Twenty-year-old student and North Carolina native Aleah Mazyck was bored one night in her freshman year of college when she stumbled into opening an online thrift shop. A marketing major immersed in the language of branding and a longtime buyer on the secondhand clothing platform Poshmark, Mazyck started creating a logo for her profile on the site, without thinking too much about what she'd use it for.
Her creation, "The Mazyck Boutique," had a nice ring to it. And it made Mazyck realize she could start selling some of her clothes on the site.
Two and a half years later, Mazyck has grossed more than $30,900 on Poshmark, plus more than $11,000 on another secondhand sales platform, Mercari. She sells $1,000-$3,000 worth of apparel every month, ranging from $60 Lululemon leggings to designer inventory like an Amanda Wakeley dress she recently sold for $275.
Here's how Mazyck built her digital thrift store and the advice she'd give anyone keen to replicate her side hustle success.
"I started off selling … stuff I got for Christmas [that didn't fit and I couldn't return]," Mazyck says, "and things in my closet that weren't really being worn." Hers wasn't the only closet she combed through for items to list: Among her first sales was a pair of Lululemon leggings her sister no longer wanted, which went for $60.
When she ran out of clothes from her own closet and her family's closets to sell, it occurred to Mazyck that she could go out looking for inventory as well. Before the pandemic, she'd go to consignment shops in her native Greensboro. These days, she seeks out inventory online.
Items in her store now range from $35 Urban Outfitters overall shorts to a Proenza Schouler dress going for $315. "I like to have a variety of trendy stuff and then more high-end [items]," she says. Lululemon is her "favorite brand to sell."
Mazyck typically spends between $30 and $80 on each item she buys, and her goal is to make "at least double" what she spends, she says.
Mazyck recommends that budding sellers start by figuring out a convenient schedule. "I can't go out sourcing for inventory every single day because, of course, I've got college classes," she says. So Mazyck schedules windows to shop for inventory.
She lists new items at night, and shares — a function on Poshmark enabling sellers to get their inventory on the top of search lists — during the day.
Let your seller schedule "work with what you have to do," she says.
"My [store] is full of fun and colorful pieces, because that's how I dress all the time," says Mazyck. "I will go out and take photos in front of murals around town just to kind of brighten up my [store]."
Let your store reflect you, she suggests. It makes the experience of being there fun and lets buyers know what they can expect from you as a seller, which can lead to more sales.
For example, Mazyck throws "Lululemon parties." She'll let her 6,000-plus Instagram followers know a set day and time when she'll be releasing a bunch of Lululemon items for them to shop on Poshmark, and then list 30 or 40 pieces of apparel in one fell swoop. The party nature often means those pieces sell quickly and lovers of the brand know even in the future, if they're looking for Lululemon pieces, she's likely to have some.
"I encourage new Poshmark users to spend some time researching trends and brands that are popular and sell well on Posh," she says. This will give you some direction as you decide what to sell and shop for, and how to price those items. "You can do this by checking the 'Sold' category under availability. Another great tool is going on sites like Pinterest to see what's in style and looking out for those items when sourcing for inventory."
Don't forget to look into platform fees. For sales under $15, Poshmark charges a $2.95 fee, and for sales above $15, the fee is 20%.
Mazyck doesn't plan on giving up her side hustle any time soon. "This is definitely not something that's going to stop after I get out of college," she says. "It's too fun to just end that quickly."
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