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I’m going to keep the opening of this post brief because I have so much information to throw at you, I don’t want to muddy up the start with too many cute stories and long winded garbage.
Selling your clothes online, called reselling, is a hobby and a lifestyle.
Two months ago my closet bar buckled under the weight of the stuff I had hanging on it, and I decided (Andy decided) it was time for me to massively purge all the things not bringing me joy, and that apparently included lots of things with tags still on them, stuff I wore once, and some of my jeans from high school.
Remembering how little I actually got from schlepping baskets of clothes to local resale shops, I took to the internet. I made my first Facebook sale on February 19th, and my first Poshmark sale on February 28th, like.. of this year. However, I’ve been shopping on Poshmark and Mercari since 2015. In my first month, I have made over $2000 in clothing resale.
The information and advice in this post is anecdotal, based on both my experience, and random TikTok reseller wormholes I’ve fallen down. I am in no way affiliated with Poshmark, or any sales platform, the links I share are just my normal user referral links. I’ve tried hard to compile every helpful part of this process I wish I’d known or seen laid out before I began. Here’s what I learned my first month of being a reseller.
Why sell your clothes?
This is a good question. Why not just donate them?
I mean, you can! Here’s what donating my clothes often looked like for me. I would purge my closet, throw it all in a giant black garbage bag, put that bag in my trunk, and then drive it around for over a month forgetting to actually donate it anywhere, cursing every time I’d open my trunk to load groceries, and then finally either pulling it out to throw in the basement or a dumpster I find along the way. I know, it’s not pretty, but it’s honest. So there’s that.
I’ve also spent a lot of money acquiring the clothes, and it’s perfectly okay to want to make something back from that investment. What began as a way to recoup some money from things I don’t wear, has turned into a fun hustle and income stream.
Where should I sell them and why?
This is going to come down to your personal comfort and preference, and there really isn’t a wrong answer here. I have friends loyal to all different platforms, and they do well on each. Personally, I currently sell my clothes on Poshmark, but I didn’t start there.
The lifecycle of my reselling life went as follows:
- Private in-house “garage sales.” I would gather all the clothes I was selling, put them in tables in my house, and then mass invite my friends list over to shop my closet. This went well, but it also limited my reach to only people I was friends with online, and it was also time consuming to set aside whole days to do this. Not to mention, I always feel awkward when I have to watch people sifting through my clothes and then paying me for them. I want their money, but not their eye contact.
- Facebook Group Sales. I am in a few reselling groups, where people create private groups on Facebook, and then make separate listings for each item they are selling, and I thought this might be a viable option for me. I made the group, encouraged people to join and add their friends, and then started listing my clothes. This actually went really well for me, and the bonus was that there were no fees attached to doing this. The problem was that it was confusing to keep track of posts and sales, as the feed was always moving around, and I sometimes missed comments. But most of all, figuring out shipping sucked. I hate math. Hate.
- Mercari. Mercari was the first actual platform I’d settled on to sell clothes online, and that decision was based on feedback I’d received online about ease of use, and low fees to use the site. I was on Mercari for about a week before pausing my listings. It was nothing personal, it was just honestly because my brain and personal comfort did not jive with the site. Let me explain. Mercari is very easy to use, and of all the selling platforms, had the lowest fees (see current fees breakdown below). But from the jump, I was hit with crazy lowball offers, over and over. I couldn’t seem to get full asking for anything, and my items were researched and priced accordingly. The interaction and anxiety was stressful; I hate confrontation. I also got a little nervous as I joined a few Mercari Sellers groups online, to read complaints about just how little communication and customer support Mercari provides, as well as how little seller protection they actually include, especially in terms of returns or problems that arise. Also, shipping. I could either use Mercari’s flat rate shipping, or calculate my own.. and we all know how much I love doing that.
- Poshmark. Here’s the deal. Poshmark has slightly higher fees, but I got to a point where I wanted to Ron Popeil this thing, and just (gestures at in-studio audience) set it and forget it. The app and desktop platform is stupid easy to use, I see the exact amount I’ll take home with each listing, and they do all the work I otherwise hate doing. I simply take pictures, post the listing, and then print the label they send me when it sells, easy peasy. Math? What is math, I don’t use it. In one month I have posted 89 listings, 66 of them have sold, and zero have been low ball offers. In fact, only 5 of my sales have not been full price, and the offers I’ve accepted were only slightly under asking. Maybe with time, I’ll want more control of this process, but right now I’m really happy with not being the adult in the room.
