Resale platforms are nothing without their sellers, which is why Poshmark launched a fund and built an engagement infrastructure to support them.
Poshmark began on Thursday to receive applications from eligible sellers for the second round of its Heart and Hustle Fund, a $ 500,000 pot that the platform plans to pay out this summer. Every three months, the company will pay $ 5,000 each to 12 vendors and grants of $ 500 to 130 vendors. In addition to funding, winners can also join a private Discord group with other grant recipients, as well as invitations to presentations and working sessions with the Poshmark team driven by the interests of the cohort.
New and existing sellers are eligible, but a seller must have made at least 125 sales to be eligible for a $ 5,000 grant, or at least 10 sales for a $ 500 grant. Other requirements for both include a 4.5 or higher rating and an average shipping time of less than three days.
Over the past few months, major social media platforms have struggled to attract and retain influencers as brands make it a pillar of their marketing strategy. This has led several players, such as Pinterest, Snapchat, and YouTube, to set up their own creator funds. Poshmark appears to take a similar approach, albeit on a much smaller scale. As resale platforms became more popular during the pandemic, sellers now have more options, which keeps them loyal.
âMost marketplace sellers sell in multiple marketplaces,â said Sucharita Kodali, vice president and senior analyst at Forrester. “Buyers are important, but no buyer will buy without sellers.”
This is the latest move Poshmark has taken to retain buyers and sellers since it went public in January of this year. âOur first strategy is to focus on product innovation to continue to drive user engagement, which is fundamental for the retention of our user cohorts and the growth of GMV,â said Manish Chandra, CEO of Poshmark, during the company’s first quarter earnings call in May.
In the first quarter of 2021, the platform introduced video listings for sellers, as well as discounts on seller shipping costs. Poshmark had 4.5 million active sellers as of September 2020, according to a spokesperson, but declined to give updated figures. The company reported 6.7 million active buyers in the first quarter, up 18% from the first quarter of 2020. In contrast, ThreadUp reported having 1.29 million active buyers in its first quarter results .
The funding also follows Etsy’s acquisition of Depop, a UK-based clothing resale marketplace. âWe have immense respect for the direction of Etsy and what it has built and we see the acquisition of Depop as a validation of the massive and total addressable market for the resale category,â said a spokesperson. of Poshmark in a press release. âWe are in the early stages of growing the resale and social media market and we believe there is room for several winners.
Paige Walter of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is one of the latest grant recipients. She started selling on Poshmark during the pandemic in March last year in order to clean some of her and her mother’s clothes and earn extra money. At first, she aimed to earn around $ 500 per month to cover her rent.
âIt snowballed from there,â said Walter, who makes an average of about $ 1,000 a month from the clothes she finds while saving.
She used the grant to help pay for her LLC’s papers, new photo equipment, green direct mail, and expand her inventory. She is also considering purchasing a shipping label printer.
âThe funding gave me space to breathe as I develop,â she explained. Walter is currently also a bartender âfor social interactionâ, but says it’s more his side job. Poshmark has become his full time job.
For the first round of funding, Poshmark received more than 600 applications, with applicants from 40 states, ranging from users between the ages of 18 and 70, according to LyAnn Chhay, please from the Poshmark community.
The company also plans to do a fall and winter cohort later this year. âWhen Poshmark created the fund, we wanted to provide eligible sellers with multiple opportunities to participate,â Chhay wrote in an email. âThat way, if a seller hasn’t met the requirements in a period of time, they still have the option to apply in the future. “