How I made $5,814.03 decluttering and selling on Poshmark
and gained surprising life, business and spiritual lessons
by Katie Colormaiden
Decluttering is nothing short of life-changing.
I remember wondering why so many people I admired sang the praises of decluttering before I first experienced its magic eight or so years ago.
Decluttering teaches you how to let go of what no longer serves you. It shows you what you really care about. Now. Not in the past. The answers can be so surprising and you won’t get them just through thinking. You have to go through the process of uprooting your collected stuff to get there.
Out of the odd state of life during Covid, I turned to selling things on Poshmark out of sheer frustration. I had boxes piled to the ceiling in my music room (which my cat loved but which were driving me nuts).
This occurrence of grace led to business discoveries, spiritual growth and fun I never expected. I’m sharing this so you can also experience the amazing places this journey can lead and get a jump start on the learning process.
The Time Factor
Many people think they don’t have time to sort, clean, photograph, list and sell their excess things. You do once you treat it as fun. Start small.
When you start small, you learn things you can’t learn other ways because you take the time to understand each step.
List one or two things. You’re likely to catch the joy. When the process became fun for me, I stopped worrying about the time factor. I took photos in between doing other things, which I highly recommend. You don’t have to do everything at once. In fact, it’s nice to keep listing fresh items. You’ll learn as you go and keep getting better at the process. When joy entered because I loved my closet (what Poshmark calls your page or account), everything shifted and it became light instead of heavy. And that’s when the sales started rolling in.
Presenting Your Stuff & Product Photography
Your account page is called your “closet.” Cute, no? One of the many lessons from Poshmark is to keep it simple.
You don’t need to be a pro photographer but you’ll capture more eyes when you learn basic concepts of how to show off your items and clearly reveal what people want to know. For example, brand name, size, heel height, fabric content, showing the item from all sides. This is yet another great lesson for business and life. Be clear. There’s a place for poetry and a place for clarity.
The People Part
This is the brilliance of Poshmark. It’s social media. It’s a community. It’s not just about selling or buying. Have you ever held a yard sale? It’s similar in that you feel amazing knowing something that played a role in your life is now going on to a new life with someone who will cherish it. There’s a whole lotta love being shared on Poshmark and it’s a huge reason it’s a success. This makes it quite different from other sites where you can sell things.
Most people initially feel that decluttering will take a lot of time they don’t have and if they try to sell things that they’ll make pennies if they’re lucky.
I felt this way before I had my big turnaround in 2020. What changed? It became fun. It’s that simple. Because of Covid, we didn’t actually have more time (still don’t) but we had more time at home. I was so sick of looking at boxes piled up for donation (no one was picking up or allowing dropoffs) that I finally tore the boxes open and started looking at things differently.
I sold my old pasta pot for $11 on Poshmark
A highlight for me was when I sold my old pasta pot from my first ever set of pots, for $11. It had plenty of life left and the person who bought it loves it. I’d gotten a better pot I’d lusted after for years. It’s not the $11 that makes this a highlight; it’s the feeling of sharing life with the buyer while we both benefit. Selling that pot opened up my mind to what was possible to sell. I’ve sold more home items than clothing on Poshmark.
It’s been said that people today are valuing experiences over things and aren’t as materialistic as in the past. If that’s true, Poshmark is the perfect marketplace because it combines a remarkable experience with reusing instead of discarding.
My “closet” on Poshmark
Helpful stats Poshmark supplies
What Can You Sell
Someone wants almost anything you’re done with. Poshmark started and is still largely focused on fashion. Plenty of men are on there too but it’s primarily women. I’ve actually sold more home items than clothing, partly because they tend to stay in great shape if you’re gentle on your things so you can re-sell them more easily.
So far, I’ve focused on women’s clothing, shoes, accessories and home items (flatware, linens, decorative items…).
You can also sell: menswear, sneakers, kids toys and clothing, games (I bought a new copy of Scrabble for $5 instead of the $32 or so it would normally cost).
People sell makeup galore (new only), stockings (new), bathing suits, sports clothing, memorabilia / collectibles and pet items.
You can’t sell electronics on Poshmark and there’s a shipping weight limit of 5 lbs. for free shipping and up to 10 lbs. if you pay extra (see below).
SHARE! SHARE! SHARE!
Poshmark’s concept is built on everyone sharing each other’s items. It costs nothing to share someone else’s listing and what happens is that they share yours back.
The single most important thing you can do to make sales is to share both your own and other people’s listings often.
Sampling of items I’ve sold on Poshmark
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Poshmark has millions of users and their SEO is fast and powerful. Once you use the platform a lot, you can tell when someone is a regular user or not. I can tell that certain items were bought by someone who did an online search that showed my item because I had a clear listing and they snapped it up. If you’ve been ignoring SEO in your business or website, I’m here to tell you it’s keeping you from sales big time. Simply by listing your item on Poshmark with an accurate description, you’ll have instant top-notch SEO working for you.
I’ve heard novices sound frustrated about having paid $400 for something they’d be lucky to sell for $50. There are many profitable angles on this (pun intended). First off, you may start to be wiser about where you’re spending your hard-earned dollars. The minute something walks out of a showroom it’s worth less. So think hard the next time you’re dying to get the latest and greatest whatever it is.
