There is a topic that I can’t get away from lately. It keeps popping up in conversations.
I hate how we take them so personally. Is this really how they were intended?
I have seen Poshmark sellers be completely crushed and lash out because of a low rating and I have seen the upside where sellers have been motivated to grow their business based on positive comments…
I want to share my opinion about three things regarding Poshmark ratings:
- What I think is the purpose of Poshmark ratings
- Why we tend to take them so personally
- The mentality behind the person giving the rating
Sounds like fun? No?
Well, let’s talk about it anyway.
I am one of those people who fills out surveys. You know, the ones you get emailed after a hotel stay or the ones that pop up inside the app asking (begging) for a review… Sometimes I call the numbers at the bottom of receipts to rate the service. I’m also the one who will always give the cashier my email address when asked because I know the cashier is probably held to a percentage rate of customer email captures (YES they do!). I guess that’s why I receive so many surveys.
I am telling you this because I have been paying attention to my mindset when I fill out the scores. More on that in a few…
Poshmark Ratings: What is the intention?
For those that recently joined or just started selling, the rating system was launched at some point (maybe Summer) in 2014.
Now almost 3 years later, the system hasn’t changed and ratings are still private. The only thing that others can view are your love notes (given and received) when a 5 star rating has been dished out.
If it’s private then WHY?
I think they serve to teach us and encourage us. If you have awesome ratings you can post them, show them off, and it just make you feel GOOD about what you are doing. You enjoy delighting your customers and are constantly looking for ways to perfect your craft.
But if you are consistently receiving low ratings- it may open your eyes to what you can do better- to step up your game. Maybe you didn’t know that a thank you note is generally expected, or that you should put a protective covering (plastic, tissue, bubble wrap) to protect items when shipping. Maybe a seller will learn that while- yes, you do have 7 days to ship- it’s generally frowned upon. Everyone learns good business practices at some point- for some- ratings/buyers might serve as the teacher.
Not every Poshmark seller has had a job in customer service or even learned shipping etiquette. Not everyone dabbled selling on eBay prior to finding Poshmark (on eBay, ratings are everything).
Why do we take ratings so personally?
Poshmark is, at its core, a social media platform.
Can you even imagine if users could rate our Instagram page??
Here are the comments I would get:
“Outfits aren’t that great”
“Might want to take better pictures”
“Too many pictures of food”
You can’t please everyone… but even though we are in fact pleasing the majority, it doesn’t always feel good enough.
We focus on the one person who doesn’t like us… although we have a large group of girlfriends, an awesome significant other, a family who has our back and strangers that smile at us. We just can’t get over that ONE person who we heard said something about us behind our back months ago.
You probably have lost sleep over it.
If you look at your ratings numbers, it’s kind of like that.
Probably a hundred plus 5 Star ratings… but then there is that lone star somewhere reminding us of a bad experience…
It’s our little business. Most of us are selling personal items. We have memories associate with that dress or that sweater. Even if it’s wholesale or resell we liked those items for a reason, and our closets are carefully curated. So, yeah, it does feel personal.
I think it’s important to remember that you cannot please everyone. You could be doing everything right but tastes vary person to person. I wrap in white tissue paper and use a professionally printed thank you postcard. Someone may knock a star off (and they have) because it didn’t feel personal enough. If you are using cute stickers, glitter, and homemade cards you might not receive a star because it wasn’t the buyers taste.
More on that…
Poshmark Ratings Mentality
We all have a mentality behind how we view ratings causing us to rate the way we do.
Back to me filling out surveys… the drugstore I go to sends me a customer feedback survey practically every other time I make a purchase.
They want to know among other things:
1-10 “How clean was the store?”
I would have NEVER thought about the cleanliness… but if you are going to MAKE me critique you… there was a deodorant stick that had fallen onto the floor and I DO remember seeing a “dust bunny” when I was walking down aisle 5… Sooooooo, how about I give you an 8? An 8 is good right? Not perfect but there is always room for improvement…
1-10 “Did an associate ask you if you needed help?”
Well, I was on the phone the whole time and there was only one cashier and he had a line. I didn’t need help and he was perfectly nice when he rang me up but no, actually, no one asked if I needed help… guess we gotta give that a 1 because it didn’t happen and isn’t that what they asked?
You may not agree with how I rating the two scenarios above… maybe you think I should have given all the points/stars based on the circumstances…
Do you see where I am going with this?
I had a PERFECTLY great experience… I will thoroughly enjoy the hairspray and index cards that I picked up… I would have never thought about rating the experience, period. But then I was sent a survey…
Now, I NEVER meant anything malicious with the survey BUT, I wonder if the store managers boss (who received the results) called the manager to discuss why the associates in the store aren’t greeting customers and then putting cleanliness into question?
Ok, the above scenario is totally made up… but it’s what we do to ourselves, isn’t it?
We get a 4 star rating and we bite our nails down to stubs thinking about it… “Why didn’t she make a comment?? Why did that happen??”
Or we get a 3 and they say “Item cleanliness”… and you JUST WASHED THE SHIRT BEFORE SHIPPING.
I get upset but yet I do the exact same thing with hotel surveys, book reviews, restaurant reviews online… because I don’t really view them as people- just as companies… right?
Hmmmm… maybe buyers view ME as a company…
Perhaps it isn’t personal after all.
Other examples to consider…
Some people are not going to give 5 stars EVER. Perfection to them may not exist.
Maybe you didn’t include measurements in your listing and she didn’t think to ask so she gave you a 4 with “item description” as room for improvement.
You shipped next day but your still got dinged for “shipping time” because he is mad at Poshmark for shipping costs and it has nothing to do with you.
Maybe you didn’t get a 5 because she was REALLY rating her overall Poshmark experience and the app crashed mid shopping spree.
Now I’m not telling you that I don’t think ratings are important or am trying to diminish their value. You can take them as personally as you choose; on the other hand, you don’t even have to read them!
You just never know why someone is rating you seemingly unfairly. Sometimes you want to confront them and give your side of the story why you deserve a 5 and not a 2… you know, teach them a lesson. It rarely works out that way.
As a general rule I do not confront a low rating. I just let them be… maybe they are having a bad day or are viewing this rating completely different so I typically let them express themselves as they want. Now, of course, if there is a discrepancy and a return is requested this is a whole different scenario to be handled with a different approach. This is all just referring to the packages that have been accepted with low ratings or comments we can’t shake off. You cannot let it control you- as a business owner you must have thick skin.
I just did some math… 3% of my ratings have been less than 5 Star. So 97% of my customers have been perfectly happy. If I want to be a high volume seller with stacks of packages going out the door, it’s statistically bound to happen.
Bottom line, if I am in a room of 100 people I can’t get upset about the 3 who may or may not like me…
I will just hang out with the others.
How do you feel about ratings and what do you do if you get a low one?
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