I Made $5,000 Selling Clothes from My Closet Online (Here’s How)

lonisa poshmark

It’s a pipe dream all of us have: One day soon, we’re going to crack open our closet and make a fortune off all the clothes not worn (or lightly worn, like that jewel-toned bridesmaid dress that you put on just once). Well, Lonisa, a full-time IT consultant and mom of two, did exactly that using Poshmark, a digital marketplace for re-selling clothes, and walked away with a cool $5,000 in just over a year's time, not to mention a side hustle that’s still going strong. We caught up with her to hear her story…and steal her tips and tricks.

Lonisa had a passion for fashion…until her style changed. “I started on Poshmark in the spring of 2017. I was going through a minimalist phase and my closet was full of stylish, bright colors—so many of which I was no longer wearing. It felt too complicated to resell them, but then I was up late on Google and happened upon Poshmark. I downloaded the app, pulled out all my clothes that I thought were cute and started snapping flat lay pictures. I added the description and sizing details and then hit post. It took about three minutes per item.”

There *is* a way to make your items stand out. “I got a tripod and, in addition to flat lay photos, I took pics of myself actually modeling the clothes. It helps the buyer to see the clothing on, right? I also added styling and color info to my descriptions. For example, ‘pairs well with a cute black clutch or moto jacket’ or ‘this skirt is more of a holiday red.’ It’s also important to always include the brand name in the title, plus the color and size. Think: ‘Ann Taylor Loft black dress, size four’ or ‘Liz Claiborne pink pleated dress.’ Ask yourself: How will people Google to find this item? Then, that’s how to title your post.”

It helps to offer wiggle room with your pricing. “People are looking for deals. When I first joined Poshmark, I would price items too high. I learned that you have to be willing to negotiate. In fact, Poshmark has a ‘make an offer’ that you can send to individuals that ‘like’ the items in your online closet. It lets the buyer know that you’re open to going back and forth on pricing, so if something is listed at $60, they can offer you $45 if you’re willing to be flexible with the sale. After all, I would much rather have something sell at a lower price point than have it stay unworn forever in my closet.”

You should also reference other sellers to price your stuff. “I use a spreadsheet to log everything I’m selling and include details like the type of item—say, a dress—the brand, any flaws and also what I personally paid for the item versus what I’m selling it for. But before I post the item, I usually look at what that particular brand is going for on the site and filter the items by ‘sold.’ That way, I can see that a Banana Republic dress that everyone has went for X amount of dollars and better gauge my pricing.”

Keep in mind, certain brands sell better than others like hotcakes. “If you’ve got a closet full of Anthropologie clothing, you’ll do really well. Also, Free People and Athleta.

And Poshmark takes a cut. Poshmark takes 20 percent of the sale, but in the long run, it’s not that big of a deal since they provide the platform and do all the legwork. For example, the second an item sells, you’ll get an email with the shipping label; you stick it on a package and you’re done. Once an item sells, you have the option to let your earnings sit in your Poshmark account. I have a system where I transfer the cash to my bank account once a month.”

Don’t discount the value of a diamond in the rough. “I sold this red Kate Spade dress that I loved, and it was a huge deal because I was so excited and over the moon when I bought it for myself. When I decided to let it go, it sold really fast for $60 in less than 24 hours. I had delayed in actually listing it and was sad at first, but reminded myself: It’s about making money but also finding more room in my closet. A win-win.”

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Rachel Bowie

Royal family expert, a cappella alum, mom

Rachel Bowie is Senior Director of Special Projects & Royals at PureWow, where she covers parenting, fashion, wellness and money in addition to overseeing initiatives within...
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