For the past month, my daughters and I have been running a little business on the site Poshmark (an app and site where you can sell gently used or even NWT clothing items) as part of our homeschooling curriculum. It’s a great platform for teaching kids some basic business skills, but that’s a topic for a different post. Today I’d like to share the top 5 things we have learned during our first month selling on Poshmark so that what we learned can help others who are new to the app or who would like to be more consistent with making sales.
Before we dig in, if you aren’t already signed up for Poshmark (totally free to join, and you can join if you want to sell or even if you’d just like to shop!) we’d love for you to use @squeakersisters as your referral at sign up. You’ll get $5 added to your account for your first purchase (that $5 shows up when you are getting ready to check out for the first time) and we’ll get the same bonus when you make a purchase. Win/win! And be sure to follow us if you are already joined so we can follow you back.
Ok, on to the lessons learned!
Activity on the App is Rewarded
Poshmark is a social app, and not just an online shopping mall. It does require consistent time and effort, and Poshmark wants their users to be active. The more you share your own closet, AND the more you share items in other people’s closets, the more your own items are going to rise to the top of the pile and be seen more. If you’d like to make regular sales, be prepared to at least try to spend a little bit of time on the app every single day. That means listing a few items, sharing other people’s stuff, and sharing your own. At a minimum, expect to spend about half an hour a day. The good news is that you can fit a lot of this into little nooks and crannies of your day, here and there.
2. Know How Much Money You Want to Make
If you are reselling as a way to make some extra income, it’s really important to set a goal for how much profit you’d like to make, on average, for each item you list. Keep in mind that Poshmark takes a painful 20% of the sale price for themselves, and you’ll also have to pay yourself back for the cost of the item if you sourced it at a thrift or consignment store. My girls have a target of at least $10 profit per item. This helps us determine what is and is not worth purchasing in the first place, and it helps us when determining our starting listing price for an item. If you don’t know how much money you need to make, you will purchase too many items that have a low resale value, and find yourself spending an awful lot of time sourcing, photographing, sharing and taking trips to the post office for $3-$6 in profit per item. Yes, that’s still a profit, but look at all the work you had to do to make it! Yikes.
3. Purchase Wisely
When you first start sourcing, you may be thrilled to find armfuls of Banana Republic, Ann Taylor and Gap tops for $5 each. And you may load up on them, bring them home, and then realize that you’ll be doing good to earn $3 profit on them (I speak from experience on this!). What happened? These tops are cute and the brands are great! But, unfortunately, you overpaid! Yes, at $5, you overpaid! Unless the item is super new (was in the store within the last year) or is still trendy and is new with tags (NWT), these brands have such good sales in their own stores, and are so over saturated at thrift stores and even on Poshmark that the resale value is just low. That doesn’t mean you should never get them. But you need to be paying more like $1 or $1.50 for the items. The way to do that is to find out when your local thrift stores have sales. Many thrift stores always have one color tag on sale. Two of my favorite shops in town have one day of the month when EVERYTHING is 50% off. I do the vast majority of my shopping on those sale days. Yes, some items (such as Anthropologie brands) probably are worth the regular prices, but since we homeschool, we can’t scour the thrift stores multiple times a week to try to find those hidden gems. Instead, we wait for the big sale days. One of my biggest lessons is not to be fooled into thinking that the regular prices at thrift stores are cheap enough if you want to make at least $10 profit on each item. You need to be able to source them for very little in order to help you reach that goal. You will make some mistakes along the way, and when you realize it, let go of the guilt and just work hard to get your items out the door, even if you only make a few dollars, or worse, jut break even (if it makes you feel any better, we sold something last week that left us with $0.06 in profit. It gave us a good laugh and we learned a lesson in the process!).
4. Be Prepared to Make a Deal
If you want to sell an item for $15, don’t list it on Poshmark for $15. List it for at least $20. Why? The overall shopping culture in this app is one of negotiating. Buyers want to feel like they got a great deal, so it’s not uncommon for them to make you an offer. It’s also a great idea to make offers to anyone who has liked your item (see tip #5 below). It’s fairly rare for someone to simply buy the item at your asking price. And when folks send you an offer, we have learned that they rarely want to go back and forth with you, so take their offer seriously and only send them a counter-offer if you are truly uncomfortable selling the item for the price they offered. After losing 4 sales due to making counter offers, we now take an offer from a shopper quite seriously and if we can make our desired profit margin, we take their offer (unless it’s a very special item that our research shows we should make quite a bit more on…then we hold out!).
5. Offers to Likers Works!!!!
This is a fairly new addition to the app and we absolutely love it. Shoppers can “like” an item in your closet by giving it a heart. Occasionally, they might make an offer, but most of the time, nothing else happens. But you can then send a private offer to anyone who has liked your item without having to publicly discount the price of the item. In our first month, we made 17 sales. Two of those were full price buys, two were offers that came from the buyers. And all the rest (13) were a result of us sending out offers to likers. For offers to likers, you have to discount the price by at least 10% AND offer a shipping discount (you can either offer a $1.50 discount or offer free shipping….you, the seller, pay for these discounts, by the way). Don’t hesitate to use this feature, as we have found that it tremendously adds to the number of sales we are making. And if you are like us, and not wanting to be in the clothing storage business, this is a great way to move your stuff out of your house more quickly.
I hope these tips help you out! Please do let me know if you have any questions or if you’d like me to create any additional content about Poshmark. I’m curious to see if any of my readers are also using this app, and how it’s working out for you, either as a shopper or as a seller!