Monday, April 18, 2016

i tried it: poshmark

In January, I did a lot of spring cleaning. I also discovered the Family Thrift Outlet, where everything starts at $2 on Thursdays and gets cheaper as the week goes on until the entire store is 50 cents per piece on Wednesdays. Visits there were addictive, but they don't have fitting rooms. That, combined with passing cute designer clothes in perfect shape but not in my size, made me look into selling clothes online. And that's where Poshmark came in.

If you want to save this post for later, I made it nice and pinnable - that's how much I love this app.

A friend who's an avid eBayer said that it can be hard for newbies to get into that, so I was excited to try something new. Poshmark is mostly app based and it's a marketplace for people to sell women's clothing. Every user has a closet and you can set prices, run sales, describe items however you see fit, and market yourself. It's not as hard as it sounds. What I liked the most is that shipping is one flat rate charged to the buyer and as a seller, you just have to print the shipping label and drop the item off at a post office - no wondering how to get it there the cheapest way possible, contemplating paying for insurance, or underestimating charges.

1) After you download the app, you have to set up an account. You can't change your username, so choose wisely. I chose laurenmart because a mart is a store, duh, and it plays off my last name. You can set up your sizes and favorite brands here, but since I have never bought anything off of Poshmark, I didn't spend much time on that. You'll see that as soon as your account is created, people will start following you. This is a good thing - these are the people who will be able to see your items once they're listed!

2) Get things in your closet! I read that the most successful closets have ten things in them, so I went through my closet and pulled out things that I wouldn't be heartbroken to get rid of as well as things that I wanted to get altered but hadn't or things that might fit one day but currently didn't. You can upload up to four photos of the item (phone pictures are fine), write a brief headline of the item, a longer description, fill in information about the brand, color, and size, and then enter the item's original price and the price you want to charge. Poshmark takes 20% of each sale or a flat $2.95 for items under $15. While that is higher than eBay, the convenience made it worth it for me.

3) After your item is listed, you have to work to sell it. There are three things to work on to make a sale:
  •  Follow to get follows: Unless someone searches for the brand you're selling, the only way anyone will see your item is by following you and having your item show up in their feed. On Poshmark, the rule is normally a follow for a follow. Someone follows you, you visit their profile and follow them back. When you first get started, follow anyone you can find. I like to go into my settings, click on "find people" and follow as many suggested users as possible. I will also go into closets with a lot of followers and just scroll through that person's followers to follow people in hopes that they will follow me back. It sounds time consuming, but it's easy to do while taking a brain break at work for a minute or while watching TV. 
  • Share other listings: Good Poshmark etiquette means when you share someone's item, they should share one of yours. Sharing is e-a-s-y. I try to share something that's a great deal or would be something I would wear. You go into the person's closet, select something you like, and then click the arrow on the top right to share to your followers. So easy. That seller gets an alert that you shared their item and a reminder that they should share one of yours. When I have a few extra minutes, I try to share the items of people with large followings in hopes of a good return on my share.
  • Give people a deal: You can set up bundle deals in your closet where shoppers save a certain percentage by buying multiple items. This also saves on shipping. Shipping is normally $5.95. However, if you lower the price of your item and someone has "liked" that item (which I'll get to in a minute), that shopper will get a notification that the price has gone down and they can get reduced shipping if they purchase in the next hour. Users can also place bids on your items. You will receive a note about bids privately and can accept it in 24 hours or counteroffer. Once you accept it, it's sold - the buyer doesn't have a chance to back out. When buyers make me an offer that's too low, I make sure that they "like" the item and then lower the listed price in hopes of triggering reduced shipping so we both win. Since it benefits both of us, it has been very successful so far!
4) Share your closet! I have the best luck when I share each item in my closet at least once a day. Poshmark also runs Posh Parties, which are themed by designer, article of clothing, or occasion and happen three times a day. You can share items to those parties so they can reach an audience who may not follow you.

5) Be a good seller: There are a few expectations to keep up once you make a sale. Once you decide to start a Poshmark shop, I suggest a trip to the dollar store for curling ribbon, tissue paper, and cute cards. You may also want to dig out any plain cardboard boxes you have for mailing or make a trip to the post office for a few priority mail boxes (not flat rate... I can never find these so I have ordered them online for free). You're expected to make the Poshmark experience fun for the buyer, so extra effort is the norm - you should wrap the item in tissue and enclose a handwritten note. You have five days after a sale to mail the package. After the seller marks the item as received, the money will be in your account to spend on Poshmark or get direct deposited to your bank account.

I used stuff I already had to outfit this skirt and it sold really fast! | A package ready to go out. I make a little tag from a scrapbook punch for an extra touch.

Other Poshmark Tips:
- A good flat lay seems to seal the deal on Poshmark. I have had more luck selling items that I have outfitted than those sitting alone or hanging.
- A "like" on Poshmark is not a like on instagram. You only want to like items that you might want to buy.
- There's no private messaging on Poshmark - all communication is out in the open. I think this is to keep everything going through the site so no one sets up a PayPal business on the side.
- You get feedback from each buyer and the site knows how long it takes you to mail your items. This is all kept private, though. 
- The more effort you put in, the more your items will sell. I thought letting my items merely exist in my closet would be good enough - after all, my keywords were pretty good so people would find them, right? Nope. Not sharing meant that no one saw anything and my sales dried up. 
- Name brand items sell the best and fastest, though I have had a Kmart skirt (we don't have them here so I didn't recognize the brand) sell pretty well.

It sounds like a lot of work, but it really isn't. I've compared prices on thredUP and Poshmark seems to make me more money with admittedly more effort. If you have a good amount of name brand clothing to get rid of (or a thrifting problem like I do), it's worth it!

Any questions? Let me know! And if this post motivates you to create a Poshmark account, please sign up using the code JZYUU - you'll get $10 for downloading the app and I'll get $10 if you make a purchase.



8 comments:

  1. It seems like a relatively easy thing to run off your phone. I don't have the desire to sell my stuff, and I don't think it's nice enough to re-sell anyway!

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  2. I see stuff about Poshmark all the time, but thought it would be too much work, so this is super helpful. I am trying to clean out and get rid of stuff, and I have things that still have tags on it (awful), so it would be nice to try to make a little money!

    Have you sold a lot? Is it worth the time and money to try it out?

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  3. This is a fabulous idea but I've already donated or given away all my good work stuff.

    The $2 thrift store sounds interesting, I want to visit!

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  4. I have never heard of this, but I love the concept! I am in a few FB groups but this sounds a lot more organized

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  5. I usually give my clothes to my sister to pick through and then she takes them to the day care where she used to work because the girls there are super under paid and go crazy for my clothes that I purge. Buttt perhaps whatever they don't want, or some shoes that I know wont fit any of them would give me the chance to try this out. Thanks for giving all the details of how it actually works.

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  6. Cool that you tried it! And interesting read. I've hard about it but didn't know much. I also don't think most of my castoffs are nice enough or cute enough to bother selling. There are some designer jeans I'd consider, but yeah...I just don't know if I want to bother.

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  7. this is awesome! i have only tried poshmark as a buyer. i normally sell/buy on ebay first but i check poshmark if i can't find what i am looking for on ebay. i must say i am really biased and love paypal, and i hate that poshmark doesn't have it. but you explained it really well and have convinced me to check it out next time i want to sell things. also, i want a Family Thrift Outlet! it sounds amazing.

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  8. I've considered selling my stuff on Poshmark and I'm considering purging my closet at the moment, so this would be a great option!

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I like comments and read them all but I'm not great about responding to them, so please don't be offended. I would much rather visit your blog instead!