Mercari got started in the United States in 2014 and has steadily built a large user base.
While most people are still figuring this app out, others are saving significant money on items they would normally be buying full price at retail stores.
This review of Mercari will help you know if this is the next fantastic app you need to add to your phone.
What is Mercari?
Mercari is a marketplace where individuals can buy and sell used and new merchandise.
You can sign up for Mercari online or through the app, and being a part of the marketplace is free. If you have ever used Ebay or Poshmark, you may feel right at home with Mercari.
They do, however, have a unique place in the market and, in some ways, make the selling and buying process more pain-free than their nearest competitors.
How Does Mercari Work?
With many marketplaces, like Craigslist or Ebay, you are going to have your best experience by using a traditional computer.
Mercari changes that up with an experience that focuses on the Mercari mobile app. Both buyers and sellers tend to prefer the app, but if you have any problems, the phone number is listed for you, and you can get customer service easily.
The Mercari app is one of the simplest platforms for buying. Not only are the listings easy to search and the categories clear, but the buying process is even easier.
As soon as you find what you want, you purchase it immediately or add it to your cart. With the cart option, you can load as many items as you want and then checkout once, with all payments sorted to the individual sellers.
When you do make the payment, your funds are held in escrow until you receive the item, inspect it, and accept that the items are as described. You have three days from delivery to complete this process, or it will auto-accept and distribute the funds to the seller.
If you decide to decline, there must be a reason where the item was not as promised. This is not a try it and send it back marketplace. So read the description carefully and make sure to inspect it as soon as you get it.
All sales are final once an item is accepted.
Drawbacks for Buyers
There are only two main drawbacks from the buyer’s side of things.
The first is that the filters are pretty limited. Other platforms let you dig in much more and get items that are exactly your size or specification.
The second is that there is no negotiation on the pricing. It’s a “this is the price” kind of platform. In Mercari’s defense, the prices are very discounted, so this is not going to be an issue for most buyers.
When I set up my account with Mercari, I was instantly encouraged to start selling. The even offered a five dollar off coupon after I made my first listing (not sale).
The Mercari marketplace is driven by its sellers. This means they are focused on making sure that selling is as simple as possible.
To make a listing, I just took a few pictures, uploaded them, and posted them with a description. It was much better than my first Ebay listing, of course, that Ebay listing was 15 years ago.
Once you sell an item, you will get a shipping label from whatever shipping option you chose. You print, package the item(s) and send it off.
Once the buyer accepts the item from the app, you get paid. Mercari has done its best to make this one of the best seller platforms online and an easy way to make some quick money with your used stuff.
Drawbacks for Sellers
There aren’t a lot of disadvantages to sellers in this app. They do take a flat 10% of your sale, so if you are working with high-end items, it could get rather expensive.
Is Mercari Legit?
Yes, Mercari is a legitimate app-driven marketplace where people can buy and sell directly to each other.
The app has been downloaded more than 45 million times in the United States and more than 100 million times worldwide. In Japan, the app is doing more than JPY 10 billion in transactions a month.
This is a tested app with a well thought out system of buying and selling for the average person.
I almost feel like asking what products are not available. Other than staying away from perishable goods, Mercari lets people sell just about anything in its marketplace.
You can find anything from clothing to electronics to kitchenware. It is a wide variety, and the app makes it easy to search for specific items or to look through categories.
Mercari founder Shintaro Yamada launched the app in Japan in July of 2013, the United States in 2014, and the UK in 2016. While the UK venture did not work out, the app has thrived in the US and Japan.
They decided to run operations separately for the Japanese and American markets, so they have offices in both Tokyo, Japan, and San Francisco, California.
Today, there are more than 150,000 new listings on the marketplace every day, and the rapid increase in users makes the future look bright for Mercari.
With any platform where you have people selling to each other, there are going to be problems.
Sellers will not describe items accurately, buyers will try and return an item even if it was described correctly, and some people want to scam.
With any of these marketplaces, there is a little bit of buyer and seller beware. Make sure that your seller has a good reputation and that you understand how the acceptance process works.
- Poshmark – Poshmark is a top platform for selling clothing. They have expanded into some other areas, but apparel is their claim to fame.
- Ebay – You can buy anything on Ebay. Clothes, electronics, a kidney (kidding), almost anything is on this platform.
- Etsy – Etsy is the largest marketplace for those selling hand made goods. Mercari is trying to cut into their users with their handmade category.
- App interface makes selling and buying easy
- Multiple shipping options
- The seller sets the shipping
- Items as much as 70% off
- Email alerts allow for buyers to find new items quickly
- Buyer protection
- Overly used items are listed
- Some sellers abandon their listings.
- Search filters are limited
Mercari Review Final Thoughts
Mercari is a well designed and run marketplace that even novice app users can enjoy.
The pricing is straightforward, payment options are varied, and the shipping options are better than some of their competitors.
Overall, if you like how the Mercari app functions, you are going to have a good user experience.
As with all marketplace apps, make sure you know all the rules of buying and returning items, so you do not have any unpleasant experiences.