According to research by the State University of New York Buffalo, getting a good deal can give you the same feeling of getting high.
It’s a fact confirmed by my anecdotal shopper opinions. Snagging a great deal is the best thing, and I can find it more often than anywhere else on Mercari.
You’d have seen my story about the way I purchased and sold more than $100,000 worth of Pokémon Cards during the pandemic. They didn’t pay me or sponsor me. Instead, the platform makes it easy to list and sell items in your own home for a fraction of the cost of other platforms.
I have used Mercari for two years and I think it is a great platform. I also want to share some of my secrets to find and buy items I can resell.
What is Mercari?
Mercari is a marketplace for members and a selling platform. Members can list and sell many home-based products. Mercari was founded in Japan in 2013. It expanded its physical presence in the United States in 2014.
The Mercari App, which has been downloaded more than 100,000,000 times, quickly became one of the most popular selling apps worldwide.
Each month, the platform facilitates more than $100,000,000 in transactions.
Mercari is similar to eBay and Facebook Marketplace. It streamlines the process of selling and buying goods online by creating listings and shipping products to buyers.
Most commonly sold items are clothing and merch. Sell Your Items $30 Sign-up Bonus Conditions FreebieBlogger Rating 4.5 stars
Mercari, a Japanese e-commerce site that is based in the USA since 2014, has become one of the most popular selling and buying marketplaces worldwide. With an easy-to-use user interface, they aim to be different from other competitors. Continue reading
Is Mercari Legitimate?
Mercari has over 200 employees and seven year of experience in the United States. They have an A+ rating from the BBB, and are highly rated on the platform for their ability to address and resolve customer complaints.
Over 15 million users are active monthly and the company has made $4 billion in sales since its last earnings report was published. It is as safe as any major platform for buying and selling with a strong buyer and seller protection program as well as industry-leading security.
Take from a reviewer: I have sold more than 90 items, totaling $19,000. I have had zero issues (although I did experience one buyer trying to fraudulently return my money; more below). I was able withdraw my earnings quickly each time via direct deposit.
It is worth noting that I have taken every precaution as a seller and buyer using the app. This has been a great experience. Many of the 1,423 complaints that have been closed on the BBB are from users who have violated or escaped the Mercari policies intended to protect them.
Getting Started (How Mercari Worked)
Although you can access Mercari from your desktop browser, it’s best to download the Mercari app for your Android-based smartphone or other similar device.
Its user-friendly layout makes it easy to buy and sell items immediately.
How to purchase items on Mercari
My favorite thing about Mercari? It’s how easy it is to use. You simply need to create an account and login. Then you can start browsing or searching for the items that interest you. At registration, you will be asked to choose a payment method and/or make a purchase. A seller will have three business days to ship the item after a purchase has been made.
After that, you will have three days to inspect the item and give feedback to the seller. Give the seller a review if the item is in good condition. Within three days, contact the seller if there is a problem or valid reason to return it.
This is a critical. Mercari will complete a transaction within 72 hours of an item being delivered.
You must not rate the seller if the item is damaged, defective, or not as described. Instead, contact Mercari to initiate a return. Rating a seller confirms that you are happy with the item and allows you to unlock the escrowed payment.
The most overlooked component of the platform is ” Make Offer“, which is available on listings.
As someone who buys based upon need but also to resell if there is a good deal, it is important to make a reasonable offer that is lower than the list price to gauge how motivated a seller.
To avoid any petty lowballs or offers below 25%, the platform does not allow sellers to place bids. However, it is worth starting there to see if sellers counter, if at all.
If they are motivated and have not had any hits, I will often close at this price simply because I threw some stuff out there.
A Flea Market Flipping Couple Earns $133,000/Year by Selling Their Online Finds
Take from a reviewer: Mercari gives you the ultimate buyer protection. Mercari will refund any escrowed money if an item arrives damaged or missing parts.
When I buy and sell Pokemon cards it is rare that sellers send cards with poor protection or are damaged on the way. If there is severe damage, I will request a refund and take photos. This gives me a lot of confidence as I can buy high-end cards with no worries. You will be safe while shopping if you inspect your goods within three days of delivery.
Tips for Buying on Mercari
Mercari is the best platform for finding good deals.
- Allow “Price Drop” notifications if you are a reseller or flipper. Strategically, I “Like” the items that interest me. This is especially important if the price drops below certain points. Mercari allows sellers the ability to price drop items automatically by 5% every day until they sell. I also get notifications when I’m watching items keep falling. I will grab it if it drops below a pre-determined threshold.
