What is Mercari and How it Works: Complete Guide

What is Mercari?            

Mercari is a Japanese e-commerce company established a decade ago. The marketplace app, which is their main product, first entered the Japanese market in July 2013. Since then, it has become the biggest community-powered marketplace in the country, with more than ten billion Japanese yen in transactions monthly on the platform.

94% of people in Japan who use a community marketplace app use Mercari, which entered the US market in 2014 and the UK in 2016. Mercari was the first Japanese company to attain unicorn status – its app had been downloaded over 100 million times globally as of late 2017.

How does Mercari work?

Mercari is a legitimate online marketplace that works very similarly to other such online platforms. It earns money by taking a commission from each sale. Its profits depend on its users, so the platform makes every effort to prevent scams. It takes a series of relevant measures, such as a strong buyer protection guarantee. One of its provisions is that the seller doesn’t get any money until the buyer has confirmed receipt of the product.

Can you get a refund?

You are entitled to a refund from Mercari in the following cases:

  • The item is damaged.

  • The item isn’t as described.

  • No item was received.

  • The wrong item was received.

Choosing legitimate sellers on the platform

The ways to tell a legitimate from an illegitimate seller include reading reviews, looking at profile verification and profile badges, etc. The platform asks all sellers to undergo verification, and this information is provided on the seller page. Don’t buy from sellers who don’t display a verified ID.

Read the reviews of the seller and the item carefully. Check if previous buyers were happy with their purchase and whether the product corresponded to the description. Only buy from sellers with good reviews.

Sellers who outperform the rest on Mercari get profile badges. These badges are a reliable indicator of how a seller will act when you order from them.

To search for people on Mercari, you should know what products they are selling. Look up the products, then click on the seller’s profile picture.

Seller fees on Mercari

There is a 10% selling fee for each item sold on Mercari. The fee is applied to any payment received from the buyer. There is a 2.9% processing fee plus $0.30.

If you want to sell on Mercari, it’s easy to do. One way to make money is by buying items online for less and selling them at a profit on the app. You need good photos of all the items. Take as many as you can from different angles, but no more than 12, the maximum number allowed. Start with a wide shot and take advantage of natural light.  

Add detailed descriptions

Provide a description of each item being sold. If you want to make your listing more interesting, add a story around it. Include any ideas on how to reuse the product. Measure any clothes you are selling. Buyers will navigate away from clothes listings without the exact measurements.

The better you write your descriptions, the higher your chances of selling the item faster. Be as detailed and as honest as possible. If the item is damaged, don’t try to hide it.

Costs and pricing

To save money on shipping, ship all products in a bundle if someone buys more than one item from you. To set a price, look at similar listings for an idea of how much a particular item sells for. The maximum price you can set on Mercari is $2,000, but you can sell designer goods for up to $5,000. Sellers of luxury items must provide additional identity verification.

You can access listings at any time in your profile. Check your messages regularly for questions about your products from potential buyers.

Avoiding scams on Mercari

So far, the aspects of selling have been covered. This section is for those who might want to buy something on Mercari.

It’s crucial to be on the lookout for scams regardless of who you buy from. Avoid items that are suspiciously cheap. Mercari does its best to weed out scammers, but they haven’t achieved it at 100% like every other e-commerce platform. If you see an item that seems too cheap, it might be damaged, or the seller won’t deliver it.

Don’t make payments outside the platform. People sometimes post ads on Mercari to convince people to send payment outside of it and then keep the money.

Finally, don’t buy something if you’re not 100% sure what it is. Mercari will only refund you if the product doesn’t match the description. Scammers know this and will often post misleading advertisements.  

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