Mercari vs. eBay

If you’re looking for a new online side hustle to make money, selling items could be a great way to do it. When it comes to selling items online, where is the best place you should be selling? Mercari and eBay are great places to start. They offer a platform for millions of users, making the seller reach out to far more people than they could do via social media or through local sources.

Along with Poshmark, Mercari and eBay are the most popular auction sites available, and below, we are going to run over some of the key features that these platforms have. From being a seller and buying items to free shipping and customer service, we will be going through all of the basics and finding out which is the best. Mercari vs. eBay! Who will be your victor?

First things first, let’s see a little bit of what these two auction sites are about:

Mercari

Mercari began it’s operation back in 2013 in Japan and has grown to be one of the most popular selling apps available. In 2013 Poshmark was well established, but in Japan, there wasn’t a place that people could easily make money by selling their used items.

Mercari was launched with the label of being a ‘flea market app.’ This meant that it allowed users to sell any kind of item they liked. A really accessible app, too, as it allowed users to sell things directly from their phones rather than only being available on laptops or computers.

Mercari became very popular, very quick in Japan, and this leads it to be plateaued to other locations such as the United States and the United Kingdom. In today’s market, there are over 10 billion items sold using Mercari every month. This is mainly due to the thriving Japanese marketplace and is why Mercari boasts such impressive numbers. Sellers from all over the world have begun to recognize the massive potential that buying and selling using the Mercari platform has.

Users of Poshmark will be familiar with Mercari as they are both aimed at people looking for a great deal, collectors, and people who want to make money getting rid of the extra items in their own homes.

If you’re in the market for designer clothing, then Mercari may not be the place for you. These kinds of items are sometimes found as you can sell pretty much anything using Mercari, but the appeal on this send tends to be a lot broader compared to Poshmark.

Mercari is a site that really lives up to the flea market tag line. You can find pretty much anything for sale here. From sports apparel to baby clothing, there is something for everyone. There are a few items that cannot be found on this auction site, though, but the list is short. Items that aren’t allowed to be sold via Mercari are counterfeit goods and weapons, which is perfect for most buyers out there anyway.

Unlike some other websites that require your items to be in near perfect condition to be sold, Mercari does allow you to sell less than mint quality products. You can sell a genuine Persian rug or an iPhone with a cracked screen. You just need to be honest in your description of what condition the items you’re selling are in.

Using Mercari from a seller’s perspective is great, mainly due to the low fees overall.

eBay

In the last two decades, eBay has been the main and probably the only online auction platform that you have been using, and if you’ve never heard of it, where have you been? Since 1995 and every year since then, eBay has been a marketplace that has been designed to buy and sell goods and services.

As the site gained more and more traction, the founder’s of eBay brought in an experienced management team who tried to bring an image of only auctioning collectible items to try and move towards a more upscale market. This allowed eBay to create and develop a transaction fee structure that reflected average price sales, along with a few other factors.

eBay is a customer based site that has established an online person-to-person trading community. This brings both buyers and sellers together with the main goal of making money and find a good deal on products. On eBay, you can practically sell anything. There are item categories arranged to find inspiration on gifts and also different topics to shop in a certain niche. These topics also include their own specific categories for each type of auction, such as bidding, buy it now, etc.

eBay was the first auction website that really projected the traditional person-to-person selling system that had only been previously seen at flea markets, garage sales, and newspaper listings in a lot more limiting way.

There is a registration process that you need to complete in order to start listing items, but as soon as this is complete, you can list products straight away.

In today’s market, there are over 250 million classified eBay users. This equates to over 25 million sellers and 12 billion listings on the entire site making it the biggest platform for selling your items. Over each year, eBay has a gross merchandising volume of almost $100 billion. A massive amount for one of the best platforms for both the seller and the buyer.

That is the round-up of what both Mercari vs. eBay has to offer when it comes to a selling and buying service. If you’re still wondering which platform is the best, here are some comparisons of the two that may shed some light.

Mercari And eBay – What Are The Differences?

Selling Fees

Mercari: The selling fees when using Mercari is straightforward. It is completely free to list any selling items, but when you’ve sold an item, Mercari will take a 10% cut of your total money.

eBay: For eBay users, you will receive 50 free products when you start listing items. When you’ve completed these 50 items, you will be charged 35 cents per listing. There is also a final value fee that alters depending on the category your items are selling from. This final value fee is between 10% and 12% per list items.

