The following is our honest Mercari review. Debt Free Dawn has not been compensated for our review.
Updated: October 11, 2016
- You can delete comments on your items
- Simple and straightforward listing interface
- Drag-and-drop image sorter is convenient
- No formal offer system
- Customer service is questionable
- It can take 2 weeks to receive money from your sales.
Mercari Review: Summary
Mercari is moving to a 10% fee model as of October 19, 2016. Previously Mercari was my second-favorite marketplace (eBay is my first) because of the 0% commission they offer, but there was definitely a trade-off when it comes to customer service and the speediness or payouts. We’ll see if that changes as they’ve pledged to move to 24/7 customer service and make other feature additions.
The biggest complaint I have is how long it takes to receive funds from sales, which can take upwards of 2 weeks from the date of sale. For a high-volume seller like myself whose running a for-profit business, I don’t mind the lag. But if you’re looking to make cash quickly, you’re better off trying your luck with eBay.
Marketplace & Potential Buyers
Compared to other resale sites reviewed on Debt Free Dawn, Mercari is more like a flea market. You can buy and sell almost anything, though it is primarily unisex clothing, shoes, and accessories.
Over 1 million people have downloaded the Android app.
Mercari’s website has been fleshed out recently, now providing some functionality where there previously wasn’t any.
Buyers can search for listings, like, comment, and even purchase through the website. Unfortunately, there still doesn’t seem to be any seller functionality. You can’t edit existing listings or create new listings.
You can manage your account, review all notifications, read their FAQ, and contact support, but you can’t withdraw your balance.
Mercari’s mobile app has its pluses and minuses. I love their photo upload process, which allows you to select all 4 photos at once, and you can easily reorder images with their drag-and-drop feature. The biggest complaint I have is that you can’t rotate images, so if your camera saved an image rotated 90 degrees, you can’t fix that quickly in the Mercari app.
The title field for listings is limited to 40 characters, which is fairly restrictive, and the app’s pre-set item description fields are limited to category (e.g., button down shirt), size, brand, and condition. The brand list isn’t comprehensive.
Shipping is easy to customize and the final step of pricing and listing items is simple and straightforward.
Actually, that’s probably the best way to describe the Mercari app: simple and straightforward.
People can use the app to like or comment on items, but there’s no sharing feature like on Poshmark. You have the ability to deactivate listings without deleting them, which is convenient if you have an item listed on eBay as well and it receives a bid. (You don’t want to sell it on another site while you’re waiting for your auction to end.)
Unlike many other marketplaces, there is no formal process for making offers or reviewing offers. Instead, this is done in the comments section, which can be annoying from the seller’s perspective. When you respond to a commenter and accept their proposed $10 discount, it’s painful waiting for them to pay with your item sitting at a reduced price. Thankfully, Mercari allows the seller to delete comments (both theirs and viewers’) but it does leave a “comment deleted by seller” notification.
Mercari offers three basic shipping options:
- Ship it yourself
With USPS, Mercari charges flat rates of $4 for first class shipping up to 8 ounces, $6 for priority shipping up to 3 pounds, $9 for priority shipping up to 10 pounds, and $15 for priority shipping up to 20 pounds. Through FedEx they offer the same options as above with the same weight limits except for the $4 shipping option. Once the item sells, click “Create Shipping Label” and Mercari will email you the label to print and affix to your package. You can track the item’s shipment through the app.
If you choose to ship it yourself, you have to purchase a shipping label independently and update the sale on the app with the shipping information. You can purchase shipping for USPS and FedEx on their respective websites. Please note, however, that you can’t buy first class USPS shipping through the USPS website. If you’d like to ship an item that weighs 16 ounces (1 pound) or less, you can do so with 2-5 day shipping for $3.65 or less through PayPal.com/shipnow. (DFD tip!) This is almost $3 less than a USPS flat rate envelope and it gets there in almost the same amount of time.
Commission & Fees
As of October 19, 2016 Mercari’s 0% fee beta trial will end and transition into a 10% fees on all sold items. Until this fee kicks it it’s uncertain whether that fee is 10% of the sale plus shipping or just the sale.
The 10% fee puts Mercari right at the industry standard fee level — eBay is 10% and Tradesy is 9% — but you get the benefit of commission-less withdrawals, which beats eBay’s processing through PayPal at 2.9% + $0.30.
Please note there have been some complaints about Mercari having less-than-stellar customer service — that’s the trade-off. I haven’t personally experienced any issues with any of my 200+ sales through the app, but from research online I’ve read their customer service has stock responses to your emails and can be slow to resolve complaints. Message boards on the internet warn sellers about Mercari “randomly” banning or suspending user accounts, but I can’t confirm or deny this. Mercari does have a reputation for subpar customer service.
Supposedly their customer service will improve now that the 10% fee structure will help fund their new 24/7 customer service model.
Buyer Disputes & Returns
All sales are final on Mercari, but they do allow buyers to request returns within 3 days of confirmed delivery for one of the following reasons:
The item is not as described in the listing
The item is damaged or lost in transit
The wrong item is received
Buyers have to request the returns before rating the seller and completing the transaction, and Mercari will pay for return shipping.
The Mercari app allows the buyer and seller to rate each other. The rating scale is as follows: Great, Good, and Bad. Ratings appear on the main page of the seller and buyer for others to see. Buyers rate sellers first (which means that they have accepted the item) and then sellers have an opportunity to rate their experience with the buyer.
Mercari doesn’t show you the amount of money being withheld while waiting for shipping or for the buyer to complete the transaction. However, you can view all transactions in progress from the My Listings page.
Mercari withholds the money they owe you until the buyer rates the seller to complete the transaction. Sometimes the buyer ignores the rating step and your money is kept in pending. If this happens, just message the buyer and ask them to complete the transaction. If this doesn’t work, you can reach out to Mercari using the contact button within the listing’s transaction page and they’ll release the money to you.
Mercari processes withdrawal requests directly to your bank account. This is the only option at this time. You will set up your direct deposit after your first sale. This is when Mercari will ask for your bank account number and routing number.
It can take 2 weeks from date of sale to funds in your bank account, so know that before listing an item. If you’re looking or fast cash, look elsewhere.