Is Poshmark legit? And is Poshmark safe? Poshmark is a popular online reselling marketplace most known for new and secondhand fashion.
With over 80 million community members, Poshmark is a leading social e-commerce marketplace for new and secondhand fashion! While you can sell everything from home decor to electronics, Poshmark is most known for women’s clothing and accessories, with top-sellers being mid-range to high-end apparel.
Poshmark is advertised in the media as a way to make cash for the clothes you never wear in your closet. Many Poshmark users are casual sellers as opposed to full-time resellers. This makes Poshmark an opportune environment for scammers to seek victims and carryout fraudulent activity.
On Poshmark, like most reselling marketplaces, there are common scams that you need to be aware of.
Here is a little bit about the most common scams on Poshmark, eBay, Facebook Marketplace, Depop and more:
Don’t worry. Scams are not any more common on Poshmark than they are on the other reselling marketplace! Want to learn more about Poshmark? Check out the Poshmark Bible to become a Poshmark pro!
A Brief Overview Of Buying And Selling On Poshmark
Poshmark has worked hard to ensure that both buying and selling on their platform are as easy and safe as possible. Their easy buying and shipping options have made them one of the top reselling platforms in the industry.
Buyers will enjoy the ability to search for items and save them with "likes." They can purchase outright, make an offer, or wait to receive an offer. They can also bundle more than one item together to receive a discount and a break on shipping costs. Once they've made a purchase, the buyer will receive notifications and a prompt to accept and review the item.
Sellers love Poshmark because they have one of the simplest shipping options of all the reselling platforms. For a flat fee, sellers can ship up to 5 lbs and use free USPS shipping labels. This means sellers don't have to enter a weight for each item when listing and don't have to choose between multiple shipping options. Poshmark holds money from purchases until the item is confirmed delivered and can easily be transferred from your Poshmark account to your bank account.
Poshmark markets itself as a place to clean out your closet, but a select group of sellers have seen the potential to make reselling clothing and home decor a dependable source of income. Full-time and part-time resellers will continue to acquire inventory from the cheapest sources to resell online for a profit. For example, you can take donations, buy from thrift stores or outlets, or buy wholesale to keep expenses down. While most Poshmark users are buyers and casual sellers, most of Poshmark's sales come from "power sellers."
How Did Poshmark Become So Popular?
From early on, the creators of Poshmark knew they wanted their app to be community-based with a focus on buyers and sellers rather than products. They proved this by making social aspects like Posh Parties and Sharing essential to success on the platform. They took it one step further with an annual in-person event called PoshFest.
In 2016 Poshmark decided to gamble on their community and cut their marketing budget by more than 80%, letting word of mouth build their membership. It worked, and Poshmark grew 5x their previous size in record time, proving that community was vital to Poshmark's success.
Over time, Poshmark has added many features, such as bundling, bulk actions, and live sales. The app and the selling experience are constantly evolving. You can also have a lot of fun being involved in the Poshmark community on social media.
You might also be interested in 10 Great Marketplaces Every Reseller Should Consider
It is clear that Poshmark is a reseller favorite with over 633,000 ratings on the Apple App Store with an average 4.8-star rating.
Similar stats are found on the Google Play Store for Android users.
In analyzing the reviews, the positive ones note how the app is user-friendly and easy to use. Negative reviews are mostly about customer support response time or angry users who are peeved at a specific and personal circumstance that they describe in detail.
Overall, these stats are impressive, and the reviews are far better than many other marketplaces. This is why we love Posh!
Common Poshmark Scams to Avoid
While most buyers will not be scammers, scammers gonna’ scam. Peer-to-peer marketplaces are targeted by scammers as they know that they are speaking with one person. New and inexperienced sellers are particularly vulnerable to scams.
You might be thinking “Who falls for these?” The answer is that tons of people are scammed on Poshmark every day. Some people are certainly more gullible than others, but scammers are also skillfully manipulative.
Read this list carefully, and be sure to protect yourself against fraudulent activity that will waste your time, compromise your personal information, jeopardize your selling account, threaten your bank account, and put your safety at risk.
Off-App Transactions Scams
This scam occurs when someone asks you to communicate with them off of Poshmark ⚠️
"I am interested in buying this item for my daughter. Please send additional photos to firstname.lastname@example.org Any rips/flaws?"
This is the most common scam on Poshmark. You have probably received a comment or message like this when you list a brand-new item for sale.
Scammers will ask you to contact them via email, phone, WhatsApp, or social media; the purpose is for them to get you to contact them privately so they can attempt fraudulent activity.