Ease Of Access

Mercari: The ease of access for both the buyer and the seller is easy when suing Mercari. The listing and shipping process has been made simple, and after this is done, there isn’t much more you need to do other than promote the items you’re selling. This can be done via the ‘promote’ button. This can be resisted if you want to bump your items in a different way.

eBay: When it comes to eBay vs. Mercari, eBay requires a lot more effort overall. The listing process can take a long time and sometimes is quite tedious, especially if you’re trying to do this via a phone or tablet as the app is sometimes a little glitchy. Between sorting shipping costs and running sales, there is more effort required in your listed items using eBay.

Shipping

Mercari: When it comes to using Mercari, the shipping is pretty easy. There are loads of different options available regarding the shipping prices. You can choose free shipping for the buyer, meaning that you will pay the fee, or you can choose for the buyer to pay the shipping cost. All of this information will be shown in your auction listing. Mercari is great as well as they provide a weight-based label that you can print out yourself if you wish to, or you can sort out your own shipping rates for your selling items.

eBay: One of the few things that eBay has figured out when it comes to shipping rates is that you can set calculated shipping costs for some of your heavier used items. If you want to sell a more lightweight item, your buyer will much more prefer the cheaper shipping options that come with using eBay. Other than the lightweight option, eBay can sometimes feel a little confusing when sorting out the shipping costs. They change quite a lot with different weights, classes, and carriers.

Selling Experience

Mercari: From personal experiences, it seems that Mercari can sometimes be hard to deal with when you need help from customer service. This mainly due to the lack of phone numbers. Often buyers and sellers are left in a bit of a limbo scenario, often for long periods of time.

eBay: When using eBay, there are a lot of rules that go into the platform. Things like canceling orders and shipping list items late can affect your account in a negative way. These are described as ‘defects’ on the platform. They do have all of their policies in their terms and conditions, so it is a good idea to check all of these out, so you know the most effective way to buy and sell using eBay.

Other Important Information

Listings

Mercari: Items on Mercari couldn’t be easier to list, There aren’t many fields that you need to fill out, and the process is swift. A lot better vs. eBay.

eBay: Listing items on eBay can be a rather tedious and time-consuming affair. This website is definitely more suited to being used on a computer rather than your phone, as the app tends to be a little glitchy when it comes to the product list items.

Access to funds

Mercari: When your item has been delivered, and the buyer has accepted that the item/items have arrived, the funds they have paid will be released into your account. If the buyer doesn’t leave a rating within a 3 day period, your money will automatically be released—so no need to worry about forgetful buyers if you’re worried about your money ever getting sent. Direct deposit can be requested, and this usually takes between 2 and 3 days.

eBay: eBay at the moment is still letting buyers pay via PayPal, which lets you get your money pretty much immediately, but they’re moving into a payment system that works a little differently. When using PayPal, you have two options. You can make an instant deposit onto a card; this is great if you need some money straight away, but there is a 1% fee. If you don’t mind waiting a few days, you can make a regular withdrawal into your bank account. These usually take between 1 and 2 days. Another option is using a PayPal direct debit card; this allows you to spend your money straight away.

Extra Features

Mercari: When using Mercari, the seller can use a promote button. Using this button can do a number of different things, such as lower the price of the easy to list item or send an offer to the people who have already liked your item.

eBay: Like Mercari, using eBay, there are options to send offers to watchers and promote your items. You can also run the sales of your items using eBay.

Should I crosspost/cross-list my products across the platforms?

If none of the platforms are screaming that they are the right one for you, then you may wish to consider cross-listing. With free listings and other promotions, it may be beneficial to list your items on multiple platforms to gain access to a wider audience pool.

You will need to be on the ball if you have limited numbers of items, as you will need to pull it from one platform if it sells on the other. However, if you’re organized and can keep track of your listings, it could be very beneficial to cross-list.

Whether you want to sell a few items to clear out your closet or develop a side gig to supplement your income, there are some great buying and selling platforms available.

Poshmark, Mercari, and eBay all offer some great benefits to suit your specific requirements. Just be sure to explore the full terms and conditions to ensure that you make the most of these platforms and keep your potential buyers happy.

Is Mercari Or eBay Better?

When it comes to Mercari vs. eBay, finding which is the better platform can be a hard thing to decide. Here are a few pros and cons of both sites.

