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Three years ago we had huge plans for the coming year on eBay. We had started selling thrifted stuff on eBay full-time just a couple of months before and had plans to double our sales in the next 12 months. This meant getting our monthly sales up to around the $15,000 mark which we knew would be tough, but possible. When I woke up on December 31st I had an email from eBay informing me of a week-long suspension on our account. Apparently, we could still “ship things and perform administrative tasks” but we would be unable to list new products or edit current listings for the next week. Not how you want to start off the new year.
I’ll be honest, that email rocked us pretty hard. My wife and I wanted to “eventually diversify” and try other platforms but we hadn’t realized how truly vulnerable we were. The suspension was for an authentic item that we innocently misspelled the name of in our listing title. We realized then that our entire business could evaporate overnight, even if we didn’t do anything wrong. We had to diversify now if we wanted to survive.
Naturally, we looked at other platforms where we could list our current goods. We already sold a bit on Amazon, we did an eBay vs. Poshmark comparison and didn’t like what we found, which just left Mercari. While we had figured out eBay fairly early on, we were soon left with almost no sales on our new platform despite having hundreds of listings up. Which left us wondering, what is the trick to selling on Mercari?
I know I tend to be long winded in blog posts so I’ll just cut to the chase here.
The trick to selling on Mercari is to keep your listings at the top of the search results. Because Mercari’s algorithm strongly favors new listings, most sellers either end their listings and relist their items regularly or drop the price, both of which bring you back to the top and give you greater exposure.
The problem is, ending all of your listings and re-posting them consistently is a ton of work. We spent an entire week of work copying almost 2,000 listings onto Mercari and the thought of doing it every couple of weeks just didn’t make any sense. We needed a better solution, we needed The Trick To Selling On Mercari 2.0
How The Algorithm Works Against Full-Time Sellers
We have always subscribed to the “List it and forget it” method of selling on eBay. Meaning that we list something for sale, put it in our eBay inventory, and don’t look at it or edit the listing again. It eventually sells, even if it takes years. That doesn’t work on Mercari.
Mercari’s algorithm has more in common with a social media news-feed than a dedicated selling platform like eBay. If you list something on eBay, it is found by the millions of buyers who are searching for that (or a very similar) item. Mercari is different, most people “follow” their favorite sellers, see hot items on the home page, and browse new listings in the top categories. Even when someone searches for something, the filtering options are limited enough that, unless you’re listing is new, it will be so far down on the results page that no one will ever see it.
Mercari was never designed for large-scale sellers (they didn’t use to have a bulk edit/end feature) but now that they’ve realized that that’s where the money is they’ve slowly started adding features to make it more friendly for cross-posting. If you are only selling a few items from your closet or garage, simply ending and reposting your items will not be much of a time commitment and will drastically increase the rate at which your items sell.
How often should I re-list things on Mercari?
To get your items back to the top of Mercari’s feed, you have two options:
- Use Mercari’s price-drop feature which will push you back to the top and send out a notification to anyone who has saved your item.
- End/delete your listing and recreate it. Deactivating/activating your listing will not work, the trick to selling on Mercari is to go whole-hog and start from scratch.
Sounds like a lot of work, right? Well, it can be. However, it depends on how often you relist things and how fast you’re able to do it.
I have seen people who re-list their items multiple times per day. I was shopping for a Fitbit and every couple of hours I got a notification that there was a new listing that met my search…but it was always the same guy selling the same thing. It annoyed me so much that I ended up reporting his listing. Not only is abusing the algorithm like that against Mercari’s policies, but it annoys the crap out of people who are shopping for the item that you have.
And it’s also not fair to say that if it doesn’t sell instantly it won’t sell. We’ve had some random one-off sales after things have been on Mercari for several weeks.
We typically end our listings after a month. We currently have about 1,500 items on eBay and cross-post just over 1,000 to Mercari. So every day we simply end our oldest 30-40 Mercari listings and cross-post them from eBay again.
When we analyzed our Mercari sales, we found that over 80% of our sales came within three days after listing and almost 90% were within the first week. After that, sales slowed to the point of a crawl.
The Secret To Massive Mercari Sales: Crossposting Faster
If you sell full-time on eBay, Poshmark, or any other online platform, the secret to selling on Mercari is not only to keep your listings new but to figure out how to cross-post them as fast as possible.
When we first started selling on Mercari we crossposted everything manually. Because many of our eBay listings were months (or even years) old we didn’t have the pictures left to upload to Mercari. Our only option was to save all of the pictures from our eBay listing, copy the description, and then fill our the price/shipping/filters on a new Mercari listing. It typically took us a solid hour of work to crosspost 15-20 listings, meaning that our crossposting schedule added 2 hours of work a day to our load.
We didn’t have an extra two hours per day.
So what did we do? We got a subscription to List Perfectly.
ListPerfectly in an online app that allows you to automatically copy over your listings. We simply select the listings we want in our eBay store, hit “Copy Listings”, select Mercari as the destination (there are lots of options), and each eBay listing (with all of its pictures and details) are copied into new Mercari listings.
Our use of ListPerfectly has turned a 2-hour daily task into one that takes less than 30 mins. We figure our time that we spend listing on eBay is worth $40-50/hour so this tool saves us almost $2,000/month in time!
If you’re worried about using a “bot” on Mercari, don’t worry, ListPerfectly isn’t a bot. It’s simply a listing tool that makes every much much faster. Listing tools are allowed on both eBay and Mercari so, as long as you don’t spam either platform, you’ll be perfectly fine.
Now, if you want to check out List Perfectly you can use our code “ResellingRevealed” to get 30% off of your first month! Trust us, it’s worth it.
Whether or not List Perfectly is for you, you can use the method of relisting items in your bag of tricks to selling on Mercari. Now get out there and get sourcing! Happy sales!