I've been practicing minimalism and mindful living for well over a year now. And I'm loving it so far!! Several of you've reached out and asked about how I'm letting go of my possessions - as in what platforms I use. I will list a comprehensive list of various platforms in another post, as I want to focus on Clothing & accessories today.
First of all, I use one simple criteria to determine what I do with 'stuff' I feel like I can do without:
What value does it hold? Emotional or financial value. If it's a toaster, or a panini press, I offer it to a friend, my housekeeper, or goodwill. No love lost.. For things that are cost me a lot of money to buy (financial value) or I'm attached to (emotional value), I try my best to sell. So, here is my experience with and/ or research of different platforms to sell my items.
RealReal (and similar):
Pro: Shipping & leg work. RR sends you a prepaid shipping label or box with a shipping label. You fill out a list of items included sheet, and off go your items! They handle pictures, titles, descriptions, storage, and shipping to buys. You don't see your items staring back at you (as long as they're not rejected by RR).
Which brings me to one of their biggest cons:
Rejection. RR is super picky about about brands, as well as condition of items they accept. Hello, isn't this a consignment site..? 100% I'm okay not accepting damaged goods, but I thought their policy was more than a little strange. Also the brands - they will gladly take tier 1 brands (like Chanel, Prada, etc), but (in a way) almost look down upon not-so-coveted brands like Kate Spade, Michael Kors, etc. Same goes for not-so-well-known stores/ designers from other countries (for example, a friend was talking about a huge collection of handbags from French designers, which are super sought after in Europe, but not recognized by RR). So, the ease of point 1 goes away a little. All the sorting was getting a little tedious for me..
Con #2: your earnings. I have 2 issues with this: First of all, their price point is set so they sell items as quickly as they can (which is sometimes stupidly low, but they don't care, I thought it was almost rude to the designer as well as the owner). Second issue: their commission is 50-60%. So, on top of the low price they set, you get are around 40-50% of those sales. I thought it was quite unfair in the end, and therefore stopped using them. the economics were hard for me (personally) to justify.
Con: you do ALL the leg work in creating your listing. I mean, everything from taking pictures, finding an appropriate title, price, & description, dealing with people making offers, sometimes negotiating said offers, etc, etc.
Pro: you set the price. This can be a con if you're not careful, as I've made emotional decisions on price a couple of times. I just have to remind myself it's not how much I think xyz is worth, it's what it's objectively worth. Looking at the market makes it very easy to find the right price.
Pro: shipping is easy! Once a purchase is made, you get a shipping label emailed. You wrap it, and stick it one of the free boxes from USPS, and set it in your mailbox for pick up. I like to go to a USPS office to have my item scanned (even if that means standing in line sometimes), and not just leaving it in my mailbox, but you don't need to.
Here's a link to join Poshmark, if you're interested: https://posh.mk/08uXMCHr1T
Bonus: If you'd like to use PM, I use the following guidelines to help make my sales, quick and successful:
Pictures! This might be the most important. I usually take my pictures during the day, try and get the best angle, with plenty of light (yes, it's worth mentioning light twice!). Make sure the items is the largest part in the frame. For example, if you're selling a pair shoes, your cover shot should be one of the shoes, not a pic of someone wearing them, making the shoes barely visible. Another tips is not to use too many filters. I do increase the brightness of my pictures sometimes, because I'm a terrible photographer, and the colors don't look like they do in real life. So, try your best to make the items pop, but not in a way the item doesn't look like its original version.
Condition: I try my best to focus on any flaws in my pictures and description. No one likes surprises! Be clear and forthright in your listings.
Discount: simple - offer one. :-) I currently have it set for 15% off on 4 items, but you can do any number based on your comfort level. 5% to 30% on 2 to 7 items. It really does encourage buyers.
Share: your listings as well as others' listings. It helps get your listings to a wider audience (and vice versa). Everyone wins. :-)
Follow: this is not necessary if you're predominantly a buyer, but for sellers, it's imp. People generally follow you back, and eventually share your listings, thereby increasing your reach within the PM community. More views, more sales. Not to say that's the only way you can successfully sell, as people often search for items, and will find yours; but having your listings shared definitely helps!
Research: the items you plan to list. Look at the 'going' price. If something is priced too high compared to similar listings (given the condition, color, collectibility level, etc), well, it's likely to not sell. Ms. Obvi here..! :-)
List regularly. PM will post your listing to a wider audience in their 'just in' section, and they helps too.
Thank your buyer. Once a sale is made, I like to wrap my items in tissue paper and included a hand written, personalized thank you note. It may or may not increase your sales, but it's nice. A lot of folks include a gift as well, but I've stopped doing that, as I felt it didn't make any difference in my future sales or my reviews/ ratings. Bottom line is how your buyer perceived their purchase -- as in, how well you described your items, hence setting appropriate expectations -- for the price they paid.
I hope this helps. Happy Poshing. Share your experience with me - I'd love to hear from you! Again, here's a link to join Poshmark, if you're looking to: https://posh.mk/08uXMCHr1T