As a hobby seller on my favorite peer to peer fashion selling app, Poshmark, I have learned some great tips and tricks in the past year. I by no means represent myself as a power seller who makes an actual income from it - there are plenty of experts out there! This is very much something I do to clean out my closet, and share great items while making a bit of money in return. I've started this little series to share my favorite best practices in the hopes it will help someone else! This second volume is super vital: PRODUCT PHOTOS!
The most important photo you'll take will be your covershot photo. This is what appears front in center in your closet for each listing, what shows up in parties, and in social media share posts, including Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
For me the cover photo is the catalog photo. It should be aspirational - showing what the item looks like as much as possible!
Here are my top 3 tips for taking an amazing cover shot:
Aside from your cover shot, be sure to include these other important photos:
Here is a sample of all the photos from a single listing:
I read a lot of mommy blogs and parenting article sites. My Facebook feed is probably 60% parenting articles, 30% memes and 10% people I actually know. It's ridiculous. Those of us in the supposed Xennial/Milennial generation (you know how I feel about generations based on this previous post) were raised on Googling. What did parents do before the internet? Cry all the time? I can't imagine.
But it's a double-edged sword right? There is a wealth of information at your fingertips but a lot of it is biased, factually incorrect or just plain dangerous. You really have to turn on your bullshit detector. And aside from official aggregate websites for this type of parenting information, you also have the almighty Facebook Mom Groups. These are safe spaces where you can post a photo of your child's actual diarrhea and you will get 50 women chiming in to tell you what to do about it. Before I was a mom I balked at this. Now I'm like - AWESOME!
That being said, I have one particular bone to pick. It's those articles based on a parent's ONE experience with getting a child to do something. The ONE time they got them to fall asleep at a specific age, on a specific day. This magic trick worked on their ONE child, and now they are writing an advice article. Me, the reader, desperate to get my child to simply go the fuck to sleep, will read this and think - YES! I have found the solution! I will breathe deeply while holding my child and she will magically match my deep breathing and magically fall asleep.
HOW ABOUT NO? Let me tell you something. My child has never been a good sleeper, but what I do know is just when I'm about to crack from the sheer torture of 2 solid weeks without sleeping through the night, she suddenly sleeps like a goddamn champion. She passes out in 5 minutes and doesn't wake up til 7:00 AM. Guess what I did to facilitate this miraculous sleep turnaround? NADA. Zip. Zero. Zilch.
Kids change - constantly! Once you get used to a certain way of things being, and you think you have it figured out, they change. They couldn't live without the blue cup, and now it's all about the green cup. That talking Elmo was their favorite, now it's scary and it must be hidden in a closet where it is now haunting your own dreams. Things are good for a week or two, and then you better hold on to your butt, because things are going to get cray-cray again. It's like kids have a built-in detector for when you're about to have a nervous breakdown and become all cute and sweet and "Mommy you're my best friend - I'm going to float on a puffy little cloud through my bedtime routine, kiss you on the forehead and sleep for a minimum of 8 hours."
There is no magic trick. There is only the inevitable ebb and flow of good and bad, light and dark, happiness, and near insanity. This is parenting. The less you try magic tricks and just accept that while sometimes things are going to suck, everything will eventually turn around. It's a rollercoaster with no brakes and everything is on fire, but it's totally worth it when once again, you're on that puffy little cloud with your tiny best friend.
Please don't run away! Trust me - you want to hear this.
There is nothing wrong with the word vagina. There is nothing wrong with your actual vagina. It is a word that describes a part of a human body, much like "elbow" or "femur." It's okay to say "vagina." Presumably, not at a work meeting, or in the grocery store, but you know, in private conversations with friends and family or medical professionals. For the purposes of this blog post, however, I mean specifically when talking to your children.
You do not have to say any of following, (unless it makes you super happy, but this is not just about you):
Maybe I saw the "Vagina Monologues" one too many times in college. But if being a mom has taught me anything, it's that kids are REAL. They are so real because they haven't learned how to fit themselves into a tiny box yet. They haven't learned social decorum, shame, guilt, etc. that keeps us wanting to take up as little space as possible with our bodies and our thoughts. When I talk to my daughter, I use the right words.
