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  • Pamela Tucker

Updated: Jun 12

Using the resale/consignment platforms including ThredUp, Poshmark, Crossroads, Mercari and most recently The RealReal has been exciting and somewhat rewarding on the financial side. Since I focus on reselling only during the weekends and maybe a few hours one or two nights a week, I'm not at the point of having set opinions about reselling /consigning and about the different platforms. Yet, passing along some experiences and thoughts so for those considering decluttering and participating in circular fashion and maybe hoping for a few extra bucks, perhaps these points will help.


For me, each platform has benefits and drawbacks. ThredUp and Crossroads were similar experiences for me as both sent a big prepaid plastic bag for me to fill up. Both gave tips as to what brands and items are in demand. Since I didn't have most of those wants I nevertheless carefully selected items and filled the bags and mailed them. After the packages were mailed the two platforms provided a different experience. With ThredUp, it took several months for the items to reach their website. They were transparent and kept in touch, noting it would be a certain date the bag would be processed so that was a nice touch. Each of the about 11 items was accepted but in the end only 8 sold. I believe after a set time if an item didn't sell it got a home someplace else. I was alerted each time I was able to get paid out and it was a simple process to get the money transferred to my PayPal account.


Crossroads processed my bag much faster and sent a check in a few weeks. I've no idea if any of the items shipped to them sold in their own stores. An ironic point is that in the bag sent to ThredUp I included an in demand brand "Madewell"-- an unworn blouse with tags or as they write that in the reseller world (NWT) and if it sold I believe I was to earn $3.57. It didn't sell. But a Madewell jacket and pants sold with rather small proceeds too. Again, ThredUp was very clear what the payout percentage is to be-- that is based on the selling price. But of course, when the clothes are sent to ThredUp one has no idea what they will be priced at on the website. Overall, the proceeds from these two platforms were quite small. Of course though if I sent highly demanded products maybe more would have sold and the payouts higher. Go figure!


Looking back on my ThredUp and Crossroads efforts, and then based on my experiences with Poshmark, I think I could have made out better financially if I placed this stuff on Poshmark. On the very, very positive side I was glad to have made a super start by using these two platforms in my decluttering efforts. Lesson learned: It is easier to have another party take photos and write the descriptions that ThredUp did. But if one is handy with a camera, can take good photos and write an engaging and accurate description I'd move away from the two platforms mentioned above and spend more time on Poshmark.


When evaluating Poshmark, where I've placed most of my efforts, the biggest benefit for me is the postage and mailing. There are flat postage rates, based on weight tiers of packages. Most of my packages are less than five pounds so the only postage decision is whether I'd pick up the full postage of $7.67 so buyer pays nothing, or when listing the item I could have the buyer pay the $7.67, or part of the postage. A good part is that you can always play around with who pays and how much of the postage through the life of the listing. Once postage determined and sale made the seller prints a shipping label. The label is then attached to a USPS box or a box the seller has on hand or buys. Easy peasy! Another great feature of Poshmark is it sells not only fashion but also home goods and electronics. I had a pair of candlesticks I liked but never used, so off to Poshmark the pair went and then sold.


The drawbacks I've experienced so far with Poshmark is how to price the item. Having

sold 45 items I must be pricing them somewhat ok. Or pricing them too low, with generous postage perks! Poshmark has quite a few events / giveaways to encourage sellers to lower prices and include a shipping discount. The two Poshmark mysteries for me are: (1) What to do when someone"likes" one of my items. (2) What is the time frame to lower the price of an item if it isn't "liked"or sold? When an item is liked: That typically means-- I think you are supposed to lower the price and postage to the liker(s). Here's where I'm stuck. Do I lower it immediately? If I do might I look desperate and then the liker will have the upper hand and make an even lower offer? Or do I lower the price later in the day, the next day, or in a week? Regarding the time to wait to lower a price, should it be during the Poshmark events or based on something else? Of course it could depend on if the earnings are needed and what profit amount makes sense. Reselling is a hobby and not a business for me. Yet, of course I don't want to "give away the store." Compensating for my pricing anxiety on Poshmark is the fact that once an item sells, the process to ship and get paid is quick and easy.


