a general formula I use as a guide:

  • Retails for less than $50, list for $15-25
  • Retails for $50-100, list for $25-35
  • Retails for $100-200, list for $35-65

This is not a set in stone formula. Something that retails low, but is trending, might list on the higher end; something that retails high, but is out of date, may not even brush the lower end of that scale. It really depends on supply and demand.

What condition is the item in?

Obviously, something that has flaws will need to be priced lower than something with no flaws, or is in like new condition. If I see a flaw in the store, I almost always pass. I don’t have time to mend clothes or work out stains. If I see a flaw when I get home, I swear a lot and then determine if I can fix it quickly. If not, it goes in my reject pile.

Is the item already listed on Poshmark?

Search Poshmark for your item. More important, in my opinion, then the retail price is what similar items are being listed and sold for on Poshmark. This is called comps (comparable prices). You might be surprised to find––like I was––that your vintage 501 Levi High-rise jeans are selling for $75.

If there are already several items listed, you will want to price competitively, on or around the same price point, even if the item retails for much more. The fact is a buyer will buy it as low as they can get it. If the next closet has it listed much cheaper, they are going to buy or send an offer to that person first. I would and you probably would too. This is also why taking good photographs and being descriptive is important. Get all the advantage you can.

When pricing also consider these points:

  • Buyers will often make a lower offer. You can counter if you wish, but my suggestion is to accept all offers unless you have a hot item and know for certain, for certain, you will get a better offer. I still lose sleep over countering the $70 offer on a Stella McCartney dress I paid $8.99 for because I thought I could get it for over a $100. I still have not sold that dress.)
  • You will use the “Offers to Likers” feature. This is also known as a private sale and reengages interested buyers who have viewed and liked your item in the past.
  • You will drop the price. This is also known as a public sale. You will probably do this at least once, even if you put it back to its original price the next day. Who doesn’t love a sale? This is a good way to bring back previous Poshmark customers who have liked an item and who might have been on the fence about buying or might have forgotten about the item.
  • Some customers will bundle multiple items. When this happens, Poshmark has a useful feature where you can offer a discount on multiple items when they bundle.

If your item is priced too low you can not make use of these selling tools without basically giving the item away. Remember that Poshmark takes 20% commission on all items over $15 and a flat $2.50 fee on items less than $15.

Here is an example of how you might price an item if you want to earn $10 above your cost of goods:

$4.99 (cost of goods) + $10 (the minimum profit I want to make) = $14.99

$14.99 + $2.99 (20% Poshmark Fee) = $17.99

Now, consider that you may want to give a 10% discount using Offer to Likers: $17.99 + $1.79 (10%) + $1.80 (minimum shipping discount) = $21.58

Poshmark only lets you do whole numbers, so round that to a nice $22 or, for even more wiggle room, $24.

Ideally, someone accepts your Offer to Likers or sends you an offer for $18 or more. Many times you may find yourself letting items go for less. Sometimes, you’ll get a buyer willing to pay the listed price. It is a bit of a juggling game.

It will take some time for you to get your thumb on the Poshmark pulse, but eventually you will learn what brands sell quickly and what is the best price point to draw your customer in.

Be Descriptive

If you are utilizing Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and keywords, you will be delighted to see your items pop up as one of the first few images in search engines. Be specific in your titles and in your descriptions and use trending words or phrases, if they fit.

Honestly, you can’t list too much information. It may sometimes sound like a mouthful, but it does help search engines find your item, as well as within Poshmark’s own search feature.

Lastly, list measurements. People will ask for them, so do all of that while you have the item out the first time. You will waste time dragging it out again to list and may lose the sale because of it.

Share Often

Remember when you became a Poshmark member and were asked to select a few brands you like and to follow those brands? You can follow up to fifty brands. When I share my Banana Republic item, it will appear at the top of Banana Republic’s feeds as a newly listed item. For how long, I don’t know. Probably not long, as I imagine a hundred thousand other people are also sharing their Banana Republic items. Nah, its not that bad, but it will only stay near the top for a few minutes at most.

No matter how many followers you have (500 or 50,000), when you share an item it appears refreshed in that brand’s feed, so it shows up in feeds of people who are following that brand. They don’t have to be your follower, so it is okay if you only have a hundred followers. If you are listing top brands, then your items are still being seen by thousands of people.

Take Advantage of Poshmark Parties

Likely, there are more people using the site during these times (at least that is what the Poshmark blog claims). Share to the parties if you can, but don’t worry if you can’t share during that time. Do what you can.

I try to share at least three times a day: early in the morning, mid afternoon, and before I go to bed at the 10 PM EST party. At a minimum, if you want to stay active in the feeds, share once a day.

