Hi, I’m Mary, and this is my column no one asked for about things I like!
As regular readers of this column (Ginny) know, I’m broke. This summer, however, I discovered a new, nearly effortless way to make money: selling my old clothes online. A few years ago, I tried to sell an old Coach wristlet that had been given to me as a gift (if you’re the one who gave it to me, no offense!) on Ebay. I found the process of merely listing the little purse exhausting and in fact I’m not sure I even finished it. I ended up donating the item — which was brand-new with tags — to Goodwill simply because I wanted to get rid of it.
Several months ago, someone mentioned to me that they’d sold old clothes on Poshmark and made quite a bit of money. I was in the process of purging and decided to give it a try. I signed up online and was slightly annoyed to find out I had to download an app as well, but I went ahead and did it anyway. As soon as I started using the app, however, I realized it was well worth the space on my phone, since it was so much easier to use than Ebay. Fast-forward a few months and I’ve now made over $1,000 selling my and my sister’s old clothes on Poshmark. I can’t believe it either!
I’ve become so obsessed with Poshmark that I’ve realized it’s pretty much all I talk about anymore. To be fair, it is one of my largest sources of income right now, and it’s not weird when other people talk about their jobs, so why should it be weird when I talk incessantly about the Vera Bradley luggage I sold for $50 overnight? I have to admit I’ve become somewhat of an addict, and have now reached a point where I’m considering selling things I still wear. I just want it all gone! My dream is to own as little clothing as possible, then buy new clothes and start the process of selling them all over again.
Here’s how it works: you download the app and set up a little profile, including a picture and your sizes. Then, you simply take pictures of your clothes using the app, write a little description, fill out information like size, brand and original price, and set your price. If I’m selling a used sweatshirt, I’ll set the price at $10. If I’m selling a cute dress that’s still in good shape, I may list it at $30. I’ve learned to always list things at a higher price than I want to sell them at (duh) but not too much higher because lower prices get more attention (also duh). Here’s my profile. Buy my shit!
Poshmark is, to some extent, a social media app. You can follow people, they can follow you, and you can like and share each other’s items. It’s like Twitter, except not completely fucking toxic. If someone likes one of your items, you can (and should!) offer them a discount. They can then either accept your offer, counteroffer or infuriatingly ignore your extremely generous offer. Offering to likers is how I’ve sold almost all of the 90+ items I’ve unloaded on strangers around the country.
Many people have asked me how it’s possible I had that many items to sell. First of all, none of your goddamn business. Secondly, many of them belonged to my sister. Third, in my 20s, I was a little bit of a shopoholic. And finally, I used to have a real job for which I dressed up every day. I’m talking pencil skirts, blouses, cashmere cardigans, blazers and high heels. Since I’m now a broke ass comedian who bikes all over New York City to perform for crowds of tens for free, I don’t exactly have a lot of opportunities to wear silk leopard print skirts. Of course, even if I did have an occasion to wear such a skirt, I wouldn’t. That skirt is now too big for me and no longer my style. It’s also cute, flattering and on sale for $15 — buy now!
As I mentioned before, I used to have a bit of a shopping problem. After college, I lived in Atlanta and worked at CNN. I was determined to dress like a professional, so I spent most of my days off (which were Monday and Tuesday) at the mall accumulating clothing. Even long after I stopped wearing that clothing, I was hesitant to just give it away. Many of those items were not only too nice to drop off at the Goodwill, but meant something to me. They felt like evidence I’d grown up, told the story of my transition from adolescent to adult. I think some part of me was afraid that giving up my professional clothing would be a sign I was regressing.
This summer, I let go of that idea and sold nearly everything from those days. I’m now a 30-something woman (though I still look like I’m in my mid-20s and just haven’t slept in a month!) who owns several pairs of overalls and is never not wearing sneakers, but I’ve realized dressing like a teen doesn’t mean I’ve regressed. In fact, I think it means I’ve come into my own. I used to wear tight skirts because I thought that’s when women were supposed to wear. I wore heels because I was insecure about my height. I no longer care that I’m short, no longer feel that women should dress a certain way. My only priority now is being comfortable, by which I mean wearing clothing that is comfortable on my body but also which makes me feel comfortably like myself.
Furthermore, I’m overcoming my childish tendency to collect shit. When I was a kid, I had tons of different collections: stuffed animals, seashells, wizard candles, animal figurines from my mother’s boxes of teas, even Arizona Iced Tea bottles (tea figured prominently in my youth). As a young adult, I continued to build little collections, mostly of clothing. Now, I’m determined to become a minimalist. This summer, I threw out all sorts of knickknacks — including a shitload of seashells, some of which were (gulp) store-bought — and kicked my clothing purge into overdrive. Now, I’ve whittled down my closet to just the essentials: jeans, striped t-shirts, overalls, bodysuits, a few printed button-down shirts, a handful of nice dresses and, my proudest accomplishment of all, one skirt.
It’s a really nice skirt. It’s a black leather mini with buttons up the front that I purchased last year from Sezane. It was a splurge and I’ve only worn it a few times because I rarely dress up, but I fucking love it, and haven’t even thought about buying another skirt since. This is how I’m trying to live my life now: luxury minimalism. It’s what my friend Helen, whose family is Greek, calls the European model: buy one nice thing and only that thing every season and wear it constantly. I used to scour sale sections and buy tons of cheap crap, ultimately spending more money than if I’d invested in one thing I really wanted. Now, I mull over purchases for weeks, sometimes months before finally deciding to spend the money. Now that I write that, I realize it’s kind of sad — but also very responsible!
If you, however, are still interested in quantity over quality, please buy my old crap. It’s nice crap! I honestly love some of this shit — I just don’t wear it anymore. I mean, look at this cute ass chunky cardigan! I haven’t worn it in years and never will again, but maybe you would. One woman’s trash is another woman’s, if not treasure, then cheap, flattering dress she can wear to work until it gets stained or something. Which it currently isn’t! It’s in perfect condition (I only wore it twice) and on sale for $25. Buy now!
As always, I’d like to clarify that this is NOT a sponsored post. I received nothing for it and am pretty sure no one cares that I’ve sold all my clothes on Poshmark. Still, if anyone is reading and ever wants to give me literally anything for free, item to sell or not, I WILL TAKE IT!!!!!!
Anyway, I hope this was helpful. I’ll be back with more unsolicited recommendations soon!