- Take the time to read all descriptions and examine every photo carefully. However, Mercari’s generous buyer protections will protect you. If you don’t understand or look closely enough, your return might not be approved. Do your due diligence.
- Be active. Listings are sorted alphabetically but a large portion of that algorithm is chronological freshness (hence why sellers can have 10 boosted items every 24-hour). You can find great deals by searching the “Newest” filter at the top of the app.
- Save searches. I love to save searches for items I might be interested in as a reseller. I will get a notification when the item matches my criteria so I can quickly decide whether to pull the trigger.
- Be a courteous buyer. Sellers must wait until the item has been inspected and rated before they can receive their money. Review your purchases quickly and rate sellers accordingly. If you are unhappy with the purchase, don’t rate it. Before rating a buyer, contact Mercari with any questions or to request a return if an item is defective.
Mercari Coupon Codes
Mercari often offers one-time coupon codes that can be used across all of the app. I get $5 off coupons several times per month. This is a nice little discount, especially since I’m constantly buying and flipping products on the platform. You get a $5 credit that you can use to purchase. No code is required.
According to Mercari “coupons can be used to save on future purchases and vary in value.” On the coupon, you can find information about the coupon’s savings, coupon type, expiration date, and expiration dates. By going to Settings > Coupons, you can check if there are any coupons that have expired.
At the time of writing, there are no active coupon codes. I’ll add them to this section as soon as they become available.
How to sell items on Mercari
Mercari’s simplicity in listing products is what makes it stand out from other platforms. However, high volume sellers may find it difficult to list items on Mercari if they have thousands or hundreds of identical products. This platform is not for commercial businesses and is a mom-and pop-type site. Your listings won’t be drowned by thousands of other listings.
How to make a listing
It’s as simple as taking a few photos and adding a description to a listing. You’ll see more interest in your listings and more eyeballs (and offers), if you spend the time to describe the item accurately, use the correct sorting category, and take great pictures.
I use as many photos of myself as Mercari permits, which currently is 12. Pictures are the best friend of a seller. Pictures help to accurately describe an item, and users can ensure that they are getting what they need. They also protect you as a seller. Great photos increase the odds of a product selling by 5% or more. Source
Your listing engagement will increase if you correctly categorize your item.
A well-written title and description with keywords will help you get maximum visibility. You can use Mercari’s autocomplete tool under “Suggested search” to see what terms people are using to locate items similar to yours. Avoid using similar keywords in your descriptions. Mercari will display your listing for similar keywords. However, if the item you are listing isn’t relevant to the user’s search, it’ll decrease your engagement and degrade your listing’s primary keyword. It’s not always better to have more.
- Be aware of shipping weights It’s frustrating to arrive at the post office without enough postage, and then have to cancel your label.
- Be honest. For all 102 transactions, I received a 5-star rating. My conversion rates and final sales amounts have increased as a result of providing excellent customer service. Being friendly and working with customers to resolve issues will help you make more money. You may lose small battles in order to win the more lucrative, longer war.
- Be precise. Engage with your listing by using great titles and descriptions. Mercari is looking for engaging listings, so it is likely that you will get an algorithmic advantage over similar listings (assuming timing doesn’t matter). If your listing is accurate and as precise as possible
- Use their Promoting features. Your listing will get an algorithmic boost with their daily 5%. It’s also completely free. You can offer discounts to users who “Like” your product. These are powerful selling strategies that aren’t available on all apps.
- You can use their Smart Pricing feature. Another powerful, seller-friendly tool. My items are priced higher than what the market is willing to pay for comparable items. The price drop function will allow me to lower my price towards the average or slightly above the market price. This prevents me from making low offers and makes sure I make every sale.
- Take photos as you package the item. Great pictures can help you as a seller. One of my buyers attempted to fraudulently return 102 items by saying that the item I had sent was not the one that arrived. When the buyer wanted to return switched-out trading card, I took pictures of the items and attached the label. Mercari sided in my favor as a seller and granted me the escrowed funds from the sale. They also banned the buyer completely from the platform.
Take from a reviewer: Mercari allows sellers unprecedented access and communication with potential buyers. This is my favourite part of selling on Mercari and it is the most important thing I want to highlight in my Mercari Review. Each day, I select up to 10 items to “promote for everyone”. This basically refreshes your listing as well as gives it an algorithmic boost. It notifies interested buyers who “Liked” your listing about a 5% price drop and encourages them to beat their competitors — other people like the item — to checkout.
This psychological tool is incredibly effective in boosting sales.
