Is Mercari Legit & Worth Your Time? (+Pros & Cons)

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Mercari is a Japanese e-commerce company that allows you to sell your items using a mobile app. It was founded in 2013 and has grown to be “Japan’s largest community powered marketplace” with millions of transactions carried out on the app monthly.

Pros

  • Listing your items on the platform is free
  • Mercari has a low commission of 10% on every item you sell
  • Mercari provides a prepaid shipping label with insurance worth up to $200
  • You’ll get paid quickly – within 3 days after the buyer has received your item

Cons

  • Returns are highly encouraged and some buyers take advantage of this opportunity to rip off sellers
  • The dashboard is not user-friendly

Jump to: Full Review

Compare to Other Sites to Sell Stuff

Decluttr

Decluttr logo

Over 3 million products sold in 12 months with a year limited warranty

Sell smartphones, tablets, laptops books, watches, video games and Lego

Get a free instant item valuation, ship your item for free and get paid

Swappa

Swappa logo

No fees for sellers – buyers pay no fees up $50 items. $5+ thereafter

Sell computers, home tech, cameras, phones, watches, laptops and tablets

Sell your item directly to buyer and get paid the next day via PayPal

eBay

eBay logo

180+ million buyers, easy listings and sell directly from the smartphone

List up to 200 items for free every month, and only pay when they sell

Global brand trust and seller protections in place from buyers scams

What is Mercari?


Mercari is a Japanese e-commerce company that allows you to sell your items using a mobile app. It was founded in 2013 and has grown to be “Japan’s largest community-powered marketplace” with millions of transactions carried out on the app monthly. 

Basically, Mercari is an online marketplace where you can list used items for sale from the comfort of your home. On the other hand, people seeking the items you have can buy from you from anywhere in the world. 

And what’s best, you don’t have to stress about getting these items to the buyers yourself or meeting up with strangers before you can sell off your merchandise, because the company handles it all.

Millions of people across Japan and the U.S., have embraced Mercari because it provides an opportunity for anyone to declutter their space and sell just about anything, including:

  • Household items
  • Clothes
  • Shoes
  • Electronics 
  • And more

As long as your items are functional and not defective, you can sell them easily with Mercari.

Apart from a website, Mercari is currently available on Google Play Store and Apple App Store.

How Does Mercari Work?


Selling on Mercari is as easy as it gets.

All you need to do is upload clear pictures (up to 12) of the item you wish to sell on Mercari and when a buyer is interested in your item, you will get a notification. 

Thereafter, you have 3 days to package your items properly and ship them to the buyer. Once they receive the item and rate it, Mercari automatically credits your account. Keep reading this Mercari review as I explain the step-by-step selling process later on.

Unlike some other e-commerce stores, listing your item on the Mercari website for sale is absolutely free. However, it is important to note that Mercari charges a payment processing fee of 2.9% + $0.30 for every payment you receive from a buyer, and they clearly state this while listing the items.

As a buyer, you can go through the website and pay for anything you like, and they will be delivered to you at the convenience of your home. You also have an option of rating the item and getting a refund, in a case where the product is defective or does not match the description of the seller.

Is Mercari Legit & Safe to Use?


Yes, it is. Mercari is legit and secure, with policies guiding the practices that can take place in the app or website.

Customer support’s timely response to complaints and the manner with which they resolve most issues to their customers’ satisfaction have earned Mercari great credibility.

The platform has been accredited by the Better Business Bureau and holds an A+ rating. Mercari also has a total score of 4 out of 5-star rating on Trustpilot

The overall rating of the Mercari app on Google Play Store and Apple App Store 4.6 and 4.8, respectively.

Although there have been a few complaints by sellers who claimed to have been ripped off by buyers who lied about what they received, Mercari tries to reduce the occurrence of such situations by enforcing strict policies.

Mercari Fees


There are several fees Mercari would charge you.

Mercari charges an upfront 10% fee, as a commission for every item you sell on their website or app, and a payment processing fee of $2.9 + $0.30 for every payment you receive from a buyer.

Also, Mercari will charge you a processing fee of $2 for direct deposits below  $10, and if your bank rejects a direct deposit, this also attracts an extra $2 fee.

Additionally, if you cancel your order or cannot fulfill an order, Mercari will charge you a cancellation fee of 5% of the price of your item (or $25 max). It’s important to note that frequent cancellations could cause the removal of your listings, and they could limit your account.

Mercari & Shipping Charges

One of the wonderful things about Mercari is the fact that they offer you an option to ship your items to your buyers for free. Yes, you read right, shipping is FREE and is done at no extra cost.

Mercari provides you with a Prepaid Shipping Label of $200 Mercari shipping Protection via USPS or FedEx, for items weighing up to 150 lbs (68kg), provided that the longest side doesn’t exceed 45”.

There is also an option for you to ship the items by yourself if you do not want to use the Mercari Prepaid Shipping Label.

Let’s sum up all the Mercari fees in the table below:

Commission fee 10%
Payment processing fee $2.9 + $0.30
Direct deposit withdrawal $2 for direct deposits below  $10
Cancelation fee 5% ($25 max)
Shipping fee $0 (free)

How Does Mercari Pay Me?


When a buyer successfully purchases an item from you and gives you a rating, Mercari deducts their $10 commission and they deposit the rest into your Mercari account.

You can use the money in your Mercari account to purchase items from other sellers, or you can withdraw your money in 2 ways:

  1. The first option is a direct deposit into your bank account, which attracts a fee of $2 if you are withdrawing funds of less than $10, and an additional $2 fee if your bank rejects the payment. This process takes about 2-5 business days.
  2. The second option is the “Instant pay” option, which deposits the money instantly to your debit card within minutes. This option comes with a charge of $2 and you can cash out up to $500 monthly.

