This post is to discuss how to think like a Store Owner in regards to customer service. If you sell on Poshmark, you are a Store Owner! You are responsible for your inventory, presentation, as well as customer service. Not only that, you are also the head of operations and accounting. I would say that most people take their closet/store very seriously. With that said, it’s all too easy to take things personally as well!
There are a variety of reasons that bring users to Poshmark and why it’s so personal to us. Some have dreams of running their own boutique one day while some simply started to clean out their real closet. The addiction can be gradual, those who were just cleaning up have found themselves keeping their Poshmark Closet full of their shopping treasures. There are Poshers who have made a business out of their closets and have quit their full-time jobs to run their online store. Whatever the reason, something draws us in to the virtual world of Poshmark.
Here is a little background about me… the Gray Asparagus.
I started out working at a mall when I was barely a teenager…The first day my mom ever “dropped me off at the mall” was for my first shift. I worked my way up to being a Store Manager at the age of 18. Yes, barely out of high school and I was managing a staff, ordering merchandise, and having way more responsibility than most of my friends. This started my retail career which spanned more years than I (or my sore feet) would like to admit. I have sold everything from sandwiches to high end luxury fashion.
This is why I am drawn to Poshmark. I enjoy selling and interacting with people. I love the thrill of a sale.
I know that some of you are getting your first taste of working in retail from your Poshmark closet. So I am sharing with you my thoughts and reactions to some of the most frustrating things and how to handle these situations like a Store Owner. These apply to both buyer and seller.
Sure, it’s your closet and you don’t have to put up with anything, but the way you react can make a future sale or turn off potential customers.
When circumstances arise that make me want to run and scream, first I ask myself:
How would I handle this if this “virtual shopper” was actually in front of me and we were having this conversation?”
Isn’t this the problem with internet interactions? We can “do” or “say anything” with the protection of our computer and the fact that we don’t have to look anyone in the eye.
I have a rule that I can never say my first response, I have to act on my second response. It’s typically more appropriate. Here are some basic scenarios that include a typical “first response” and then how a Store Owner might respond:
The Low Ball
First Response: “Really? Did you actually ask me to sell my $100 Nike shoes to you for a $2.05 profit? Really? This isn’t a yard sale… Just for that I am blocking you AND warning my friends that you are a low baller and you will soon be blocked from EVERYWHERE! GOOD LUCK IN LIFE!”
STORE OWNER: “Thanks so much for the interest! Please feel free to use the offer button to submit your highest offer. I might be able to negotiate if you are willing! Plus, you can always bundle for amazing deals :)”
The first response could possible end with your closet getting trashed with multiple profanities on your listings.
Responding like a Store Owner might just get you a sale or a future sale. Also, others will see your response. Trust me- your reactions can dictate whether others will shop your closet or be immediately turned off.
The Low Rating
Customer: Accepts the item but leaves bad feedback and not enough stars based on something that is not your fault (i.e. didn’t fit).
First Response: “That was a perfectly PERFECT sweater! Just because it didn’t fit you it isn’t my fault! You didn’t ask any questions and I even accepted your low offer. You should really rethink that rating because I did nothing wrong- I want my free gift back!!!”
STORE OWNER: “Thank you for the feedback with your rating. I am sorry that the fit wasn’t exactly what you had hoped. I included the measurements in hopes to avoid any sizing issues… if you would like to shop from my closet in the future- let me know before purchasing and we can discuss the fit so we can get it right next time :)”
(a similar response can be applied to issues like color, materials, or wear that was described)
Chalk it up to buyer’s remorse, they accepted it, should have asked questions, just shake it off. Poshmark is FULL of overachievers, and we want nothing less than perfection with our sales and ratings. Both responses get the same point across- but which do you think might have a repeat purchaser? No one can see your less than perfect ratings and you don’t have to post them.
“Is this true to size? Will it fit me?”
First Response: “What the heck is this TRUE SIZE you speak of??? Every brand is different ISN’T it? Otherwise you would not be asking such a ridiculous question. I don’t know you or your size.”
STORE OWNER: “Hey! Thank you for asking about sizing! I included the basic measurements for you (I recommend comparing them to something your already own that you love the fit of). I would hate to give you my opinion and possibly steer you wrong. Let me know if there is any more info I can provide.”