Don’t Keep Dropping the Price

If an item is not selling, don’t panic. Take a closer look at it. Are the pictures good? Is the description good? Is it priced too high or too low? Is it worth your time to keep sharing it? Sometimes, patience is required to find the right buyer.

So, while occasionally dropping prices is necessary, don’t keep dropping the price each week. You put time into finding, cleaning, photographing and listing that item, so don’t give it away unless you are tired of seeing and sharing it in your closet. Eventually, someone will see the item and like it and buy it, maybe for a lower offer, maybe not. I’ve had plenty of items that sat for weeks with no attention until, finally, someone bought it outright without even making an offer or accepting an “Offer to Likers”.

In the beginning, I dropped my price, then dropped it some more as anxiety grew. There is no need for that. I wish I hadn’t lowered the price of some of my items so much, sometimes taking a loss even, while others I was happy to just make my money back.

Accept the First Offer

In the beginning, it is important to get your sales numbers up and get reviews. Don’t lose a sale over a few dollars. This is another reason I recommend padding the price when you list. Most of my sales are from offers, either Offers to Likers or a customer sending me an offer.

Let’s say I listed my shirt at $24. Someone sends me an offer for $20. That is a no brainer. Accept it. I am in my margin of profit and they are sending an offer that negates shipping costs, for the most part. That will happen a lot.

Now, my goal is to sell the shirt for $18 or more and I get my first offer for $15. Accept it. There is no point––I repeat, no point––in losing a sale for a few dollars. At the very least, you get your cost of goods back and maybe make a few dollars. Maybe you won’t pick up that item, style or brand again. This industry is so fluid. What was in last week is out this week. It’s all part of learning the industry, the customers and the tools you have at hand.

What if my first offer is $10 on the shirt I listed for $24? There are buyers who send in low offers, expecting you to counter somewhere in the middle, however, I have found that most of them walk away from my counter offer. Your response depends on how bad you want to let the shirt go. If I’ve had the item for more than a couple of weeks, I generally accept the offer. It also depends on what the item is, so here you have to use your gut. If you feel like someone, somewhere, is going to want that shirt, counter with your lowest possible offer. They might accept it. They might not.

Let’s say they offer $5 for your $24 shirt. I don’t have time for those people. First, that’s just rude. If they know anything about Poshmark, they know you would only get $2.50 for that sale. I counter with my lowest (if we’re using the aforementioned example, my lowest is apparently $10 that I’m willing to sell the shirt for). If they counter $6, I counter again with $10. I have had that type of person counter with $6 again or $7 and this is the only instance where I decline an offer. I don’t have time for that game.

You Made a Sale!

Poshmark allows three days to ship your products. Get the package shipped as soon as possible. Your stats will reflect your average shipping time and customers want their items ASAP. Plus, the sooner they get their item, the sooner you get paid.

Take Pride in Your Products

I feel like I shouldn’t have to say this, but don’t throw a wrinkled shirt into a crumbled box and send it off to your buyer. Fold and wrap your items nicely. It doesn’t have to look cutesy or fancy and there is no need to write a letter (unless you want to). Use tissue paper or the back of old Christmas wrap (Actually that is a great idea. I’m going to look in my attic as soon as I post this).

Include a thank you card or sticker or even simply write the words “Thank You” on the wrapping paper. There are numerous ways to be thoughtful without breaking the bank.

Poshmark uses USPS Priority mailing and guess what? They will send Priority Mailing boxes to your house for FREE if you order online at the USPS website. I also reuse Amazon boxes.

It’s Work

As any online reseller will tell you, if you want to make money reselling, you have to put in the work. Whether that is a few hours a week or eighty hours a week, you will get back what you put into it. Take pride in your items and others will see their value as well. You took time to source, present, photograph, and list the item so that someone else could browse from their phone and find exactly what they wanted at a deep discount. And, that is added value.

Becoming an Online Reseller – How I Started Selling Used Clothing on Poshmark

How does one begin a career reselling online? Furthermore, how does one choose what to resell? Call it flipping, call it a side hustle, call it a part-time or, in many cases, a full-time job; online reselling is a thriving industry.

Can I make money selling online?

Just like any other retail job, it requires determining what you have that other people want (or acquiring it at low cost) and are willing to pay for. There is someone out there who wants your broken costume jewelry. There is someone out there who wants your old high school band T-shirts, provided they are in good condition. (But if they aren’t in good condition, distress them more. Someone will buy that, too, because that’s their thing.)

Many people list and sell items simply because they have it laying around the house, they don’t want to donate it because they might like to make a few dollars off of it. Sometimes it sells. Sometimes it doesn’t. But, many people also create a business of reselling online, which requires more effort and going out to source additional items to sell.