Items That Sell Best On Mercari


Items-That-Sell-Best-On-Mercari

While you aren’t limited to what you can sell on Mercari, some of the best-selling items include: 

  • Trendy clothing
  • Electronic devices
  • Purses and bags
  • Video games 
  • Sporting gear

If you are looking for becoming a seller on Mercari and you have any of these items laying around in your home, be assured that you will sell them off quickly because they are currently in high demand.

Items You Can’t Sell On Mercari


As much as you can sell anything on Mercari, they put some rules and guidelines in place to keep us in check to ensure good selling practices within their app.

With this in mind, here’s the list of some items that are prohibited for sale on Mercari:

  • Digital items (including e-books and PDF files)
  • Anything illegal
  • Firearms
  • Drugs
  • FDA restricted items (such as food, vitamins, diet supplements, homemade remedies)
  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco products (including e-cigarettes, e-hookahs, and vaporizing liquid without nicotine)
  • Items that are not in your possession (including dropshipping, coupons, etc.)
  • Financial products and services (including bonds, securities, etc.)
  • Live animals or trafficked materials (such as ivory or shark fins)
  • Humans, human body parts or organs, blood, body fluids, and human belongings, such as used underwear
  • Sexually explicit items (sex toys and fetish items)

How Do You Sell on Mercari?


How-Do-You-Sell-on-Mercari

Selling on Mercari is made easy and available to everyone, all you need to do is follow the simple steps below.

Step 1: Create a Mercari Account

First, you have to log on to the Mercari website or download the mobile app (on iPhone or Android) to sign up and create your account.

Step 2: Verify Your Account

After signing up, you will need to verify your account with your active email address and set up your profile with all the required details. The details you’ll be required to fill in include: 

  • Your basic personal information (full name, date of birth, location)
  • Contact information (email, phone number)

Step 3: Set Up Your Listing

Once you verify your account, you’ll be able to set up your listing filling out all the information about your item. The list below shows what you need to set up a listing:

  • Name of the item
  • A proper description of the item you’re selling
  • Clear images that are compelling to buyers
  • Condition of the item

Step 4: Wait for a Buyer to Show Interest in Your Item

All you’ve left to do after your listing goes live is to wait for a buyer to show interest in your item and purchase it. 

You will get notified via email once a buyer shows interest in your item and wants to purchase it.

Step 5: Ship Your Item

Once you have closed the deal with the buyer, Mercari requires you to print out your shipping label, carefully pack the said item, and ship within 3 days.

You can either utilize the free shipping option by Mercari, or you can ship the item on your own and confirm the shipment on the app.

Step 6: The Buyer Receives the Item

When the buyer receives your item in the condition described in your listing, they will make payment and give you a rating.

Step 7: You Receive Your Money

Your account will be credited as soon as the buyer pays. It’s as easy as that.

Mercari Customer Service

If you have any questions regarding Mercari, you can visit the Mercari Help Center where you can find answers to most of the inquiries you might have.

In case you suspect that you may be encountering fraud or other criminal activity, Mercari suggests you call them at (888)325-2168 or report your case directly to law enforcement.

Although there used to be complaints of delayed response to issues, lately Mercari has improved their customer service, and now responds quickly to messages and inquiries.

Mercari Pros & Cons


Mercari-Pros--Cons

Pros

  • Listing your items on the platform is free
  • Mercari has a low commission of 10% on every item you sell
  • Mercari provides a prepaid shipping label with insurance worth up to $200
  • You’ll get paid quickly – within 3 days after the buyer has received your item

Cons

  • Returns are highly encouraged and some buyers take advantage of this opportunity to rip off sellers
  • The dashboard is not user-friendly

Mercari Alternatives


Mercari vs. eBay

ebay logo

eBay Summary

  • High user traffic – over 187 million users
  • No listing fees for small scale sellers
  • Promote your listing from as little as 1%
  • Quick processing time for payouts

eBay is one of the top e-commerce platforms in the world, with a larger user base than Mercari. However, unlike Mercari, eBay charges you an “insertion” fee when you create your listing. The cost varies according to the type of listing.

Mercari vs. Poshmark

Poshmark is also an online marketplace that provides an opportunity for you to sell your items online. Compared to Mercari, where you have a wide range of categories of items to sell, PoshMark mainly focuses on Clothing and Fashion items. This limits the kind of item you can list for sale on the platform.

Mercari vs. OfferUp

offerup logo

OfferUp Summary

  • List and sell your items for free
  • Promote your listing from just $1.99
  • Low service fee of just 12.9% or $1.99
  • You have up to 3 days to ship your item

OfferUp is a sales platform just like Mercari, the difference is that you can only sell items locally and in most cases, you may have to meet the Buyers one-on-one to deliver the item to them unless you opt-in for shipping. Most people find this inconvenient and unsafe, as they would rather close up deals online and ship to the Buyer.

Mercari Review Verdict: Is Mercari Worth It?


Absolutely. You get to sell items you no longer need and get paid for them easily.

Mercari FAQ


Do taxes apply to my Mercari earnings?

As a seller, they do not require you to pay taxes on your earnings you got from Mercari. The platform calculates and remits applicable taxes to the state’s taxing authority on behalf of their sellers.

Does Mercari pay you via payPal?

No, it doesn’t. The two major methods of receiving payments from Mercari are through direct bank deposit or instant pay into your debit card.

Why is Mercari shipping so cheap?

It is cheap because Mercari offers you a Prepaid Shipping Label with insurance of up to $200 for shipping via USPS or FedEx.