Outcome: I recommend always including basic measurements in your descriptions. I find that items can potential sell faster and you run a lesser risk of sizing issues. I think you know which response will go over better. (But seriously what IS “true size”???)
Buyers- KNOW YOUR MEASUREMENTS.
Customer: Reports purchase to Poshmark and case is “under review” or they side with buyer and item is going to be returned to you.
First Response: “$h*6 *##@…. %+$>*/***$ !!!!”
If you decide to message the buyer… “Hi @____, I received an alert from Poshmark about your purchase. I’m sorry that you were not happy, please let me know the issue and if it is something I can resolve. I always appreciate constructive feedback so I can better my closet for future shoppers.”
Yes, this stinks. Just plain and simple. Staying calm is the most important thing. Remain positive- not every return is a “scam.” I am going to go more in depth with this one:
- Use the Poshmark system. You can offer an exchange but do so at your OWN RISK (i.e. make sure you trust the person). I sent a buyer a replacement item once, I used my own money to ship- sent Poshmark the tracking number and was able to handle the situation without a refund. I was out a few dollars but I wanted to make it right. Proceed with caution though!
- If you receive a return notification- Posh will ask for your side of things. You will be able to send photos or documentation as applicable.
- Once receiving a return I HIGHLY recommend video recording yourself opening the box and inspecting the items. If it was a bundle sale- ALL items in the bundle must be sent back and a video will prove if anything was left out. I have had friends receive items back worn and damaged. Documentation is key. Things will not always go in your favor- and the correct judgement will not always be made- this is the cost of doing business.
As a Store Owner in the retail world- you will deal with this daily. I cannot tell you the amount of times I have had to knowingly return used merchandise (I know you want to say “If it were MY store I wouldn’t take it back!”) but things change when you have the person there in front of you and you do what is right to make a customer happy. Luckily, on Poshmark, if it’s over $500 it gets verified by Posh concierge so there cannot be any false claims. I shy away from selling super high end in general, but that’s just me. However, if you have high end to sell, don’t let the risk stop YOU from selling to the 99.9% of amazing honest shoppers! Do what you need to do and what feels right (photos, video recording, etc) to protect yourself, always stay one step ahead!
The Closet Promoter
Example 1: (writes on your listing) “Come shop in my closet! Today only 30% off all bundles!”
Example 2: “This is at Marshalls on sale for $7.99”
First response: “Get out of my closet! That’s soooo rude of you! You are blocked! Hey @PFF1 @PFF2 @PFF3 Block this person NOW!!!”
“Thanks for stopping by! It looks like you are new to Poshmark- Welcome! If you are interested in this item please feel free to make an offer. If not, I assume you were trying to be helpful. However, comments like these do not promote a positive community environment which is very important to buyers and sellers on Poshmark. If you have any questions as you begin to grow your closet, please feel free to reach out and I would be happy to help. Good luck as you start out!”
Let’s be real, if someone comments like this on your listings, have they EVER had an amazing closet? Probably not- they are not your competition and I have never been swayed to shop when seeing an advertisement like this. An established closet or a friend who is truly wanting to help you will tag you in an old or temporary listing to give advice. Being combative or really “sticking it to them” isn’t going to teach anyone a lesson. Offering your help, however, may result in a future customer or just a mentoring relationship that WILL help create the positive environment we all love. Block them? Sure, if you want, I personally don’t because everyone is a potential customer. I make an exception for “Mercari Spammers.” They get blocked and reported, no response needed.
My last example is … POSHMARK.
Have you ever read the hateful comments they get on social media? People tearing apart policies, shipping, sellers closets, and pretty much everything in general. But not once has Manish (Poshmark CEO) commented back “GET OFF MY APP!!!!!” (Although, gosh that would be funny!) Poshmark responds with an acknowledgment of disappointment and presents a solution (typically to email support). You can’t please everyone.
When you are a Store Owner you have to realize that although it can FEEL personal, it’s not. You have to weigh the consequences of how you represent your business with your responses. The impact of a negative reputation can be felt in sales.
If a transaction or another Posher gets you down, print out your positive comments and 5 Star ratings– hang them on your refrigerator and remind yourself that YOU ARE AWESOME.
I would love to hear about ways you have dealt with things positively and diffused a potential disaster!
Also, don’t forget to like the Gray Asparagus page on Facebook 🙂