This is not an article about how to become an online reseller.

This is an article about how I became an online reseller. More specifically, how I became a reseller on Poshmark, selling used clothing from my own closet or that I sourced from retailers like Goodwill Industries. My story could be similar to yours!

I used to walk into a thrift store and be overwhelmed.

There is so much to go through. I had no idea where to start or what I was looking for. I scanned the furniture, the household goods, and the accessories, but generally avoided the clothing racks as there was just too much. I had no desire or reason to search them.

Friends had found unique and sometimes high-end items thrifting. Of course, I came across many things myself over the years, but the idea of buying used clothes seemed––and I hate to admit this now––distasteful. There is a stigma surrounding the purchase of used clothes, which I had to get over. Not only were many of the clothes dusty, even moldy, unwashed, worn out and damaged, but my childhood was filled with second-hand clothing. We could not afford anything else. I spent a long time trying to get where I am now, so why would I get my clothing second hand anymore?

Most of us now see the consequences of a throw-away society.

Many people now see the value in not only paying less, but in keeping these items out of landfills. And, honestly, there are some great things to find while thrifting. Sure, there is a lot worn, old, and damaged items, but there is also a descent amount of never been worn, just last season pieces or awesome luxury vintage items.

People get rid of their possessions for a multitude of reasons: decluttering, downsizing, death in the family, change in lifestyle, body weight, just don’t like it anymore, etc. I have moved at least ten times in the past twenty years and each time I took truck loads of perfectly good things to the thrift store, or had them picked up by other charities, because I didn’t want it anymore and did not know what else to do with them.

I know people who never pay full price for anything.

I’ve known diehard thrifters my whole life. These people get up at three am for Black Friday and camp out in front of outlet stores. They coupon and scour sales ads. They get up at the crack of dawn on a muggy Saturday in July in order to be the first set of eyes at a garage sale.

I never understood those people until now. I never thought I’d be one of them, but here I am, and happy to be so!

Garage Sale Haul: I scored these three Coach bags, plus another Beijo mini backpack for $35!

It truly is a treasure hunt and if you are a treasure hunter at heart, thrifting is satisfying in more ways than I can mention. It also feels good to know I’m being frugal, doing something good for the environment and paying it forward.

Thrifting requires both time and patience.

When we moved to coastal North Carolina last year, I was unemployed for the first time in my adult life. Our furniture from our previous home did not fit in the new home and I set out to redecorate on a budget. While there aren’t a lot of retail options where I live, there are, to my delight, a lot of thrift stores. I took notes of things I wanted for the house and dropped by the thrift stores whenever I could.

When I had time, I looked through clothing and shoes. Some of the things I came across amazed me: Chanel boots, AG Jeans, Diane Von Furstenberg, Betsy Johnson and Ted Baker London blouses … It occurred to me that if I spent enough time searching I could replace my wardrobe by thrifting. Perhaps then my husband would not frown at my favorite department store credit card bill, which had slowly crept up. When you don’t live near a mall or outlets, online shopping starts to look pretty good, just saying.

I also checked out online used clothing websites. That’s how I came across the website, Poshmark, about this time last year, looking for a deal on purses. I downloaded the app to my phone, browsed a little, found some cute items and then forgot about it for about six months. At which time, I found myself facing the consequences of a little too much retail therapy.

If I wanted to continue this fashionista lifestyle, I would need to get a part time job. It would have to be remote, something I could do when the kids were in school, something I could do on my own time. I searched, but found nothing.

That’s when I remembered Poshmark.

I could sell items from my own closet and help fund my shopping. No, I would not get all of my money back from my original purchase, but I might get some money from clothes that were literally just hanging around.

I had lost a lot of weight within the past year. I now had a closet filled with clothing I could not fit into, some of which had not been purchased too long before the weight loss, some of which was new with tags or never worn. I could not even wear some of the older clothing from my “skinny” days as I had surpassed that in my weight loss journey. All of my business attire I could no longer fit in, but also no longer needed. I had no reason to hold on to any of it. It was time to let it go. I decided to list the items on Poshmark and see what happened. I was not familiar with Poshmark, but the app was easy to use from my phone. I photographed and listed the items. Then waited.

My first sale happened about two weeks after listing.

It was an Ann Taylor blouse and I sold it for $20. I can’t remember what I had initially listed it for, but this was certainly one of the more expensive listings I had up. I had worn it maybe once or twice and a quick search on similar items in this brand (which I now know of as comps) helped determine my listing price. Looking back, I’m surprised I sold this blouse at this price! Ann Taylor has not been a good seller for me, this shirt being an exception. After Poshmark took their 20% commission, I earned about $16. That first sale was enough to light a little fire under me and I ransacked my closet again in order to find more things to list.

