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Thrifting is a fantastic alternative to the fast fashion we see at stores like Forever 21, H&M, Target, Walmart, Zara, and others. But sifting through racks and racks of mismatched and often worn-out clothing can take a lot of time. Enter thrifting apps like Poshmark- you can easily search for your favorite brands and let the app filter out clothes that aren’t your size. On top of that, you can make some extra cash by selling some of your own unused clothing.
I do buy almost all of my clothing on Poshmark now, and I rarely shop in fast fashion stores. (That’s not to say I don’t hit up the thrift stores every once in a while, ha!) With apps like Poshmark out there, I don’t have to buy brand new clothes anymore. But as with any online store, you have to be careful who you are buying from. Poshmark scams are entirely too real, and you have to know what signs to look for when you are checking out listings. I got scammed with my very first purchase on there (what a welcome, right?), and since then I’ve been extra diligent about learning the signs of a seller scam. Here are some of the major ones you need to look out for:
No Photos of the Actual Item
Consider it a big, red flag when there are only stock photos of an item on a listing. I like to assume the good in people and hope that they aren’t hiding something, but sadly you never know. It’s ok to ask for photos of the actual item; oftentimes sellers just haven’t gotten to uploading them yet. But if the seller refuses or ignores your request for photos of the real item, take your business elsewhere.
Pixelated/Poor Quality Photos
Does the photo look like it could have been lifted from another Posher? Do all of the photos look like they came from different sources? This was the case with my very first Poshmark purchase, but unfortunately, my untrained eye was unable to pick up on the telltale signs. The photos of the swimsuit I bought were separated by stock photos, which was intentional on the part of the seller, I believe, to distract from the two different backgrounds in the pictures. Plus they had a subtle blurred look, like they hadn’t been taken with the seller’s own camera. They used photos from other sellers to hide the fact that there were stains and marks on the suit, which I discovered upon receiving it. Thankfully I was able to return it! But it was an eye-opening lesson that not everyone on Poshmark is honest about the condition of their items.
Check the Comments
I’ve had other Poshers alert me to a scammer a number of times through the comments on posts. People who have had a bad experience with a seller will often come back and leave a comment on an item when the scammer tries to resell it. It’s worthwhile to look in the comments section to make sure someone else hasn’t been the victim of a scam through the same seller!
Recognize a Fake
Fake items can be one of the most difficult Poshmark scams to detect if you don’t know how to recognize one. If you are looking to buy a big-ticket time on Poshmark, it would be well worth your time to research the appearance of fakes vs. the genuine product. Unfortunately, fake items from scammers are a common occurrence online, so it’s best to exercise caution when shopping for expensive brands. If the seller has hundreds of normally expensive items listed at a steep discount, exercise caution before buying from their closet.
Ask for the Batch Number On Beauty Products
Oftentimes sellers will intentionally (or unintentionally) sell expired beauty products on Poshmark. If they haven’t included a photo of the batch code (usually on the bottom of products) make it a point to ask for one. Furthermore, try to avoid buying already opened beauty products. You never know how long it has actually been open or what sort of bacteria might have gotten into the packaging.
In addition to looking for these signs in item listings, you can take a peek at sellers’ about pages. (You can find the “About” button at the top of anyone’s closet.) In this section, you can see their love notes from other Poshers, as well as the average time that they take to ship an item. If they seem to be in good standing with past buyers, you can feel more confident purchasing from them.
So there you go! Now you know five easy signs to check for in listings that will help keep you from falling prey to Poshmark scams. Poshmark is a convenient, fun way to thrift for clothing. It’s full of wonderful sellers who are dedicated to giving their customers the best service possible. (If you want to find out some handy tips to help you successfully sell on Poshmark, you can check out my guide here.) Scams are, thankfully, not the majority of posts that you will see on the app. Now that you know how to quickly spot when something is amiss with a listing, you can shop confidently!
If you’ve been thinking of signing up for Poshmark but haven’t jumped on it yet, you can use the code MJONES12516 to get $10 FREE credit when you sign up! (I also make $10 when you buy your first item.) I’d be honored and overjoyed if you felt led to support me in that way! If you want to check out my closet, you can do so here.
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