Always Think In Terms Of Scaling

PrettiBoneInsights, Thoughts8 Comments

The goal of scaling is to get grow your business  while decreasing your marginal cost and effort as you're growing. Doing this will sometime require a complete overhaul of your current processes. Although this might sound overwhelming, the small price you pay to do such a thing will save you from bigger headaches later on. This post will give you a general idea of how you can think in terms of scale in mind instead of just doing things "just to get by". I say generally because we all might have a different endgame in mind so everyone might absorb this post in their own way. Consequently, this post isn't about exactly how you should scale, it's just to get you into the scaling mentality.

Storage

I'm sure when we all started out on Poshmark with a couple of pieces (1-30), we didn't really pay any mind exactly where the items are stored. We just generally knew where we left the item so when a customer buys something, we kinda had an idea where to find it. But as we add more and more pieces to our closet, things got a little messier and that's when we started to get organized a bit. For example, some of us might opt for bins to store our items (my personal favorite), some would hang the items on racks or even fold the items neatly in a corner according to their type. Whatever you do, just know if you're trying to ramp your inventory up to the 1,000's of units level, you must have a storage system that's ready to grow with you. While a lot of us are limited on space, we should still be thinking about this question because storage issues will stick with you for the entire journey. 

Beyond how you store your items, you also have to ask yourself how do you label them for storage. I've talked to some people in the messages, and they've told me that EVERY single one of their items are polybagged with a label displaying a unique code for the item. While I'm not fully opposed to this, I do however think that you might be doing an extra step that's not necessary. However, what I think about this method doesn't matter, what matters is that these people believe that they can scale with this method and that's perfectly fine!

My point is for you to figure out a way to store your items in a way that will make it easy for you to locate and pull the sold item. 

Buying Inventory

I was about 6 months into the Poshmark game when I realized there's no way in hell I will be able to buy 1 piece at a time given my sale through rate. In other words, if you're selling more than you can buy, you will never be able to grow. That's when I started to focus 1/2 of my time finding a supplier that would sell me inventory in bulk while the other 1/2 was spent going to the thrift stores and buying pieces 1 at a time. For those of you asking about where I get my clothes from, the reason why I don't disclose it because I paid a big price in terms of time and money to find my suppliers. I'm sure those of you who do have suppliers understands where I'm coming from. 

Buying inventory in bulk is imperative to growth. Let me not mince words, I don't care what other's say about you still be successful while buying 1 piece at a time. They're wrong because the success they're talking about is not in the millions. I'm sure you already know my stance but I want to reiterate that I'm not in this game to make a "good" living. I'm trying to go all the way with PrettiBone because the storage unit complex I want is $8 million  and the bank is asking for $1 million down, CASH. Again it comes down to how far you want to take this reselling thing, I'm just that girl that will take it to the moon if I have to. And for me to take it there, the right suppliers will have to grow with me as I'm growing.

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Listing

You're probably aware by now that you can't sell something online if it's not listed. When I say listing, I mean the entire process of actually washing, steaming, hanging, shooting and listing. While some of these processes are sometimes not required, they still make up listing. If your method only allows you to list 10 items a day, you gotta change it up. Of course, this is only if you want to get bigger. Your listing process needs to be so streamlined that you can pump out more than what you can sell many times over. This means trying something like this out or coming up with your own way to improve your listing process. There's no point in getting a pallet of inventory in while you're listing at the same pace as when you were buying 1 piece at a time. Think about listing in terms of intuitive rather than a hard-wired process. By doing so, listing should almost be effortless because you're not thinking that much about what's next. I know that sounded spiritual and I don't mean for it to but when I'm listing, I sometimes even forget that I'm listing because my processes are so streamlined. Let me give you an example.

Sometimes when I'm listing, I would run across a piece that has a defect that I didn't catch when I was sorting or shooting. While some of us much stop and go reshoot that piece to show the defect, I would have bins laid out for these types of situations. I would just throw the piece into its appropriate bin, so I'll take care of it during my downtime in bulk rather than stopping the whole train for 1 piece. This allows me to list more while worrying about the smaller issue later.

