While doing a big purge of items is for sure one of the hardest parts of this task, the next step of knowing what to do with those items can be difficult too. If donating gently used clothing pieces doesn’t seem like the right fit, you might consider selling things on a handy app like Poshmark, a resale marketplace for women’s, men’s, and kids’ clothing, shoes, and accessories.
I first started using Poshmark three years ago when my closet clean-out left me with several items that had barely been worn, were still in great shape, and, frankly, just a little too expensive for me to simply send off to a donation center without feeling guilty for not getting my money’s worth. We all have that pair of jeans that just never quite fit right, that jacket you forgot to exchange for a different size, or a pair of shoes that, despite you wishing and hoping, still unpleasantly pinch your feet every time you wear them. The solution? Poshmark.
Did I mention that you’re also making money to clean out your closet? If you’re willing to put in a little time and effort to successfully sell things on Poshmark, it can be a great way to get rid of items you no longer love (but someone else will!) while earning a few bucks along the way.
Sound like a plan but not sure where to start? Keep reading for my six tips on how to set up your account, create listings, and generate sales.
1. Create a stellar account with a lot of details
First things first, you’ll need to create an account on the Poshmark app. It’s simple to do, and the app walks you through everything you need for setup. When it comes to building out your seller profile, my advice is to add as much info and as many photos as you’re comfortable with. In my experience, making your profile pic a real photo of yourself (rather than your dog or an image of flowers, for example) and including a bit more info like where you’re located (generally, of course), your favorite brands, and maybe even your public Instagram handle so shoppers can get a better sense of your personal style are all great additions. If you want to jazz things up even more, you can also add a cover photo and more images of yourself to your “Meet the Posher” page.
When you start to sell things (more on that later!), the app will track the number of listings you’ve sold over time and the average rating you’re given by buyers. But, interestingly, these stats aren’t publicly advertised on your profile. As a shopper, I found it super helpful when other users took a screenshot of this info (that only you can see under the “My Posh Stats” section) and added the photo to their “Meet the Posher” page. So, it might be something you consider adding, as well. If the way you describe items in your listings is always spot-on, you’re always game to answer buyer questions, and you package things immaculately and ship out quickly, people will be more likely to buy — so show off your amazing buyer ratings, ladies! (Pro Tip: if you include your “listings sold” stat in a screenshot, it’ll also show your total earned right underneath, so I quickly used a photo editing app to blur out that number before posting. No need to get that detailed).
2. Take great photos (it’ll literally pay off)
When you’re ready to create your first listing, taking great photos of the item you’re trying to sell is key. If it’s a clothing item, I usually hang it up on my closet door or nicely lay it out (or crisply fold it!) on my made bed or a clean spot on the floor. No need to get professional here — well lit iPhone photos are great as long as you’re really clearly showing the item from all angles, taking close-ups of any signs of noticeable wear, and advertising any special details about the piece. Adding specifics about the quality of the item in the description is so important, but most buyers also want to see the wear and tear and make purchase decisions based on how things look.
If you’re listing a pair of shoes, don’t forget to snap a photo of the soles, backs of the heels, and the insole. If you’re selling a bag, be sure to show off the inside (especially pockets!) and take close-ups of the corners, logos, zippers, clasps, etc. The app only lets you upload seven images (including the cover photo — which should, of course, be the best overall image you’ve got!) per listing, but if the item has a lot of details or signs of wear you feel are important to include, you can use a photo editing app to make a few collage images and pop those in to show more of the product. In my book, the more photos, the better.
For some items, I will occasionally use an online product image from a retailer as the listing’s cover photo. If you’re selling something like a gently used tote bag that just looks floppy and weird propped up on your bed, a professionally-taken photo can work to really show off the piece in the best way. But remember to always include real photos of the actual item you’re selling in the rest of the listing or else Poshers likely won’t consider actually buying. In most cases, I think a listing’s photos are actually more important than the description, so keep that in mind.
3. Be incredibly truthful in your descriptions
This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many people try to be a bit deceitful when it comes to the quality of items they’re trying to sell. And that ultimately never leads to satisfied buyers. If the item is brand new and has never been worn but has been sitting in the back of your dusty guest room closet for six years, I want to know. If that Kate Spade purse looks to be in great shape but does have some wear on the back left corner, tell me that (and let me see it in the photos too!). If a button is coming loose on your jacket or there’s some pilling on your cute sweater, that’s cool, I just. want. to. know. Most of these things won’t deter buyers from making a purchase, but it’s always better to over-communicate when it comes to the description than leave them with surprises when the item later arrives in the mail.
