If you would have asked me 5 years ago if I would be buying clothes second-hand, I probably would have laughed. For multiple reasons, thrifting has never been for me:
1. I’ve never had the patience to sort through racks that are stuffed with clothes. It’s the same reason I have never had success at stores like TJ Maxx or Marshalls. It’s just too overwhelming!
and 2. I always have a hard time finding clothes that I like and that fit well. I’m very particular about what I like and I’ve rarely found those items at second-hand stores.
Despite my pickiness, I often bought things on-line, kept things that just sorta fit, had a closet full of things I didn’t wear and was always looking for new things to buy.
Basically, I was a fast-fashion store’s dream.
About 3 years ago, I really buckled down on what I was spending in all aspects of my life. I went cold turkey and flat out stopped buying clothes. This lasted roughly 2 years. Instead, I started using my clothing tracker to get a better understanding of what I have in my closet and what I actually NEEDED. This was a huge step in coming to appreciate the clothes that I actually have but also getting rid of things I didn’t want anymore. If it was on my tracker and I didn’t wear it for a few months, it needed to find a new home that wasn’t my closet. When you hear people talk about the 30 Wears Challenge, you think I’m definitely wearing my clothes 30 times! But tracking my clothes made me quickly realize, that wasn’t the case for me! It had enough clothes where it was a challenging wearing certain pieces once a month. I’d have to do that every month for 3 years just to hit 30 wears! And if a piece was seasonal, even longer.
With that said, there inevitably comes a time when you do have to purchase new clothes. Or, when you are tracking your outfits, you realize you have nothing to wear with a particular piece. As much as I love responsibly made clothing with natural fibers and the idea of a capsule wardrobes, those pieces aren’t always “fun”.
Poshmark is an app where you can purchase pre-loved clothes and sell your own pieces that you just aren’t wearing to make some money. I first heard about it from one of my co-workers who had major success on it, both selling and buying.
My first purchase and probably my most successful was a pair of spin shoes. I had just joined a challenge at my spin studio in Boston and was thinking it was about time I purchased my own shoes so I wasn’t renting from my studio. When you go first thing in the morning, you don’t think much about using their shoes but when you go in the afternoon and you slip into a pair of warm, damp shoes freshly removed from someone else’s feet, boy! do you really start googling spin shoes!! My problem was, as I mentioned, I had cracked down on spending and spin shoes weren’t cheap.
I ended up purchasing some on Poshmark that were almost brand new and were half the Amazon price.
And just like that, I was officially addicted.
I have bought a number of things on there since then including dresses for bridal showers, pieces for a Halloween costume and accessories like hats and shoes. I think accessories are my favorite purchase because they can make some of those staple pieces feel like new.
I know that purchasing things on line can be difficult, especially when the items are used so here are some tips on how to shop successfully on Poshmark:
- Start with brands you know you like. If you have always had success with Ann Taylor and you know your size, start there. It’s unlikely you’ll be disappointed with the quality or sizing if it’s a brand you are familiar with.
- Know your size and measurements and the measurements of your favorite pieces. This is especially helpful if you are shopping a new brand. Most sellers will include measurements of the items that they are selling. If you have your measurements and the measurements of your favorite pieces handy, you will have more success purchasing pieces that fit. Just because you were a M in American Eagle doesn’t mean you take a M in Madewell, especially if the item for sale is baggy. Having numbers you can compare is so, so helpful. If the seller doesn’t include measurements, be sure to ask them!
- Make sure the seller is including pictures of the actual item! A lot of times, sellers will include stock photos of the items that they are selling that they have pulled from the brand’s website. This is a great idea because it shows the item taken in a professional setting. BUT, that doesn’t mean that’s actually what the item looks like now. Even if it’s marked as Like New, don’t hesitate to ask the seller to include pictures of the actual items. You want to be able to see what condition the item is in, if it has faded or is discolored, if it looks really worn, etc. Don’t purchase the item if the seller doesn’t get back to you. That’s a red flag.
- Don’t forget to double check that the item is coming from a pet-free/smoke-free house if you have allergies or are sensitive to smoke. If it’s not listed, ask.
- Do some research on the pricing, if possible. If you are purchasing Rothy’s second-hand and the original price is $125, chances are you aren’t going to want to purchase them for $200. Of course, there is always the argument for rare, no-longer-sold items and that’s something you have to decide on for yourself. Personally, if I’m buying something secondhand, I don’t want to spend MORE for the item then I would have if it was new. At least having an estimate of what an item started at will help you decided whether the listed price is worth the cost.
My favorite feature of Poshmark is the Reposh option. If you bought something and it doesn’t fit, or, for example, you bought something for a bridal shower and know you won’t be wearing it again, you can Reposh the item and Poshmark will pull the original listing’s photograph and information over to your listing to help save you time. It makes purchasing a little less stressful!
Also, for safety, the seller doesn’t receive your payment until you confirm that you have received the item. If the seller doesn’t send an item within a few days of your purchase, Poshmark automatically cancels the order and refunds your money.
So far, I have had a lot of luck on this sight purchasing items second-hand. Have you tried Poshmark? Any questions on how it works? Feel free to ask. This post isn’t sponsored and this isn’t an ad so I’ll always be honest with feedback!