Poshmark is quick to delete fraudulent accounts, so scammers are racing against the clock to initiate contact with you in a private place.
Similarly, Poshmark has safeguards in place that do not allow for users to exchange information that suggests transactions outside of Poshmark. Because scammers generally cannot exchange words and phrases that contain personal information or payment processing, the scammers want to entice you to leave the app for unmonitored conversation.
This can be very enticing for a seller because they think they might be able to make a sale outside of Poshmark and avoid paying the 20% Poshmark fee.
Never take conversations or transactions off of the Poshmark. Not only is it against the TOS and you risk your account, but you risk getting scammed.
Poshmark offers seller protection (and buyer protection) which is part of what you pay in marketplace fees. You are not protected if a scammer tricks you into a Venmo or Cash App scam.
Unfortunately, I have seen vulnerable sellers scammed out of hundreds of dollars as a victim of this common scam.
This scam occurs when someone asks you for your email address. ⚠️
"I just tried to purchase, and I am required to confirm your email address. Please provide an email so I can buy this right now."
This is a clever scam, as sharing your email address is seemingly harmless; it is not harmless. Your email address is valuable to a scammer.
Here are some ways a scammer will use your information If you provide your email address:
Perhaps, they will use it to contact you to tell you there was a “processing issue” on the app and request to make payment elsewhere.
Perhaps, they will send you a fake email, that looks remarkably like a real email from Poshmark, to confirm the sale so you think the sale has occurred and you will ship.
Perhaps, they will go to your email service and select “forgot password” to try to reset your password and hack your account and obtain personal information.
The fraudulent opportunities are really endless when a scammer has your email address. Do not share your email on Poshmark. Use Poshmark’s commenting and messaging functions.
Reset Your Credentials Scam
This scam is when a user tries to hack your account and bypass security measures like two-factor authentication. ⚠️
"I just tried to purchase, and it requires an authorization code. Please provide me with the code you received."
With these scams, a scammer is generally attempting to hack your account (whether it be your Poshmark account, email account, or social media account).
For example, they go to email provider, enter your email, and select “forgot password.” Then, they request a confirmation code to be sent to reset the password. If you quickly or carelessly provide them with this code, they will reset your account and lock you out of it. Never mind how much additional damage they can do once they have access to your account.
The Swap Scam
This scam happens when a buyer purchases an item and swaps it out, and opens a claim that the item was “not as described.” ⚠️
"I ordered leggings in excellent condition, and I received leggings with tons of holes!!!!!!"
To be clear, a buyer in this instance will purchase an item from you that they already own, but in worse condition. Then, they will claim that they received your item damaged, and use the item that they already owned as “evidence” to conduct a scam.
This occasionally occurs with luxury items:
Buyer purchases a designer bag.
Buyer opens up a case with Poshmark.
Buyer then takes pictures of a fake designer bag to use as evidence.
Buyer lies and says you sent them a fake bag.
This is a tricky scam, as it becomes a he-said-she-said between the seller and buyer.
Unfortunately, if you do not have proof of the item you sent and it’s condition, Poshmark does not have much choice but to believe the buyer. 😢 Poshmark cannot just assume that the buyer is the scammer. Sellers can be scammers, too.
Some marketplaces handle this better than others, but there is no true way to prevent this scam.
As a habit, I photograph all items before shipment with the shipping label and a piece of paper with the buyer’s name and date. I photograph all angles and tags, so that I have photographic evidence of the condition that the item was sent in. This probably takes more time than it is worth, as scamming is fairly rare, but it has protected me against scams on both Poshmark and Depop.
Unfortunately, without any proof of what you sent, the scammer might be successful in their scam. However, upon receipt of their returned item, you can open up a counterclaim with Poshmark. To do this, go to your sales page and click “Problem with Return.”
Poshmark seller support and protection are better than what you will receive from most other reselling marketplaces. If you provide proof of the item you sent, they will generally protect you. However, it might take a few weeks of emailing.
You might also be interested in the article How to Win a Case on Poshmark.
Please do not be unnecessarily worried or suppose that every buyer is a scammer. It is not as common as you think. Most buyers buy your items because they want them!
Other Common Signs of Scams
Here are some other things to look out for as they may be red flags to alert you to fraudulent activity. 🚩
See the disclaimer below and remember that most of these red flags are not independently indicative of a scam. However, if you see these combined with other shady activities, trust your instinct.
If you are ever unsure if you are being scammed, you can reach out to Poshmark support. They will help you; not quickly, but be patient.
