My foray into the gig economy via Poshmark?

Few jobs today offer financial stability, flexible hours, and the ability to be your own boss – and yet, many people have found ways to do that through the gig economy.

Today, I’d like to talk about a “recommerce” platform called Poshmark, where people can sell/discover/buy fashion, home décor, and beauty products from others. Think eBay but built around a niche community of “poshers” who curate and resell clothing from their closet. While Poshmark may seem like a passive way to make income relative to other platforms (e.g., Uber, Airbnb, TaskRabbit, and Rover), it has been a “safe haven” for some during the pandemic and also “enabled a whole new generation of sellers to start their business and thrive”. These words used in articles from Wired and New York Times are often followed by mixed commentary and skepticism on whether the platform can really serve as a source of income. I was definitely intrigued and thought, why not give it a try?

That sense of curiosity and the fact that I needed to clean out my closet after moving into a new apartment was what kickstarted my journey as a “posher”. I created an account in late July 2021 (about 3 months ago) with a few items from brands like Anthropologie, J.Crew, and Stuart Weitzman. It has now expanded to well over 50 items. I’ve since made 6 sales and while I’m still learning the “ins and outs” of Poshmark, I thought I’d share a few observations:

  1. Closets that are discoverable generate more sales. Having more followers not only drives more views, but also enables poshers to command higher prices, resulting in more earnings overall. I learned the hard way that even after listing the same exact item (including size, condition, etc.) at a lower price, Posh Ambassadors with over 10K followers will often receive more “likes” on their listing than mine. While there may be other factors at play, including how long our listings have been active for, all in all, it helps to have a wider social reach! It means your listings get circulated to more people and are therefore, more discoverable.
  2. Trendy items and engagement are ingredients for success. Certain brands, such as Anthropologie, Madewell, Sezane, are more popular and have higher resale value than others. As such, sourcing trendy clothes that cater to your followers and having great cover photos to show them off is a great way to start. From there, you can build momentum through active engagement. Poshers who participate often by sharing their listings to followers or to Posh parties, liking others’ listings, and responding promptly to questions and comments, are more likely to make sales than those who don’t. I’ve seen some Posh Ambassadors refresh their listings every few hours and make offers almost immediately after I’ve liked an item – which I thought was weird at first. I didn’t realize until later that many use bots like SuperPosher or Closet Pilot to automate those tasks.
  3. It takes grit to become a full-time Posher. Making a decent living as a Posher requires time and effort to replenish inventory, stage clothes for photos, and constantly engage with others. Given that buyers are often looking for great deals on secondhand clothing, it can be hard to make good money unless your item was originally bought at a steep discount or is in high-demand and sold-out elsewhere. Additionally, the 20% fee that Poshmark takes on each sale further cuts into margins.

So will I continue to build up my Poshmark presence? For now I’ll continue posting, sharing, and following others, but taking that leap from recouping costs on my own clothes to actually sourcing items from thrift stores and wholesale is something I’d consider only after hitting a few milestones in terms of # of followers and sales volume. I’ll keep y’all posted though!

For any fellow poshers out there, please let me know if my post resonated with you or if you feel compelled to share other tips, let’s get the conversation started below. You can also find me on Poshmark at @cubbyflair.😉

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