Guest post by Amanda Miska
My name is Amanda, and I have been reselling clothing since 2008. I used to have a vintage store with my sister on Etsy (and blogged about vintage fashion, which is how I had the pleasure of meeting Alison!), dabbled in eBay, and have been selling on Poshmark since 2016, but I have only grown to be a regular “full-time” seller in the last two years. I also help Alison run her Poshmark closet! I hope this post will offer tips on how to be successful on Poshmark, a popular resale platform.
I have updated this post at the bottom with tips that are helpful right now. Maybe you are unemployed or underemployed because of what is going on in the world, or maybe the time at home has inspired you to do a closet cleanout. At the bottom of this article are tips on how to be successful on Poshmark during a pandemic.
What is Poshmark?
Poshmark is combination reselling and social app. With Poshmark you can easily sell clothing, shoes, jewelry, homegoods, and more right from your phone. You can follow people’s closets and know when they add new items. You also have a news feed where any important alerts appear, like sales, offers, or questions about your items. Unlike eBay, Poshmark is just for fashion, and unlike The RealReal, Poshmark is a great place to sell mall and big box brands and clothes in good condition that may be a few years old.
While Poshmark may involve a little more work and participation than eBay or apps like Mercari, if you are selling fashion and someone who loves clothes, it’s absolutely worth it, in my opinion. It’s also incredibly convenient, considering you can operate entirely from your phone, which means that other than taking the item photos, you are able to do everything remotely.
How Poshmark Works
Poshmark is an app in which users have their own “closets”. You post items to your closet and can shop in other people’s closets. Your newest items will appear at the top of your closet when people scroll. Poshmark has a feed of all the closets, and when you add new items, they will show up in the feed to your followers. There is also an extensive search, which is typically how people find items. Most buyers come to Poshmark looking for something specific, so describing your items clearly is important! Poshmark also has parties, where seasoned users curate showrooms based on different brands or themes. The app also has and showrooms where you can see what the current trends are.
The app is divided into easily navigable sections:
- Feed, the main page where items are shared across the app;
- Shop, where the parties and showrooms are displayed, as well as where to search for items or brands;
- Sell, which is what you tap to add a new item in your closet;
- News, which is where you’re alerted to new followers, offers, sales, and comments;
- And then your seller page. This is where you have access to your closet, likes, purchases, profile, and tons of seller tools, as well as your stats.
In terms of community, you follow people, and they follow you back. You can comment on items publicly to ask questions, and you respond to buyer questions publicly as well. Buyers must accept and rate their purchases before your money is dispersed into your account; however, only your average rating is displayed, not comments, which can be a relief to people who might have anxiety about shifty buyers (and there are always a few).
How to Get Started on Poshmark
The first thing you want to do is set up a profile. This includes creating a username–you can use a variation of your own name, but a memorable name for your closet is something I’d also recommend if reselling is something you might like to do regularly!–and fill out a size and brand profile that will reflect both what you might be selling or looking for as a buyer. This information is what Poshmark uses to help curate your feed and help buyers find you and vice versa! You can choose to include information like your social media accounts, the university you attended, city you live in, brands you love, and more.
A complete and detailed profile helps others find and connect with you on the app. And it’s also the place where potential buyers can see your stats and your love notes, which are optional notes people can leave for you when they have a really good experience buying from your closet.
In terms of posting your items, Poshmark’s process is pretty standard:
- Upload (up to 8) high-quality photos of your item
- Write a descriptive title to have your item found easily in a search
- Create a description of your item that gives potential buyers important information, including any flaws in the item
- Select the item’s size, brand, color from a pull-down menu
- Set a price for your item
- Click LIST!
Poshmark recommends that sellers have at least 10 items in their closet to start. You also should share your closet daily, at least once, but preferably two or three times. This ensures items are seen in the feed and by potential buyers. When possible, post throughout the day rather than all at once. This keeps your closet fresh and keeps you appearing active on the app.
Poshmark Photography Tips
No need to buy a fancy lighting kit, but you do need to take clear, well-lit photos in order to get the most attention on your items. There is no need for a mannequin (although I like using one, and you can buy them fairly cheap these days). You can hang your item on a blank wall. Just make sure you’re getting photos from various angles, and items are as wrinkle-free as possible. Try to take your photos in daylight near a window. And you can always use a photo editing app (there are so many good, free ones out there now!) to brighten them a bit (just don’t go overboard or the color or texture of your item might get misrepresented). Another important note: take a photo of the brand/size tag as well as the materials tag, if it’s there, so buyers can see exactly what they’re getting.
Another photo hack, which is at times controversial, is to find a stock photo of the item and use this as your primary photo. You can often find them by googling the brand with a specific description of the item. However, you still need to take and present photos of the actual item for buyers. (see image below: on one side is an Anthropologie stock photo I was able to find since the item was more recent; the Free People dress I shot in front of a white wall with my mannequin).