How do I do this?
Going forward, I am going to breakdown my entire process for you, and note that while I am walking you through listing on Poshmark, this stuff applies and is very similar to listing across almost any platform. For reference, you can click here to check out my Poshmark Closet!
Here is a list of supplies I use to sell my clothes online.
10×13 Cellophane bags (click for link)(for small items like shirts, shorts and swimsuits)
12×16 Cellophane bags (click for link) (for bigger items like hoodies, jeans and dresses)
Shipping boxes & envelops (free from USPS, I use small and medium priority and flat rate)
Clear packing tape
Notebook and pen
Lint roller, iron, ironing board
Small label stickers (click for link) (for inventory)
Blank note cards
Step 1: Take pictures of your items.
This is the most time consuming part of the process. I usually pick a day, put something on Netflix, and devote the whole morning and afternoon to this step, getting as many items as possible photographed before I have to pick the kids up from school. I use my iPhone for all photos.
You will need to find a neutral background for these shots. I’ve seen etiquette dictating not to take your pictures on the ground, as some people feel like putting clothes on the floor devalues them, whatever, do what you need to do. I take all my photos on a large wooden coffee table in my living room. It’s the largest neutral space I have that hasn’t been scraped up or defaced by children.
I keep a notebook with me and take notes as I photograph each item. I write down the name, size, description words, flaws, and any other descriptive notes I need to later write a complete listing for each piece of clothing.
Poshmark allows you to upload 12 photos for each listing, and the more you include, the better. Take a picture of every detail, good and bad. Include any sales tags, interior clothing tags, cool features, and any and all flaws. The more honest details you give, the less likely for an unhappy buyer and return.
Step 2: Edit and upload your pictures.
I do this step in the school pick-up line. I look at all the pictures I took of each item, find the best ones (up to 12), and make sure they are all rotated correctly and cropped appropriately.
This next little part is completely optional, but I’m gonna geek out a bit real quick. I upload those photos to Lightroom mobile, which is a completely free app on your phone.
The intent here is not to alter the color or appearance of your clothing, but because my house is almost completely shaded and tree covered, well lit photos are a challenge. So in lieu of purchasing tons of photography lights, I add a light filter to my photos.
I use the White 3 preset, which I purchased as a preset bundle from etsy for $0.77 and uploaded to my Lightroom app. Click here to purchase the preset.
Moving on, it is easier to upload the photos straight from your phone to the Poshmark app. Otherwise you will need to send the pictures to yourself, save them on your computer, and upload them from there. Lots of unnecessary steps.
Instead, create a new listing, upload the photos, and then save it as a draft to come back to and complete later.
Step 3: Inventory each item.
Maybe you are someone who doesn’t feel like they need to record any product or sales information. I am not that someone.
Using Google Sheets, I made a really simple inventory system that allows me to keep track of what I’m selling, what it actually sold for and to whom, as well as store the items in a way that makes finding each sale super easy.
Each piece of clothing is assigned a number (a SKU).
I take each item, roll it thoroughly with a lint roller (I have golden retriever puppy glitter everywhere these days), and then fold it nicely and seal it in a cellophane bag. Then I take a small label, write the corresponding “SKU” number on it, and stick it to the cellophane bag.
This item is now shipping ready, I don’t need to worry about doing anything else to this thing before shipping, it’s clean, folded, easy to find and ready to grab and pack the moment it sells.
I keep all the bags in numerical order in milk crates on an 8 foot table in my office, and the whole process is so quick and simple.
Step 4: Complete and post your listing.
I get to this step in the evening, after dinner, usually as we are all relaxing on the couch watching tv. Simply go to your drafts and get to work.
The reason I come back to this step later is because it requires a little bit of research. I need to research both the product to describe it, as well as the current price based on what it’s selling for on other platforms.
I also check to see if I can find the original stock image for the item used by the brand when it was for sale. I find it’s good to lead with that photo, because it shows people what it’s going to look like actually being worn. If you can’t find that photo, no biggie.
