Resale MCommerce: Who Sets the Price?

As the earth becomes more polluted and our society continues its “disposable” mentality, there are some of us who actually prefer resale items. Antiques, after all, enliven a room by bringing provenance (proof of a previous life and history). Historic houses, aside from being carefully built not just thrown together in a month, also enhance our lives by storing memories of previous owners. The same can be said for gently worn women’s clothing, bags, and shoes.

Getting the younger generations to think quality over quantity when cheaply made imports reign is a difficult task. After all, better materials = higher quality = higher price tags! Everyone may want a designer item, but not everyone can afford the item. Enter the resale market.

The Internet now has a plethora of sites dedicated to resale ecommerce. The mobile (not to be left out of anything), now has dozens of apps catering specifically to mCommerce resale. These sites all have their pros and cons, but I chose Poshmark. Granted, my decision was partially based on the fact that they were mobile-first and the first successful mash-up of mCommerce and social. The tougher decision was ahead as I started sorting my closets – keep, sell, donate! In the end, I decided to sell my everyday, trendy items alongside my designer pieces. I’ve spent my entire life collecting (yes, I said collecting) my items, learning designers and fabrics, searching out new designers, coveting antique pieces to be transformed, and ended up with items I’ve never worn or worn just a few times – remember, I used the word closets!!

So, it’s time to sell. These beauties, and their everyday counterparts, need to be loved and worn. How much are they each worth? Who sets the standard for pricing in a relatively newly enlarged market of resale? WE DO! Anything is only worth what someone will pay for it! For decades, eBay has set the standard of pPoshmark Logorice on just about anything. Those days are over!!! Poshers (as we Poshmark users are called) upload enough merchandise to fill Nordstrom’s every two weeks. Thus, I say we set the pricing on resale items. If we acted together as a community, as a driving force, we definitely could become the guideline standard against which other sites (including eBay) would price THEIR items. In other words, don’t overprice but just as importantly, don’t underprice. Everyone loves to score a great item at an inexpensive price, but mark it too low and everyone will question the quality. Mark it too high and no one will even look. Remember, we are not just selling to each other. We are setting THE standard.

I mentioned antiques before. Let’s have an example: a riding crop with provenance that it was carried by George Washington may be valued at $10K. It may sell at auction at $5K or $15K – depending on what someone was willing to pay. Now, let’s use that example in clothing. A sweater from Old Navy was $35 new, so it’s not worth $35 if it has ever been worn. It’s also not worth only $5. Opposite end of the spectrum: a Chanel bag exclusively made for Neiman Marcus (read that as “collectors’ piece”) was $6,000 new. Even if you used it once or twice and it’s still in brand new condition with COA, box and sleeper, that bag is worth more than $6,000. It won’t fly out of your hands at that price, but don’t undervalue just for a quick sell. Everything is worth what someone will pay, but there is a buyer for everything.

Value and price are often misunderstood terms. Every selling site has guidelines, but I say use our own judgment. If you’re a fellow Posher, use Poshmark to research price. Again, if we act as a community, we can OWN the resale pricing. We are not competing with each other – we are competing with other apps to set the standards.

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Turns out – We are All Colorblind

I’m kidding of course, but whilst awaiting my Pantone 2015 color wheel, I was musing over the 2014 colors. After playing a few games of “name this color” with friends, I determined we have all become colorblind!! Sure, we knew the general pigment name, but the newly chosen names – none of us got them right. Here’s an example.

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Go ahead, you know you want to guess! General consensus here was that this color was navy blue, second place was royal blue. Actual name – Princess Blue! Say what??

Don’t get me wrong, I love when designers actually create a new color. That’s half the fun of fashion, but assigning a new name to an an already existing color keeps us constantly guessing. This is probably not that important to anyone except those of us selling consignment clothing. I can’t possibly give a prospective customer the exact color name of an item made last year, bear less a vintage piece made thirty years ago. So, I take my best guess and remind them that color is subjective. Surprisingly enough, my iPhone camera picks up color quite nicely – except black, oh excuse me – I mean Jet Black.

Color is indeed subjective when working without a color wheel. Monitors and cameras lie too! Of course, lighting plays the largest role. A hint of this, a hue of that, and you’re certain you’re looking at one color whilst your friend next to you sees it totally differently. So, we decide “natural light” is best. Natural light where? What time of the day? Diffused, or full sun? If you’ve never given this any thought, take a look at even your hair color. Chances are, it changes depending on where you’re standing. Me, I’m either blonde, strawberry blonde, ash blonde, or completely white haired depending on the light. Like beauty, color is in the eye of the beholder!

So, here’s a game. Take your best guess and tell me the name of this color, without a color wheel. Want to play?

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