Poshmark’s warm community of sellers and buyers (many of which interchangeably wear a hat as both!) thrives on mutual respect and positive energy. As with other online marketplaces though, Poshmark is unfortunately not immune to bad apples here and there.
Perhaps you’ve had a close call with a suspected scammer or knew of a seller who recently did. Falling victim to fraud of any kind is disheartening, that’s why we gathered the three most common Poshmark scams out there to help you recognize the tell-tale signs of fraud and be better equipped as a seller.
The “Email Me” Scam
If you ever get a comment from a potential buyer asking you to move your conversation to email or on any channel outside the Poshmark platform, don’t respond. Instead, report the comment immediately using the action menu button.
This is a classic red flag. A scammer may try to convince you to communicate on email or Facebook / Instagram Messenger one reason or another (e.g. “I’m interested to purchase this item from your closet, but for some reason, my Poshmark account is acting up. Please email me to close off this transaction!”) and lure you in with an irresistible offer. But remember that once you take your conversation somewhere else, you are automatically stripping yourself off Poshmark Sellers Protection. In doing this, potential buyers also lose their rights under Posh Protect. No legit, sensible consumer would want to do this. On the other hand, scammers would love to lead you somewhere else to perhaps steal data from your password or credit cards, exhort money from you, or another similar modus operandi.
Trust your instinct and rely on your common sense in determining fake accounts. If it looks shady (e.g. no profile photo, sketchy username, low follower count, no love notes) and feels phony, more often than not, it’s a scammer account.
The “Switch” Scam
This scam usually targets sellers with high-end or designer closets. What happens is that a scammer buys a high-value, luxury item – say a pair of Gucci shoes, Chanel accessories, or a Louis Vuitton purse. Once it arrives, a false claim will be raised to get the item sent back to its seller. However, instead of getting the original item back, the seller will get a counterfeit version. Sneaky, isn’t it?
The first line of safety measures sellers can do to prevent this is to be armed with foresight. Leave no room for loopholes when listing your items. We will discuss in detail below what Poshmark considers valid for return or not, but in a nutshell, you’re better off upholding your seller rights by being as transparent as possible in your product descriptions and photos. Be extra careful when listing branded, luxury items. Post clear pics of the tags and certificate of authenticity (if available), brand label or any unique distinguishing marks of its authenticity, close-up shots of the material, or any similar proof that would either deter scammers from targeting you or help you win your case should you, unfortunately, fall prey to this type of scam.
If this happens to you, another thing to remember is to take clear photos of the returned fake items as soon as you’ve opened the package. Compile these to draw up a neat comparison between what was posted online and what was delivered to the buyer – make it a habit to take photos of items right before shipping them out.
Additionally, Poshmark offers a service called Posh Authenticate. While this service is designed to primarily protect the buyers from ending up with fakes, sellers can also benefit from it as an added layer of proof to validate an item’s authenticity. In your luxury item listing, you can perhaps mention that potential buyers may want to avail of this service (Poshmark occasionally runs a promotion wherein authentication and delivery is free for items worth $500 and up) for their peace of mind. Although the decision to opt for this service relies on the buyer, doing so shows your credibility as a seller and confidence in the authenticity of your listings.
Selling of counterfeits and replicas is prohibited in Poshmark and is a serious law enforcement matter. You can help in your own way by flagging a listing that you know for sure is a fake.
The “Return” Scam
The reality is that not all buyers will be happy with their purchase from a Poshmark seller. Some of them have sensible reasons for wanting a refund, while some – those who do it deliberately and regularly – are downright scammers.
The “Return” Scam happens when a buyer is dissatisfied with an item, for one invalid reason or another, that they have just purchased. But because they lack valid grounds to get their money back under the Poshmark Refund Policy, they resort to dirty tactics to try to turn things in their favor. It can go as ugly as intentionally ruining the item and make it appear like it arrived in that state and proceed to report it to Poshmark!
First, let’s identify the valid reasons that guarantee refunds from Poshmark:
- The buyer received the wrong item.
Honest mistakes happen. Sometimes, a frazzled seller can inadvertently mix orders up and buyers end up with a different item on their doorstep.
- The buyer received an item that was not as described (misrepresented sizing, undisclosed damage, a different material, a non-existing detail or feature).
Any verified discrepancy between what was clearly stated on the listing and what was received is honored for a refund.
For either scenario, buyer protection in Poshmark allows them the chance to report the incident and file a claim with all relevant proofs within three days – the timeframe wherein the Paypal payment to the seller is on hold for release. Once a claim is filed, the Poshmark customer service will review the case before awarding the full refund to the buyer.
Second, here are the reasons considered invalid for refunds:
- The item does not fit the buyer. If the sizing details on the listing are accurate and matched the merchandise received, the seller is not to be held liable for any incompatible fit with the buyer.
To better protect you as a seller, include complete sizing information and other details specific to the brand. A pair of jeans from a certain brand may have a unique sizing chart, so mention it in the listing or incorporate the link to the brand’s sizing guide on their website for reference.
- The item is no longer wanted.
It is neither a seller’s nor Poshmark’s responsibility to cater to a buyer’s whims. Canceling a purchase arbitrarily is not valid. All sales are final regardless if the buyer is satisfied with the merchandise or not – unless of course if the reason for the dissatisfaction falls under either of the valid reasons above.
- The item arrived late.
Shipping is handled by USPS and the expected delivery is according to their standard turnaround times. Sellers and Poshmark have no control over when exactly the item will arrive on your doorstep or mail (if you prefer to receive in a post office box). Buyers are therefore not encouraged to purchase something they would need tomorrow or in such unreasonable short notice.
So I got scammed ... what do I do?
If you found yourself scammed, calm down because seller’s protection is just as important to Poshmark. The key lies in how fast you act and how clear your proofs are.
Open a case with Poshmark. Lodge a complaint as soon as you realized you’ve been scammed and have enough evidence to prove it. Resist the temptation to go directly to the scammer. Doing so could aggravate the situation and waste your precious time. Remember you are dealing with a con artist here – twisting facts and manipulation are nothing to them. Never give your personal information, phone numbers, or bank account details if ever they suggest resolving the dispute with money involved. Don’t go to directly to the police either! Let Poshmark handle this as this happened on their platform.
Fortify your case with relevant photos and info. Put yourself in the position of the Poshmark team reviewing your case. What do you need to see to convince you to side with the seller? Organize your pieces of evidence and present your case as clearly and thoroughly as possible. This will be a stark contrast to the scammers’ flimsy excuses and poor proof.
As a Poshmark seller, you need to always be on the lookout for possible scammers. We know, there’s a lot on your plate as it is, what with the time-consuming aspects of running a successful business in multiple marketplaces. OneShop has an intuitive Poshmark bot service available in both iOS and Android and can take care of marketing automation and sales analytics for you, so you can focus on scaling up your business – while keeping scammers at bay!