Katy has sold clothing on Mercari and Poshmark for years and does most of her thrift shopping online using eBay, Poshmark, and Mercari.
Most of us are fairly careful when shopping for clothes online—we examine photos closely, read the fine print, and only use "legit" sites. That's why it can be hard to trust sites like Poshmark without having used them firsthand. But here's the thing—you can get great deals on Poshmark without having to worry about poor quality items or risking your personal information. Even if you haven't shopped online for used clothing before, you can learn how to use Poshmark safely. Read on to find out how to shop on Posh with total confidence.
What Is Poshmark?
First off, what exactly is Poshmark? Poshmark is a well-established website for buying and selling used clothes, and despite being a relatively new player in the online shopping scene, it's perfectly legitimate. The site is similar to eBay and Mercari, but it only allows listings for clothes, accessories, and makeup. Anyone can join the site to be a buyer or a seller. Read on to learn more about how to buy clothes on Poshmark and how to determine whether the items you are considering purchasing are legitimate.
Is Poshmark Legit?
Let's address a common concern: Is Poshmark legit? Yes, Poshmark is a reputable website. Buyers purchase actual clothes and sellers receive actual payouts. But while the site itself is perfectly legitimate, there is no guarantee that the users buying and selling on it are legitimate. That's why the website has protections in place for both parties:
- Buyers can accept or return an item once they receive it. A buyer's payment isn't released to the seller until they receive the item and approve the purchase.
- Sellers' shipments are protected if they ship using the site's pre-paid, pre-addressed shipping labels.
How Safe Is Poshmark for Buyers?
When buying used clothing online, the marketplace you choose matters a lot when it comes to keeping your finances and identity safe. For a successful online buying experience with Poshmark, there are three things you'll want to keep in mind: your money, your privacy, and your purchase.
Protecting Your Money
It's perfectly safe to give your payment information to the site because sellers never see it. Your payments are processed by Poshmark. Poshmark then pays your seller directly once you have confirmed that you've received your item and are satisfied.
While Poshmark's digital marketplace is safe, secure, and private, there is always some risk involved in buying online. Some sellers might misrepresent an item or hide its flaws. If this happens to you, take pictures of the item immediately, then open a dispute with the site as soon as you can. You are protected by Poshmark if the item you receive is not "as described."
Protecting Your Privacy and Identity
When setting up your account, you can choose a username that doesn't match your real name and can't be traced to you. You can add as much or as little information as you want to your profile page. Your mailing address, however, will need to be shared with sellers after you buy an item from them so they can ship it to you. This is not unique to Poshmark—sellers are given buyers' addresses on eBay and Mercari as well. If you really do not want to share your home address, you may consider setting up a P.O. box at your local post office or having items shipped to your workplace.
Making a Good Purchase
When shopping online, it's important to double-check that what you are buying is what you actually want. It's easy to fall for pretty pictures only to realize later that an item you purchased doesn't fit properly or falls apart quickly. This isn't Poshmark's fault, nor is it the seller's (so long as they properly described the item). So as a buyer, it is worth spending some time to carefully consider the sizing, materials, brand, and pricing of anything you are considering purchasing.
- Check the sizing. Women's clothing sizes vary drastically from brand to brand, so don't be afraid to ask the seller for exact measurements. Measure a similar item you have that fits well and be on the lookout for items with those dimensions. Read the description completely and ask for more photos if you don't think the flaws are captured well enough.
- Check the brand and materials. Clothes are made from a variety of materials, and some are more durable than others. Look at the material and the brand to get an idea of the quality of an item. Just because a used skirt is priced at $50 doesn't mean it's actually worth that much.
For more information on buying clothes from Poshmark, read about how Poshmark works for buyers.
Are There Fake Items on Poshmark?
Listing fakes or knock-offs is against Poshmark's policy. As with any marketplace, however, a small number of sellers try to get away with it. So how can you tell if a listing is real? Fakes are mostly a concern with items from luxury brands, as these can gross more profit. So how can you tell if an item really is Gucci or Chanel or if it's just a knock-off?