Secondly, some things clearly increase in value over time. This is an opportunity to learn what those may be. I have a couple Acme pens bought for $50 that are now worth $800 each. Who knew?!
For me, the most surprising numbers learning was watching small $20 sales add up each month. That’s the kind of lesson every parent wishes they could teach their kid. I’d never learned it the way I did on Poshmark. It’s important to learn to appreciate each $10 sale, knowing it’s adding up, as sure as the sun will rise.
Negotiating & Bundles
Everything is a negotiation. Any time you interact with another person, there’s an element of negotiation involved. On Poshmark, I’ve sold most items by offering a private discount when someone likes an item. This is called “bundling” because you can bundle items together and save the buyer shipping fees but it’s done with single items too. Doing this regularly teaches you excellent negotiating skills.
Poshmark has their systems well worked out. You as the seller don’t pay shipping (unless you want to offer an incentive). The buyer pays a flat rate of (currently) $7.45 for up to 5 lbs. If you’re selling something heavier, you can buy extra postage up to 10 lbs. Poshmark isn’t for selling really heavy items.
Here’s a couple great experiences I had where I figured out how to sell heavier items. For a king-sized qulit that weighed 10 lbs when boxed up, I was able to find a huge poly shipper bag on Amazon and packaged it carefully with TLC and it got in at the 10 lb. line. The buyer paid the extra shipping gladly and was thrilled I found a solution to send her this originally $400 quilt for under $100.
Another time I sold perfect condition white glass plates that had to be shipped as four separate sales because of weight. The buyer and I had fun making it work. I had to create four listings and she had to accept four times to generate four labels. They arrived at separate times but got there safe, sound and much loved.
This teaches you ingenuity and flexibility. Much-needed traits for life and business.
King-sized quilt weighed 10 lbs.
Packed in a giant polybag for shipping
Since entrepreneurs are my people, I’m pointing out how many lessons here apply to business. Here are a few areas where decluttering and selling on Poshmark will help your business sense overall:
Poshmark has smart SEO built in so when you put items on there with the right keywords, you’ll have people finding your stuff and buying it through search.
The key to Poshmark is sharing. This feel-good reciprocity is the heart and soul of the platform. And it works! Watch your followers climb as you share other people’s listings. If we apply that principle elsewhere, we’ll be a whole lot more successful.
It makes a big difference how you describe your items. It’s easy to learn and will make you sales. Heads up, entrepreneurs: this is true throughout your business.
Taking appealing, clear photographs is important. Showing all angles, revealing any flaws, adding measurements. Clarity rules.
- Friendliness / Connection / Reciprocity
Poshmark is a social selling site. The magic is in the connections. This is true for all of life and all of business.
- Money and Value
The majority of items sell for $10 or $20 (there are high ticket items too). When you treat $10 items the same way you treat a $10k item, you learn a lot (without the financial risk). When you see $10 sales add up, it’s an eye-opener for how to manage and grow your money.
A good 90% of sales get negotiated on Poshmark as opposed to bought straight from your listing. I swear, it’s fun. It shows you that all of life is a negotiation. And everything is fair game. Entrepreneurs need to be good negotiators. It’s about a lot more than “winning.”
Poshmark is basically set up very simply. You can’t do a whole lot of styling to your closet / page. Listings are straight-forward. You can take great photos and write informative, engaging copy. This simple approach has turned Poshmark into a multi-million-dollar business with many millions of users. We entrepreneurs tend to over-think things. Jump in and learn as you go.
The things you’ll learn decluttering and selling on Poshmark are worth trying out if only for the big picture business lessons you’ll gain. It’s like a hands-on masters degree in business and sales.
The Real Payoff:
A Journey into Joy
The money you make, which might be what intrigued you to learn about this process, is not the biggest payoff of decluttering or even of selling on Poshmark. It’s a nice bonus and it teaches you a lot of useful things.
The biggest payoffs are a renewed vision of what really matters to you. That comes from decluttering overall and I highly recommend it. If you want to also see how much fun and profit you can make by selling your unused things on Poshmark, you can continue your journey into joy. Possessions are most valuable for the emotion we imbue them with and you have the opportunity to choose that.
It may sound like a big claim but this is a ride into freedom.
If you love design and beautiful things, you can indulge those passions in this process and separate them from materialism. When you share items you’ve lived with with others, there’s a loving energy that surrounds the transaction and people involved. That’s why Poshmark has so many raving fans.
You may already know that decluttering is powerful but the added bonus of finding useful second homes while making lunch money and more will take you unexpectedly wonderful places.
P.S. I’m a “Posh Ambassador,” which is a status you can achieve on Poshmark, however, I don’t get compensated for recommending the platform.
There’s a Course to Guide You Now!
P.P.S. There’s loads more I have to share with you. I don’t want it to feel overwhelming because it doesn’t have to be. Sign up for more helpful insights after this by email. And there’s a course starting called ”Trash to Cash” if you’d like to dive in and have this amazing experience for yourself.
Email me your experiences and/or questions here. I’d love to hear from you.
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© Katie Colormaiden
Embodyart | Trash to Cash