How to Turn Your Old Clothing into Christmas Cash

Hunter Cabot

How Much Money is Hanging In Your Closet?

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Turn your closet into cash!screenshot of author's Poshmark stats

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that people are willing and able to shop from the comfort of their living room. In fact, now that more people have engaged in home shopping and discovered how convenient it is, I’m predicting online clothes shopping will totally take over the garment retail business.

How Can You Get in on It?

You don’t have to become a seller on Amazon to get a piece of this market. There are several other online shopping apps where you can make tons of money by selling old or new, unwanted clothing items. Everyone knows about e-Bay, so I won’t focus on that, although I do sell on e-Bay myself.

What I want to tell you about is Poshmark. I’ve sold clothes on similar platforms, such as Mercari, Depop, Tradesy and even Facebook Marketplace, but I put most of my effort into selling my old clothes on Poshmark.

Why? Because if you know some tricks, it’s super easy to make hundreds, or even over a thousand dollars in a relatively short time, just like I did!

Getting Started

The most important aspect of being a successful seller on Poshmark is in the pictures you provide of your items.

If someone is shopping for a pair of used Levi’s jeans, for example, in a particular size and style, they’re likely to come across several listings. People generally research each other’s prices before listing, so the price tag will often be within a few dollars all across the board.

What makes them choose your listing instead of the others? Appealing photographs, brightly lit, from all angles, showing measurements (measuring tape laid across item) and product tags.

Photos 

Be aware that Poshmark displays square photos (like Instagram). If you upload a photo straight from your phone, it will be automatically cropped, and you may lose an important aspect of the photo. You could just take the photo from far enough away that the item won’t be cut off, but you’re better off cropping your photos to square yourself, even if you have to run it through a photo editing program to add a colored square canvas background to make sure your entire item is in the shot. (example)

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Brightly lit, square photosscreenshot of author's Poshmark listing

Take a lot of photos of each item. Back, front, close-ups of tags (brand, style and fabric tags). Pictures of your measuring tape laying across the waist and inseam on pants. Pictures of tops should show the measuring tape across waist, across bust (or armpit to armpit) as well as length from shoulder to hem. Same on dresses.

I usually have 6–8 photos of each item. If you can answer questions via photos, instead of the buyer having to message you, you’ll probably get more sales. Buyers might change their mind, or move on before you answer their question. Nab that impulse buy!

Title

This is important. You only have 50 characters, so don’t waste it with unnecessary words. You want to have the brand name, the size, and the condition (especially if it’s new), and if you have room, list the color, unique feature or fabric. Here are some useful abbreviations for Poshmark listings. You can start your description with these if it’s not in the title:

  • NWT- new with tags
  • NWOT- new without tags
  • EUC- excellent used condition
  • GUC- good used condition
  • VTG- vintage
https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=2E3XZE_0cROXCcJ00
screenshot example of my listing titlesauthor's screenshot

Pricing

Poshmark takes 20% of all sales over $15, and a straight $2.95 commission for all sales under $15. They provide you with a pre-paid, pre-addressed shipping label for Priority mail, and they will charge the customer $7.95 for that. (You can offer a deal on shipping, more on that below)

There are two ways to set your pricing. First, see if your particular item (brand, size, and condition) is already on Poshmark. If it is, you should list yours in the same range — not more than a few dollars higher, but of course, undercutting the competition is a good idea if you’re willing.

If your item isn’t listed on Poshmark already, then figure out how much you want to make (taking into account Poshmark takes 20% of the sale) then price your item 20%-30% higher than that. This is important. No one expects to pay the listed price on Poshmark, so you want to be able to lower your price when someone shows interest.

Description

The pictures are way more important than the written description, so don't stress. It’s a good idea to mention the fabric composition, the condition the item is in (gently used or excellent, etc) and you can list measurements, or just say, measurements in photos. Some people say “Open to offers”, but I don’t think that’s necessary. If you haven’t taken the above step (inflated your listed price) and your price is firm, then you should say so, because everyone is expecting to haggle.

Share Your Listing

After you’ve filled in all the listing info, you are prompted to share your listing. You can share to “My story” (which shares to your followers), or share on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr.

