A big part of my sustainable fashion journey has been exploring the world of second-hand and thrifting. I started off with visiting Value Village and the Toronto Vintage Clothing Show, but then discovered the wonderful selection of apps and online platforms.
Today I’m sharing my experience with buying on Poshmark. Poshmark is a social commerce marketplace that connects buyers and sellers – similar to eBay. As an app, it’s very easy to use and navigate. I find it much easier to use than other similar apps like Depop.
How does it work?
When you sign up for the app, you create a profile – much like any other social media site – and choose brands you’re interested in. You don’t have to choose brands, but it helps the app show you listings you might be like. Choosing the brands also doesn’t narrow down your scope – you can always add more brands, or search for specific items.
You’ll also be prompted to follow sellers, so that their listings pop up in your feed. Some sellers have a whole range of items (which can be good or bad, depending on what you’re looking for), and some are very consistent in what they’ll list.
You can also add your size information, so that when you’re browsing you’re only finding items you’ll know will fit you. Additionally – many sellers post item measurements, which is immensely helpful.
You can like “heart” items as you browse in order to keep a “likes” feed – this is my favourite part! When I’m tempted to go on a shopping spree, I check out my Poshmark “likes” that I’ve saved and re-evaluate my budget and what I’m tempted to buy.
When you’ve made your decision to buy, you have the option to make an offer. I’m terrible at bargaining, so this makes the experience incredibly easy. The seller has the opportunity to counter-offer. Once you’ve negotiated to a price you’re comfortable with, you can confirm the order. It’s so satisfying to score amazing deals – sometime on BRAND NEW items!
Is it safe to use?
I find Poshmark to be very safe to use. Payment is handled through the platform, and not directly with the seller, so you don’t have to worry about paying for an item and not receiving it.
Furthermore, Poshmark customer service is incredible. They’ll send you a notification once your purchase goes through, then another one once your item has been shipped, and another one once it’s been delivered.
If a seller has taken too long to ship your item, Poshmark will send the seller a reminder, and will then send you a notification to confirm this has been done.
In the rare instance that the seller just doesn’t ship the item (after a two-week period), Poshmark will cancel the order and give you a refund without any action on your part.
There’s no chat feature between buyers and sellers, but you can leave comments on their closet. For the most part, I’ve found sellers to be super communicative and friendly! I’ve had two instances where purchases didn’t go through, and the sellers were really nice about it.
In the first instance, I purchased a bag from a seller and unfortunately she couldn’t find it! She messaged me right away (by commenting on my profile), and apologized. She cancelled the order herself so that I could receive my refund quickly. Of course it was sad that I didn’t get the bag I wanted, but I really appreciate her swift responses and her ensuring I got my money back quickly.
In the second instance, I purchased a pair of shoes from a seller and she reached out to me to let me know she’d found a flaw on one of them as she was about to ship them to me. She said she didn’t want me to pay for something less than stellar and be unhappy with my purchase. I agreed and she cancelled the order so that I could get a refund 🙂
What about fakes and knock-offs?
As of this writing, Poshmark offers a FREE authentication service and free shipping on items over $500 USD and $700 CAD. I think this is a great benefit, and one that gives me a lot of confidence in buying designer off of Poshmark.
I’ve purchased designer items on Poshmark that were less than $700, and felt comfortable with them because they weren’t pieces that are popular on the counterfeit market (very specific pair of Charlotte Olympia shoes, Robert Clergerie platforms, etc.). If I was unsure, I’d ask the seller for more details.
With that being said, there ARE fakes on Poshmark, but they are specified as such. Poshmark doesn’t allow fakes, but sellers get away with it by stating that the “price reflects authenticity”. There’s a market out there for people who do want to purchase good fakes. I have my own opinion about this which I won’t get into, but I do appreciate that the sellers are upfront about the authenticity.
Can I return an item if I don’t like it?
Unfortunately, this is the one downside – you can’t make returns on Poshmark. However, Poshmark has a feature called “re-Poshing”, which makes it extremely easy for you to re-sell the item if you don’t love it.
I’m not the type of person who makes a purchase if I’m not 1000% sure about it, so I don’t find this to be a significant downside. If you’re the type of shopper that prefers to buy things to try them out before making your decision, this isn’t the platform for you.
- “Like” items you’re interested in, even if you’re not ready to buy or you think the item is too expensive. More often than not, sellers will send a discounted offer, and you can always negotiate!
- When negotiating, keep the final price in mind. Shipping comes out to about $10 (varies on different items), so factor that in to your negotiation.
- Bundle items to drive a harder bargain and only pay a single shipping fee – this only works within the same seller’s closet, but I’ve kicked myself a few times for not checking out their listings and forgetting to bundle.
- Instead of passively browsing, use the app to find specific items for your wardrobe. For instance:
– If you are buying into a trend for the season, you might search for “plaid blazer” or “sweater vest”
– If you need to replace an item in your wardrobe, or want to stock up on tried and true favourites, search for them so you don’t pay full price. My searches include “hunter boots”, “Uniqlo vest”, “J.Crew coat”, “Aritzia Cohen pant”. I’ll never pay full-price for these staples again.
- Ask questions! One common theme I see is around fit – if the seller has listed an item and its size, but you’re not sure if it will be tight or loose-fitting, ask for the measurements. If you don’t think the seller has shown the item from enough angles, you can also ask them to post more pictures – this is really important when it comes to shoes. Always make sure there are pictures of the soles!
- Review the seller. You can check out their feedback on their profile – including: comments from people who have purchased from them, their rating, how long they’ve been selling, etc.
I hope you found this post helpful! If you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out – I’m super passionate about shopping secondhand and love to help. If you’re interested in the app, but want a little discount, feel free to use my referral code “JOCESUTHERLAND” or click here to download Poshmark and get $15 CAD off 🙂
Thank you so much for reading! Xox