How to Create a Successful Poshmark Description and Title
You don’t have to be an SEO pro to understand how to create a good title or description: you just have to think like a buyer, and also understand Poshmark’s focus, which is about brands and on-trend styles. If you wanted to buy the item you are trying to sell, what would you Google to find a photo of it? This is a good place to start. If you have room at the end of your description, you might also add the size (or just an S, M, L, XL) because Poshmark items very often show up in Google searches, and people are likely looking for something in their size.
In terms of descriptions, you also want to have good keywords that tell your buyer anything they’d need to know about an item. In your description, you want to include the type material, if there are any flaws with the item, and sometimes, if you are fashion-savvy, you might include a styling tip to beef up the description: “These heels would look great with a pair of ripped jeans and an oversized boyfriend blazer” or something along those lines. Measurements do come in handy for things like jeans, where the rise (crotch to top hem) and inseam (crotch down the inner leg to bottom hem) and waist are important factors in fit. It doesn’t hurt to include other measurements as customers sometimes ask for them.
Above, an example of the title and description for a fuzzy red cardigan from Anthro that I posted just this week.
Understanding Poshmark Pricing and Offers
One of the best ways to choose a selling price is on Poshmark! Search for the same item or a similar item on Poshmark and see what it has sold for on the app. You can do this by typing the brand and description of the item into the search bar, and in the advanced searching bar at the top, scroll to the far right, and under AVAILABILITY, select Sold Items. Sometimes, you might think an item is worth a lot, but like any consumer experience, supply and demand applies. A lower price is the way to compete in a saturated market. And if the average selling price was $25, you’re probably not going to get $50.
A lot of buyers make offers on items. My suggestion is price at least 10-20% higher than what you would want for the item to account for this. Keep in mind that Poshmark’s cut is 20% of the selling price, or $2.95 on any sale under $15.
You can also send offers to people who “like” your items, using the Offer to Likers button, but these offers must include a shipping discount and be at least 10% less than your set price.
On this cardigan, if I hit Price Drop, I'll have two options. I can either drop the price overall, or just send a special Offer to Likers with the shipping discount. I might offer them $35 with discounted shipping. They can buy or they can even make a counteroffer.
I love selling on Poshmark because they handle the most tedious and difficult part of reselling for me, which was shipping. Poshmark sends a mailing label directly to you, and buyers pay shipping. That’s it. No weighing, no measuring, no evaluating the best method. Everything ships priority at a flat rate, as long as it’s under 5 pounds.
Sourcing for Poshmark During a Pandemic
I’m sure you’re tired of hearing the P-word, but it’s changed the way so many businesses operate, and online reselling is no exception. While some thrifts are slowly reopening with additional precautions in place, other places are still closed. So how are resellers getting inventory? They get creative (this is, of course, an important skill for entrepreneurs!).
- Shop your closet (or partner’s or kids’ closets): Anything that doesn’t fit or doesn’t fit your style that is in good condition and on trend would make a great addition to your Poshmark closet. Ask your partner if they have anything in their closet that could go. And kids’ clothes can do well, especially since kiddos are always growing fast, but these items do tend to sell for much lower prices, and do better in bundles. I also find shoes are the best kids’ seller for me–just make sure they are cleaned up for photos and don’t have any rips, etc.
- Ask nearby friends or family if they have donations: Again, keeping safety in mind, you can have contactless pick-up by having people leave bags out for you. If the items are more expensive and they’d like a cut of the profit, then asking for photos, etc. is a good way to start and then decide, especially if you want to buy them outright. But you might also make an agreement that you’ll do the selling and split the cost 50/50. One more way, although shipping can be a lot, is to have friends or family at a distance also send you items. The more (good) items you have, the more traffic you’ll get to your closet!
- Online Sourcing: There are many ways to find deals online, but you have to do your research, as some are better than others. I have had success with shopping sales in other peoples’ Poshmark closets (if this sounds weird, consider that if they got the items for free or 75 cents a pound at the Goodwill bins, vs. me paying $8-9 an item at a thrift, they are still making a good profit, so we all win!). A lot of people like to hunt on ThredUp, which is one of the larger online thrifts, and The RealReal, which is pricier because it is designer, but often has sales or deals. I don’t have personal experiences with Reseller Mystery Boxes, which other resellers send out full of random items they haven’t posted yet (but often items they don’t really want to sell?), but I have heard mixed reviews. Additionally, if you’re comfortable and can arrange a contactless pickup or exchange, some people like to check on their local FB Marketplace or Craigslist.
- Another method that can be a little more of an advanced investment is retail arbitrage (buying new items from big sales happening online). You might spend more, but you also might ultimately make more. And finally, some resellers purchase from liquidation sites, but this is the biggest gamble, as you often buy sight-unseen and in bulk.
