BY MARYSSA MCFADDEN
The story of broke college students struggling to pay for all their school and personal needs and eating ramen noodles for weeks on end is one which has been told plenty of times before. Yet, now, something new has been added to the tale.
It’s Poshmark – a free, trendy mobile app for iPhone and Android which allows people to buy, sell and browse clothing and accessories right from their phone.
Although it is currently only available in the U.S., they hope to be available in Canada soon.
Created in 2011 by Manish Chandra and co-founded by Gautam Golwala, Chetan Pungaliya and Tracy Sun, the idea was first formed when Chandra looked at his closet and saw piles of his wife’s shopping bags filled with unworn items. His vision was to make buying and selling lightly worn or new clothes easier for people by making a platform to take pictures of clothes and upload them to a virtual closet for others to look at and buy if they’re interested.
The app has quickly gained popularity since being created three years ago and has even been invested in by famous actor, Ashton Kutcher.
Not only can Poshmark help clear a closet of unwanted items, according to the app’s publicist, it can also act as a source of income and is a right fit for anyone.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re a high school student looking to make some extra allowance, a stay-at-home mom who wants to make another income, a businesswoman looking for a new outfit for a client meeting, or a trendy fashionista looking for the latest styles – Poshmark is for you,” said Joanna Riedl, Poshmark’s spokesperson and publicist.
While there are multiple websites available to buy and sell clothes, Riedl believes Poshmark has qualities which set it apart from its competitors.
“We’ve built something that brings these real-world interactions to the online marketplace, and it’s addictive. Our users are spending 20-25 minutes in the app daily. These women want to connect with each other. We have found that women come to Poshmark to buy and sell and they stay on the app because of the relationships they establish,” she said.
Another unique and added benefit is the way Poshmark acts as a middleman to the buyer and seller of which helps to make both people happy.
When an item is sold on Poshmark, the seller receives an email with a free shipping label to print out and fasten to her package before taking it to the post office. Poshmark then tracks the item in the app until it reaches the buyer who, at that time, will get a notification in the app to accept the sale. They have three days to report a problem if the item is damaged or different than it was described. Once they accept the sale, Poshmark releases the payment to the seller.
“By acting as a mediator and customer service provider, Poshmark has kept the process of buying and selling items within the marketplace safe and simple for all of its users,” Riedl said.
While some competitive platforms have restrictions on what products people on their site can sell, Poshmark allows users to sell virtually any type of clothing and accessories, anything from forever 21 to Michael Kors.
“We allow all gently used and new women’s clothing and accessories and you’ll get them at prices up to 70 per cent off retail. Our most popular categories are handbags and accessories, shoes and dresses and skirts,” Riedl said.
Since being created, many college students have started using the app as a way to pay for college and university tuition. A 21-year-old fashion merchandising student was even shown on Good Morning America after raising $80,000 since she started on the app in 2012.
For more information on Poshmark visit www.poshmark.com or search Poshmark on your iPhone’s or Android’s app store.