Poshmark, VA’s & Bots: What to Know When Hiring a Closet Service

We see them everywhere. VA’s tagging us on Insta. Website promising amazing closet bumps when using their services.
If it sounds too good to be true – IT IS.
Posh has started cracking down HARD on anyone using bots. Accounts are getting suspended (as in, entire closets wiped out) and they’re flagged as bot users and Posh is requiring them to sign an acknowledgement that they will never use a bot again. They’re getting one shot and Posh restores their closets, but if caught again, they will be banned permanently. It’s a start, but is like putting one of those teeny 1″ band aids on slashed artery.
A “bot” is an application that will share, follow, etc. for you and is purchased from someone else. They’re all over Instagram and they’re targeting the community promising amazing results. They’re *strictly prohibited* by Poshmark but they are everywhere and the providers of these bots are growing exponentially every day.
The problem with this is that these are random programmers who do not work for Poshmark and they’re developing software that is hitting Posh’s network without any knowledge of how Poshmark is actually coded.
That’s a BIG PROBLEM. Posh has to put resources into combatting this problem when it could be using them to create new features!
Posh’s network is set up to accommodate PEOPLE, not bots. The bots overload the servers, eat up all the memory and processors (the engine behind Posh) and essentially wreak havoc. Posh works hard to recover, but that is not an easy process and people are NOT obeying the anti-bot laws. From a programming standpoint, it’s pretty hard to identify a bot but there are ways (and to protect Posh, I’m not going to tell y’all how they would discover it because I don’t want to give anyone the tools they need to find a bot that would be hard to detect. Love y’all, but mama didn’t raise no fool. 😊).
“So, what does this mean for me?” you ask.
Make good decisions. Use your brain. There’s NO WAY a VA or service is actually making a significant amount of money without using a bot themselves. There’s a reason why they were built – because people don’t want to put in the work themselves. If you’ve hired VA’s (virtual assistants). These have been *widely* known to use bots, so if you don’t *really* know your VA or their methods you run the risk of getting your account restricted. Not to mention, if Posh sees you logging into your account in the US and you’ve hired a company outside the US you are opening yourself up to a whole host of problems and risk that Posh will flag/restrict your account.
And if your entire closet suddenly disappears and you’ve been using a bot – this is why. Email Posh, fess-up (because they already know), delete the sucker and don’t do it again! 😊
ADDITIONAL NOTE. Remember – a plug in is also a “bot”! The bots run as plug ins in your browser and act like you. You have to direct it places. Just because something isn’t labeled specifically for Poshmark doesn’t mean it doesn’t fall under the category as against Poshmark policy. Food for thought.

Can the Poshmark Community Work a Miracle?

I believe, with all my heart, that it can!
Beloved Posher Amanda @arcross82 is in **DIRE** need of a liver transplant!! We all know her for her absolutely fabulous listings where she transports herself into the most beautiful (and often hilarious) backdrops.
But what many don’t realize is that she suffers from terminal liver disease that is rapidly deteriorating & time is of the essence. We are attempting to leverage our huge Poshmark community and work a miracle for this brave & wonderful soul. She radiates kindness, a pure heart, light to everyone who knows her and couldn’t be more deserving!
The very summarized details:
-Donor can be living (a lobe only is needed and the liver grows back)!
-MUST be O+ or O- blood type
-MUST be in good health with no history of cancer or serious illness
-Her insurance WILL COVER THIS, including your recovery.
-You will NOT be paid for this. This is an act of selflessness.
Please reach out to her or myself if you are considering helping in any way, and, if your heart is as big as I know one of yours can be, please consider being a living donor and saving her life. You can read more about living donation here. Please share this far and wide! I have a listing in my closet that can be shared and reshared if you’re willing.
Thank you so much for reading and helping. Let’s band together to change her life & prove that our community can move mountains!

Poshmark & Social Commerce – The New Way to Shop

Manish Chandra just posted a blog that makes this geek girl’s heart SING! It’s just full of DATA and yummy tidbits we’ve been itching to get our manicured mitts upon. (I especially loved seeing what’s trending across the country but also cringed a bit that it seems like fanny packs are back in, especially in my state of Tennessee!)

