Poshmark is trying on brand-new threads.
The e-commerce startup, whose app lets people sell used clothing for women, said Wednesday it has teamed up with more than a dozen apparel and handbag makers to expand from resale to retail.
The new partnerships with brands, including Style Mafia and Snob Essentials, will allow Poshmark's most successful sellers to purchase new items wholesale. The sellers can either hawk them on the app or on other e-commerce sites.
"It's been exciting to see women leave their full-time jobs and become full-time Posh sellers," Poshmark CEO Manish Chandra said in an interview, noting that the platform's biggest sellers make close to $500,000 in annual sales by independently finding wholesale, overseas and resale clothing.
The company is also creating the Poshmark Fashion Entrepreneurs Fund, which will give 50 grants of $500 each to selected sellers starting in January so they can buy new inventory and jump-start their Poshmark businesses.
Poshmark is among a handful of e-commerce companies seeking people's used clothing. The 4-year-old Menlo Park, California, startup competes for hand-me-down shirts and shoes with eBay, ThredUp, TheRealReal and others. The challenge for individual sellers is where to find more inventory once they've cleaned out their closets. That's why Poshmark is moving into new clothing via wholesale and is doling out grants. Poshmark, which takes a 20 percent commission on sales of at least $15 and a flat fee of $2.95 for sales under $15, said it hopes to encourage its 1 million sellers to continue expanding their indie businesses. The company is also hoping these changes will help it become a more influential sales channel for brands.
Other online platforms also are doing all they can to coax their users to keep up sales, since the companies typically receive a portion of each transaction. For instance, Etsy, a marketplace known for handmade items, last month created a program to allow certain sellers to use manufacturing to ramp up production.
Chandra, who sold his shopping startup Kaboodle to the Hearst Corp. in 2007, has seen early success with Poshmark. The US-only app uses elements of social networking to let buyers and sellers like, comment on and share items for sale. The startup has raised more than $40 million in funding so far, according to Crunchbase.
More than 95 percent of Poshmark sellers are women. Chandra said his company plans to expand to children's and men's items in the future.