Keshia Ross, 32, was studying events management at Johnson & Wales University in 2013 when she decided to try selling off some of her old clothes on online secondhand marketplace Poshmark. "I was selling them pretty quickly," Ross says, "and I realized that I could actually make decent money doing this."
When she ran out of clothes to sell in her closet, Ross decided to go out looking for inventory in thrift stores to continue her hustle. In 2018, when she realized her sales were enough to cover basics like rent and bills, she decided to become an online seller full time using both Poshmark and other platforms like eBay and Mercari.
Thus far, Ross has made more than $40,000 on Poshmark alone. Here's how she did it and the advice she'd give anyone curious about following in her footsteps.
"Find your niche," Ross advises sellers who want to replicate her success. "Figure out what items you're going to sell and what's gonna work for you."
Some Poshmark sellers sell miscellaneous, vintage paraphernalia; others focus on formalwear and wedding dresses. Figure out what you'd want to sell, what customers want, and what your ideal price points are before you dive in.
Although her hustle began with Ross simply selling items from her closet as a way to get rid of them, "I quickly got a feel for what buyers were looking for and at what price point," she says. That's been key in building her success.
One of her most significant transactions was the recent sale of a vintage, sequined Bergdorf Goodman jacket. "I paid about $10," she says, and sold it for $275.
"That's not an everyday kind of sale," she says, but "things like that are really what keeps me going." A more typical markup might be buying a pair of sneakers in good shape for $6 and selling them for $40.
Another reason for her success is that Ross genuinely loves what she's doing.
"I have a little bit of a shopping addiction," she says. "It's just something that I'm very passionate about. I can honestly say when Sunday night rolls around, I'm not dreading waking up Monday to work. I'm actually really excited about it."
And it's not just the shopping: She's getting to help others find items they love, too. "The ability to find something that somebody actually wants" is a thrill, she says.
The pandemic has certainly affected Ross' business. Fewer people are shopping, and during quarantine she couldn't go to the thrift stores to look for inventory. To solve the latter problem, she pivoted, turning to the very platforms she sells on to look for apparel.
"If someone was on Poshmark wanting to sell a pair of shoes for $10," Ross says, she'd buy them "and then resell [them] on Poshmark itself for maybe three times more than that."
Though this year has been challenging, Ross is optimistic about the future.
"I don't see the used clothing market going anywhere. I feel like it's definitely on the rise," she says. "I feel like there's room for growth here to make it as big as I want it to be."
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