Oh no! It happened- a buyer opened a case against you on Poshmark.
Don’t panic! It happens. Poshmark protection is much better than most other reselling marketplaces.
I have been selling on Poshmark for eight years, and I have had my fair share of cases opened. Some cases are legitimate, while others have been wild.
Here is my best advice about how to handle a case on Poshmark.
Does Poshmark Allow Returns?
First, be sure you are familiar with the Poshmark Return Policy. Basically, “all sales are final” on Poshmark, and (in theory) a return request will only be approved when an item is not as described or not authentic.
Poshmark does not allow returns for fit, buyer’s remorse, delayed delivery, or any other reason except that the item did not arrive as it was described in the listing.
How to Prevent Cases on Poshmark
You cannot prevent cases, but providing detailed and accurate descriptions is the best way to reduce them. Any flaws should be both clearly shown in photographs as well as written in words in your description.
For example, if your item has a missing button, you won’t get away with saying “you can clearly see that a button is missing in the photo.” It is not the buyer’s job to meticulously analyze every image. Instead, it is your responsibility to be super-transparent by showing both a zoomed-in image of the missing button and using clear language in the description to highlight it, too.
Because returns are generally only allowed when the item is not as described, a high level of detail is the best way to protect you against having cases opened against you on Poshmark.
How Do Cases Work on Poshmark?
A buyer has up to three days after delivery to open a case with Poshmark as their only way to request a return. When a case is opened, you are notified via email and in-app notification, and you are able to see the buyer’s claim and any accompanying photographs that they submit. Further, you have the opportunity to respond with supporting words and optional attachments.
What to Do When Someone Opens a Case on Poshmark?
First, don’t respond immediately when you are upset. We often take business personally and are inclined to respond dramatically. While being a petty posher can be satisfying, being unprofessional will not get you far.
Second, remember that the buyer is always right, even when they really aren’t at all… Poshmark is known to be amongst the most fair and reasonable, but they can’t please everyone. If it comes down to pleasing either the buyer or the seller, the buyer will prevail. There are far more shoppers than sellers on Poshmark, and they must prioritize them from a business perspective. The buyer matters more than you, period.
Third, remember to think like a buyer. Put yourself in their shoes. You are biased, of course, but try to experience how you would feel if you were them. Do not instantly suppose that they are attempting a scam or have malicious intentions. Hear them out.
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How to Respond When a Buyer Opens a Case on Poshmark?
While some sellers do not even respond to cases (because they pay Poshmark via selling fees to handle the same) I recommend that you always respond to a case. Oftentimes, buyers simply want to be acknowledged, and a little respect can go a long way.
When responding to a case, be brief and friendly. The exact way that you will respond or handle the case will likely depend on the reason for the case.
Here are some of the most common types of cases opened on Poshmark and how to deal with each of them:
1. Poshmark Item is Not Authentic
A buyer may open a case (even after three days post-delivery) if they believe that an item is inauthentic. Of course, the sale of inauthentic, replicas, and “dupes” that claim to be luxury brands is illegal and not allowed (even if you admit that it is fake or you’re not sure.)
In the event that a buyer opens a case based upon authenticity, it is your burden to prove that the item is authentic. That proof must be legitimate, as well, meaning proof of purchase or a certificate of authenticity.
Often, we don’t have these things for items we have thrifted or obtained secondhand. Remember, it is your responsibility to make sure that the item is authentic prior to listing. I recommend having luxury items authenticated prior to listing, so that you can provide proof if it is requested. Without this proof, you will likely lose the case and might also jeopardize your account.
2. Poshmark Item Not As Described.
A buyer may open a case if an item is not as it was described in the listing. Perhaps it is not the same item, not the size advertised, has undisclosed flaws or alterations, the measurements or dimensions are incorrect, or something about it is substantially different than what was shown in the photographs and/or description.
Obviously, if you made a mistake, you should apologize for the inconvenience to the buyer. If you believe that the buyer is incorrect, you have the right to respond.
These are the toughest type of cases to win as a seller, especially if the buyer provides images that demonstrate a substantial difference from those in your original listing.
If the buyer photographs the tiniest little flaw that you did not include in your listing images and written description, they are likely going to win the case for “undisclosed wear.” Your only attempt at winning such a case would be if you had clear and close-up images that clearly illustrate that there is no such flaw in the location that the buyer claims. However, this takes you down a slippery slope in which you are indirectly accusing the buyer of lying and/or fraudulently damaging the item to force a return, and that never ends well.
When this happens, my best advice is to provide supporting images, explain that the flaw was not present when sent, and to never argue with the buyer.
Remember, if the case is approved and the item is returned with damage, you can open a counterclaim. This is the only solution for most cases that become a he-said-she-said. This is true of cases that surround color-differences based on lighting, claims surrounding flaws and condition, and accusations of smells, and more.
