If you follow me on Instagram, you know that many of my business suits are purchased via Poshmark. Suits are so expensive new, and so cheap on consignment, it makes good financial sense. And every time I post a new Posh-Purchase, people ask for my tips on using the platform wisely.
Tip No. One // Focus on Your Favorite Brands and Designers
Everyone has favorite brands and designers. Brands where you know exactly what size you need. Brands whose quality you trust. Brands whose style fits your own. When shopping consignment, stick mostly to those brands.
Tip No. Two // Pay Careful Attention to Fit
The biggest hiccup when shopping online consignment is the potential for buyer’s remorse. And the number one cause of buyer dissatisfaction is the fit of the item.
I have a short list saved in my computers notes section that lists brands and sizes that I own. They read like this:
MM LaFleur — fitted skirt dresses sz 8 / a-line dresses sz 6 / tops sz S / Pants sz 8
Burberry — dresses and skirts sz UK 12 / tops sz UK 10
Having these lists means I’m never unsure what size I am in a brand that I already own or that I’ve tried on in stores.
Not sure what size you wear in a certain brand? Look at the seller’s other sizes for brands where you know your size. Maybe you don’t know how that Veronica Beard size six will fit you, but you know you wear an Ann Taylor size four. So if the seller also has several Ann Taylor size fours for sale, you can guess that your measurements may be similar.
Also, never be afraid to ask for measurements or photos of the item on the body. Both can help you assess whether something will fit you. But the best course of action is often to stick with brands where you know your size.
Tip No. Three // ‘Heart’ Liberally
Poshmark gives you the ability to like a style by clicking the heart near the item name. Not only does ‘hearting’ a style add it to your favorites, it also lets the seller know that she has a new like. Many times, sellers will offer private discounts or free shipping to those who have favorited an item. So it’s a good practice to fill up your favorite lists so you can keep an eye on pieces you like and save them for later.
Tip No. Four // Negotiate Price, but Don’t Be Insulting
Poshmark allows buyers to negotiate with sellers. To haggle, if you will. So most Posh sellers build in to their prices a slight increase. We expect people to offer a price that’s 15-25% lower, and then counter back. But sometimes buyers take it too far.
Last year, I had a ‘new with tags’ Burberry trench for sale. I’d impulse purchased it and run out the return window. I had it up for $200 under MSRP. I expected that final purchase price would be $300-$350 under MSRP. But I cannot count the number of offers I received that were at least 75% lower than retail.
I know some buyers are just trying to score a deal, but once you’ve insulted a seller, most won’t accept a higher offer later.
When assessing a lower offer consider the age of the item, the condition of the item, how long its been listed on Poshmark, and the price you want to pay. Then, make a fair offer. Most sellers will take you up on it or make a reasonable counter-offer if you’re in the ballpark.
Top No. Five // Always Open a Poshmark Purchase Right Away
There are two reasons to open items quickly. First, sellers aren’t paid until you accept a purchase. So it’s simply good policy not to make them wait unnecessarily.
The second reason is to resolve issues. I once opened a Posh-Purchase to discover it was horribly discolored, likely from poor storage. I sent Poshmark an email same day and was refunded and provided with a label to return it to the seller. So open it right when you get it to give it a once over.
Any questions about shopping on Poshmark? Leave them in the comments.
Do you get annoyed when a Re-Posher/reseller buys your item at a low price and then re-sells/marks it up? This has happened to me A LOT with designer goods on Poshmark.
I’m more comfortable giving a “normal person” a deal on a designer item than selling it at MY LOSS to a reseller, and I feel like they’ve overrun the platform at times.
Great tips! I have some other pieces of advice to add just from my poshmark experience:
1) Don’t buy an item until you actually see a picture of the specific item for sale. A lot of sellers will use the original manufacturer/website/model images of an item as well as their own pictures of the thing they’re trying to sell, but I’m always suspicious if they don’t include any of their own pictures.
2) Pay close attention to how the seller lists the condition of the item, but also take a close look at the pictures posted
3) A lot of sellers do “bundle” deals, where they offer a discount or free shipping if you purchase multiple items from a store, so if you find an item you like, it’s worth checking out what else the seller has for sale!
I love consignment! Surprising I’ve been finding some great items (like blouses from Tanya Taylor, Theory, and Rebecca Taylor) on Thred Up. They are reselling a lot of pieces that were on Rent the Runway.