What I particularly love is this new e-commerce term: Social Commerce.

Think about it.

Social.

Commerce.

My mind is particularly blown a wee bit because, in retrospect, I realize that’s what we’ve been doing the whole time we’ve been Poshmark sellers, but did you ever really think that this is a benchmark moment, a new social construct in the making??

Sure, online selling and buying is normal for us but the numbers! Seeing how Social Commerce evolves into being by mixing all the social media platforms, influencers, and online resale platforms all together has formed a new way of shopping and developing style is mind blowing. It’s no longer out of the realm of possibility for someone who sees an item on HRH Meghan Markle (Aquazurra heels & Everlane cashmere sweaters) and be able to purchase the same styles – and feel confident doing it because they can actually talk to the seller about how items fit!!

People are now becoming much more confident and daring in their purchases because introducing a social element to the shopping experience empowers them to make bolder choices, not second guessing themselves about price, fit, condition – because there’s a conversation involved! Poshmark was (and is) on the leading edge of this new wave of how we shop. Poshers are members of the Posh community which doesn’t just include Poshmark. It extends into Facebook where there are tons of groups dedicated to the platform, allll the social media platforms, but also when you’re out & about and someone mentions your fabulous new boots, “Where did you find them?” — “I bought them on Poshmark!”, to consignment stores when you knowingly lock eyes with and grin at a fellow thrifter.

We are socially shopping online, moving and adapting what we’re doing based upon the platform we’re in but there’s still a non-screen phenomenon that happens when you’re bit by the Poshmark bug. You want to tell people about it. You want people to ask about your new boots because you want to crow about the deal you got! You want to empower the people who are Marie Kondo-ing their closets to signup and sell it on Poshmark instead! (Or, lets be real, you just want them to give you their trashbags instead of taking them to Goodwill, amiright??)

Fashion is now accessible to any and all who want to discover it and we have a social network behind us that’s cheering us on all the way. I, for one, am thrilled that I joined up six years ago and I’m going to be barreling into 2019 full tilt, confident that, even if I don’t always know what I’m doing, I have lots of other people I can lean on, talk to (even at 2am), and am doing it on a platform that supports me socially, ethically and is on the front-edge of this new fashion era. “Social commerce” for the win!

Happy Poshing!

Poshmark_Paige

Insta: Poshpaige661

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

Poshmark Product Spotlight: Neiman Marcus Exclusive Collection Teal Moto Leather Biker Jacket

Neiman Marcus softest teal leather biker Moto jacket. Is this incredible, or what?! Like new, no spot or flaws, smoke free home. Grab your favorite boots & scarf & rock this gorgeous leather jacket! Buttery soft leather and amazing zipper detail with quilted detail on shoulders and elbows. Fully lined. Truly an investment piece and VERY on trend for fall/winter! This leather jacket from Neiman Marcus Exclusive Collection so it is super high dollar and it shows!

Kim aka @poshmark_paige

PoshmarkTurns6 & What We’ve Learned about SEO, Algorithms & the Poshmark Styling Feature

From the mouth of Manish Chandra himself, we are on the right track with SEO methods and working the algorithms. Many people I know were fortunate enough to attend the #PoshmarkTurns6 party in San Francisco last week and one of the best things that came out of that event is validation from Manish of exactly what’s been discussed in previous posts.

  1. Algorithms run the platform & bring people to our closets
  2. Data and keywording are vital
  3. Closet activity will make or break you
  4. Poshmark is consistently working on improving the algorithms & how they interact with our closets
  5. New features are headed our way soon!

I’ve been seeing lots of positive feedback about how using these methods are making closets come back to normal & increased sales, which is fantastic! The platform is starting to settle back into itself. I’ve given the working-out analogy before and it still holds true. If you stay active most days and follow the activity guidelines, even if you have to take a day or two off, the work you put in prior to those break days is still going to work for you and your closet.

