If you’re a fellow recovering shopaholic like me, then you also probably get overwhelmed when you look into your closet and stare in horror at the amount of stuff you’ve tried to cram into that thing. And if we want to get really honest, you may have even woken up to a broken closet rod that didn’t stand a chance against the mountain of clothes it was trying to hold up (No? Just me?). After reading more about capsule wardrobes, minimalist wardrobes and no spend months, I felt inspired to trim down and revamp my own overflowing closet and commit to the “fewer, better” philosophy.
I’d heard about apps like Poshmark and ThredUp, but didn’t know if it was really worth it. Wasn’t it a thousand times easier to just drop off a bag of clothes at a consignment store like Crossroads or donate to a Goodwill and call it a day? But as I heard more and more people bring up their own Poshmark experiences, curiosity got the best of me and I decided to see what this whole thing was all about.
I created a Poshmark account about a month ago. I originally signed up with the intent to just sell my clothes, but as I scrolled through the newsfeed section and discovered items that I’d been eyeing for the past few months listed at half price, I was floored. What? A cashmere Everlane sweater for $35? Silk Babaton pants for only $40? Are you kidding me? If you know me, then you know I can never pass up a good deal. So full disclosure here. Even though my original goal was to minimize my closet and make some money, I have to admit that my first experience with Poshmark was a buying frenzy. Yes, frenzy.
Not great for my bank account. But luckily for you, I learned a few things from my Poshmark successes as well as my oops-I-wish-I-could-take-that-back moments.
Tips for Buying on Poshmark
- Research an item thoroughly before you make an offer. I bought a pair of Everlane Modern Babo shoes and they ended up being slightly too large for me. If I had just read the reviews on Everlane’s site beforehand, I would have seen that they run bigger and to size down. Now I’m stuck Googling ways to shrink leather shoes. Has anyone been able to do that successfully?
- Make a (fair) offer if the price isn’t quite right. The fun thing about Poshmark is that you can negotiate the price. It’s like bartering at an outdoor marketplace in Southeast Asia, except way less stressful. The seller may accept your offer or they could counter offer. Don’t low-ball the seller, though, because that’s just going to piss them off. Offer a price that’s fair and that you think you’d accept if you were in their shoes.
- Ask the seller specific questions. If the listing description isn’t giving you the information you’re looking for, don’t be afraid to ask. You can leave comments to request more photos or ask about the type of material or find out whether an item fits true to size.
- Choose brands you already know and trust. There’s always some risk buying on Poshmark since you can only return items if there are signs of damage that the seller failed to disclose. If you buy a shirt that doesn’t fit or just isn’t your style, you’ll have to “re-posh” it. My recommendation is to buy from brands you’re familiar with since you likely already know your proper size and measurements. You can follow specific brands and you’ll be notified whenever new listings are posted under that brand.
- Always rate and give feedback to your seller. If the item arrives on your doorstep on time and is as described, do the nice thing and give the seller a five-star rating. Many sellers put a lot of hard work and care into their packaging and delivery, so reward them for it. If your experience was less than satisfactory, give honest feedback so the seller knows how to improve.
Now that you’ve heard my tips for buying on Poshmark, let’s talk about selling. It took a little over a month for me to make my first sale on Poshmark. I had listed about 20 items in my virtual closet, but wasn’t getting any nibbles. Poshmark allows you to “share” your items with your followers, so I tried doing that too. Nothing.
Finally, after a month of not-so-patient waiting, I made my first sale, followed quickly by my second sale just a few days later. Here’s how I did it.
Tips for Selling on Poshmark
- Take Instagram-worthy pictures. No one wants to buy something they can’t see clearly or looks unappealing, especially when it’s second hand. Take pictures during the daytime when you have access to good lighting. Hang items like dresses and shirts up so potential buyers can see all the details better. I like to lay some items out against an aesthetically-pleasing backdrop like my hardwood floor or a fluffy, white rug. Taking the extra time to stage your shots increases your credibility with potential buyers.
- But be honest. Don’t try to hide any stains or signs of damage. You need to build trust with your buyers and if they end up purchasing something from your closet that is damaged or just not what they were expecting, they’ll never buy from you again. And thanks to Posh Protect, they’ll have the right to return the item for a full refund too. Always disclose whether an item has pilling, holes, stains etc. in your listing description and take close-up photos of the damaged area. Transparency is key.
- Showcase items from popular brands Make sure to note the brand in the headline of your listing, especially if it’s a popular brand. You don’t necessarily need to be selling Louis Vuitton or other designer brands to get interest. Items from Madewell, Everlane and J. Crew tend to sell particularly well. If I have any items from these brands, I make sure to share these often, so they’re always featured at the top of my closet feed.
- Party, party party. Poshmark has themed virtual “parties” that allow sellers to share items with a much larger group of potential buyers who are interested in the theme of that particular party. Themes can be dictated by brand (“Anthropologie, Lucky Brand, Free People & Brandy Melville Party”), occasion (“Backyard BBQ Party”) or type (“Best in Tops Party”). This is the best way for your items to get exposure to a larger audience so share, share share!
- Pretty packaging is a nice bonus, but personalized touches are a must. I always include a handwritten note in my packages, along with a selection of beauty samples (that I get for free from Sephora). It really helps to make your package stand out from the rest and ups the likelihood that you’ll get that coveted five-star rating.
- Buyers want FAST shipping. Put yourself in their shoes. You want your item as soon as possible. You don’t necessarily need to be Amazon Prime fast, but I aim to ship within two days if possible. Shipping is super easy. Just print your pre-paid shipping label that Poshmark sends you, stick it on the package and drop it off at the nearest USPS store or blue drop box. To make it even easier on yourself, grab a couple envelopes from the USPS and bring them home to use for future sales – they’re absolutely free! Fast shipping is the most critical thing sellers are looking for, besides the quality of the items you’re selling of course.
All in all, I’m very happy that I jumped on the Poshmark bandwagon and I’m not looking back. It’s a great place to sell items for decent money in comparison to consignment stores like Crossroads and Buffalo Exchange and it’s an even better place to score deals or find that sold-out item you’ve been lusting for. If you’ve ever tried Poshmark, I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below. And if you have any questions, feel free to reach out. You can also check out my closet on Poshmark at @laureneho. Happy shopping/selling!