Sustainable Shopping Series: Selling on Poshmark

Updated 9/18/18

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As I mentioned in my post about Buying on Poshmark, I have been selling on Poshmark for a little over 5 years now. In that time, I've learned a LOT and I want to share all about it with you! If you are new to Poshmark, I recommend taking a look at my previous article to get started and learn more about how the app works.

Poshmark has evolved significantly since it launched over 6 years ago. It used to be a platform exclusively for reselling women's fashions, but has since expanded to include mens' and childrens' options. They have also recently added separate categories for Maternity, Plus Size, and "boutique" items, as well as a Wholesale portal for sellers to purchase "boutique" items to resell in their closets. 

Getting Started

When you sign up for Poshmark, you automatically have a place to start selling. It's called your Poshmark Closet, and it comes with one listing already made. That's your "Meet the Posher" page, and I recommend editing it as soon as you can so that it reflects more about who you are and is less generic. You can also update the "About Me" page, and I recommend adding a profile picture. People like to know they're buying from a real person!

Tools You'll Need 

{This list may contain affiliate links. I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you if you make a purchase through a link in this post. Thank you for your support of Sustainable Rainbow.}

  • Smartphone or computer

  • Lint roller-This one is affordable and reusable (no more tearing off individual sheets!), but if you don't like that style this one is also a green alternative. PLEASE run a lint roller over your items before you ship them out, especially if you have pets. Your buyers will thank you!

  • Sweater shaver-There are so many kinds out there that work well, but it's all in the technique. I use this one. It is easier to use than a razor and results in far less damage.

  • Tissue paper-This one is a good size and is made in the USA from recycled paper.

  • Tape-I like this kind, which can be used to secure boxes shut as well as protect the shipping label.

  • Decent lighting/space to photograph your items. Natural light works best, and you don't need a mannequin to display your items as long as you have a clean backdrop. A white board works well for this and is easy to store when not in use.

  • USPS supplies-THESE ARE TOTALLY FREE!!! You can find them all here, or you can stop by your local post office and pick up the supplies they have there. My favorite and most-used supply from USPS are the basic Tyvek shipping envelopes because they are waterproof and fit a lot. Poshmark also recently allowed sellers to use flat-rate boxes (which is awesome because these are what you usually find at the post office)!

  • As your closet grows, you might want to invest in fun shipping supplies like these custom recycled mailers.

  • I always include a handwritten thank-you note, but it isn't a requirement. You don't have to use an actual card, just a quick "thank you for your purchase/thank you for shopping my closet/enjoy your purchase" on one of these would work well! You can include a business card instead, which is a great way to have people remember to shop your closet. If you add a discount code on the card for repeat customers, it can drive future sales. I use these, which were generously gifted to me by Botanical Paperworks, and I absolutely love them.

Please note that you do NOT need to spend much (if any) money on these supplies. The most sustainable way to ship is to re-use packaging you already have, so whenever you get deliveries from Amazon or other places, just save those boxes and the packing materials.

Deciding What to Sell

If you haven't worn it in a year, it isn't your current size, or looking at it just leaves a bad taste in your mouth (for example, it was a gift from an ex), it's time for it to go.

Items that are in great condition (no holes, stains, tears, pilling) will sell more quickly than those with flaws, but if you price it right, almost any item can move! Items that sell the most quickly for me are jeans, handbags and shoes, but it all depends on the brand/style/condition of the item. 

Just remember, there are some guidelines on what you can and can’t sell on the platform. Note that as seller, you also need to make sure all items are authentic before selling!

Making a Listing

To see step-by-step how to make a listing on Poshmark, click here, and to see a list of all of the Poshmark FAQ's on selling, click here.. I recommend photographing your items beforehand and editing them as well as formatting them to a square before you post. Posh allows you to upload 8 photos, so make the most of these!

Include photos of:

  • The front of the item

  • The back of the item

  • The item in its entirety (sometimes people don't show the whole length of a long item, but people want to see the whole thing!)

  • Any stains/defects

  • Brand label

  • Size/care labels. If you run out of room, use a collage app (I like PicStitch, but any of them will work fine) to group photos into one.

