Connecting the Closet
“Your options for selling clothes are fairly limited,” said John McDonald, VP of Marketplace Operations for Poshmark. “You can try consignment shops or set up an online store. But these choices are time-consuming and don’t provide the biggest reward.”
That’s how Menlo Park-based Poshmark knew it was on to something big.
Recognizing that there was no simple and fun way to sell fabulous, pre-owned fashion, Poshmark decided to take matters into its own hands, creating a mobile platform that allows users to “shop each other’s closets” with ease—right from their smartphones.
And let’s just say—the idea has caught on. Since its launch in 2011, Poshmark has grown exponentially, women are uploading over 1 million dollars worth of inventory into the marketplace every day and the Poshmark community sold more than 1.5 million items in 2013 alone.
Simplicity is at the core of Poshmark’s philosophy. Their process is easy: take a photo of the item you wish to sell, upload it to Poshmark using its free mobile app and voilà! You have an instant product listing and your closet is open for sale to the millions of shoppers browsing the marketplace.
In a quest to maintain simplicity from every touch point in the buying and selling process, Poshmark needed a shipping solution that would allow its sellers to seamlessly fulfill orders without a hitch. It also needed reliable shipping technology, affordable carrier rates and fantastic tracking.
Endicia Steps In and Steps Up
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Since day one, the answer to Poshmark’s shipping needs has been Endicia and the USPS.
Utilizing Endicia’s seamless API, Poshmark is able to produce pre-paid and pre-addressed shipping labels that they can swiftly email to sellers the moment a sale is made. Sellers can then print these out, stick them on a box and quickly get their shipments out the door. No software to download. No forms to fill out. Shipments are done—pronto.
The USPS, on the other hand, provides both convenience and reach coupled with affordability.
Sellers are familiar with the Post Office and can easily hand shipments to their postal carrier or drop them off at a local mailbox. And since Poshmark ships exclusively through USPS Priority Mail, sellers know they are getting the the most affordable rate for their packages, quick 1-3 day delivery and package tracking.
While this level of ease in which labels were generated was a complete innovation around peer-to-peer shipping, the true strength of Poshmark’s shipping partners was yet to be seen.
When Poshmark noticed many of its “Poshers” (community members) upgrading shipping labels to meet weight requirements, they looked to Endicia for a solution. Poshmark wanted to eliminate the guesswork of producing a shipping label based on weight, while still providing an affordable shipping option that would make people want to buy.
Enter Endicia CTO and co-founder, Harry Whitehouse.
Endicia’s resident problem-solver, Harry, took it upon himself to help find a solution to Poshmark’s challenge. Together with Poshmark, he organized the sampling of more than 25,000 pieces of USPS mail data and determined an average weight model for Poshmark’s packages, finding that the overwhelming majority were under 5 pounds.
With this critical info in hand, Poshmark presented their findings to the USPS and worked with them to develop a negotiated service agreement. With that, PoshPost, the first label designed specifically for shipping fashion, was born.
With PoshPost, Poshers can ship any piece of fashion weighing under five pounds anywhere in the U.S. for a flat rate of $4.99. This saved them roughly 28 percent of what they were originally paying for in shipments.
The solution was embraced wholeheartedly by Poshers with the day of its launch reaching near-record highs. Sellers loved the freedom and peace of mind that accompanied the flexible weight limit, while buyers loved the low, flat shipping rate.
“There’s no doubt that Endicia and the Postal Service have been critical to Poshmark’s success in streamlining shipping,” said John McDonald. “Without them, PoshPost wouldn’t exist, and our sellers would still be struggling with weight requirements. Endicia and the Postal Service removed many of the friction points from selling fashion straight from your phone, allowing Poshers to just enjoy the experience of shopping each other’s closets.
For more on Poshmark, visit www.poshmark.com. Download the app on the App Store and Google Play.