As my husband and I finished out our first month as Poshmark sellers this past weekend, we couldn’t help but reflect on how much we’ve learned already. Trust me. We still have a long way to go, but we’ve come a long way.
This little venture all started as just a trial to squeeze a little more out of a few items we were going to put on a family garage sale. As we quickly sold those items, we couldn’t help but want to list more. That meant buying items to resell, aka sourcing. That meant making our listings as appealing as possible.
Today, I wanted to share a few of our favorite tools and tips for selling clothes and shoes online. Hopefully, these things will help make your listing process a lot easier and have you selling quicker and for more money.
1. A Great Cleaning Kit
My husband is a stickler about sneakers. We find quite a few Converse and Sperry on our sourcing ventures. These often sell quickly and have a good profit margin. But, only if they are in good shape!
Here’s a little secret. If that canvas looks to be in good shape but the white sole is a little more on the filthy side, give a Magic Eraser a try. A few swipes and those things may look close to new.
Throw in a pair of new strings, when necessary, and you can likely squeeze a few more bucks out of that listing. You don’t want to buy dirty shoes. Why would someone else?
Our cleaning kit goes beyond just Magic Erasers. You will also want to pick up some Goo Gone for removing price stickers and a Scotty Peeler can help with those as well. A plain ol' bar of Zote and bottle of Dawn dish soap can work wonders on almost any stain. (You can get Zote at Walmart for around $1.)
I also flip a lot of boots – leather boots. Dr. Martens makes a great Balsam Balm that can make an old pair of boots look like new. Just make sure you do a little spot test first. Anytime you oil boots, they are likely going to darken. Don’t slap a big dollop on the outside unless you will be happy with the results.
I don’t use a mannequin for every clothing listing, but I do think they can greatly improve the appearance of things like coats and dresses.
Surprisingly, these are not that expensive. I got mine on Amazon for under $40. Just make sure you order the correct size for the items you intend to carry.
3. Good Lighting
I try to rely on just sunshine for lighting whenever possible. It’s the best after all. If you don’t have a room with lots of windows and good lighting, you may need to invest in a photography lighting set. The bad news is this can be a total pain setting up, taking down and storing if you don't have a designated space for your reselling biz. Keep trying to find that window and perfect time of day. If you have it in the budget, you can also opt for a light ring. This has long been on my wish list.
4. Professional Backdrop
I quickly found out just what a difference different backgrounds can have on photos. I’m not talking about what looks pretty. I’m talking about how some backgrounds can make clothing colors look entirely different. Crazy!
I had purchased an inexpensive backdrop off Amazon when I first started doing YouTube videos, but it wasn’t long enough for me to ever use. I tossed it in the closet thinking I’d find a use for it someday. I did. It works great laid out on the floor for taking flat lay photos.
5. Thermal Printer
You can totally print your shipping labels on a regular printer. Eventually, you may start realizing just how much paper and tape you’re going through, however. Then there’s the chance of labels getting wet in transit if you aren’t putting them in packing slip envelopes like these.
When you’re ready for the big time, a thermal printer can be a great investment. The below Rollo Thermal Printer has great reviews and works with any thermal direct label. You won’t need to purchase high-priced labels from the brand.
6. A Thank You
Some people go all out with thank you cards, pretty wrapping paper and boxes and envelopes. I like to keep things simple. And cheap. The more you spend on non-essentials, the less profit you are making. And the more stuff someone else has to worry about disposing of or keeping.
I did pick up a roll of thank you stickers. Each package gets a little sticker. A roll of 1,000 cost me under $10. That’s 1 penny per order.
If you would like to order fancy cards, Etsy has some awesome Poshmark reseller items.
7. Packing Materials
My first little frugal tip:
You can get free Priority Mail shipping boxes and envelopes from the post office. FREE! Just run on down there and pick up a handful of each size they have on hand.
They will even deliver them to your house. Again, for free. Just head over to the USPS website and place an order. I did this for shoe boxes which are a size my post office doesn’t carry. Just make sure you are ordering priority boxes only – not priority express.
A word to the warning: my boxes took a week and a half to arrive. Don’t wait until you are out to order. Also, you can only order a certain number at one time. Plan ahead.
That being said, you can use any box or envelope you have on hand. I have even taped two big padded envelopes together when I needed to mail a big tote bag. As long as it is under five pounds, you are good to go.
In a pinch, I have purchased boxes from my local Staples. Depending on the size, these have ran me from around $.70 each to over $2. Therefore, you don’t want to make it a habit. Get resourceful. I often see businesses giving away boxes in my local Facebook Groups. Ask around.
Beyond the box, I do buy self-sealing plastic bags to place my items in for shipping. I have seen too many horror stories of items picking up smells or stains on their journeys to their new homes. This then results in a return and if the item is ruined, you are out the money.
I pick up several sizes of self-sealing bags from Amazon. They usually run around $10 for 100. The ones I get have a suffocation warning printed on them. If you want to go fancy, there are a lot of poly mailers over there with cute prints.
8. A Good Inventory System
It’s so important you keep track of what you are buying and selling and how much you are actually making if you want to stay profitable. I have shared my own Airtable spreadsheet with you in this YouTube video.
Airtable is free and it can do a lot of the math for you on the fly.
9. A Good Accounting System
If you are buying and reselling, you need to keep track of your money in and money out for tax purposes. QuickBooks Self-Employed is a great affordable option. Their new app will even keep track of your mileage when out sourcing so you can write that off. Check it out here.
Those are a few of my favorite Poshmark investments and resources so far. I’d love to hear what’s helping you be a better, more profitable seller.
P.S. You can see a regularly updated of my favorite purchases in my Amazon storefront. And don’t forget you can get many of these items with free 2-day shipping as a Prime member. Start your free 30-day trial here.