FashionInsta: CHS students take on online business using fashion apps, including Instagram, to buy, sell their clothing

Alina Yu and Kris Otten



Junior Mea McCormack explains her “closet” account on the social media app Instagram

How long have you been using your clothing account?

Two months

Have you found that using the app has been successful in selling your clothes

Yes, it has. I have probably still have more for sale than what I have sold but I’ve sold over a $100 in clothes.


Alina Yu
Junior Mea McCormack takes a picture of a Patagonia sweatshirt to sell on Instagram. McCormack said she only posts clothing that is in good condition.

What’s your normal price range, and how do you know how to price such items?

I usually do about a fourth of what I bought it for, and I only put things (on my account) that are in good condition. The most I had priced on here was $40, and that was for an expensive jacket.

What made you decide to sell your clothes in online?

I had been bringing items to consignment shops for a while, but I decided that if I could keep it more local I would with my friends around me. They would compliment me when I used to where them, so I figured, I could get better prices for them if I sold them online.

Why did you want to sell your clothes in general?

Well, my style changes, and I don’t want to just put everything to Goodwill because some stuff is in great condition, where it can start a whole new life with someone else. I thought it would be good to post them because I am no longer (wearing the clothes).

Would you recommend creating Instagram clothing accounts to others?

Yes, there are quite a few accounts that I interact with; we actually buy each others’ clothes, and I’ve met a lot of people that way. I get stuff I love that I know I will wear for a huge discounted price.


Have you used any other apps for selling clothes?

Alina Yu
McCormack sizes the photo of the sweatshirt to post on her Instagram account. She said the app helps clean out her closet and earn some money.

No. I sell my clothes on Instagram, but I’ve done transfers through Venmo. Venmo is a sister account to Paypal, so basically you can transfer money from one bank account to another to make the actual exchange of clothes easier.

How do you think online Instagram accounts change the face of online businesses, especially for students?

I think it helps keep money and clothes in the circulation of teenagers, versus putting them in bigger stores. It helps people my age who don’t have a job, or don’t work as much as they’d like to make money to do the activities they love. This is a way that I can not do anything but take pictures of things I don’t wear and make money for it.


Senior Nikki Vasil uses the more fashion-specific app to sell clothes

How long have you been using Poshmark?

Three years.

What do you normally sell on Poshmark?

I usually sell old clothes that I don’t wear anymore; really good brands that would sell quickly, and anything else I normally take to Goodwill. It’s just a way to make some pocket money.

What’s your normal price range, and how do you know how to price such items?

It depends on the condition of the item, so if it’s new, then the price tends to be closer to the tag price, whereas if it’s old but still in good condition, then (I would price it) somewhere over half of what it costs.

Why did you start to use Poshmark?

I was watching a YouTube video; it was a YouTube video on how to make money and I thought it was a really good idea because all these clothes were sitting in my closet, and instead of taking them to Goodwill, I could potentially make some money off of them.

Do you find the app to be successful?

It can take a while to sell clothes, but usually I’m sending out packages at least once every two weeks. I feel like name brands are the ones that sell the fastest.


Business teacher Paul Clayton assesses the success of online fashion business

If the trend of buying and selling clothes online continues, how do you think this will affect businesses that only sell their clothes in store?

We’re already seeing a lot of retail stores closing down. It’s not the economy; it’s mostly the fact that online shopping is becoming more popular, and more than likely younger generations are going to be even more attuned to buying online. I do think over the next 10 or 15 years, there’s going to be a big change and it’s going to be tough on retailers. One thing about clothes (sold online) is that you can’t try on or touch them and can’t feel the texture, which may make clothing stores a little bit more insulated to what’s going on compared to basic stores that are just selling basic commodity type goods that we don’t really care about seeing them first.

Recently it seems as though there has been an increase in selling clothes online, why do you think this is?

The Internet has made things possible that were never possible before, so now you can show pictures and get your message out to lots of potential buyers; that wasn’t easy to do before.

Do you think creating online businesses on clothing apps is a good business strategy?

It would have the advantage of very low overhead, unlike going out and renting space, having to then fix it up and put investment into that. Obviously, if something like that doesn’t work all you’d have to do is close the website down and maybe your inventory. So, it’s a low-risk business model