Poshmark Ratings: Let’s Get Personal

Poshmark Ratings

There is a topic that I can’t get away from lately. It keeps popping up in conversations.

Poshmark Ratings.

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:

  1. What I think is the purpose of Poshmark ratings
  2. Why we tend to take them so personally
  3. 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”

“Cute dog!”

 

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.

It happens.

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?

Wait…

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?

XOXO

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24 thoughts on “Poshmark Ratings: Let’s Get Personal

  1. This could not have come at a better time! This article is speaking to me and I’ve felt the exact way you described and experienced the exact same things! I got my first 3 a month ago and was crushed, for days. No explanation for what I thought was a beautiful item. I sold beautiful Tiffany earrings to a girl that we went back and forth on the price and even communicated pleasantly in the feed. She was excited, me too, and I shipped that day! I cleaned and wrapped them in a brand. new Tiffany dust bag only to receive a 4. I’ve also had the girl mark me down for the flaws I stated and photographed in the listing. What!!!!!???? Ugh! These incidents make me lose my enthusiasm for Posh. Thanks Elle for writing about this and reminding me I’m not alone in the rogue ratings and I need to get thicker skin! ❤❤❤

  2. I understand the feelings of what did I DO/DIDN’T do??? Replay it in my head. While the ones that there rated I think I have a 4 and the rest are 5. Yes, I wonder why the others didn’t rate. But I forget it after I saw it accepted and moved my $$$ out of Posh. (I don’t leave money in my posh account at all, people have gotten hacked, lost their money and it keeps me from buying) Sometimes I get rated and a love note after the fact and that’s nice. But, I have lost 2 husbands, a child, regular families and friends and a sudden unexpected death of my sister two days ago. To me those things are what hits me as “important” … a reason to get upset. Came close to losing my foot last year and still trying to walk …. now Posh got me through that crappie time … (what else can you do when you can’t get up) but the stars and ratings are there. Yes, some are great, some not and others you have no clue either way but I sometimes want to yell there are so much more important things to worry about … stars? love notes? let it go, learn from it, but let it go. It is ONE person’s opinion. A faceless, unemotional tie, go forward and if this is the earth shaking horrible, crying, not sleeping bad, be thankful you don’t have other horrible things going on in you life.

    Remember to try enjoy what you are doing after all life is short, pick your battles and realize we think you ARE fantastic ….Sorry for the ramble but I have so wanted to say this for a very long time.

    1. I am glad that this can be a place where you (and others) can get there feelings out when necessary. Thank you for adding that additional perspective about what is truly important. I am very sorry for your recent loss of your sister.

      1. Elle, Please feel free to remove this post since I really overly vented. This issue of ratings and using the correct boxes really hits a nerve. I should probably rethink before writing anything right now.

  3. Yes! Girl, you’re always so on top of things that us “little people” have been thinking about! When I first started selling, it was strictly personal items, and I sold it all CHEAP. That’s when I received 99% of my less than 5 star ratings and opened cases. I DID try to defend myself back then. Looking back, I felt I acted rudely and immaturely in doing that, you know – commenting explaining to the buyer why the button falling off during delivery wasn’t my fault. Yeah, that really happened. And I really got upset! I don’t get upset anymore unless someone opens a case on false accusations. (Thankfully, I haven’t had a case opened in a long time). I learned that it’s better to just be the bigger person and suck it up. You just can’t please everyone. I have heard several Poshers who really value the Love Note. Now, I’m a frequent shopper, and I rarely leave a love note. I’ll tell you why. Because people can come to my closet and see my love notes, and I would be outright humiliated if they saw I’ve purchased 849 items lol! So if I buy from a pff, I leave a note. Otherwise, I leave 5 stars. Isn’t that the same as telling them I had a great experience? So why do they get upset? Is it because they want everyone to see how great their buyers rate them? I get that. But, if it’s just feedback, then it’s just that. So I don’t get upset if nobody leaves a love note. I’m just happy if they don’t open a case! I revamped my closet after a couple of cases were opened in the beginning of my selling days, and I try to only sell new or like new items now to reduce chances of cases being opened for anything being defective. Good read, Elle! And you got me on the pharmacy story! Lol!

  4. Hi Elle
    I want you to know that I have learned a lot reading your Blog. I will continue to share it with other Poshers that aren’t aware of it. I wanted to weigh in on this topic. I have been blessed with quite a few sales on Posh. However, I had two low scores. One was a 4, because the package was lost in the mail. The date tracking showed that I sent it out the same day she bought it.But, I was gigged for it. Another, buyer was not pleased with her gift & stated I could’ve done better. She gave me a 3. The gift was a bracelet that I have in my closet & have sold several of them with high scoring (5 stars) from the buyers. However, she wanted the more expensive one. What I noticed about both buyers is that they don’t have a closet. I chucked this up, as someone that isn’t running a business & is here to shop only. That helped me feel better & I learned that the shoppers have high expectations that sometimes can be unreasonable. I have probably bought as much as I’ve sold. I truly enjoy it!