Despite being the much younger site and only being around since early 2013, Mercari still offers lots of significant opportunities to make money straight into your bank account. Selling clothes and other accessories are all easy to list, and here are some of the main benefits of using Mercari:

  • A much broader range of things to sell – If you’re someone who has a closet full of clothes that aren’t all designer brands or even mid to high-end products, then Mercari could be the site for you.
  • Lower quality standards – This may seem like a bit of an odd positive, but if you’re looking to sell items that you would usually find in a thrift shop, then Mercari is a great place. They might not meet the same requirements that are needed using certain other sites, but if you’re completely honest with what you’re selling and the condition that it is in then you can pretty much sell anything you like.
  • Huge potential customer base – Mercari is already a massive auction website and is growing by the day. This is great, and will bound to find someone willing to buy your stuff.
  • Relatively low fees – The low fees that Mercari has are one of the main reasons it is so popular. Only taking a 10% fee of the overall price you receive. Listing is free all the time, every time.

With all this in mind, there are a few things you need to think about too when using Mercari:

  • Not specifically targeted at selling clothes and accessories – While there is an extensive user base on Mercari, not all people are looking to buy clothes and other related items. This means that it is sometimes harder to attract customers compared to some other auctioning sites. Having such a broad spectrum of items can be a blessing and a curse, as finding specific items may be harder to do.
  • Price limit of $2,000 – If you’re not selling designer gear, this won’t be an issue, but when using Mercari, the seller has a $2,000 maximum price limit for an individual item. This won’t be much of an issue for the majority of users, but it is worth noting to anyone who has a few stray items in their closet that are vintage designer items that could generate over this kind of revenue.
  • Option to not cash out your earnings – When using Mercari, you can choose your earnings as credit for buying other items rather than cashing out. This could be a problem if you’re someone who has issues controlling their shopping. Having this temptation could defeat the original purpose of the item/items you were selling in the first place.

It isn’t just by chance that eBay has been so popular for so long. When it comes to selling new and used products, it has been at the very top for the seller and even the buyer in a lot of cases. Here are some of the main pros that using eBay includes:

  • Huge audience – If you’re looking for the biggest audience you can find when selling an item online, then eBay is the only choice. It is one of the biggest websites in the world, meaning there are massive potential buyers every day.
  • No limit to what you can sell – No matter what you want to sell, high or low prices eBay has the audience for you. High spec tech and low-priced accessories are both at home in the eBay menu search bar. When it comes to the comparisons of eBay vs. Mercari, there is definitely more choice when it comes to eBay. Their wide range of products is more extensive than any other auction site available.
  • Cheaper shipping costs – Even though the seller shipping policy can take a few tries to read through and completely figure out, eBay has the cheapest shipping costs generally compared to other sites. Free shipping is offered a lot of the time, which is an added bonus buying your new items.
  • Better customer service – Out of these top two selling websites, eBay has a much better customer service to both the buyer and seller. eBay actually lets you ring someone if you have and customer issues that aren’t found on a lot of online auction sites. In other cases, you can also send emails if you need to. This is the only option when using Mercari and is sometimes a lengthy process if you get a response at all.

Although there are a lot of pros to using eBay, there are a few cons as well:

  • Long return period through PayPal – If a buyer pays using PayPal, they have a 180-day policy in which they can submit a return of an item. This means that you could be hit with a return notification from the buyer nearly 6 months on, and there isn’t much that you can do about it, even if you had explicitly mentioned there is a no return policy.
  • Confusing fee policies – As we mentioned earlier, eBay isn’t always easy to list an item compared to selling on Poshmark and Mercari. Shipping, in particular, can take a good amount of time to wrap your head around. This is due to the weighing item process and the choice of couriers or class of postage. Other sites have a much easier process vs. eBay.
  • Long listings – Listing an item on eBay isn’t as simple as typing out a small description and adding a few photos. Instead, there are a lot of details that you need to include, such as the length an item is, the type of item it is, and even the material the item is. It does make for a more extensive and targetted search for the buyer but is a lengthy process for the seller who is listing an item.

Is Selling On Mercari Worth It?

In the past, it may sometimes feel like buying clothes was a one-way street. You spend the hard-earned money you have worked for over the month in a store, wear your clothes until you buy new clothes. After this, you usually get rid of them in thrift stores or selling them for pennies at the dollar garage sales.

With Mercari, you are now provided with an easy way to earn back some of the money that you have spent over the year. This is especially good for families with kids. Everybody knows how fast kids grow out of clothes. It may seem like you’re buying fresh outfits week by week. If you use Mercari, then you can earn some of the money back from a jumper or t-shirt item that is basically brand new. This can be extra dollars that can go to… more clothes.

The second reason selling on Mercari is worth it is to help organize and declutter your closet and even your life. Going through your entire family’s clothes and sorting out all of the old things that aren’t worn anymore can feel amazing. As you organize the clutter, it is easy to imagine straight away the extra money you’re going to make.