In addition to the quality, it’s amazing to also give buyers insider info about what you’re trying to sell, especially when it comes to clothing. We all know a size M is far from universal for women’s clothes, so tell us specifics about the fit, how the item held up over time, or why you liked the brand.
4. Be willing to communicate
Even with great photos and detailed descriptions, some buyers might still have specific questions about certain items. One of the biggest keys to being a successful Poshmark seller is to be on the app quite regularly and remain active with listings, shares, and responding to commenters. It takes a bit of time, but it really helps. If interested buyers have questions or request additional photos or info about one of your listings, be sure to answer them in a timely manner in order to (hopefully) secure the sale.
5. Price things to sell
When listing things, it’s important to remember to price things to sell. Selling things on Poshmark instead of donating them definitely takes time, and if you want to move things fast (AKA not have to deal with storing items elsewhere in your space after they’ve left your closet), it’s probably best to give buyers a good deal. Everyone on the app is looking to buy things at a discount — even if they’re brand new items! — so keep that in mind when coming up with a reasonable price for your listing.
If something I’m looking to sell is brand new with its original store tags, I usually start by listing it at 50 percent off the sticker price. If it’s been worn but is still in good shape, I’ll typically list it as 60-70 percent off the original price. Some people want to start with a higher listing price because you can always drop it down and offer shipping discounts to interested parties, but in my experience, overpricing things from the get-go results in the item not selling as quickly as you’d probably like.
Also, don’t be afraid to accept offers from a potential buyer if you get one. The offer made may be lower than what you were expecting to sell the item for, but that person is really interested in buying and likely will if you’re able to meet their desired price. Remember: successfully selling 10 moderately priced items will likely leave you with more profit than selling one to two higher-priced pieces, so price things to move along.
6. Invest in nice packaging and keep supplies on hand
Once you’ve made a sale, the next step is printing the prepaid mailing label and packaging the item up. In my experience as both a buyer and seller on Poshmark, putting a little effort into your packaging goes a long way. I once bought something on the app that I was so excited to receive in the mail, and when it arrived, it was just thrown into a huge box and the item looked so disheveled and sad when I opened it up. Total letdown, especially when your usual online buying experience is probably much nicer than that.
To spruce up my packaging a little, I “invested” in a sleeve of $3 tissue paper, grabbed some old holiday ribbon I had at home, and bought a small pack of pretty Thank You notes from Target’s dollar section. If you’re semi-regularly selling items like me, you can probably just reuse boxes from your personal online shopping (cough, cough @Amazon) to package up your Poshmark sales. Throw a sheet of tissue paper in the bottom, quickly wrap the item in another sheet of tissue paper and tie it up with a piece of ribbon, and tuck a simply-written Thank You note inside, and voila — you just made your buyer’s day.
Since putting a bit more effort into my Poshmark packaging — at really not much of a financial cost to me — I’ve received so many nice reviews and comments from buyers that it really made a difference in their experience. Happy customers lead to more sales and a reputation for being a thoughtful and great seller … which then leads to more sales. A win, win, win!
Also, remember that that average time it takes you to ship something out to its new owner is a public Posh Stat that buyers can see on your profile, so be as timely as possible when you make sales. My average is 2.5 days, so while there’s certainly no need to rush to the post office that day, try to prioritize getting the package out as best as you can. Your buyer is hopefully really excited to receive their item so get it to them soon.
Successfully selling on Poshmark definitely takes time and effort, but hopefully, the process ends up being fun for you too. If there’s something sitting in your closet that you feel guilty about getting rid of (we all have that one thing) and knowing someone else out there would really enjoy it helps you more easily part ways with it — not to mention you’re making some extra $$$! — then Poshmark is a great outlet to do just that. The app is also really user-friendly and includes a lot of helpful information about how things work and how to make sales so definitely utilize the “Guide to Poshmark” and “Posh Etiquette” breakdowns if you have more questions. Happy Poshing, mamas!