For the last two years, I’ve been buying primarily all of my clothing on Poshmark or other secondhand sites (I also love TheRealReal). I actually started buying online secondhand when I was planning for my wedding, and fell in love with the process of it. If you’re new to Poshmark, use my code ALMENDRARIMBY for a $10 discount when joining.
Nowadays, it’s so easy to just have everything that we could ever want right at our fingertips. You want a white shirt? Amazon will deliver it later that day.
Don’t get me wrong, I still use Amazon (not for clothes, like never for clothes). I enjoy and appreciate the convenience that technology gives us. Especially because we live half of the year in rural Nicaragua, where we don’t even have addresses- let alone delivery. So yeah, when I come back to the States I’m super freaking grateful for how fast things happen.
I also like a little bit of the chase, ya know? When things are too fast, they’re easy. And easy is boring. Plus, when we get too accustomed to instant gratification, sometimes that can also turn into overspending…and even addiction.
Although I know I’ll never have that problem (I’m too much of a minimalist), I do enjoy the treasure hunting nature of secondhand shopping. It’s not only about the digging to find that one perfect nugget, but it’s also scoring a good price. It’s just a little more fun, I guess.
How To Score On Poshmark: 5 Tips To Navigating Secondhand Shopping Online
Benefits of Buying Second Hand
Like I said, I love the hunt. It makes the shopping process more engaging, rather than a few mindless clicks. Also, I think it’s great to slow down, and try a little harder to get something we want, rather than instant gratification.
I’d say most people look to Poshmark and other secondhand online shops to get a good price on otherwise expensive items. Let’s be real, most of us can’t afford (or don’t want to spend) thousands of dollars just to get one outfit. While I’m all for investment pieces, I’m also about affordable fashion.
Reducing Fast Fashion
We all know about the evils of fast fashion. And, I’m sure that we all still contribute to it (I know that I do). I’m not perfect AT ALL when it comes to making small changes for the environment, but I do try. That has to count for something, right?
The cool thing about buying secondhand is that it gives clothing a way longer lifespan. That shirt that you love might’ve otherwise been thrown out, because the previous owner never thought it looked quite right on them.
Not only are vintage pieces unique and stunning in their own right, but you can also find certain styles of designs that might no longer be manufactured. We all have those one pair of jeans we love, but couldn’t find again. Guess what? You can probably find it on Poshmark.
I love that you don’t have to be at the mercy of trends- especially when you happen to hate the current trend- and you can actually find things that you like…even if they’re older.
5 Tips to Navigate Secondhand Shopping Online
Let’s be real, buying second hand- whether it’s online or in person- does take longer than buying new. You need to hunt for what you want. That being said, I know that it’s not as convenient as buying new. But, I promise, once you score on your first item- you’ll get what all the fuss is about.
I’ve had so many friends ask me how I always find good stuff on Poshmark, because when they look they can’t find anything. Their woes really inspired this post, because I realized I actually have a bit of a strategy with it.
Make Sure You Have Time
If you’re buying something special for a big event (like I was for my wedding), make sure to start shopping well in advance. Because you need to dig through more *stuff* when you’re buying secondhand, you might not find the exact perfect thing in 5 seconds like you can when buying new. Giving yourself time to enjoy the experience, and actually sift through everything will ensure that you’ll actually get what you want.
Right now, I’m planning for my friend’s wedding in Italy this summer. It’s at Lake Como, super bougie and over the top. We’re also tying the trip in with an even bougier babymoon, which means I want to be dressed for the part. I started browsing literally 9 months in advance. Just to see what’s out there, to compare prices, to get an idea of what looks I want to go for.
Having time to shop helps me to really enjoy the process, rather than settling for something I don’t really want, because I’m in a time crunch.
Know Exactly What You Want
This is huge. The more specific you are in your search, the more likely you are to find exactly what you want. If you go onto Poshmark and just look for a cropped white tee, you’ll be inundated with a million and one options. Instead, know the exact brand or designer that you want. If you know the name of the style itself- even better.
I would suggest browsing by designer, rather than a generic search like “ cropped white tee.” If you’re already looking within the designer that you like, then you can narrow it down through the filters to look at only shirts in only white.
