In January of last year I decided to try using Poshmark — the online platform to buy and sell fashion, beauty, and home goods — as an “experiment” if you will. I wanted to answer the question, is it worth the time and effort that must go into selling an item or should you simply donate or take items to a consignment shop?
I’ve donated SO MANY items in my life and while there’s absolutely NOTHING bad about donating (in fact, it is a really nice thing to do), I’ve unfortunately purchased items I never wore — or wore less than a handful of times — and sometimes would like to recuperate some of the money spent. I’ve also utilized consignment shops quite a few times but often found what they were paying truly didn’t make the effort worth the pennies I got back (plus consignment shops can be incredibly picky based on season, brand, the shop’s aesthetic, etc.)
Perhaps I should put the facts out there, in 2019 I made a total of $1,221.45 on 58 items. Items sold were things I wasn’t using, didn’t want, didn’t need, and in many cases never had nor would use at this time in my life. Items included new beauty/skincare products (I only listed new items though people list and sell used items… which is shocking to me but to each his own), women’s clothing (both new and used), accessories (like jewelry and purses), and shoes (both new and used). Although if you break that number down and realize I only made $21.06 per item that may not seem like a lot, however, for many of those items they were worth significantly less to me and would have yielded zero dollars had I simply donated… so I’m cool with it!
Side note: The photos you see on this post are from my personal Poshmark account. You can find me on the app @anjelicaosborne (yes, I started this account while my last name was still Osborne.) I wanted to show you what the app actually looks like. To be honest, I’m not sure if you can use the platform without downloading the app… but it is easy — and free — to download from the App Store.
After using the Poshmark platform for over a year (and still using it I might add), I’m happy to say I have created a fairly solid Pros and Cons list so you can decide for yourself:
- The app is easy to use (both for selling and purchasing)
- You get money for items you otherwise would have left cluttering your home and/or gotten rid of for zero dollars
- The funds you receive from selling can be used to purchase items within the app, or sent to you via check or direct deposit
- You can just list items and forget about them… people often purchase seemingly randomly
- The more you participate in the app (engaging with others, sharing other’s posts, “liking” posts, etc.) the more visible your items become to shoppers
- You choose the listing price and are able to see exactly how much you will take home at that given price
- If someone offers you a lower price, you’re able to counter, accept, or decline their offer
- You can send sale rates on your items to either those who have “liked” the item, or everyone who follows you
- It’s easy to track your stats for followers, sales in number and dollar amount, current listings, ratings, etc.
- Buyers can rate your items after receipt and leave you love notes (this is actually really freakin’ cute)
- If you’ll be out of town for a period of time, you can put your closet on hold so no one can buy from you (but still see your closet and like your items)
- People aren’t necessarily looking for name brands on Poshmark, though you can buy and list name brands
- The buyer pays for shipping so you simply print out the shipping label
- If you’d like to make a business out of selling on Poshmark, there’s also a “boutique” option where you can sell all new wholesale items of multiple sizes and they offer options to make it easier for you
- You’re expected to get a sold item in the mail no longer than 2 days later (though if you haven’t you’ll just get a reminder email) which can be a pain depending on how busy your week is
- You really SHOULD engage with others — kind of like a weird social media — if you want to make faster sales
- Even after periods of very regular engagement (think a couple hours a day) I still couldn’t really figure out a rhyme or reason for why certain items sold, but I absolutely sold more when I was engaging regularly
- The filters on the app for posting photos are lame… like seriously, those need to be updated because they look like what everyone first used on Instagram so you should probably edit photos before uploading
- The type of photos you post matters… this seems obvious but like, if there’s not a good “look” to your page, you probably won’t sell anything
- Buyers can rate your items very harshly for no real reason and that number is visible to everyone (I once got a 3/5 stars because the bubble wrap and tissue paper I used to wrap a pair of sneakers, plus a handwritten thank-you note wasn’t sufficient to the buyer even though they said the item was perfect…)
- Taking pictures, figuring out the original price, writing a description, etc. can be fairly time consuming
- Once you start listing a number of things, keeping track of everything can be a bit of a headache
- You have to package items in a “nice” way and mail the package yourself (including printing out a shipping label)… also, I always bring the box or envelope into USPS so I can get a receipt that I mailed the item but you don’t have to do that unless you’re lacking trust like myself
- Poshmark takes a $2.95 cut on all items that sell for $15 or less, and a 20% cut on anything sold for more than $15
- According to Poshmark, “new with tag” (NWT) items sell on average at a 50% discount of the original price, and other items sell on average at 60% of original price (I don’t think you have to stick to this, but that’s about what is expected from buyers) which can suck for items you really want to sell for more
- People will sometimes make ridiculously offensive offers and if you’re having a long day, that shit is going to probably piss you the eff off… I’ve for sure been there! But, just remind yourself, if they don’t ask the answer is no so counter with whatever you’d be willing to accept
- You need your notifications to be turned on (especially if you don’t check your email regularly) so you can see if you make a sale or get an offer… but they’re somewhat annoying because you get at least four per day for “parties” you can join
All in all, I would — and have — suggested to friends and family to utilize Poshmark for items they’d rather try to make a few bucks on (even if only listing for a month or two). Despite the laundry list of Cons, if you’re lucky enough to have an extra closet in your home where you can put everything you’re waiting to sell, it is worth it; that being said, if I didn’t have the space, I can’t say I would use it. I must also admit the lag time in selling can be truly annoying so with less space I may set some time limits on how long I list items before donating.
Have you used Poshmark or any other platform to list items you no longer want? What’s been your experience? I’d love to hear from you and see if the Pros outweigh the Cons for you as well… and don’t hesitate to stop by my Poshmark closet!