Hi friend! How’s your Spring? More specifically, how’s that spring cleaning going? You know, the tidying you promised yourself you’d get to soon?
We are roaring through May and Memorial Day is right around the corner. So while you’re digging through your closet for that swimsuit and cover-up, it’s the perfect time to clean!
If you need a little encouragement in the decluttering department, I have a book for you! This is THE cleaning book that inspired a cult following. Yes, you read that correctly: people are excited about cleaning! Lots of people. The aptly named book: The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo will inspire you to stop your cleaning procrastination and finally get it done!
New studies indicate a relationship between the amount of clutter we have and our perceived level of stress. Apparently, being surrounded by too much stuff slowly erodes our comfort and instead, becomes a source of overwhelm and fatigue. Too much clutter is a drain on our mental health not to mention our bank accounts.
In light of this new information, it’s time to get serious about decluttering. Your health and sanity depend on it! In fact, regular tidying and reducing clutter should be part of your routine wellness practice. Think of it as the meditation and deep breathing equivalent for your physical surroundings. A simple, effective way to bring peace and order to your home.
Plan time this weekend to start going through your things. Sort through one room or area at a time. I personally like to start with my closet as clothes are a known area of excess (borderline hoarding) for me.
The goal in each area is to end up with distinct piles of items you’ve decided to keep and those you can get rid of.
Now, what to do with all that stuff?
Those extra things that don’t ‘spark joy‘. If you read Marie’s book, you’ll know what I’m talking about. The pants that don’t fit or that blouse that doesn’t really match anything. The items you wore only a couple of times. The ones that still have tags yet are collecting dust. I’ve got the answer for you!
Today I am sharing my favorite place to off-load these unwanted items and also put a little money in your pocket!!
Hands down, my favorite place to sell items is on a marketplace called Poshmark. I absolutely love this platform and regularly use it to sell my clothes and accessories. It’s an app and a website. Most importantly it’s super easy to use.
I may be slightly biased, but this site truly works! Last year, I made just over 1000 dollars selling unwanted items. I’ve been a member for about three years and was initially only casually using Poshmark to sell clothes. Since ramping up my tidying and decluttering, I found more items to sell. A full Posh closet means more sales and more income!
It’s works! I recently passed the $2000 dollar sales mark! Cue the Happy Dance music!! I am happy to be free from excess stuff and my bank account appreciates the boost!
Who could use a little extra money? What if it involved getting rid of things you aren’t even using? It’s a no brainer!
So, how do you get started with Poshmark?
You’ve already done the most labor intensive part, which is deciding what to get rid of and what you no longer need or want. Let’s get to the money-making!
How it works:
Poshmark is fairly easy and intuitive to use. The official website claims you can “list an item for sale in under 60 seconds”! I can attest, it really is that fast! All you need to do is download the app on your phone or head to the website. Create an account and add a profile picture. Now you are ready to sell!
Grab something from that pile of excess! Open the app, click the camera button at the bottom, and start taking pictures. I typically take a picture of the front, back, and inside tags of each item. If there are any unique aspects about your item, including flaws or stains, be sure to take a picture of those as well. You’ll want to mention this in the description (which I will talk about next). Transparency regarding the exact quality of an item will be your best strategy.
Now onto the description.
The first section is like a headline for your post. The prompt is: what are you selling? It’s a quick one-liner about your item. Include the brand, what it is, and the condition. There is a 50 character limit here, so be brief. Common abbreviations to use include BNWT (Brand New With Tags) and BNWoT (Brand New Without Tags).
For example: Free People Blouse, BNWT, Small.
Next, for efficiency, I copy and paste the writing from the headline section into the description section and then elaborate. Here you will describe the item in further detail. Include info about zippers, buttons, material type, measurements, how it fits, etc. Be brief but remember to include things that may be helpful to someone who wants to make a purchase. You have lots of space in this section so use it to your advantage.
Next, fill out the rest of the details: size, quantity, price, (both the original price and the selling price). If you can’t remember how much an item originally cost, do a quick internet search. You can also search within Poshmark to see if someone else is selling a similar item.
This is a great opportunity to check out the competitions price point. If all your sleuthing efforts fail, list the original price at $ 999, which sends the message that the original price is unknown. The selling price is the most important number anyway, so don’t stress about this. Set your selling price and then list the item! Super easy right?
Once you click the list button, the item is now posted in your Posh Closet and available for purchase! Feel free to continue listing more items and taking additional pictures. I like to block off about 30 minutes each week to list Posh items in my closet. Alternately, you can use a few minutes of downtime each day to list your items. Whatever works best for your schedule!
Eventually, people will start to notice your items and visit your closet. You’ll get notifications from those who like your items. Similar to social media, you can like an item, or favorite it, by clicking the heart next to the description. Liking an item will allow potential buyers to know when you change the price or offer a discount. Those who “favorite” your items are alerted to sales and price changes automatically via emails generated by Poshmark.
You will get updates and notifications about offers made on your items. Each offer lasts for 24 hours. You are able to counter-offer at any time during the 24-hour window.
For example: if you list a blouse for $ 20, but someone offers $ 14, you can either accept that price or counter back at $ 16 dollars, etc. Together, you and the purchaser arrive at a price you both feel good about.
Which brings me to my next point…
How do you know the best price? This can be a challenge. You know your clothes are awesome. You purchased them at some point because you wanted them in your wardrobe. You loved them enough to pull out your hard-earned cash or credit card and buy them. But now, you love them less. Maybe you haven’t found that perfect event to wear them yet. The details and sentimental attachments around why you purchased them, or what event you wore them to cannot impact your pricing.
Your hopes and aspirations do not travel with the clothes. The problem with sentimental attachment is that it makes us value an item at a price that is higher than a complete stranger would perceive it to be. So keep that in mind when you are setting a price. No emotional attachment. If you find that you cannot detach from an items’ sentimental price, then perhaps it shouldn’t be sold.
