What is Mercari? How does it work? How to sell it?

Mercari is a popular peer-to-peer marketplace app that allows people to easily buy and sell used items online. The company was founded in 2013 by Shintaro Yamada in Tokyo, Japan.

The goal behind Mercari was to make selling unused items online as easy as possible. At the time, sites like eBay and Craigslist were the main options for individuals to resell goods, but listing and shipping items could often be a big hassle. Mercari aimed to simplify the resale process through their mobile app interface and by providing prepaid shipping labels for a flat fee.

Mercari started in Japan and quickly gained popularity there as an easy way to declutter homes and make extra money. The app expanded to the U.S. market in 2014. It has since grown to have over 10 million downloads globally.

Mercari functions as a vibrant peer-to-peer marketplace where people can quickly list items to sell using their smartphone. Everything from clothing and electronics to toys, books, and collectibles can be bought and sold on the app. Sellers just have to take a photo of their item, provide a description, set a price, and ship it off using Mercari’s prepaid mailing label once it’s sold.

The app also makes it easy for buyers to search for and purchase secondhand goods. Customers can browse items, make offers or buy at listed prices, and rate sellers after completing transactions. Mercari handles payment processing and transfers earnings to sellers once buyers confirm the order was received.

In the resale marketplace, Mercari competes with other peer-to-peer platforms like eBay, Poshmark, and Craigslist. However, its mobile-first approach and focus on ease-of-use distinguishes it from these other options. Mercari has become one of the most popular avenues to buy and sell secondhand items online, especially for those looking to quickly declutter or earn extra cash. Its simple listing interface and built-in shipping support removes major friction points in the resale process.

How to Buy and Sell on Mercari

Explain the buying process on Mercari

Buying on Mercari is simple. You can browse or search for items you’re interested in purchasing. When you find something you want to buy, you just tap the “Buy” button. This will take you to a page to confirm your order and shipping address.

Once the order is confirmed, your payment will be processed. Mercari handles all payments through their system – you don’t have to worry about paying the seller directly.

After you purchase an item, the seller has 3 days to ship it to you. You’ll get notifications on the shipping status so you can track your package.

When your order arrives, you have 3 days to rate the seller and confirm you received the item as described. Your payment will be released to the seller after you provide this rating.

If there are any issues with the order, you can contact Mercari’s customer support for help. They can facilitate returns or refunds if necessary.

Explain the selling process on Mercari

Selling on Mercari is also very straightforward. You simply download the app and create an account.

To list an item for sale, you’ll add photos and details like the title, description, category, size, etc. You can set your own price or allow buyers to send offers.

Once an item sells, you’ll get a prepaid shipping label from Mercari to mail the package. Print the label, pack the order, and drop it off at your nearest postal office.

The buyer’s payment is held by Mercari until they receive and rate the order. Once they confirm everything is as described, you’ll get the funds deposited into your account (minus Mercari’s selling fee).

Mercari makes communication easy if the buyer has any questions or requests. You can send messages back and forth as needed to complete the transaction.

You’re notified of each step – sale, shipping, delivery, and getting paid. Mercari’s system is designed to make selling online simple and secure.

Describe Mercari’s rating system

Mercari uses a rating system to help buyers and sellers interact smoothly.

After each transaction, buyers and sellers can leave each other a star rating from 1 to 5, as well as a short text review.

These ratings and reviews become visible on both users’ public profiles. They serve to build trust and accountability within the marketplace.

If there are any issues with a transaction, Mercari’s support team can assist and potentially remove unfair ratings. But in most cases, buyers and sellers are encouraged to resolve matters between themselves first.

The five-star rating system motivates sellers to provide great customer service and ship orders quickly. Meanwhile, buyers are encouraged to rate orders fairly and provide clear feedback.

High ratings lead to more sales and a better experience on Mercari. So it’s in both parties’ interest to rate each other positively after successful transactions.

Signing Up for a Mercari Account

To start selling on Mircari, you first need to create an account. Signing up is free and only takes a few minutes.

To create your account:

  1. Download the Mercari app on your iOS or Android device. Mercari is exclusively a mobile marketplace, so you must use the app to buy and sell.

  2. Tap “Sign Up” and enter your email address or phone number. Mercari will send you a code to verify your identity.

  3. Enter the code and create a password. Mercari passwords must be at least 8 characters long.

  4. Enter your name, shipping address, and date of birth. Your name and birthday are required to verify your identity.

Once your account is created, you can customize your Mercari profile. Your profile shows potential buyers information about you as a seller, so it’s important to fill it out.

