MF 207 : How transactions work on Poshmark
Navigating transactions on Poshmark really comes down to 1) communication, 2) organization, 3) appreciation
In this episode, we take a closer look at how sales and transactions work on Poshmark. More at www.bemovingforward.com.
Part 1: The answer is “no”
While I don’t do New Year’s resolutions, I do take stock of areas I want to improve and make those my short and long-term goals, without relying on Jan. 1 as a benchmark.
Looking back, one area I struggled with in 2018 was saying no. I’m naturally inclined to say yes. It’s the creator and collaborator in me. Last year, I said yes to multiple speaking engagements, panels, emceeing an event, and public speaking seminars. Many of these were paid engagements and with very enthusiastic audiences. However, saying yes to nearly all of these left me exhausted and spent.
This year, I have three big projects I’m focusing my time on: 1) writing and publishing my first book, 2) helping my Dad grow his Poshmark business, 3) a start-up venture in biotech. To put in adequate time and energy into these projects, I have to say no to a lot of things this year:
No to public speaking engagements and panels.
No to invitations to join committees or organizations.
No to exciting projects and ideas that people want me to be a part of.
No to podcast interviews.
No to phone call requests, asking to “pick my brain.”
No to lunch, dinner, coffee with friends (at least half the time – this one I won’t ever cut out altogether).
So far, I’ve done pretty well saying no. It wasn’t easy at first but each time I reminded myself that in saying “no,” I’m also saying “yes,” repeatedly, to the projects and priorities, I for 2019 and beyond.
Notice, one area I didn’t list in the big project category is this podcast. That’s because I made a decision to change the format, make episodes 10 minutes or less, and to say “no” to myself.
In order to continue creating content on a regular basis, I had to say no to my inclination to edit the episodes, do re-takes of segments, and generally fall into the “perfection” syndrome trap.
Back when I was doing interviews, editing was a regular part of my workflow. Guests, especially first-timers, sometimes need an additional take or two. To provide a comfortable, welcoming atmosphere, I let my guests know they could do another take if they weren’t happy with a particular answer. After this, I would edit the episode for publication.
Now that I’m doing a solo podcast, editing is no longer a priority or rather, I don’t have time to edit the podcasts the way I did before.
Believe me, this wasn’t an easy decision to make.
With each episode I’ve done this year, I listened back, and always find at least 10 spots where I think “oh, I wanted to change that, snip that out, or do another take.” I’ve resisted the impulse so that what you’re getting is me, not an edited me.
Saying “no” to myself has allowed me to make the podcast an organic part of my week, spending just enough time but not so much that it detracts from my other priorities. It’s also how I’m growing as a podcaster. Rather than edit and backtrack on what I’ve already recorded, I’m focusing more on improving with each episode.
What about you? What are you letting go of this year or saying “no” to, in order to achieve your big priorities?
Part 2: A deep dive into transactions on Poshmark
Sales: Once you have listed your item for sale, there are two selling scenarios you’ll come across:
Scenario 1: “Buy now.” This means the buyer wants to buy the item at the listed price.
Scenario 2: “Offer.” A prospective buyer is offering a price to you that is below what you’ve listed the item for. Once you receive an offer, you have 24 hours to decide what you want to do with three options:
Accept: you agree to the price in the offer.
Decline: you decline the offer outright.
Counter: you submit a price that’s above the original offer but discounted from the listing price.
All of this occurs within a private window between you and the buyer. Poshmark is a true marketplace where buyer and seller can negotiate price. We’ll cover negotiation and pricing next month. But for now, understand you have three options to answer an offer.
Once a sale goes through, within either scenario, you will receive a notification within the app and by email, that the item has been sold. The item listing will be marked with a “sold” stamp and will no longer be available for anyone else to buy it.
Preparation: Next, you will prepare and ship the item for your customer:
Pack the item.
Best practice tip: use USPS priority boxes (do NOT use the boxes that say “express”). You can pick up priority boxes for free at the post office or order them here (the boxes are free, you only pay S/H if you order online).
You can check out shipping box guidelines at Poshmark’s blog.
UPDATE (1/31/2018): today, when I went to ship out a Poshmark order, I was told I couldn’t a priority flat rate box and ended up having to repack and ship the item using a regular priority box. This is inconsistent with what’s stated on Poshmark’s blog and information provided during other postal visits. I have contacted Poshmark to get clarification and will update accordingly. In the meantime, and for safety, you may want to stick with non-flat rate priority boxes or if you’re not sure, ask at your local USPS branch.
UPDATE (2/1/2019): I received a message from Poshmark support, reiterating that any priority (non-express) box can be used including flat rate ones. 🤷🏻♂️ For now, stick with the non-flat rate priority boxes.
Best practice tip: wrap the item in clear plastic or tissue paper before putting into the box.
Best practice tip: When sealing the box with packing tape, cover up any open corners or open seams to ensure the package is secure.
Print out the label and affix to the box.
Poshmark customers purchase the shipping along with the item.
We’ll cover how to offer shipping discounts in a future post and podcast.
