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How to Sell on Mercari: Your Complete Guide of (2024)

Have you just heard about Mercari and wondered what’s it all about? Is it a legit website, or is it just an eBay clone?

It’s either that, or you’re already aware that it’s a safe platform (yes, it’s as legit as they come) but wondering how to sell on Mercari?

You’re not alone here! Many people have many questions about Mercari. Fortunately for you, this guide is likely to have your answer.

We’ll tell you why Mercari can be a good fit for you (and why it can’t) as well as everything you should need to know about the selling process.

Why You Should Consider Selling on Mercari

Here’s why selling on Mercari can be fruitful:

  • Low Selling Fees: Mercari has one of the lowest selling fees of any marketplace. Currently sitting at just 10%, you won’t lose too much money on each sale. Also, listing and creating accounts are completely free.
  • Ease of Use: Mercari’s mobile app is one of the easiest to use out there. Even those who are completely new to online selling will still find it easy to use. 
  • It Works: Unlike multiple other marketplaces with low traffic, Mercari is actually active and alive. If you reasonably price your items, they’ll sell as quickly as they need to.
  • It’s Safe: Mercari has various trust and safety policies on items, giving both buyers and sellers a sense of safety that theft, damage, and fraud are minimal. If you have any concerns, you’ll be happy to know that Mercari customer service has a good reputation for resolving issues. 

Problems With Selling on Mercari

Mercari is indeed an easy platform to use. By following the proper steps (more on that soon), you should be able to make a decent sum of money.

However, it comes with a few cons.

  • You Can’t Put Quantities: Currently, you can’t put quantities of the same item on Mercari. For example, if you have three pairs of identical pants, you have to list each of them separately.
  • Limited Shipping Protection: If your shipped item has a price tag of over $200, you’re no longer eligible for protection for that particular item, which sort of limits those “big chunk transactions” you can get on other platforms. 
  • Delayed Payment: Unlike many other marketplaces where you get paid upfront, Mercari doesn’t pay you unless the buyer receives the product and rates you. This may bother people who are used to selling on Amazon or eBay, where payment is upfront. 
  • Limited Text: The number of characters you’re allowed to use in your title is fairly limited compared to other marketplaces. Also, having a maximum of only three hashtags to use is quite limiting.
  • It’s Not Sitting at the Top: Despite being popular, Mercari’s users aren’t as abundant as other leading online marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, and Facebook Marketplace. If you want the maximum possible exposure for your listings, Mercari may not be the best pick for you. 

What You’ll Need to Sell on Mercari

Selling on Mercari isn’t sophisticated; you’ll need the following:

  • A Phone/Laptop/Tablet: You’ll need a device where you can download the Mercari app, take pictures, and list your products. The device should have a decent camera to take quality photos.
  • An Internet Connection: Make sure you have a good internet connection to download the app and start uploading your items’ pictures.
  • A Mercari Account: You’ll need to sign up before selling anything. Both creating the account and listing your items are free.
  • Items to List: You’ll need something to sell, and your household should contain more than enough items that you don’t use. However, if you run out of items, you may buy items at a lower price and then bump the price a little on Mercari.

What to Sell on Mercari

There are many things you can sell on Mercari, but some items have more audience than others. If you want to make a quick profit, then focus on the following ones:

1. Clothes

We’re not talking about just shirts and pants; all wearable accessories like shoes, caps, and bags sell like hotcakes on Mercari, provided they’re reasonably priced and in good condition (more on that soon).

Clothes sell well because there’s not much that can go wrong. If there’s a defect, it should be clearly seen in the pictures. If the buyer finds issues in the clothes that weren’t clear in the item picture/description, they may contact Mercari for a resolution. 

Further, clothing items are lightweight and easy to transport. As such, sellers won’t pay much to have them shipped to buyers.

2. Books

Books are other items that fall into the lightweight category. The books you might sell the most on the platform are educational ones. Once your kids grow up, you end up storing their books and not knowing what to do with them.

So, why not allow other parents to get these books for their kids for a fraction of the price? 

Books sell well on Mercari because there’s always someone who’s looking for a good-condition book without having to pay full price. 

