When Poshmark opened its platform for the sale of home accessories last month, it was a sign that the fast-growing e-commerce company was expanding from a composite fashion app to a lifestyle marketplace. The app, which previously only allowed people to buy and sell new and used clothing, is now encouraging users to sell home items such as accents, wall art, and bedding – basically anything you would find next to clothing in a Anthropology. It is a logical step for the company because it is reportedly seeing an IPO this fall, and one that has paid off. The home market has grown faster in the four weeks since its launch than other new markets, such as the men's part of the app, have told in the past, co-founder of Poshmark, Tracy Sun. The edge. "What the acceleration of the home market says is that the sale of houses is not that different from the sale of fashion," says Sun.
Selling on Poshmark is easy: sellers receive a free pre-printed shipping label for items under five pounds and Poshmark takes a reduction in every transaction – 20 percent of each sale above $ 15 and a fixed rate of $ 2.95 for items below $ 15. Since it was founded in 2011, the sellers struck $ 1 billion in revenue last year, talking about the success of the socially driven approach to the platform. The app closely matches the feed design of Instagram, and users can post comments on other & # 39; cabinets & # 39; or follow and leave their profiles. It also rewards social behavior by offering lists that were most recently shared with the feed. "Sharing is a big part of many of our algorithms," says Sun. “This is really an important basis for the success of a seller at Poshmark. In every social network you must stay in touch with the community and stay active. "
"Active" is exactly the word to describe the Poshmark community, which consists of 40 million users, 5 million of whom are sellers. How successful you want to be at Poshmark depends on how much effort you put into the app. While some are casual users who want to earn a few bucks by cleaning up their closets, others are seasoned veterans who search thrift stores and vintage stores to manage their stores and find items to turn for profit. The most dedicated sellers meet at annual PoshFest conferences organized by the company and go on Reddit and YouTube to share tips and rage about buyers who lowball them with ridiculous offers. Their responses to the new home market were mixed, with some users grieving the loss of what made the platform special, and others using it as an opportunity to sell more types of items.
Maria Materasso, a full-time Poshmark seller, was shocked by the decision. "My first reaction was," why "? Poshmark distinguished herself by being just a fashion website," she said in a Youtube video about the update. Materasso, who has been selling on the platform since 2013, earns about $ 1,200 a month from the site and does cupboard reviews for people who want to improve their sales experience. “I really think it will help attract more eyes to the site. However, I still believe it will give a kind of & # 39; garage sale & # 39; atmosphere and I don't like, & # 39; she said The edge.
A scroll through the home section highlights some peculiarities: half-used candles, way too many porcelain dolls and 15 lb weights that would make the seller lose money if the item was sold due to additional shipping costs. Many people said they didn't even know that home items were not allowed in the app until the official announcement.
"It looked like a free-for-all when it hit the market and I saw everything from baby pot training seats to furniture, but now it seems that people understand it a bit more and what is allowed," Ashley Dey, said another full-time Poshmark seller The edge. Dey is a Poshmark ambassador, a status given to active sellers with good reviews, and it gets its benefits as if it is recommended to introduce new & # 39; Poshers & # 39; to follow as a person. With over 380,000 followers in the app and 2,430 offers currently available in her closet, Dey has started recording home items on her exciting journeys. "The items sold for me have all been rather quirky, including a baby Large container, two ring holders, wall art, and some sloth yoga statues," she says. The home market is a welcome addition to Dey. "Before the new market was launched, people would still mention home items, so I think with the official launch and filters, it's much more organized."
Poshmark has competitors from other app-based startups, and sellers often place their items on multiple platforms for better sales. there is The doll, another Instagram-like app to sell clothing, aimed at a younger, sharper audience; The RealReal, for more high-quality and luxury items, with which Poshmark competes by offering its own authentication services for items above $ 500; and with the addition of the home market, Poshmark now hunts for wider marketplaces such as Mercari and eBay.
Moderation is a problem on every social platform and in the case of Poshmark, the company invests in machine learning and algorithms to find items that violate its policies, such as counterfeiting, electronics, and used makeup. "Without technology, people can't really keep up with the growth digital companies can achieve," says Sun. The platform also relies on its community to flag forbidden items, and some users have problems with the annoying review process that follows. "They should pay me if I decide to do this," a user wrote in the Poshmark subreddit about their growing dissatisfaction with the platform since the addition of the home market. "The inclusion of this feature implies that Poshmark does not have the infrastructure to handle growing reports." As a fail safe, the app provides a buyer protection system that gives them three days to check that the item they have received was as previously described to release payment to the seller.
Sun says the overwhelming response to the home market has been positive so far, but the team has still received some requests from people who want to return to the original fashion-focused experience. Sun takes these users into account and therefore says that home items are included as a whole new market. "If you don't want to look at household items, you can continue to go to the women's market and you won't see any of the household items when you get there," she says.
There is one feature that distinguishes Poshmark from other social networks, and that is the fact that there is no private messaging system. So if you have a question for the seller, you must post it publicly on the listing of an item. This was intentional because most of the comments are usually about items, such as whether a shoe is made to measure. It reduces sellers having to answer the same questions again and helps other potential buyers. It is also the reason why many of the conversations about Poshmark take place outside the platform, a fact that Sun appreciates.
"It's really important to give people the space to talk authentically about what they experience," says Sun. "And I watch as many of those YouTube videos & # 39; s as I can."