Whether you're the type to rotate through trends and frequently purge items from your wardrobe or every so often take the time to do a strategic closet clean-out, it ends with one big question: What to do with everything you no longer want? You can donate old pieces, but if you have the time, learning how to sell your clothes online can be an effective way to cleanse your space.
With plenty of resale sites and online consignment stores to work with, it can be challenging to choose. There are also marketplaces, where sellers are in charge of their sales and shipments — a more independent way to sell pre-loved pieces for extra money. While The RealReal, Fashionphile, and Vestiaire Collective are all popular places for offloading clothing and accessories with a designer or contemporary label, Poshmark is a leader in the social commerce marketplace space. Thousands of sellers have set up shop to service the masses interested in everything from affordable pieces to designer goods with a specific handful of labels proving particularly popular on the platform. All of this has resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars in earnings for some of Poshmark's top sellers. But no matter which platform you choose, picking up tips from the experts can help you get the most for your old clothes.
To learn more, TZR spoke with three full-time sellers and one student seller who runs her business as a side hustle. Collectively, they've made more than $469,000, an impressive stat that may make you want to open a notepad (or the notes app) before you read this.
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How To Sell Your Clothes Online: Know Your Brands
Shannon Welch of the Poshmark closet @boho_dreams is a full-time seller who curates her business with a bohemian aesthetic in mind. She tells TZR that maxi dresses are her best-selling item in the warmer months and oversized sweaters in the colder months; she says Free People and Lululemon are top-selling brands for her. "These are two very popular brands for my target audience, and I initially built my business around them, which helped me grow quickly," she says. Additionally, "rare" items and brands like The Spell & Gypsy Collective and pieces from brands with a cult following like Reformation move the fastest in Welch's Poshmark closet, which she says helps her to make more bundle sales. "If a buyer likes one thing in my closet, they are highly likely to like at least five other things as well," she says.
Eye-catching and trendy pieces that photograph well sell the quickest for part-time Poshmark seller and student Hannah Oh (aka @allthatglows on the app), who strategically lists her pieces with strong keywords in the description. "The variety of clothing on Poshmark is endless, so as a seller, you have to make sure your items will stand out in a sea of other pieces."
Coco Cohen of the Poshmark closet @colorresale is a full-time seller focusing on vintage fashion and one-of-a-kind pieces and says that dresses, denim, graphic tees, kimono style wraps, and accessories sell best for her. "Most people, especially if they're new, search for popular brands like Madewell, Lululemon, Anthropologie, Nike, Reformation, Free People, and American Eagle. I make sure to carry name brands so that Color Resale shows up in searches, and once a buyer visits my closet, they usually end up falling in love with the more obscure finds."
How To Sell Your Clothes Online: Hone In On Pricing
While it's free for anyone to start a Poshmark closet and list items, Poshmark does take a small percentage of all sales for sellers across the board — a flat-rate fee of $2.95 for transactions under $15 and a 20 percent fee for sales over $15. Poshmark also offers free prepaid shipping labels to sellers to send out product, free credit card processing, customer support, and buyer protection. Because of this, all four sellers have a different strategy for pricing items in their Poshmark closets.
"I like to price my items high and offer great discounts to make my customers feel like they're getting the best deal possible," Welch tells TZR. "This helps me be able to offer special discounts to returning customers, and have large blowout sales when I want to move older inventory. Because I mostly sell items from specific brands such as Free People, I am also able to compare what I have sold similar items for and price accordingly, rather than 'checking comps' as most resellers do."
Oh says her pricing strategy is all about supply and demand, but often does a comparative analysis on Poshmark before pricing her pieces. She says there's a lot of value in listing items that many other sellers don't. "If you have a dress that's a limited edition and sold out on the original retail website, and you're the only one on Poshmark who is selling it in a Size 8, you could price it slightly higher. If you're the 25th person to list a white crop top in size small, you'll have to lower your price to gain some interest in your specific listing."
Full-time seller Haley Gibbs, aka @haleys_hanger, negotiates with buyers until both parties feel they've landed at a fair price. "I, like many of my buyers, love a good deal," she tells TZR. "If someone sends you a lowball offer, don't get offended — simply counteroffer and try to come to a price that you are both happy with. I'd rather have someone get a great deal and tell their friends they bought a top from me on Poshmark than counteroffer over a few dollars." Cohen also leaves room for negotiation when pricing her items. "Most of my sales are done through barter either with the customer, or I will send an offer. I also carry a range of prices so that most everyone could shop at Color Resale. Inclusivity is important to me."
