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Clothes Funeral

CurvyMermaid

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One of the side effects of weight loss surgery is the gradual funeral for potentially some of your favorite clothes and a re-introduction of shopping fun.  As I’ve said before, I am a big thrift store shopper.  This is a great way to add some new clothes into my wardrobe without breaking the bank.  Sure, I could wait until I’m at goal but I strongly believe that what you wear impacts how you feel.  This emerging body can fit into so many new fashions!


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But with the clothes funeral, I knew I wanted to offset some of my purchases (even if they were thrift store) with resale and evaluated a few options.  I should note that I reserved this effort of resale only for the nicest items, not designer names, but only the items that showed no wear.  The more well loved clothes I donated.  For the nicest clothing, my local consignment store said they did not deal in enough business with plus-size fashion to make it worth my while.  ThreadUp was a negative experience - bluntly it was a complete and total ripoff.  With this program, you mail in a box of clothes and they decide what they are worth.  You are given no choice to counter and I think they use this to their advantage to lowball you.

My greatest success has been with Poshmark.  Poshmark is free to sign-up and easy to post within the app and through a computer.  The basic system is that you add items to your ‘closet’ and any item that sells under $15, Poshmark takes $2.95.  Any sales of $15 or more, the fee is 20%.  In exchange, they handle the shipping label and customer service end, although people still message you with specific questions on your items.  If it has to do with shipping and payment then Poshmark should take care of it. 

POSITIVE EXPERIENCES SO FAR

Easy to use – both as seller and buyer, with clothing and accessories.

Lots of users on the site so you’ll get plenty of views and before I had even posted all of the original items I wanted to post, I had sold an item!

Simple system to claim your money (or spend it back on Poshmark)

Nice options to increase sales (like ‘Bundle’ discounts where shoppers that buy more than 1 item can get a discount).  What is nice about this option is that I can control how many items are required in the bundle to get the discount and how much of a discount.  In addition, as a shopper adds things to a bundle or even ‘likes’ an item, you can offer them a private discount, which can include shipping or overall cost of the item.

 

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POINTS TO CONSIDER

You must have your own supply of shipping boxes/bags.  I just bought some off of Amazon and also went to Dollar Tree when I sold larger items.  I sold a jacket and found a box at work.  So not really a big deal but worth mentioning. 

The shipping label covers up to 5 lbs so if you sell any items that weigh more than that, you are losing a big cut of your profit (see figure below for what they charge for overweight items). 

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From the buyer end, you only have the option of a $6.49 expedited shipping label, which can be pricey if you buy just one item although if you buy a bundle, it would work out in your favor.

Also from the buyer end, you obviously don’t get to try items on so it works best if 1) the item is a style and size you know will fit from other purchases and 2) is low priced enough that you’re willing to take a risk.

I have only needed to contact the Poshmark Customer Service once (when I went to print the shipping label, the buyer’s name was absent) and unfortunately their ‘assistance’ was useless.  I was able to message the buyer directly to get her name but I am interested to see how they handle any ‘real’ problems should they arise.

Who knows how long it might take to sell some items?  If you want a quick way to get rid of items, eBay might be a better option.  I have some wetsuits, winter jackets, waders that I’ll be selling because they are just too specialty for this audience.

 

OVERALL

Overall, it has been a pretty good experience.  I’m not trying to make loads of money off of the items (most items I price in the $8-10 range) but my earnings did fund the purchase of some bras in my correct size, some new underwear and my sassy thrift dresses!  While I have not yet purchased from Poshmark, I will definitely look in more interest once I reach maintenance.  My size is changing too much right now to know what would fit so I really need to be in a dressing room.

 



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Wow, that sounds awesome!  I am way too lazy for something like Poshmark - no wait, that's so negative.  I am way too into reading for something like Poshmark - it sounds like it would take a big chunk of my "lying around reading trashy novels" time.  But I'm super impressed with you for doing the leg-work to figure all this out.  I'm a total personal finance geek, and this seems like a very solid practice for keeping your post WLS-finances in check and still feeling good about your new size(s)! 

In fact - if you're a reddit person, I bet they'd love to hear about this over on r/personal_finance.  :)  And though I may be too lazy to sell through it, I'm definitely going to check it out for buying!

 

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5 hours ago, Kio said:

it sounds like it would take a big chunk of my "lying around reading trashy novels" time

I hear that.  That was one of my criteria -- it could not take up too much time.  I try to minimize time invested by stockpiling clothes intended for Poshmark and then doing the clothing 'fashion shoot' all in one morning (20 items, 10 minutes).  On a separate day, I download them from my online cloud and post them with descriptions (20 items, 30 minutes).  If something sells, I can package it in mere seconds and then I only ship on days when it works with my schedule to stop at the post office on the way to something else (20 items, 30 minutes).  Add in some time responding to offers and requests for additional information (20 items, 10 minutes). So maybe, conservatively each item takes 4 minutes to reap the benefit?  If I want to supplement the photos I took with photos on models or info from online, that time would go up but I've tried to stream line as much as possible.

As I said, I'm definitely not doing this to make much money since my items are mainly $8-10 but it appeases my guilt at buying clothes to replace the ones that no longer fit!

 

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1 hour ago, CurvyMermaid said:

I hear that.  That was one of my criteria -- it could not take up too much time.  I try to minimize time invested by stockpiling clothes intended for Poshmark and then doing the clothing 'fashion shoot' all in one morning (20 items, 10 minutes).  On a separate day, I download them from my online cloud and post them with descriptions (20 items, 30 minutes).  If something sells, I can package it in mere seconds and then I only ship on days when it works with my schedule to stop at the post office on the way to something else (20 items, 30 minutes).  Add in some time responding to offers and requests for additional information (20 items, 10 minutes). So maybe, conservatively each item takes 4 minutes to reap the benefit?  If I want to supplement the photos I took with photos on models or info from online, that time would go up but I've tried to stream line as much as possible.

As I said, I'm definitely not doing this to make much money since my items are mainly $8-10 but it appeases my guilt at buying clothes to replace the ones that no longer fit!

 

Good for you! It sounds like your system is working well for you. I think it’s a great idea and happy it’s an option for those willing and able to use it. I think it would make the pain of having to buy all new stuff easier to take. 

I still have a pile of stuff to take to the tailor! At some point I assume I will be done with that :/ 

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Darn - I literally just took two bags of clothing to Veterans pickup station last weekend. I had thought about going to a consignment place near me, as many of the items were barely worn and in good condition, but decided it wasn't worth the hassle. I'll have to remember poshmark for the future, however! Thanks for the explanation on how it works!

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