Confession time: I’ve been completely slacking off for over a week. Guess what? My sales have plummeted! It’s my own fault and I’ll take it. The thing is…I’m also confident that, when I get off my butt, it’s going to rebound right back up because what I’ve been talking about in my posts works!!

There is another new feature that has been rolled out for Poshmark Ambassadors – the styling feature – where Poshmark matches you with people who have brands and sizes similar to your closet and you style them by direct sharing some items to their closets. (No word yet on exactly when it’s going to be at 100% for all people, unfortunately.)

Admittedly, this is a feature that still needs some work. Some are complaining they’re getting styling requests from people who have nothing listed in their style card or that the style card doesn’t match anything in their closet. That’s ok! They’re working on it and it will get better. The most important thing to remember is to not ignore these in your feed and, for goodness sake, don’t turn it off! This is another activity type that really makes the algorithms happy. Here are some tips for making the styling feature work for you:

  • Always check the style card for the potential buyer’s listed sizes & brands. If there is nothing listed…
  • Check their Love Notes for items they have purchased. This will give you an idea of their style and sizes. If there are no love notes…
  • Do your best! If you have nothing to go on, just share a few things that could work for everyone.

The key is in the direct shares** and not ignoring the styling requests. I know these feel overwhelming at times but work through them as you can. It’s activity.

Activity = Happy algorithms

Ignoring requests/decreased activity = Unhappy algorithms

Unhappy algorithms mean you’re getting skipped over while Betty Sue who is working her little fingers off styling people will “trend” and get the sales you’re not.

**Side note: Do not direct share your whole closet to people! Four or five items is plenty; anything over that is just downright obnoxious. (Direct sharing is when you take an item from your closet and share it to a specific user’s closet. If you’re unsure how to do this, ask me or check out Poshmark FAQs.)

Make sure what you’re sharing makes sense. Put an outfit together. Provide an accessory if you have one. Make it affordable as a bundle. If a professional stylist was trying to get Jennifer Lawrence ready for an event do you think they’re going to throw three tops and a well-worn pair of Uggs at her? UmmmmNO. They’re going to put together a well-thought-out group of items that make sense together. This is what being a stylist is all about. If you’re fortunate enough to have your buyer bundle some items – send them a bundle offer! This is more happy algorithm activity!

The jury is still out if these styling requests lead to sales. So far, some have said they’re getting some sales but for the most part, a lot of these direct shares will be ignored. That’s fine! You’re still making happy little algorithms work for your closet and that is the benefit.

Now is not the time to get complacent! This is the busy season. People are buying gifts and spending money so keep at it! Follow as many people per day as you can. Share back all activity (and more), and don’t forget direct sharing! Share your closet multiple times/day. Keep adding new listings every day. Make Poshmark work for you by using the Poshmark SEO method, giving Posh great data to work with and staying active every day!

Happy Poshing!

Kim aka @poshmark_paige

“Poshmark Ambassador Has Killed My Sales!”

Many have expressed concern about the recent changes to the Poshmark platform, the Ambassador program and even proclaiming plummeting sales as a result. As a software architect and someone who works in eCommerce (online retail), I thought I’d help explain what happens when a major retail platform undergoes an overhaul, what to expect and how you can adapt to bring your sales back to normal.

Poshmark has lots and lots of mathematical code that runs in the background called algorithms. Think of those algorithms as the blood that runs through your body. It keeps the heart beating, notifies you when something is wrong, and works with your organs to keep you healthy. The algorithms collect data every millisecond and Poshmark uses that data to do *everything*. Data tells them when things are trending, when something is failing or is broken, finds the spammers and removes them automatically, everything you can imagine (times 1,000,000,000). In short, the two most important things the Poshmark app has to work with are the ALGORITHMS and DATA.

1. Why did all the closets go to crickets when they made these changes? Everything has been reset and it takes time to build back up. The algorithms have had to start from scratch which means the DATA has to start from scratch too. It’s like going from being in a coma to running a marathon. Think that can happen overnight? Nope. Lots and lots of data has to be collected, lots of physical therapy (fixing what’s not working, tweaking, analyzing the data) and building back up to what it once was. As the data builds back up, the app gets stronger and stronger & will eventually be back in the Boston Marathon…but we aren’t quite there yet.