Figuring out what to write for the description is somewhat daunting. I came up with a basic outline, and I copy and paste it into each description, updating the information for each item.
I also like to research the original price of an item. I feel like it truly shows people the value of what they are buying.
Lastly, click ADDITIONAL DETAILS, and add the corresponding SKU number assigned to the clothing. The buyer can’t see that information, but it’s for you to be able to easily see exactly what item sold, and be able to grab it from the crate and ship it out quickly.
Now post that listing!
Step 5: Ship your item.
One of the biggest draws to Poshmark was the ease of sale process. Once I get the listing up, Poshmark handles everything else, and just emails me when the item sells, and attaches a prepaid shipping label for me to print.
I recently purchased a thermal label printer from Amazon, and oh boy do I love it. Previous to that, I was simply printing out the labels on a standard printer, and used moving tape to attach them to the box or envelop. That worked great, but the thermal printer is a really good investment if you’re going into reselling long term.
You can use any USPS small and medium flat rate and priority boxes and envelops to ship your items, and the best part is they are free. The even better part is that you can have them shipped to your house free, also! I order several packs of these supplies at a time, and my mail carrier leaves them right on my porch. Click here to check it out.
What a time to be alive!
I include a handwritten thank you note in all my packages. This is optional, but I think it adds a friendly touch, and I am truly thankful when people buy something from me, so I love letting them know.
There are lots of ways to get these packages on their way, you can even schedule a pick up from your house.
I am extra and anxious, so I will break down exactly what I do, and the exact words I use, for my fellow anxiety sufferers who dread going in places and talking to people. I take my packages to the post office each morning after I do school drop off. I take them to the counter, and tell the clerk “Hello, I just need a receipt for these.” They then scan each one, and give me a receipt for each. And that’s it. The shipping is prepaid, so I don’t have to pay or do anything else. I keep the receipt for my records (aka I throw is loosely in a desk drawer), just in case.
Other Important Information
Offers. Poshmark allows people to make offers on your listing. The offer is good for 24 hours, and you can either accept it, counter it, or ignore it completely. There is no pressure here to do any of this, so don’t feel like you have to take less for your sale, or have a confrontation with anyone. The ball is in your court.
Bundles. Poshmark allows people to create “bundles.” That’s when they buy more than one item for you, and you ship it all at once in a bundle. Bundles can either be the full price of each item added together, or a buyer might send you an offer for a bundle with a slight discount. This is the majority of “offers” I’ve agreed to. People will ask me for a $5 or so discount for buying two items, and that always seemed fair enough to me.
Searchability. Items for sale on Poshmark are included in Google searches. So make sure you’re using really good search and description words, as well as accurate brand names with your listings.
Payment. I was unaware of this prior to becoming a seller, but neither Mercari or Poshmark actually pays you when your item sells. Payment is released when the seller accepts the package (based on tracking), and they have three days to do that before it’s auto-released to you. A buyer accepts a package by going in and clicking they accept it and giving you a rating.
Ratings. Yeah, you get rated as a seller. I try to keep a buyer mindset going into each sale, and as a buyer, I know I appreciate accurately described, clean products shipped quickly. I try to take all my packages to the post office the day after purchase. Two days maybe, but it stresses me out. Any Friday or weekend sales go out Monday.
Get social. I openly dreaded Poshmark because I’d heard repeatedly you had to treat it like another social media platform. I need another one of those like I need a hole in my head. But, surprisingly, it’s been a really enjoyable, low key experience. I get on, follow people I love, share any cool stuff I find with my followers, and reshare to my followers any items I have in my closet that have been sitting unsold for a week or so.
Get paid. There is no minimum balance in order to cash out on Poshmark. As soon as funds are released to you, you can either direct deposit them to your bank account, or have a check sent to you.
Vacation mode. If you are busy, out of town, or off the grid, and need to temporarily close down your closet, all you have to do is click to go in vacation mode. It even lets you pick the date you want it to open back up automatically. I love this feature!
Alright, that pretty much covers it. I know it looks like a lot. But it’s truly a fun and easy way to make some extra cash online, and working on this is the most relaxing part of my day.
Don’t bother me, Andy, I’m doing Poshmark shit!
Have questions? Let’s hear them. Have more tips or insight? Share that, too!