3. Children Toys

Kids outgrow their toys a lot faster than before, especially with electronics invading our world like there’s no tomorrow.

As such, you’ll quickly find deserted toys at home. Put those on Mercari, you’ll be surprised that they still have a lot of fans out there.

Toys sell on Mercari because they often aren’t listed for much. If you put up a kid’s toy for 10 bucks, it’ll sell within a couple of days.

4. Kitchen Appliances

They may not be lightweight, but kitchen appliances have a large market in Mercari. Did you get yourself a new frying pan? Give the old one a nice touch-up and list it for sale.

Kitchen appliances sell exceptionally well on Mercari because they’re always in demand. You can sell anything, from blenders and processors to plates and forks!

5. Electronics

There’s no marketplace where electronics aren’t a popular item. Did your kid stop playing with that Gameboy Advance? Have you Upgraded to a PS5 (there are plenty of places to sell that when the time comes) and don’t know what to do with the previous model? Is that old vacuum cleaner gathering dust in the attic?

List them on Mercari. You’ll gain some space at home, make some money, and help someone else get something affordable. 

Much like appliances, electronics sell well because there’s always someone looking for a specific device without wanting to pay too much. Keep the price reasonable, and it’ll sell. 

How to Sell on Mercari: Step-By-Step Instructions

Here are the detailed steps you’ll need to sell on Mercari:

Step 1: Fetch the Item You Want to Sell

While some items sell better than others on Mercari, you can sell pretty much anything there as long as it’s not included in the prohibited items list. 

The best advice is to start with your own household. Look for items that nobody uses. Whether it’s clothes, kitchen appliances, or electronics, if you expose your item correctly (more on that in a second), you’ll have a much better chance of landing a sale. 

Once you find an item, it’s time to list it for sale. But first, you need photos.

Step 2: Take Good Photos

No, we don’t mean get yourself a DSLR camera and take professional-grade photos with delicately adjusted lights. That’s not how Mercari works. All you have to do is take clear pictures.

Notice the “S” in pictures? Taking more than one picture can give your listings better credibility. It’s like telling the viewer that the item is really yours and you’re providing multiple pictures to prove it.

That’s not the only consideration you should take while taking pictures. If there are any imperfections in your listed items, don’t try to hide them. Instead, have a couple of pictures clearly highlighting those imperfections to provide honesty to your potential buyer.

You may go the extra mile and provide measurements of your item too. How to do that in a photo?

Place a measuring tape next to your item so your buyer can visualize the size and set their expectations accordingly. You now have your item and its photos. Time to upload.

Step 3: List Your Product on Mercari

Buckle up; there are a few things to do here if you want to land a sale.

The first thing is to click on “List an Item.” If you have the Mercari app on your phone, look at the bottom icons and find the one that says “Sell,” click on it and the “List an Item” prompt will then appear. 

Mercari would then take you to a page where you can provide all the information about your item. Start by uploading the pictures you took.
You’ll then have to “Name” your item. If you’re selling a pair of shoes, don’t just write “Shoes.” Try to place as many keywords as possible to make it easier for potential buyers to find your item.

For example, an item name like this: “Adidas Men Running Shoes Galaxy 6 Size 7” is much more appealing to the search filter than “Adidas shoes.”

Once you’re done naming your item, go ahead and describe it in the appropriate tab. Be as thorough as possible in your description, and make sure to highlight any issues with your item. Also, remind the buyer that the pictures contain measurements in case they miss them.

You can then write up to three hashtags in the following section. Use this part to put hashtags of words that you couldn’t fit seamlessly in the name and description.

For example, if you’re selling sneakers and you name them so, go ahead and include #trainers in the hashtag section.

The following sections are simple and self-explanatory, like brand, item condition, size, etc. 

Step 4: Choose a Shipping Method

Currently, there are shipping options you can use to ship the item to your buyer. You can ship the item yourself using a service like USPS.

In that case, you’ll pay for the shipping yourself, and the heavier the item, the more you’ll pay. In that case, it’s best to utilize Mercari’s prepaid labels. When you use Mercari’s shipping label, you’ll save a lot of money on heavier items. 

