With a virtual marketplace spanning the globe at their fingertips, the greatest concerns for students with online shopping is draining their wallets before draining their phone battery.
Poshmark is the largest social marketplace for fashion with over 75 million items and 5,000 brands. In fact, 1 in 30 women in America sell on Poshmark and 1 in 5 new members joining the app are men, according to a Poshmark press release. Similarly, Depop has over 10 million registered users that sell and buy clothes on the website and app, and Etsy has 33.4 million active buyers. These platforms all serve as an alternative to in-person shopping.
Gabrielle Hester, a journalism junior and president of the Fashion Journalist Club, has sold her clothes on Poshmark, Instagram and Facebook. She continues to sell her clothes occasionally on her Instagram feed and stories. Hester said selling clothes online has been better than selling clothes to consignment stores because the pricing is easier to maintain.
“Consignment stores don’t always give you what your clothes are worth,” she said. “I feel like on these apps you have more control over the prices you want for your clothes.”
Hester checks the condition of the clothes she buys and sells and makes sure to include nice photos of them in order to receive more views.
“Make sure to really show off your items. Put it on and take a cute photo with it,” she said. “Put work into the photos that you post.”
Monica Fogelson, a medical studies freshman, uses Poshmark, Etsy and Amazon to sell her clothes. When it comes to selling on Poshmark, she takes photos of her clothes with a nice background and describes them as simply as possible.
“If you have a broad description, it will show up on the search bar more,” Fogelson said.
Newer apps like Poshmark are able to track the order and estimate the delivery time. Fogelson thinks this feature gives smaller apps the ability to compete with larger online markets such as Amazon.
“Don’t just look at Amazon,” she said. “There’s plenty of other websites that will take bids, and you can bargain a price for different things.”
“I think that online shopping is great for college students because you can find cheaper prices, especially with websites offering free shipping,” she said. “When you’re online, you can go quickly to the sale section instead of having to dig through physically past the things you don’t want and get what you are looking for at the price you want.”
However, Yu has had some bad experiences with online shopping. When buying shoes she had been looking for, she was sent baby sized shoes on accident and had to return and find the shoes again in adult sizes.
“That’s the risk you take with online shopping because sometimes things can go wrong,” she said.
Yu was not turned away from online shopping despite the bad experience, and she encourages college students to use this new technology to their advantage.
"It’s honestly just more convenient because instead of spending hours at the mall, I can just go online and find what I’m looking for in minutes,” she said.