Recently, brick and mortar stores are struggling to compete against online retailers and secondhand stores such as TJ Maxx or Marshalls. Poshmark, the most recent competitor is a mix of both. Poshmark is a social commerce marketplace where users can buy and sell new or used clothing with just the click of a button.
An increasing amount of once popular brick and mortar stores are closing a large amount of locations. One-by-one J.C Penney’s, Macy’s, Gap, etc. began closing around 100 or more stores and it’s hard to tell who is the next to go. Charlotte Russe has officially closed all of its stores, and Victoria’s Secret may follow. These companies have a hard time competing with online retailers because of the convenience of shopping off of your couch instead of in a mall.
In addition to preferring online shopping, consumers are always looking for the best price on the best brands. With the opportunity to sell to such a vast market from the comfort of their own home, Poshmark users can sell anything to anyone – at any price. Preferring to call their industry “resale” instead of “secondhand” to sound more enticing, Poshmark and similar companies are challenging the ways of traditional retail one resale app at a time. In between easily selling unwanted items, choosing your own price point, and only having to sacrifice 20% of your earnings to the company, Poshmark seems like the way to go in the resale universe.
Poshmark’s website gives its users the top five best tips to making your first sale. This includes styling a great cover shot, because first impressions matter. It is important to describe your items accurately in order to help someone decide to buy, as well as being responsive when a buyer asks a question. “Posh Parties” are shopping events on the app where users from all over log in at the same time and share listings with each other. These are highly recommended because attending Posh Parties can help your own sales as well. Finally, engaging with others on the site and sharing listings you think are great can result in sales. Poshmark essentially encourages its users to buy more in order to sell more.
In the age of Instagram Influencers, more followers means more money…Now with the option to buy your favorite fashion icons clothes at a reasonable price, who could say no?
Not only is engaging with others on the app itself a chance to increase your sales, but sharing your Poshmark shop on other social media sites can get friends and family involved as well. The reach that social media gives users to expand their Poshmark shop is what has made resale companies so popular. With users sharing their items and profiles on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc, this opens up opportunities to be shared and reshared by friends and family. A quick screenshot or screen recording scrolling through your Poshmark shop can grab the attention of potential buyers within only a few seconds. In the age of Instagram Influencers, more followers means more money. A larger follower count on any form of social media also builds a larger fan base that can see and keep track of the style of the seller, and how their old fashionable clothing could be easily attainable. Documenting how someone dresses in everyday life inspires their followers to imitate or at least aspire to dress like them. Now with the option to buy your favorite fashion icons clothes at a reasonable price, who could say no?
Full-Time Side Hustle
It may seem like a quick buck or simply a way to get rid of unwanted clothes crowding your closet to some, but to others Poshmark can become a full-time gig. Sellers can post clothes from their own closet or clothes from thrift shops that can be sold for a higher price then first bought. Shops started on Poshmark can even be expanded and turned into personal labels and businesses. Based on the price point and how aesthetically pleasing a Poshmark store is makes all the difference. Poshmark said it themselves, styling an impressive cover shot can make or break a sale. Placing the clothes, shoes, or accessories on a soft furry rug or in front of a crisp, white wall sets the scene for a clean and polished look someone would want to own in seconds.
Just the Beginning
Although Poshmark seems like they have it figured out, a downside to small Poshmark shops where users only sell their own clothing is that they can only sell their size. If a potential customer sees something they like, they may not be able to purchase it since there is only one item and one size. Full-fledged Poshmark shops where sellers work full time could have multiple sizes and colors, however it is not guaranteed.
This small catch has not set back Poshmark at all as it continues to thrive. Even with its fair share of competitors such as TheRealReal, Mercari, Letgo, and a few other online resale websites, they have a strong and loyal fan base. Poshmark’s future looks strong as it gains more members each day. Challenging brick and mortar stores will always be in the cards for Poshmark, whether it is intentional or not, however it is exciting to see what the industry holds for this company and other online resale stores.