How to Spot Fakes and Knock-Offs on Posh
- Avoid falling for a fake by looking for clear pictures that include brand logos as well as tags and boxes when available.
- Make sure you're buying from a reputable seller. You can get an idea of a seller's history by viewing their "about" page. You can see how many sales they've made and whether their buyers have left any notes. If a seller has a good rating and has made plenty of sales, it is unlikely that the items they have listed are fakes.
Poshmark Safety for Sellers
Poshmark has a well-established marketplace that is very friendly to sellers. Read my review of selling on Poshmark here for a full run-down. Before you get into selling seriously, there are a couple of important things to know about seller safety:
The site's seller fees are very clear, so you'll know how much money you'll receive before a buyer makes a purchase. The money you make in sales is available as soon as the buyer accepts the item. In case the buyer fails to accept the item, the money is automatically released to you after four days.
This is an area where even sellers with great intentions can get burned. A buyer may open a claim on a sale if they believe the item they received is not "as described." Unfortunately, Poshmark is known to side with the buyer on returns more often than not. To protect yourself from these claims, make sure you thoroughly describe every item you list and take clear pictures of any damage.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2018 Katy Medium
Maureen Price on April 21, 2020:
I purchased an item that was falsely advertised - a pair of jeans that were being sold as "very stretchy", when in fact they had no stretch in them at all. I question whether they were actually an authentic pair of designer jeans as all the jeans I have come across from this particular brand have always been a good quality and stretchy material, which was nothing like the pair I was sent. These particular jeans retail for $500 and I can assure you that the quality of the material in the jeans I was sent was nowhere near the quality of a pair of jeans that would be worth $500. I sent a request to Poshmark to return the item as their return policy specifically mentions that "A buyer may open a case with us if they don't receive their item or the item they receive is not as described within the listing." I felt that I had definitely been mislead by the seller's ad saying that the jeans were very stretchy. The seller repsonded and actually admitted that the fabric, in fact, didn't contain much stretch but she had added the description that they were 'very stretchy' because that is how the designer brand described this particular item on their website. I was then told by Poshmark that they wouldn't accept my dispute because I should have asked the seller more specific questions about the fabric before making my purchase. If the seller is describing the product as 'very stretchy' then I would assume if I asked her if the product was 'very stretchy' then she would have to say yes as that is how she described them. I will never purchase anything from Poshmark again as I believe they are allowing false advertising and possibly fake products to be sold on their site. If it seems to good to be true, it usually is!! More like very sketchy!!
R Couturier on March 28, 2020:
POSHMARK IS BAD NEWS! They offer a refund GUARANTEE which is fake. They do not back a cheated buyer - ever.
Mellen on March 04, 2020:
Been shopping on the site for a couple of years and as a buyer I’m extremely frustrated with this company. So many times I purchase an item and never receive it. There is no way to contact anyone in person so you just go back and forth with emails, it’s just plain bad business. Monitor your sellers Poshmark make sure they have the items they are listing, and if not have it removed immediately I’m deleting my account
SC on March 01, 2020:
There are scammers on Poshmark and the company does not do enough to weed them out. I sold a new pair of shoes, with tags and in box. The buyer claimed it was counterfeit. I produced original receipt and Poshmark ruled in favor of the buyer because Amazon is a third party retailer and they couldn't authenticate the shoes. I wasn't selling a high end brand and wasn't due to make a fortune off of the sale. I'm apparently getting the product back from the buyer but that's just creepy. Will be deleting my account.
Jay. on January 13, 2020:
My wife ordered me a rockawear wallet and got scammd,no wallet no money back.
