You’ve started a reselling business to sell clothes online but you’re hearing a lot about selling on ebay vs Poshmark and you’re not sure which one to pick as a beginner reseller.
I get it. They both have pros and cons and as a beginner, and you want to make sure you’re starting your clothing reselling business off the best way possible.
From someone that’s sold thousands of dollars on each platform, I’m going to share the pros and cons of ebay and Poshmark so you can make an informed decision about where you want to start your clothing reselling business online.
Get these free weekly planner sheets just for resellers!
Different market on each platform
In general, Poshmark buyers are mainly younger (under 35) while ebay has a diverse age range of shoppers. This is important because it will impact the types of items that will sell on each site. For example, a pair of golf shoes are likely to sell faster on ebay than on Poshmark due to the market differences.
This can have some pros and cons to it. More users mean that you can get your items seen by more potential buyers and increase the chance that someone out there will want to buy it. However, this can also mean more competition from other sellers.
More competition can drive prices down due to supply and demand. It doesn’t mean that you’ll always get more for an item on Poshmark than ebay, but the market price for each item can vary on each platform so before listing something, check the comps on both sites.
Poshmark only serves the US and Canada while ebay is worldwide.
This explains the size difference in their markets. Knowing that ebay serves the world means that you have the opportunity to sell “off-season” items year-round. For example, swimsuits can sell in the dead of winter because somewhere in the world it’s warm. Knowing that ebay serves the world can also open up for selling items that might be on-trend in Europe but not here in the US.
Shipping is easier on Poshmark
This is one of the biggest pros for beginner resellers. The shipping on Poshmark is very straight forward and hassle-free. Essentially, the buyer pays a flat rate for shipping. Then, once an item sells, it will simply go in a USPS priority box or bag, you print the label from home, put it on there and ship it. The USPS boxes are even free.
Figuring out shipping on ebay is one of the biggest hurdles for new resellers. You have to learn the USPS shipping rates, rules, packaging rules, etc. Ebay does provide some guidance on their site and in the listing, but it can still feel overwhelming to a new seller.
The biggest issue is that you don’t want to undercharge for shipping and have to eat that cost. The perk of ebay having a variety of shipping options though is that you can offer the buyer a cheaper option if their item is lightweight or the buyer is willing to wait longer for their item to arrive.
Does shipping on ebay intimidate you a bit? Ashley at Hustle at Home Mom did a great job explaining ebay shipping for beginners in this video. Note that the prices she lists will change each year so they may have gone up slightly since.
Poshmark has limitations on what you can sell while you can sell anything on ebay
As of March 2020, Poshmark only allows you to sell in the following categories:
- Clothing, shoes, bags, accessories (i.e. blets, glasses, hats, etc) and jewelry
- Home decor items like art, kitchen items, and office supplies
While you can list in any of these categories, clothing is still predominantly what they’re known for.
Ebay allows you to sell pretty much anything (that’s legal) from electronics to toys to clothes.
This means that you aren’t limited when you’re trying to start your reselling business. For instance, when sourcing items for your inventory, you can look at all the areas of a thrift store vs only the clothing section.
Being able to sell more variety means that you increase your chances of finding items worth selling. There’s also more money to be made selling in other categories than clothing. While there are exceptions of course, in general, clothing sells for a lot less than shoes or other categories.
The types of items that sell on each platform are different
Poshmark tends to be more on trend and for a younger crowd of buyers. Ebay can still sell trendy items but due to the wide variety of users on ebay, pretty much any type of item will likely sell at some point.
This only matters if you want more variety to choose from for your inventory and if you personally like searching for more trendy items or not. For example, if you’re shopping and you find a knit sweater cardigan with birds all over it, then you probably would want to list that kind of item on ebay.
Ebay has limits while Poshmark does not
Poshmark has no limitations on the number of items you can list or sell as a new user on their platform.
On the other hand, ebay has limitations on the number of items you can list and sell in a given time period.
As a true beginner, ebay will limit your account activity early on until you’ve made a certain number of sales.
While this definitely frustrating as a new seller ready to get started on ebay, this policy is actually really good for the overall success of ebay.
Buyers need to view ebay as a trusted site where they can buy items without fear of being scammed. To ensure that you’re a legit seller and aren’t going to scam people, ebay places these holds on your account until you prove yourself basically.
This is where I would say that you can list items on ebay to get started and then list them on Poshmark as well to get your business going. Once the ebay limits are lifted, then you can start building your ebay business more.
