Updated: Mar 1, 2019
This article is geared towards people that sell on Poshmark, but these tips can be utilized by anyone that wants to start an online or brick and mortar 2nd hand store.
When first starting out on a platform like Poshmark, it's easiest to simply pull clothing from your own closet. It’s free and you have a very clear understanding of the garments' condition.
A STEP FURTHER
Once you decide to take it a step further and make Poshmark [or any other platform] a part-time or full-time gig, you’re going to want to expand your inventory and start buying items from wholesale suppliers and post retailers [2nd hand].
There are plenty of wholesale sites to choose from when building your inventory.
If you’re goal is to have a complete boutique on Poshmark [this means all items were purchased directly from a wholesaler, specifically to sell on Poshmark], then buying from a wholesaler is a definite.
POSHMARK'S WHOLESALE PORTAL
This is also a way to help your fellow Poshers, while staying away from retail prices.
This option is only available to closets that have sold 10+ items, have a 4.5+ rating and have completed Boutique Certification.
Take note, even though I enjoy my experience on Poshmark, I only purchased from the wholesale portal when I wanted to become certified.
The prices are a little high for the quality, but there are some cute items. I'm not saying not to order from the portal, I'm just saying to shop around.
FINDING A WHOLESALER ONLINE
There are many wholesale sites to choose from, whether you're selling women's only apparel or if you're selling for the whole family.
When searching for a wholesaler, be sure to read reviews left by other customers. You can learn a lot from these reviews and you can save yourself the headache of paying money for merchandise that you're not satisfied with. Click to see my wholesaler list.
Another way to find a distributor is to check your local listings. If you live in a larger city, you may be surprised to find how many wholesalers are in your area.
The upside to selling all of your items boutique is that all of your entire closet is direct from the distributor and you can charge higher prices.
This will also help if your ultimate goal is to sell your items on your own store or website.
The downside is, if you don’t have a large budget to buy wholesale and you're tempted to purchase lesser quality - cheaper items, you could end up with clothing that is of sub par quality, ultimately hurting the reputation and sales of your brand.
If your goal is to sell new and used items, thrifting is one of the most economical ways to fill your closet. You can hand pick the items you like, allowing you to inspect each garment and view any possible flaws.
With the money you would have spent to buy 5 identical items via wholesale, you can buy 10-20 unique items via thrifting [giving your closet more variety].
Online thrifting is very similar to thrifting via yard sales and thrift stores. The difference is convenience. Instead of driving from place to place, spending time and gas money, you can view items in the comfort of your home.
A popular resource for online thrifting is Goodwill. You can search for items from around the country and shipping prices are reasonable.
Like thrift stores, yard sales are a great way to find items at very inexpensive prices. A lot of times, yard sales offer clothing items for as little as .25 cents each – a very cost effective way to fill your closet.
The upside to thrifting is ridiculous savings. You can buy a ton of items for very little, vastly increasing the available listings in your closet. The downside is time, cost of travel and the cost of cleaning the items.
If you're thrifting online, you do have to keep shipping and handling in mind. There's also the risk of buying a flawed item with no return availability [as it is an "as is" purchase].
Be sure to do a cost analysis of whether it's cheaper to travel or pay for shipping. Your results might be surprising.
BUYING IN BULK
If you're able to spend around a pop $200 or more for inventory, buying in bulk is in fact be the best way to go.
Your wholesale dollar goes much further because in the wholesale world, the more you buy, the bigger discount you get.
This option is more for larger boutiques or closets with the traffic and capital to spend more on inventory.
The upside to buying in bulk is the ability to purchase new, name brand items at a fraction of the retail cost. There's also a good amount of selection within the case or pallet and some sites provide a downloadable matrix as well.
The downside is, if your budget is on the small side, you may have to opt for returned, uninspected items, which you may consider a risk if you're already financially struggling.
If you're on a budget and wanting to increase your inventory, take time to do the numbers.
Overall, it's a matter of understanding your market and understanding the steps you'll need to take to get the results you want.
It's a good idea to set aside monies every week [or month] if you can't spend a lot at one time.
It's also a good practice to use your profits from sales to re-stock your closet.
If You have tips to share, feel free to leave a comment.
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