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It seems like every other day there is a new platform popping up where you can sell your used clothes or other items for sweet sweet cash. One by one, these platforms seem to fade from the forefront. In fact, having been a full-time reseller for more than 4 years I have found that less than half a dozen platforms have had any staying power whatsoever.
This makes me wary of putting listings on new platforms. When I decide to go for something I give it 100%. Now imagine listing all of your items on a platform only to find out that it either doesn’t get enough traffic to give you any sales, then it doesn’t get enough traffic to stay in business, or that it’s an outright scam.
Those concerns kept me from utilizing Mercari when it first came out. However, given the rapidly changing climate at eBay (such as their managed payment system), I decided that it would be in my best interest to diversify.
So about two years ago I spent a couple of days and crossposted almost 500 of my eBay listings onto Mercari. (this was before I heard about ListPerfectly so I did it manually). The following rush on sales (and actually getting paid) gave me the confidence to consistently sell on the platform. But before we get to how it all works and my full thoughts, most Mercari reviews come to the same conclusion.
Mercari is a legitimate business with yearly sales approaching one billion dollars. Despite low ratings from the BBB (1.12/5 stars) and other crowd-sourced review sites, Mercari has an overall “A+” rating. The most common phrase mentioned in negative reviews of Mercari is that it is possible to be scammed as either a buyer or a seller.
Now, if you’re considering just getting into buying or selling on Mercari, you’re in luck. If you sign up through my link (on a mobile device), you’ll get $10 off your first order and an extra $20 bucks when you sell your first $100 worth of goods!
How Mercari Works For Sellers
Mercari works very much like any other platform. If you are experienced in selling on eBay or Poshmark it won’t be a difficult addition or transition.
However, if you’re new to selling items online, here’s how it works:
- You download the Mercari app and create an account (you can also create an account on your browser)
- You take pictures of the item(s) you want to sell (Get item photography tips here)
- You upload the pictures, create a title, and short description
- You post your item for sale. People can now see it in search and while browsing
- When your item sells, you print off the label that Mercari provides, tape it to your packaged items, and drop it off at the shipping center (post office, FedEx, or UPS)
- After the buy receives the item they will give you a rating out of 5 stars. This rating releases your funds which you can then use to buy things on Mercari or transfer to your bank account
- Repeat ad infinitum
It may sound a bit imposing at first but I can promise that you will get super comfortable and quick after just a few listings. Mercari makes it super easy for new sellers to get on board and will walk you through the entire process.
Mercari Reviews – 4 Things That People Hate
Now, if you’ve read many Mercari reviews online, you’ll have come across some pretty angry people. Unfortunately, this is the case for just about any company’s review section. The people who have had negative experiences are apt to yell the loudest.
However, Mercari has a 4-star rating on TrustPilot (compared to eBay’s 1.4 stars and Poshmark’s 1.6)
Because I think Mercari is a great opportunity that you should thoroughly consider, let’s take a look at some common concerns that I’ve seen on Mercari reviews and address them. After reading almost 1,000 reviews, here are the common themes:
1. Poor Customer Service
“Terrible customer service it’s nonexistent they never answer the phone they never return phone calls their customer service does not work on their app so there’s no way of contacting them.”
Concern: Customer service is difficult to contact, difficult to deal with, and does not provide adequate solutions.
Is it valid?
To some extent, yes. Many people have had difficulty dealing with Mercari’s customer service and have been dissatisfied with the results. I would say that having issues that lose you money is a rare occurrence. I have dealt with customer service 4 times in 300 sales and have never had an issue with them. If you have an issue, I would recommend contacting them via the app instead of my phone as that seems to yield better results. In every case, my issue has been solved and I’ve received an email letting me know the outcome within 24 hours.
2. High Fees
“Fees, fees, fees. By the time I got my money, there was nothing left. Why can’t they just charge a single flat fee like everyone else?“
Concern: High fees that are charged in multiple ways.
Is it valid?
No. Most major selling platforms have fees within a couple of percent of each other (Poshmark being a notably high exception). Many people complain about fees and say they’re going to start their own site or sell somewhere else…good luck. I will gladly pay 10-15% for the chance to show my items to millions of hungry buyers who are literally looking for someone to give their money to.
Mercari does not have any listing fees and only charges fees to transfer money to your bank if you want it instantly.
3. Poor Quality Items For Sale
“…this is the site you go on when you want to sell something that’s busted, old, or missing pieces, and you want the buyer to have as little control over their return as possible.“
Concern: Sellers are dishonest about the condition of their items and sell things that stink, are broken, fake, etc.
Is it valid?
Yes. This concern, however, is not limited to Mercari. Most platforms are rife with bad actors who are trying to make a quick buck and game their system by either outright scamming people or by over-selling their products.
This problem is particularly significant on Mercari as the return window is short.
Scammers count on buyers either not rating them within 3 days (which closes the option for a return) or not returning the item within 10 days. If either of those things happens, the sellers can get away with their ploy 100% and it won’t affect their ratings.
