Ever since this blog became more of a full time job for me, I have looked into smart ways to recycle or re-sell my used clothing with efficiency and profit. I regularly clean out my closet, but after reading sustainable fashion books such as Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion, I have sought better ways to rid myself of clothing without sending to the Goodwill. Not that there is anything wrong with what they do! But they are inundated with clothing that they can’t move through, which inevitably still gets thrown in landfills overseas.
Poshmark vs. thredUP
Today I want to discuss the benefits and drawbacks of Poshmark vs. thredUP – two companies that I use regularly to sell or donate my clothing. I will share with you why I use both, which service is best for your closet cleaning needs, and the payout structures for each one. Hopefully by the end you will have a better, CLEAR understanding of how to get rid of your old clothing and accessories, and no longer just dump your clothes off at your local charity.
Poshmark is a socially driven app, where you upload photos of what you wish to sell, name your original purchase price, selling price, and any important details about the use and quality of your garment or accessory. Poshmark will recommend other ‘Poshers’ to follow based on your Facebook friends’, it will suggest popular closets, and it will let your friends know when you have made your first sale.
As you do most of the work of taking photos and uploading information about your item, Poshmark takes a small commission off of your selling price. They take a cut of $2.95 for items under $15, and 20% of items sold over $15. This cut COVERS the cost of shipping. This is a pretty low commission, which means you can make a lot of money through reselling quality items!
Packing and Shipping
As soon as an item sells, Poshmark will email you with a shipping label to print at home. You take it and your product to your local post office, use one of the flat rate shipping bags or boxes that fits your item, tape on the label and send it right out! It’s an extremely easy and quick process!
As soon as the buyer receives the item and confirms that it is exactly what they were expecting, your money will be available for you to cash out. I typically wait until I have sold a few items before requesting a check be sent to my home, but you can request your money be sent to you at any time.
Ease/Difficulty to Sell
While the shipping process is easy, selling is not as much so. I would estimate it takes at least 5 minutes to list each item on Poshmark, which includes taking several nice photos of the garment or accessory, and listing out in detail all of the information to list the item. 5 minutes may seem quick- but if you have 20 things to list it can be overwhelming and easy to put off.
It can also take a while to sell! I highlighted an item below that I listed in November and it just sold yesterday (February). I don’t love that I have to have it in my house for 3 months when I know I want to get rid of it, but I do have a special bin where I keep the clothes once I list them, so they are at least out of the way.
Another item to note is that if people don’t ‘follow’ you- it can be difficult to sell an item without listing it in an official ‘party’. I have 80,000 followers on the app, so it’s pretty easy for me to sell something, but many of my friends have a lot more difficulty. If you are selling one of their top brands, like Coach, Nike or J.Crew, then there are ‘parties’ almost every day where you can list your items. If it is something from a more random brand, it may be difficult for people to find unless they are searching for items exactly like it.
Best Use Case
When you have 5 or less items that you want to sell, and you have 30 minutes to list. Also, if you are not in immediate need to get rid of items in your closet. If you don’t mind them sitting in a bin somewhere ready to ship out at any time, this is for you.
Best Items to Sell
Women’s clothing, shoes and accessories, from mid tier, name brand fashion retailers. Coach, Tory Burch, J.Crew, Gap, Nike, Kate Spade are the top sellers. I often sell a good amount of Zara and ASOS product as well which, as long as it is in good condition, can sell for just around that $15 mark. There are a LOT of higher end items like Gucci, LV and Chanel on the platform, but typically only in accessories. I also sell a lot of shoes on here, which as long as they are in great condition can make you a pretty penny!
My Tips for Selling
In order to sell, you must take great, high quality photos. This works well for me because I have a fashion blog with me already wearing most of the items! Try to take at least one photo on body for clothing, and then you can take several flat lay type detail shots showing the label, pocket details, back, or any other great features of the item.
If you are selling something more luxury (like Gucci, Chanel etc) I think it’s best to go to a traditional consignment shop. People on Poshmark are not looking to spend a huge amount of money, so if you expect to get $300 or more for an item, you should take your item to a place that is able to really focus on the quality of the goods in person.
