Poshmark is looking to solidify its positioning as a mobile version of the local boutique.
In 2011, Poshmark started as a peer-to-peer social selling platform that connected buyers with sellers looking to capitalize on unwanted closet items. Since, it has become a platform for micro-entreprenuers and mobile boutique owners by connecting its top sellers with wholesale merchants.
After introducing the expansion into retail in October, Poshmark today introduces a “Boutiques” section that further highlights retail sellers. According to founder and chief executive officer Manish Chandra, this was in response to the popularity of Poshmark’s retail sellers. Within the first three hours of the launch of the portal that matched sellers with wholesalers, Poshmark sold out of its entire wholesale inventory.
“To our shock,” he said, “the first eight to 10 brands on the wholesale portal literally sold out in the first 60 minutes, and we reloaded, and it sold out again. We couldn’t keep up with inventory all through December.”
Poshmark currently works with about 50 wholesale brands, helping to place them in more than 1,000 mobile boutiques. Poshmark takes a small commission of the wholesale items in addition to the 20 percent it gets from the sales in its marketplace. Overall, the network has 1.3 million sellers and facilitates a sale every five seconds. Chandra estimates that up to 15 percent of the sellers are selling retail. The bulk of product available on Poshmark is still secondhand.
Chandra said that the wholesale portal is a great way to attract a new audience to up-and-coming brands, which range from those that are more affordable to more premium and luxury items. For the higher-end items, he said it was also a bit unexpected that they would do so well, as the “perception of Poshmark is mass market.”
“Brands have been scrambling for inventory,” Chandra said. “Now they’re thinking of doing custom product runs for our Poshmark customers.”