Too Clothes For Comfort – Part 3

Yes, I know you’ve been waiting SO LONG for the finale to my trilogy of terror on what to do with a messy closet.  Here’s the big reveal…

Cue James Bond Music

Ah, Daniel Craig.  You are definitely the thinking girl’s 007.  Oh, I’ve seen them all, from Lazenby to Brosnan, and you are, by far, my favorite Bond.  So at the end of November, I crowded into my local theatre on Skyfall’s opening night and sat glued to every minute of Adele’s sweeping theme song and Javier Bardem’s creepy villain.  The movie had a fantastic opening weekend at the box office, and I purchased another ticket 4 days later to swoon at Daniel Craig again.

And then that “bloodsucking soap opera” swooped in and dethroned our Mr. Bond.  My heart ached that Skyfall was not given a decent reign atop the box office because every teen girl in America had to see what Bella looked like with creepy red eyes and blood running down her chin.  Ew.  And that creepy baby.  Double ewwww.  Yes, I saw Twilight.  No, I wasn’t impressed, especially if the final act really was just Alice’s vision of the future.  Boo.  I’m reminded of that season on Dallas where Pam woke up and Bobby was in the shower and the whole season was her nightmare.  Does that show my age?  I might be the only 40-something-year-old woman in the world who isn’t Team Edward….or Team Jacob.  See, back in my day, it was Team Bobby or Team JR.  Or Team Bo or Team Luke.  And we all wanted to be either Pam Ewing or Daisy Duke because of the rad outfits.  Team Bobby!  Team Luke!  Rah, rah, rah, sis, boom….

Meanwhile, back on topic – SOMETHING very interesting happened on December 5th.  During my usual morning routine, I opened and started cheering – Bond had usurped the vampires in their 2nd week to retake the box office!!!  I immediately clicked over to read about Skyfall knocking Twilight out of the number one slot.  And as I scrolled through the meatier part of the story, my eye caught another article off to the side of huff post under the daily business headlines.

“Poshmark raises 12 Million for It’s Online Thrift Store”

Um, excuse me?  “Online Thrift Store”?  I mean, I LOVE thrift stores.  But online?  That’s something that I couldn’t quite grasp.

So, I clicked.  And as I read, I could hear it – at the other end of my house, my closet bunnies let out a little collective cheer.


Poshmark is the brainchild of Manish Chandra and team, formerly of Kaboodle.  It seems that Manish (as everyone calls him in the Posh universe) knows about women’s closets and the terror they instill in their owners when the unmanageable, unused and unloved items of a wardrobe become a little too much to bear (and if not for the owner, at least for her spouse).  The Poshmark app was first made available on iPhone.  It’s now crossed over onto iPad, and an Android version is on the horizon.  The popularity of Poshmark has seemingly exploded, and Manish’s epiphany for the darkened closet definitely made me see the light.  And I am not alone.

Remember when Facebook was a word you overheard but didn’t quite know what it meant?  Well, pretty soon “Poshing” will become standard in the official ladies’ room lexicon…because the target audience is MASSIVE.

Really, how many times have you returned home after a hot and heavy session of retail loving and then voluntarily left your purchases in the trunk, so as not to reveal how your credit card just went and did something…gulp, SINFUL?!

Or, have you ever hurriedly stashed new merchandise into the farthest reaches of your closet just as hubby was entering the room?  That story about hiding Christmas presents doesn’t really mesh when you’re only 3 weeks into January. Yep, you’ve now got bagged tagged merch in your possession that won’t see the light of day because it means instant detection.  I’m thinking of that siren that goes off when an inmate climbs the prison wall..

Ok, let’s go another way.  How many items are sitting in your closet waiting patiently for you to put down the Double Stuf Oreos and drop those last 10 pounds?  Sure, those jeans have some stretch, but what you are asking of them is akin to denim abuse.  And by the way, it’s cream…NOT cookie.

How many handbags – NOT PURSES! – do you own that were impulse buys, but are now WITHOUT pulse?  This would include that neon designer monster tote that was marked down 75% but still cost you over $200.  You used it once but it just doesn’t match anything you own.  After all, you don’t normally clothe yourself according to those D.O.T. construction vests on highway 11.  But wow, that bag was a steal, wasn’t it?!  It’s worth far too much to just give away, but when will it ever see the light of day as an adornment to someone who LOVES it?

What about your shoes, honey?  Those Jimmy Choos were a blast of pure shopaholic adrenaline when you bought them on a dare with your girlfriends in tow.  But did you fully realize the sheer physical prowess of maintaining balance on those 6 inch skyscrapers?  Now, as you try them on again for the first time since that tragic fall you blamed on an earthquake in Argentina, your mirror displays your impression of a baby giraffe right after it’s been birthed. This is not style the way that Mr. Choo intended…

So, what exactly IS Poshmark? Well, simply put, it’s like having your own little consignment shop in YOUR closet, in YOUR home, on YOUR time.  You choose what gets sold.  You set the price.  You take care of the display, marketing, and delivery of goods.  You fill your Poshmark closet with items that have lost their way in your closet, hoping to one day find direction with a fashionably responsible new owner.  And, unlike that brick and mortar consignment store into which you have to schlep your clothing, your items stay in your closet until they sell!

