If you've dreamt of opening your own boutique but didn't know how to start, Poshmark is launching what may be your easiest-ever entry into that business. Starting today, Poshmark users have a direct line to wholesale fashion merchandise.
Poshmark previously focused on reselling second-hand clothes, but users are already selling new clothes on the app. They either find new clothing at a discount and hope to sell it at a profit (likely with slim margins), or, until now, they were on their own to navigate the wholesale world. Many of them did just that—but Poshmark wants to make their lives easier.
“We're going to connect fashion brands directly to our sellers,” Poshmark co-founder and head of merchandising told me last week. We have 1 million sellers—that's 10 times as many boutiques as there are in the country.”
Many Poshmark users are also fashion bloggers—and bloggers are some of their best sellers, thanks to their unique personal style and their approachable personalities. In fact, one of the first wholesale partners, Snob Essentials, was a blog first (BagSnob, of course).
“Bloggers are so good at this,” Sun said. “This is a very nice way for bloggers to really think through how they want to get into commerce.
Approaching the holiday season, Sun said, everyone wants the attention of the mobile shopper. Recent reports say one-third of all shopping transactions now happen on a mobile device, and that number will spike as we approach the end of the year. That positions Poshmark well—though it has a web presence, it launched as a mobile app and has remained focused on the mobile marketplace.
“We have the largest mobile shopping network in the country,” Sun told me, and now those sellers can market themselves in a new way that will appeal to a broader range of shoppers.
Sellers must complete a certification process to participate in the retail opportunity, which includes showing that they've already completed a baseline number of sales and that they have an excellent customer service record.
If all this sounds exciting but you don't have the cash to shell out for inventory, you might want to apply for Poshmark's new Fashion Entrepreneurs Fund, which will provide $500 in seed financing to 50 sellers. In early 2016, a panel of judges will select applicants who have the most compelling vision for their retail stores.