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Unemployed? Try Reselling Clothes on eBay or Poshmark

Unemployed? Try Reselling Clothes on eBay or Poshmark

Unemployed? Try Reselling Clothes on eBay or Poshmark
May 28
15:19 2020

By Jacob Gallagher

AT THE END OF MARCH, Diana Karen Mireles was furloughed from her job as a marketing coordinator at a Los Angeles shoe store, yet still managed to pay off a longstanding car loan within weeks. How did she pull off this budgetary wizardry? By raking in over $3,000 selling her old clothes on Poshmark, an online resale marketplace. “Most of it is things that I just haven’t worn and that have been taking up space in my closet,” said Ms Mireles, of the more than 200 pairs of shoes, sweats and other clothing items she unloaded.

Many other Americans with more time on their hands and less money in their wallets are making money by flipping unwanted clothes through e-markets like PoshmarkGrailedeBay and Depop. The latter, a site focused on clothing for thrifty millennials, saw an over 100% year-over-year increase in traffic this April. From mid-April to mid-May, Poshmark experienced a 50% increase in clothing and accessories sales compared to the previous year. Though it did not provide specific figures, Grailed also reported an uptick in new product listings and site usage in April, as well.

EBay experienced its own spike. Since around mid-March when many lockdown orders were initiated in the U.S., clothing listings on its American site surged by nearly 67%. “With people stuck at home during a traditional spring cleaning season, many are looking for at-home projects or ways to make extra money,” said Jordan Sweetnam, the senior vice president and general manager of eBay North America. “Decluttering, revamping their wardrobe or starting a side-hustle have become pastimes for people.”

Emily Chen is one such hustler. Since getting furloughed from her job as an office manager in New York City on April 1, Ms. Chen has used Poshmark to clear out little-worn shirts, jeans, sweaters, shoes and T-shirts in her closet. In some cases, the clothes—from brands such as Madewell, Zara and Gap—still had their tags on. Her new side-gig has proven to be quite lucrative: By the end of April she’d earned a couple hundred dollars, and still had over 100 items listed. The obvious monetary benefit aside, Ms. Chen said that selling clothes has been a good way to occupy her suddenly empty workdays.

Flipping fashion can certainly demand a lot of hours. On some days, Ms. Mireles starts building out the Poshmark listings and photographing her pieces at 10 a.m. and doesn’t wrap until 6 p.m. When his in-person classes halted in March, 21-year-old Nathan Schoeck, a college student at Texas A&M, finally had the free time to list his collection of vintage jeans and jackets for sale online. Mr. Schoeck hawks his pieces through @foreverweathering, his dedicated Instagram resell account, coordinating sales with his followers, after they send him a direct message. He prefers Instagram to sites like Depop and Grailed because he doesn’t have to pay a fee to a middle-man, cutting into his profits. “This is my side thing to get my own money to just buy clothes or buy food, things like that,” he said.

Platforms are trying to assist all the new sellers who are jumping on this particular bandwagon. Since March 28, Poshmark has staged over 600 virtual “Posh N Coffee” workshops via Zoom, intended to guide users and answer questions. For its part, Grailed published a Covid-19 help guide that answers questions such as “I’m unable to leave the house to ship—what should I do?” and “Will there be shipping delays?” The sellers that I spoke with reported no issues with shipping in the last while. Most of them schedule United States Postal Service pickups at their homes, which have gone smoothly. One seller even reported that packages were being delivered faster than he’d anticipated.

These amateur vendors have seen little indication that the pandemic is dampening America’s shopping fervor. “I’ve actually seen an increase in sales,” said Christopher Juan, 20, a college student living in Burbank, Calif., who has been a longtime Depop seller. With more people idling at home, he theorized, they’re turning to online shopping to fill the hours. After one of Ms. Mireles’s clients made multiple Poshmark purchases of around $250 each, she messaged her star shopper. The woman admitted she was now working from home and splurging on Poshmark to break up her work day.

None of the sellers I talked to reported any concerns among their buyers about purchasing contaminated clothing. Medical experts have said that the risk of catching coronavirus through fabric is low, yet a representative from eBay recommended washing all clothes purchased on its site before wearing them as an extra precaution.

The coronavirus has affected what sort of item constitutes a hot seller. Grailed, whose vendors specialize in hyped streetwear and high fashion, witnessed a jump in listings of designer face masks, like one from Virgil Abloh’s brand Off-White which recently sold for $110. Sofa-bound shoppers are also gravitating to anything cozy. At Depop, sales in the U.S. of sweatshirts are up 320%, tracksuits up 170% and loungewear sales are up 260% compared to last year’s figures. New York’s Ms. Chen noted that any of her items that are relevant to downtime sell swiftly on Poshmark. “I listed some workout pants that I haven’t worn, and those sold pretty quickly because people are looking for an at-home loungey-wear thing.”

But as our collective need to dress for social outings has largely evaporated, not all clothes are flying off the digital shelves. Predictably enough, Mr. Sweetnam at eBay noted that sales of formalwear and dress shoes are down. Strappy sandals don’t get a lot of screen-time at Zoom parties.

SOURCE : WALL STREET JOURNAL

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Tarannum Naaz

Tarannum Naaz

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