You might be surprised to know that scams are not common when selling items online on Poshmark, eBay, Mercari, Depop, and others. In many years of selling, I have only encountered a few unfortunate situations. Most people that purchase from you want the item and are excited to receive their order. However, buying and selling on the internet comes with inherent risks.
Learn more about how to avoid common Poshmark scams, eBay scams, Depop scams, and more!
Do Not Take Transactions off of the Reselling Marketplaces
When you are selling on a platform such as Poshmark, you enjoy the seller protection offered on the marketplace. However, you will not be protected if you elect to share contact details and complete the sale outside of the platform where you are selling. For this reason, many scammers will contact sellers and request to be contacted via phone or email. This can be tempting because independent transactions are not subject to platform fees but never engage in conversation or transaction off of a marketplace. You will not be protected in the event of a scam.
Reseller Tip: If you are selling directly from social media, consider using Paypal for your transactions. Paypal offers superior customer service and protection to sellers and buyers.
Always Save Proof of Shipping
Saving proof of shipping will protect you if your item is lost or stolen in transit or upon delivery. While mailing services are generally reliable, things do happen. Mistakes are made, packages are misdelivered and never returned, labels are ripped off of parcels in route, there are a number of things that can happen once you drop your parcel off with the mailing service. On rare occasions, you might drop off a parcel that never starts tracking. If you have proof that you dropped it off, you will be protected (by the reselling platform as well as USPS) if your buyer claims that they never received their order.
Reseller Tip: If you are using a shipping label generated by the marketplace, consider adding extra insurance if necessary at the post office for higher-value sales. In the event of a missing or damaged parcel, you will only be protected up to the insurance value included.
Document your Item & Packaging
Most reselling platforms do not allow returns unless an item is not as described. For this reason, a small portion of scammers will cause damage to an item and report that it arrived damaged as grounds for a return case. This is not common and not something to necessarily worry about. However, I take a few precautions as I have been a victim of scams by this method. For orders over $30, I document my item and packaging by snapping a photo of the front and back of the item with the shipping label visible as well as a photograph of the item’s packaging. I have successfully submitted this supporting documentation to various platforms. While it might not be necessary, it is about my peace of mind.
Here is an example of how I documented a recent order. These Gucci shoes were purchased for $650, so I captured photographs of each angle and all packaging.
Never Share Your Personal Information
While it is obvious that you should not share your contact information on the internet, you would be surprised how clever and skillful some scammers can be. Scammers can create emails that very closely resemble those from platforms with instructions that might compromise your account security. Be extra careful.
I also suggest that you do not share your name or address on your shipping labels. Instead, shipping labels have my username and a PO Box, which would make it far more difficult for one to find me for the purpose of fraud. Again, these precautions are not entirely necessary but certainly help to enhance security.
Always Have your Items Authenticated
Whether you are buying or selling luxury goods, counterfeit items are everywhere. It is best to have items authenticated before sale to protect you as a seller and immediately upon receipt to protect you as a buyer. With this documentation, your higher-end purchases will have enhanced protection by the major reselling platforms.
This article is not intended to make anyone paranoid. I do not find that the reselling platforms are particularly vulnerable to fraud and scams. In fact, you receive seller protection on most reselling platforms and there is little reason to worry about it. That said, bad people that do bad things are everywhere, and these suggestions will offer you a bit more protection or peace of mind!