By Shay Green, Dec 1 2016 01:12AM
Recently, I learned via this Facebook Live Video posted by Ashton Kutcher, 1 in ever 50 women now sell items using the poshmark app! Lucky for us, The Poshmark Community is filled with thousands of women (and a few hundred men) who are ready and willing to give you advice including tips and tricks that can help you grow your online closet or boutique. Its awesome to be apart of such a stellar community of people who really enjoy helping others and who are willing to share what they have learned with you just because you have asked. With this said, this post will be dedicated to the tips and tricks I use for my own personal closet. I hope my time, effort and even mistakes may help you on your journey to become a better overall seller on Poshmark. These may not be what others consider top 5 items but they are the Top 5 Tips I like to give that you may not have seen (because list differ) on other blogs or social media posts. Its a little lengthy but I hope you find something helpful below.
With that said, These Are My Top 5 Tips & Tricks To Become A Better Seller on Poshmark
Tip#5 Make Steps To Become a Suggested User Right Now
I know #5 seems to be a no brainier to a lot of you reading (because you have already hit that milestone) however, believe me, not everyone knows how much becoming a SU actually affects your closet, followers and sales on poshmark. At Poshfest 2016, I talked more on this subject than anything else. I was not a speaker or presenter at the fest but I did met dozens and dozens of people who were pretty new to the app and others who had been on posh for a while clueless as to what a suggester user even was. The conversation would mostly come up after looking at my closet and wondering how I'd managed to pick up almost 150,000 followers. Most could not understand how they were sharing like crazy, networking (like it was a full time job), yet there follower numbers were not growing very fast. I asked everyone that wanted to know my secret to getting followers: "Are you a suggested user?" I was not shocking that most were either NOT a SU or they had just become one recently. If you want your followers to grow fast, make sure you follow these and become a suggested user NOW:
Have a Closet of at least 25 items. At one point, I believe you had to also have SOLD 10 items but this may have changed as it is not on the poshmark blog regarding suggested users.
Next, make sure to WRITE Poshmark and let them know you want to be in the program. I've know a few people who were added to this program without doing this but most I spoken to have written in. With that said, I have also known people who have been on poshmark for years, have stellar closets or boutiques and still are NOT suggested users. So even posh veterans have to still write to firstname.lastname@example.org to become a suggested user. Use that email address to let the poshmark staff know that its time to take a look at your closet and place you on the suggested user program if it qualifies. . At Poshefest 2016, I spoke to Manish briefly about the program and was assured me that they were working on making the proces more streamline. For more in debt information on this program take a look at this poshmark blog post on How To Become A Suggested User.
Once this is done and you are on the list, you can sit back, relax your fingers a bit and know that the Poshmark app is working for you, helping you to gain more followers on autopilot. You will get an congratulations email informing you that you are now on the suggested users program and you will be placed on the Poshmark Feed in a section that looks something similar to this.
Remember, the closet/networking concept on posh was created so we could have more financial freedom to do the things we love to do. It probably was not created for us to spend all day and night stalking others closets wondering why you have 300,000 Shares and only 30,000 followers vs the other guy who has the reverse. Now that you are a suggested user, your numbers should start to reflect the work you put in shortly. So give your keyboard a little rest spend more of your free time with those who need you most. I promise, we are gonna be ok with out your 1,000 shares today:) *wink
Tip#4 Invest In Your Customers
Create a loyal customer base by surrounding yourself with great pff's who share your similar style and taste. I've become somewhat or a personal shopper to my friends and potential customers who I know covet my closet. I make sure those who seem most interested know that even if the item they are looking at may not fit there exact requirements, I am willing and open to help them find something that will. I probably have more returning customers because of this practice and its a customer service trick left over from my retail days long past. This type of extension service allows me to connect even more with people who visit my closet by creating an internal clientele book (formed in my head). Thus allowing me to create and retain a better relationship with each of them. I do special things such as secret BOGO sells for all my 5* and returning customers to keep them coming back. Its much easier to sell to 10 returning customers who know the quality of your clothing than to convince 10 new ones that they really are getting a bargain for their money. Get More Feed Back Like This From Returning Customers.
Same Customer/1 Month Apart
I make it a point to let my customers know that I am there for them and ready to help pick out items for there next event or outing. The business cards I attached to my packaging actually states that I am a personal shopper. I prefer the term personal shopper over stylist because that's really more what I am. I'm not that risque "try a bunch of new trends type gal". Instead, I am more of a "I will buy exactly what's on the mannequin type person" ever evolving in both my fashion sense and style. I think those that shop my closet are a lot like me so my closet and way of selling represents that. These days, I am slowly but surely adding more accessories such as necklaces, chokers and earrings to my inventory. I would love for Shay's Posh Closet to be that one stop shop for all of friends on posh.