  5. This is a great read, as usual. For the most part I get 5 stars. I always like when I get the 5 stars right away, but I’ll take the 5 stars after Poshmark has pestered the buyer a few times to leave a rating, lol. (Confession, I’ve been lax in my rating leaving so I’ve pestered too) I have to say though, I don’t go to as much trouble packing stuff up in spiffy pretty wrapping anymore because no one ever commented on it! Now, it goes in a nice clear poly bag along with my hand written Thank You so it doesn’t get wet if it sits on someone’s front porch and I call it a day. You are so right though, love notes, no love notes, stellar ratings, not so stellar ratings, we do take that stuff personally. My goal is to have moved past the negativity by the next day and hope that by then, it’s become a funny story to share on someone’s blog! Thanks for posting about this, you’re always so relevant!

  6. Wonderful post! Great way to look at ratings from an objective view point. I have worked in retail and even more specifically been involved in the whole ratings game on an internet level and one thing I have learned is to truly take them with a grain of salt.

    Just like you said, individuals can give a bad rating for any reason under the sun and in my opinion it’s not worth it to let a review stress you out. I’ve had a couple lower than average ratings and the one time I inquired into why a low rating I received a response back that the color of the item didn’t appear as true on their computer screen. There’s absolutely nothing to be done about something like that, and from then on I started reviewing as more of an “Is there something truly to be learned here?” vs. throw out comments that wouldn’t make any never mind in the overall scheme of things.

    I have come to really think more about how I think I did and rate myself. If I took great pictures, was open and available to answer any buyer questions, had a full description and still get a bad rating, I just pat myself on the back for a great job and keep it moving 😊

  7. Hi Elle!
    I completely agree with you!! Sometimes, someone just isn’t in a “great place” and you are the recipient of the brunt of their angst… whatever it may be. These are the times I try to just take it in stride, do a little “regroup” and move on to my next customer. Most days, everyone is thrilled! Every once in a while, there is “that one!” I won’t let “that one” get me down. There are too many lovely poshers to encounter to let the “once in a blue moon” rating deter me or bring down my spirit! Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

  8. Much needed read!!! Thank you for putting into words what some of us are experiencing/feeling. This is encouraging. I really appreciate your blog!!!

  9. Actually it’s meant that if you feel it should be taken down please do. I don’t regret anything I said. I personally think people taking ratings and love notes way too seriously that there are things that are so much more earth shaking than a rating or love note. Try to put things into prospective in life.

  10. F-J AKA LACIE – I think it was great that you felt safe enough to share your life on Elle’s blog. We have all gone through tough times and sometimes it is enough just to know that your words are out there and that others can relate and support you. I just recently had my first “poor” rating – the buyer thought that the item was larger than it appeared and rated accordingly. I reached out to her and asked if there was anything I could do, as I don’t want unhappy buyers . We had a convo and I was able to gently point out that there was a ruler in one of the pictures that showed how large the item was. She realized that she had completely overlooked that picture and ended up changing her rating to 5 stars. I think that most people are not trying to be malicious, sometimes they overlook things (I do too!) and it might be worth it to reach out. I love everything in my shop and would hate for someone not to be satisfied with what I sent. I have to believe that most people want to do the right thing. Boy it can be personal though! I have been known to lose sleep while perseverating on an unkind comment. I am working on thinking about what my future self would say in these situations – “Hey future Steph! Do we care about that nasty comment? Does it matter to us when we are 80 and surrounded by loving family and friends?” And always, no it doesn’t….sometimes this type of thinking helps!

  11. This is great! I do take my ratings personally, and that’s mostly because I am a perfectionist by nature (and I’m working on that). I especially hate the ones where they rate you as “less than” but with no reason. I never respond to the customer about it though. I’ve learned to just let it go. It is great to hear a different perspective because it is soooo true! And I will definitely keep this at the forefront of my mind when receiving ratings going forward. Thank you!

    http://pinkandgabulous.com

  12. I can always count on coming to Elle’s blog to breathe and so-called meditation needed and many laughs. I believe that a lot of us who have worked in any customer service environment, we strive to be the perfectionist especially when it comes to tips. So, yes I admit I have been upset about no ratings and reviews because no one really knows how much effort and our own money to make it special to them. But I have had a profit of $1.20 but when she commented on the post, it was all worth it.
    Life’s a never ending game so have as much fun as you can.

  13. I’ve always been curious as to why Poshmark ratings are private, especially coming from selling on eBay where ratings are everything! I think you make some great points about Poshmark being a social media platform, and using low ratings as learning opportunities without ruining your business’ reputation over someone who’s potentially cray. I once had to jump through all kinds of hoops with an insane eBay customer to avoid a nasty review about something that made absolutely no sense. And I can imagine things might get spiteful pretty quickly if ratings were public on Poshmark. Especially after seeing some sellers’ Instagram accounts where they publicly shame buyers for low ball offers. And trust me, low ball offers irk me as well, but it’s all part of running a business. You just decline and keep it moving. Like you said, as a business owner you must have thick skin!