How To Sell Your Clothes Online: Take Great Photos
All four Poshmark sellers tell TZR that pictures make all the difference when it comes to a successful resale business. "If you don't have a good cover shot, the buyer will scroll past your item and not give it another thought," Welch says. "The same can be said if a seller uses primarily stock photos from the brand's website, rather than their own photos. I like to think of it like every listing is an advertisement, and how I will catch a new seller's interest just like a large company would."
Welch has experimented with her photos, and since becoming a full-time seller, she's embraced a new strategy to increase her sales. "One huge change I have made since becoming a full-time seller is modeling all of my items. This has made my sales skyrocket, and gives me the perfect edge in my cover photos."
Oh, who features a mix of flat lays, styled photos, and hanger shots against a white wall, likens the concept of Poshmark pictures to Instagram. "Curated, well-lit pictures that clearly show what is being sold make all the difference. If your buyer can't visualize the item (and how they could style it, or at least the shape and color) and they already can't touch it through their computer screen, why should they have confidence in their purchase? Help the buyer know exactly what they'd be getting," she says.
Gibbs agrees that photos make a difference but says that specialty equipment is not required. "I take all of my photos on my iPhone in my bedroom against a white wall and a hanger. Poshmark allows you to have up to eight photos per listing, so I try to include as many photos as I can to correctly show the item. Don't feel like you need a mannequin or a fur rug to post good photos."
Cohen, who recently shared her photography process on her YouTube channel, says that lighting and clarity are two crucial factors when it comes to product pictures. "Buyers don't have the luxury of trying on or touching pieces, so pictures can make or break a sale."
How To Sell Your Clothes Online: Grow Your Business By Sourcing
While all four Poshmark sellers sold personal items from their wardrobes when they started, collectively, they source items to sell in their closets to maximize profits. Welch sources new items two to three times a week and tells TZR that about 99% of the items she sells are specifically bought to be sold. "I source new inventory by going to thrift stores, buy-sell-trade stores, and online consignment stores."
Oh also buys items specifically to sell because she treats her Poshmark closet like a business. "My favorite days are the ones where I'm up to my elbows in vintage, and I can drive home with a one-of-a-kind find. Sometimes, I'll talk myself into fun purchases for my personal closet by telling myself that I could sell it later down the line!" Cohen used to sell items from her personal closet regularly but has since shifted to sourcing products multiple times a week. "Buying inventory to sell is one of my favorite parts of the job. Before lockdown, I would source two times a week for hours at a time."
Gibbs tells TZR that she lives for the thrill of the hunt when sourcing items for her Poshmark closet. "When I'm out shopping, I look for items that I would put in my personal closet and then buy them in all sizes. Her biggest tip for new sellers looking to grow their inventory is to go shopping. "I am constantly trying to find new items to sell in my closet, going to new thrift stores to source the best items, and building relationships with customers. Selling on Poshmark has allowed me to travel the country, meet other Poshers who have become my friends, and try new stores in every city I go to."
How To Sell Your Clothes Online: Consider Your Earnings
Welch joined Poshmark in late 2014, only selling items from her personal wardrobe and began reselling in late 2015, making a total of $320,000 in take-home net earnings in her entire Poshmark career. "In my first year as a full-time reseller, I made about 50% more than I did the previous year selling part-time," she says, which comes out to $136,000 in net earnings.
Oh has earned more than $37,000 in net earnings on Poshmark, though she spends a portion of her profits on materials for supplies and custom packing. "My selling journey has helped me pay for college tuition and expenses, and for that, I'm incredibly thankful."
While Cohen did not share her specific earnings with TZR, she's exceeded her former salary as a pre-school teacher in Portland, Oregon, which pays between $22,00 and $38,000 annually, according to Glassdoor. "I slowly transitioned to full-time, and my sales have reflected that. As a full-time seller, I spend more time listing new items, which has led to an increase in sales. I used to list 90 pieces a month; now I list 500+." Cohen added that in addition to her increased inventory and income, she has started a podcast and seen her followings grow on both Instagram and YouTube. "The more energy I give Color Resale, the better it does."
Since becoming a seller in 2017, Gibbs has netted $90,000 through her resale business on Poshmark. "Since becoming a full-time seller, my earnings have doubled. I was able to quit my full-time social work job and exceeded my previous salary with my Poshmark earnings. My earnings from Poshmark are my sole source of income; it pays for my rent, car payment, student loans, vacations, everything."