To combat this as a buyer, I would be very wary of buying expensive or luxury items on Mercari. I sell expensive items that I have on eBay and am more comfortable buying there as well. I have heard of several people getting knock-offs from Mercari (which also happens on eBay, to be fair) but we have bought dozens of authentic Louis Vuitton items off of eBay to resell with no issues.
As a seller, you’ll also face potential scams. People will break an item and return it, swap out your new item for their well-used one, etc. Mercari has a tendency to side with the buyer in situations like this (often not even contacting the seller). I avoid this situation by selling high-dollar items on eBay where I feel I have more protection.
4. Difficult Return Policy
“… return was a nightmare. Luckily I requested it within three days. If not I would have gotten screwed even worse.”
Concern: Returns can be difficult for honest buyers and a source of frustration for honest sellers.
Is it valid?
Yes. When I first started buying on Mercari I told myself, “Wow, I hope I don’t ever have to return something!” I haven’t. Mainly because I don’t buy things that I think could have issues.
However, many people on both sides of the fence (buyers/sellers) have had issues with returns on Mercari. You have a specific window to ask for a return (3 days) and to mail the return (10 days) and if you’re outside of it then you’re just out of luck.
With Mercari’s after-thought-of-a-return-system does work I would make every effort to avoid using it as a buyer. As a seller stick with selling items on Mercari that won’t break you if you have to refund them.
So do the negative Mercari Reviews have merit?
Yes, of course, they do. Mercari is a newish platform and, in my opinion, has not made changes fast enough to keep pace with the influx of users. I don’t think that these pain points are significant enough to invalidate it as a money-making platform but it should probably change the way you approach it both as a buyer and as a seller. To make it short: just be careful.
The Pros Of Selling On Mercari (According To Me…)
Now that we’ve hammered out some of the major concerns that people (including you) might have about selling on Mercari, we should probably come back to the center and discuss some of the good things that the platform has to offer.
- Less saturated than eBay. Let’s face it, there are more resellers than ever. Jumping onto new platforms when they come out will give you access to buyers with the much-reduced competition. I’ve sold things on Mercari within 24 hours of listing that I haven’t been able to give away on eBay in more than a year.
- People like using their balance to buy stuff. Whether they’re trying to hide their purchases from their husband/wife or simply because it feels like “free money” people like using their Mercari balance to make purchases. This often means I can get more for my items on Mercari than on eBay. In fact, many people are able to sell gift cards on Mercari for more than their face value as people can use their balance to buy.
- Offers access to additional buyers. Different types of people use different platforms. Using Mercari allows you access to people who shop online for, for one reason or another, who don’t want to use eBay or other platforms.
- Diversifies your reselling business. It’s not smart to have all your eggs in one basket. eBay is known to change rapidly and even go down from time to time. Having another source of reseller income ensures that you won’t lose out on everything during those times.
- Few restrictions on the types of items you can sell. With the advent of eBay’s managed payments, several types of items can no longer be sold on the platform. Have no fear, they’re all still allowed on Mercari. So if you’re selling bullion, coins, tickets, etc. on eBay, it’s time to jump ship.
So is Mercari legit? Heck yes! Should you sell your items on Mercari? For sure! Should you entrust them with your livelihood? Ehhh…better not.
I think that Mercari is a valuable platform for selling you used crap. If you’re simply looking to move a couple of old things out of the garage, it would not be my first choice. I’d go with OfferUp or Facebook Marketplace.
However, if you’re a reseller, someone who has unusual types of items to sell, or simply doesn’t mind shipping stuff. Mercari is an excellent addition to your arsenal.
I know this article only touched briefly on the “How To Succeed on Mercari” front but don’t worry, we have lots of other articles for that! Let’s hit a few more points that people commonly wonder about and show you where you can learn more:
How do you get paid on Mercari?
Once you sell something and get rated, the money from the sale (minus fees) is added to your balance. Your balance can then either be used for Mercari purchases or transferred to your bank account. You can find a more thorough discussion about how Mercari pays here.
How much does it cost to sell on Mercari?
The short answer is: 12.9% plus $0.30 per sale. We go through all of the Mercari fees and ways you can save here.
Is Mercari the best platform for resellers?
I don’t think so. It simply doesn’t have the traffic to support full-time selling. I think it’s a great addition to you quiver if you already sell on eBay or Poshmark and want to diversify.
What are the best types of things to sell on Mercari?
Trendy items sell best on Mercari. If you want to sell unusual, handmade, or rare items Mercari probably isn’t the best choice. We discussed some of the best items to sell on Mercari here.
How do I ship things on Mercari?
If you are just starting out, choose to ship through Mercari. When you have a sale they will email you a label which you can print out (preferably on a shipping label printer) and stick on your package.
How do I return something on Mercari?
Pray that you don’t need to. But, if you do, simply go to your purchase page and click return item. Just remember to do it within 3 days of receiving the item. Once a return is opened Mercari will walk you through the process of shipping it back. Once it is delivered to the seller Mercari will refund you.
Is Mercari Safe? What are the most common scams?
Yes, overall Mercari is a safe platform. Just like every online interaction, however, be safe, don’t share personal information, etc. If you want to save/make as much money as you can on Mercari, check out these common Mercari scams to be aware of.