  14. Great read! I just received my one and only 1 star ⭐️ today! ONE? Really?! I’ve only had 4 and 5 stars up until now. What the heck?!?! I had to take a second to calm down and analyze the situation. This came on a day when I made my first wholesale purchase and was informed a couple of days ago that I finally became a Suggested User. Could this one star rating be more untimely? Unbelievable.
    This happened with a buyer that was great at communicating and asking important questions about the item she was about to purchase. All went well and the purchase was made. I ship just about the same day and carefully tissue wrap each item with a thank you note. I’ve had no problems or issues in this regard. I did notice that the buyer is new (May 2017) to Posh and may just be on Posh to buy not sell. There could be unfamiliarity by the buyer of the things to think about when leaving a rating ( especially a 1!) Did they consider the lightning fast shipping? Careful packaging? The item being NWT? And clarifying any and all questions they had? I’m going to say no to all these questions. I just have to think that if this was a seasoned buyer/seller – this would probably not be the same case and scenario. I could make myself crazy and be uninspired. But, why? I just have to keep moving on and understand that this is just a small bump in the road (felt like a speed bump when you’re going 60). Thanks for this read though…keeps it all in perspective.

  15. I love when people rate their purchases! Even if they are less than a 5 star rating. It lets me know that I have room for improvement! BUT this one 3-star rating I received the other week just got to me! The reason was “other”… I didn’t even know you could choose “other” as a reason for a low rating! What “other” thing can I improve?? More importantly, why does Poshmark allow there to be an “other” option?? Ugh. I wish the buyer could leave a little comment as to what they’re referring to exactly. Would help out A TON.

  16. Just this week I had a case open for a return review on one of my items. I’ve never had this happen before and I felt blindsided. The buyer stated that the zipper on the dress gets stuck. I am frustrated because I think it must get stuck because the dress is too small for her. I had no issues at all with it. I didn’t have any photos to provide proof (how would you provide proof of that?). I did comment that I never experienced issues, but I said sorry to the buyer for having trouble (in my attempt to be polite). I just got an email saying they approved her refund due to a broken zipper. It’s not broken!!! I’ll tell you what is broken… My heart! I felt sure it would go in my favor. I wasn’t prepared for this. Should I have been more firm and not spared the buyers feelings?
    I’ve never had even a complaint before, I’m always kind on Poshmark, I’m active in buying and selling, I have over 100+ 5 star reviews. I now feel unvalued. I’m totally disheartened! I’m thinking about taking a break for a while. Also, now I don’t know what to do about this dress she is sending back to me. Do I relist it? I honestly never list ANYTHING that I don’t feel is good enough for my own closet, I have high standards. This dress meets those standards. Not sure what to do.

    1. Hi Abbie! Whether we are selling our own personal clothing or running our closet like a business, it’s hard not to take things personal. But it’s not personal. If you had a store in the mall instead of online, you would have people waiting at the door to return things. Have you ever been to TJ Maxx and there NOT been 10 people in front of you in line returning? It’s human nature to change your mind. Poshmark has a no return policy so unfortunately there are a few people that will manipulate the system in their favor. Not saying your customer did that but even if it really was too small- the zipper may have stuck. Who really knows? I would allow yourself time to be mad, upset, but remember this is all part of running a business or selling in general. If you receive the dress back and indeed there is nothing wrong with it… yes! Relist it! Even if the zipper seems to stick once you get it back- relist it and state the updated condition. I am sorry that you have to go through this, it is definitely upsetting, but I wouldn’t let one person ruin your experience if you love buying and selling on Posh❤️ I hope that helps in some way.

  17. I have been selling on Posh for about 2 years and have over 291 5.0 rating and today got a 2 because the color was not what she expected. Loved the style and my packaging but I got a 2 because the color had a tinge more of one color than the other. All day I have been brooding about it. Most of us try so hard and our emotions ARE involved, we want our buyers to be thrilled with their purchase. And how funny that we can have hundreds of perfect ratings and then as you said, that one bad review ruins our day(or longer) and makes us question if this is what we should be doing. I too noticed my buyer had never sold on Poshmark and probably was only a buyer, and still, it really bothers me. But, I got my brood time in and now it’s time to go ship today’s sales and continue to give 5 Star service and be grateful for my appreciative buyers😊

  18. I have only been doing Poshmark for about 4 months and I got my first not 5 and it was a 2!!!!! Said I was not responsive enough!! What??? Should I have messaged her when the post office would not drop off her package because there a no safe place to do this? She has the same access to the shipping data and she did not communicate with me about what was up bc of this. I am pretty sad so thanks for the encouragement and advice. I am at a 4.8 now and that feels like crap:( Thanks again for the blog and honest advice and encouragement!

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