How To Respond to a Case on Poshmark with Examples:
1. Buyer: This item has a missing rhinestone. (image attached).
Seller: Buyer, thanks again for your purchase. Please see attached image from the listing, showing that the rhinestones are all in-tact with none missing. Poshmark, kindly invoke Poshmark protection as the item was sent as described.
2. Buyer: This item smells strongly of cigarette smoke. I want to return it.
Seller: Hello, this item comes from a smoke-free home, and it was laundered prior to sending. Poshmark, kindly review and advise.
3. Buyer: I ordered a hot pink dress and I received a bubblegum pink dress. I would like to return. See the cover photo vs. a photo of the dress I received.
Seller: Hello. Thanks for providing images of the gorgeous dress! As you demonstrated, it arrived exactly as described. Any speculated variation in the exact shade of pink is likely due to perception, image quality, device, or lighting. Colors can be tricky, as we all see them differently. Note that I capture images in moderate lighting and do not edit the color. I hope you love your new dress!
4. Buyer: I don’t care what the tag says, these jeans are not size 4. I have ten pairs of the same brand and these are way larger than all of them- the seller should have explained that they run big and I want my money back!
Seller: Hey! Oh no, I’m so sorry the jeans don’t fit you. As you noted, the tag on the jeans says Size 4. I also provided the approximate measurements to help determine fit. Unfortunately, Poshmark does not allow returns for fit, but feel free to use the “re-Posh” feature and sell them! With the deal you got, you’ll probably make a great profit. Happy selling!
3. Item Not Received
Sometimes, a buyer will open a case that an item has not been received. So long as you have proof of delivery (a receipt from the post office or confirmation of a package pick-up) you are protected.
Do not assume that the buyer is lying to get something for free. On rare occasions, mail gets lost, misdelivered, blown away in the wind, stolen, wrongfully returned to sender, or labels tear off in sorting facilities, etc. Do not assume the buyer is scamming you: if they are, it’s not your problem: your funds will be released when you provide proof of sending. Poshmark may choose to investigate or file a claim with USPS, you don’t have to.
4. Frivolous Cases
Frivolous cases are those which are not grounds for a legitimate return. Often, these are opened because the buyer does not know the return policy. When someone opens a case for fit, because they changed their mind, or because they don’t like the item in person, respond kindly with a gentle reminder of the Poshmark policy and encourage them to shop with you again.
Remember that each time a buyer has a poor experience, you have an opportunity to try to turn it around. Building a return customer base is one of the best ways to scale your business. When you leave buyers mad or feeling ignored, they are unlikely to shop with you again. In fact, they might never return to Poshmark. This doesn't just affect you; each poor experience affects every Poshmark seller.
What Happens if a Buyer Wins a Case on Poshmark?
If a case is approved, the buyer will receive a return label (shipping expense paid by Poshmark), and have a few days to return the item to you. If they fail to do so, your funds will eventually be released. Be sure to inspect the item immediately following return: if it is not in the same condition that you sent it in, you can open a counter-claim from the selling page. Be patient as this process takes quite some time.
You will likely receive a reprimanding slap-on-the-wrist email that cautions you to do better next time. Don’t sweat it. As long as this is not happening too frequently, your account will likely be fine.
However, if you are accused of selling inauthentic items, you should take that seriously: the only time I have seen people banned from Poshmark is for selling counterfeit and inauthentic items.
Extra Tips for Handling Poshmark Cases:
Remember that returns are not the end of the world. In fact, they’re part of business. The best case scenario is that you receive your item back in the same condition, and you resell it. The worst case scenario is that you have to open a counterclaim, but you will be protected by Poshmark if you provide documentation and are persistent.
Let Poshmark handle it. If a buyer reaches out to you via comment, bundle, or message with an issue, you can encourage them to open a case with Poshmark. Engaging in off-app transactions (i.e. a Venmo refund) is not advised or allowed, and you will not be protected if they subsequently open a legitimate case.
Remember that most buyers are not scammers. While fraud and scams do occur, most buyers purchase your items because they genuinely want them. Assuming the worst in people causes bitterness, choose positivity.
Don’t forget to thoroughly check your items once more prior to shipment. Check buttons, threads, zippers, and everything else to be sure there are no flaws that you missed. No one is perfect, and you’re going to make mistakes despite your best effort. But it is better to cancel a sale than it is to deal with a case.
Finally, Be patient. Poshmark is known for being fair but certainly not fast. It might take a few days for them to respond. Sending multiple emails will not expedite the process, (instead it changes your priority based on recency and will cause for a longer wait time).
Have you encountered returns or cases? Share your experience below!
You might also be interested in the article: The Poshmark Bible: How to Get Started Selling on Poshmark