Learn more about one of our Founder's - Megan!
Megan's Resale Roots
I grew up for a time in Atlanta Georgia. My hazy memories of childhood are filled with climbing skinny vine-covered pines, collecting honey suckles in plastic buckets with my little sister, and the wind in my face as my banana seat bicycle soared down the empty roads of Marietta. I fondly recall playing Smurfs and glamour gals with my neighbor and best friend, Anneke. Anneke’s family was from Holland and she knew all about the Smurfs well before her American buddy. I thought it was fascinating that her toys had a foreign language on their butts when mine just said: “Made in China”.
Every weekend of the summer months, my dad would take me to a sprawling flea market near our Marietta home. Sometimes we would just shop. He would look at old records, I would peruse the toys and together we forged a bond over the treasure hunt of it all. On a few glorious Saturdays, my dad shelled out the $10 fee for a spot and let me set up my little table. I sold Barbie's, stuffed animals, and sticker books. The scratch and sniff ones sold best. When someone asked “How much” for one of my wares, I’d blurt out whatever I felt it was worth. Sometimes a stuffed cat was 2.00, sometimes 10.00. The shopper would look baffled at my dad and he’d just shrug, laugh and say “If she doesn’t get ten bucks for that stuffed cat, I think she wants to keep it, so depends how much you want it.” The price was firm. He was my hero. My love of buying and selling stayed with me to this day.
I moved away when I was 15. My dad was transferred back to Philadelphia, where my grandparents lived. They felt like they were headed home. I, on the other hand, felt quite lost without my friend. We hugged for a very long time and promised visits and pen pal letters. I remember the fear quaking in my tummy as we hugged. Would she find a new best friend? Would I?
My new high school, a Catholic one at that, with green jumper dresses and dismissive nuns awaited me. The local public school in Lansdale PA was on strike and my parents decided it was unfair that I would have to go to school into the summer when I had started on time back in Georgia. It was December when we moved. Christmas break. Winter, bleak and quiet. No rummage sales. No garage sales. parents promised the Catholic I was devastated and alone but determined not to show anyone that. I ended up a smidge anorexic, with a string of questionable friends that taught me how to steal things we didn’t feel like paying for at the mall, curse, and chug a whole bottle of Zima without taking a breath.
I’ve never been back to Georgia. Anneke and I lost touch. I went to college near home, got into the News business, and ended up writing and producing in Chicago. I met my husband at work (he was a sports producer). He had to get his paper scripts from me right before the 9 pm newscast. He kept his head down. He had dip in his mouth every time. It smelled sweet which surprised me. One day, he went to grab his pile and I pulled It away and scoffed “a thank you would be nice once in a while.” He looked bewildered but thanked me. I told him we were going for drinks that night. He showed up. We got married in December 1997 in Nassau, Bahamas. December 7th. Pearl Harbor Day. A Day that will live in Infamy. Lol. It was two years after eBay was born but I didn’t find the amazing new website until after our wedding… sometime in 1998, I posted my first auction. It was a set of matching cat bookends, among other things. I took pictures of them, had the film developed, scanned them into my Acer computer, and then listened as my modem screeched and groaned and uploaded the pictures from a mini scanner. I spent most Fridays in line at the post office shipping off my little treasures. Nothing was as easy as it is today. But I loved it. I was cutting edge. The internet was an amazing tool and I was there for it.
In 2004, with the arrival of Facebook. I tiptoed onto the platform. My first child, Madelyn was four at the time. I was fascinated that I could share her every move with the world – and I was rewarded with likes and comments for every adorable thing she did and said. I also found my friend. Anneke was alive and well in Ohio with a beautiful family of her own. We reconnected and chatted now and again, liked each other’s life events, oohing and ahhing for birthdays, soccer trophies, and anniversaries. Little did I know, she too had found eBay and was forging her own little resale business. She was also re-painting and repairing furniture. They were available on her Craigslist page. Side hustling online had become a new means of making money. We were both founding members of the online resale world.
eBay evolved and became a huge source of income for our little family. It got easier and easier – and at the same time complex. Uploading, picture taking, all of the how-to’s – easy. But what to buy, what to sell, how to price, where to source… all new problems that I was all too happy to figure out. As a founding member of our fledgling industry, I felt a responsibility to get it right. I was a news writer by day. Working up to producing. The real job that interfered with my true love of thrift. eBay and all its appeal was initially a huge source of irritation for my young husband. He wanted none of it. He didn’t appreciate the piles of stuff, the shopping, or the time spent. I ignored it or fought periodically… he grew weary and ignored the whole situation right back. It was like his River Boat Casino trips. If he won, I was happy. If he lost, I was pissed as hell. If I sold things and made money, he was impressed. If I had a return or lost money because I mis-weighed something, he was perplexed and annoyed. It went like that for a while.