Even after the initial limits are increased, you still have a monthly limit on how many items and the dollar amount you can list and sell.
Poshmark requires social sharing while ebay doesn’t
Think of Poshmark as a blend of e-commerce and social media. One big component of Poshmark is that you build a following and follow other sellers with a style you like. Like any social media platform, you can like and share content (aka listings) that you like.
This is a pro and a con as a Poshmark reseller.
On one hand, other people will share your listings with their followers and it’ll get your products in front of more eyeballs and hopefully it’ll sell faster.
On the other hand, if you don’t share your own listings multiple times a day, then your sales will be minimal. Poshmark has it built into their algorithm because they want it to maintain a community feel.
This also means that if you want more sales, in theory, you can simply share your listings more and you can increase the chance of that item selling. In that way, it feels like you have a little more control over your sales than with ebay. Though with the recent offer the watchers feature on ebay, this gives a little more interaction with buyers.
No listing fee for Poshmark
A huge perk of selling on Poshmark is that you can list as many items as possible without being charged. Unlike ebay where they charge you just to list an item (it’s only like 30 cents but still), you can list items for sale on Poshmark at no upfront cost.
Selling fees are different on ebay and Poshmark
The final selling fee that ebay and Poshmark is definitely something to consider when choosing a platform for reselling.
Currently, ebay’s selling fee (combined with the Paypal fee) is around 13% for most categories. Poshmark’s fee is 20%. The other difference is that ebay bills you once a month to pay for your selling fees while Poshmark takes it out immediately.
When you can get your money from the items you’ve sold
This is tricky and depends on how long you’ve been selling.
On ebay, if you’re a new seller, they’ll hold your money until the buyer receives the item and there are no issues. While this is annoying, it definitely makes sense to keep ebay’s platform from being full of scammers that would sell an item, pocket the money and the buyer gets an empty box. So this rule isn’t fun but I get why it’s there.
After you’ve been selling for awhile and ebay/Paypal know that you’re an honest seller, you will get your money as soon as someone pays.
On ebay you can require someone to pay immediately or you can allow a few days for them to pay for it. It’s your choice but either way, you wont’ see the money until the is paid for.
Poshmark holds your money until the buyer receives the item and “accepts” it in the app. Again, this is a way to make sure you’re selling quality items.
Once a buyer accepts the money, you have to manually request that POshmark do a deposit into your account or send you a phsycial check. So it can still be a bit before you get your money from a sale. You also have the option to leave the money in your Poshmark account to buy items from Poshmark for yourself.
The seller tools available to you on ebay and Poshmark
The seller tools on ebay are far more advanced than those on Poshmark, but Poshmark is making improvements as they develop.
On ebay, sellers can track their sales, see traffic stats, see all of their orders and which need to be shipped, run promotions and more all from one area.
Poshmark allows you to see your sales and some stats, but they don’t really have a way for you to run a promotion. They also have sale reports you can run to see specific items that sold so you can analyze the data for trends.
I personally like the seller dashboard that ebay offers but both platforms provide information that is helpful to your business as a reseller.
Is Poshmark or ebay better for a beginner reseller?
I think this will depend on your circumstances and your skills/expertise.
If shipping isn’t your strong suit, then Poshmark is definitely easier when it comes to shipping.
You don’t have to learn anything about it other than which free USPS boxes you need and then you just print the label and go. Ebay requires some learning about how to ship at the best rate and the different USPS rules. You’d also have to buy some shipping supplies.
If you really don’t know much about clothes and want to be able to list a variety of items, such as a toys and electronics, then starting on ebay is going to make more sense because you’re not limited in what you can sell.
If you need to bootstrap your new business and really don’t have the money to spend out of pocket on listing fees, then Poshmark is the way to go since they don’t charge you anything to list.
If you’re limited on time, then it’s a toss up. Ebay doesn’t require you to do anything once you have the listing up while Poshmark needs you to take some time to share and like items throughout the day. On the flip side, it’s way faster and easier to list on Poshmark than it is ebay.
Should you choose to sell clothes on ebay or Poshmark?
Even though it might be easier to start with one, you don’t have to choose only one if you feel like you can’t make a decision. A lot of resellers actually list their items on both platforms.
It’s really easy to crosspost items and list something on both ebay and Poshmark. This would allow you to take advantage of both. The biggest thing to remember is that if you sell an item on one platform, you would have to remember to take it down from the other one so you’re not faced with selling an item you no longer have in stock.