Weird comment forthcoming: warning!
I am one of those unique, rare people that have a very heightened sense of smell and other people’s “smells,” (house smell, fragrance, detergent, etc) can linger on items like wool, suits, coats etc. Have you ever run into a situation where an item has a “smell” (not odor, necessarily, just a smell) that you cannot handle? That is my number one fear of Poshmark and apologies for my weirdness. 🙂
Many listings say “non-smoker” or no pets in home. If I don’t see that, I will sometimes ask, especially if the item is wool or silk, since those hold smells a bit more.
But I have never had a smell that was strong, and one mild must smell in a jacket was gone after a cleaning and an air out outside.
I have purchased probably 20 times from Poshmark and twice had odor issues. One was a Patagonia vest that smelled very strongly of their detergent/dryer sheets. I washed it immediately and it’s fine now. The other was a lululemon top that smells like BO or strong cooking smells or something. I’ve had it for like 2 years and obviously washed it plenty of times and the smell still lingers a bit. The top was less than $20 so I’m not super upset about it. If you think it would be a dealbreaker I think you’d be able to take advantage of the returns as described in #5 and it the other comments.
I buy most of my clothes used (>100 items in the past 11 years), and I’ve had this happen twice: once with an unpleasantly strong fragrance smell that washed out with one standard wash cycle, and the other a horrific sweat smell from a pair of Lululemon shorts. For the latter, I almost returned them, but I decided to test odor-removers…several washes with white vinegar and two turns through the washing machine and they were totally fine. I’m not *recommending* anyone keep smelly items, but you’d be surprised at what you can de-funk, and at how infrequent it is.
Side note – now, one of my standard questions when I ask for details on the item’s condition is to ask if there are any odors. Gives me some peace of mind to get a negative response. Unfortunately, I do think a lot of sellers add a fragrance deliberately to smell “clean” or “nice,” which might be a problem for you.
Regarding Tip #5, I believe Poshmark’s policy is that buyers have a certain number of days (like 3) to accept or decline a purchase. If you wait longer than the window, you lose the ability to return an item.
I would love more of a discussion around Rule 4. I see a lot of “no low ball offers” in Poshmark posts however, I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve liked an item and then I get a huge discount offer. Or, I follow an item and the price drops so much week to week to week that it comes down to a very low price that I might have offered originally (and sometimes lower!). It is impossible to know from the outside how much someone has marked up an item and what they are willing to accept.
Further, sometimes when I’m browsing, I will see something I love but don’t need/want to prioritize at this time. For those items, I’m willing to throw out a lower price I would pay at this time, though I might pay more at a later time. For example, buying a winter coat in the middle of summer or a fantastic pair of shoes in the middle of lockdown.
Why is this seen as insulting to offer a low price? I don’t get frustrated when someone declines my offer or insulted when they counter offer. Yes, buyers are trying to get the best deal but doesn’t that come with the territory of being able to negotiate price? Aren’t there just as many sellers trying to get the best deal and marking way up?
Haha, clearly this is one of my pet peeves with Poshmark 🙂 I always appreciate the “Price is firm” tagging.
Thank you for doing this post! I was going to message you asking how you found such great suits on Poshmark. Another tip, I only buy my kids clothes on Poshmark. They grow so fast that I am not buying a new name brand jacket or dressy outfit, when I can buy one used and reduce both the cost and environmental impact. It also lets me try brands I might not otherwise find for her.
I really like Poshmark. I’ve gotten some great deals on work clothes and also things like snow boots for my kids. Also, I have to say I very much appreciate that a fashion blogger isn’t telling us to buy some new thing for the sake of buying it! Thank you. My question is about suits, specifically. I know my size in JCrew but I go to JCrew offerings on Poshmark and I don’t see a category for suits. Do you use the drop down menu for something else, like jackets? Or do you just search “Brand + suits” in the search bar? Thanks!
I just search for brand + suits. Sometimes it yields swimsuits, so sort by price highest to lowest.
Re: Tip 3 – I wouldn’t bank on assessing size of one item as to what else is in a closet. Many people sell items that weren’t their own, so that may not be a great way of assessing size. Asking for measurements of key parts of the item is a good way of checking. Measurement of waist for example – see what the item measures and compare it to your best fitting pair of pants. Many people use this as a form of income, and buy wholesale, or scour local thrift shops, or get items from neighbors and friends. So you never know exactly whose item you’re getting.
