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Whether you’re looking to revamp your closet or spruce up your home with some fresh accents, online marketplaces can be an efficient, budget-friendly way to get creative with shopping.
More and more, consignment and discount browsing is becoming a norm among shoppers, and those looking to save a buck know to frequent platforms like Poshmark and eBay. But with so many choices available—with the products themselves, and the shopping experience offered—how can you know where to take your next online spree for the best bargains?
Whether you’re looking for coupons, rebates, or discounts, eBay and Poshmark are both great resale platforms to save money while shopping. In this guide, we’ll offer a side-by-side comparison so you can meet your goals for styling and for spending.
Poshmark vs eBay: Origins
Poshmark and eBay are both hard-hitters at the intersection of clothing retail and tech.
Despite a 15-year age gap, both platforms are wildly popular arenas for vendors and consumers alike.
Before diving into the nitty-gritty, let’s take a look at how these two e-marketplaces came to be.
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Poshmark launched in 2011, propelled by the idea of harnessing the explosive popularity of smartphones to reshape modern fashion retail and create a hassle-free shopping experience. By fusing social media culture with the intuitive, at-your-fingertips haptics of tech, the company was one of the first to bring the “shop your closet” trend into the digital fold. The app has now become
Poshmark started as an online consignment marketplace selling high-end women’s apparel and designer clothing at a lower price, but listings have since diversified to include:
- Men’s apparel
- Kid’s apparel
- Home goods
- Pet accessories
- Vintage items and clothes
Spanning the U.S., Canada, and Australia, Poshmark usership today clocks in at 60 million, with around 30 million tapping in every day.
The e-commerce juggernaut eBay, which started as “AuctionWeb” in 1995, changed its name in 1997 and evolved into one of the highest traffic online marketplaces in the United States.
Today, eBay operates in 32 countries worldwide, with over 183 million active shoppers as of 2019 and competitive marks in customer satisfaction.
eBay is known for its vast array of offerings—not only of material goods, but of online classifieds, event ticket trading, and other marketable services. While the site started as a web-based auction venue, it’s since introduced a “Buy It Now” on 90% of merchandise so that shoppers who want to skip the bidding can secure their purchase with ease and immediacy.
Poshmark vs eBay: The Pros And Cons
Poshmark and eBay are both wildly popular venues for e-commerce, with some key distinctions.
Both are built to help sellers find success by platforming their sales (in exchange for a fee). But how do buyers’ experiences match up between the two?
Depending on what you’re browsing for, what kind of experience you want, and how much security you need, here’s what you need to know to avoid buyer’s remorse.
Poshmark: Pros And Cons
You can browse Poshmark’s offerings without a membership, but signing up is free and allows you to browse the app’s virtual events. While making an account comes at no cost, expect to incur some extra costs in sales tax and delivery fees when you make a purchase.
The benefits of Poshmark include the following user-friendly features:
- Smartphone friendly – Poshmark originally modeled its design after popular social media platforms, so it’s no surprise the app is a cinch to use. While the platform can be accessed on a web browser, social media standards like Likes, Comments, and Followers are built into its design, making for an intuitive, seamless user experience. It also saves your payment method associated with your card, bank account, or Paypal so that you can spend less time filling in your payment information between purchases.
- Communication – Originally conceived as a platform for “social commerce,” Poshmark encourages a lot of interaction between users. Poshmark signatures like shopping parties and showrooms add to the convivial atmosphere, which makes corresponding with a Poshmark seller a whole lot easier—a big plus if you want more info on a potential purchase or need to resolve any issues that arise with shipments.
- Bundles – One of the best features of the Poshmark app is the option to bundle similar items from a seller’s Poshmark closet. Bundling is essentially purchasing two or more items of clothing from the same seller. You are able to score deals and discounts when you bundle items together and save money on shipping cost.
- Posh Party – One of the coolest things about the selling platform is the opportunity to join Posh Parties. They are real-time virtual shopping experiences that allow buyers and sellers to interact. The events also have themes or a specific type of clothing or brand associated with them (ex. Posh clothes, Vintage, Free People, Business Casual, Jackets and Coats, Blouses, Summer Dresses, etc).
However, there are a few potential negatives for shoppers who aren’t drawn to the social aspect of the platform. These include:
- Lack of anonymity – Since Poshmark encourages a highly social e-commerce experience, users looking to shop anonymously may be turned off by the degree of interaction required to lock in a great deal. Sellers also rely on buyers to confirm delivery of their purchases to receive their profits from Poshmark, so you’ll likely spend more time updating and maintaining your profile than you might on another retail platform.
