What is “The Algorithm” & How Does it Affect Me in Poshmark?

First of all, I want to say that it’s FANTASTIC that people are trying to learn more about the inner workings of Poshmark. Kudos! That’s what’s going to set you apart. Today, I want to focus specifically on what a software algorithm is and consider how the algorithms affect you in your everyday Poshmark business model.

By its very definition, an algorithm is a formula that is coded to take a very specific action in a software program. Poshmark (the program) as a whole is a huuuuuuge, elaborate & beautiful puzzle of many, many algorithms all set to make Poshmark work. Every algorithm solves a problem, takes an action, triggers an action from another algorithm, helps gather data….it’s all quite complicated, really. You don’t have to be a software programmer to understand the basics of algorithms and why you should consider how your Poshmark closet actions are being affected by them.

I get a lot of questions such as:

“Did The Algorithm change? My closet slowed down a lot this week!”

“If I block this person will The Algorithm see that as bad or slow me down?”

“Everyone is always talking about ‘The Algorithm’ but I just don’t think it’s real. Is it real?” <—- my favorite question because it just makes me laugh. YEEEES, it’s real!! Algorithms are the very basis of software programming, ding dong!

The answer to all these questions is, “Yes,” but it’s a lot more complicated than just….yes. If Poshmark rolls out a new feature, that’s both new algorithms and changes to existing ones. Sure, it affects you. It can cause a temporary rhythm change in your closet. That’s normal; that’s software programming and releases. Want new features & bug fixes? Posh will be rolling out new programming (algorithms) to do that.

I’d like everyone, essentially, to stop obsessing about “the algorithm” and concentrate on how to leverage the Poshmark software platform to run your business.

But, back to the blocking question because this is one I get a LOT and I’m constantly counseling Poshers to hold back on the block button.

Blocking one person won’t hurt you – but blocking excessively will have a negative impact on your closet as its anti-community as well as unnecessary.

Why isn’t blocking necessary?

Because Posh has a ton of algorithms to handle the behaviors that make you want to block them in the first place!

Is the person you want to block spamming your listings? Flag their comments as spam and the algorithms written to solve that problem will remove the comment(s).

Are they a perv? Report them for harassment and flag their comments and let the software (algorithms) handle it. Even if you block them they can still see your closet so…what’s the point?

Ever notice how the spam accounts/comments where people are asking you to call them or email them just magically disappear without you reporting it? Algorithm!

Are they lowballing you? So what?? Counter with your lowest and let the Algorithm Gods get happy because you have positive activity happening in your closet (the act of receiving an offer and countering is “positive”). And I’ll reiterate what I always say – Always counter, never decline! Now, if you’ve countered them several times and they just seem to want to play games it’s completely fine to let a counter expire. That’s not negative.

I’m not saying there’s never a reason to block. Sometimes you just have to – and that’s ok! Just don’t be a block-happy person who automatically blocks every person that someone else has had a problem with because it’s completely unnecessary.

Everything we do has cause and effect and is monitored by the algorithms. We’ve talked about positive and negative behaviors before:

Positive

  • Following
  • Sharing (both self-shares & from the Feed)
  • Listing
  • Welcoming/sharing new Poshers
  • Purchasing & leaving Love Notes
  • Reviewing reported listings when Posh asks (in your Comments feed)
  • Fast ship time
  • Sharing to social media
  • Responding to offers (even at full ask!)

Negative

  • Excessive blocking
  • Using bots
  • Spamming listings
  • Making harassing comments
  • Non-compliant listings
  • Canceling orders
  • Slow ship time
  • Multiple cases opened against you
  • Excessive opening of cases against others
  • Outright declining of offers (always counter!)

The moral of this story is that you don’t really need to obsess too much about the elusive Algorithm (duh duh duhnnnnn!). Posh has this; it’s what they do. But you do need to focus on what is seen as positive and negative and making sure you’re doing those things.

I’ve recommended before to research how to optimize your closet activity such as using Lyn McLaughlin Cromar’s “30 Minute Method” (join us on Facebook in the Poshmark Analytics group to learn more!), using my SEO method, finding what works for you. If listing and sharing in the wee hours of the morning is working for you – keep doing it! If you see a drop in activity that seems to have no explanation, ask yourself why – and be honest. Did you get into it with another Posher? Did you have a case opened against you? Did you drastically change what you normally do? Did you start using a bot?

The great thing is – you’ll bounce back. If you got throttled (closet slowed down) because you were being a Bad Little Posher, concentrate on doing all the positive activities and things will get back to normal. The algorithms don’t hold a grudge y’all. They’re a few million steps down the road by the time you’ve figured out anything even happened.

Remember: Posh is all about #PoshLove. If you succeed, Posh succeeds. They don’t want to intentionally slow down your business but they aren’t going to give you a boost if you’re not a positive member of the committee either! Now, get back to work. That death pile isn’t going to list itself! 😊

Happy Poshing!

Poshmark_Paige

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