Social Commerce In My Closet: Getting the most out of what I don’t wear

A few years ago, I noticed my daughter printing shipping labels and sending packages semi-frequently.  It would seem she had some little business going.  But what on earth could she be doing?  “Selling clothes and shoes and stuff I don’t wear.”  Hmmm.  And how exactly are you doing that?  Poshmark.

Poshmark has been around for about 6 years and is a fun little way to clean out your closet and earn a little cash.  It’s all done via their mobile app:  after setting up an account you simply upload pics of your items, describe them, price them, and list them.  Buyers pay a flat rate for shipping, so when you make a sale, Poshmark emails you a pre-paid shipping label.  All you must do is package the item, print the label and send it off.  Easy-peasy.  Poshmark keeps 20% of the sale price for items over $15, and a flat fee of $2.95 for sales less than that.  You can rack up the money in your account, cash out via direct deposit, or use the funds to purchase items you may find from other sellers.

Pros:

  1. Getting rid of your stuff. Having recently lost a lot of weight, I found myself getting rid of an entire wardrobe.  While some of my stuff went to the Goodwill pile, a lot of it went up on Poshmark, earning me a decent amount of cash.  To date, I’ve earned over $1000.
  2. Buying new stuff at great prices. While getting rid of my old clothes, I also needed to shop for an entire new wardrobe. I DID reward my accomplishment with several shopping trips, but I also snagged some really great deals on work clothes, like gently used Ann Taylor dresses and skirts under $25.
  3. Poshmark allows buyers the opportunity to make an offer, and sellers the opportunity to counter, accept, or decline.  Additionally, sellers can offer bundle discounts to their customers if they wish, giving them a break on purchasing more than one item.
  4. It’s fun. You can be creative, staging outfits and taking pictures.  Making sales is fun, and packaging the items in cute, creative ways always pleases the customers.  You also get to interact with other Poshers who have similar tastes and fashion choices.

Cons:

  1. Low-ballers. There’s Poshers out there who think this is a garage sale and make ridiculous offers like $3 for a shirt.  Let’s see…if Poshmark is keeping $2.95 that makes my “profit” $0.05.  By the time I print the label on my paper with my printer ink, tape it to the package and drive it to the post office, I would have actually lost money.  I refuse any offer under $5.
  2. Time commitment. If you are a good seller, with nice items, good prices, and fast turn-around times, you can actually get a lot of sales.  There were a few weeks in which I was going to the post office every day.  This can get old after a while, especially if you are already busy in your normal life.  However, it’s your business and you can control it by taking a break, setting your status to “on vacation,” or limiting your inventory.
  3. Technical limitations. Poshmark could definitely take some lessons from other apps to improve upon their platform. I find myself occasionally frustrated by what it cannot do.  But, Poshmark does make regular updates and enhancements, so maybe the items on my wishlist will eventually get addressed.

posh3Things they could do better:

  1. The ability to organize and categorize the items in your closet. Currently, the items appear in your closet in the order in which they are uploaded, with the most recent upload (or share) listed first.  Poshmark does not have the ability to move items around in your closet (by drag and drop, for example), nor do they allow you to categorize items into groups (like Pinterest does).  I’m not a technical expert, but I think they could capitalize on Pinterest “board technology” to allow users to create separate closets or closet categories for tops, dresses, shoes, etc.
  2. Set a minimum offer price. As I mentioned above, the low-ball customers are super annoying.  It would be nice if you could set your own minimum in your profile, like at $5, $10, whatever your bottom price is.  OR, knowing they keep $2.95 of each sale, Pinterest could just do the right thing and not allow offers below $5.
  3. Return Policy. This is both a good thing and a bad thing.  On the one hand, sellers are protected from ridiculous requests for returns, however buyers don’t have the same protection.  As long as the item looks exactly like it did in the picture and is as described, you have to keep it.  I got burned once when I purchased an ivory lace jacket.  It looked exactly like he picture, however the previous owner had obviously shrunk the item, because it was the size of a child’s jacket.  I tried explaining this and uploaded photos to prove my case, but because the photos I submitted in my request for refund looked like the photos posted for the sale, I was denied a refund and was out $18.49.  Live and learn.  I now request measurements on items so I can be assured they are the right size.
  4. Social engagement button. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat, and Pinterest all have icons you can add to web posts, blogs, etc. to send folks to your profile and follow you.  It would be great if Poshmark offered the same social engagement tools.

All in all, this is a fun and useful app that gives you the opportunity to earn a little cash with little effort.  Initially, it takes some time to set up your closet, but after that, it really is easy.  I know Poshmark has a bit of competition, and they’ll have to work hard to stay afloat in this age of social commerce.

posh5

Banana Republic dress I have for sale in my closet on Poshmark

If you want to check out my closet to see what I have for sale, visit:  https://poshmark.com/closet/goodaker

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