Brand New Accounts Scams 🚩
Brand new accounts certainly do not mean scams, we were all new once. But if you are receiving a suspiciously odd message from an account that was created the same day, this might be a cause for concern. Scammers constantly have to make new accounts as they are so frequently flagged and deleted.
Scammers will also manipulate you by pretending to be “new” so that you do not suspect they are scammers.
Poor Grammar Scams 🚩
First and foremost, poor grammar does not mean you are being scammed. People using poor grammar can be a result of poor education, a second language, a learning disability, or several other factors that we are not going to disrespect.
That said, when the poor grammar is coming from a company, like an email from Poshmark, that should be a giant, gleaming red flag. Poshmark is a professional organization with a professional copy-editing team and their correspondence will not have blatant errors in grammar or fluency.
WhatsApp, CashApp, and Venmo Scams 🚩
None of these apps (excluding registered business Venmo accounts) are meant for the purchase and sale of goods. In fact, they all explicitly ban the purchase and sale of goods and services.
They do not offer protection or assume any liability if you are scammed. When you conduct business on these apps, you are violating the law as you are evading sales tax, and you will not get your money back if you are scammed.
I do not recommend using these apps with anyone that you don’t know and trust.
Sellers are tempted to take transactions off of Poshmark to avoid the steep Poshmark fees, but remember that part of that fee is paying for protection that you won’t receive elsewhere.
Disclaimer: Most of these factors independently are not necessarily reasons for suspicion. Do not assume that every potential buyer is a potential scammer, as that is really unfair to the majority of buyers who are good, honest people. ❤️
Why Might Scammers Want Your Contact Information?
Some scammers are playing a long game of data mining to hack into your personal accounts. They employ various methods to collect as much of your data as possible. Getting your email or phone number might just be the first step. Your information will be kept and compiled over time. They will match it up with future information they receive from additional scams, such as emailing you from official-looking accounts to get more data.
Online scams are on the rise, with the US Federal Trade Commission stating that consumers reported losing more than $5.8 billion to fraud in 2021. Many of these scams are related to identity theft and shopping scams online.
Pro Safety Tip: Fun-looking games, quizzes, and viral posts on Facebook might look innocent, but sometimes they have sinister intent. For example, you might see a viral post asking people to give the name of their first pet. That seems cute and innocent, but "the name of your first pet" is a common password security question for banks and other institutions.
Getting you to take the transaction off Poshmark is another common scam, especially for higher-end items. Let's say you have a handbag that is selling for $200. A buyer messages you and says they want to arrange a purchase outside of Poshmark to avoid paying fees. Since the fees on a $200 item are pretty high, you might be tempted, but you should never do this. First, it is against the Poshmark TOS (terms of service) and can get you removed from the platform. Second, it's highly dangerous as you lose Poshmark's Protection for the transaction. This "buyer" is either trying to steal your information, or they plan to pay and then cancel the payment so that they end up with both your item and the money.
How Buyers and Sellers Can Protect Themselves From Scams On Poshmark
While you needn’t be too paranoid about 99 percent of shoppers, there is the 1 percent of scammers with fraudulent intentions.
To recap, here is how to avoid scams on Poshmark, Depop, Facebook Marketplace, eBay, and other peer-to-peer reselling marketplaces:
- Keep it on the marketplace. The best way to avoid being scammed is to follow the rules and keep transactions on Poshmark.
Nearly all scams happen when sellers take communications and transactions off of the marketplace.
- Do not give personal information. This sounds obvious, but you would be surprised how many people willingly share their email, phone number, and account details.
- When in doubt, trust your instincts. Do not hesitate to decline requests you are uncomfortable with or do not sound right. Do not hesitate to block and report accounts that have demonstrated legitimate fraudulent activity.
- Contact Customer Service. Do not hesitate to reach out to Poshmark customer support to describe any situation and seek advice or assistance.
There are so many Poshmark Facebook groups where you can seek advice and ask questions from other sellers. Just search “Poshmark” under groups in Facebook!
When in doubt, go with your gut. It's better to lose a sale than get scammed. However, keep in mind that most of the time, sales are legitimate and will not be a hassle. Scams should be relatively rare on Poshmark, and sometimes people are quick to yell "scammer" when there is actually just a misunderstanding or mistake being made.
What Are Buyer and Seller Protections On Poshmark?
Poshmark has specific protections in place for both buyers and sellers to keep the community safe. Always ensure that you read the terms of service, rules, and other help files presented by the platform you are buying from or selling on to understand your rights.
