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An Honest Review of Selling Clothes on Poshmark

Op-ed

Back in November, I went through a cleaning frenzy and practically cleared out my entire closet, ridding it of items that I hadn’t worn in years. My drawers were replaced with empty space and now, sitting in the middle of my room was a sizable stack of old t-shirts, jeans, jackets, and shoes, most of which had barely been worn.

I was filled with a pang of regret. The number of garments I was about to wash down the drain was enough to make me guilty about them having been bought, especially because many of them still boasted the stiffness of the store and crisp tags. I couldn’t just donate these clothes.

Instead, I turned to Poshmark. Similar to Mecari or Etsy, Poshmark is an online marketplace where people sell new and gently used clothing items. All you have to do is snap a picture, write a description, set a price, and ship. The app, although it takes getting used to, makes it easy to sell virtually anything from anywhere.

Much like any other social app, you have a profile that people can follow and view at any time. Each listing is like a post, and people can like and comment on these listings to express their interest or ask questions. You can also create stories, share listings, make offers, and much more.

One of my favorite parts about Poshmark is how easy it is to sell and ship. When you post a new listing, Poshmark tells you how much you will earn based on shipping cost and hosting deductions. It’s not a substantial amount, and it takes away the stress of shipping costs. There are also bundles which are a great feature for both buyers and sellers as it allows the buyer to save on shipping costs and gives the seller the chance to get rid of several items.

Once you make a sale, Poshmark takes their commission and your leftover earnings go into the Pending category where you can see how much potential money you will make should your buyer accept the item. The app then emails you a prepaid shipping label which you attach to an acceptable box and bring to the post office to ship. Your buyer is given three days to review the item and when they accept, your earnings are released to your account which you can redeem through the app via a check request, bank direct deposit, or as credit towards your Poshmark purchases.

Your profile is also directly connected to your email which means you get sales, offers, comments, and other notifications in your inbox. This can come in handy when shopping as well. Speaking of shopping, Poshmark is a great place to find trendy thrift items. It’s easy to make offers, purchase items, and even return as Poshmark covers all return costs, so there’s no risk to the buyer.

Sounds easy, right? Not exactly. While I love how quick and simple Poshmark has made selling my clothes, I also often wonder if it’s worth it. Of course, it depends on what you sell, but don’t expect selling on Poshmark to become a reliable source of income. I’ve probably spent over 100 hours on the app, desperately trying everything I can to make sales, and it has yielded little success by way of an hourly wage.

For one, the people buying on Poshmark are expecting dirt-cheap prices. They are forced to pay over $7 for shipping—unless you give them a shipping discount—so they’re understandably trying to get the most bang for their buck. Unfortunately for sellers, that means it’s hard to make a good profit; I’ve had to decrease the prices for many clothing items to $5 which only turns me a $2 profit per item.

Is it worth taking the time and effort to package the order and drive it all the way to the post office just for $2? Not really.

Buyers are also looking for unique and expensive items, not the Old Navy t-shirts that go for $5 in-store anyway. They are looking for seasonal items too: last-ditch gifts, cheap gear, and discounted items for special events and occasions; the things that sold the quickest for me were cowboy boots, snow pants, and soccer cleats. Initially, I thought I’d be able to sell everything because of the good condition, but the majority of my clothes have not sold and at this point, I am considering just donating it all.

And, with the way the app is set up, top sellers with hundreds of thousands of followers and luxury items are prioritized leaving little room for small sellers with ordinary items. Without a ton of followers, you miss out on building a trustworthy reputation and therefore miss out on sales. The sheer amount of sellers present on the app is another reason this algorithm stiffs small accounts; buyers are more likely to buy from reputable sellers that are constantly recognized on the feed.

That doesn’t mean that my efforts were futile. Over the past few months, I’ve only made 19 sales, but it’s racked me over $180. For someone in need of a closet makeover, that’s not too shabby. Selling on Poshmark really comes down to the items you list and the interest of your followers and buyers. It can be annoying, tedious work, but if you’re looking to make some cash, it’s a viable option. Just be prepared to put a lot of time into selling as you’ll need to keep up with shares, offers, comments, likes, bundles, and more.

Grace McClung
50k+ pageviews

Grace McClung is from Denver, Colorado, and will be attending the University of Florida in the fall.