Here are some key profile settings to update:

  • Profile photo – Add a photo of yourself so buyers can put a face to the seller.

  • Biography – Write a short paragraph about yourself and your selling experience.

  • Shipping preferences – Set your default shipping carrier and options.

  • Contact info – Add an email address and phone number so buyers can reach you.

  • Notification preferences – Choose what types of notifications you want to receive.

Your Mercari profile gives buyers confidence to purchase from you, so take some time to make it look professional. Once your profile is ready, you can start selling on Mercari right from your mobile device!

How to Sell on Mercari

Mercari is a popular peer-to-peer marketplace app that makes it easy for anyone to sell their unwanted items. Here are some tips for successfully selling on Mercari:

Posting Details and Photos

  • Take clear, well-lit photos of your item against a plain background. Use natural lighting if possible.
  • Include photos showing any flaws or defects in the item. Be upfront about any damage.
  • Write a detailed description of your item including dimensions, materials, condition, etc.
  • Look up similar items on Mercari to price yours competitively. Consider fees when pricing.
  • Select the appropriate category and tags so buyers can easily find your listing.

Pricing Items

  • Research prices for similar items that have sold on Mercari to set a competitive price.
  • Price a bit higher than your minimum to leave room for buyers to send offers.
  • Consider the original cost, condition, and rarity when pricing. Price to sell, not to make the maximum profit.
  • Price in whole dollar amounts to appear more professional.

Promoting Listings

  • Share your listings frequently to bump them up in search results.
  • Engage likers by offering promotions or discounts.
  • Take good photos and write detailed descriptions to stand out.
  • Use relevant hashtags so your items appear in tagged searches.
  • Promote your closet on social media to gain followers.
  • Offer buyers quick shipping and good service to get reviews.

Shipping with Mercari

Mercari makes shipping extremely easy for sellers. When you make a sale on Mercari, you are provided with a prepaid shipping label to print out. Mercari offers several shipping options:

  • Mercari Label: This uses USPS First Class Mail for packages under 1 lb and USPS Priority Mail for packages over 1 lb. The label includes tracking and up to $200 in insurance.

  • Local Delivery: For items being delivered locally, a label can be printed with the buyer’s address and no postage is needed.

  • Direct Ship: For oversized or heavy items, you can ship on your own without a label and enter the tracking number manually.

After printing the label, you just need to package up the item, slap on the label, and drop it off at the post office or schedule a USPS pickup. Mercari will send email notifications when the shipment is confirmed by USPS and when it is delivered so you can keep track of the status.

Delivery times depend on the shipping service selected but items shipped with Mercari labels can be expected to arrive within 3-5 business days on average. The buyer has 3 days after confirmed delivery to inspect and rate the item.

How Mercari Pays Sellers

Mercari offers a secure and convenient way for sellers to get paid. Once an item sells, the buyer’s payment is held safely by Mercari until the transaction is completed.

When the buyer receives and rates the item, the funds are released from Mercari to the seller (minus Mercari’s selling fee). Sellers have a couple options to withdraw their earnings:

  • Instant deposit to debit card – Mercari can instantly transfer funds to a debit card linked to your account, even on weekends and holidays. The deposit fee is 2.9% plus $0.30 per deposit.

  • Bank transfer – You can link a bank account to your Mercari account and withdraw with no fees. Transfers take 1-3 business days to hit your bank account.

Mercari aims to process transfers as quickly as possible. With instant debit deposits, funds should be available almost immediately. Direct bank transfers are initiated daily – sellers can expect to see the money in their account within a few business days at most.

The withdrawal options give sellers flexibility on how and when to access their earnings. With instant debit card deposits, you don’t have to wait to get paid.

Seller Fees and Additional Charges

When you make a sale on Mercari, there are a few fees you need to be aware of as a seller:

  • Seller Fee: This is Mercari’s commission fee. It’s 10% of the item’s price (including shipping). So if you sold an item for $10 with $4 shipping, Mercari would take 10% of $14, or $1.40. This comes out of your earnings.

  • Payment Processing Fee: This is 2.9% + $0.30 per order. So on a $10 sale, you’d pay $0.39 in payment processing fees. This also comes out of your earnings.

