Online Consignment: A New Frontier for Budget-Conscious Shoppers

I'm the first to admit that I have a "champagne taste on a beer budget," as the expression goes. I've had to learn the art of balancing a budget, because adult life is expensive! Lucky, I discovered some shopping apps that are life-changing for the money-conscious fashionista.  I use Poshmark, Vinted, and Mercari to buy and sell gently-worn (and sometimes never-worn) clothing, shoes and accessories.  I've been able to make waaaay more than I could selling to a brick and mortar consignment shop.  Re-sale apps are a sustainable, easy, and often less expensive way to shop as well.  There are many apps like this in the iTunes store, but these are the ones I decided to try first.  Below I chose the best and worst things about each app, based on my personal experience and observation.

Best things about Poshmark: Poshmark seems to have the largest and highest quality selection of clothing and accessories, the majority of which are in incredible condition. This is where I do most of my purchasing because of the variety and the app's user-friendliness. It's easy to search for particular items and make reasonable deals with sellers.  I haven't had any problems with my orders and would definitely recommend this site if you are looking for a safe, fair place to purchase quality clothing.

Worst things about Poshmark:  High selling fees and shipping costs make it harder to sell/ buy items for your original posted price.  A percentage of your earnings is taken by Poshmark as a selling fee.  This can cause sellers to post items for a higher price.  Potential buyers are likely to make a lower offer, because shipping tacks on 5 dollars to the price.  But, if you're friendly and make a lower offer, you might get lucky.

 http://techcrunch.com/2013/09/22/poshmark-growth-downloads-sales/

Best things about Vinted:  Vinted uses hashtags in addition to detailed color and style descriptions to make searching for particular styles super easy.  All of my listings get a lot of attention because the app makes it easy for people to find and view them.  In addition, you can see items that are close by, which can help users avoid shipping costs.

Worst things about Vinted:  The shipping and selling fees are about the same as Poshmark, again making it hard (but not impossible) to sell for your original posting price.  In addition, the selection on Vinted is not quite as large as Poshmark's (but the quality is about the same).  Vinted is strict about what you sell, and will remove an item if it doesn't follow their guidelines, which can be good and bad.

Best things about Mercari: Mercari is essentially a virtual yard sale.  Users sell electronics, makeup, home decor, and pretty much any other thing you can think of.  This can be especially when you're trying to buy everyone Christmas presents without having to sell your kidney.  There are no seller fees and it is possible for orders to have free shipping.  Buyers and sellers are able to negotiate more freely, which seems to make sales easier, as far as I can see.

Worst things about Mercari: The best thing about Mercari is also the worst thing about Mercari. Just like at a yard sale, there is a lot of price haggling and low balling on this app.  Yes, it is easier to sell your stuff, but you often end up doing it for a lower profit than you anticipated.  This is perfect if you are just looking to clean out your closet, but not if you're looking to get a major profit off of each item.

Overall, these apps are a smart way to recycle perfectly good clothing and accessories. while making money and improving your own closet in the process.