(This post has been updated on April 16, 2016 with some new content and tips)
Nothing can start a more heated debate than the simple word ratings.
Receiving a perfect rating can make your day! On the other hand, a rating that we feel is unjust can ruin your weekend.
In this post I will address the system, my opinion of how it works, decoding the stars, and then I will give full disclosure on my own personal ratings.
When I joined Poshmark in April 2014, if a purchase was received and all was well (you were not going to contest the sale) you simply “accepted” it. If you had an issue (wasn’t as described, holes or stains that were not mentioned) then you would “report” the problem and Poshmark would take over. If the purchaser absolutely loved the item, you hoped that she would come back and comment in your closet- professing her love.
If she didn’t like it, well, things could get messy.
Fast Forward several months and we get a rating system. It’s no longer a yes or no… it’s a 1-5 star rating. 1 being the worst and 5 being the best. A purchaser can accept the package and let you know how they feel, be it good or bad. A purchase can be accepted and, for any reason, a single star can be given based on opinion, fit, packaging, shipping time… hell, you can give a single little star and not even explain yourself. On the other hand, you can give five stars and sing Posh praises!
In my opinion: The system is such a great idea and I believe that it will eventually evolve into a wonderful tool to help us make informed buying decisions.
On to the next chapter... Love Notes. I love this feature. Love Notes are the public 5 star ratings. In your “about” section of your closet (currently only visible on the app) are all the 5 star ratings you have received that include comments, as well as all the 5 star reviews that you have given to closets that you have purchased from. I know that it may on the surface not seem very handy or helpful because it’s all positive ratings and no negative, but let me tell you how I use it…
Utilizing LOVE Notes
As a BUYER: if I am going to purchase from a closet I take a peek and see how many she has received and read a few comments. If it is a popular closet that has been around a while and a top seller- I would expect to see 75 or more ratings (just throwing out a number). I pay attention to comments that include “fast shipping” and “as described.”
As a SELLER: if someone makes an offer or makes a purchase- I check the ratings they have given. If she mentions “fast shipping” I know that is important to her. If she raves about packaging- I make sure to do the best I can and pay attention to detail. I utilize this to ensure she has a positive experience with me.
Elle’s Guide to the Stars
As a buyer… here is my mentality on how I hand out stars…
1 Star: wasn’t shipped for 5-7 days with no communication of delay. Maybe no communication at all. Although light wear was mentioned, it was actually worse than alluded, no packaging (just thrown in box). I want to keep the item (as opposed to contacting Posh to arrange a “return”) but want the seller to know where they can improve.
2 Stars: same reasoning as a 1 star but maybe only 2 or 3 aforementioned issues- again, want to keep the item.
3 Stars: Indifferent and only 1 issue.
4 Stars: Mostly happy but there just was something that could have been better and worth mentioning and deducting a star.
5 Stars: Perfect/Excellent/Acceptable. Even though it may not have been the right fit- I may not even like it- but everything was as described and the seller shipper in a timely manner/communicated/ did nothing to deceive me.
The above is how I feel… but to be honest, I have never given less than 5 Stars.
Have I liked all my purchases? No. I have received items full of fuzz, small flaws, and pieces that didn’t fit me. But I have never felt as though I was deceived. Deception would be if I asked a direct question and received an answer and the opposite turned out to be true. In the case of true deception- I would go straight through Poshmark support and arrange a return. If the listing didn’t mention specific condition and I didn’t ask- shame on me. You get your stars.
Don’t get me wrong- Yes, it is 100% a seller’s obligation to described the condition! However, if you purchase an item in which condition is not described- it is your responsibility to ask for details to protect yourself from a huge mess later.
Closets that only purchase may see things differently. To some, a four Star rating is a huge compliment and a 5 star rating simply does not exist. If you are not an experienced seller or strive to be a top seller- you may not know how much value a seller places on stars!
Regardless, our feelings still get hurt. Nothing stings like a 4 Star rating when you feel you gave 5 Star service. You may feel like you want to shut down your closet.
You are not alone. Most of us have 3-4 stars on our record. Some have 1-2 stars sitting there haunting us. I have had many Posh friends vent to me (sometimes ready to close down their closet!) because of a low rating. SO, I will share with you what I share with my Posh friends.
If you are taking the time to read this blog, I consider you a Posh Friend… and I want you to know- it has happened to everyone…
This is why I am baring it all to my dear readers… here is my “shame”! (Accurate as of March 2015)
Yes, my first star deduction kept me up at night! But you know what? I decided to learn from these…
If the above is how the buyer felt then that’s how the transaction came across.
I am not angry, I did not run and “block” them. I decided to take the comments into consideration and LEARN from them.
This is what I have learned…
- I now list measurements- or offer measurements on request.
- I state the color even if I feel it is obvious. (Haven’t we learned so much from this month’s ‘What color is the Dress’ internet sensation?
- I ask more questions when I shop.
- I will never be able to fully avoid a less than 5 rating. We all have different opinions and views on how to win over those stars. However, I have learned that it is okay. It’s okay to not be perfect in everyone’s eyes.
- Some buyers think that a 4 Star rating is outstanding and have no clue that you are disappointed.
I get asked quite often “I have an overall 4.9 rating, will I ever get back to a 5.0?”
Yes, since I originally wrote this article last year- I have received many ratings all across the board. However, my 5 Stars outweigh the lesser and I have maintained a 5.0. Just keep collecting the 5 Stars and you will get it back!
Tips to “wow” your customers:
- Include a thank you note
- Small token or free gift
- Cute ribbon or tissue paper
- FAST SHIPPING (same day or next day)
My hope is that if you have recently received you first “less than perfect” rating, or if you felt like the only person who gets bothered by 4 Stars… that this post might you might feel better about it!