That Strange and Surreal World That Is Used Clothing

Female browsing through clothing In a Thrift Store

Most of us think nothing about buying used cars. Ditto for used appliances, sporting goods, and even exercise equipment. But used clothing? Yes, indeed. It is a real thing. Not only that, but it is also quickly becoming a very profitable thing. There are people who make a pretty penny selling used clothing online.

Poshmark is an online platform that combines social media with retail. It is one of the more popular online venues for buying used clothing. Does it work? Absolutely. MSN Money recently published an article about a California college student who has made about $31,000 over the last five years.

Sharing Equals Selling

In a typical e-commerce environment, you sell products through a variety of marketing strategies. You market within your own store. You market by sharing stuff on social media. You might even buy pay-per-click ads through Google, Facebook, and other platforms. Things are slightly different on Poshmark.

To Poshmark sellers, sharing equals selling. In other words, they share their inventories (known as closets) to their followers and in Poshmark parties. Other members share their closets in what is known as community shares. At the end of the day, most of your marketing is done through sharing.

Sharing is so important that an entire industry of virtual assistants has sprung up. Companies like PoshyVA handle thousands of Poshmark shares for clients each day. Meanwhile, clients can devote their time and resources to other parts of their businesses.

A New Way of Looking at Clothing

Poshmark is not the only venue for used clothing. It’s also not the only way you can buy used clothes online. There are others. Knowing this, it is reasonable to want to understand why. Why is it that something people would never have considered buying used just 10 years ago is suddenly the hottest thing in retail?

One of the first things that comes to mind is the pandemic. We already know that COVID-19 shutdowns truly put the brakes on retail. And even after retail outlets began reopening, there was a lot of hesitancy about shopping for clothing in person. People naturally flocked to online venues instead.

An extension of pandemic shutdowns was the realization that people no longer had unlimited clothing budgets. Many of us were forced to pare back because our bank accounts gave us no other choice. Perhaps this has created a whole new way of looking at clothing.

Over the last 10 years, consumers have not been afraid to spend several hundred dollars every year on new clothes. People with an affinity for turning over their wardrobes four times a year could spend thousands. But in reality, is that really necessary? The used clothing phenomena suggests it’s not.

The Same Brands for Less

The main appeal of used clothing is that you can get the same brands for less. Maybe you are a sucker for brands that normally sell for top dollar in fancy boutiques. You cannot afford boutique prices. However, you are also not afraid to wear used clothing. Buy used and you can get the exact same clothing at a fraction of the price.

Of course, buying is but one option. There are online platforms that work on a subscription model. You pay an annual fee and get new items shipped to you monthly. Likewise, you ship the old items back. If that doesn’t work for you, there are other platforms that offer used clothing on a rental basis.

The world of used clothing is strange and surreal. Nonetheless, it is a real thing. Just ask the people who make tidy sums selling on Poshmark.