Poshmark is the platform for your shop.  It handles the monetary transaction and prompts you when to officially send away your previously worshiped little goodies to new owner paradise.   Poshmark gives you the label with recipient address and USPS priority postage.  You just package lovingly and see it to the post office.  And on that note, I’d like to say that our USPS has got to be getting a TREMENDOUS boost from this app.  I’ve mailed over 20 boxes in the last 2 months just with Poshmark.  I haven’t sent that many boxes by any carrier in my entire lifetime.  Hmmmm, I’m thinking this Poshmark thing could turn around our struggling USPS…This might even be bigger than that fully loaded Kindle in your lap.   Books can stop being made of paper as the written word continues to be downloaded, but you’ll never be able to download a pair of jeans into your inbox.

And in return for this ease of use, Poshmark takes a commission of 20% only after the item sells, which is CHEAP compared to those brick and mortars, and easier to stomach over eBay which charges selling fees whether you successfully sell or not.

Did I say this is easy?  THIS IS EASY!

Remember my other complaint about eBay’s dis-ease of use in listing an item and getting those photos just right?  Well, Poshmark has developed an exquisitely simple format based on instagram – so simple that a seller can have an item listed in less than 2 minutes.   For me, it’s about 4-5 minutes because I like to take a LOT of photos and be EXTREMELY detailed.  Bet you couldn’t guess that, could you?

For the buyer, once registered with the site, it’s a one-click process to make that vintage Bob Marley T-shirt entirely her own. Or, one-click to snag a nice new Kate Spade bag, or just a click to get those barely worn Chanel pumps!  And the closets.  Oh, the closets.  The Poshmark closets range anywhere from small-town apartment college student to suburban soccer mom to Madison Avenue socialite.  And trust me, I’ve looked into hundreds of closets after only two months with Poshmark.  I mean, have you ever seen a woman wearing something fabulous at a party and thought “wow, I’d LOVE 5 minutes in that closet!!!”??

With Poshmark, you can get those 5 minutes.  Heck, you can take a WHOLE day!

But the real reason this app is now dramatically putting its spurs to the mare is the social side of it.  And when I say “dramatically”, I offer up this comparison:  when I joined in January, KateF (our daily Poshmark party invitation girl) was just shy of half a million followers after a 9 month app launch.  Yes, you heard correctly, half a MILLION.  Today, I just checked Kate’s followers and she has nearly 1.1 million and seems to be adding at a rate of at least TEN THOUSAND followers a day.  A DAY!  You won’t find that kind of statistic on Facebook unless it’s Lady Gaga, Michael Phelps or the new guy they just elected to be Pope.

For my friends, I’ve compared Poshmark to “a consignment store that’s pumped up on Facebook steroids”.  This is not an insult.  No, really.  I’m kind of passionate about this because I’ve spent a long time being a stay at home mom and trying to figure out where my niche really is.  And I may have found it on Poshmark.  Clothes shopping and talking.  God, my two favorite things in life!

Once you join Poshmark, you become both a follower and someone who is followed.  This is akin to being a Facebook friend.  And everyone knows – the more Facebook friends you have, the more people who get to see your latest status of “our cat just coughed up a purple hairball and my 20 month old nephew is trying to pick it up  – here’s a photo”.  Poshmark followers are not interested in your cat.  But they will chat with you about what you’re selling or what you are buying.  And it can be anything from asking for another photo of your handbag to a comment on how they already own one and it’s FABULOUS.  If they like what you are selling, they will click the little heart below your listing and let you know in an instant.  If they have a Poshmark friend who has been looking for that style of shoe you’re selling, they’ll tag their friend for an instantaneous viewing.  But what they REALLY do is “share” your closet items to their followers, who then share again, and again.  Remember the old shampoo commercial?  “I used Herbel Essence Shampoo and my friend LOVED my hair.  And so she told two friends about it, and they told two friends, and they told two friends, and so on , and so on…”

So, going back to those towering Jimmy Choos that will eventually cost you a trip to the ER.  It would be best to move them out of the closet and onto the feet of a fashionista who can walk with NO fear.  You photograph them and list them on Poshmark and then something really cool happens – one person likes them, so they share them, and maybe share again.  And pretty soon they are shared to thousands and thousands AND THOUSANDS of other closet owners.  And now your chances of finding that one gal who might be looking to buy barely used 6-inch Jimmy Choos at a discounted price has increased exponentially.  And in your closet down the hall, your Jimmy Choos grin in Toy Story fashion with the realization that they will finally be worn correctly and not just left to linger hopelessly on your closet shelf.

And that’s it.  For two months, I’ve been reorganizing my closet, snapping photos and listing clothes, jewelry, handbags and shoes that just don’t “fit” in there anymore.  I’m joyous in my ability to finally purge without delirium, injury to myself or resounding guilt.  The closet bunnies are ecstatic with all the fresh air AND I’m bringing in some cash. Okay, I admit it’s not all going back into my bank account, but at the very least, it’s funding new acquisitions… And even if my latest impulse buys only live in my closet for a few months, there’s hope they’ll live happily… somewhere, thanks to Poshmark.

So, there you have it, girls.  Now, put down those Oreos and start raiding that closet, and I’ll SEE YOU in the Poshmark universe…

…as long as I’m wearing my readers…. {grin}

Check out my closet now!!!