How do you know what to buy? That’s the first question I am always asked when I tell people what I do. Actually no, I take that back. The first question is normally: So you take people’s junk and sell it online? After THAT question, that’s when people want to know what it is that I’m buying.
There’s a lot of factors that fuel my buying decisions when I’m out sourcing. I try to make sure that I’m investing in items that I feel confident I will get a decent return on. Here are some things that I consider before choosing to add a new piece to my inventory:
Understanding what’s trending plays a huge role in helping me select items that are going to move out of my closet quickly. I want to stock looks like people are after. To help me keep up with the ever changing styles, I like to follow style icons on Instagram to keep an eye on what they’re wearing and promoting. I also follow popular magazines like Cosmopolitan and Vogue to stay in tune with colors, textures and prints that they are pushing front and center.
Pro Tip: Before I go sourcing I browse these Instagram pages so the looks are fresh in my mind.
Brands are important, if you source a higher end item that has good comps, you’re likely to be able to turn a similar profit. However, I don’t always have to have that familiar brand in order to justify a purchase. If I find a trendy item that’s a less popular brand but is good quality and in style, chances are I’m picking it up.
I also like to use my sales data to help guide my buying decisions. I sort my sales by highest to lowest and then focus on the brands that are yielding the highest return. Then I can drill down to see what brands are bringing in the most money.
3. Price & Comps
I put these two together because for me they go hand in hand. The price of an item needs to be justifiable by other comps and what it’s typically selling for. For example, if I find a designer jacket that’s priced at $14.99 that might seem high at first glance. But if I find that it’s consistently selling for $200 online then that might make the higher price point make sense. The opposite is also true. If I find an item that I really like and it’s only $5 but comps online are for $10, this buy no longer makes sense.
Now as with everything, there are exceptions to this. If I’m sourcing vintage or rare items or things that don’t have consistent comps, sometimes I do have to make a decision based off of the price alone and what I’m willing to spend. Although this does not seem to happen very often for me.
4. Know What’s Selling
We have so much information available at our fingertips. For Poshmark, I will look in a specific category (dresses, shoes, etc.) and filter to Just In and then Sold. This is going to show me the items that have been listed recently and have already been purchased. Then I will sort from high to low to check out the higher priced sales. This information is so valuable! I can quickly see what brands and styles that people are buying so I can be on the lookout for similar items while I am out sourcing.
Those are some of the main things that I keep in mind when looking for new inventory. What do you think about when you decide to pick up a new item? Let me know if the comments!