My Thoughts on Selling on Poshmark Canada

My Thoughts on Selling on Poshmark Canada

Have you thought about joining Poshmark in 2024? After four years on the platform... I have some thoughts. 

When I started Lemon's Loot in 2019, I sold mainly on Instagram and Facebook Marketplace. I loved the quick (and cheap!) ability to showcase my items on social networks and make a few bucks. Like many others during this time.. our world quickly changed in 2020 and the atmosphere of selling drastically had to pivot. 

During this period, I lost my full-time job and quickly had to find another way to supplement... well, replace... that income. With the changes for selling face-to-face, the world of e-commerce seemed like my only option. At this point, I turned to Poshmark after a recommendation from an acquaintance. They had seen success on the platform and the quick growth of their community! 

After looking into Poshmark, this seemed to be a good option for growing Lemon's Loot. I'm in Canada and the timing of Poshmark being available to us, seemed like a glimmer of hope. They had just launched in 2019 and celebrated their one-year anniversary in May of 2020. I was officially a "Posher" in May 2020.

The platform boasted at the time, over one million Canadians on the platform with a collective $100 million worth of inventory. According to their statistics, my region of central Canada had 56% of those users. (source: here)

The app or desktop version had easy options to list your items for sale, manage different selling features like "offers" and "bundles", and have a socially connected network structure. At the time of writing this post, and upon the closure of my closet, I had gained 45.8K followers.

So you may be wondering why I am choosing to close down my closet. Well, in those four years I managed to sell 291 listings. That averages to being 1 item sold per 5 days. In short, it wasn't a sustainable option to keep putting energy into the platform. 

In full disclosure - there are several things I would have done differently about my time on the platform. I wanted to share this experience with you because I think it's important to talk about our own shortcomings alongside those of the platforms we have available to us. Even if you aren't planning to sell on Poshmark, I think this post can also aid those who plan to be buyers. So... let's sum a few things up! 

The Pros:

Cost: Poshmark as a whole, is free to list your items. This can be very beneficial to sellers who don't want to pay fees just to list their inventory. This makes the platform very accessible. You are only charged a fee when the items sell from your closet - "For all sales under C$20, Poshmark takes a flat commission of C$3.95. For sales of C$20 or more, you keep 80% of your sale and Poshmark's commission is 20%. There is an additional GST/HST on the Poshmark fee that is paid for by the seller." (source - here)

Easy Shipping: Poshmark directly charges the customer the shipping cost. This amount is processed on their backend and you are sent a pre-paid shipping label that can support up to 2.5 kilograms! You just need to box/bag the item(s), stick on the label, and drop it off at the post office! 

Large Network: As mentioned previously, the growth of your followers is HUGE. I was always shocked to see how many people quickly followed my account. Having over 45.8K eyes on your closet can be a huge factor in picking a platform. Other platforms seem to have much slower growth with their algorithm. The followers could also share items from your closet to show to their networks - creating a long chain of exposure. 

Seller Discounts and Bundling: Poshmark has several features to connect with your buyers. You can offer reduced rates, cheaper shipping, or bundle multiple listings into one lot that gives them either an automatic or selected discount. These tools send a notification directly to the buyer and gives them a 24 hour window to take advantage of the "deal". 

Seller Parties: This feature was released to allow anyone on the platform to post their listings in a virtual collective "party" that had a similar theme. There were parties for children's clothing, high-end brands, denim, accessories... if it was allowed on the platform, there was a party for that! This transitioned into live "Posh Shows" versions that allowed sellers to do virtual video parties sharing items from just their closet, or with another seller as a co-host.

If this sounds appealing to you... Poshmark may be the place for you! If you're curious why I ultimately closed my closet... the reasons are the same. 

The Cons: 

Cost: The commission rate of 20% is the highest rate I've paid to sell my items on e-commerce. My reference is selling on Etsy (10.5% + .45 cents USD per transaction source - here). Another factor was the funds being held for up to 3 days once the items were delivered. Not being paid for your items right away and having to wait on the post may not work for everyone's business goals.

Another factor relating to cost (which may not be an issue if you're part-time or casual seller) is the taxes. There is no place to add an HST number if you're a registered business. This means while you are charged tax on the seller fee - you are not able to collect tax for the items you sell. You will be responsible for this additional cost so keep that in mind if you fall within that threshold! 

Easy Shipping: There is no option to choose a faster class of mail. Customers can be located all over Canada, and you're at the mercy of Canada Post to get those items to the customer - while waiting to get paid! There are also surcharges when you sell over 2.5kg of items. This extra cost is charged to the seller and not the buyer. If you aren't aware of the weight, especially on bundled lot, these charges could make you think twice about selling certain items or giving a steeper discount to the buyer.

Seller Discount and Bundling: The platform is built to haggle. I personally feel this adds to sellers marking up items above market value and can really skew the customers perspective of the value of objects. When you offer a bundle price, the item shows as "sold" on your closet for the full listed value. For example, if you post an item for $100, and send a 40% discount that the buyer accepts - the item will still show "sold $100" on your closet. Many sellers use this tactic and it's promoted and acceptable by Poshmark. All in all... I don't like this lack of transparency. In a similar note, I don't appreciate selling on a platform that teaches customers to ask for discounts... especially when you're selling as a business. 

Seller Parties: Sometimes... you just don't have time (or simply, don't want to)! I completely understand the social strength of these parties and shows... but that format does not work for my business. Working from home, as a solo business owner, is hard work! You have to wear "all the hats" and that takes a lot of time. Personally for my business, I was not able to take advantage of this feature. There seemed like a lot of pressure to join these events, and if that isn't your thing, this may not be the platform for you. This platform is very focused on the social aspect and will require you to be hands-on with your closet.

I do think there are opportunities to grow a full time business with Poshmark. With the above information, I would still recommend you trying it out. Some people are successful and prefer this platform.

If you do plan to join, here are a few more tips:

  • Have realistic expectations of the time you can dedicate to your closet
  • Budget for adding new inventory and have a buffer waiting for payments
  • Price accordingly, and expect to have more wiggle room for bartering and the commissions you'll pay
  • Share new items often and don't forget to re-share older stock
  • Keep things fresh and inventory moving in and out
  • Make smart choices on the inventory you list in your closet, personal items may not sell as well as curated ones
  • Use all the details, tags, and product information - much of this is needed to share within parties
  • Sold items are always visible, but when doing market research take pricing with a grain of salt
  • Remember the social aspect of selling on the platform and create a strategy to be present and patriciate 
  • Remind yourself... followers don't equal sales
  • Ask an accountant about the pay and fee structure and what that means for your business bookkeeping
  • Research other platforms and make an informed decision on what is best for you and your business.

I am happy I tried... I am happy I connected with others through Poshmark... but it's time to close that chapter... It's time to shut the closet. As of April 2024, Lemon's Loot no longer sells on Poshmark.

I hope this post is insightful and explains why I made the choice to stop selling on Poshmark Canada. If you like this type of behind-the-scenes content, I would love to hear your feedback! 

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