Another effective way to reach potential buyers is to send them personalized offers via “Likers”.
Shipping your Item
Mercari’s shipping options can be both a pro and a cons. Simply put, you will weigh your item and sometimes measure its dimensions. A prepaid label will be generated by the shipping service chosen in the listing.
Mercari provides the following shipping options
You can also choose to do it all. This means that you can drop off your item at a Mercari Pack and Ship location (The UPS Store), and they will pack and ship the item for you. However, this option comes with a significant premium so don’t do it unless you are in a hurry or don’t mind paying the significantly higher shipping fees.
One problem is that buyer-paid shipping options can be limited. You can only use USPS, the most popular carrier, to send your parcels. Priority and First Class mail are not available. Mercari is a regional market and there are no flat rates or international shipping options. However, you can choose to pay shipping yourself, rather than using the buyer-paid prepaid options. You can also upload your tracking information. To cover shipping costs, you will need to raise the item’s cost. This will allow you to select more specific options than what your local post office/shipping firm may offer.
Mercari’s fees are transparent and comparable with its competitors.
There is no listing fee for placing an item on Mercari. This means that it’s completely free to create an account, list an item and even if it doesn’t sell. A 10% final sale price fee is charged to the seller for all transactions. A transaction will be processed for 2.9% + $0.30. This is standard practice at most retailers.
Mercari Fee Summary
- There is no listing fee for the items.
- 10% Final Sale Value Fee
- 2.9% + $0.30 payment processing fee.
Take from a reviewer: There are also other platforms that allow me to sell trading cards. The fees charged for these items average close to 15% of the final item’s value. Mercari is cheaper than these websites, making it an appealing alternative to eBay or other similar sites. It is worth noting that Facebook Marketplace now offers shipping options for completed sales. This means sellers can save as much as 10% on their final price.
Cross-promotion of my products across multiple selling platforms is how I promote them. I am open to paying fees for moving my inventory. You may not be a high volume seller but you might consider choosing the platform that will lower your fees and maximize your earnings.
Once fees have been taken out and the seller is rated, the proceeds can be withdrawn. You can select “Instant Payment”, which allows you to withdraw as fast as cash up to $500 per monthly ($2 fee).
Sellers who aren’t in a hurry and have balances above $500 can opt for the traditional direct deposit route (no fee), which can take up to 5 business days.
Promo: “Invite A Friend”
Mercari currently offers a promotion called “Get $30.” You can sign up for Mercari by using a link in this post. This will get you a $10 off your first purchase. If you sell $100 items on the app, you can get $20 extra dollars. This is basically a boost in earnings if you get rid of clutter and make a sale of a hundred dollars worth items.
Additionally, by inviting your friends and/or relatives to use the app you can earn $50 if they make a purchase or sell $100 worth of products using the app.
Take from a reviewer: This feature has not been used by me personally. At the time of writing, I have embedded my personal invite URL in this post. Although I haven’t yet referred users, I will let you know if I do.
Mercari has tightened up the way that tech companies can contact them due to the likely high volume of support requests they receive every day.
It serves two purposes. Users can filter out unnecessary or frivolous requests, and it ensures that people get the right support channels. However, this can cause frustration for users because it may take time to receive a human response to problems.
You can contact support as it stands:
- Visit the website: Follow the prompts to get to their Help Center and submit a form.
- Through the App: Click “Help Center” to open the app. Follow the prompts until you reach a contact form.
- Via telephone, 888-325-2168
- Twitter: @mercari_app
- Live Chat: Mercari doesn’t offer live chat support.
Take from a reviewer: Every time I have needed to contact support (e.g. when my buyer made a fraudulent return), I have received a response within 24 hours. I usually hear back within an hour. If a support agent replies to your open ticket, you’ll receive an email and an in-app notification. Personally, I would like to see live chat agents available to assist with urgent issues in real time.
Mercari Review: Last Thoughts
It is crucial to protect both buyers and sellers on any platform that sells goods. offers buyer protection and reasonable seller protections. Mercari is an attractive platform to buy/sell. Its powerful array of features connect buyers. I believe Mercari works best for sellers and buyers who have a minimum of $200 (the amount that their Seller Shipping Protection covers).
Although they allow for purchases up to $2,000 on their platform, I recommend that sellers take extra precautions in case a buyer opens a case.
Finally, track your expenses and record your earnings. It’s unlikely that most sellers will make $20,000 per calendar year. This is the amount at which Mercari issues a 1099K to the IRS. However, you still have to report your profits to the IRS. You may be able reduce your tax burden depending on your personal circumstances.