Photo by Annie Lomshek and Multimedia by Madeline Hlobick
Sophomore Kiki Ehrich is a dedicated lacrosse player, a new tennis player and also one of many her age who are discovering a profitable new hobby: fashion resale.
East is seeing a rise in the use of Poshmark, a five-year-old website and app that connects used clothing buyers and sellers in a social media-like interface. It’s one of many apps that are changing people’s relationship to clothes, even allowing extracurricular-heavy students like Ehrich to easily sell clothes on the side.
Poshmark does take a commission of 20% for sales of $15 or more. It’s considerably higher than that of many other apps like Tradesy, which takes 9%, or DePop and Mercari, both of which take 10%. However, users consider the commission well worth the convenience of Poshmark, one of its single biggest draws, especially for a new demographic of interested but busy students. Sellers only need to take photos of their clothes and make a post — a process that takes sophomore Sarah Grimm, another seller, about five minutes each time. Once a purchase has been finalized, Poshmark simplifies the shipping process by providing shipping labels via email.
Ehrich first found the app this summer when old clothes she wanted to get rid of started piling up. At first, she made a group account with friends Ava Johnson and Peyton Barbeau. Her first experience featured a slight learning curve, like those of many other first-time users, such as Grimm.
“I was uploading for thirty minutes,” said Grimm. “But then [the item] sold immediately, it was cool how fast the turnout was, which really made me want to keep doing it.”
Since then, Ehrich has started her own account and Poshmark became more of a daily commitment, attached to her typical social media regime, since she needs to interact with multiple potential buyers and sellers in a comment system before any final sales are made.
Business has been going steady; Ehrich made about 140 dollars in sales just last week. However, since Ehrich doesn’t make new purchases with her income like some choose to do, she admits that she’s actually running out of clothes to sell. Recently, she has sold a few rompers that she wasn’t entirely sure she was ready to part with.
“Once you wear a romper a few times you can get rid of it,” a friend told Erich comfortingly. “If you’ve gotten good usage out of your clothes, it’s okay to give it away.”
After all, that’s the foundation for fashion-resale and apps like Poshmark.
“You can talk to a lot of new people in there; I actually made a friend — she was helping me start my own line,” Ehrich laughed. “I don’t know where she’s from, though.”
However, Poshmark keeps its system relatively safe with a refund policy and a verification system for pricier items. This is especially important when it comes to the sales made by the the likes of Kiki’s sister, Caroline Ehrich.
Caroline started selling on Poshmark at the end of July this year. Almost two thousand followers later, she has gravitated from simple clothing and accessory offers to designer bags. So far, Caroline has bought and sold higher-end pieces by Tory Burch and Michael Kors, but her real focus is on Louis Vuitton.
She takes advantage of Poshmark’s trading option, being able to switch out different bags without paying nearly full price. However, she also frequently checks in to answer questions from potential buyers and negotiate prices for her pieces, such as with her Louis Vuitton Josephine Wallet that has been under negotiation for months now. Her highest priced item was a Louis Vuitton Montsouris GM that sold at $800.
For others like Grimm and sophomore Molly Kate Ford, however, Poshmark plays much less of a role in their free time and usually feature much more modest items. Both only upload pieces, including their families’ clothing, once or twice a month, and save up their profits.
“I wouldn’t say I’m obsessed with fashion, but it’s fun to play around with,” Grimm said.
Ford started her account two years ago as an eighth grader and has devoted little time to growing it since, despite her experience. The highest priced item she’s ever sold was a 40 dollar dress. Now and then, she even forgets to visit the app to check if sales have been made and if she needs to ship items.
This only proves the breadth of audience that apps like Poshmark can cater to in today’s age. From people like Caroline Ehrich, hunting for greater accessibility to luxury brands, to Ford, who is only looking for extra spending money now and then.