A third reason and one we think is pretty important is how simple it is to do. Using this website is a great way to speed up your selling profile. This could be great if you’re an avid user of Instagram and Depop to sell your unwanted garments.

Another final point that is really good about using Mercari si that everything ships. Unlike some other auctioning and selling sites, you won’t have to rock up to anyone’s house or have people coming to yours. That little extra security goes a long way in our eyes.

Can You Get Scammed On Mercari?

The simple answer is yes. No matter what kind of online selling service you use, there are always going to be people out there who are trying to mess people around. Scamming is a thing that, sadly, cannot be avoided. A lot of the time, scammers have fresh profiles with limited or no reviews. This is the first telltale sign. Another is the unbelievable price they are offering for an item.

Mercari is great as they do not release payments until the buyer receives the item, but it is still possible for people to get scammed using this website.

If you’re buying something using Mercari and the seller asks you to contact them through a different platform such as texting, WhatsApp, or Facebook, then there is a good chance you are going to be scammed. Using any kind of contact outside of the website is a strong no in our books. It is also against the guidelines set by Mercari, and they mention clearly that if you decide to contact someone outside of their website, then they are not responsible for the possible repercussions that may concur.

So our advice is to never deal outside of Mercari whether you’re a buyer or a seller.

Now we have a good idea of how people get scammed, our next question is…

How to Avoid Getting Scammed Using Mercari?

Using an online shopping website like eBay vs. Mercari, it is important to carefully research not only what item you’re trying to purchase but who the seller is you’re buying from. In the many instances that fraud does occur, it happens because the buyers or sellers have not seen or simply do not know about the warning signs to watch out for before starting any kind of deal.

Here is a list of ways you can avoid being scammed using websites like this, and hopefully, you will be able to spot any potential scams before it’s too late:

  • Don’t deal outside the app – Never deal outside of the platform that you are using. If you do, then you are not protected by any of the implications they have in place. It is only going to put yourself at risk.
  • Don’t share personal information – When you are chatting with someone about buying or selling something, never give out any personal information such as emails, phone numbers, or social media accounts.
  • Make a strong password – Always use a password that is strong. Something like your name or even your account username is going to be easy for someone to potentially log into your account. A good idea is to change your password frequently. This will avoid the chance of someone guessing your password.
  • Be skeptical – Be Skeptical; although you shouldn’t just assume everyone is out to get you on selling websites, it’s always good to try and complete a bit of research. Check reviews of other buyers and even the product descriptions they have.
  • Don’t share login details – Never share your account information with a third-party source. Your login details should be for your use only. This should be followed, no matter what kind of website you’re using.
  • Confirm order within 3 days – When using Mercari, a buyer has 3 days to confirm if the item has been damaged or doesn’t match the description after it has been received. If there are some problems, a buyer can request a return.
  • Do not sell prohibited items – Avoid selling prohibited items. There are only two categories that they don’t let people sell, and that is weapons and counterfeits. If you do sell these items, then your account will be suspended with all your transactions canceled.
  • Use a credit card instead of a debit card – The risk of fraud is always lurking in the background when it comes to buying things online. There isn’t a problem using a debit card for online purchases, but when using a credit card, you are usually protected with some additional conditions.

So, keep in mind these points to stay safe.

Our Final Thoughts

Our final thoughts on choosing the best customer base selling website are that you really need to decide for yourself.

If you’re someone who is looking to be a full-time seller with high-end options, then becoming an owner of an eBay account could be the one for you. This is also the case if you’re looking to make a significant amount of money. This is mainly due to there being simply a much bigger volume of users, so your items will always have a larger audience of potential buyers.

If you are just looking to sell old clothes that are a little worn out, just as you would find in a thrift store, then Mercari is a great choice. They do have a price limit that can be set by the seller, but for buyers, that is great as you always know you’re going to be spending less than $2,000.

If you want to make a much larger income but not be confined to relating products, eBay is the best choice. You can find and sell nearly any kind of item you can think of, giving you loads of different options. From cars to Baby clothes, there really are no bounds. Although there is a large variety of items you can sell using Mercari; the $2,000 limit does stifle the bigger products such as cars and electronic equipment. If you were just looking to declutter your closet space and made a bit of extra cash for your husband or wife or even yourself, then Mercari is the website for you.

Full-time writer. Blogger. Dedicated wife. Mother of 3 amazing kids. I love learning about everything from the latest tech gadgets, innovative new home designs and can be found regularly reading up on parenting tips. There is always room to grow!

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