Shortly, thereafter I sold another item. And then another, averaging about 1-2 items per week. There was a week here and there where nothing moved and sometimes I sold items and earned only a few dollars from the sale. I realized this was no way to pay my credit card bill and I needed to get more motivated.

I ran out of things to list from my own closet.

I eyed some of my newer purchases, brands that were trending and would sell for more; items I paid a significant amount for new. This would mean possibly selling things on Poshmark I had not yet paid off on my credit card. Not good. I wasn’t that desperate, yet. (You may note, if you browse my Poshmark closet, that I sold that Chloé bag from my first blog post).

Instead of selling off everything I owned, I determined to research others who sold on Poshmark. What a found surprised me. The reselling community was supportive and willing to share their knowledge. I gathered tips for getting more sales, specifically on Poshmark, and sourcing better products. During this process I made another discovery.

Some people resold full time on Poshmark and other apps and made a good living doing so!

This profound realization gave me pause and, dare I say, hope? I loved thrifting now that I’d gotten a taste for it and if I could turn thrifted items into a profit by turning around and selling them online––aka flipping––, why not? Why the heck not?

I headed to local thrift stores with a list of brands to look for and trending items dancing through my head. I was on a mission.

My husband was doubtful and, honestly, so was I.

I tried to hide the bags of thrifted clothing I brought home. When he saw them, he would ask, “Can you wear that? Can you wear all of that?”

I assured him this new venture would work. I just needed to give it time. There I was, trying to sound confident and feeling so not confident. Could I really do this? Were there already too many resellers out there? Was there room for me or had I shown up too late for the party?

There is room for you.

We all have a personal style. We all have a personality unique to us. One thing I have learned in this journey is that there is always room for more. There is always room for another unique voice. Every one’s story is different, as is everyone’s journey.

I am grateful to the reselling community, which is full of knowledgable people who want to share their experience so that someone like me, or you, can step into a personal business and earn money. Thanks to women like Empty Hanger and Honey Rags, who posted their tips and lessons learned online through Instagram or You Tube, I learned a great deal right out the gate. Over time and with trial and error, I figured out what worked for me, as what works for one person doesn’t always work for the next. (Hence the reason I can not sell Cabi.)

I highly recommend subscribing to Honey Rags and Empty Hanger. I’ve linked their You Tube channels above. Or, follow them on Instagram. I learned so much that has helped in this journey just from them. A couple of others that I considered helpful are McThriftzie and The Deal Queen. This is not a plug for them and I’m not getting paid to write this; I really learned a lot from these ladies.

Even with watching videos of hauls from reseller phenoms, I still made a lot of rookie mistakes.

My first photographs are easy to spot in my closet. Most of them I ended up rephotographing (that was a pain in the &*$, but worth the time). I also picked up a lot of brands that I thought were nice, but were not. There is a red shirt I loved, but after I got home with it and and researched the brand, I found out it came from HSN and retailed for $10. I ended up keeping that for myself.

With consistency, research, and hours and hours spent searching through thrift store racks until my arms and back ached, my Poshmark closet finally started to look legit. I learned how to photograph (make them bright y’all), how to use the app to stay relevant, what to look for when I’m thrifting, etc. My one to two sales a week turned into five to ten sales a week. It is still a learning process, but one I’m thoroughly hooked on.

There are many other reselling platforms.

Thredup, Lyst, The Real Real, Mercari, E-bay, Relovv––just to name what I can off the top of my head, platforms that sell or rent used clothing are on the rise. I’m not familiar with the majority of them. I primarily use Poshmark, with a few exceptions. I’ve sold several jewelry lots on E-bay (I had boxes full of costume jewelry). I have a couple of items listed on The Real Real, where I can get authentication and sell luxury brands with confidence. Not that I come across too many luxury items, but it does happen! Check out my Chanel boots listed on The Real Real: probably my best find to date.

Loving what I do matters.

I’m still a newbie, but am having a lot of fun, as well as have a happy husband and get to shop guilt free. I get to satisfy my shopping urges, my own wardrobe is increasing with mid-level and high-end luxury items that don’t break the bank. I source clothing for other women who don’t want to pay full-price for mid to high level luxury retail and who don’t have the time to spend in a thrift store. And I make a little side money doing it. That’s what I call a win-win-win-win … win!

Follow my journey on this blog and check out my Poshmark closet if you get a chance. If you haven’t signed up yet, you can use my invite code (CURIOPE) to get $5 credit toward your first purchase from anywhere on the app. If you are already on Poshmark, comment with your username, so I can follow you, and tell me how you got started reselling online. Thanks for reading!