If you sell online via marketplace platforms like eBay, Amazon, Poshmark, DePop or Mercari, you know each marketplace has its own “culture”. This culture can and should influence your inventory, listing and pricing strategy.
Poshmark has a haggling culture that is built right into its app. Poshmark buyers are encouraged to haggle with sellers for a lower price and seller are cajoled into offering lower prices constantly via Price Drop and Make A Deal Day campaigns.
What is an offer?
The “Offer” button is featured prominently on every listing. The button’s action is for buyers and sellers. Buyers can offer an amount less than the listing’s amount on an item they want, and sellers can offer an amount to buyers that have previously “liked” or “bundled” their item. The Offer button action begins a private haggling session. Only the buyer and seller can see the prices thrown back and forth between buyer and seller.
Both buyer and seller can send an offer and counteroffer on an item’s price in increments as low as $1. both buyer and seller can also decline offers outright.
Offers without a response from either buyer or seller automatically expire in 24 hours.
Once a buyer accepts an offer, it is a binding agreement to purchase the item. The sale can’t be canceled nor the price renegotiated up or down. So as a seller, always be sure the offer price meets your profit needs before you click “accept” on any offer.
Poshmark offer culture
On Poshmark as a seller, you may find that the majority of your sales start as offers. Listings on Poshmark feature a heart-shaped “like” button. Buyers use the like button to bookmark a listing to view later, bookmark a seller to view more of their listings later, or most commonly, as an sign they would like the seller to send them an offer for the item.
Some buyers are will send an offer on an item they “like” right away. Others may wait for the seller to send an offer. It is expected that a seller offer at least 10% off an item’s price plus discounted shipping.
Lowball offers from buyers are a Poshmark cultural no-no. You will see angry messages on items and users’ profile pages accusing them of lowballing. Lowball offers are considered any offer asking for than 50% the item’s price. Some sellers advocate blocking low ball buyers.
How to set prices to allow for offers and profit
When setting your item’s price on Poshmark, you will want to leave a bit of room for offers. Thinking of your pricing, consider: Poshmark’s seller fee, shipping supplies, the cost of the item, the popularity of the item, the quality of the item, retail price, current market price, and your time. After factoring in all of those costs, I add a bit of cushion (varies depending on the item), to allow for offers.
New Tory Burch leather wallet. Cost to acquire on clearance $55. Retail price is $199. Current market price is between $120 and $149. Tory Burch is a relatively popular brand and a new leather wallet at a good sale price will be a popular listing. Shipping supplies: a box, tape, label, and a small polybag will be less than $1. Factoring in my time to acquire, photograph, list and store the wallet, I know I want to make at least $30 profit from this sale – $55 + $30 = $85. With that bottom line number, and factoring in Poshmark fees, I know the cheapest price I can sell the item for is $107 without a shipping discount, or $109 with a shipping discount. So, to leave room for haggling via offers, I will list the item for $135. This price places my item in a competitive place in the overall marketplace, setting me up for either a full price purchase or a healthy bit of room for offers.
Always keep that bottom line number in mind. Don’t go below that number unless you have an item that just won’t sell and you want to get rid of it to make room for new inventory. Don’t get desperate for a sale and let persistent hagglers wheedle you into going below your bottom line number, not even one dollar. If you go below your bottom line number again and again, next thing you know, you’re losing money instead of making profit.
How to deal with buyer offers
Low ball offers
Even though it’s highly discouraged by Poshmark culture, lowballers are very common on the platform.
Don’t get emotional. This is business. Yes, it’s a bit insulting to get a $5 offer on a $40 item. But don’t waste your time and brain cells getting mad. Counteroffer with your best price. Once. Don’t waste your time with cheapskates. Time is money.
This is the buyer that keeps repeatedly counteroffering in $1 or $5 increments. Most of the time, this buyer is wasting your time or trying to wear you down so you will accept less than your bottom line. Don’t engage. Offer your best price, once. Then let any other unacceptable offers expire. Use the time you would have spent haggling in one dollar increments to list more items for sale.
The reasonable offer
This one is entirely flexible. If you get an offer that will net you an amount at or over your bottom line, think about a few things before you hit “accept”. How your month is going? Is the item new inventory? Is the item popular? Rare? Or is it a fast fashion item?
If I’m having a great month and I get a reasonable offer on a fast fashion item. I will accept immediately. Fast money is sometimes good money. If I’m having a good month and I get a reasonable offer on a hot luxury item, I will counteroffer for more profit, especially if it’s a newly listed item. I know an item like this will sell, and I’m willing to wait to maximize my profit. But if I’m having a slow month, I will accept immediately any reasonable offer on any item except luxury items. Keep that inventory moving!
When to send a seller offer
Send offers is one of the best seller tools on Poshmark. Think of it as a flash sale.
Send an offer promptly to any buyer that “likes” one of your items. Offer a shipping discount. I never use the “free” shipping discount, it’s very costly, and it doesn’t seem to inspire buyers to buy any more than the cheaper $4.99 or $5.95 shipping discounts.
Also, daily, select a handful of items and send out offers to previous “likers”. This will sometimes push a buyer to purchase an item they may have forgotten. Every morning, I select 20 or 30 items and send out offers. I usually get at least 3-4 sales a day just from that action.
Keep your bottom line price in mind, and start an offer at 10% off the listing’s price with a shipping discount. You can offer more of a discount if the item isn’t popular or if the market price is dropping to try to move it faster. Some profit now is better than no profit later.
Poshmark offers are a killer seller tool. Be sure you use this tactic daily to keep your inventory moving and profit.