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Some people who sell used goods on websites and apps like eBay and OfferUp are just looking to unload stuff they don't need anymore: baby strollers, sundresses from Luella Bartley's 2006 Target collaboration, a 44-key Casio mini piano keyboard. Other enterprising souls are there to build a business. That's the demographic that the clothing resale app Poshmark is hoping to enable right now, as it builds out a program that lets sellers buy directly from brands at wholesale prices, turning individuals into small-scale retailers.
Poshmark just got a little enabling of its own, having closed a $25 million venture capital funding round led by GGV Capital, also an investor in Airbnb and Slack. (This brings the 5-year-old startup's total backing to north of $70 million.) Poshmark CEO Manish Chandra says over the phone that Poshmark is planning to use the financing to expand internationally, as well as into men's and children's clothing. In the nearer term, though, it's going to help Poshmark grow that wholesale initiative, which launched a little over three months ago.
At the moment, Poshmark has about 50 brands on board; Chandra says he'd like to get that number up to 500. They're mostly lesser-known labels, like Loup (sweet French-inspired pieces for above $100) and Whitney Eve (Whitney Port's clothing line, for the uninitiated). And that makes sense: larger brands conscious of protecting their image might shy away from wholesaling to randoms on the internet, but for a younger line, the business boost it could provide might be worth the risk of slightly warped messaging. Chandra says that brands can communicate with sellers about how the product is marketed — and that the latter group tends to be "incredibly responsive" to feedback — though it's hard to say how much control labels ultimately exert.
To be fair, the sellers who get access to Poshmark's wholesale portal aren't complete randoms. They have to get approved first, usually on the basis of past sales volume. Once they're on, they can buy inventory in multi-unit packs, which the brand ships to them, and they can then send off to customers. In order to get this cycle churning, Poshmark has been giving out $500 grants to certain sellers that they can put toward buying their first batches of product — another initiative that will benefit from that $25 million infusion.
As for everyday shoppers trolling the app for a deal? This brings in a wider slice of the fashion world, beyond old Lululemon sweats and Michael Kors handbags.
Correction: The clothing brand Modern Citizen is not part of Poshmark's program, as previously stated.