Poshmark is a popular social commerce marketplace. It’s somewhat similar to eBay or Etsy because you can sell new or used items. But the social interaction component makes this online platform unique.
While there are a lot of items you’ll find available on Poshmark, perfume isn’t one of them. The company prohibits the sale of alcohol-based fragrances due to shipping concerns.
Read on to learn why this policy exists and possible alternatives to selling perfume on Poshmark.
Why Is Perfume Prohibited on Poshmark?
Community engagement is the hallmark of the Poshmark platform. It’s quite easy to search for clothing, bags, makeup, jewelry, pet products, home goods, electronics, and much more on Poshmark. The social commerce platform is rich with opportunities to buy and sell products.
There are so many items on the website – literally millions – that you’d think you’d be able to buy almost anything there. But one of the products you won’t find on Poshmark is perfume.
Sellers on this platform ship their orders through Posh Post.
Posh Post is a flat fee shipping arrangement directly available to sellers in the Poshmark back office. It’s a convenient solution that allows sellers to quickly process and ship customer orders.
This feature makes order processing a breeze, but it also limits which products Poshmark sellers can make available to their customers.
The company specifically states, “Poshmark also prohibits the sale of items that cannot be shipped using our shipping label types per USPS regulations, including nail polish, perfumes, aerosols, and lithium batteries on their own.” [emphasis mine]
My understanding is that it’s the shipping arrangement that Poshmark has with the USPS (United States Postal Service) that makes perfume a prohibited item to sell in their social marketplace.
USPS guidelines prohibit the shipment of some items – making them completely forbidden. This includes items like gasoline and explosives. They can’t be shipped via USPS regardless of the mode of transportation.
Alternatively, USPS restricts the shipment of other items – like, bodily remains, live animals, matches, firearms, glue, and more. According to the United States Postal Service website, perfume is described as a restricted shipping item, not a prohibited one.
Temperature and pressure changes in the air can make alcohol highly flammable – making perfume unsafe to transport by air.
Considering the fact that the USPS does allow ground shipping of perfume containing alcohol, I conclude that Poshmark orders are shipped via air transportation; this seems to be their “shipping label type.”
The USPS’s perfume restriction applies to domestic and international air shipments.
What Happens if You List Perfume on Poshmark?
Being that community engagement, and social sharing is the bedrock of Poshmark commerce, adhering to the rules is essential for their system to run efficiently.
So if you decide to be a rebel and post perfume to the site anyway, that listing will be deleted by the company.
And if you continuously try to post perfume or any of their other prohibited items, then your account might be suspended.
Where Can You Sell Perfume Online?
You might be disappointed that you can’t sell perfume on Poshmark, but there are a lot of social and ecommerce alternatives in the online marketplace.
Each alternative comes with its own set of pros and cons, so you’ll have to pick the platform that is most reflective of you, your goals, marketing abilities, and expectations.
This is a UK-based fragrance forum. Its “Items for Sale” thread is for private sales only. Understand that it’s riskier to buy and sell on this platform but it’s still an option if you want to give it a try.
One benefit of posting perfume for sale on Basenotes is that most forum members are already in the market to make fragrance purchases.
This alternative might be most similar to Poshmark with its posting ease and use of social community. While logged into your Facebook account, you can click on the storefront marketplace icon to list an item.
Simply click on the plus sign icon to list a new item. You can add photos and a description; set a price, and then publish your listing. Here are the detailed instructions.
Facebook Marketplace has a quick and easy listing process.
You will have to have a predetermined delivery plan – whether you’re shipping the item(s) or opt for hand delivery. There is also a bit more risk involved because you’re responsible for verifying payment prior to delivery.
A big plus is that Facebook Marketplace doesn’t charge any listing fees.
If you’re a member of a fragrance-themed Facebook group, you might be able to sell perfume to members of the group.
This is where social media etiquette plays a big role, though. Every Facebook group has its own set of guidelines.
Some of them prohibit sales of any kind. So be sure that selling is allowed before you post a discussion about any bottles of perfume that you have available for purchase.
In addition to business-to-consumer sales, this e-commerce company allows for consumer-to-consumer sales as well. Similar to Poshmark and the last few alternative examples, you don’t have to have a registered business to sell perfume on eBay.
In the past you could have sold used perfume on eBay, but selling used cosmetics on the site is now prohibited.
Although this portion of the policy is on eBay’s UK website, it’s possible that you can’t sell perfume decants on eBay, either.
If you’re interested in listing perfumes on eBay, be sure to do your research first.
Online Marketplace Alternatives for Higher Sales Volumes
These last three options are for those who are interested in selling more than an occasional bottle of perfume. If you have many decants to sell, lots of excess bottles of perfume, or you make your own, then you might want to consider Amazon Marketplace, Walmart Marketplace, or Etsy.
There are a lot of restrictions set in place for those who want to sell perfume on Amazon. Firstly, you’d have to be approved to sell in their beauty category.
Part of that process involves verification that you’re permitted to sell the products you plan to list. Selling testers on their site is out of the question. There are specific shipping requirements, and more.
In the past you could list a product on Amazon for free, and then you were charged fees once an item sold. Now you have to become an Amazon seller by paying a monthly fee before setting up any listings.
It’s best to read their Beginners Guide before considering Amazon as an online marketplace option.
Unlike Amazon, joining the Walmart Marketplace does not require a monthly membership fee or any processing fees, but there is a referral fee.
Category restrictions exist, though. You’ll need to be approved before selling fragrances.
Last but not least, there’s Etsy. If you make your own perfume, Etsy is one of the best places to sell it online. Even though the company has gone public, handmade is still at the heart of its business structure.
It seems as though you can resell vintage perfumes.
But trademarked perfumes cannot be sold here. So it’s not possible for you to sell Burberry perfume or any other brand name. If you do list another brand’s product, Etsy will remove it and possibly suspend your account.
As with the other suggested marketplaces, it’s best to read the guidelines specific to Etsy. They have pages and pages of information to help protect you and your customers.
The process of listing products on Etsy is a bit more involved than Facebook or Basenotes. There is also a listing fee that’s immediately charged prior to posting each listing. Additional transaction fees are charged once a sale is made.
Although you cannot sell perfume on Poshmark, there are many other alternative commerce platforms for you to choose from.
Keep in mind that as the seller, you’d still have to adhere to the standards set in place by your shipping company.
And it’s best to become aware of seller standards set forth by whichever commerce company you choose as your private sale or small business marketplace.
Regardless of where you plan to ship from, every shipping company I’ve researched prohibits perfume shipments by air – whether you’re shipping within your country or worldwide.