Poshmark's New Department: Home
If you have a more minimal closet or don’t have a lot to pull to sell, maybe you have some home decor you can flip now that Poshmark has a Home section! The focus is mostly on decor and kitchen items.
I have had a lot of success selling vintage home items, though of course, two things to consider are:
- SHIPPING: These items often require more packaging or larger boxes, especially anything fragile. And if it’s something that weighs over 5 pounds, it will require additional shipping, which is already pretty pricey on Poshmark at around $7.
- STORAGE: This isn’t a big deal if it’s something already in your house, or if you have abundant storage space via a garage or basement, but if you’re thrifting home goods, keep in mind the room that they take up and how to store breakable things safely. A folded tank top takes up a lot less room than a set of Pyrex bowls.
Poshmark's New Seller Tools for 2020
If you have a fairly small Poshmark closet, these might not be as useful right now, but as you grow your closet and business, these new tools are a great way to keep your closet updated and organized.
Additional Details section: When listing items, sellers now have the option to add additional info for their personal record-keeping and business tracking. You can keep track of how much the item was purchased for, where it is stored (if you have a lot of inventory, a storage system is essential to make finding and shipping your items easier!), or any other pertinent information. This information is only accessible to you, the seller, and is located within the listing itself when you click on it, which is super convenient.
Copy Listing: This is a great tool that sellers have been begging for and was just added in the last few weeks. Because there is so much new inventory coming in all the time, it’s easy for even really good listings or items to get lost in the shuffle. Seasoned sellers often suggest re-listing items after a certain period of time (1-2 months) or if an item has gotten a ton of traffic in likes and shares but hasn’t sold. In the past, you would have to recreate the entire listing from scratch. Now, with the COPY LISTING tool, it will create a copy and re-post it for you if you go to EDIT the item. You have the option to update the title (just make sure you delete the word COPY!) and info as well. Just make sure you delete the old listing after! I am already seeing great traction with this tool, as someone who has had a closet for 4 years now and over 500 items.
Bonus Tips and Tricks for Having Success on Poshmark
When to post/share: Poshmark sets itself apart by being a social shopping app, so they have several “parties” each day with different themes where you can share items from your closet to the party if it fits the theme. The evening parties tend to be the time the site gets the most traffic, so these tend to be great times to post new items or share your closet!
Simple, cheap packaging: I try to pack with as little waste and as cheaply as possible. The USPS provides free shipping materials you can order (envelopes and boxes), and sometimes they’re available at your post office lobby. Currently, I just wrap my items in tissue paper. No frills. While some people like to include ribbons or thank you notes, etc. I find I just toss them in the trash, and so as a buyer and seller, I am not a fan. But if it brings you joy, then go for it! Just keep in mind it takes away from your final profit. The most expensive part of my shipping is sticky labels, but it is worth it in the time I save from having to cut out and tape on a label. But if that’s all you have, it works just fine! I also recycle boxes all the time (in this quarantining time, I know we’re all getting a lot of deliveries)–just make sure you cross out barcodes and any other identifying information that might be confusing.
What brands and trends are hot sellers right now? Any lover of fashion knows that trends are always changing. What’s in today might be out tomorrow, some trends seemingly come out of nowhere, and some classics will always sell no matter what. As a little “cheat” in the app, Poshmark has Showrooms on their main SHOP page, and the theme of the showroom tends to be items that are currently hot sellers on the app. Sometimes it’s brand specific and sometimes it’s just a trend, but it’s a great way to know what to be on the lookout for!
Follow The Social Media of Poshmarkers. Another way to know what’s selling is to keep up with Poshmark and their most popular sellers on social:
- YouTube: Nicole State, MogiBeth, and Empty Hanger are a few of my faves who often offer lots of advice and information to new sellers, including what is selling in their closets each week and brands to know. Poshmark also has a YouTube channel.
- Instagram: A lot of Poshmark sellers also have Instagrams that share bits and pieces of what they are buying and selling, as well as tips and tricks and support. It is a large, active community. You can follow the hashtags #poshmark #poshmarkseller and #resellercommunity to look around and find sellers you vibe with! Also, most Poshmark YouTubers also have Insta pages you can follow for even more content. Poshmark also has an Instagram account.
- Blog: Poshmark has a blog that shares what is trending or selling on the app and it's updated fairly regularly.
If it all seems overwhelming or daunting, just take it one step at a time. Start by listing 10 items in your closet. The more you do it, the easier it gets! And if you have any questions, I am here to help as well! Leave a comment or reach out to me, Amanda, on Instagram.
Note from Alison: Amanda manages my Poshmark storefront. I send her the items, she does all the work in photographing, measuring, answering questions, and shipping. Amanda receives 50% of anything I make from my Poshmark sales. The other 50% I donate to charity and have for at least a year. For the remainder of 2020, all donations will be made to organizations that promote Black rights, health, and education.