This is just one way that I keep my momentum when listing and is how I'm able to list 100+ items a day when left undisturbed. Run through your listing process and really scrutinize it. Are you spending too much time on something that isn't that important like steaming a piece that's barely wrinkled? Are you not sorting pieces out according to type so you don't have to switch back and forth from one measurement template to another? 

Think in Terms of 1 to 1,000,000

Do not take the headline of this section literally. What I mean is for you to ask yourself, will this method be obsolete as I get bigger? If so, when? If the answer is really soon, then you need to switch your method and process. Don't hang on to a certain style just because you feel comfortable with it because it might smother you as you get bigger. Switch to a style that will not only allow room for growth but actually encourage it! For example, if you're listing faster than what you have on hand, then it would encourage you to find a new sourcing method. Conversely, if you're getting more inventory in than you can list, then it will force you to find a faster more effective way to list.

I hope this post gets you to think about how big you want to get and if your current process, procedures a style will accommodate for such growth. Again, this will be different for everyone, but don't lie to yourself and think that you're  already employing the best tactics because you're probably wrong. Please don't let your overconfidence harm you.

Lastly, I have to mention this post is for resellers that are interested in growth. This isn't for the dabblers.

8 Comments on “Always Think In Terms Of Scaling”

  1. Sorry! I meant …do you ship in the free USPS Tyvek Envelope sans tissue paper and or/ plastic bags of any kind!? Thanks for clarification on my other inventory question! Love watching you work! You are such an inspo!

  2. Hi Dani,

    Great post as usual! In reference to your reply to Monica, so do you just take your phone/tablet with you when pulling sold items to ship out? Let’s say two black shirts sold from bin A1, do you unfold it and look at the pic on your phone to know which one to pull? I also do mine like Monica, but want to eliminate any extra step that is not necessary.

    Thank for posting great, helpful content!

    Mariam

    1. Yes, I have a shop itouch on me to do the picking. And when I look at the picture of the piece getting pulled, the color and texture will be a dead give away when I see a part of the piece.

  3. Hi Dani. Every time I read your blog I change something for the better. Thanks for posting really good content that actually moves me and other resellers forward (if we choose).

    I invested in some black and yellow bins like yours and love them! Has saved me some serious time! Right now, each bin is labeled. One example might be A1. Within the A1 bin, I have 25 items in plastic bags. Each bag is labeled A1 and then 1-25. So the first bag is A11. The last one is A125. When I sell the item in A11, I take it out of that labeled bag, pack appropriately and ship. The empty bag labeled A11 goes in a designated spot where I do my listing. I reuse the bags over and over (until I have to create a new one for a new bin). I do this because I don’t have to keep track of how much room is left in bins. I just know if there’s a bag, there’s room. I hope all that made sense. Oh and I include that number in the title of my listing so I can easily see where the item is.

    Do you suggest a more efficient way or can you direct me to a place where you’ve already told us what you do?

    I currently have about 400 listed but am looking to double that by Christmas. I have 12 bins now and will need to get more. They go like this A1, A2, A3, A4, B1, B2…..etc. Last one is D4.

    Thanks for your time if you made it this far. 🙂

    Monica

    1. Hey Monica! Thanks for reading.

      The bins are what I use and I label mine from A1-A16, B1-B16 but you can do it how you like. However, I do not polybag each one and give them their own label because there’s a lot of work involved. All I need to know is what bin is the item in because the space inside 1 bin is small enough to just do a little digging. It sounds like it’s a mess but it’s really not. I think by messing around with bags just adds more “stuff” to do but that’s just me. I currently have almost 200 bins and it works really well for even that many bins. In my items I would put the bin code at the bottom of the listing to know where it’s at. Let me know if that makes sense! Dani

      1. It makes sense! How do you keep track of which bins to restock? And then you must just ship in the free bag unwrapped? God. You are rebel. I love it.

        1. Thanks for reading! When we go pull an item to get shipped, we also have a method where we label a bin that we know can take a little more inventory. So in essence, we do it as we go. Sorry, what do you mean by a free bag?

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