I recently received a message from a reader who requested I do a post on how to sell on Poshmark. More specifically, how I was successful at selling on Poshmark. For those of you unfamiliar with Poshmark, it is an app that is a marketplace for women to sell secondhand clothing and accessories. This can mean anything from brand new items with tags still attached to gently used pieces that are still in good condition. I found out about the tool from fellow blogger Sandae of Curvy Girl on the Run. I had been taking some of my gently used items to a local consignment shop, but I felt like I was not seeing much movement or like I had much control over my sales. After a massive closet clean out last December, I decided to venture out and sell these items on Poshmark.
It was interesting getting this email request because the idea for writing a post like this was something I had thought of before. My hesitation to following through with it comes from several issues I have had with Poshmark. Like with any selling site, I think there will be some problems, so investigate which one works for you. For the most part I have been satisfied with selling here, but I encourage you to find the right platform that works for you. I am neither promoting Poshmark or knocking them, rather this is a list of sales tips that I actually used.
The lowdown on the details is pretty simple, you list an item and Poshmark takes 20% of a sale for anything over $15. Sales under $15 get a $2.95 flat fee. You set the price for what you want to sell it for. Shipping is super easy because they act as the middle person because they collect the always $4.99 shipping fee from the buyer and they email you a USPS shipping label. **Update: Effective February 17, 2016, shipping has now been changed to $5.95.** This means you do not have to front shipping costs. All shipments are Priority Mail so I have never once paid for a box to package my item(s) in because you get boxes free from the Post Office. I order mine online and have them delivered free to my doorstep: USPS Shipping Boxes. Be sure to only get the ones marked Priority Mail and not the Priority Mail Flat Rate. After the buyer has received their package, they need to accept the item in Poshmark to release your funds. In other words, the faster you get it out to them, the faster you get paid. In a few instances buyers have not gone in to click the accept button and I have to wait three days after it was delivered to have my funds released. I am summarizing this information as I want this post to be focused on how I sold items and what I found to be most effective. To read in more detail about this type of information, read the Poshmark FAQ‘s.
I cannot be for sure what has specifically helped me make over 280 sales since I began listing back in December of 2014, but here is a list of things I did that I believe was a big part of my success for selling so many items.
The Cover Shot and Pictures
You are able to download four pictures for each listing and you want to make each one of them count. The first image is your cover shot. I chose to model most of my items for the cover shot and received many comments on how buyers loved that. They felt it gave them a better idea of how the item looked on a real live body. I have chosen to take most of my pictures with a nice hedge background that is not distracting.
For the other three shots, I took a more practical approach and took one image of the piece on a hanger from the front, the next showing the back, both showing the garment in its entirety. The last image I chose to show a closeup of the tag showing the brand and size along with the detail of the garment.
These three hanging pictures I take on a backdrop I created with a fabric paint drop cloth I got at Home Depot for like $8. I take my images in natural daylight to attempt to get the best representation of the colors. If an image comes out too dark, I lighten and brighten it using the camera editor on my iPhone. My mission is to get items as best represented as the real item as possible. I take all my images with my iPhone with a square format because it is easy for me to load them into the Poshmark app directly from my photo stream.
If I have an item that does not fit me, I style an image for the cover shot with it sitting on a nice surface and styled with other items, preferably with other items from my closet.
Description and Details
I have attempted to keep uniform in my description and details of all my items.
- The first is the title of what you are selling. This will show underneath the cover shot when people are scrolling through items. I try to keep this somewhat brief, but still give enough detail to let people know what the item is. Leave out personal choice terms such as “beautiful” “cute” “adorable” and put in a real title like “Navy Blue Blazer with White Trim”.
- Next is the description. I skip using full complete sentences and go for a more bullet point facts approach. 1-The first point is a repeat of the title. 2-More details about the make of the piece and what makes it special such as “tropical floral print in light green, red, and yellow”. (believe me, you think the images will show everything, but it does not). Also list pertinent information such as “has an elastic waistband” or “pockets on front are faux”. 3-The fabric content. 4-Measurements or fit information such as inseam or length of skirt. 5-Condition such as new without tags, gently used, slight pilling, and listing any imperfections such as pulls. I attempt to take pictures if there are any flaws as well. This step has proven to be challenging because I may miss small flaws, but I do my best and always want to represent my pieces with honesty. All of this information will be useful not only for those who are already following you and are interesting in purchasing, but these terms will be used in the search category and will make your items pull up when someone is looking for something specific.
