DISCLAIMER: I am not a financial advisor nor am I telling you to quit your job and flip things like Gary Vee. I am not responsible for your finances if you decide to take the leap of faith! This is your life and you have to take responsibility of it.
Most of us had or are currently in jobs that we feel drained and undervalued. According to the Washington Post, “71% of employees are job hunting [because] another 44% believe they are “always or often” overlooked. 45% of employees believe that they “aren’t even paid what they deserve.”
In my short career as a 24 year old, I’ve worked in many industries ranging from Fashion, Tech, Childcare, Marketing, Corporate, Automotive Insurance, Higher Education, Facility Management, Retail, and Food industries. Regardless of any bad experiences, I’ve gained immensely valuable lessons at each job that have given me the skills and confidence to pursue anything.
After getting fired from my last job, I decided it was time that I start my own business as a Poshmark Reseller. But before I go into how I was able to make my first sale, I want to share a mistake I’ve been making with side hustles and gigs. This is still work. Cringing as I type that because “Obviously, Deb!” But hear me out. There are still going to be things that you won’t enjoy about being your “own boss”. There will be hard days where you may not make a single sale but thankfully there are far more good things to look forward to.
How To Start Your Poshmark Closet
Besides signing up to make an account (use code DEBBYBOOVLOGS to earn $5 towards your purchase) to list your first item, you need to research everything about reselling. Figure out if this even a sustainable industry or if it will provide you with consistent income for your monthly budget. Although we get excited about being own bosses, we still have to manage your time, efforts, and money or else you can kiss that car, apartment, and food goodbye.
No matter your educational background, even if it’s in Fashion or retail, you still have to learn the reselling world. Here’s where I started in my research:
What products will you be selling? (i.e. clothes, hard goods, electronics, etc.)
Where will you purchase the products? (i.e. thrift stores, amazon, dollar tree, etc.)
How will you ship and package your items? (i.e. USPS, FedEx, etc.)
How will you handle customer service? (i.e. wrong item, unsatisfied customer, slow delivery, etc.)
When to budget money to resell and/or money to pay your bills?
How will your market or advertise your closet? (i.e. social media, advertising, etc.)
What should I know about Taxes, Business Expenses, Upfront costs, Reseller Permit, etc.?
What will you do to earn money when sales are slow? (i.e. side hustle, gigs, etc..)
After getting a basic understanding of reselling, you need to build a strategy that works for you (i.e. inventory system, closet niche, marketing plan, etc.). Oh! There is definitely a consistent financial investment required in order to sustain your reselling business. What do I mean? While you can and should initiatally sell the clothes from your own wardrobe, it will not sustain your business. You need to re-invest every dollar (if possible) back into your business to earn more money. Y’all, let me keep it real with you…This is NOT an “earn-money-now” side hustle. You have to treat this as a business by being humble, adaptable, and eager to learn this industry.
This is where having a background in Fashion or even Retail experience is very helpful but again, it’s not necessary as you can learn anything. Before you even plan how you are going to store your merchandise, decide what kind of clothes are you thrifting. Some Poshmark closets have style themes like all Nike Shoes, 1950s Vintage, Bohemian Outfits, Designer Dupes, etc.. If you don’t know your theme or just want to get started then don’t worry. I’m still figuring out my “theme” yet I’ve profited $665. So, here’s what you need to know before you go thrifting:
Fashion Trends (i.e. seasonal, popular, or vintage items)
What fashion brands sold on Poshmark? (i.e. what are other Poshers selling, how much do they sell it for)?
How much will I profit after purchasing this? (i.e. is this worth it or should I look for something else)
Who is my customer and why do they want to buy from me? (i.e. professional, fast shipper, etc.)
This is an important step that I actually skipped, which this was a pretty big mistake that cost me time and money. Ironically, I don’t regret this learning experience because it taught me to always have a strategy, especially when it comes to business. Now that I know better, I can answer these questions with less anxiety or fear that I will fail at this. Remember, you will never be “perfect” at anything in life. You just have to be hungry enough to keep on going.
Now, after you know what you’re going to buy. It’s important to be cautious of the time you’re spending in the thrift store. Remember, this is a business and wealthy people have the freedom of having more time and money. So, in order to start building towards wealth you need to prioritize your time by creating a schedule. How long will you spend in the thrift store? Do I have a list of things that sold on Poshmark? What brands do my customers and I like? These are the questions I ask myself whenever I go thrifting because I’m no longer shopping for me. While someone may like my style on me, they may not like it on them. Think about what others are buying right now.
According to my girl Shyleen Shawn, she buys all seasonal style clothes all year round but will layout her closet on Poshmark a little differently. You should definitely subscribe to her YouTube channel for more tips because she provides super transparent and real strategies on what sold for her and how to make money.
In regards to storing it, don’t be fancy. Start with what you have because God forbid you actually hate this but you spent all this money metal shelving, storage bins, or a Dymo label printer. If have an extra suitcase and space under your bed then you have a “storage box.” Get all of your shipping supplies from USPS where they give out FREE Priority Mailing Boxes and storage stuff. Yep, you can order it and they will even deliver it for FREE. If you want polymailers then check amazon for a pack of 100. Don’t go over board until you start seeing consistent sales come in.
How To Make Your First Sale
A few months back, I made this video on my top tips for thrifting to resell. I’ve been thrifting since 2010, so it is a lot easier for me to walk in to a thrift store and find the cool stuff for super cheap. You can watch some of my thrifting haul videos. Now, let’s talk photography, lighting, styling, etc. You will make a sale if you have the following:
A good product
Good and clear lighting,
Styling the product
Market or advertise your closet
Again, this is a business. The aesthetic, photography, and product itself does matter. When I say styling, I don’t mean you need to go rent out a studio and take these pictures. But is the background clear? Can you see the truest color of the item? Does it look pretty? Here’s the exact video that helped me with this from Empty Hanger, one of my favorite poshers. She is a badass and taught me so much about the reselling business.
In regards to marketing, people need to know that you have a product for sale. It is your job to advertise why this product will add value to their lives. Although I needed money to pay my bills, I started Poshmark because I wanted to learn sales. Yep, I’m the girl who if she wants to learn how to style hair, I’ll shave my head and dye it. But seriously, I wanted to do something in fashion in an ethical and affordable way that related to my first love of thrifting. I personally wanted to pick out clothes that I loved for people, where it wasn't sleazy or having someone push something down my throat.
Now, I know it may seem like $665 isn’t a lot, especially if I take out my investment, mileage, etc. But this result was based on very MINIMAL EFFORT. Imagine if I really focused on this how much I can make going forward. Don’t believe me. Check out these resellers here, here, and here. Also, for those who ask “how are you still a minimalists if you’re selling clothes?” I’m still a minimalist because instead of working at a thrift store (even though I have no problem and probably will) I became the thrift store. There’s no cap on how much I make. I determine that and you should, too.