Poshmark is an online marketplace to buy and sell gently used items, mostly geared to designer and name brand clothing. Buying and selling is mainly done through the app, although you can also do this from the desktop version of the website.
The app first launched in 2011 by Silicon Valley entrepreneur Manish Chandra, former founder of the online shopping site, Kaboodle.
Poshmark embraces a socially-focused buying and selling experience. Potential buyers can “like” items and ask you questions directly on the page the item is listed.
They can also follow your closet if they like your style. Gaining followers is a great way to build your customer pool if you are interested in selling more items.
If you have a lot of things to sell, you can set up your own store on Poshmark. If you appreciate simplicity over fees, then Poshmark might be your best choice. However, if you’re concerned about fees, you might consider eBay, LetGo or even Craigslist or similar.
Table of Contents
- Why I Started Using Poshmark
- How to Sell on Poshmark
Why I Started Using Poshmark
Six years ago, I got the idea to start an eBay store just to get rid of clothing, shoes and accessories I no longer wanted. I had a bit of a shopping addiction, but that’s a totally different story.
At the time, handy selling apps weren’t as popular, so I used eBay, which was both a blessing a curse. A blessing because I did eventually manage to sell everything I posted, but a curse because the simplest tasks would take me forever to figure out! I still remember feeling overwhelmed with all the selling tools and information on eBay after signing up to sell.
In my opinion, eBay doesn’t have the most user-friendly platform to buy or sell. While it’s improved greatly since 2012, I don’t find it as easy to use as Poshmark.
In the last few years, I started using Poshmark upon recommendation from a friend who was using it to get rid of her designer duds for some extra cash. I had never heard of it, but she seemed to be selling well, so I switched.
I quickly learned that Poshmark is awesome! It’s simple to post items directly from the app, communicate with buyers, and understand flat fees for shipping.
The shipping is really simple, as they do a flat rate shipping of $6.79 and the buyer pays this. You can print a shipping label from the app and ship Priority Mail via USPS. You should also know that you can only ship in the United States.
This app allows you to work from home and to work when you want. It is up to you how much you sell, how much you interact and if you want to create a following of buyers by linking your social media.
Simplicity comes at a price, and the app takes a 20 percent cut of your sales. So, I should note that I still use eBay from time to time because I find that the fees aren’t as high.
Poshmark Favors the Buyer vs Seller
The way Poshmark is set up is really geared to the buyer. If the buyer happens to be unhappy with your item for whatever reason, they can open a claim and return the item to you.
Another downside to using the app as a seller is that you can’t get paid until after the buyer receives your item and “accepts” the purchase. The buyer has three days to do this. Poshmark then releases your funds on the fourth day, and you have the option to release the funds or spend it in the app.
This means you actually don’t get the funds until the buyer receives the item and marks it as accepted on the app. It’s a longer waiting period, especially if your item gets lost or delayed from USPS.
Let’s say the buyer isn’t happy with the item, for whatever reason. They can use this three-day window to contest or return the item, in which case you won’t get paid.
Not the Best Option for a Store
If you plan on selling a lot of items and want to form a business around selling gently used clothing, Poshmark probably isn’t the best platform because of the high commission fee of 20 percent. You’re probably better off starting your own e-commerce store using a site like Shopify.
Socially-focused Means Lots of Time
Customers are allowed to post questions and comments directly on the item’s page, so there can be a lot of questions, which can take up a lot of your time to answer.
While there’s nothing wrong with answering questions customers may have, getting pinged constantly isn’t the most ideal situation either.
I’ve heard of sellers complaining about having to answer tons of questions about size, color, etc., but resulting in very little buying.
The goal of selling is to not have it take up too much of your time, since, as they say, time is money.
Embracing simplicity, Poshmark’s fees are straightforward. For sales under $15, they take a flat fee of $2.95, so if you sold a dress for $14, you’d pocket $11.05.
If the cost of the item is higher than $15, Poshmark takes a 20 percent cut. So imagine selling that same dress for $16 and you’d pocket $12.80.
Once your sale has been delivered and received by your buyer, the earnings from your sale are yours.
How to Sell on Poshmark
When you’re ready to sell, download the app to your phone.