Gen11 on January 06, 2020:
I’ve purchased off poshmark & after they know the seller was selling fake replicas and not just 1 BUT 3 items I purchased and ALL were fake!!! Yet the seller was back at it selling Chanel again!!!! They need to do better with their cyber security & in house networks to weed this out! They claim they are anti fraud & anti trademark etc But they Do not protect the consumer as they Expect the consumer to know what’s real or fake! I feel bad for those who have no idea and think they are just getting a good deal! I stopped buying Chanel and high end items I don’t trust poshmark! They need to do a better job At getting rid of the sellers that are selling replicas! But then again they make a percentage off that too so what do they care I still see the same sellers selling their fake replicas over and over again! I think this is something that should get reported!
Rob on December 24, 2019:
Poshmark is a fraudulent organization; they take your money on behalf of sellers that don’t send you what you bought and when you try and contact Poshmark you cannot speak to anyone and only receive canned unhelpful emails while you are ultimately getting ripped off - never buy anything through Poshmark!!!!
Valentina on December 18, 2019:
I'm done with Poshmark. There is no one to turn to if the person who sold you the item does not actually send it to you! I have been waiting a long time for a bag I purchased, and all I can do is e-mail them, because they don't have a phone number! I wish I had never gone on this site. Never again.
Vicky on October 24, 2019:
I'm done with Poshmark. Too many times I have been disappointed in a purchase. Recently bought what was suppose to a leather jacket that turned out to be fake.I took a picture of the tag that told fabric content. Seller offers me only partial refund if I return it. I end up paying for shipping twice and her fees from Poshmark are deducted from the return.
Joyce on September 28, 2019:
I have sold 2 items on Poshmark. Both were accepted. I asked for direct deposit the money should be in my acct in 3 business days. It is going on 6 business days and Poshmark is making excuses blaming their bank partner. They received the full amount of my items but they can’t pay me. Very worrisome
Katy Medium (author) from Denver, CO on September 27, 2019:
Hi Mark, for what I can see PoshInParis sells new shoes? A bit different from Poshmark, but it might be worth a look. From many posts around the internet it seems like people are saying it's a scam.
Mark on September 27, 2019:
I think poshinparis.com is better
Anthony Victor on September 23, 2019:
Please don’t buy at Poshmark!!! If you sell stuff you are ok, but in the other side you buy and is impossible to return the item they asked you to open a return claim but you will loose like I did!! I hate Poshmark never ever will buy again and I’m just trying to save as many people I can!!!
Ruth Holmes on September 11, 2019:
Purchased item not received. Got an apology from Poshmark.
I'm mad as hell. Stupid me for trusting.
Don Busiek on September 04, 2019:
Poshmark is terrible as they have promised to get back to me re: my purchase,but have not done so.
Melissa on August 15, 2019:
I've bought a cute tinkerbell purse for ten dollars.......for a nine year old. The seller argued with me because of a two star rating. I thought that was in confidence-- in which, an arguement ensued. The seller's pictures did NO justice. Claims her hand was in one of those pics.....if it i did see any recognition of a limb, i would not have bought it. She claims this is the only way of making an income---- someone needs to reevaluate the difference between telling the truth and "trying not to lie". This experience was a joke!
LD on July 27, 2019:
Scam and fraud!
Lily on July 24, 2019:
Poshmark protects the seller and NOT the buyer. I provided pictures to prove that the item I received was not at all like the item in the picture that I purchased. The Seller did not care, and said leave it up to Poshmark, who refused the ability to return and gave no further explanation and no ability to contest further. I hope poshmark goes bankrupt= they are crooks with no customer service!
Liz on July 22, 2019:
They are usually really good .. I love this app sign up with Disneydreamer25 to get 10 off your first purchase
imelda on June 18, 2019:
I agree I was once a victim of valentino bag authentic thru elian but when the bag arrived I notify them on a wednesday for the 3 days its a monday and they let go , but I want to returrn the said bag cause its a fake, you can see the handle its made of and the leather they use is a synthetic... and im so disappointed how poshmark handle this things, they need to see the product to thats why I want to return in order for them to see how the authenticity of a certain item is real....