The other option is to use Mercari Local, a recent service on Mercari that allows you to neglect how heavy the item is because you’ll only pay for the distance traveled.

For a fee that starts at $715.99, Mercari will contact Uber or Postmates, who’ll show up at your door, pick up the item, and deliver it to the buyer.

So, in short, if you’re shipping lightweight items like clothes, you can rely on USPS. If you’re selling heavier electronics, Mercari Local could be a more affordable option.

Do your math based on the weight and distance, and you’ll save some delivery money with every sale. 

Step 5: Set Your Price

You do have the option to set whatever price you like. However, it’s always better to do some research to know the “average” price of similar items before deciding on a price of your own.

If you’re not sure yet, Mercari will provide you with a slider that helps you select the appropriate price. For example, Mercari may decide that your pair of shoes is worth $40. If you select $40, Mercari will say that it’s “Just Right.” According to Mercari, going above that price will slow your sale and vice versa.

However, it’s unclear whether Mercari takes the condition of your item into consideration while pricing it.

Also, if you’re a well-known Mercari seller with good reviews, you could get away with bumping the price up a little, as people are willing to pay some extra money for trusted items. 

Step 6: Choose Whether to Set Smart Pricing On or Off

Smart pricing is a handy option on Mercari that allows you to gradually reduce the price of your item until it sells (automatically). Don’t worry; that doesn’t mean infinitely reducing price, as you get to decide a limit to which the pricing can drop.

For example, let’s assume that you hope to sell those sneakers for $50, and you’re willing to drop them to $45, but you still want to bump them up to $60 because, who knows, they might just sell.

Go ahead and set the price to $60 even if Mercari tells you it’s too high, then turn smart pricing on and set your flooring to $45. What happens now? Mercari will initially display the sneakers for $60 and then gradually reduce the price every day until it reaches $45. 

That way, you get your shot at displaying the higher price, but you also get to automate dropping the price without having to manually go back to the app every day. 

That’s pretty much it. All you have to do now is wait for your sneakers to sell. Keep in mind that once an item sells, you have three business days to ship the item to the buyer.

Things to Consider When Selling on Mercari

Here’s what you should keep in mind while selling on Mercari:

1. Shipping Expenses

If you’re shipping yourself, you should consider the shipping expenses, as they tend to increase when your item is larger or when it’s going to be delivered further.

As such, be careful not to let the shipping cost overcome the original price of the item and result in a negative income.

2. Honesty

Don’t ever hide the imperfections of your items. If anything, you should mention those in the description and show pictures of them. Being honest with your customers will give you huge credibility and improve your chances of getting better ratings. In marketplaces, ratings matter a lot. 

3. Transaction Fees

Most articles talking about Mercari will tell you that there’s a flat transaction fee. Don’t fall into the trap of not checking the details. There are various payment processing fees that are constantly being updated with inflation; some of those are as new as a few days from the date of writing this.

Always keep an eye on the official Mercari fees page to get all the updates and adjust your pricing accordingly. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Worth It to Sell on Mercari?

Yes. Mercari is a legit platform that many people use to make a decent sum of money. Will you sell your household items quickly? Yes. Will you make a fortune out of it? Unlikely. Most people use Mercari as an extra method of income. 

Who Pays for Shipping on Mercari?

As a seller, Mercari gives you the option to pay for the shipping yourself or charge the buyer.

How Much Does Mercari Charge Per Sale?

Currently, there’s a flat 10% fee on all transactions. However, there are extra fees that keep getting updated constantly. Keep an eye on the official page to make an accurate calculation of the sale fee.

Similar Tutorials to Check Out

If you’re into the idea of online selling but decided that Mercari isn’t for you, there are other platforms for you to try. Here are some of them:

Wrapping Up

Mercari allows you to get rid of unwanted items in your household with no hassle. With no listing price, you could put your item for sale within seconds. Just take some photos, write an honest product description, decide on your shipping service, and you’re good to go. 

If you follow the tips and steps outlined in this guide, you’ll kickstart your journey on Mercari a lot faster than a complete beginner.

Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below, and if this article helps you, share it with somebody else so they can skip the Mercari rookie phase too!

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