I learned in an adolescent sexual development class that there is no specific age to start being real about our bodies or sexuality with children - just normalize and be matter of fact from day one. If you are embarrassed, they will be too. I say "vagina" and once my daughter is older and has a larger vocabulary I will help her differentiate from "vulva" and "vagina." I remember hearing it called different things as a kid and I was so confused. I will make sure she knows the correct words so she can tell me if she is in pain or if someone (including other kids) touch her inappropriately (or if she happens to be exploring herself in public places, where apparently such things are frowned upon).
I never want her to associate her body or sexuality with secrets and shame. I want her to feel comfortable setting boundaries. I want her to be proud of herself and have high self esteem. I want her to know what is normal and what is not so I can advocate for her, until she can advocate herself, whether it's in the doctor's office or in her personal relationships. The shroud of secrecy over our bodies and sex is what leads to bad relationships, lack of sexual agency, abuse, sexual assault, etc. It's time to end the madness!
This goes for boys too - they should understand what's appropriate, what consent is, and how to appropriately handle any strong sexual feelings or surprise boners without thinking there is something wrong with them. They should know that a girl's short skirt or spaghetti strap is not an invitation or a "yes."
I'd like to see rape culture, body shaming and slut shaming end in my lifetime... a girl can dream. In the mean time, let's just start with calling our body parts by the right names, 'kay?
As a hobby seller on my favorite peer to peer fashion selling app, Poshmark, I have learned some great tips and tricks in the past year. I by no means represent myself as a power seller who makes an actual income from it - there are plenty of experts out there! This is very much something I do to clean out my closet, and share great items while making a bit of money in return. I've started this little series to share my favorite best practices in the hopes it will help someone else! This first volume is one of the most basic things and the first thing your customer sees when they place an order: Packaging!
I don't know about you, but I love getting packages and gifts. Online shopping is basically a gift to yourself, so why not make your buyer feel extra special with a pretty package? There's no guarantee it will result in a repeat sale, but there's no guarantee it won't! Here are some quick money and time saving tips for you to put your best foot forward with your Poshmark packaging!
1. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!
If your customer appreciates eco-friendly practices (which most people do) they will not mind a reused box or packing material. Do what feels authentic to you as a seller and is in keeping with your brand.
2. Get free boxes from USPS!
You can order them online here or pick them up in store. I tend to order in bulk and pick them up when I happen to be at the post office.
3. Order affordable supplies on Amazon
I also have these 10x13 and these 6x9 pretty pink waterproof vinyl mailers for clothing or jewelry. I just wrap the items in bubble wrap if they are vulnerable and they do fine. I always add some washi tape to the sealed area and then add extra packing tape to secure. I've received fun printed mailers and it always brings a smile to my face. It helps to add to your "brand" as a seller as well.
4. Make it pretty!
I wrap everything in tissue paper (good condition paper saved from birthday and Christmas or procured from the dollar store) and seal with my logo label and tie a nice ribbon or baker's twine around it.
I included a sample image in this listing so people know their package will arrive beautifully. People give my items as gifts also so it saves them the trouble of wrapping. Using special packaging, tissue paper, washi tape, twine, thank you notes, etc is a way to build a relationship with your customer and give them a nice buying experience.
5. Add a Thank you Note!
This is somethign that is completely optional but is very nice to do. It makes me feel good to write it and I love when I get one from a seller! You can either use thank you notes you have on hand, hit up the Target dollar spot for some cheapies, or just write on a piece of note paper. It's a nice little touch that goes along way.
6. Wow them with a free gift
Now this is something that not everyone wants to do, but it's very nice. I know I've been super pleased and felt really special to get one. If it's not for me, I just re-gift it to my own buyers the next time I sell something. Things I've included are make up samples from my ipsy subscription, lip glosses (from the party favor section at Target - super affordable!) and cute love-themed pins that I had leftover from my bridal shower. I will tape them to the thank you card with washi tape. It's super pretty and fun.
