"Got an open case? Handle return requests like a pro!"
Being a seller either in a physical boutique or an online marketplace has its highs and lows. Some of the challenging experiences a seller may encounter include dealing with difficult potential buyers, handling complaints, and even falling prey to scammers.
If you're a seller on Poshmark, you've probably experienced (or anxious about) having to handle open cases on return requests. Any buyer can open a case to return a recent purchase using the account tab on either the Poshmark app or web version. From there, they can lodge a problem or launch an order inquiry within three days of purchase of the item they find unsatisfactory. Sellers are given a chance to respond. Someone from the Poshmark team will then be in charge of reviewing the dispute and arrive at a resolution.
This post is here to help you, sellers in this sticky situation, reinforce your case and up your chances of tipping the Poshmark rule to your favor.
Remain calm and communicative.
Upon receiving the return request or inquiry, it is normal to feel upset, especially if it's your first time to handle such. However, remember that even the most successful sellers with great customer service and five-star ratings may be getting their fair share of unhappy customers once in a while. Keep your cool and focus on the necessary tasks to straighten up the issue.
Communication is key, along with respect and a genuine desire to resolve the issue fairly. Three things to remember, communication-wise, in handling a Poshmark case:
- Always address Poshmark directly. Although you might find the idea hard to resist, refuse the temptation to go straight to the complaining buyer. Going this route may only aggravate the situation. Instead, remain on the platform and make your communication trail visible to the Poshmark team handling your case.
- Maintain a professional tone – and keep it concise. Answer questions and provide proofs (more on this below) as clearly and coherently as possible, and deliver in a respectful tone. Make it easy for the Poshmark team to understand your point. Although there is no word count limit, be mindful of the attention span and time of those reading your explanation. Go straight to the point while making sure you've got everything covered.
- Respond promptly. Upon being notified of the claim, act fast. If your hands are tied, and you couldn't look into the matter right away, you can at least acknowledge the claim and inform Poshmark that you're on it. Send a follow-up message with pieces of evidence to back your case within 24 hours.
Check the root cause of the return request – and if it's valid.
Poshmark allows buyers to file a claim for the following instances. Once verified, Poshmark handles the return shipping.
- The item was not received
- The item received was a wrong item, or not as described in the listing
The first scenario is explanatory. What often causes dispute and needs investigation is the second scenario. On the other hand, the Poshmark return policy does not recognize the following causes as valid for return and compensation:
- The item doesn't fit – The seller will not be held accountable for any fitting-related complaint if the size and measurements declared in the listing are accurate and match the actual item received.
- The item is no longer wanted – Likewise, the seller is not obliged to accommodate a return request if the reason is flimsy. Such as if the buyer found a similar item that's cheaper somewhere else or simply because they changed their mind about the item upon receiving it.
- Delay on the delivery. It would be neither the seller nor Poshmark's fault if the item was not received on the date it was expected to arrive. The buyer should open the claim with USPS instead.
Always reference the Poshmark Return Policy.
Each online marketplace has its own set of policies in handling returns. A buyer trying to wiggle her way out may argue that something is allowed on eBay or Amazon. That's why it's important to lift or incorporate a screen capture of the salient points from the Poshmark return policy, which is the only valid reference on this matter. Doing so allows you to be persuasive but at the same time professional.
Support your case with sufficient pictures of the item.
Your clear and concise narrative should be supplemented by strong visual proofs. For example, if the buyer claims to have received an item with missing buttons, attach clear photos from your listing that prominently show the button-free style of the clothing. You can also take a screen capture of your listing description that says something like, "No zipper, buttons, or clasp enclosure." If the item is still available on its brand's website, you can also include relevant photos to support your case.
If the complaint pertains to the color of the item – a common cause for return – include photos of the item taken in ample natural lighting without a filter. Poshmark and buyers know that an item's color on the listing doesn't usually perfectly match the actual item because of the discrepancies in screen display from one gadget to another. Let your crisp, high-quality photos show that the item's color is just as described.
Some brands may use special or fancy names in identifying their colors (e.g., "Country Club Blue" or "Ballet Slippers"). If you're using these names in your listing, include the actual palette or stock photo of the item from the brand for accurate reference.
Attach the paper trail.
Include screenshots of any relevant exchanges you may have had with the buyer before the purchase, especially those that documented clarifications on your listings. This proves that you've done your part in informing the buyer beforehand.
Prove that it's the real deal.
Aside from discrepancy in color, another common reason for return is the item's purported inauthenticity. A buyer may claim that the bag, jewelry, or accessories you're selling is counterfeit and demand a refund. In your response, include as many documents you have to prove that your item is a genuine article – tags, authentication card, close-up shots of details like the embossed serial number or hologram, or any detail that is distinct to the designer brand in question. If you bought the item yourself from a brand outlet or a reputable boutique, you might have kept the receipt. Include that as well.
In your listings for luxury items, encourage potential buyers to avail themselves of the Posh Authenticate service. Poshmark frequently runs a promotion that offers free authentication for items costing $500 and up. On a non-promo period, the service is available for a minimal fee that, for buyers, will be worth availing for their peace of mind. Poshmark handles the shipping costs to their HQ with this service, wherein a team of experts will thoroughly check and determine an item's authenticity.
Suggest to Reposh the item.
For items that are not eligible for return according to the Poshmark policy, broach the possibility of re-poshing them on buyers' Poshmark closet using the button that lets them relist an item under their "Received" tab. This proposition will most likely earn you brownie points from Poshmark.
Craft truthful descriptions.
If you sell pre-loved clothing or any secondhand items, declare imperfections like a stain or discoloration right off the bat to manage expectations. Even if you sell brand new items, take the time to craft descriptions that truly reflect their condition to avoid accusations later on. Poshmark will side with a responsible seller who's transparent over an irresponsible buyer who couldn't care less about reading descriptions carefully before purchasing.
Beware of Shady Accounts
When you get an offer from a first-time buyer, check his or her profile for telltale signs of a potential scammer – the absence of any "life" such as a real and clear profile photo and a love note. Posh users like this might be the same ones to intentionally ruin an item or makeup stories to get what they want (return an item they're supposedly unsatisfied with, only for you to find out that they've sent back a different, inferior item!).
Dodge a bullet – and bad experiences with potential scammers – by blocking them right away. Trust your seller instincts. If something feels off with the buyer, don't push through with the transaction. It will save you the hassle and stress later on.
Build up Your Seller Credibility
Unfortunately, some sellers have experienced the worst kind of return requests – the ones from manipulative buyers who invent non-existent flaws that are hard to disprove through photos alone. For example, they may complain about an offensive odor on the clothing that you yourself just carefully washed and dried before dispatch. While you cannot control Poshmark's resolution on tricky cases like this, you can establish your credibility as a seller and increase your exposure within the community, which will help put you in a good light.
Attend Posh Parties and even Posh Fest, consistently earn good feedback, and aim to be a Posh Ambassador. All of these require putting in time and effort, but it's going to pay off. Consider getting help from OneShop, an intelligent bot that saves you tons of hours a week by taking care of the repetitive tasks of maintaining your Poshmark closet that convert to sales.
You may also want to create a social media account, Instagram or Facebook, tied to your Poshmark account. You can produce content that your fellow sellers or buyers might find useful if you're on YouTube. Read up on the best practices on Poshmark and online marketplaces to keep you abreast of the trends as well as scams to avoid.
With these pointers, we're sure you'll win your case. Good luck!
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