Even the most organized of clothing resellers can find themselves in the stressful situation of not being able to find an item. At first, you think, “Hmm, this piece isn’t where I thought it would be!” Then as you check each place you think of, your worry grows and grows.
Don’t panic!! This happens all the time, and we’ve got some easy steps you can follow if you think you’ve lost an item that you just sold on Poshmark, eBay, or Mercari.
Follow these steps if you sold an item that you can’t find:
1) Figure out what went wrong
Is this a matter of being disorganized…or did you accidentally sell the item on a different platform and forget to remove it from this one? Pinning this down will save you a lot of searching and stress! Look through all your orders between when you listed this item and when it sold. Make sure you’re checking every platform you use!
If you haven’t sold it, see if you can find a receipt for when you purchased this item. This will tell you the date you bought it, as well as what other items you might have gotten with it. This can give you a lead on where in your house or storage space the item might be sold!
At a certain point though, you’ll need to accept that the item isn’t just missing; it’s lost for good (or at least, good enough that you won’t be able to ship it in time). In that case…
2) See if you can find a replacement somewhere else
Maybe the item you’ve lost is something from a local store like Forever 21, Nordstrom, etc. If you’re lucky, it might be something you could find in stock nearby! If looking online, you could take the risk and have the item shipped directly to the buyer. This will save time, but you won’t be able to inspect the clothing before the buyer receives it. If there are flaws, that will reflect on you as a seller. If your allotted mailing time allows, you can have it shipped to you first so that you can make sure the item is in good shape!
3) Offer the buyer an explanation & a similar item
If you have something similar in your inventory, you might still be able to save this sale! Contact the buyer with your apologies over the lost/misplaced item, and ask if they might be interested in a similar item (at the same rate, or with a small discount). For example, if they purchased a crochet crop top that would fit right in at Coachella, offer them something similar that you could picture someone wearing at that event!
If the buyer isn’t interested in the other item you have, that’s okay – don’t push it! Move on to the next step. You can’t force someone to accept a replacement, even if you think it’s a good deal.
4) Cancel the sale and apologize
Sometimes, a lost item is just lost. The best thing to do in that situation is apologize sincerely to the buyer and cancel the sale from your end. Depending on the platform you are using, this shouldn’t affect your standing or seller rating as long as it doesn’t happen frequently! Use this as a learning experience and move on older and wiser.
Losing an item can feel awful, but remember that it happens to even the most experienced sellers. If you feel like this loss could have been prevented, make sure you check out our blog on how to keep your inventory organized! This will be a great way to prevent lost or misplaced items from giving you a headache in the future.