2. The Poshmark Ambassador program is another set of algorithms, an engine that is collecting data from your closets to bring people to you. It’s sweeping through all of your closets, checking brands, sizes and activity and then using that data to target other Poshers. That engine then displays us in their feeds, under the “Find People” section and shows our items when people are searching for things. This is a BIG DEAL. It’s free advertising!

How to leverage the Poshmark Ambassador program.

First and foremost, you have to spend time on your listings in your titles & descriptions. When the app is searching for brands, colors, sizes, condition…it’s searching the words you use (keywords). If you want to find a large, black Tory Burch Kensington Tote are you going to search for “black bag” or are you going to get more specific? If your title says “Black Bag” and mine says “Tory Burch Black Large Kensington Tote” who do you think is going to come up in search results first? Furthermore, if I find several of those totes and I see a listing that has “excellent condition” and not much else vs. all of the measurements, condition, even disclosing any tiny flaws, who do you think I’m going to buy from? All that being said, the algorithms are also looking at those keywords (data) and storing it up to make the program better. Only by collecting lots and lots and LOTS of data is Poshmark going to be be able to send people our way. Ever heard the expression “garbage in/garbage out”? If you feed Posh garbage that’s exactly what you’re going to get back.

Secondly, you MUST be active, but in a way that makes the algorithms happy. You have to follow, share, welcome new Poshers, create no less than three listings every day (even if it’s relisting something old) and following & sharing back the activity you get in return. Making the algorithms happy is like doing a workout everyday. The more you do it, the better shape you get in and the stronger you are. Poshmark recognizes this activity and rewards you by sending you buyers, putting you high up in the “trending” results and basically giving you a giant chocolate eclair with zero calories.

So, for those who feel like the Ambassador program has crashed your closet you’re only partly correct. Sure, it slowed things down for a bit but you can “work out” and get back into shape by keeping at it. If you refuse to change and adapt to the way things are now you cannot expect to be successful. You also need to be patient. This is not going to happen overnight and they have lots of kinks to work out, lots of data to gather, lots of physical therapy. You can be sure that YOU not making sales is not doing them any favors. Poshmark made these changes in order to make the platform super “in shape” and running like a top. It WILL work for you if you put the effort in now and KEEP making the effort.

If you have done all the things I have mentioned above and are not seeing your sales back to where they were, don’t give up yet. Before you argue that you’ve already done all of that, remember we are still in that settling-in time. Poshmark has to build up the data and keep tweaking before it will fully bounce back. It takes time! The more active you are, the faster the platform will get better.

For those who are considering opting out of the program I would strongly recommend you think long and hard about that decision. Opting out is permanent and when Poshmark is back in shape you’ll be left in the dust while everyone else who has put in the work will sail across the finish line. So, buck up, Buttercup! Buckle down and get to work. Revamp your listings, focus on quality, and stay active!

Kim aka @poshmark_paige

SEO & Poshmark – How to Use Keywords to Build Your Closet

Poshmark Listings and SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

First, I’m going to start out by saying you don’t really need to read all the websites and watch YouTube videos that tell you how to optimize your webpages (eBay, retail pages, ecommerce, etc.).

POSHMARK IS NOT in that arena!!!

The Difference: Retail pages, eBay listings & websites all have static pages (and all kinds of stuff in the background you don’t even want me to get into). They don’t really change. To a search engine, those pages sit out in the wonderland of the internet and chill, and the search engine Gods “find” the content and do this thing called “indexing” where they find keywords and give it a score. When a page hits a certain score it goes up up up in the search engine results as its score gets higher – listed in the top 10 instead of number 10,156, for example. That’s called ranking. High ranking = Optimization.

Poshmark listings do not rank. They are not static pages. They change every time you share them. These listings do not have the capacity to *rank* so you have to be strategic in a different way to get them to come up in search engine results.

How Do I Get My Listing to Show-Up in Search Engines and in Insta/Pintrest/etc.?

