Friday, August 9, 2019

Poshmark: Lessons from a Posh Ambassador

CNN Money did an article a few years ago about women and side gigs. Most do a net working marketing/multi-level marketing (me too, I did Jamberry!), but sometimes you find yourself in a side gig without realizing it. For me, that was Poshmark.

First off, I hate the term side hustle. Why do you have to hustle something? The term "hustle" can have a negative connotation to it, so I don't love it. But it's also pretty accurate here. It's my side gig and I do hustle and make it work for me.

I got into Poshmark about two years ago. One of my blogger friends told me about it and I tried it (read my original post here).  I had some decent success with it, but it wasn't until I had Carter that I got really into it. Then I realized it was actually working for me and I became a Poshmark Ambassador at the end of April 2019. 

A Poshmark Ambassador just means that I've sold at least 15 times, shared 5,000 items that aren't mine, have a quick ship time and positive rating, among other things. But I've been working hard at selling my clothes for the past year or so. Really, since right before I had Carter. I took a month or two off after that, but I've been selling pretty steadily for a year and some change. I've sold 141 items and have 13,426 shares.  I've even started buying some items and reselling.

So, after all of that, here's what I've learned.

1. It's all negotiable, within reason.
Most people, me included, are shopping on Poshmark for a good deal.  My main focus is finding Stitch Fix items and brands at a discount. I love Stitch Fix, but their prices are higher than I like to pay. I've found that I can find a lot of my favorite brands on Poshmark and, if you know how the brands work, it's worth it to take a try and buy it. Some of my favorite brands to buy are Liverpool, Market and Spruce, 41 Hawthorn, and Athleta. I also look for Untuckit for Aaron. Most people make offers on items and don't buy at the price posted. Or, if you're like me, you wait until it's a "Closet Clearout" promotion where you can also get a break on shipping if the seller offers a deal.

As a seller, when I price items, I price them a little higher than what I think they are going to sell for simply because I know that I'm going to be making offers and sending discounts. The prices are still set to sell and, some hot items, will sell at those prices.

As a buyer, you also have to take into account the fees that Poshmark puts on sellers when sending an offer. I had a JuJuBe pump bag, retails for $125, for sale at $75. Someone offered me $25. That was rude and insulting. I didn't even respond. Another person offered me $45, which was lower than what I wanted, so I countered with $55 and they took it. When I make offers as a buyer, I try to think about what I would be willing to accept as a seller. And when looking at offers that a buyer has made, I think about what I would want to pay if I was the one selling it.

2. It's a social market.
If you're getting on Poshmark to set a price and then just let people purchase, it is the wrong market for you. Ebay is probably more your speed. On Poshmark, you want to grow your audience by following other members and sharing their items. They, in turn, share yours and they are seen by a wider audience. Sometimes, that gets you more followers. When I'm doing my Poshmark "work" of sharing items, I often share others' items MORE than I share my own. My followers have significantly increased since becoming an Ambassador because now I'm recommended as a Top Seller for others to follow.

3. Customer care is big.
I didn't worry so much about my rating until I realized that I was making decent money on Poshmark and wanted to grow my sales. But, I always took care of my customers. I keep thank you notes on hand, use some tissue paper and try to protect the items when packaging. I send the lighter items, like tops, in mailing envelopes. I personally have a fear of cutting into something when opening my own bags from shipments, so I treat my customers the same and put their items in large ziploc bags to provide extra protection. I get comments on my packaging on a regular basis in my ratings and I've had a few repeat customers, which is cool on such a large platform.

4. Know what sells - it's not tops and pants!
The things that sell the quickest for me are swim suits, specialty workout items and bras/intimates.  Things I NEVER would have thought to sell originally. I've listed 10 swim items and have sold 8 of them. Specialty workout items like spin shorts (padded) and the bra tops from Athleta and Lululemon sell within a day or two. I've sold every bra and pajama set that I've put up.  Tops and bottoms will sell, but they take some time, so be ready to sit on those. Shoes are really hard to sell, mostly because I think most people are like me and need to try them on. Your higher end brands will always do pretty well, though.

5. Keep packaging items you get from your own orders and reuse!
This goes back to customer care - you want to package well, but you also don't want to spend a fortune on it! Especially if you're trying to make a profit. You can use, and are encouraged to use, USPS Priority Mail boxes. They're free and you can get them at pretty much any USPS location. I like to use the envelopes for smaller/lighter items. But some things, like pump bags, don't fit in those boxes. So I keep any good shipping boxes I receive. I also keep the plastic sleeves that items come in and reuse those. I've also recently started keeping the cards that my earrings come on and reuse those as well. This is good for the environment, but also cuts down on having to buy packaging.

6. You can sell anything, even if it's stained, if you call out the issues.
Be honest. Be honest. Be honest. I really don't know how much I need to say that, but be honest. I've bought things that have small stains, fabric pulls, etc. I've had people buy the same from me. But your photos, comments and price need to reflect that. I take a ridiculous number of photos, but I also don't want anyone saying, "I didn't know about that!" I actually had to contact a buyer because I sold a PJ set and had it listed as a Large when the top was a Medium and the bottom a Large. They were fine with it, but I also had to be ready to cancel the order and issue a refund in case they weren't.

7. Be a good buyer.
Sellers make money when the buyer accepts the item. We work hard to package it and get it out quickly. When the item comes, check it out that day/night. Accept it and rate it based on the shipping speed, the accuracy of the item. Not if the item fits you. And if you're happy, leave a note. Or if you're mad, leave a note. But don't wait two days to accept the item. Especially if you're a seller!

I love Poshmark. It's been a great way for me to clean out my closet and to replace a lot of things. Now that my baby weight is off, a lot of my work clothes from the past year are too big and, quite frankly, I want some new stuff! Poshmark is a great way to get "new" items for yourself on a budget and make some money on items you no longer use. If you're selling on Posh, drop your name below so I can follow you and share your items!  If you decide to sign up for Poshmark, use my code "ZINNLIFE" to get $10 off (I get $10 too!).  Happy poshing! 

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