If you’re stumped on which designers to even look for, then I’d start with Pinterest first. I did this for the wedding, because I’m not exactly in the know of the best designers for cocktail dresses or gowns. Once you get your inspo from Pinterest, then you can plug those brands into Poshmark to find your dream item with a little more ease.
Like It First
Okay, so let’s assume that you found the perfect dress and you want to buy it. Hold tight! It’s probably not going anywhere. Remember, this isn’t a few happy clicks, and then it’s on your doorstep. You can barter on Poshmark. Some people hate that, and some people (like me) love it. What can I say, it reminds me of living and shopping abroad.
So,you found the perfect dress. Press the heart button to “like” it first. Keep scrolling! There might be someone else selling that same dress. If there is, make sure to “like” all of them.
Why am I telling you to do this? Because liking the item sort of starts the conversation with the seller. Plus, if you’re browsing without liking anything, then you might have a hard time finding it again later. You can always go back to look at all of your likes anytime, which makes it easy to keep your wishlist organized.
In my experience, about 7 times out of 10 if I like something first, then the seller will send out a private offer after the fact. This is a great way to start bidding on an item in a way that’s been initiated by the seller. I find that when the seller initiates, I get a better price than when I initiate- because it usually means they really want to get rid of it. Not always, of course. But, usually.
Wait at least 24 hours to see if you’ve had an offer come through. If you haven’t, then send one through. Most of the time, the private offer will come through within those 24 hours. That window is also a good indication of how badly they want to sell it.
You’re ready to bid on your first item. One thing you should know, if you bid and the seller accepts- you will be automatically charged, and the item will be shipped to you. So, don’t bid on anything you don’t want to actually buy. I personally don’t think that Poshmark makest this clear enough, which is why I’m emphasizing it here.
I wouldn’t ever buy anything without at least trying to send a bid through. Even if you’re okay with the listed price, it literally just doesn’t hurt to try. The worst that happens is they decline, or don’t respond- and then you can just go through and buy it at the listed price anyways.
When you’re ready to place an offer, offer lower than you actually want to pay. This allows for wiggle room with the negotiation. Most of the time, the seller will counteroffer, and you can go back and forth through a few rounds landing on a happy medium. This is why you want to come in a little lower than you’re actually comfortable with, so that you can land in the middle together.
Some people feel weird about this piece, because they feel bad about offering something low. Don’t feel bad! Sellers know that this is a part of Poshmark, so they’ve probably priced their items a little higher than they need to so they can also have that wiggle room in the negotiation. If you really don’t like it, then shop on TheRealReal instead.
This advice can really be applied to all shopping, particularly if you are splurging on an investment piece. I know it can be tempting to stay in the comfort of trends, but I promise you that the classics will last you a hell of a lot longer.
The truth is, many people buying on Poshmark want to score good deals on designer items. I get it. I love doing designer pieces, too. So, when I’m going all in a pricier piece- then I like to consider how often I’ll be able to use it.
Take that Italian wedding for instance. It’s a black tie wedding, and I haven’t been to one of those in years so I didn’t have a dress. I also didn’t even have heels, honestly. The only heels I had were from my own wedding, and I’m not about to wear bridal Manolos.
I decided to spend more modestly on the dress, but splurge on the shoes, because I knew that the likelihood of wearing the shoes again was a lot higher than the dress. Sure, I could wear the dress at the next wedding I went to. But I could also wear it once, and then sell it on my own Poshmark account. It’s a lot easier to sell a once worn dress, than once worn shoes- because shoes show signs of wear a lot faster in the soles.
The same with the bag and accessories I chose. I knew these would be investment pieces for a number of nice events I would go to in the future, rather than something I’d only use once for this wedding, and this wedding only. So, when I bought the investment pieces, I went with classic looks instead of something super flashy and trendy.
Buying classic is not only helpful to you as the consumer, because it will give the item a longer lifespan with you- but it’s also helpful if you decide to be a seller, too.
Why? Because trends come and go. But the classics are here to stay, baby. That means whether you sell it 5 months later, or 5 years later- there’s still a demand for it.
Phew, we did it. I think we got you well on your way to finding some chic outfit at a great price.
Happy shopping, friends! Don’t forget to use the code ALMENDRARIMBY if you’re just signing up, so get a $10 credit. Yay!