1) Have a Perfect Title

Example of a “perfect title”: Michael Kors Mercer Snakeskin Tote Mulberry

Example of the same bag in a not-so-perfect title: Micheal Kors Lizard Bag in Red

What’s wrong with the NSP title?

-Spelled “Micheal” incorrectly

-Did not use the product style name

-Did not use the correct color or material

Note: ALWAYS put the brand in your title!!! That’s your main buzz keyword(s)! Search engines do not search on the brand listing tag that you use when posting a listing. The *only* search engine that uses that is Poshmark!

2) Have a Perfect Description

Research your product! If you search for the MK Mercer online you should go to the manufacturer’s website whenever possible. If you cannot find it in a current manufacturer site, search for it as a “comp” on other sites like The Real Real, eBay, etc.

Example of a “perfect description”:

Picturing the Mercer Tote from Michael Kors in color Mulberry.

**STOP**

Notice that first sentence?? It has a very specific formula!

-It’s no more than 10 words! (Important – search engines look at the first 10 words at the beginning of a section)

-It has all the same keywords BUT they are changed-up a bit (search engines HATE repetitiveness!!!)

…..Continuing…..

Picturing the Mercer Tote from Michael Kors in color Mulberry. Style# 30H7GM9T3L

Genuine snakeskin, with an ultra-rich take on the MK original Mercer tote. The streamlined silhouette features structured top handles, a removable shoulder strap, with a median zippered compartment for smaller items. Finished with a new MK minimalist lock charm, this tote combines signature style with a wild spirit.

DETAILS

• 100% Water Snake

• Gold-Tone Hardware

• 12.5″W X 9.75″H X 5.5″D

• Handle Drop: 5.5″

• Adjustable Strap: 15.75″-18.25″

• Interior Details: 2 Open Compartments, Center Zip Compartment, Back Zip Pocket

• Lining: 100% Microsuede

• Imported

OBSERVE LAST LINE (I’ll come back to this)—->Grab the Mulberry Mercer Snakeskin Tote & embrace the wild!

Awesome description right?? IT SHOULD BE! I grabbed it from the MK website, BUT I changed it just enough that it kept all the buzzwords without being outright plagiarism.

Know what that does?? It piggy-back’s on an already-proven top-ranked website and uses the same keywords which will automatically put you right up at the top, too.

Don’t forget to include that style number (and style name)! People will search for those just to find a very specific product. Clothing has an RN# on all the inside tags. Replace the style number with the RN# on all clothing.

Check out that last line though… Also VERY important. I’m closing the listing with the last ten words containing a lot of the same keywords used in the 1) Title and 2) Description First Sentence. You don’t have to have all of them if you can’t make an only-ten-word sentence, but you should keep the most important. Search engines will look at the beginning ten and the ending ten for those keywords so this completes the SEO formula. Just remember to change it up! Keep it within ten words, use the same keywords but don’t duplicate the same sentence anywhere because search engines hate repetitiveness (even though I’m repeating it to drill it into your skull!).

Obviously this listing example has a very specific product in mind. If you don’t have those kinds of details just think about what people would search for! If you have a royal blue racer back tank then use “Royal Blue Racer Back Tank Top” in your title and in keywords. Do NOT say, “Blue Top” because it’s not specific enough. No one looking for a racer back tank is going to be taken to your listing with a title like that…

I know this seems confusing and like a ton of information but it’s genuinely quite easy once you have done it a few times. If you follow the formula, you’ll always pop up in those searches!

To recap:

1) Have the perfect Title – ALL the right product descriptive keywords that people would search

2) Have the perfect Description – First ten words have keywords and last ten words have keywords, but in different orders/sentence structure. In the middle, make sure your product description is as close to the manufacturer’s as you can get without plagiarizing.

3) And, for goodness sake, have most-excellent pictures!

It’s truly that simple! Happy to have a Q&A about any of this content. I know it’s A LOT. Just read through it slowly and practice. You can’t get it wrong and kill your listings – you can only IMPROVE your results by following the SEO method!

Kim @poshmark_paige

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