Is Poshmark Legit?


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The global secondhand market is slated to double by 2027, reaching $350 billion in sales, according to a 2023 report from thredUP. That growth is driven in large part by online resellers, which represent the fastest-growing sector of the U.S. secondhand market. One of the most successful online platforms is Poshmark, a fashion resale marketplace where you can find brand-name and designer clothes for up to 70% off retail prices. 

Sounds like a good deal, right? But before you make the plunge, you may wonder if it’s safe to buy a used handbag from some random stranger on the internet. We’re here to assuage your fears and provide a few tips about how to navigate the Poshmark marketplace. You can trust us because we've actually used Poshmark, scoured user reviews, and are online shopping experts with years of experience navigating e-commerce.

What Is Poshmark?

Think of Poshmark like a more niche eBay, one that mostly caters to people who want to buy and sell used clothes. Merchandise on the site varies widely in price — you can find rare designer pieces alongside everyday mall brands — but most pieces are affordable.

Like Disney, Apple, and other storied American firms, the company was born in an entrepreneur’s garage. It was 2011, and with the advent of the iPhone 4, Manish Chandra, Tracy Sun, Gautam Golwala, and Chetan Pungaliya saw an opportunity to create an end-to-end fashion resale marketplace. Since then, the company has seen huge growth.

When Poshmark went public in 2021, for example, it priced its IPO at $42 a share, giving the company an impressive $3 billion valuation. More recently, the South Korean company Naver bought Poshmark for $1.2 billion at the beginning of 2023.

Although the resale marketplace is best known for apparel, Poshmark’s platform also features used beauty products, home decor, electronics, and pet accessories.

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Poshmark Founders Group ShotPhoto credit: Poshmark/Jen Kay

How Does Poshmark Work?

Buying on Poshmark

As a buyer, Poshmark is simple to use. After you make an account, you’ll have access to the marketplace, which is organized by category. Assuming you’re shopping for clothing (most people are), you can sort by brand, size, and other categories, or you can use the search function. If you find something you like, you have the option to either “Buy Now” at the item’s list price or make an offer.

We suggest you always offer below the asking price. Just know that offers are binding, so if the seller accepts your price, you’ll be charged and the item will be on its way.

Selling on Poshmark

Selling something on Poshmark is a more involved process. Again, you’ll have to make an account, though you may want to put extra effort into the process, adding a bio and profile picture to attract buyers. Then, within the app, you’ll take photos of the item you want to sell, add a title and description, and then set your price. If someone buys your item, Poshmark makes the process more convenient by generating a shipping label and sending it directly to your email. (Buyers pay for shipping.) Print the label out, attach it to your package, and you’ve made your first sale. 

Since Poshmark is a business, it charges sellers for every sale. For items sold under $15, the platform charges a flat $2.95 fee. On more expensive sales, Poshmark assesses a 20% fee, meaning that you take home 80% of the final price.

Related: Why Is Shein So Cheap — and Is It Ethical?

Poshmark ClothingPhoto credit: Cheapism

So Is Poshmark Legit?

The short answer is yes. Poshmark is a legitimate, reputable site that you can trust. Personally, I’ve purchased around five items on the site and have never had an issue. Items have arrived on time and as described. The site has also saved me money. When I wanted a pair of rare New Balances that retail for $200, I found a lightly used pair on Poshmark for $65.

That said, Poshmark does have a fair amount of negative reviews online. On Trustpilot, the company has one out of five stars, earning it a “bad” rating. Many of these low ratings stem from the fact that Poshmark doesn’t have a dedicated phone- or chat-based customer service center. Instead, users are asked to send an email or visit the company’s support center, which answers a list of frequently asked questions.

Other complaints criticize the marketplace for how many scammers there are, with both deceptive buyers and sellers.

However, to Poshmark’s credit, the site does have a variety of user protections and safety measures, which we’ll detail below.

Poshmark TrustpilotPhoto credit: Cheapism

User Protections and Safety Measures

Poshmark’s two most prominent safety features for buyers are Posh Protect and Posh Authenticate, though the company also does its best to keep sellers from getting duped.

Posh Protect

Posh Protect, Poshmark’s buyer protection policy, ensures that consumers will be refunded if an item does not match the listing description. According to Poshmark’s website, that includes:

  • Undisclosed damage

  • Incorrect or missing item

  • Item not as described

  • Item is not authentic

If any of the above criteria apply, buyers have three days after delivery to inform Poshmark. If the claim is verified, then Poshmark will send a return label and a full refund.

Posh Authenticate

For all purchases over $500, Poshmark offers free authentication and shipping, a policy that the company calls Posh Authenticate. “When you purchase a luxury item valued at $500 or more, the order is authenticated directly through Poshmark HQ or via our trusted independent suppliers/resellers that source and pre-authenticate their items prior to shipment,” the company writes on its website.

Seller Protections

As long as you use the provided shipping label, sellers’ parcels will be covered if they’re lost in the mail. Orders that value over $400 will require a signature upon arrival. Finally, should a buyer report a problem with the order and seek a refund, they will have to provide evidence.

Related: So You Just Got Scammed on Cash App or Venmo. Now What?

Posh ProtectPhoto credit: Poshmark

4 Common Poshmark Scams

The harsh reality is that you could be scammed anywhere online — and that includes Poshmark. But if you’re aware of the most common swindles, you can protect yourself.

1. Off-Platform Communication: Be wary of sellers who insist on moving conversations off Poshmark. This tactic often leads to scams, as it bypasses Poshmark's security measures and leaves buyers vulnerable.