  • Shipping Label: If you use Mercari’s prepaid shipping labels, the cost is deducted from your earnings. The exact amount depends on the weight and destination of your package. Mercari gives discounted USPS Commercial Plus rates.

  • Optional Promotions: Mercari has optional promotions you can pay for like boosting your listings or promoting your shop. These come out of your earnings if you choose to use them.

So in summary, expect to pay Mercari 10% seller fees, around 3% for payment processing, shipping label costs, and any optional promotions. But the fees are relatively low compared to other selling platforms. Just factor them in when pricing your items.


Mercari provides a platform to easily list your items for sale. Here are some best practices to follow when creating listings on Mercari:

  • Use clear photos – Take photos that accurately show the condition and details of your item. Use good lighting and avoid blurry pics.

  • Write detailed descriptions – Don’t just list the item name. Provide measurements, materials, damage/wear, etc. This sets proper expectations for buyers.

  • Price competitively – Research prices for similar sold items. Price on the lower end to attract buyers. You can always send offers to likers.

  • List regularly – The more active listings you have, the more sales opportunities. Aim to list new items daily/weekly vs. all at once.

  • Offer promotions – Run sales and coupons to increase interest. Mercari occasionally provides promotion credits to sellers.

  • Cross-promote – Drive traffic to your listings by promoting your Mercari store on other platforms.

  • Respond to questions – Provide fast, friendly answers to buyer inquiries to build trust. This converts more browsers into buyers.

  • Ask for reviews – Politely request 5-star reviews from happy buyers. This builds credibility for your store.

With some effort put into listings and customer service, you can build a reputable, successful selling presence on Mercari. List often, engage buyers, and focus on great descriptions to get sales.

Shopping on Mercari

Mercari makes it easy to browse, search for, and purchase items from anywhere using your phone or computer.

Browsing and Searching for Items

The Mercari app and website allow you to browse featured categories or search for specific items using keywords, brands, sizes, colors, conditions, price ranges, and locations. You can filter and refine searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. New items are constantly being listed, so you can scroll through categorized feeds or set up notifications for saved searches.

Making Purchases

When you find an item you want to purchase, you can view all the details, like photos, descriptions, sizes, conditions, shipping options, and user reviews. Click the “Buy” button to add it to your cart and begin the checkout process. Mercari securely handles payments, but you don’t pay until after confirming you received the order.

Checking Out

At checkout, you can view order details, select quantities, enter shipping and billing information, and choose payment methods like credit cards, debit cards, gift cards, and Mercari credit. Promo codes can also be applied to receive discounts. Mercari provides shipping labels for sellers and tracking information for buyers. Once the order is complete, just await your purchase’s arrival!

Overview of Mercari

Mercari is a popular peer-to-peer marketplace app where users can buy and sell new or used items conveniently from their smartphones. Launched in Japan in 2013 and expanded to the US in 2014, Mercari has quickly grown to become one of the top shopping apps with over 20 million downloads.

With Mercari, anyone can simply snap a photo of an item they wish to sell, add details like description, pricing and shipping, then list it for sale in just a few minutes. Buyers can browse a wide range of categories from fashion, toys, electronics, to collectibles and more. A key feature of Mercari is its pricing suggestions based on current market value to guide sellers in pricing items fairly.

The app also makes selling hassle-free with pre-paid shipping labels and direct bank deposits for withdrawals. Overall reviews of the buying and selling experience on Mercari have been positive. Users like the convenience, ease of use, and breadth of selection. Common pros mentioned include:

  • Large active userbase with millions of listings
  • Simple selling process from mobile phone
  • Reasonable fees at 10% of sale price
  • Fast payouts with direct deposits
  • Effective shipping system with prepaid labels
  • Fun, gamified elements with badges and ratings

Some drawbacks buyers and sellers have pointed out include:

  • Lack of buyer/seller protections seen on sites like eBay
  • Minimal customer service for resolving issues
  • Occasional shipping delays or mismatches in item condition
  • Counterfeit goods listed for sale in some cases

Compared to other platforms like eBay, Poshmark or Facebook Marketplace, Mercari differentiates itself by being mobile-first and focused on ease of use. Its model encourages quick selling rather than auctions and negotiations. Overall, Mercari provides a more casual peer-to-peer shopping experience than eBay while having a wider range of products compared to fashion-centric Poshmark.

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