Select the best photo for the Covershot. If you have a photo of you wearing the item and you can see the item clearly (no faraway photos for this one, please), PERFECT! Use that. If not, you can use a photo of the front of the item on a hanger or dressform. Another option is laying an item on a foam board or rug, but avoid photographing an item directly on bare floor. If you choose to use a stock photo, be sure to give credit to the original source, not necessarily the website where you found it (Lyst, Polyvore, eBay, and Pinterest DO NOT COUNT as sources). 

When you are creating a listing, there is a list of sizes to pick from. PICK ONE OF THOSE SIZES. A huge mistake I see made frequently by sellers is not listing items as a typical size. They are there for a reason. If your item is a Medium but fits like an XS, you can mark it XS and then mention in your description that it is marked a Medium but fits like an XS. But no matter what, do NOT mark your size in the "size" box as "Medium but fits like XS". You will never get found in search results, ever, unless people turn off the default "my size" filter. I recommended turning this off in my previous article about buying on Posh, but most users will simply not stumble upon your item unless it is showing up in their searches. 

Describe things accurately! This will avoid any returns or buyers being upset. If there are any flaws, show them in the photos and mention them in the description.

Label the brand correctly. This may seem obvious, but many sellers think they can gain exposure on unknown branded items by listing them under popular brands. This will lead to your closet getting reported, so don't waste your time. However, it is important to look when you are typing in the brand name to see if the brand is included in Poshmark's list. If it starts autopopulating with the correct brand, select this option, so you will show up in more people's searches. For example, if you are selling a Marysia brand bikini, the brand is listed on Poshmark as "Marysia Swimwear". If you just label it "Marysia", you will miss out on many potential buyers searching for the brand!

Include measurements. For tops and dresses, I include the length and bust measurements. For pants, I include the waist lying flat, the rise and the inseam. 

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Pricing Your Items

Now that you've got a top-notch listing, how do you determine the price? 

  • Once you have an item in mind that you'd like to sell, do a search for it on the app and see what other sellers are listing the item for (if it's a similar item, that works). Then, filter that search for "sold" items to find the exact price that the item sold for in the past. Be sure to refer to descriptions to check on the condition. A similar top to the one you're listing may have sold for $15, but it was damaged, so you can probably sell yours for more.

  • Don't forget that Poshmark takes 20% of the final sale price of your item, so factor this in.

  • When you're listing, keep in mind that certain items will sell better at certain times of year. I had a heart-printed sweater in my Posh closet for almost a year because I listed it right AFTER Valentine's Day. I kept lowering the price and no one was buying it. I finally decided to delete it and relist it again about a month before Valentine's Day, at the original price I started with, and it sold almost immediately!

  • People do like to shop for Fall/Winter clothes around August (think about the fashion cycles the big department stores have: Nordstrom does their Anniversary sale in late July/early August and it's all Fall/Winter items), but as a rule try to list items at the beginning of the season they were designed for to increase the chance of a quick sale.

  • Items that are NWT (new with tags still attached) will sell for a higher price than those without. Same goes for items in great condition (i.e. no holes, stains, pilling, missing embellishments). One major thing I've noticed about Poshmark buyers is that if there is even ONE tiny flaw, they will not pay nearly as much as if it were in perfect condition. Make sure to list flawed items for less $$ to increase the chances it will sell quickly.

A note on shipping: Shipping is separate from your listing price and paid for by the buyer (at the time of this writing, $6.49). Keep this in mind when pricing your item. When your item sells, you will receive a printable USPS shipping label that is good for up to 5 pounds of merchandise. If your item is heavier, there is an option in the app to upgrade to a heavier-weight label. As the seller, you are responsible for this cost, so plan ahead and factor this extra cost into the price of a heavy item. Package the item with the tools listed at the beginning of this post, take the item to the nearest post office or schedule a pick-up from your house, and you are good to go! Once the item is delivered to the buyer, you'll receive your funds within 72 hours (if the buyer doesn't hit "accept" within that time frame, you'll still get your money).

The quickest way to get your closet shut down

I am adding this to the “listing” section because I see this mistake made frequently when listing an item on the app. If you are advertising anywhere on your listings that you accept transactions outside of Poshmark (in the description or in the comments), by either stating directly that you take Paypal/Venmo/etc or stating your email address or an alternate way to contact you outside of the app, you risk having your entire closet shut down. Any user can report a user for “non-PM transactions”, and if enough people report you, Poshmark will see this and they will deactivate your account without warning. I’ve seen it happen countless times, and it’s just not worth it. For the 20% they take, it’s worth the peace of mind knowing you will get your funds, and they deal with all of the customer service issues. Also, ignore anyone who posts THEIR email address to your listing, especially in the 24 hours right after you post it, because those people are scammers and are definitely not interested in buying your item.

