How to Avoid Cases Open Against You & Returns on Poshmark

How to Avoid Cases Open Against You & Returns on Poshmark

It’s the notification that many Poshmark sellers dread: “Case opened for your sale…” Ugh! You get that sinking feeling in your heart. Why did the buyer open a case against me? What’s wrong with what I sold? How do I win the case?

While Poshmark doesn’t allow returns for fit or buyer regret, if an item isn’t as described, Poshmark deems that a legitimate reason to grant a return and refund the buyer.

Sometimes the reasons for open cases are legitimate like a missed stain or a snag on a piece of clothing. It happens when you sell second-hand clothes. Sometimes the reasons are things that you might only know after selling for a while.

No matter the reason, if Poshmark favors the buyer, then you’re out of a sale and may even be on the hook to cover the cost of return shipping. That’s why I want to go over a few top Poshmark seller mistakes I’ve seen and how to avoid them so that you don’t end up with cases opened against you.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means that I may receive compensation when you click on a product link or purchase an item linked on this site. Click here for details.

***If you don’t have a Poshmark account, you can receive a free $5 bonus when you sign up with my code SFGIRL2015.***

1 | Not disclosing flaws

The most common reason for return cases opening is that the seller didn’t disclose everything that was wrong with an item. This is sometimes a subjective issue since a lot of Poshmark is second-hand clothing. People have different ideas about the condition and wearability of second-hand clothing.

But it’s not too hard to state the facts. I’ve been on the receiving end of purchases weren’t as nice as described: earrings missing a rhinestone, shirts with stains and pilling, and shoes with scuff marks. Those were facts that could have easily been disclosed.

I think a lot of people don’t open cases but accept that they got something in poorer condition than they expected. The stains might not be that noticeable. In my case, I could still wear the shoes with scuff marks, even though I retired them soon after.

It’s a disappointing experience for the buyer and leaves a negative impression of Poshmark in the buyer’s mind. As a seller, I hope that my buyers are thrilled with what they receive, not lukewarm or disappointed by it.

How to avoid this:

  • Look closely at the items you’re selling multiple times under bright light.

  • Give thorough descriptions. This includes the great things about the item as well as its flaws.

  • Consider what you would want to know about the item if you were purchasing it yourself.

  • If you’re not sure how to describe something, browse through listings and see how others disclose flaws in their items.


2 | Not describing items

 
Example of a one-line description

Example of a one-line description

 

Sometimes I come across listings with one or two pictures or only stock photos and a one-line description. It’s second-hand, so there’s no guarantee that the item is in good enough condition to wear. I have to wonder who will buy those items.

Short descriptions and limited pictures put the burden on the buyer to gather information about the item. What’s its condition? Any flaws? Can you add more pictures?

Most people will simply pass on the item unless it’s super popular or a steal of a deal. A lot of shoppers don’t want to take the time to ask questions. They may think that a short description and limited pictures mean the seller is trying to hide a flaw.


How to avoid this:

  • Provide the brand name and style name of the item if you know it. This is great for search optimization so your items to come up in Poshmark and Google search results.

  • Provide a thorough written description of the item whether it’s an excellent condition or has flaws.

  • Take enough pictures to show the item in its entirety.

3 | Listing the incorrect size

I’ve come across listings where people say that the item runs small. Instead of listing the item by the number or size on the size tag (e.g., medium), they’ll list it how they think it fits (e.g., small). This is a sure way to get a return case open against you.

If the buyer doesn’t like the item or it doesn’t fit, they can request a return stating that the incorrect size was stated. The buyer will likely win too as there’s no disputing that the listed size was incorrect.

How to avoid this:

  • List the size on the tag. In the description, say that the item runs small or large or fits like this or that.

  • Don’t comment on the fit. You don’t have to state that the item doesn’t run true to size. For all you know, the item won’t run small or large to the buyer. It may fit them perfectly. It’s also commonly known that some brands don’t fit true to size. The frequent buyers of those brands will know that. They’ll know their size and buy accordingly.

  • Add a request to know the brand’s sizing. Sometimes I add in the description that the buyer should be familiar with the brand’s sizing because it’s not standard. I cannot guarantee fit.

  • Add measurements. When you add measurements, then the onus is really placed on the buyer to ensure the fit. I have shoppers ask me about fit from time to time. I sell every size available in my closet, so there’s no way I know if a S, M, L, XL, 2XL all fit true to size. Instead, I ask the buyer to compare the measurements to something they already have to better figure out the fit themselves.


4 | Convert sizes incorrectly

Size conversions are another tricky thing to handle. There’s European sizing, which I’ve seen between size 34-44 for women’s clothing. Some clothing brands use different size systems even when they sell in the US.

Stone Cold Fox and Ted Baker use a 0-4 system. Torrid uses a similar system for plus-size clothing. This is even more confusing since there are already US women’s and junior’s sizes 0-4 that fit differently than those above.

I recently sold a size 1 jacket by Stone Cold Fox. I tried to put a 1 in the custom size box and PM wouldn’t let me because there’s already an option for a size 1. The problem is that a US 1 is a junior’s size and I wasn’t selling a junior product.

In this case, I listed the item under the closest US women’s size and stated very clearly in the description both the brand’s size and the standard US size. The buyer gave me a 5-star rating so no case opened about this item.

How to avoid this:

  • Add the brand’s size conversion chart.

  • Make clear in the description what size the item is in both standard US sizing and whatever sizing system the brand uses.

  • Add a picture of the brand and size tag that’s on the item you’re selling.

  • Add measurements.

  • Confirm with the buyer that they know what size they’re receiving. Sometimes I ask the buyer if they read through the description of the item to ensure they’re receiving the correct size that they want.