The lowball issue – I’m not usually offended by those offers, except for some of the luxury items. Like a Tiffany necklace listed for $250, and receiving an offer of $25. I may balk at the offer, but don’t get “offended” and won’t take it out on the offerer. I just decline and move on – or sometimes offer my lowest that I’m willing to take.
I absolutely agree with suggesting to open it ASAP when you receive an item. Quick response is courteous to the seller, but more importantly, it gives you time to see the item in daylight, inspect it and make sure it lives up to it’s description. If not, opening the ticket to dispute the purchase ASAP is going to be better for everyone in the long run.
I’ve made a good amount on Poshmark, so happy to also answer questions. Mostly my clothes, my husbands, kids and my mom as well. It’s a good platform to sell your unused/unwanted items, but does take a bit of work to do so.
Hi! I just wanted to ask if non luxury brands have also moved well on Poshmark for you?
I’m thinking of clearing out my closet and have some mid-tier brands I know should be fine like Ted Baker, but I also have a lot of Banana Republic and Calvin Klein work clothing I know I won’t wear anymore even when I start going back into the office. And more Nike/Adidas/Beyond Yoga workout clothing than I need.
I also have a TON of Blackmilk, which I think will move best in a Blackmilk specific resell group so I’m planning on doing that there.
I have been a Poshmark seller and buyer for several years. My Poshmark closet consists mostly of mid-range brands and I’ve sold hundreds of items. There is a buyer for nearly everything so my advice is to list it all and see what happens. One seriously important thing about selling on this platform is to understand its design. It is meant to be a social experience so sharing your closet frequently, by clicking one item at at time on the “share” icon, will expose your items to a broader Posh shopper audience and absolutely affects your sales. Read the Poshmark guidelines and Q&A before you start so you’re informed about best practices. Good luck!
As the other poster mentioned, there is a buyer for everything, but you have to understand and commit to working the platform correctly. Posting things and leaving them there *may* get you sales, but in order to really sell, you need to share each item often.
The lower range items (Banana, etc.) may not yield you a payout that’s worth the effort to sell them. I’m sort of realizing that myself, and so I’m really focused on the higher end items.
As another poster below mentioned, it may just be better to drop things to your local consignment store. Around where I live, the consignment stores aren’t interested in “mall brands” so I’ve donated a lot, and kept those items with tags, or that I barely wore to sell online.
But there’s no harm in trying it for a few of your items and see if you like the process and how Poshmark is set up. If you don’t, you don’t lose much except some time and effort.
Hope this helps!
The Other L says:
I am often looking for mid-tier brands, or even mall brands, to replace items I have in my closet now and love. Recent Poshmark-sourced replacements have been a much-loved J.Crew sweater that now has a hole, an AT top from 2016ish that I’ve washed enough that seams are fraying, and a 7-year old Banana dress that I love but bought when I was half a size smaller, and purchased again in the next size up. Sometimes I can find these old items NWT which is amazing, but even more gently worn than what I’m replacing is a huge win.
I get that the time and effort it takes to sell mid-tier items might not be worth the price they go for. But despite the amazing deals to be had, I for one am incredibly reluctant to spend $$$ on something I can only return for defects, and not for fit (either doesn’t, or differently than I expected), and so I rarely purchase luxury items on the site.
I am the same way – I prefer mid-range brands for Poshmark. Too risky to spend a lot without seeing an item and trying it on in advance. I’ve also had worse luck with Poshmark sellers overstating the condition of items as compared to ebay sellers, probably because Poshhmark does not show negative reviews. Personally, I’m far more likely to spend more on platforms that allow returns, and like The Other L, I rely on Poshmark to replace mid-range items I’ve worn out or am completely confident that the item will fit. Totally understand that it may not be worth the effort from the seller’s perspective, though!
Monica T says:
I maintain a spreadsheet of my closet. Buckets of item types with color, brand and size. This helps me identify what if anything I need, and move items that need to be replaced or donated out. It really does help knowing what I wear in different brands and noting the name of the style where possible. I definitely agree that buying your favorite brands thrifted works out the best.
I guess I have not had very good luck on Poshmark. I made maybe $200 selling some stuff, and it felt like a lot of work for the money. Would rather just drop off at my local consignment store in the future.