- For the Category select the most obvious place your item would be found in. Think about if you were searching for your item, where would you look for it?
- Size and Brand I ALWAYS use the drop downs and choose from the available categories, sizes, and brands. For items like jewelry, belts, and handbags I select the size OS (One Size) and then list the actual size in the description. There are rare exceptions for the brands when the odd brands I have is not listed in Poshmark, but I create a custom brand and type in the name of what I have. The reason I use the drop down selections in these categories is because they help buyers find your items with the filters Poshmark has created. If you create a custom size (like put in a ring size in this area instead of OS) it will not pull up when people are searching for items in their size. If you create a custom brand (such as Ann Taylor Loft instead of selecting the drop down of LOFT Poshmark has created), it will not pull up when people are searching for that particular brand.
My most successful items and bundles have been when I have taken the time to style my cover shots creating either a portion of an outfit, and in some cases, and entire outfit. Placing cardigans or jackets with tops underneath that coordinate then adding some jewelry that compliments the look can make it appealing to buyers to purchase every item.
After years of shopping, I have found that I like certain brands for both fit and quality reasons. For those reasons, I know that other ladies are on the look out for clothing brands that they prefer. I must admit, I think that a lot of the brands I listed such as LOFT, Anthropologie, GAP, and Chico’s had quite a bit to do with the success of my sales. People are used to these names and search them out.
Once I began selling, I had a tremendous amount of items I had to list. It took me months of listing several items almost every weekday to get through the entirety of my closet clear out. After a few sales, I noticed that the same ladies were coming back week after week to see what I had that was new. I did my best to work with these ladies and would alert them when I was posting.
Poshmark is a community and there are ladies on there that are so unbelievably wonderful. They recommended my closet to their followers that would in turn make me sales. By establishing relationships with ladies who have similar size and style items that you do, you can reap the rewards and pay it forward all at the same time. And not to mention, meet some really fabulous ladies!
About the Seller Listing
I created an “about the seller” listing to let people know a little bit more about myself. It is a “not for sale” listing that I have pictures of myself and a description about me. I did this because whenever I am shopping on Poshmark, I like to know who I am purchasing from. It makes me feel more confident that I am making a good purchase.
Shipping and Packaging
I ship out my items typically 1 to 2 days after an order is placed. This not only gets me my funds faster, it also makes buyers happy to get their item(s) in a timely manner. It is one of the biggest reasons why so many buyers have come back to me. I package my items in a simple, cute, and practical way. Each item gets folded nicely and wrapped in white tissue paper. I secure the paper with a piece of colorful printed washi tape, then attach a small square note card that I get at the 99 Cents Only store with a handwritten thank you. I then take that and place it in a zip lock bag. I have different sizes that I use and get the large 2 gallon ones for bundles so I can put multiple items in one bag. I have always used the free USPS boxes because after all, the buyer is paying $4.99 for shipping and I do not care if they are purchasing a bangle, it is getting put in a box. It is free to me, so I might as well use it. I have received many comments on my packaging and thanking me for it. I do these things for many reasons: it makes a good impression to buyers, it keeps the items protected during shipping, the zip lock bag has saved several items from boxes being left on the porch in the rain, the zip lock bag kept a thief from fishing out a shirt from a box that had been ripped open on the side, and the zip lock bag allows me to push the air out of the items allowing me to fit more items into a box.
Whenever a buyer or fellow Posher comments on a listing, I try to comment back in a timely manner. If a buyer is asking a question, they are typically ready to purchase (not always though). I have set my notifications on my phone to pop up on my screen if someone makes a comment so I can respond to them quickly. I have found that if I do that, they are quick to purchase. I have from time to time run across some rude ladies who are simply bullies that want you to pretty much sell your items to them for practically nothing. I take these with a grain of salt and let them go.
The other point I want to make about commenting is that I attempt to make complete sentences without major typos (they do happen from time to time). I have also avoided using acronyms because sometimes I have had no idea what someone was talking about and it took me forever to answer their question because of all lower caps, no periods, and several acronyms I was not familiar with. I also like to acknowledge the persons name in the comment because I think it makes it more personal.
When you comment on one of your own listings and you are replying to a comment someone left on it, be sure to type the @ symbol plus that persons user name at the beginning of the comment. They then get notified that you responded to them. If you do not do this, they will have no idea that you commented back unless they happen to check back to your listing.
Communication is such a nice thing, especially when someone makes a purchase. I comment to them saying thank you and give them an idea of when I will be mailing out their package.