Use as many descriptive terms in your comment section as possible! People search trends like ‘spring florals’ ‘stripes’ or ‘bridal shower’ look, which is how your product may get noticed in the crowd.
I listed this $200 T by Alexander Wang dress back in 2013, and listed it for $19 because I know it’s a tricky style that’s not for everyone. If I lived in New York or LA, I could probably have sold it for $50 at a high end consignment store, but not here in SF. I will make $15 for the transaction, since Poshmark takes 20%, and will ship it out today!
ThredUP is an online website, where people sell and buy used clothing, similar to Poshmark. In this case however, you request a ‘clean out’ bag to receive at home and stuff it with anything you would like to get rid of. The caveat is that you have to decide ahead of ordering the bag, whether you would like to try to sell, or donate the items. If you donate, they will still list your sellable items, but the proceeds will go to the charity of your choice. If you choose to sell, then they will tell you upon receiving your bag which items they think they can pay you for right away, and which will be on consignment, meaning you only get paid once they sell. IMPORTANT: Any items they receive that they deem non-sellable, will be recycled responsibly, into pillow stuffings and the like. This is key if you are just looking to get rid of some clothing and don’t care where it goes. Also important because they will not sell anything that is damaged, stained, or not from a mainstream brand (like those cheapy ChicWish and Romwe knockoffs that many bloggers wear). Yes, they will sell Zara and H&M.
This is far more complicated, as they break it down into two categories, upfront vs. consignment payout. I am not going to list the individual payouts per bracket here, as I haven’t bothered to read, and there are lengthy explanations on their website here. Basically, they operate similar to a regular consignment store, where they take a much larger commission necessary to house the product, photograph it and list it on the website. It is understandable that they take more money per item than Poshmark, as they do the work for you.
Packing and Shipping
There really isn’t anything to do here but stuff that bag full of items and drop it off at the post office. Simple as pie!
Again, a much more lengthy process, which depends on whether they decide your item deserves an upfront payout or consignment payout. If upfront, the money will be available to cash out or shop on their site within 2 weeks. If consignment, it depends on when that item sells, and then you should again be able to cash out or shop with your proceeds asap.
Ease/Difficulty to Sell
It’s easy to sell in the fact that you don’t have to do anything. However, you have to be OK with whatever they decide to do with your upfront items. I decided on a whim to sell a $350 Coach bag through thredUP, which they listed for $129 and sold right away. I am not sure how much I received for this item (they don’t disclose exactly) but I assume it was around $40. Could I have made more through Poshmark or traditional consignment? Probably, but I would have had to do a lot more work. Here is the listing so that you can see for yourself.
As for your consignment items, you are free to change the listing price if you disagree with them or think it will sell faster at a different price. Note that the payout % doesn’t change, but your commission can. More details on that below.
Best Use Case
If you have a lot to get rid of and don’t exactly care how much money you make, then thredUP is the method for you. I often just do donation bags (especially with damaged clothing) as I know and trust that it’s getting responsibly recycled, and it takes a lot of work off my end.
Best Items to Sell
They accept women’s clothing and accessories, as well as children’s clothing. As they photograph and categorize everything for you, it is easier to sell lesser known brands like the ones sold at Urban Outfitters, Target or Lulu’s. At this point I would say it is better for clothing as opposed to accessories and shoes, as I think you can make more money on Poshmark selling them.
Here are some screen shots of the payout I received for my last bag, which came to a total cash out value of $121.90. Note that I had MANY more items in this bag than they accepted, but I’m ok with them recycling them because I can’t even remember what they are! Although you can’t see the commission value of the upfront items, that total came to $95.45. You can see the itemized commission for the consignment items, which is quite low. Given that I did zero work, I am happy with my $121.90, but like I said, I think I could have made quite a bit more dough at least on that Coach bag!
So which one should I use?
How much time do you have? And how badly are you looking for money out of this exchange? I will continue to use both services, but reserve my more exciting, branded products and accessories for sale on Poshmark, while using thredUP to either sell or donate the rest. For me, the most important factor is cleaning out my closet is how quickly can I get rid of the item and where does it go once it leaves my house, which is why lately I have been using thredUP more often!