I Swapped Labels on Poshmark - Here's What Happened

Thursday, March 22, 2018

In July 2017, I started really thrifting and looking for items I thought would sell well on Poshmark - and it took off!  It was exciting to find items that many of my Instagrammer friends were constantly sending the "BOLO" alarm up for.  There really is nothing quite like the rush of finding that item in a thrift store.

I probably sold a few items a week previously, but on that third week of July I was on fire!  A pair of Lulu's pants I purchased on clearance finally sold (they didn't fit and it made me uber sad) along with my first Zara find, a purple paisley sheer top on the same day.

I shipped immediately, happy to see them both go.  The Zara top was going to a buyer who purchased for me previously and I was honestly incredibly excited to have a repeat buyer.  Maybe, I could turn it into a long term thing!

Four days later, however, my repeat buyer reached out to me --
I literally pulled the worst move ever and swapped the labels.  Immediately, I reached out to Poshmark and the original buyer of the Lulu's pants to let her know what was going on....only to discover the next day that the item was undeliverable because she was moving and didn't update her address. (PS -- my original username was shopcousin, I switched it in October!)

My repeat buyer and I worked with Poshmark and she sent the pants back to me with a full refund and loads of apologies from me - but she wanted that shirt.  I promised her I would keep her in the loop and let her know as soon as the item was returned to me, assuming since the package was undeliverable it would bounce back to the return address.

A week went by without an update from USPS.  I called and left e-mails (they got back to me two weeks later!) for the USPS.  I reached out to Poshmark once again and the buyer, who swore it wasn't there...for it to magically turn up in her mailbox hours later, after Poshmark issued a refund to her and my earnings to me.

I e-mailed Poshmark immediately, not thinking it was quite fair that my earnings were released to me when this was completely my error.  As they had already resolved the issue, it was a closed case to them.  There was no way I was getting that Zara top back with Poshmark's help.  At the end of the day, I ended up making more money on the top because the pants sold for more.  I could have left it at that, but my repeat buyer really wanted this top.

I messaged the original buyer of the Lulu's pants, telling her that when she was ready to repurchase the pants I would happily list them for her (again, because she was in the middle of moving she wanted to repurchase when settled and SPOILER: she didn't) and also offered the idea that she could sell the top right away to the other buyer and make some money.  I just wanted to make my repeat buyer happy.

She didn't quite grasp that she couldn't send the top back to me anymore.  I'm not sure what she did with it but she never relisted it which I was kind of hoping she would.  What frustrated me, was that half of the problem was her own because she put down the wrong address.  She wasn't a super active seller, just selling items from her closet, so I don't think she understood that updating her address long after the item went to the post office wasn't going to fix it.  I think the item bounced around in her local PO until they located a change of address file and then delivered.  Sure, this mix-up was 100% my fault, but we would have had an issue with delivery either way.

My repeat buyer was really bummed.  She also really didn't want the original Lulu's pants buyer to get those pants because, in her mind, she was the reason we couldn't simply swap the items.

My repeat buyer actually did purchase from me again, a sweater in the fall, so my label fumble didn't turn her off from my closet.

What I Learned

  • Own up to your mistakes.  From the very first moment, I was apologetic and willing to fix it by any means possible.  I messed up - this wasn't on the buyers or the Post Office.  When I first realized what happened, I absolutely felt a sinking feeling in my gut of regret and complete disappointment.  I quickly realized that, unfortunately, this is part of the game.  I will make mistakes and all I can do is learn from them and do my best to fix them.  Beating myself up wasn't going to fix the issue.
  • Moving forward, when an item sells, I print out the label and write on the sides what items go in that package immediately.  Until the very last moment when I cut the label and paste it onto the box, there's no way to mix up what's going in it - it allows me to double and triple check.

I was also proud of myself for taking the hits and responding to my buyers promptly and with a calmness.  Growing frustrated at them would have negatively affected my attitude and further worsened their experience.

At the end of the day, those Lulu's pants sold again to another buyer who was willing to pay a little bit more.  And, they were delivered to the right address the first time!

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