Tips to Navigate Resale Sites – Get the Most Out of Poshmark and Similar Sites
Avoid disappointment when buying resale items for your home and wardrobe
By Laura Carson Miller
I’m not shy about the fact I don’t think everything has to be brand new to be extremely useful and superbly fabulous!
Buying (and selling) items via Postmark has allowed me to add to my wardrobe and my home decor in a very positive and fulfilling way. I’ve purchased NWT (new with tag) sweaters, shoes and home interiors items including woven water hyacinth trays from Jenni Kayne, jeans from AYR, leather bags and totes from J. Crew, Madewell, Kate Spade and Cole Haan. I bought the Everlane dress shown in the photo on Postmark last year. It is great condition and is a very versatile piece in my capsule wardrobe.
Postmark offers a category for every buyer, Boutique – brand new, never used items sold directly from a business owner or distributor, NWT – new with tag items sold by individuals with the tags attached and used items in various stages of the use cycle.
Let’s review a few tips on how to get the most out of your resale site experience.
Shop for What You Know
Especially if resale items are new to you I suggest you start by seeking out brands you already know and love. If you own items from a brand you know how it fits you, as in which cut of jeans suits your body and if you need a larger size in certain coats to accommodate sweaters underneath.
Ask the Right Questions
Some sellers are quite thorough in their listing descriptions and provide all the information you might want or need: measurements, fabric content, condition of item – some even offer styling suggestions.
Measurements are key. Knowing your own measurements snd asking about any that aren’t listed will save you a lot of heartache.
You want to see photos of the not only the front but also the back of any item you are considering purchasing. If there is no photo of the back of the item post a message asking for specific additional photos of the back, hem, collar or cuffs. Any area you need to see that isn’t shown in a way you find informative. You need to get the full picture ! Ask for close up shots of buttons if they concern you.
Especially if you have allergies, ask if the item has been in storage, was purchased from a store such as Goodwill, if the item has been laundered with any kind of scented detergent such as Gain or sprayed with Fabreeze or Lysol, or if the home has pets. From personal experience some items arrive with what the seller obviously thought was a wonderful scent but to me could only be described as an odor. So definitely ask! Unfortunately you won’t know if the seller is asking honestly but at least it will be documented that you asked and you can refuse the item and receive a refund if the item arrives with an odor.
If you post a question and the seller doesn’t respond in a timely manner or at all, you can decide if you want to repost the question and give them a second chance to answer. For me this would only be if I really loved an item, knew it was going to fit me because I own other items from the brand and I’d read up on the seller via their ‘About’ page and believed their lack of communication was an oversight.
Do Business With Reputable Sellers
Each seller has an ‘About’ button on their main page. You can learn a lot here: how long the seller has been on the platform, average ship time, when they were last active and if they offer a seller discount for purchase of multiple items from their closet. Plus you can read their ‘love notes’ from other buyers which are also very informative.
Postmark sellers I have great relationships with include Kanzler for new clothing and accessory Boutique items, 11th Street for Boutique and resale items and KKM67 for resale items. I’m on Postmark @lcmlifestyle and am a Posh Ambassador and 5 star seller.
Make Reasonable, Not Insulting, Offers
Postmark allows you to offer a seller a price on an item below the price they have listed. By making a reasonable offer you stand a much better chance of getting the particular item into your life. Don’t be afraid to make a reasonable offer because you have no idea if the person is in a big hurry to move the item or if they are just posting with a certain price tag to test the waters. The easiest way to insult a seller is with multiple low ball offers. You might also get blocked and not be able to avail yourself of future great items the seller has for sale. So make an offer but definitely do so with respect and consideration.
Armed with these tips you can approach resale sites with a bit of practical knowledge that allows you to manage your expectations accordingly. The old saying ‘everything old is new again’ is certainly fitting here!
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