Sharing is Caring

...but don't forget to share your own listings!!!

When people ask me to take a look at their Poshmark closets to see why they aren't selling, the NUMBER ONE thing they are doing wrong is not sharing their own listings! In order to get the most exposure, try to share your items daily as this gets them to the top of the "just shared" searches. When you share an item from your closet, it will show up at the top of searches when people are looking for that brand or type of item. Be at the top of the results and get exposed to more potential buyers! 

The default that Poshmark sets for searches is "recently shared", so even if your item has been in your closet for months or years, if you recently shared it, it will be at the top of the search results when someone types in a brand or category that fits your item. Below is a series of screenshots that show a quick shortcut to sharing your listing. 

Click on the listing. Click on the top right corner button to the left of the "edit" button, and voila! You've shared your item successfully.

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Note that if you are updating/sharing your closet during a party, there will be an option to share the item to the party. Always share it if it does qualify, but do not share it if it does not (those sandals don't belong in the "office chic" party, but that blazer definitely does!). More on Posh parties in the next section.

In order to grow your Poshmark following and expose your own listings to others, you should also try to share other posher's listings when you can! When I started using Poshmark, I would find other sellers who sold brands or styles I liked and I would share their listings. I would also make sure to find sellers who had MORE followers than me and share their listings. If they shared my listings back, it would expose me to a much larger audience. 

There is a newer feature called "direct shares" which I do not frequently use. I personally don't find them useful as a seller or buyer, but it's a good feature to be aware of. More on this feature can be found here

Posh Parties

Four times a day, Poshmark offers in-app "parties" that are themed showrooms where sellers can share items for buyers to shop. Click here for more on how parties work. Here are some tips for sharing to parties that have worked for me:

  • If possible, don't share your listings until the very end of a party. They will show up at the top of the listings in the relevant categories when people go to shop the party after it ends. Note that you only need to share them ONCE for it to show up in the party, so if you share them earlier on and then again at the end they won't be visible at the top of the category pages (like First Look, NWT, and Designer). This is mostly only applicable for the afternoon and evening parties.

  • If you have items that fit the brand or theme for a party, be sure to share them. It only takes a few seconds for each item, and you only need to share it once for it to show up in the party. If you can't share them to the end of a party, no big deal, it's more important that they makes it in there at all, no matter what the time.

  • Don't share items that don't match the theme. Posh makes it easy to avoid sharing irrelevant items for most parties (it will not let you share items of a different brand or category for the morning, afternoon and late afternoon parties) but it's up to you to filter yourself for the evening parties. Don't share tank tops to the "Winter Wonderland" party, but DO share that cute coat!

The lowdown on Host Picks

  • Host Picks are items selected by the party "hosts" (people selected by Poshmark staff to share items they choose to a specific showroom designated for host picks). I will say that the jury is still out on whether host picks actually lead to sales, but some people really care about getting one. If there are fewer hosts, or if the hosts don't share a TON of picks to the party, the showroom is more manageable to shop. I don't know anyone who actually looks at Host Pick showrooms personally, but the real benefits seem to come from people sharing your listings to their followers once they see your item in the host pick showroom.

  • If you get a host pick, you'll be notified by e-mail. But be prepared to get flooded with comments congratulating you on the host pick, too! Lots of people like to share posh love this way. It can be annoying and insincere feeling at times, as many people use copy-and-paste messages and post them on every host pick, likely in the hopes that someone will share their items. Ironically, many of these people who comment don't even share the item. The other issue is it can flood your news feed and you may miss a question from a potential buyer, so be sure and go through the "comments" filter on your feed after the party to ensure you don't miss out on a sale!

  • A nice way to return the love on a host pick is to share an item (or more) from the host's closet who shared your item. It's not necessary, but it is always appreciated. The more you share, the more exposure you will eventually gain yourself!

