Respectful Buyers Welcome

There is such outcry over low offers on Poshmark. This sets forth my personal philosophy.

First, I’d like to say that Poshmark is not now, nor was it ever intended to be a low-quality, price-cutting marketplace. Rather it was intended to be a place where people could sell and buy good quality used clothing at fair prices. To those that insist on making low offers, I’d suggest that they try ThredUp, eBay or Goodwill. The increasing frequency of low offers from ill-informed or disrespectful buyers hurts the reputation of Poshmark and frustrates sellers, making it a less desirable place for purveyors of fine clothing to sell.

Lowball Meme by Kylie
You’ve seen them. Sellers’ artistic and heartfelt pleas to end lowballing.

I think that Poshmark may have done itself and its client√®le a disfavor by ever placing an OFFER button on the site. As well, many sellers seem to be their own worst enemy actually inviting offers. You’d may as well say you don’t believe at all in your product or that it is fairly priced to begin with. Indeed, many sellers artificially inflate their prices to offset the low offers.

Some buyers make incredibly low offers because they simply can’t afford the item they want. Some think it’s fine for them to “put it out there”, but is it really?¬† I had a buyer offer $100 on a suit that retailed at $1600 and I was offering for $479. That is a decrease in my asking price of 79%. As a buyer myself, I just admire items I can’t afford and move on to those I can.

My Philosophy

My pricing strategy is based upon careful research of each of my products and brick-and-mortar experience selling upscale used clothing. My pricing is between 60% and 70% off original retail, depending on whether or not the item is NWT (new with tags). This is widely acceptable pricing for clothing that is in excellent condition. Hence the asking price is well-thought-out and fair.

Discounts can be realized by bundling purchases. I’m quite generous in this area as a small bundle of just two items will earn the buyer a twenty percent savings. Do I take offers? It depends on a number of factors; all of which are again strategically calculated. I keep a spreadsheet of every listing that includes its listing date, retail value and current listing price. In most cases these are firm. However, over time, the amount I will take may decrease. You can’t count on this, however, as I am also inclined to re-list items I especially believe in.

When you make an offer I will consult my spreadsheet and determine, without emotional influence, what I am willing to sell a given item for at a given time. I will counter (or not) with my final offer. Or, if I am currently unable to lower the price, will simply decline. I find this removes the emotional element from the process.

I will say that in no circumstance will I ever consider an offer that is less than 30% of my asking price and rarely consider offers that are less than 20% of my asking price unless they are part of a bundle, as the items are already fairly priced.

As regards to shipping costs.

I’ve read from a number of buyers that they make lower offers because they don’t want to pay shipping. Shipping is purely a benefit to the buyer — not to the seller. It gives the buyer the opportunity to shop from the comfort of her armchair and requires no effort on her part. It is a convenience commodity. Shipping, for the seller however, involves purchasing packaging, spending gas money and taking time out of their already busy schedules to deliver said packages to the post office or mail store. All of that is on top of the twenty percent that Poshmark takes as their share

Food for thought.

I’d say the crux of the matter is to be an informed and respectful buyer and be an informed and fair seller. Sounds like the perfect recipe for a successful Poshmark experience.

Kylie Sabra

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