I have found the best strategy is to price an item similar to what you would see it sold for in a second-hand store. Remember, these clothes aren’t doing you any good or making you any money by taking up room in your closet. Price accordingly. Rest assured, you can always go back and lower the price of an item at any time if you aren’t getting the sales or offers you want.
A note about shipping. Shipping affects both an item’s total price and the commission of your sale. How? Poshmark handles the shipping details for each sale. When an item is sold, Poshmark automatically emails a pre-paid and pre-addressed label. All you have to do is tape it on the box or package and drop it off at the post office. For reference, all packages are sent via the United States Postal Service (the USPS).
Now, this label has a cost. It’s usually around 6 dollars. The cost is deducted from your earnings. You can avoid this by selling items off the platform, but I don’t recommend it. The Poshmark sales and shipping structure is designed to protect the buyer and the seller. It provides a predictable, trackable way to get items to their new owners quickly! Usually in a 2 or 3-day time frame.
As a seller, you can offer discounted shipping to entice your audience to purchase an item. This reduction in price is charged to the buyer and comes out of your earnings on the sale. Just something to keep in mind.
For example: Let’s say you are selling super cute leggings. Who doesn’t need more leggings? You price them at $ 30, but someone that wants to purchase them sees the price is $ 36 once they get to the ‘confirm purchase’ screen. (30 dollars + the 6 dollars for shipping) On the purchase screen, there is a price breakdown of the total cost including shipping.
Why does this matter?
Well, we want to make the sale! So if someone’s ‘all in’ price is $ 32 dollars, they may make an offer on an item that, when shipping is added, the price stays below that threshold. Knowing your audience and their price point can help you optimize your sales.
Also, in case you are wondering, Poshmark does make money on both the buyer and seller end of each transaction. The platform takes a small fee from each side of the deal. It’s part of the revenue strategy and in the terms users accept when interacting on Poshmark. For me, the benefits of using Poshmark outweigh the risks and the high price of shipping.
So, you’ve uploaded your items, and your Posh closet is full of potential finds for fellow Poshers. Now sit back and wait for a notification that someone made an offer or purchased one of your items. Yay!
I recommend checking your Poshmark account daily in the beginning so you can familiarize yourself with how it works. Take some time to look at other Poshers closets, items, and price points for inspiration!
If you are getting likes, sales, or notifications, you’ll absolutely want to check it daily. The expected time frame to ship a sale is 3 days. Be sure you are checking your app frequently enough you don’t miss a sale. I strive to ship most of my items within 1 or 2 days after making a sale.
What to do if there aren’t any sales:
This answer can vary, but if you aren’t getting notifications about likes, offer, or sales, you’ll want to take action. If it’s been a couple of weeks and there haven’t been any sales in your Posh closet, I would absolutely lower prices. Especially if you are getting a lot of favorites or likes, but no sales.
You can do this by either adjusting the price right in the item listing or by doing a ‘price drop’. Let’s take a look at both.
When you adjust the price of an item directly on the listing, it updates the price in the original post. Super easy.
A price drop is a little different. This is a great option for any item that may have a lot of favorites or likes. With a price drop, you are specifically targeting those who clicked the heart and ‘favorited your item’. In order to trigger a price drop, you go into the product listing and hit the ‘price drop’ button near the bottom of the post.
Here you will set a new price, but it must be at least 10% cheaper than the lowest price you’ve listed the item. You also need to offer a shipping discount. Those two steps are required for a price drop option.
Once you have set the new pricing and shipping, post the update. Poshmark will automatically send an email to everyone who liked the item. This alerts potential purchasers to the sale and shipping discount. A price drop offer is only good for 24 hours and then it expires.
Remember the idea of using either a price drop alert or simply lowering the item’s price is to get someone to purchase. It’s the equivalent to hanging a sign in your shop window that says ‘50% off’. Your customers aren’t coming to a real store though. Instead, sales and discounts are coming directly to their inbox from Poshmark.
Waiting game. How long do you wait?
Some people let their items linger on Poshmark for months. I try to stay on top of my closet. I check in and lower the price of most items (as described above) fairly frequently.
If after a month or two, my items still haven’t sold, I will lower the price to my ‘rock bottom offer‘ and see if it sells. If not, no worries. At my next check in, I change the status of the item to ‘not for sale’ and I pack it up to donate.
If you clean out your closets, and decide to sell items, but end up just hanging onto the ones that don’t sell, you are kind of defeating the purpose. It’s helpful to have a time frame and an endpoint for your Poshmark items. This way you don’t wind up with piles of clothes everywhere. The goal is to declutter after all, and making a little money during the process is just a perk.
Not for sale.
If you decide to no longer sell an item in your closet (whether you kept it or donated it) you can easily delete the posting. Another option is to change the listing to ‘not for sale’. I keep the postings for items I did not end up selling in my Poshmark closet. This way, new visitors to my closet can get a feel for the type of items and styles I typically sell. These listings can help Poshers decide if they want to follow my closet for future sales.
A post about shopping and selling wouldn’t be complete without a friendly reminder to ensure you aren’t selling your items so you can go buy more. Sometimes it’s nice to enjoy the extra closet space and put that income aside for a rainy day.
Have you used Poshmark or a similar company to sell your unwanted clothes? Share your experiences! Do you have any tips or recommendations for new sellers? How do you keep your mind (and your closet) clutter free? Let me know below!
Side note: There are several wonderful options for those wishing to donate their items. Charities, neighborhood clothing drives, women’s shelters, etc will take most clothes and accessories. There are even places that take old prom dresses or bridesmaid gowns. Those options aren’t covered in today’s post but I will address them another time.