- Less variety – Poshmark’s shopping categories are growing, but most listings still fall into the domain of fashion/apparel. This is great if you’re trying to expand your wardrobe, but if you’re on the hunt for more obscure items, you’ll want to browse elsewhere. The app’s search filters are also more limited than eBay’s, which may mean getting sucked into a shopping rabbit hole if you’re looking for something specific.
- No bidding – Unlike eBay, bidding is not built into Poshmark’s functionality. Users may use the messaging feature to barter or trade ad-hoc with sellers, but any trades initiated aren’t covered under Poshmark’s seller protection stipulations. As a potential buyer, this is a big con for the Poshmark app if you were hoping to bid on your next clothing item.
eBay: Pros And Cons
You can take a tour of eBay’s sprawling catalog without becoming a member, but members can tailor and personalize the products shown using the “Interests” feature.
Whether or not you sign up, you can enjoy the following benefits as a shopper:
- Product diversity – When it comes to variety, you’d be hard-pressed to find many online marketplaces to rival the products up for grabs on eBay. It’s not an online marketplace of mostly designer clothes. Whether you’re looking to buy a Vespa or a pair of delicate gold earrings, chances are you’ll find it.
- Hard-to-find Items – eBay is notorious for platforming highly unique items up for sale, including unknown species insects and sea critters. Even if you’re not an entomologist, this means that if you’re on the hunt for a rare, hard-to-find, or highly specific item, eBay is a stand-out option for tracking it down. The platform is also outfitted with a host of search filters, which makes it easier to fine-tune and economize your shopping process.
- Transaction options – You’ll find far more options for purchasing in the world of eBay than on Poshmark. In addition to “Buy It Now” and auctions, eBay members can use the “Best Offer” feature to suggest a price directly to the seller and spare themselves the bidding war. Note that Best Offers are accepted, declined, or countered at the seller’s discretion, and you’re obliged to follow through with the purchase if they accept.
However, on eBay, some deals are too good to be true. Cons include:
- Inconsistent Customer Care – While Poshmark strives to simplify the shopping process for both buyers and sellers, eBay tends to take more of a hands-off approach (no printable shipping labels!). You can consult the Resolution Center if a conflict arises, but shoppers must connect directly with vendors before requesting eBay’s mediation. To avoid issues ahead of time, remember to check seller reviews before placing your bid.
- Scams – As of March 2021, there are 19 million sellers on eBay, so there are bound to be some bad apples in the mix. eBay advises buyers to be on the lookout for:
- Single-day listings
- Excessively discounted products
- Coercions for off-site payment
- Dubious payment methods
If you see these potential warning signs, reconsider your purchase. When in doubt, check those seller reviews. With savvy and common sense, most fraudulent vendors can be avoided.
Poshmark vs eBay: Buyer Protections
Online marketplaces can be a gamble, but both Poshmark and eBay take customer satisfaction and security seriously.
Poshmark buyers are guarded under Posh Protect, which pledges to reimburse shoppers in full if their item is not delivered, or arrives damaged, inauthentic, or otherwise not as described. To receive a refund, users must notify Poshmark of any misgivings within three days of their package’s delivery and mail it back no more than five days following a refund’s approval.
Similarly, eBay’s Money Back Guarantee extends to most listings on the site, and includes items that don’t arrive, are faulty, or diverge from listing descriptions.
- To qualify for these protections, buyers must have used an approved payment method and adhere to the timeline outlined by eBay.
- Not all items are eligible for reimbursement, however, so if you’re concerned about returns consult eBay’s list of excluded goods before purchasing.
RebateKey: Save Money While Saving Time, from Poshmark to eBay and Beyond
When deciding where to take your next online shopping spree, the choice between Poshmark and eBay comes down to two main factors: what you’re looking for, and how much time you have to spend interacting with sellers.
While eBay tends to be more anonymous, with a greater variety of products, Poshmark is built for the “revolving closet” trend, with a high degree of socializing between users.
You can find sellers on both Poshmark and eBay who are willing to barter, but you’ll have to budget for the time you need to broker the best possible bargain.
If you’re looking to save time, energy, and money in your next online shopping experience, sign up for RebateKey. RebateKey offers members incredible cash-back deals on countless online retailers—all submittable online. No schleps to the post office necessary!