Ebay seems overwhelming to me. I've registered but have not posted anything. The articles about their rules and others reporting a challenging selling atmosphere make me skittish. However, when I have a few vacation days I'm going to give it my attention. I've posted just a few items on Mercari and paid little attention to them. The postage and shipping aspects don't look as simple as Poshmark's. I'm not dismissing this platform. So when I have a few vacation days Mercari will also get my attention.


A few weeks ago after finally realizing I'd never wear some of my higher priced and luxury brands fashion items, which are more than a few years old I decided to explore The RealReal. I was planning to drop off a pair of shoes at a New York City location and reached out to them for help and by consigning one item I thought I'd learn the process. But once I had an "Elite Luxury Manager" assigned to me, I ended up gathering up 10 items that were within a few days picked up by The RealReal. That was great customer service having picked up the items. It saved me at least two hours and transportation costs. I've been informed it takes about a month for items to post to the site. Working my way through TheRealReal is proving a bit difficult. The guidance is to review the "My Sales" page to track your sales progress, I haven't seen anything posted there yet.


However, in recent days I saw three of my items posted. And the best that could happen... Two have sold! The two items -- two pairs of Rupert Sanderson pumps. Because they are unique they were easy to see when I did a search/filter for them. The sale for one pair is shown in this post. (Despite the 20%discount, my payout is based on the $195. Hooray!) So far the fun part of The RealReal is seeing the price it attaches to the items. For selling these Rupert Sanderson pumps with a gold embellishment I'm glad I used a consignment platform. I didn't known how to price them. In fact though never worn, and box included I think $195 is much more than what I would have listed them for. I don't know the resale market for this brand and this particular style of shoes. Ebay, Mercari and Poshmark I believe would not be a place people would think of buying Rupert Sanderson shoes. Perhaps Tradesy would be a good platform for these and my other better stuff-- but I've yet to explore that platform.


Yep, I'll be adding reviewing and understanding the Tradesy platform to my vacation plans! Happy reselling!






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Updated: Jun 12


I perked up more than a month ago when I went to the Nespresso website to order a few sleeves (each sleeve equates to 10 servings) of the brand's 14 ounce Vertuo Alto Dolce coffee. I just refer to it as the grey coffee because that's the color of the foil on the capsule. The grey wasn't listed but the other 14 ounce offering, sleeves of the green foil capsule were available for purchase. I passed on purchasing the green as was hopeful the grey would soon reappear on the website. Was curious when the grey would be restocked so reached out to customer service. The person I spoke with on the Nespresso 800 number did not have any information so I then went to my "go to"complaint hot line: T-W-I-T-T-E-R. The Nespresso Twitter folks were quick to respond.


Only after questioning the Nespresso handle on Twitter I found out the 14 ounce size capsules are being discontinued and what will be introduced are new flavor offerings for the other capsule sizes. Hmph. I promptly passed along my displeasure. Then went to Bloomingdale's app and was glad to see the 14 ounce green capsules were available but would need to buy 4 sleeves, or 40 servings. Not a problem and I quickly placed the order. Within a day or two, Bloomingdale's notified me my order could not be fulfilled. Another Nespresso let down. Hmph.


Determined to locate the grey capsules I dashed out on a Saturday morning and found grey sleeves available at Bloomingdale's and then bought a few green sleeves at the Nespresso boutique. While at the boutique expressed annoyance with the green being discontinued. At the time I felt my opinion would not get communicated to the Nespresso decision makers. (Have I been proven wrong yet?)


Based on what I've read Nespresso had enjoyed being considered to be a luxury brand. However, looking back on my recent experiences it seems to have acted more like a mediocre consumer products company. It should have been proactive and then transparent in connection with discontinuing a product line. The 800 customer service number should have had up to date information.


