It all started with a suit. I stumbled onto the Poshmark site late last summer, thought, “huh, like Ebay, but only clothes,” and probably would have just left…but then I found it. A gently used J. Crew suit, in tall sizes, for $40. Could this site be for real?? I weighed my options. I figured if I lost $40 in some scam, I would be a little sad. But not as sad as I would be buying a $200+ suit for my impending time on the academic job market. I got out my credit card.
I am now the very happy owner of (among other things): 1 J. Crew suit, 1 J. Crew tall blazer, 2 silk Vince tops, 1 NWT J. Crew cardigan, 2 pairs of Sam Edelman flats, and 2 Loft work tops…. so yeah, you could say I didn’t walk away from Poshmark. And I got the professional wardrobe to prove it, building it in a little over 6 months and for under $200 total.
In light of Poshmark becoming my go-to-bad-habit-browsing-space, I thought I would share some of what I’ve learned along the way, if you, too, are a broke grad student in need of a suit.
1) Browsing by brand is the best. Know your favorite brands and the size you are in them? Type them in! Hit the “my size” button. This will save you a lot of time. I also browse by color.
2) The best sellers are selling things at least 50% off retail price, and that’s only if the item is new with tags. Otherwise, look for things that are at least 60% off. If you see something you like, type the item name in directly. Chances are there are duplicates and one will be cheaper. Also, making an offer of 20% off the listed price is completely normal.
3) Check out if the seller looks legit or not: I haven’t had a problem with any Poshmark purchases yet, but always click on the name of the person, hit the “about” button, and make sure they have some other sales. Check their page and if you’re worried, be sure they’ve sold a couple things in their past. NEVER take things off the site (some people ask you to Paypal–if you do that, Poshmark can’t keep you safe…by refunding your money if the item never arrives).
4) The best priced sellers are average humans who are just selling gently used items in their closet. How to find them? Click on the seller profile. See a few items (under 50 I would say) all in a similar size range? That’s someone selling their own clothes. What else could they being doing, you ask?? If you click on a profile and see that the person is selling 100 items+, all NWT, all in different sizes…they’re maybe a sale stalker. Meaning, they camp on the J. Crew website until things go on clearance, buy them, and sell them at a mark up. This doesn’t mean it’s necessarily a bad deal, but probably not as good of a deal as what they paid.