Halloween Jet on May 22, 2019:
@ Madeline Kireta, delete the PayPal info from your Poshmark account.
Halloween Jet on May 22, 2019:
@Arlea Davis keep emailing & make sure to attach the email where they approved the return. They’re usually very good, but people abuse any system (not saying you) on both ends (buyer & seller).
Madeline Kireta on May 22, 2019:
I just tried to make a purchase with Poshmark thru Paypal. The transaction would never complete loading. I got tired of waiting and X'd out the transaction. Since they have my info with PayPal I am concerned.
Arlea Davis on May 08, 2019:
Poshmark for buyers is a ripoff. I recently purchased a pair of Gucci sunglasses. I did not like them. Poshmark okayed for me to return them. I returned the sunglasses. I gave them the Return mail information and they still paid the seller. I emailed and called them but no response. I want my money back.
Halloween Jet on April 28, 2019:
@Elina - it is in Poshmark FAQs that counterfeits are strictly forbidden. When I see them (and know for sure as I don’t know all luxury brands inside out) I report. More people need to report these things so the scammers get banned. Tbh, I don’t understand how places like Goodwill or Salvation Army get away with selling them (around me at really high prices no less) because it’s illegal in my state. I don’t like seeing things go into landfills so perhaps they could donate to a shelter. At least they’ll get used without selling counterfeits. Don’t bother trying to reason either, I explained why a pair of counterfeit Loubboutins were fake (asking $300?) and they didn’t care, that them right back in the display case, same price. Probably think you’re trying to get them cheaper, but it was so obvious, heel heights weren’t even the same! I wish there was some recourse when it comes to thrift/ charity shops.
Katy Medium (author) from Denver, CO on April 26, 2019:
Hi Mich, I'm sorry you had a bad experience with that seller and Poshmark. I'm surprised you're not getting a refund if it was a mistake.
Mich on April 25, 2019:
Do not use Poshmark My granddaughter picked out some shoes and they processed the purchase wrong and are blaming me. Their computer system has glitches. When I email them, they totally lie about the transaction- and blame me or the seller. They have lied to me more than any other website ever. They lie. Do not use.
Pat L Illinois on April 18, 2019:
DONT USE POSHMARK...they dont take care of customers..i received an order that i didn't place..they will not address this problem...someone used my account and ordered 3 items on my account!!!BEWARE!!!!
CO Deb on April 16, 2019:
If you're a buyer beware. The sellers are allowed to get as much money as they possibly can out of you. so don't be surprised if you pay three times as much for an item as its value. The seller can enhance the description quite alot and and Poshmark will side with them. Buyer beware.
Jenny on April 14, 2019:
Has anyone had problems buying David
Yurman? I just want to make sure paying that kind money I would be getting what I pay for!
Carmen Cruz on March 23, 2019:
How can I be sure to receive the items I buy?
Katy Medium (author) from Denver, CO on March 11, 2019:
Poshmark handles the payments (buyers can use, credit card or PayPal) and as a seller you get the payments via PayPal.
Elizabeth Hinds on March 11, 2019:
Can I use PayPal when selling?
bjs on March 02, 2019:
this website committed fraud with my Bank and gave them erroneous information in order to block a refund, giving the bank the amount of a different item I had been refunded through Poshmark previously, in order to block a valid refund that I had requested. The Bank Rep said, I can see there are two different transactions, and the amounts which are similar are different, and the dates of the transactions are different, and is now investigating the scam.
Katy Medium (author) from Denver, CO on February 25, 2019:
Hi Elina, thanks for your comment! You're right that anyone can sell fakes on Poshmark. It's up to buyers to be careful!
Elina on February 25, 2019:
Poshmark is allowed to sell FAKE items... especially Louis Vuitton, Channel and other luxury brands... They “ambassadors” selling fakes like no tomorrow... All of them including Poshmark must be prosecuted.