2. Counterfeit Merchandise: A common scam on Poshmark involves the sale of fake luxury items. These counterfeit goods are often difficult to distinguish from authentic products, tricking unsuspecting buyers into paying premium prices for knock-offs. And since Posh Authenticate only kicks in for purchases over $500, buyers should be skeptical of too-good-to-be-true deals on designer goods.

3. Bait and Switch: Sellers on Poshmark also have to watch out for counterfeit goods, as buyers will sometimes purchase an expensive item, request a refund, and then return a replica in the mail. In the end, the seller is left without the item or the cash.

4. Phishing: Phishing scammers try to steal your personal information through social engineering. In practice, that might look like someone impersonating a Poshmark employee who asks for your password and credit card information. Be skeptical of such requests while online shopping, and be sure to verify the person’s identity before divulging any private information. When it comes to emails and messages, common phishing red flags include spelling and grammatical errors, an unusual sense of urgency, and strange attachments.

Poshmark Trustpilot ScammersPhoto credit: Cheapism

8 Tips for Safe Shopping on Poshmark and Elsewhere Online

You can further protect yourself from the above scams if you follow these tips, many of which will serve you elsewhere online.

1. Use Secure Payment Methods: Always use secure and recognized payment methods. Avoid direct bank transfers or sending money via unofficial platforms.

2. Stay Within the Platform for Communication and Transactions: Whether on Poshmark or other online marketplaces, conduct all communications and transactions within the platform to benefit from its security and dispute resolution processes.

3. Check Seller Reviews and Ratings: Before making a purchase, review the seller’s history, ratings, and feedback from other buyers to gauge their reliability and the quality of their products.

4. Inspect Product Descriptions and Images Thoroughly: Carefully review the product descriptions and images. Don't hesitate to ask the seller for more details or additional photos.

5. Keep Personal Information Private: Never share personal information like your address or financial details in public or private messages.

6. Understand the Return Policy: Familiarize yourself with the return and refund policies of the platform and the seller to know your options if something goes wrong.

7. Be Cautious with External Links: Avoid clicking on unsolicited links in emails or messages, as they may lead to phishing sites or download malware onto your device.

8. Document Your Purchase: Keep a record of your transactions, including correspondence with the seller, receipts, and the product description, in case you need to file a dispute.

Online scam victim sending credit number to scammerPhoto credit: celiaosk/istockphoto

What Users Are Saying

Although Poshmark has tens of millions of loyal users, some have expressed dissatisfaction with the platform on Trustpilot and the Better Business Bureau’s (BBB) website. As we noted above, Poshmark’s reviews on Trustpilot are overwhelmingly negative, and it’s the same on BBB. While BBB gives Poshmark a B rating, customer reviews on the site average one out of five stars. And again, most complaints have to do with Poshmark’s poor customer service and deceptive sellers.

“Ripped off. Ordered an expensive pair of leggings, size medium,” shares one user on BBB. “They were an extra small with a medium tag. Postmark refused to allow me to return it, even after I sent pictures clearly showing how small they were.”

“We purchased an item from Poshmark. It was NOT as described,” writes another consumer on BBB.

Nevertheless, Poshmark does have its fans, especially on the r/Poshmark community on Reddit.

“As someone who sells casually for the sole purpose of clearing out my closet, it’s worth it,” an r/Poshmark member writes. “I am able to get rid of my items and get money from it without putting forth much effort. The most irritating part are the people who make ridiculous offers - like $40 on an item priced at $100.”

The upshot is that Poshmark — like any online marketplace — is going to have scammers. Is Poshmark support doing enough to tackle that issue? Many users say no. Still, it’s a relatively safe place to buy and sell clothing, especially given some of Poshmark’s buyer and seller protections.

byu/read-tar-tedd from discussion

The Bottom Line: Is Poshmark Safe?

Poshmark is a legitimate website that’s as safe as any mainstream secondhand marketplace. Does that mean that it’s perfect? Not at all. Like many e-commerce platforms, Poshmark is marred by scammers, counterfeit items, and unsatisfactory customer service. And yet, I’ve made several purchases on the site without any issues, which is likely thanks to the precautions the site takes to protect buyers and sellers. Our recommendation? Take advantage of Poshmark’s massive secondhand marketplace while also maintaining a cautious level of skepticism.

Shopping Online With PhonePhoto credit: mahiruysal/istockphoto

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to buy from Poshmark?

Yes, buying from Poshmark is generally safe. The platform has established various safety measures and policies to protect its users. While there are instances of scams, as with any online marketplace, Poshmark has implemented protective features like Posh Protect and Posh Authenticate to enhance the security of transactions. However, as a buyer, it's important to exercise caution, such as reviewing seller ratings and using the platform's internal communication and transaction systems.

What is the downside to Poshmark?

One of the main downsides to using Poshmark is the potential for encountering scams, such as counterfeit merchandise or misleading listings. Additionally, some users have reported dissatisfaction with the platform's customer service, as it primarily operates through email and a FAQ support center, rather than offering direct phone or chat support. There are also fees associated with selling items.

Will Poshmark refund me if I get scammed?

Yes, Poshmark offers a refund policy under its Posh Protect program. If you receive your item and it does not match the description, is counterfeit, or has undisclosed damage, you can report the issue to Poshmark within three days of delivery. If your claim is validated, Poshmark will issue a full refund and provide a return shipping label. It's important to act promptly and provide adequate evidence for your claim.

Is it safe to use credit cards on Poshmark?

Yes, using credit cards on Poshmark is safe. Transactions are processed through Poshmark, so the seller never has access to your personal information. What's more, Poshmark does not store your payment info with the rest of its data.

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