The buyer's protection is called "Posh Protect" and allows Poshmark to hold funds until you have received and inspected your item. You also have the right to a free return if the item is damaged or was misrepresented by a seller.
The seller's protection includes shipping insurance and protection from lost and damaged packages. Poshmark also requires a signature for items over $400. In exchange for the fees that Poshmark charges sellers, you will also receive customer service and assistance in return cases.
In addition to these protections, Poshmark offers a no-cost authentication service for all items sold for over $500. These items will be shipped to Poshmark headquarters for authentication before being redirected to the buyer's address.
How To Legitimately Cancel An Order On Poshmark
Under certain circumstances, a buyer can cancel a Poshmark order that has yet to be shipped. Orders placed accidentally through the "buy now" button can be canceled for up to three hours after the purchase. Sellers are told not to ship during this time. You cannot cancel an order that was placed through an offer or that has been shipped by the sellers already. Go into your orders on the app and select "problems/order inquiry" to cancel the sale.
There is one more reason you can legitimately cancel a Poshmark order. If an item you purchased has not been shipped after seven days, you can also cancel by following these steps:
In the app, select your Account Tab (@username), or on the web, select your profile photo at the top-right corner.
Select My Purchases.
Select the relevant order.
Select Problems/Order Inquiry.
Select Order is Delayed.
Select Cancel Order.
How To Facilitate Returns On Poshmark
In order to protect sellers, Poshmark does not approve return requests for items that do not fit or for buyer's remorse. Poshmark will only accept return requests for things purchased from the Poshmark platform. In order to avoid buyers being disappointed with the fit, make sure to include not only the size on the tag but the material contents and some measurements as well.
However, there are some cases in which Poshmark will approve a return request from a buyer. This includes:
Incorrect or missing item
Items that are not as described
Item is not authentic (this is not only against Poshmark's rules but also illegal in the US, where knowingly selling counterfeit items can come with criminal charges)
You must also open and inspect your Poshmark purchases immediately, as you only have three days to open your return case. Once approved, you have just five days to ship the item back to the seller, or your return will be canceled, and funds will be released to the seller.
To start a return case, open the order on the Poshmark app and tap "Problems / Order Inquiry." A Poshmark representative will help facilitate the return.
How Sellers Can Protect Themselves Against Return Cases On Poshmark
Sellers hate return requests. Not only do they hold up your funds and disrupt your processes, but many people become defensive on both sides, causing unnecessary drama.
The main issue with returns is the vagueness of the "item not as described" rule. Many sellers will be disgruntled over a return request where the buyer states the item is different from what is described because of discrepancies over exact colors, patterns, or how the damage was described.
Here are some tips to help you win more Poshmark cases:
Always have plenty of clear photos with good lighting on your listings
Provide a detailed description
Disclose damages or flaws and include photos
Provide measurements and a list of materials
Package items carefully so they do not get damaged
Keep receipts with package weights for expensive items
If a case is opened, respond promptly and be professional, keeping all emotions out of the process
Provide Poshmark support with photos and other relevant details, talk directly to Posh Support, and do not address the customer
The Final Word: Is Poshmark Legit & Is It Safe To Buy And Sell On The Poshmark App?
If you ask the majority of buyers and sellers on Poshmark, they would tell you that they have been Posh customers for years with little to no issues. As a Poshmark user for six years myself, I've never been scammed as a buyer or a seller. I have had only a handful of approved return cases on Poshmark as well, even as a full-time seller.
My personal advice for safe buying and selling on Poshmark includes paying close attention to details and always staying professional. Communication is the key to success on Poshmark.
I learned early on that a very detailed description could save me a lot of headaches. Providing measurements is a hotly debated topic among Poshmark resellers. Some sellers think it is a waste of time, while others swear they get more sales when they provide measurements. When it comes down to it, when you are selling clothing on a platform that does not allow return requests for fit, it's really in your best interest as a seller to provide both measurements and materials to your customers. Especially with vintage and pre-loved items that could have shrunk or stretched over time, measurements are your best defense against return requests. Without them, the buyer could state the item was not as described rather than "it was too small for me" due to the item having shrunk in the wash by a prior owner.
I also ignore requests for my information and block any potential buyer asking me for contact information or suggesting taking the sale off the platform. Follow these tips, and you should have a fun and safe shopping experience!
Did this help answer whether or not Poshmark is legit? We hope this helped you identify that Poshmark is safe when you stay alert and follow these tips and tricks! Let us know your thoughts in the comments!