Sharing both your listings and other peoples listings are a good way to get traffic to your closet. It promotes good camaraderie among Poshers and brings attention to you as a Poshmark user. This can be very time consuming, but find a technique that works for your lifestyle. It allowed others to find my closet and ultimately brought me sales. I also do my best that if someone shares my listings, I return the favor by sharing listings from their closet. Every time you share a listing, it is visible in the Poshmark News Feed to all of your followers similar to how Facebook is with your friends.
There are Posh Parties held three times every day. Some of them are category specific such as Tops & Jackets, some are brand specific such as Lilly Pulitzer & Anthropologie, and some are theme specific such as City Chic. I used to be very active in all of these and would share my items to the appropriate party. It allows ladies to showcase their items to others that may not be following you already. I have also received what is called a “Host Pick” which is when a host (a Poshmark user that has been assigned to organize the party) selects a listing to be highlighted in a special showcase. It has helped me gain exposure and bring more attention to my closet. While I am not exactly sure what the science is behind getting selected to have a host pick, I believe it all stems from good cover shots, friends I have made that are hosts, and referrals from friends who know someone who is a host.
I know that I am probably in the minority when it comes to my theory on following other Poshmark users, but I do not follow everyone who follows me. I like to follow users that have similar sizes that I have, carry similar brands that I do, and have a general aesthetic that I like.
I have chosen to be Poshmark compliant which means I do not sell items that they do not allow and I do not trade. To see a list of items that are ok to sell and not ok to sell, check out the Poshmark FAQ’s (I have taken a snapshot of the What can I sell on Poshmark? from the FAQ’s below). Trading just is not appealing to me mostly because I am not wanting more items, I am wanting to get rid of things. Also, having Poshmark as my middle person takes a load off my mind. I do not want to take extra time out of my day or have to think about if someone is going to cooperate with me and send what they say they are going to send. It is too much hassle. Being compliant is another reason why I have been chosen to have host picks and now be an official Poshmark suggested user. Some users will not even share or follow you if your closet has unsupported items listed.
By logging on to Poshmark, it keeps track of when you were last active. This information is shown on your user about page. I look at this page every time I consider making a purchase from a seller and if they have not logged in for a month and a half I move on because I know they are not active on Poshmark.
Pricing and Bundle Discounts
Let’s be real, I am selling second hand clothing and accessories here. I do not care if I took it from the store, hung it in the closet still with it’s tags on, and decide to sell it, it is still second hand. Sure it is more appealing to buyers being new, and can be priced higher than used items, but it is different than purchasing from a retail store. I price my items at a pretty reasonable rate and always welcome offers through the offer button feature that Poshmark has in place.
I have always offered a discount to those who bundle or purchase multiple items at one time. This not only gives the buyer incentive to get more of your listings, they only have to pay one shipping fee for multiple pieces. This helps me move more volume. Now Poshmark has a bundle feature available to allow buyers to make these multiple listing purchases on their own. And boy am I glad because they were so time consuming to create before manually.
So there you have it, my tips for what worked for me on being successful on Poshmark. There are ladies that are even much more successful on Poshmark than me and they each have certain sales techniques that work for them. I encourage you to explore all the possibilities out there. And I think I have officially written a book here! Holy Toledo, does this still qualify as being a blog post?
Poshmark has been a double edge sword to me for many reasons. Pros: A great way to sell the items from my closet clear out and to find some fabulous second hand items for fantastic prices. Cons: It has been very time consuming, I have had to deal with some issues with Poshmark itself, it has caused me to make more purchases than I should have, and it has now created another excuse for me to purchase new items because I can sell the older ones. I guess you can’t win them all! Since I have listed all my items from my massive closet clear out, my sales have started to dwindle. I think people liked seeing all the new items being listed. I do list items periodically when I do an edit in my wardrobe, but nothing like I had before. I am sure that I will at some point do another huge closet edit, but I will decide at that time if I want to continue with listing here or go through my local consignment shop again.
If you are interested in joining Poshmark, you can receive $5 to spend on Poshmark by using my invite code of BYKEJ when you sign up. My user name is j9design if you are interested in following me there too. This post is not sponsored or in any way affiliated with Poshmark. I have written it upon request of one of my readers and because I want to help other ladies have as much success on this platform as possible. If you are interested in seeing a post on Tips for Purchasing on Poshmark, let me know in the comments. If you do join Poshmark or if you are already a user there and have further questions, let me know, I am always willing to help where I can.
Today’s Postivity Note
Don’t rush and never settle. If it’s meant to be, it will be.
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