How to Become a Posh Ambassador

"Posh Ambassador" is the fancy new term for "suggested user". The main seller benefit of this program is gaining followers more quickly, since new members joining Poshmark automatically follow 40-50 people from this "suggested user database". You also show up on lists of suggested users from time to time, increasing your exposure so you gain followers. The more followers you have, the more people who see your merchandise, and this theoretically leads to more sales. Anyone who was previously a suggested user was grandfathered into the Posh Ambassador program. During the first few weeks of this new program they had some demanding requirements that included sharing a lot of items from other closets every 30 days, but apparently they got the memo that no one was into that, so they changed it up.. Here is the current list of prerequisites needed to obtain the coveted Posh Ambassador status: 

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  • Community Shares: Share at least 5,000 items from other Poshers’ closets

  • Self-Shares: Share your own items at least 5,000 times to the community

  • Available Listings: Have at least 50 available listings in your closet

  • Listings Sold: Made at least 15 sales

  • Average Rating: Have an average rating of at least 4.5 stars

  • Average Ship Time: Have an average ship time of less than 3 days

  • Love Notes Given: Leave at least one love note for another Posher

You can find your Posh Ambassador status in the app by clicking your profile or through your home page (see screenshots). You can find more details about this program here.

Bundle Discounts & Price Drops

If you're a seller, having a bundle discount can lead to quick and easy bundle sales. It can be any amount you want, but it's good to have because it incentivizes buyers to purchase multiple items from your closet. While buyers have the option to make their own offer on a bundle, it is super easy to set your own bundle discount which might help a buyer know what the starting offer they make should be. Below are the steps from the Poshmark FAQ page.

The bundle feature allows buyers to create their own bundles straight from your existing listings. To learn how to set up a bundle discount for your buyers, click here

My bundle discount is 15% off of 3 items. I've found setting it to a minimum of 3 items helps me to move more merchandise than if I just had, for example, 10% off of two items. Some sellers have higher bundle discounts and higher overall prices; I list most of my items for around 70% off of retail price (you can find your average discount percentage in your Posh Stats page). Depending on how much inventory you have available, you can try adjusting the discount percentage and item total and see what works best for you. 

  • When a buyer clicks "add to bundle" (different than just "liking" an item), you will have the option to offer them a private discount. The rules for price drops below do not apply to this feature, as you can offer any discount you want, and the buyer has 24 hours to accept or decline. More on this here.

Price drops are a recently added feature to the Poshmark app and help sellers to move items more quickly. Click here for a step-by-step guide on how to drop the price on your listing. Buyers will receive a notification when you drop your price by 10% or more on an item, oftentimes with a Poshmark-paid shipping discount, leading to quick sales. The shipping discount is only applicable for an hour after the initial price drop.

A couple of quick tips:

  • Be sure you're ready to sell your item at the new price. Do NOT raise your price after you drop it! Some sellers do this in order to trigger a notification for interested buyers on their news feed, but it is SO easy to tell when someone is playing this game because the price drop percentage shown in the top right corner disappears when a seller raises the price back up, even if they only raised it by $1.

  • Make sure you double check that your new price is at least 10% lower than your historically lowest price (now they have a green arrow button that will illuminate if it's a safe price), because if you are off by even a dollar, your interested buyers won't get a notification AND you need to drop the price by 10% from that new price.

  • It is NOT guaranteed that Poshmark will offer your buyers a shipping discount when you lower your price. I believe the only time this is a guarantee is during Closet Clear Out, which you'll be notified of on the top of your news feed. They usually do this on holiday weekends but there is no set schedule.

New update as of 2/22/18: Poshmark recently rolled out a feature where sellers can offer private price drops to people who “like” an item (previously this only applied to people who added your listing to a bundle). The shipping discounts are $1.50 or $6.49 (free shipping for buyers). These discounts are applicable for 24 hours. If you wish to offer a discount again on the same item, the price drop needs to be 10% lower than the last offer price. Click here for more info. 

If you’re looking for more Poshmark inspiration, my friend and major girl boss Carrie Colbert just published her own guide to using Poshmark which you can check out here

Are you a Poshmark seller? Leave your closet name below! If you have any tips to share on your selling experience, please feel free to share them as well. Or if you're just starting out, do you have any questions that weren't answered? Leave them in the comments below and I'll respond (or if you are also a seller, please feel free to respond to those questions)!