Sarah writes about personal finance and has been a Poshmark seller since 2016.
I've sold clothes on Poshmark since 2016, and my story runs the full gamut of Poshmark experiences. I learned a lot in my first year of this glorious, side-hustling madness: I've been discouraged, I've been excited, I've been overwhelmed, and I've been proud. At times, I feel like I'm being a bit obsessive, but most of the time I feel empowered to work toward my financial goals. But no matter how I feel, I know I've learned a lot about the growing niche that is the online secondhand clothing market, and I'm sharing it here to hopefully give other sellers or prospective sellers some specific insight into the experience.
Lesson 1: Be Patient
When you are aiming to make a little extra cash slinging second-hand clothes, patience pays off. Selling clothing online is not a way to get rich quickly, but it is a great creative outlet and a fun way to make a little extra cash. But the good thing is, you can make a little extra cash, if you're willing to be patient.
When it comes to Poshmark (and other selling apps), patience is about more than being able to wait for your clothes to sell. Patience is a multi-faceted skill that you’ll need to cultivate and repurpose throughout the whole process; from picking out which clothes to sell to photographing to finally getting the cash in your account. Side note about this: This is an amazing life skill to have anyway, regardless of whether you’re a Posher. Patience is a dynamic and ever-changing virtue.
Lesson 2: Create a System for Yourself
It takes some time to develop a good system that works for you, but once you find one, it makes the job wayyy easier and often more fun. And it is ridiculously helpful to have a system if you’re going to make a go of selling more than ten items. And so worth the time you will put in up front. If you are hoping to do more than sell a few pieces (especially if you’re hoping to flip thrift store finds), you'll forget what you've listed, you'll forget what you paid for it, and you'll forget what you learned when you researched the best listing price. So, whether you're making a spreadsheet, hand writing your records, or actually writing it in the listing itself, put in the time now so you don't have to put in the time later.
Lesson 3: Provide Plenty of Details
The dollar is in the details. (No devils on Poshmark, amiright?) If you provide your potential buyers with more details (measurements, info about flaws, materials, instructions, etc.) up front, they get the information they need to make their choice. Plus, you don't have to fish out the item later to try to find the answer they're wondering about.
Lesson 4: Take Great Pictures
Pictures matter more than words. I mean, we all know that (..."worth a thousand words," yadda yadda), but this little tidbit of knowledge matters on both ends of the spectrum. If you take good pictures, you will be able to attract more buyers. Users are scrolling through hundreds (or thousands) of pictures each time they log on. Why stop on yours unless it’s pretty?
Lesson 5: Be Open and Honest About Flaws
Conversely, you can describe a flaw to your heart's content, but if there's no picture of it and your buyer wants to return it, then you'll be out a sale and your time. If there is a problem with your listing, five out of ten people will try to return it even if you described the problem and showed pictures clearly. Take this little tidbit however you'd like—if you're fine with the frustration of dealing with returns (which means you don't get your money and need to create a brand new listing), then this isn't really that big of a deal. Poshmark errs on the side of "the customer is always right," meaning they're more likely to let a customer return something than not. If you're easily offended (I am, and this is one reason I try to list flaw-free items, since it's just not worth the stress), then you might want to really consider whether to just donate something that's missing a button or has a tiny hole.
Lesson 6: Have Fun!
It's important to remember to have fun. I know this piece of advice might seem trite and idealistic, but I'm a pretty serious person and I still find that I need to remind myself of this. When I remember that using Poshmark is fun, I get more sales because I take better pictures, interact more often with other sellers, and write better descriptions in my listings. When I’m having fun, I don’t even have to remind myself to be patient.
Are you a Posher? Do these lessons hold true for you? What have you learned? What do you still want to know?
Thanks for taking the time to read this. Keep calm and Posh on!