More to the point-- I think it would have taken minimal effort on Nespresso's part to live up to a luxury brand feel. Nespresso has a data base of customers' purchases. In fact sometimes when I've gone to the boutique to buy sleeves, the sales associate omitted saying hello and went directly to asking me the phone number associated with my account.


Nespresso should have done a data review of the 14 ounce coffee purchasers and notified loyal customers the 14 ounce capsules are going to be discontinued. (I don't recall seeing an email notification about this.) It probably would be unable to fill orders for all those wanting to stock up on these capsules before they are phased out. However, a small dose of customer service would have been nice. I'd think a luxury brand would have communicated this phasing out of a well liked product.


Another oddity is as of today, the 14 ounce green foil capsule is still on the website in the shop for Vertuo coffee section. However, it is unavailable for purchase. There is an option to "Find Similar Coffee." When that is clicked, the 7.7 ounce or 1.35 ounce capsules of four other flavors appear. How are these similar? Aren't these smaller portion sizes?


Nespresso, please do better and bring back the 14 ounce capsules.



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  • Pamela Tucker

Updated: Jun 12

Continuing with my decluttering goals, in recent weeks I've spent time selecting and marketing some of my never worn things such as shoes and tops or slightly worn items such as bags and jewelry on the social marketplace Poshmark. Last weekend I reached my 10th sale. See photos below for a selection of my sales. (Would you buy these items?) That 10th sale permits me to access the Poshmark Wholesale Market. Don't know anything about the Wholesale Market so investigating it is on the agenda.


Before starting on Poshmark I didn't do any preliminary research covering how to be successful with it. Looking back I should have read pointers and tips which probably would have made some aspects of selling on Poshmark easier, or maybe even more profitable.


The top things I've learned so far: 1. Pricing the item is difficult. I think experience will inform my pricing judgment as time goes on. 2. Shipping is an important aspect of the sale and impacts potential profit.


Pricing

I've spent a good portion of my career doing competitive research. So naturally my pricing strategy here has included looking for the same or similar items on Poshmark and other social marketplaces such as Mercari and Tradesy. (Still deciding if I'd sell my better stuff on the RealReal) to get a starting point for the price. For the items I'm selling and where there's a match on any of the social marketplace sites, I've been underpricing my items. Of course the condition among the compared items vary so I use my best guess to see how my item compares. On top of that, I've been pretty quick to lower prices to those who liked the items and then also lower the prices to the public. These price reductions certainly helped my things move. My primary goal is to declutter and my secondary goal is income so I'm not concerned about my pricing strategy. Yet, so not to be foolish and almost giving things away"will be reconsidering pricing in the days ahead. For those where income is the key consideration, highly recommend that you focus on finding out how to price items before signing on to Poshmark or any other resale site.

Shipping

Packing Based on my experience, recommend you sell things that are easy to pack. If the item doesn't fit in a USPS Priority Mail box, you need to buy your own box. Odd shaped items such as handbags don't easily fit into these boxes. In my area, these shipping boxes are at least $4.00 or more. Also factor the time it takes to go to the store to buy the boxes.

Shipping price. Since five pounds is the limit on Poshmark before additional postage costs kick in on top of the $7.45 you are charged if you offer free shipping, (*) focus on selling items that weigh no more than 5 pounds, including the item, wrapping and the weight of the shipping box. (3) Shipping Materials: My first sales was a big Tory Burch leather tote. The tote was relatively large so I used lots of tissue paper and bubble wrap. These costs add up quickly. Furthermore, making sure the handles didn't get bent while packing was challenging!


(*) Poshmark sets a fee of $7.45 for shipping for five pounds or under. The buyer or shipper pays for it. Since my first sale I've picked up the $7.45 cost for each package. The $7.45 is deducted from my earnings. Poshmark also has the option of discounted shipping for buyer. I probably should not have opted to pick up the shipping cost because I'm having a difficult time convincing myself to change it. Will reconsider.


I'm finding this an interesting and fun experience. So much to learn and share!


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