If you haven’t yet experienced a creepy conversation with a potential online buyer… the type of conversation that makes you feel uncomfortable… trust me, it WILL happen at some point, especially if you sell womens dresses, high heels or intimates. Here’s how to deal with it:
Here’s an example of an actual conversation between a Poshmark seller and a (supposed) Poshmark buyer named “Stephanie”:
As you can see, this conversation starts off super normal with Stephanie asking how many times the dress has been worn and if it has been washed = totally normal questions to ask when buying a pricey used item, right? But then the red flags start flying when “Stephanie” states that she would PREFER for it NOT to be laundered…. Hmmmm, a little odd, but perhaps Stepahnie has an allergy to specific detergents? We can give her the benefit of the doubt here….
Then the conversation goes from strange to Level 10 Creepy when Stephanie asks the seller to “walk through” the events she wore the dress to… I think we can all agree this information totally crosses the line.
As you can see from the conversation, the Poshmark seller became so uncomfortable that she stopped replying completely. And quite honestly, this conversation is tame compared to what we have seen in 16 years of online selling.
COMMON CREEPY QUESTIONS
One of the most common creepy questions is if the female seller can WEAR (and not launder) the item before they ship it. Sometimes these requests are accompanied by additional requests asking if the female seller who wears the item can send a photo of herself IN the item or create a handwritten card specifically to the buyer that discusses the item.
Here’s what you need to know: These questions, just like the one from “Stephanie” are actually men hiding behind bogus female profiles. In fact, when “Stephanie” did eventually buy the dress from the Poshmark seller, the payment and shipping address were for a man. I don’t think I need to spend much time explaining why a man, posing as a woman online and asking creepy questions wants the item to smell like you, be un-laundered and come with a photo of you in the item…
This is actually an entire industry that started with the “Mature Category” on eBay in which sellers were providing exactly that to male buyers. Anyways, I’m not sure how things progressed, but they did and now these male buyers feel it’s ok to approach ANY seller on ANY site to ask them to do the same. It’s annyong. Its creepy. It’s also against the policies of every marketplace. Regardless, you have to deal with it.
HOW TO DEAL WITH CREEPY QUESTIONS
If the buyer starts off as normal and asks some weird questions that are hedging on being creepy but aren’t full-blow-creepola yet, you can simply reply “This is a gently worn dress. You should expect condition to be gently worn. I am selling this for a friend so I have no additional details. Have a great day!” - this is a great way to shut them down fast, yet politely.
If the question is mega creepy, REPORT IT. You know if this buyer is asking you to wear the VS panties before you ship them, they are asking your fellow sellers the exact same thing, and once again, this is a total violation of every marketplaces policies.
You can also BLOCK the seller. HOWEVER, DO NOT BLOCK THE SELLER UNTIL YOU HAVE TAKEN SCREENSHOTS. Usually when you Block someone, the conversation completely disappears, so you want to make sure it’s documents, just in case this same loser resurfaces again.
If you feel the conversation was such a level of disgusting that you feel scared, GO TO POLICE ASAP. Police might tell you “There is nothing we can do because this took place on Poshmark (or eBay or whatever)” but insist that you want to file a report so you can get the incident documented.
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