If you’re serious about reselling, you have to learn how to pick the right clothing to sell. Items that are in higher demand will sell faster, which means you’ll get your chunk of change faster, and then reinvest that back into your business faster (💰💰💰).
All this advice could be used for any reselling platform (Mercari, Depop, Ebay, etc.) but I mainly sell on Poshmark so that is what I’ll be referring to most.
This is Chapter 1 of the Poshmark Ultimate Guide to Reselling.
- 📚 Sourcing basics
- 👖 Find sources of inventory
- 👩🏾💻 Do market research
- 🙅🏼♀️ Be selective
- 💡 Bonus tip
📚 Sourcing basics
What is sourcing inventory?
Once you become more serious about reselling clothes as a side hustle, you’ll need to begin finding more clothes to sell. This means you’ll go out and purchase quality used items at a low price and then resell them online at a higher price.
Why is learning how to source important?
Because you’re paying for your supplies out of pocket, it’s important to know what pieces of clothing will sell fast. The more demand there is for the item, the faster it’ll sell, the faster you’ll gain back your money, and the faster it is to earn extra to reinvest back into your business. Life is a lot easier when you list good pieces in the first place.
It’s also important to increase your margins as much as possible. There are so many opportunities to find gems for cheap, and once you get the hang of it, you can start a reliable reselling system.
How much should I pay for items?
Try to get cost of goods as low as possible. A good guideline is $2 per piece on average.
What items are worth paying up for?
Luxury brands are worthwhile, for example a Madewell shoulder bag that’s bought for $10 and sold for $40.
👖 Find sources of inventory
How do I find low priced goods?
There are so many ways to find items for cheap. Thrift stores, online Facebook “buy nothing” groups, and online options are all good choices. We’ll get into the details below.
Locally source goods
Small local thrift stores often have really good sales on a certain day of the week. You may not find high end brand at thrift stores, but you can find good items that will still sell quickly after being listed.
- Goodwill Outlets
- The Salvation Army Thrift Store
- Value Village (a bit pricier per item)
Some places you can pay by the pound. The price per pound varies per location but it’s usually $1 - $3 per pound. For example heavy coats or shoes will cost a bit more, while lightweight summer clothes will be cheaper.
When you go to a large thrift store, it can really take the entire day to thrift. My suggestion is try to focus on one section of the store at a time. For example, if you don’t have many shoes listed then it may be better to focus on sourcing shoes for that day.
- Facebook free and for sale groups
- Local garage/rummage sales
Facebook groups is a goldmine for finding free clothing because often times people do spring cleaning and they just want to clean out their closet fast. A tip I have is joining Facebook groups for nearby neighborhoods with more expensive housing prices.
Let your friends and family know about your hustle
If your family and friends know you have a reselling business, chances are they will donate their clothes to you. If you’re okay with it, get the word out. It’s free inventory!
Source from online
Sometimes there are no good local options to source goods, I totally get that. Thankfully there are other options to look at.
Find sales online
Subscribe to feeds that give alerts on huge sales for high end brands. For example, sites will start to clear out on sweaters during the summer so that’s a good time to snatch inventory for cheaper. What’s better is that these items will be new with tags so they’ll be easier to resell for full price, especially if the style is not sold anymore.
A similar strategy can be applied to Nordstrom Rack during their large sales.
Buy inventory from closet closeouts
If someone is quitting reselling or taking a break from it, a lot of times they sell all their inventory and are just hoping to make back the money they had spent sourcing those items. This means they usually sell by thrift store prices. The way to find these closets is to search directly on Poshmark or Mercari for “closet closing.” You can also reach sellers through Instagram.
If you Google “liquidation,” you’ll find a bunch of companies that sell clothes wholesale. An example website is liquidation.com. How it works is you can bid on boxes of returned items to stores for cheap. The price of a box can be around $100 and around $40 in shipping. Sometimes the items will be a hit or miss but you can definitely make a profit.
Mystery boxes from other resellers
A mystery box are sold at a certain price with a number of items inside the box. Usually only the brands are shown and not the exact items. When using this option, make sure you research whether the seller has a good reputation and have a similar taste in style as you.
