I’m a big believer in keeping a well-edited closet, and that means selling off some of the items that aren’t working for you anymore. I’ve been selling on the secondhand market for years, and Poshmark has become one of my favorite platforms to sell on. It’s a fast-moving marketplace where listing is quick and simple, and sales tend to happen faster.
Over the years I’ve been using Poshmark, I’ve made 60 sales, so it’s been a really productive place to sell for me. In the process, here’s what I’ve learned about how to make the selling process smooth and (relatively) painless.
Take great photos
The absolute most important part of selling online is to have enticing photos. They need to accurately represent the item but also portray it in its best light. You might have a beautiful top, but if it’s all wrinkled up in a dimly lit room, it’s not going to look very appealing. Your photos sell your item.
My recommendation for the best photos is to take them in natural light laying flat on the floor or a tabletop. Activewear usually looks bad on a hanger, so I don’t recommend that option. I also don’t recommend laying it on a soft surface like a bed, because then it doesn’t lay flat.
Opt for a solid-colored, neutral backdrop (hence why tables and floors are nice!) since patterns and colors tend to distract from the item. Natural light is important for depicting the color accurately as well as creating the most appealing photos. I know which room gets the best light for photos, so I always take my listing photos there. Some colors are a bit stubborn and difficult to photograph accurately, but just do your best!
When I don’t feel a photo I take portrays the item at its best, I’ll search for a stock photo from the manufacturer’s website and use that as the listing’s cover photo. Besides showing the true color and style, another advantage of using a stock photo is that you can show how the item fits. That said, don’t use a stock photo unless you’re certain it shows the exact item you’re selling, otherwise it can confuse buyers. And if you do choose to use a stock photo, always make sure you include at least one photo of the actual item the buyer will receive.
Be thorough and accurate
Write a description for your item with as much detail as you can think of. Make sure you include any information about condition, including signs of wear or flaws. If it seems necessary, I’ll include measurements such as the inseam or fit advice like “relaxed fit” or “fits similar to lululemon size 4”. I try to keep my descriptions thorough, professional, and helpful, while still being fairly short and to the point.
Also: I always add in my description that I do not accept trades. I recommend putting that in there unless you’re ready for about a hundred “trade?” comments on all your listings.
Sell in season
If you want the most bang for your buck, you need to time your listings right. Selling seasonal items during the wrong time of year makes a huge difference in how much you can expect to get back. For example, I often see winter outerwear go for less than half the price in the summer as it would in fall or winter. Unless you’re really desperate for cash, be patient and wait for the right time to sell. It literally pays off.
Here are an example of bad listing titles, all of which I have ACTUALLY seen:
“Not my color”
“Selling this tank for $30”
No good. Make sure your title is both informative and searchable. Here are examples of some good titles:
“Sweaty Betty black winter thermal running leggings”
“Lululemon harbor blue pace rival run crops”
“NWT lululemon bark berry scuba hoodie jacket”
“Athleta black/white stripe chaturanga yoga crop leggings”
Be as specific as possible by using the brand, the style, and color name, if you know it. If I have space, I will sometimes include extra keywords such as “running” or “purple” (if the color name is something like “black grape”), which will help people find my listing if they don’t search for an exact style or color name. Basically: try to put yourself in the shoes of a buyer, and imagine what words they’d type into the search bar. Put those words in your title!
You don’t necessarily need to include the size in the title (unless you want to and you have extra space) because if you include it in the size field as well as the description, it will come up in search.
Poshmark is a socially-oriented selling app, which can really help getting exposure for your listings. Every once in a while when I’m bored and I have 2 minutes, I’ll open the app, find a few good deals, and share them with my Poshmark followers. Often, this will trigger users to check out my closet, follow me, reciprocate by sharing some of my listings, or some combination of those.
I also will periodically share my own listings to my followers. On multiple occasions, I’ve made a sale on an old listing right after I share it.
Set your price intelligently
The right price is (obviously) crucial to making a sale.
In my experience, people on Posh are more likely to pay $50 for something if that was the original price than if it’s an old listing that gets reduced to $50 from $60 or $70. That means getting price right when you initially list the item is especially important.
If you buy and sell frequently on the secondhand market, you may already have a pretty good intuition for what is or isn’t a good price. If you’re pretty mystified by price, the best way to gauge it is by searching sold listings. Live listings aren’t helpful because they only show what people are asking buyers to pay, whereas sold listings show you what buyers actually paid.
I made this YouTube video to walk you through how to search sold listings on eBay and Poshmark, which are in my opinion the two best places to gather price data. If you can’t find enough info on one site, search the other one to get extra info.
Be willing to negotiate
I’ll be blunt: poshers can be insanely cheap. When setting my price, I try to choose something reasonable, but also something that’s a little higher than my minimum/ideal price. Most Posh sales happen via the offer button, so if you’re firm on your price, you might be waiting a LONG time to make a sale. You don’t have to take every lowball offer that comes your way, but if you’re willing to flex by $5-15 on your price, it can go a long way toward getting your listings out the door.
Another good reason to be flexible on price is for Poshmark’s “closet clean-out” promos. The deal with the closet clean-outs is basically that if you lower your price by >10%, Poshmark will give buyers discounted shipping for an hour. These promos always help get sales done, so make sure your price is has enough wiggle room for you to drop it by a few bucks to take advantage of these periodic promos.
Have shipping materials ready to go
There’s nothing that makes selling stressful quite like making a sale and then having to scramble to find shipping materials. Make sure you have access to a printer, packing tape, and an appropriate shipping envelope. As an add-on, I like to put the item in a plastic bag inside the mailing envelope to add an extra layer of protection.
I recommend going to the post office and picking up a handful of tyvek Priority Mail envelopes and keeping a stash on hand for Posh sales. They’re free, so you don’t have to go out and spend your own money on mailers. Make sure you do not use flat rate envelopes, just regular Priority Mail shipping materials only.