Sharing can also be done to any item in your closet at any time, not only when you first list it. It’s like putting the item in a store window, reminding people it’s for sale. There will be a square arrow symbol that you click within the thumbnail of each of your items, and you’ll be given the options “Share to followers” or, if there’s a Posh Party going on, you can choose to share to that party, if your item fits the party theme. (Posh Parties explained, below)

You can also share other people’s listings to your own followers. Just like following back people who follow you, it’s common courtesy to share other sellers’ listings if they share yours. Poshmark is very much a community, with everyone helping each other to make sales. Most people choose to share listings that don’t directly compete with their own items for sale.

Posh Parties

Poshmark holds 3 or 4 Posh Parties per day, with different themes. This is just like a big sales event with buyers and sellers all coming out to browse and sell. Themes include parties that are designer brand specific, like “Free People, Anthropologie, etc Party”,or kids’ fashions, menswear parties, seasonal wear, and all tops or all bottoms kind of parties.

The big advantage to sharing your items to a party is that you get way more exposure. Normally when you share (re-post) your listing, it will just appear to your followers (if they’re online and browsing). So, if you have only a small number of followers, you’re not getting much exposure.

When you share to a party, your listing appears to ALL of the people that are browsing the party, which could be tens of thousands.

Typically, the last party of the day, around 10 p.m. (eastern time), is a general party everyone can share to. It will have a name like “fall fashions” or “dress for success”, and not be brand specific or gender specific.

Definitely share your entire closet at these parties. You won’t get bounced for sharing a pair of cut-off shorts to “Dress for Success” BTW. They’re not strict on the 10 p.m. parties, but they are pretty vigilant about fitting the themes for the others.

Followers

This is the easy part. Poshmark is very much a follow-back community. If you’re just getting started, spend five minutes each day just following others and you’ll gain a lot of followers in no time!

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Follow and they will follow backscreenshot of author's Poshmark page

Follow strategies

If you are trying to sell a specific brand, say for example, a “For Love & Lemons” dress, a good strategy is to search Poshmark for the brand (and size) of your item. When you find a listing, click on it to see who’s already put a like on it (heart icon). Follow those people, the “likers” — they’re your target market. They’ll probably follow you back, and then they’ll see your “For Love & Lemons” dress the next time you share your listing.

Offers

You’ve priced all your items a little high so you can offer buyers a deal. When someone puts a heart on your item, click on their name. At the top of their profile on the right, you’ll see a shopping bag icon. Click on that. The next screen will be confusing unless you know what to look for. There’s a dropdown arrow on the right. If you click it, one of the options is “Switch to sell view”. That’s what you want. Now, the item they liked from your closet will be at the bottom of the screen. Click the word “Offer”. Choose your discounted price, offer discounted shipping if you want, and check out the new profit you’ll make before hitting “Send offer”. The buyer has 24 hours to respond. They can counter-offer or decline.

Offer to All Likers

There’s an easy way to make an offer to all the likers of a certain item. Click the item in your closet to bring up the page. There will be a big button that says “Offer/Price drop”. This will send a discounted offer to all likers at once.

I don’t tend to use this feature as much, though, because if you do it every time a new person likes that item, you’ll be sending offers to the same people as well as the new liker, and sometimes the new offer might be less of a discount than a previous one, which would be kind of an insult. Also, you might have people remove their heart on your item if they feel like you’re being a nuisance. Item with more hearts are more appealing to most shoppers.

Wrapping It Up

Tips for Success:

  • Take lots of good photos
  • Follow, follow, follow to gain followers
  • Initially price high so you can offer a deal
  • Research your brand name items and follow the people who’ve liked other sellers’ listing for those brands — you want them to follow you!
  • Share all items in your closet several times per day. I find mornings before work, at lunchbreak, and early evenings to be most productive — that’s when people might be browsing on their phone. And weekends, especially in bad weather when people are housebound
  • Share other people’s listings and most will share yours back
  • Take advantage of Posh Parties, they are your best chance of thousands of people seeing your listings

I hope my advice helps you get started on Poshmark. I think it’s so easy and profitable that if you give it a try, you’ll be hooked too! Good Luck!

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