My experience selling clothes on Poshmark over the weekend

May 03, 2020

Weeks into my shopping ban I’ve given in to the siren calls of online spending, and placed not one, but five orders. All were on the same site, Poshmark, a peer to peer fashion reselling platform. With my large closet choking with too many clothes, and realizing that I don’t wear 50% of what is in there, Poshmark seems the perfect place to sell. Perhaps I can recoup some, if not all of the money I’ve spent on it over the last three years?

The fashion reselling experiment

This is my second Poshmark sellilng experience. The selling process is well documented so I won’t go into it here. The first time I’ve listed 20 items, mostly shoes. This time I have more to sell, so I listed 50 items, including shoes, blazers, and books. I spent one entire Saturday taking pictures under the natural light, and for each clothing item, taking multiple photos to show the measurements. My reasoning was, if I can de-risk my listing by providing measurements, perhaps the user would pay more for the item. To be on the safe side, I priced all my items around the lower range of existing listings, hoping for a quick sale on most items.

Saturday results

Unfortunately my hopes were dashed that same evening. The first offer was a lowball offer, offering me $10 for a wool Ted Baker vest with a listing price of $30. For context, that vest has retail price of $200. I understand the concept of sunk cost, but the lowball sting hurt so much that I immediately countered to $25, $5 below the listing price. The potential buyer didn’t budge, so no sale on that vest for that day.

Another offer came in for a pair of pilgrim John Fluevog shoes, retail price $200+. I’ve priced it at $75, a great deal considering the shoes have original soles and are barely worn. The offer was for $40 and I countered $50 without thinking. Eventually we settled for $45. $45 is an amazing steal for a pair of shoes from the famed Canadian shoe designer.

Sunday results

For the rest of the evening and early Sunday I checked my phone frequently, hoping another offer or order would arrive. Nothing. I’ve uninstalled the Poshmark app to try to take my mind off it, then reinstalled it to lower the prices across all my listings, including halving the price of that Ted Baker vest from $30 to $15. Finally on Sunday afternoon an order came in. It was $15 for that barely worn Ted Baker vest. With that, I packaged up the shoes and the vest in separate cardboard boxes, saved from previous online purchases.

3 lessons I’ve learned on fashion reselling over the weekend

  1. Selling clothes is tough. It is tough because taking pictures and shipping and pricing is time intensive, plus the market is saturated with too many listings chasing too few eyeballs. Additionally Poshmark takes a fee: 20% really cuts into the profit. eBay reportedly takes 13%, and I’ve cross-posted the higher end items there. No buyers yet.
  2. A smaller, decluttered closet is a happier closet, whereas a large, full walk-in closet is recipe for analysis paralysis. I’d rather have a smaller closet where the clothes are being worn in a monthly, if not weekly basis. It’s easier for outfit planning and easier on the wallet, because lower maintainance fees (think cleaning, repairs, storage, …)
  3. A better ban on clothing shopping is a revised one in, one out policy: only buy a piece of clothing when you have sold a piece of clothing. Sounds easy, and it is way harder than it sounds.

I use my Poshmark account to help declutter my closet, not for any hope of making passive income, or recouping any of the hundreds, if not thousands of dollars I’ve spent on it over the years. I’ll hold myself to the one in, one out policy, and see if that naurally arrives at the same result as the shopping ban.