I recently started selling on Poshmark. The plan was just selling our own gently used, unwanted clothing. After the first sale, however, I was hooked!
As our first sales came in, I thought this would be a great opportunity for me to finally dip my toe into the reselling pool. I have long been interested in it. I have loved hearing the success stories of online friends selling on eBay and Amazon FBA. I have been thinking about trying my hand at flipping recently…
But I was terrified.
I don’t know how to value things I know nothing about. What if I bought a bunch of stuff that would just clutter up my basement and garage?
I do know a little about clothing, however. And as I saw some of our own items sell quickly and dug into some Poshmark forums, I felt good about flipping clothes.
I was especially worried about sales tax. I’m worried about all taxes all of the time, so that’s nothing new. When I found out Poshmark takes care of collecting and remitting sales tax, I decided to dive in.
Once we hit around $150 in profit on the app, I felt comfortable reinvesting some of those earnings into more product for our experiment. Six months and 1,000+ listings later, I thought I would share with you a few places we shop for items to resell along with a few of our flips.
1. Your Closet
Obviously, you want to start with your own closet. You know where you bought these things, how much you paid for them, if they have any damage, etc. You also aren’t spending any money yet, so it’s a safe way to get comfortable on the platform, learn how to list things, hopefully, learn what sells quickly and how the purchase and shipping process works.
My husband was the clear winner when it came to clearing out our own closets. He quickly sold out of jeans, shorts and shoes.
- Best flip so far: Rock Revival Men’s Jeans
- Investment: $0
- Sold for: $60
2. Family Member’s Closets
The reason this venture began was that we were getting ready for a family garage sale. Sadly, that garage sale was a total bust! We didn’t even break $100 as a family and my earnings were $18. What a waste.
I did spot a Vera Bradley weekender bag on the garage sale marked $7 however. I knew that was way too low. Especially considering it had never been used.
I asked if I could list it on Poshmark and see if we got any bites. By the end of the weekend, it had sold.
- Best flip so far: Vera Bradley bag
- Investment: $0
- Sold for: $28
3. Garage Sales
I have always loved a good garage sale. I remember going every Friday during the summer with my grandma.
There are a few reasons garage sales rank higher than thrift stores for me:
- You’re outside in natural light so it’s easier – for me – to spot barely-there stains. I have purchased several items at Goodwill that had stains I didn’t see until I got them in the sunlight to photograph.
- Many garage sellers price things to move. At many Goodwills and other thrift stores today, they know the more expensive brands and price them higher. Sometimes, they don’t bring these items out to the floor at all. They list them online or take them to other stores. At garage sales, it’s commonplace for all clothing to be marked at $1 or $2 regardless of the brand name. If you can run across a church rummage sale, even better!
Many people today will let you know what brands and sizes you can expect at their sales. I also prefer multi-family garage sales as there’s often a lot more to choose from.
You can find garage sale listings on Craigslist, in the newspaper, in local Facebook Buy-Sell Groups and more. I use the Yard Sale Treasure Map app quite a bit. It appears to pull from Craigslist and will display sales on a map so you can plan your trip more easily. There are some others here that I need to try.
- Best flip so far: Lululemon Duffel Bag
- Investment: $4
- Sold for: $60 (within 3 days of listing)
4. Estate Sales
We live in the Midwest. Winters can be cold, icy, snowy and windy here. Garage sales come to a halt around September. So, my husband and I decided to try our hand at estate sales.
I have a love-hate relationship with estate sales. On the upside, you are shopping the entire house – kitchen, closets, basement, living room… You never know what you will find. They can be great for finding little treasures like collectibles and vintage clothing.
On the flip side, prices are often a lot higher than garage sales. Unless it's an unusual or expensive item, estate sales can leave a slim profit margin for clothing. If it's a widely-advertised estate sale or one with mid-century modern or antiques, you may find yourself standing out in the cold – literally – if they are only allowing a limited number of people in the house at a time.
- Best flip so far: Kate Spade Suede Flats
- Investment: $6
- Sold for: $85 (within 24 hours of listing)
5. Thrift Stores
So, I told you thrift stores rank behind garage sales for me. I tend to feel overwhelmed and anxious in these stores. There is so much stuff to go through. You need to dig for the good stuff. You have to look for holes, stains and other damage. You either have to pull out your phone and look for comparables or take a gamble.
And, as I said before, a lot of the mid- to high-end brands are priced as such. Jeans that I have sold on Poshmark for $30 might be priced $15 to $20 at my local thrift store. That’s not much room to move when most of my sales are coming through negotiations.
- Best flip so far: Ariat Cowgirl Boots
- Investment: $10
- Sold for: $60
There are so many retailers that have referral and loyalty programs that allow you to accrue store credit that can be used on future purchases. A few of the ones I used to pick up some cheap or free inventory:
thredUP doesn’t have the greatest discounts on their single pieces of clothing, but they now have “Rescue Boxes” that are worth a look. According to the website, “Each Rescue Box contains items that may need a little TLC or we've listed for a while.”
