Turn your spring cleaning into a side hustle
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Hi my name is Sam, and I have a lot of clothes. Is it because I’ve kept all the clothing I’ve ever owned? Is it because I have a problem letting go? Is it because I think I’ll wear everything again? Is it because I’m a clothing hoarder? All of these things are debatable.
After doing my bi-annual closet cleaning last fall, where I give away minimal clothing and bring seasonal items to storage, my closet was still full of things I barely wore anymore. I couldn’t take another season of looking in my packed closet thinking I have nothing to wear. I also needed room for all the new clothes I would acquire over the next couple of months (I have a shopping problem, as detailed here).
That’s when I decided to sell my clothes. While I was skeptical if it would work, I set out on my quest. I joined Poshmark, the popular app that lets you buy and sell women’s and men’s clothing, accessories, makeup, and more.
After a year of working hard to market the items in my closet, I have made over $1,700 from selling clothing and accessories—and that number is still growing. Here’s exactly how I successfully sold clothes on Poshmark—and how you can do it, too.
At first, I thought I could only sell designer items and clothing from pricier retailers, but I was wrong. While it was easier to sell designer stuff, I ended up selling up a decent amount of stuff from cheaper retailers like Target. When you have trendy clothes to sell, it doesn't matter where they're from.
Because of that, I now put anything up for sale that’s in good condition, no matter how old or new it is. Seasonality and trends also don't matter as much if you have a high end item to sell. If there is damage, but the item is still wearable, I mention that in the item description and post a picture. That way, buyers don't feel taken advantage of and I keep a good conscience (and seller rating!).
You have to assign prices to everything you post on Poshmark. Before doing this, I always search what others are selling the item or similar items for. I also use Google to see if I can find out how much the item originally cost.
When pricing, you have to remember people have to pay shipping as well. Think about how much you would pay for the item in a consignment shop and go from there. I priced things WAY too high when I joined the app. Now, I am better about pricing, but I don’t sell anything for under $8. Knowing Poshmark takes 20% of listings over $15, and a flat $2.95 from sales under $15 (they pay for shipping!), I look at how much money I would make from the sale. If I’m okay with that, I set the price.
Note: Price things at least 10% higher than the lowest price you would accept or else you won't be able to have sales or negotiate.
At first my pictures were awful. I hung stuff up on hangers against a white wall in my apartment. You couldn’t see the exact colors and details of the items—and they didn’t look ‘pretty.’ Because of this, I didn’t see many sales.
Later, I changed up my photos and laid the items out on my clean hardwood floors. I took pictures of the front and the back of clothing, as well as close ups of the item’s material, tag, and any damage I wanted to showcase. Here's the difference:
This was a game-changer. Poshmark users have the ability to ‘like’ and engage with listings, and I saw more engagement and sales with my new pictures.
For bags, I took a few different angles—of the outside and inside—and for jewelry, I just got one shot. If I had any images of me wearing the item, I added that to the item’s photos as well.
Sharing your closet with friends and family isn’t going to get you tons of sales. To get your items sold to Poshmark users, you need to post your items to "parties," virtual events that Poshmark hosts for users to share listings. In fact, I’ve ONLY sold stuff when I’ve gone to at least one party a week.
There are four parties each day. During each party, users share items that fall into a certain category. A party can be for designers (example: Tory Burch, J. Crew, Madewell), items (example: jeans, booties, etc.), or occasions (example: Date Night). Parties help get engagement on your listings and followers on your account. The more engagement on your account, the more desirable your closet will be!
After I grew a following, I constantly re-shared items to my followers. This is a great way to keep your closet “organized”—re-sharing is how you can raise certain items to the top of your feed so that users see them first.
Poshmark users have the ability to negotiate the price of items, and most do. About half of my sales were made after people negotiated prices.
If I don’t like an offer, I counteroffer with the original price OR a price closer to the original. It’s a total gamble when it comes to negotiating. You might be able to sell the item for a higher price to someone else, but you also might not. There’s no right or wrong answer here.
After people buy from you, they can rate you between 1 and 5 stars. My first customer rated me 2 stars. I had packaged the item with gold colored paper and a hand written note, but this didn’t help. According to the user, I wasn’t transparent enough about a rip in the Madewell shoes she purchased.
From then on, I made sure to ALWAYS photograph and write about damage in all listings, and I’ve only received 5-star ratings since. I also learned that packaging doesn’t matter. I stopped writing notes and using pretty paper, and I still had great ratings and repeat buyers. I also try to be quick with shipping items to keep my rating up, but sometimes it’s hard to get to the post office after you make a sale.
Selling on Poshmark is hard work, but the money sure is worth it. I still have so much left to sell—and now, so much to ADD to my closet. I’m coming for you again, Poshmark. Hope you’re ready.