Katy has sold clothing on Mercari and Poshmark for two years and does most of her thrift shopping online using eBay, Poshmark, and Mercari.
Reselling clothing online can be a great income source or a even full-time job. However, the platform a seller chooses has a huge impact on their success. This is true for both a full-fledged resale business and for anyone trying to clear out their closet.
Both eBay and Poshmark are huge marketplaces for selling used or new clothing online. But which one is better? To help you decide, let's examine these factors:
- Seller/Listing Fees
- Shipping Costs and Policies
- Demographics of Buyers
- Ease of Use for Sellers
Okay, let's get started!
Poshmark vs eBay: Seller Fees
The fees that a platform charges cut into sellers' profits. It's a very important factor to understand when choosing a website to sell with.
eBay charges a 10% fee for most clothing categories and the seller covers the 3% PayPal fee, so in effect the total fees on eBay are 13%. That's a fair rate considering eBay's huge market.
Poshmark takes out a flat 20% fee for every sale. That's pretty hefty! As a casual seller, it was disheartening to get only $16 for every $20 sale I made. Sellers who use Poshmark for their business find that the fees really cut into their profits.
Sales Fees vs. Listing Fees:
eBay is the clear winner when looking at sale fees only. But sometimes, listing costs come into play and tip the scales. It's free to list any number of items on Poshmark, but eBay gives you 50 free listings and then starts charging in a listing fee. So for casual sellers and small operations on eBay, the sale fee is the most important. But larger operations need to pay attention to the listing fee as well.
Fees: Is eBay or Poshmark Better?
Bottom line is eBay charges a smaller fee. If your target buyers are on Poshmark, however, then the 7% increase in cost might not matter to you, since it might be worth it to pay a little more to ensure your product will be seen by those who are looking for it.
If both Poshmark and eBay are taking too big of a commission for you, there are alternatives. Mercari accepts used clothing listings and only takes a 10% cut. Read my Mercari Seller's Review if you're considering it as a new selling platform.
Shipping on eBay and Poshmark
Now for shipping costs and policies. Is shipping items on Poshmark easier for sellers than on eBay? No matter which platform you use, you'll have to account for shipping costs. Let's compare the two.
All items on Poshmark have $6.49 shipping. Since buyers cover this cost you might not think it affects you as a seller, but keep in mind this is a high shipping cost for low-priced ($5-$15) items.
Shipping out clothing once it's purchased is super easy on Poshmark. Everything goes in a USPS Priority Mail box and you use the shipping label Poshmark sends you. Then you can drop it off at any USPS pick-up location.
Shipping on eBay is more complicated. The seller can choose the cost of shipping. Shipping can be a fixed price, calculated based on the buyer's zip code and package size, or free for the buyer. This gives the seller flexibility to absorb shipping into their prices, which makes selling items under $15 easier.
Which Website Is Better for Shipping: eBay or Poshmark?
The better platform for shipping will depend on the overall cost of the product and its weight. Poshmark's shipping policy is super simple but can deter buyers of lower-priced items. Ebay's is more complicated but gives you more options.
Market Demographics of Buyers
Next let's consider the market. When you list an item, what kind of reach does it have on Poshmark or eBay? What demographic are you reaching and do they want to buy the type of clothing you're selling?
What kind of buyer shops on eBay?
The eBay marketplace is enormous at 150-200 million users a year and climbing. Granted, only a portion of those are looking for used clothing. Buyers on eBay know what to expect from buying used clothing online. Users are on eBay looking for a great deal. This makes it hard for a seller to add margin to their eBay prices.
What kind of buyer shops on Poshmark?
Poshmark has a smaller user base than eBay but it's large and growing at a faster rate. Also, users are on Poshmark specifically looking for used clothing. Posh users are very active in the app and many buyers are sellers, as well.
Poshmark's community is more social and interested in fashion. They're looking for stylish items in brands they know. They're less interested in what an item is worth and more interested in the style and experience. That's not to say a buyer can be scammed on Poshmark into paying way more. But prices on Poshmark listings can often be set higher to offset the 20% fee.
Level of Effort
The final category to explore is how easy each site is to use. Sellers put in a lot of work on any platform. We photograph, answer comments, write descriptions, pack, and ship. So the amount of effort it takes to create and keep up listings is a big deciding factor in choosing a platform.
Is It Easy to Sell on Poshmark?
Poshmark started as an app, so it's very easy to take pictures and add a listing, all from your phone. Replying to comments and sharing listings is easy, too. Still, the time commitment needed to keep up on Poshmark is huge. When a user searches for an item, the more-recently-posted listings show up first. Since posting all the time is important, you won't get any sales unless you're active in the app. It's easy to list, but Poshmark takes much more time overall.
eBay Level of Effort
All the subcategories and specifications make eBay listings more complicated. A lot of it is autofilled but it still takes more time to list an item than on Poshmark.
Which Platform Is Easier: eBay or Poshmark?
eBay is easier overall. On eBay, sellers can leave listings up without much ongoing maintenance, but a Poshmark closet requires constant activity or your items will languish for months. eBay also lets you turn on Easy Pricing, which lowers the price every 5 days until it sells. That makes a world of difference when you're unloading a lot of inventory but you don't know what your items are worth.
Which Site Is Best for Sellers: eBay or Poshmark?
13% (eBay + Paypal)
First 50 Free
$7.11 Flat Fee, Paid by Buyer
Smaller, Trendy Market
Is It Better to Sell on Poshmark or eBay?