At this time, you can choose from:
- mixed clothing
- designer handbags
- Coach handbags
- DIY jewelry
- DIY denim
- DIY t-shirts
- men's clothing
- mixed jewelry
- grab bag
You can choose the category of your box, but you can't choose size, brands or condition. Some items may be a hit. Some items may be a miss. It's a gamble. But, it may be worth rolling the dice if you can't or don't want to spend hours every week shopping for inventory.
- Best flip so far: Summer Dress
- Investment: $0.43
- Sold for: $20
Poshmark itself can be a great place to source items for resale. I haven’t had much luck finding individuals items priced low enough to buy and relist on the site for a profit, but there are Poshmark sellers who offer premade reseller bundles. Some people just have too much inventory and not enough time to list, or maybe they have a niche closet and a few items just don’t make the cut. These resellers sometimes offer the extras up to others.
The items within these boxes are a surprise, but many will give you an indication as to the brands you can expect. Some may even let you make a request or state your preferred sizes.
You will want to make you are shopping mystery bundles created specifically for resellers. And, read the reviews. While there are quite a few sellers who offer mystery boxes, reseller boxes are crafted specifically with other site sellers in mind. These boxes are usually by weight instead of a specified number of items. They also tend to be better brands and better quality goods. They know you need to make a profit.
Again, I am saving up my referral credit for purchasing mystery reseller boxes. If you are new to Poshmark, for a limited you can get $10 credit when you sign up. You will need to download the app on Apple Store or Play Store and use invite code THEWAHWIFE to enroll to get the credit.
- Best flip so far: pending
We are lucky enough to have an outlet mall about 40 minutes away from here. The outlets were a good learning lesson for me.
You really need to check your comps. Just because an item is priced 50% off does not mean you are going to be able to sell it for that on Poshmark – even new with tags. Do your research.
My goal is $15 profit per item. For me, that means I need to source higher-priced items at a deeper discount. When at the outlets, that's especially the case. I typically don't buy anything that isn't at least 75% off.
- Best flip so far: Coach Shoes
- Investment: $40.05
- Sold for: $80
9. Goodwill Bins
There may be a few Goodwill Outlet stores in your state. These outlet stores may contain items that never made it to the regular Goodwill store or that may have not sold in one. Unlike your regular GW store, the items here are not on racks. The employees roll out bins heaped full of items throughout the day. Then, all of the shoppers run to the newest bin to start digging in hopes of finding a treasure. Most Goodwill Outlets also sell by the pound as opposed to pricing individual items.
I hear a lot of success stories about Goodwill Outlet stores, or “bins.” I do not have one. I have one within a 40-minute drive. I have been once. It was dirty. The items were all but garbage. The people were pushy. I have heard the same from most people in my area.
But, maybe yours is better.
10. Clothing Consignment Stores
I'm sure you have a Plato's Closet or similar chain consignment store nearby. There are likely a few boutique consignment stores around as well.
Now, you probably can't walk in here just any day of the week and find a good bargain. Most of the stuff on any given day is going to be priced similar to what you could sell it for on Poshmark. But, when they start having their 75% or 90% off sales, it's worth a look! Many times, you can get items for less than $2.
You should also check your area for big 2- or 3-day seasonal consignment events. These are special as they usually happen only once or twice per year. They are organized by one entity, but they allow a lot of consignors to drop off their items for the weekend. And, these consignors can pick their own prices. Some people will overprice their items, but some will have some great brands at very reasonable prices.
- Best flip so far: Vintage Calvin Klein Overalls
- Investment: $8
- Sold for: $50 (sold within 5 days)
11. Rummage Sales
Many churches and hospitals have annual rummage sales. People donate their items throughout the year. When the sale rolls around, the pricing is usually pretty reasonable and straight forward. Ex. all jeans are $2, all tops are $1, etc. You are often digging through heaps of clothing and these are often really busy places, especially on the first day, but they can sometimes be worth it.
- Best flip so far: Ariat boots
- Investment: $8
- Sold for: $60 (sold within 11 days)
My Best Poshmark Sourcing Tip
It’s so important to remember that cheap doesn’t always mean good buy. You have to remember that the shipping on Poshmark is $6.79. You have to keep that shipping charge in mind when pricing your goods. What’s it worth? Is it worth an extra $7 in shipping?
You should also know that a large chunk of my sales thus far have come after negotiations. A potential buyer makes an offer. I counteroffer. This goes back and forth until we settle on a price. Or, don’t settle on a price. I always figure this padding into my purchase and pricing. I want to be able to send an Offer to Likers for $5 off plus $4.99 shipping (maybe more if the item is priced over $50). That means I need at least $7 padding in my listing price and still make my profit goal.
A lot more goes into successful sourcing than just finding stuff dirt cheap. You still have to do your research to make sure you’ll turn a profit.
I'd love to hear about your favorite sourcing spots (or great flips!). And, if you have questions about Poshmark, leave me a comment below.
And remember. If you are not yet signed up for Poshmark, please feel free to use my invite code for a little store credit you use on your first order. Just download the app onto your phone (Apple Store or Google Play), then use invite code THEWAHWIFE when signing up.