5 | Incorrect shoe size conversions

 
Poshmark’s women’s shoe size selection with incorrect conversions

Poshmark’s women’s shoe size selection with incorrect conversions

 

Poshmark provides shoe size conversions for European sizes but they’re incorrect. European sizes don’t convert to US sizes like 36 = 6 and 37 = 7 the way they have them listed.

You may list a shoe that shows 37 on the sole and Poshmark displays it as a US 7. Then the size-7 buyer finds it doesn’t fit her. That’s another return case open due to the incorrect size being listed.

I always list by what’s on the shoe. If the shoe says 38, then I use the custom size option and enter 38. You might be thinking that this will affect the searchability of your listings because people usually search Poshmark by their American sizes. I find it worth it though in order to have a more accurate listing.

How to avoid this:

  • Add a picture of the size on the shoe. The size is often on the sole or inner heel area. On sneakers, you’ll sometimes find them under the tongue of the shoe.

  • List the shoe by the size written on it. Don’t rely on Poshmark’s conversions.

  • Repeat the actual shoe size again in the listing’s description. If you’re feeling confident, you can add here what the shoe converts to in US sizing. I suggest buyers know their European size to ensure fit.

  • Add the manufacturer size conversion chart if you can find it.

  • If you really want to be sure the buyer knows what size they’re getting, ask the buyer to confirm they read the description and know it’s a size # shoe they’ll be getting.

6 | Using stock photos

I’ll admit that I love stock photos. Professionals have made the clothes look good, far better than most of us sellers could. The clothes are modeled, styled, and shown in the best light.

I don’t use stock photos anymore because the photos are copyrighted. It’s okay if you have permission from the brand or the photos’ owners to use them.

You risk the chance of having your listings taken down without warning when you use them. If you continue to use them and receive more warnings, you risk being banned from the platform. Whoever owns the photos could also take legal action against you.

Platforms like Mercari are strict about enforcing no use of stock photos. Poshmark isn’t as strict about enforcing it. From what I’ve seen, it seems Poshmark takes down listings only when the brands have approached them requiring it.

How to avoid this:

  • Take the best photos you can. Find better backgrounds, add more light, use a photo editing app. You can do a lot to brighten up photos with practice and patience. Your photo taking skills will improve, which will serve you better in the long run.

  • Direct the shopper to the pictures online. I write in my listings to search for the style name in Google to see modeled pics. I look on Google first to ensure there are some available. It’s an extra step some people may not want to take but will save you from what could be serious legal trouble.

7 | Not having packaging material

One of the most frustrating things when I was a new seller was making a quick sale and not being able to package it up well because I didn’t have the right materials for it.

I’m not talking about pretty packaging either. Poshmark likes to showcase packages with pretty tissue paper and little gifts attached. That’s not necessary.

I mean having the basics like tissue paper or plastic bags to wrap items, shipping boxes, and thank you cards.

How to avoid this:

  • Gather the items you need for shipping as soon as you start selling or even before you start selling on Poshmark.

  • Make sure that you have a way to ship larger or odd-shaped items before you list the items.

  • Order shipping materials from USPS online. You can get Priority mail boxes and envelopes for free.

8 | Not packaging items well

Most of the time you won’t have an issue shipping clothing in USPS envelopes and boxes. Most sales are single pieces under Poshmark’s 5 lb weight limit, and the boxes come in a variety of sizes.

The other thing to consider about shipping is packaging items well to prevent damage. It’s the worst when those paper boxes get wet during the winter and rainy or snowy months. The disintegrate leaving whatever’s inside exposed to the weather and rough handling. Or the item may even fall out, never to be seen again.

How to avoid this:

  • Ship items with waterproof materials. I use free USPS Tyvek envelopes or these plastic bags to wrap an item before putting it in the box. The plastic bags are good for protecting items for storage too.

  • Ship items in a box. I don’t send shoes or purses in soft envelopes. They’re bound to hit other items causing squishing, breaking, or scuffing. Use a box to prevent all of this.

  • Add bubble wrap or padding to items. If a fragile item doesn’t fit in a box well (e.g., too big of a box), the item will shift around a lot during transit. Use bubble wrap or other padding to protect it from too much movement, thereby lessening the chance of damage.

9 | Shipping too slowly

We live in an age of instant everything. Just today, I learned that I could get free 2-hours delivery of Whole Foods groceries with my Amazon Prime membership. How crazy is that? When companies offer fast shipping and delivery for just about everything, people come to expect that level of service from individuals like Poshmark sellers.

Being in this customer-oriented business means that faster shipping results in happier buyers. You won’t get a case open due to slow shipping, but you may get some stars knocked offer your rating. And if you haven’t shipped in 7 days, the buyer can request to cancel the sale.

How to avoid this:

  • Ship within three days of a sale. Sooner is better.

  • Let the buyer know if you’re not able to ship quickly. I let buyers know if I can’t make it to the post office the same day or the next day. I’ll message them if there’s a holiday weekend and tell them that I’ll ship their items on Tuesday. Most buyers appreciate the notice.

 
Some love notes that mention shipping speed. Buyers love fast shipping.

Some love notes that mention shipping speed. Buyers love fast shipping.

 


One of the worse things about selling is having to deal with returns. You’re excited about a sale and money in your pocket, only to find a few days later that you maybe didn’t earn that money at all because the buyer wants a return. Boo!

That’s why I use the above tips as much as possible to give myself the best chance of a smooth sale. I’d be interested to hear more about the open cases you’ve encountered either as buyer or seller.

What could have been done differently to avoid the open case?

Related Posts:

By the way, I created this handout on 200+ top-selling brands to know to help you find the best thrifted items so you can make more sales. Click on the button below to grab your copy!

 
How to avoid open cases and returns on Poshmark