Pay others to source for you
Sometimes it’s worthwhile to pay someone else to thrift for you. It may be a bit difficult to find someone you trust but I suggest just reaching out to someone whose style you like, ask if they’re open to helping you source for payment, and then try a test run with a small budget.
👩🏾💻 Do market research
Research what brands are in demand
When you start thrifting, you might make the mistake of shopping by style rather than brand. So I liked to shop at places like Target, Marshalls, and Kohls, and while their clothing is cute, they don’t have high resell value. I wasn’t very used to shopping name brands like Anthropology and Madewell but after a while you learn what people generally would want to buy.
When thrifting, try to consciously take note of the brand’s clothing quality. After a while you’ll start to recognize what is high quality, like items that are silk, cashmere, or just have heavier fabric. Sometimes you can tell the item is high-end by looking if the tag looks well embroidered and feels soft.
You can’t rely only on brand
I know, this sounds contradictory to my last point. What I mean by this is even though you find an item with a high brand name recognition, it doesn’t mean that people will want to buy that category of item or style. For example, a J. Crew jumpersuit will likely sell faster and at a higher price than a pair of J. Crew flats. You need to take into consideration if the certain style of the item is on-trend or if it’s too dated.
Yet sometimes things that are in style will sell fast regardless of brand
If the style is super trendy, then it will sell regardless if it’s from H&M or Amazon. A good example that is always on my mind is these scrunch leggings that was all over Tik Tok at one point. There were literally multiple nameless brands that listed the exact same style and still sold well because these leggings were so popular at the time.
Compare prices to what’s listed online
If you’re unsure how much an item would sell online, it’s worthwhile to search up that brand and style before deciding to purchase it.
- Open the Poshmark app and search the brand, category, and pattern for the item
- Change the filter to Availability: Sold Items
- Change the sort filter to Sort: Just In
This way you can see the most recent sales related to your item and decide if it’s worth buying and reselling the item.
Psst, I made a tool that helps Poshmark sellers make more sales without spending more of their personal time
(No signup needed!)
🙅🏼♀️ Be selective
Keep in mind what your bottom line would be
You need to know what your net profit would be after deducting all the extra fees and cost of time from reselling. Even if you find something for $1 or $2, sometimes it may not even be worth selling.
Here’s what you need to keep in mind:
- Poshmark fee: If the item is over $15, Poshmark’s commission is 20% of the sale. If it’s under $15, Poshmark’s commission is $2.95
- Item price: The cost of sourcing the item
- Time: Factor in the time taken for finding, listing, marketing, and shipping the item
Chances are if you’re only going to make a couple dollars from reselling this item, then it’s not worth it.
Profit > Cost of item + Poshmark fee + My time spent ?
Double check for damage
Check thoroughly for any damage on the item before purchasing it. Things like holes, stains, or scratches in the fabric can drastically decrease its market value. What you can do is choose all the items you like first and then before checking out, go to a well-lit area in the store and do a quick quality control check on each item.
Sometimes you might see the damage and think you can repair it yourself. Well… Will you, really? Is it worth your time to do so? Your time is precious and you could manage selling several other items in the time it takes to purchase and repair one.
What sells well on Poshmark?
Apparel that’s really in season or designer is what you want to focus on. What I like to do is to go in the app, look up a brand or category, and then change the filter to Just In and Sold so you can quickly see what has recently sold in that category. This means you can also search for items more closely to what you own and get a better feel for how much you should price them.
Poshmark also releases official trend reports on their blog, where you can see which brands and categories are popular that season.
Another thing to mention is you can sell a certain style of clothing to build a consistent brand. Imagine a boho chic closet.
Do YOU like the item?
Even if an item is popular, if you don’t like it then it’s less likely to sell. Logically this doesn’t make sense. But practically, if you don’t like an item then you likely aren’t going to want to spend as much time prepping it, listing it, and marketing it as much as the other items you do like.
💡 Bonus tip
Avoid the death pile
If you have a huge pile that hasn’t been listed yet and you’re looking to bring in more inventory, it’s time to pause. It may seem really obvious but can still be a struggle to take a break when there are so many great sales and deals going on. But you have to prioritize listing the rest of your inventory first.
Looking for more?
This is my in-depth explanation on how to source your goods for reselling. If you want to learn more about the what to do after you source your inventory, read chapter two of Poshmark Ultimate Guide to Reselling.
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