You can use any inkjet or laser printer to print out the label and tape onto the box.
As you grow your Poshmark business, you may want to invest in a thermal label printer for shipping labels. Be sure to get one that can handle 4×6 labels. A popular one is the Dymo LabelWriter 4XL.
Ship the package out at the Post office (all Poshmark shipping is done by USPS 2-3 day priority mail).
Most post offices have a section where you can drop off packages to ship out if you’re in a hurry.
Best practice tip: if the wait isn’t too long and you have time, you can hand it to the USPS employee at the counter, ask them to scan, and give you a receipt to confirm shipment.
Best practice tip: for after business hours, Sundays, and holidays check to see if your post office has an after-hours package drop-off slot -or- you can wait until the next business day to ship. Do NOT use the standard blue mailbox for large packages and items.
Confirm the shipment:
Go into your sales queue on Poshmark.
Click into the item you shipped out.
Check off the three boxes:
Printed postage label.
Dropped off at Post office.
Confirm that the package has been shipped out.
The status will change from “sold” to “awaiting USPS scan.”
Note: it can take anywhere from 1 hour to 12 or more for USPS tracking to activate / update. If it doesn’t appear immediately, don’t panic.
Post-sales: The item will take anywhere from 2-3 days (or slightly longer depending on USPS) from the day of shipment to arrive to the customer:
The customer has 3 days to inspect the item.
The customer can:
Accept the item: this will close the transaction and the money will be disbursed immediately into your Poshmark account.
Wait the 3 day period: the transaction will close on the 4th day and the money will be disbursed into your account then.
Report an issue: if there’s a problem or issue, the customer can report it to Poshmark.
Best practice tip reminder: Be upfront about the condition of your listings, especially if you’re selling used items. Over-communicate with pictures and descriptions. Answer questions about the item in a timely manner, especially ones related to siz. This will help ensure that you have smooth sales and happy customers.
Proceeds: After a transaction is complete, the sale proceeds (net: minus Poshmark’s commission), will be transferred into your Poshmark account. You can:
Hold it in your Poshmark account and use it as a paymemt option to buy items.
Transfer it to your bank account.
Transfer it via check.
Best practice tips for sellers:
Communicate confirmations: once a buyer has purchased your item, go into the item and post a thank you message. Let him or her know when you will ship out the item. Don’t forget to check off the preparing your item checklist and confirm that you have shipped out the package.
Best practice tip: I also send a follow-up message once I have confirmed the shipment, letting the buyer know that the tracking will be updated shortly. I also thank them again for their business.
Be timely in shipping: Once someone purchases an item, send it out right away. One way you can stand out as a Poshmark seller is to send out your packages same or next day. Don’t sit on orders. Poshmark will cancel transactions if not shipped within a certain period (I think it’s 3-5 days).
Best practice tip: if your post office has an after hours drop-off, you can drop off your packages after business hours, on Sundays, and holidays. Note: USPS tracking won’t be updated until the next business day but you’ll be able to confirm that you shipped out the package.
Communicate your appreciation:
Thank your customer: For their purchase and their business. The confirmation messages are a great opportunity to do so. No matter how big or small the transaction or sale, treat each one as if it were your most valuable sale.
Gratitude exercise: As you grow your Poshmark business, with each sale, take a moment to remember how you felt the first time you sold something. For us, it was a pair of blue jeans. Remember, the rush, the excitement, and the appreciation you felt when a customer trusted you to purchase and send an item they needed or wanted. Pack and ship each item with care, knowing that your customer is excited to be receive something that he or she will wear for a special occasion, a job interview, a date, or just something to add to their wardrobe that will make him or her happy.
Do not promise delivery by a certain date: as you grow your business, buyers may ask if they can get an item by a certain date, especially if they need it right away. The most you can offer is to ship it out right away and say it generally takes 2-3 days via Priority mail. However, shipments may sometimes take 1 or even 2 days longer. You have no control over how or when the post office will deliver something so never promise a receipt date. Rather, provide information on how quickly you can ship it out and the general time frame for deliveries.
As move into February, we’ll dive deeper into other areas to help maximize sales including Poshmark parties, sharing your items, pricing, and negotiation strategies.
Homework: continue building up your Poshmark store with new listings. Start engaging within the Poshmark community by: 1) following people who like your item, 2) sharing items from those who share yours, 3) answering questions about items you’ve listed.
Download my 5-step checklist for getting started on Poshmark
Part 3: What I’m reading / read
The Outsider by Stephen King (***): King’s latest novel is a shocking, gruesome crime-drama, set in a small town. The thesis of the story is Sherlock Holmes’ quote “When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” The police are investigating the horrible murder of a young boy, which leads them to the prime suspect: a model citizen who coaches the school’s little league team. As they arrest and investigate, the evidence points to both his guilt and innocence, placing him in two places at the same time. Is it mistaken identity? Twins? Space aliens? King unravels the story with relatable characters within a story that sucks you in. Warning: this book is not for the faint of heart. It is one of the most disturbing novels I’ve ever read, in general, and compared to other King books.
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