When posting your items, Poshmark asks you if it can access your camera on your phone, and from there, all you need to do is take the photos and post it with a description. Sounds easy, but there are some tricks and ways to get more shoppers to your items.
The Power of Photos
I admit I had a leg up on selling online because I previously had my eBay store, but I think all of my years of online shopping has truly helped me understand the mind of the customer.
As a buyer, there were so many times when I’d bounce from a seller’s page because the item listed had blurry or dark photos, and no clear description or return policy. Next.
It still surprises me how sloppy some sellers are with photos. Images are sometimes dark, hard to see (especially black or darker colored items), or the close up is blurry and you don’t know what you’re looking at.
If the color of the item didn’t come out accurately, be sure to note that in the description. As awesome as smartphones are these days, sometimes it doesn’t capture the color of an item true to life, so instead of customers wondering if the item was olive green or grey, just write it in the description.
I can’t stress this enough: be as detailed and descriptive as possible, and take quality photos.
Poshmark allows you to take up to eight photos for your item. Take advantage of that and use all eight to show your item in different angles, close-ups and model it if you can. It helps to see what the item looks like when worn, rather than just dangling on a hanger.
Five mini-hacks for Awesome Photos
1. Take photos in natural lighting.
If you can’t, make sure it’s brightly lit inside.
2. Use a comparison item in your photos.
If the item is small, snap the photo next to a comparison item (i.e. a coin, an iPhone, anything that’s universally recognized), so people will easily understand the size more accurately. For example, I once sold some tiny diamond stud earrings, so I put a penny in the photo so customers could compare the size.
3. Use a seamstress tape measure.
Lay clothing flat with the tape measure in the photo so you don’t have to write it out in the description, which many customers don’t read anyway.
4. Be upfront about any and all flaws the item may have.
Taking photos of any and all flaws is crucial. Be as transparent as possible so you’re not surprised by the buyer. Surprises are only great for birthday parties, not when you’re spending your hard-earned money on something.
This not only helps minimize returns but if you want to continue selling on Poshmark, gaining as many positive reviews will help keep your business going.
5. Use your phone’s editing tool
I would not only snap photos of the flaws, but I would also use my editing tool on my iPhone (called Markup) to draw an arrow to the flaw so the customer doesn’t have to search for it.
How to Price Your Item
Do a quick search on Poshmark and eBay to see what your item is fetching. Try to price your item as competitively as possible.
Be Descriptive and Use Adjectives
Channel sixth grade English class and get descriptive. Use as many adjectives as possible, and be detailed about the size, color, condition and how it fits you when you wore it.
An added bonus is if you can suggest ways customers can wear the item in a stylish way.
Build Your Following
Just like Instagram, you can follow other “Poshers.” The first week I sold items, I was surprised to see I had quickly gained 50+ followers, just from posting my items.
If you’re thinking about making this a long-term way to make extra money, follow them back.
I’ve also heard about Poshmark sellers who regularly share other people’s items to their own followers, so this is something you may want to try, as you’re building your customer base.
Add a Nice Note to Your Package
Each time I sold an item, I stuffed turquoise tissue paper in the customer’s box, along with a nice note that asks customers to please contact me first if there are any discrepancies or issues with the item, rather than opening up a case with Poshmark or leaving me a negative review.
Haggling and Best Offer Option
Poshmark has an “offer” option which means buyers can make an offer that’s lower than the price you listed. Keeping this option open when you list your item can help gain more customer interest. You can set the minimum price you’re willing to accept for an item.
Posh Parties are virtual, real-time shopping events, where sellers (and buyers) get together to shop and sell. It’s another way for Poshmark to encourage social engagement on the app and an opportunity to attract more followers.
You can join a party easily. Just go to your listing when the party starts and press the share button to see the current party. If you want to share, hit the button and you’ll be added to the party.
You can save items to sell, just for parties. Just add the new listing when the party is happening and you’ll receive an option to share it.
If you have a lot of things to sell, you can set up your own online boutique on Poshmark. If you appreciate simplicity over fees, then Poshmark might be your best choice. However, if you’re concerned about fees, you might consider eBay, LetGo or even Craigslist or similar.
The Poshmark app offers buyers the ability to buy great items for a good price and sellers can make money somewhat quickly. If you are looking to clear out your closet in a fun way, I recommend Poshmark as a solid option.