Don't forget that extra touches such as a well wrapped packages also leaves a lasting impression on your customers. Investment a small amount of your profit in your packaging each month and your customers will be delighted and surprised when they open their order and will remember you. I make tissue paper, ribbon, a business card and a thank you note essential in most all of the packages that I send out. You do not have to spend a ton of money to do this and I encourage DIY business cards and ordering tissue paper in bulk to save money. Here is an example of my standard packaging as seen on my instagram. I also add a sticky note with a "Thank You for Your Purchase" message to every order. Bulky items or those on super clearance my look a bit different.
Tip #3 Closet or Boutique? What Works For YOU?
This year, I went to my very first Poshfest and I really loved the environment and inspiration I got out of this experience. There was a lot of emphasis on boutique creation for advanced sellers but not much for advanced users who just had "closets" and were either not ready or like me, not very interested in branching out into a boutique at this time. As an advanced user, I actually enjoy simply selling "closet" items. I sale a variety of sizes and although my posh closet IS about 10% boutique oriented, most of my items are NWT or gently used. I have little desire to branch into a complete boutique. In fact, my regular items sale faster than my boutique items do every single time. I will discuss why that is in an upcoming blog post. This does not mean that one day, I won't be adding more boutique items at a later date or that you should not consider this as well. However, for now, I'd rather just grow what's working for me. This is what you should do. Just because Poshmark gives you the ability to grow your own boutique does not mean you should scrap what you are doing and run to the wholesale sites just yet. If selling your vintage, thrift, donated or hand made and/or your own closet items is working for you and your profit margin is good, stick with it and keep going.
This may not be the most popular tip that will be given in this blog but remember, I stated earlier that this is what works FOR ME. If you instead want to open a full boutique, you should research trends within the app before making large purchases or better yet, do like I do an add a few boutique items at a time to your poshmark closet. Test the waters before jumping into something that may cause you to loose focus and momentum. Branching out into a full boutique once you have a successful closet in my opinion should happen due to necessity. Necessities would be something such as running out of items to sale. If that happens, consider thrift shopping, consigning for friends and family or purchasing clothing pallets from department stores. Either way, do whats best for YOUR closet and focus on it.
Tip #2 Create a Memorable Branded Closet
When you enter my Poshmark Closet you will notice a few things right away; color, organization and how things are styled. I like to think it has the look and feel of one of those fruit party trays you purchase at a grocery store with variety and color, separated in an eye appealing manor . Its always my goal to get people to enter my closet and want to stay in it. I do this by trying to visually create something special that makes people want to keep scrolling down. I have a back ground in website design and this creeps though in how my closet is set up as a whole. I believe, just like on websites, the longer you stay in/on it, the more followers (who will eventually convert to customers) you will untimely attract. Make sure to organize your closet in a way that makes it easy for your customers to find what they need. They will always have the option of using the search bar at the top, but in my experience, things can easily be missed this way so organization is key factor to branding your closet. Using graphics and placeholder listings are a popular way people organize their closets on posh.
The items I choose to place in my closet really do represent my own personal taste and style. Everything I sale is something that I would wear myself. If I start posting things that are really not my style, I could not be as honest as I am with my customers when they ask me questions. This does not mean that once in awhile, I wont post something a little different, but for the most part I choose to purchase items that stay within a certain style range that I consider my "brand".. With that said, my closet is mostly filled with jackets, formals and party dresses. These are the things I love and also the things I purchase from malls, outlets, wholesale, pallets, resale shops ect. Your own closet should also reflect things that you enjoy and or love wearing if possible. Your passion for your closet or boutique will naturally shine through when you are proud of your presentation and product.
These are also items that I look for when I get donations or consignments from family and friends which I make sure to keep consistent with the look and feel of my existing closet. So my brand focuses on these items and making sure my closet is vibrant, classy, eye catching and appealing. You should think about what you want your closet to say as you create your own brand so your customers will know what to expect each time they enter your store. I believe, you are more likely to gain a returning following by keeping your closet consistent. Consistency DOES not mean you cannot try new concepts or add outside the box items, please do that! Just don't do it so much that your closet is now unrecognizable to someone who just shopped with you last week!
Tip#1 Play With & Practice Producing Good Cover Photos
Every year my closet gets a makeover. This happens when I see trends in closets that I like that I think might grow my follower numbers and eventually, sales. I have gone from taking photos of clothing just laying on my bed on a very none photogenic red floral bed spread, to taking then on a plastic half mannequin laying on a zebra background (at night using the flash on my cell phone) *smh. Bad lighting was a staple in my closet and so was this weird (and dirty) white shaggy rug.
Early 2014 Photo Examples
At one point, I spent about a year using photoshop, utilizing long hours creating complex graphic styling for my covers. This was also right around the time I purchased my first body form. This took WAY too long but made for a very fun and interesting closet. When I stopped using so much of my time with graphics and photoshop, I started to gain more sales and was able to use that extra free time to really focus on my closet as well as my customers.
Later That Same Year (These Took Too Much Time)
I finally invested in a second body form around this time (I have both a Regular Size and a Plus Size Body Form) and started mostly using body forms with a few flat lays inserted every few weeks.