I hope you enjoyed these 6 tips. Know that you don't need to spend a lot of extra money to make your packages look pretty. I am a craft supply hoarder (and general hoarder) so I already had these things on hand. If you're just getting started here is a mini shopping list for you:
Stay tuned for Vol. 2. Leave a comment if there is a specific topic you'd like me to cover in an upcoming installment! Happy Poshing!
We live in a consumerist, disposable culture. Just watch The Story of Stuff and you'll realize it's not just a personal problem (though many suffer from disorders that cause them to hoard and I by no means wish to trivialize that). Learning about planned obsolescence was a real downer for me: the fact that companies make things specifically to break down faster so you'll buy the newer version. The Earth, and we as humans cannot sustain this forever. I'm sure you have plenty of things you could throw out, or are maybe saving for that magic day when you meet your goal weight, have somewhere to wear it, etc. You can't seem to part with it, but you can't hold on to it forever or you'll literally drown in stuff. If you're feeling stuck, it's time to make a change and start minimizing clutter, making some money, and living your best life!
Ready to get started? It's time to get real. Do some thinking about the following topics before you start decluttering:
Got it? Good! Here are 4 Methods to Minimize Clutter, Make Money, & Live Your Best Life:
GUYS. Hold. The. Phone.
I just came across this video in my Facebook feed via Practically Functional and immediately had to DIY it! Basically it involves putting a bunch of fabric scraps in a wipes container and letting your toddler go to town (like they usually do with a poor, innocent tissue box).
This is brilliant for 2 reasons:
Subscription boxes - surely you've heard of them. They can be anywhere from utterly frivolous to overwhelmingly practical. I believe sharing is caring so I'm rounding up some of the ones I've tried for better... or worse! Full disclosure - My posts do contain my affiliate links but this post is in no way sponsored or endorsed by any of these brands. I share of my own free will!
I recently read an article about how we need to stop using straws because our ocean and its lifeforms are literally choking on them. I get it - that garbage patch in the Pacific makes me super sad. I have tried to take action on this front by being more personally responsible.. I have a lovely collection of reusable straws in my home, use reusable coffee mugs and cups as often as I can. As I type this, I am drinking iced coffee out of a mason jar with a reusable straw. I use reusable bags in the grocery store. When I don't, I use the bags as garbage bags in my small garbage can. I wash Ziploc bags. I buy compostable plates made of wheat. I was told to carry a reusable spork (I bought one but can't bring myself to put it in my purse).
But how far can personal responsibility help us when literally every business ever uses a crap-ton of plastic? Order food from any restaurant or take home leftovers and you get styrofoam containers, disposable cutlery (in a plastic bag), salad dressing in a plastic pouch, in a plastic bag (why?).
Literally every food item I buy from the grocery store comes in a plastic container. I just made a grilled cheese and the bread, cheese, and butter were all housed in plastic. Even the butter cubby in my fridge is plastic.
Personal responsibility is important yes, but we should also lobby our local businesses and major companies to ditch the plastic and find alternatives as well. We also have to consider that not everyone can afford fancy reusable coffee cups and reusuable bags and fancy metal water bottles - there is a class issue with this as well. Not to mention, all those things had to be manufactured - how can we be certain that this trend of reusable items is not hurting the environment as well? The best option is to reuse what we have and minimize our desire to consume and buy more more more!
I still believe in making better personal choices for the earth. But plastic-shaming also needs to be directed at literally every business. Real change will not come from a few individuals as long as we are bombarded with plastic in every conceivable area of our lives.
This episode of Adam Ruins Everything has a lot of food for thought on this topic (with sources!) . You may also want to check out The Story of Stuff and Bag It, two great short films.
What are your thoughts on plastic overload? What do you do personally and politically to impact positive change?
Nice to meet you!
I am a tech pro, blogger, DIY'er, reader, TV binger, music lover, nerd and semi-crunchy mom. I write about professional development, being crafty, motherhood and politics. Thanks for joining me and letting me share my thoughts with you!