As the years passed, a strange knowledge of brands, products that sold, and retired goods that held value streamed into my subconscious and stuck. It was experiential osmosis of learning through trial and error, happy accidents, and hard-fought early mornings of garage sales and thrift shops. I had real moments of horror: a dead mouse amidst the plush animals at the Clybourne Salvation Army. A battle over an American Girl doll with another picker at a church rummage sale ended with her robbing the toy right out of my cart. A Yves Saint Laurent purse worth over $500 bucks that was accidentally dropped at goodwill and gone forever. Many big wins – a Bear in the Big Blue House beanbag chair bought for 5 bucks that brought in $225. A brass bed freight shipped to California on a Greyhound Bus that paid for our Christmas that year. $2500 bucks in cold hard cash. Whatever I was doing, I loved it…and I kept honing my strange little skill.
The things I sought out and sold changed over time. First, it was baby toys and clothes, then kids toys and clothes, then American Girl dolls all day long… But I got tired of the shipping issues of anything bigger than a bread box …so I focused on clothes exclusively. Easy to ship, no surprises, and an endless arena of new brands to learn, sizing, materials, and varying dress, shirt, and pant terminology. Shift dress, Batwing sleeves, culottes, Goth, Cottage core, Steampunk… I was hooked.
In 2006, I forged a friendship with a local neighbor that sold on eBay too. She was a teacher. We spent afternoons on our days off, drinking and listing. Or shopping and then drinking. Or just drinking. The drinking is a story for a different day but I’ll just add that I don’t drink anymore. It’s 2022 and I have been sober for five years. In fact, besides coffee, Thrifting is the only addiction left in me! I like to remind my husband of that fact… “leave me with my one vice please!” lol.
Anyway, back to Anneke. In 2017, right around the time, I was grappling with that pesky alcohol addiction, I found Poshmark. My daughters were talking about Depop, where they bought their fast fashion brands for almost nothing. I had grown weary of the mounting fees and greed from the eBay brass and started researching the new lineup. Poshmark seemed to fit best. I appreciated that they took 20% right off the top vs upfront fees for listing and THEN a second dip into my account a month later. Final Value Fees, listing fees, extra picture fees, store subscriptions… despite my huge following on eBay, I took the leap.
I migrated everything to Poshmark and started the odd but glorious journey into the Poshmark community. Share parties, follow parties, parties parties parties! It was quite a social world! On one unassuming day of sales, a follower bundled a shirt of mine and said hello. “Hey there! How have you been?” It was Anneke! Her closet was gorgeous. All this time, she had been doing what I did. We loved the same things. The same brands were beautifully displayed on mannequins against a lovely white brick wall. We forged a bold new friendship around customer stories, thrift adventures, and sales successes!
We exchange texts every day and are now planning a pilgrimage to the center point between our two homes – which is apparently Indianapolis. We both plan to bring our youngest daughters to meet too! Her daughter Ella looks just like the young girl I played with all those years ago. My 10-year-old looks like me with much lighter hair. This October, I will get a fresh hug and get to shop with my friend at the Bins on Franklin st. somewhere near Indianapolis, Indiana. What could be better?
Tell us about YOUR Resale Roots! Send your Thrift Stories and Successes to email@example.com
The Posh Pro Project’s NUMBER ONE goal is to EMPOWER women. The pandemic made women feel helpless, alone, and overwhelmed. We are seeking to change that with a sense of community, attainable goals, and an element of fun to keep working women motivated and on task! The site offers a growing list of classes that teaches resellers how to get started with their own online resale business. We also have a growing YouTube Channel and a podcast, Rags to Resale, to share the latest knowledge on reselling. The US workforce lost 1 in 4 women to the pandemic. If you love to shop and have an eye for adventure, Resale might just be for you. Join the movement! Follow us on our social channels!