These days, my closet more closely resembles a combination of body forms, flat lays and the occasional graphic styling and modeled photo. Its ever evolving and I have gone from 1 in every 8 post being a flat layout to 1 in every 3. Eventually, I want to stick with the combination closet similar to what I currently have, trending towards more interesting flat layout. The idea of doing more flat layouts came from a conversation I had when I met the lovely Karis Renee at Poshmark 2016. Her Poshmark Closet SLAYS with interesting cover photos and a very recognizable brand. Her closet, filled mostly with accessories and jewelry, really do tell a story when you enter it. Karis inspired me to do more flatlays and to also focus even more on cross promotion. This is Before and After My Flat Layout Consult with Karis.
Although I was already practicing most of the tips that Karis gave me that day (she thought my flatlays were nice), I was really inspired to take more time out creatively and try my hand at more flatlaysas she suggested. Not so coincidentally, right after my most recent closet upgrade, I received a call from the Poshmark PR Department about possibly shopping me around to the media in my hometown of Houston, TX. An opportunity to talk about my experaince using the PoshMark App (possibly on TV) and to help others while doing so, has been a dream of mine for sometime. This is exciting and makes me want to press on and make #myposhmarkcloset even better. My advice; is to take chances, make changes as needed and to test your creativity as much as possible in SMART ways. I use pinterest a lot to research new ways to layout fashion and wardrobe style sites to gain more knowledge on trends. Telling a story with your cover shot makes things interesting and customers love that.
Here are a Few of My Do's and Dont's When It Comes to Creating Good Cover Shots
Do use natural lighting. This does NOT mean it has to be in direct sunlight however. Outside shots, with a good camera, can pretty much be taken at any time unless you are doing detailed shots such as those we often place in our listings. I have found that the best times to take natural light photos are when the sun is at its brightest or just starting to set. This can vary throughout the day and sometimes can be a bit unpredictable if you are not used to shooting every day and don't have a set scheduled. In my area, the sun beams through my windows really well around 10am-11:30am and then again around 1:30-3:30pm. If I wait until after 3pm to start shooting, I only have about an hour of decent shooting time. After that, or in an area where the sun is shaded in my home, I get badly lit photos that even the best photos apps cant correct. Its best to shoot in natural lighting that produces the most light so you wont have to do much adjusting in apps. It is the opposites for flatlayouts (unless you are taking them outside). I have found that taking photos AFTER 3:30pm or during one of those moments when the sun is not shinning though my blinds will produces photos that are the best because they produce less shadows on my white cardboard background. I want to explore lighting more in a followup blog but I have found that it is one of the most important factors in creating a great cover photo.
Don't take photos at night time. Exceptions are clothing or jewelry items that you want to show the vibrancy off. Try not to use these as your cover-shots but instead, place them within the listing in one of the other photos
Do Try New Ways To Style Your Cover. Try Flay Layouts, Body Forms, Graphics and More. Take note of what items people tend to LIKE more and start adding those More Often to Your Closet or Boutique
Do Make your last photo one of the REAL item, preferably front and back and on a mannequin or body form. This last one is just to save you time because there will ALWAYS be someone who ask you to see the "real item" even if you have shot the photo on a model in the most professional of manors. People want to see the actual item they are getting and can sometimes be wearing of JUST seeing the item on a model that can be considered or misconstrued as a stock photo.
When it comes to Descriptions, keep them well organized and always include things such flaws and measurements. If there is room, you MAY want to include styling tips and a fun fact about where you wore the item to. I've found that a description that connects with my follower can really win them on. This also applies to the photos I add to my listing. Once, I added a photo of my mother to a listing under one of her gowns I was selling. The person who purchased said she bought the dress because Mom reminded her of herself and they had the same hair cut/style. I thought this was so cute. I went to her closet and sure enough, she looked like she could have been my mothers other daughter. Sometimes, a connection like that can bring you the best customer experience and is an easy way to make a customer a returning one. A good description allows a potential customer to walk in your shoes for a moment and helps them envision themselves in your item. If you run out of room in the description section, place a note directly on the photos using a photo collage app or graphics program.
I have a few items in my closet that have been with me for a while. These are items that I share every blue moon and some that may be towards the bottom of my closet in my $5 section. Make sure to update those items that have been sitting in your closet as you upgrade to reflect better descriptions, photos ect. An upgrade of an old item, or simply deleting and re-posting that same item, can really help it sell. Try it and let me know if it works for you. I would love to know if you are currently already using any of my tips above and how they are working for you. I have posted links throughout this blog article that may help you if you happen to be a newer user and have come across me or my closet for the first time. In the end, I really have a desire to help people and want to make this blog more about you all. This particular blog post was based on my own experience, tells my own story with a few helpful tips and tricks stuffed in. I hope you enjoyed one of my very first blogs and I would really like to know your thoughts.
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