Okay, let's get to the bottom line: which is better? Here's how they both did in my four criteria:
- Fees: eBay is better. eBay fees are lower but don't count out the fact that your buyers may be on Poshmark.
- Shipping: About equal. Poshmark's shipping costs are high but they're covered by buyers, while eBay has more options.
- Market Demographic: About the same. It depends on the type of clothing.
- Effort: eBay is easier. Inherently social Poshmark needs constant attention.
eBay slightly beat out Poshmark using these criteria. I personally think a seller could be successful with either one. The best way to know is to try listing some items and see what sells.
Seller Tip: Cross Post Your Listings on Both eBay and Poshmark
There's no reason why a seller can't list an item on both Poshmark and eBay. This is called cross-listing or cross-posting, and it works well for many sellers. Be sure to take into account the time it requires to create and upkeep listings on each site. More often than not, the benefits of added exposure and quick sales outweigh the cost of your time.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2018 Katy Medium
R COUTURIER on March 28, 2020:
POSHMARK does not back the buyer. They offer a return GUARANTEE, but you will never see them enforce it.
Katy Medium (author) from Denver, CO on March 20, 2020:
Hi Santos, no Poshmark doesn't have a store fee just the fee when the item is sold.
Santos on March 18, 2020:
ebay fee with Pay Pal add up to about 13% but if you also have a store that's another $60 on top. Does Poshmark charge to have a store fee?
Lory on January 19, 2020:
Thanks Kara for the very informative article. My opinion is this. Which is “best”, one person can’t decide for the whole? A couple errors I have read in this article &/or comments. Poshmark does not charge $6.49 for shipping, they charge $6.79. BUT if the item is listed for less than $15 the shipping is $2.99. Although, the seller on Poshmark can offer less shipping of $4.99 sometimes. Also, I don’t know where tax comes in for Poshmark I have not seen it yet. So for me I want to sell and buy on Poshmark because I am more interested in quality and style. But for someone else they may want clothing that is nice but not as concerned about style. I am not saying one mindset is better than the other just different, as the author has said. For her it looks like she prefers EBay. Which is your preference?
ResellFL on October 17, 2019:
Thanks for the comparison. =)
RE: If your target buyers are on Poshmark, however, then the 7% increase in cost might not matter to you.
Going from a 13% seller fee to a 20% seller fee is a 54% increase in cost.
A cost of $20 is 54% more than a cost of $13.
Probably better to consider it an additional 7% fee than a 7% increase in cost.
Katy Medium (author) from Denver, CO on October 02, 2019:
Hi Kass, thanks for sharing your perspective! I've been selling more on eBay lately and it's definitely a steeper learning curve than on Posh. I still don't understand why eBay doesn't deduct their fees before sending you your share. They probably do that since different selling levels have different fees so it's not as straight forward. Anyway, happy selling :)
Kass on October 02, 2019:
I sell on Poshmark now. I used to sell on ebay. I feel the clientele is better on Poshmark and you can get more for your items. I love that they handle the freight and just send you a label. Their is no overhead at all with Poshmark other than you need tape, a printer and paper. All the boxes are no charge at the post office. When you have a problem Poshmark listens to both sides through email or the app. and then makes a decision. When a package is lost they just credit both accounts. The tax is only charged to the buyer not the seller it does not come out of profits. I love the way your billed also on Posh. It all comes out of the sell right then so I'm not having to remember to pay a bill at the end of the month.
Scalia on September 30, 2019:
For me Poshmark is the winner because I have had some nightmare interactions with entitled eBay buyers, and they know they can make you jump through hoops in order to avoid negative feedback. eBay also tends to side with the buyer in any dispute (such as if a package is lost by USPS), but Poshmark reimburses the buyer while allowing the seller to keep their profits.
Katy Medium (author) from Denver, CO on August 29, 2019:
Hi Kare, you hit on some really good points about reselling these days. I find that keeping firm policies like "No trades, reasonable offers accepted" and not changing prices just because a closet clear out is going on helps make Posh more manageable. But still, it's only worth the hassle for certain items.
Kare on August 28, 2019:
I don't sell a lot on either platform these days but for me, Ebay is the winner. I sell for more money + less aggravation.
Poshmark shoppers are at the bottom of the barrel. The sharing, offers to likers, and "closet clearouts" are exhausting. I could sell far more if I mark my $500 NWT designer item down to $15.00 with free shipping, gift wrapping, and extra goodies.
It's like a cult and I'm not drinking the Kool-aid or buying their IPO stock:)
The market has tanked for resellers because of this needy race to the bottom. Sellers have created their own demise, very often sacrificing profit just to make a sale.
The selling platforms: Etsy, Poshmark, Ebay, and the like, are happy to oblige..........they'll make up on volume what sellers lose as their reasonable living wage.
Annie A. on July 21, 2019:
I've sold on both platforms. While I've had more success selling clothes on Poshmark, it's hard to accept the 20% cut and even higher on items lower than $15. To correct the previous comment left by Sarah G., Poshmark charges tax to the buyer, not to the seller so it does NOT cut into your profit.
I'm leaning more towards eBay just because of the amount of time that Poshmark demands (having to constantly share your wardrobe).
Sarah G. on July 06, 2019:
Do your research regarding customer service for any online selling apps. Poshmark has terrible customer service for both sellers and buyers. All contact is via email, none by phone, and you are unable to escalate any issues. You have little to no recourse should you have an issue.
Sellers - In addition to taking a 20%, Poshmark also charges tax- which also cuts into your profit.