Selling on Mercari

Are you thinking of selling on Mercari? Maybe you’ve heard of it but have no idea where to start? Or maybe you already sell online but you’re looking for ways to increase your profits. Mercari is an online platform for selling just about anything; clothing, homeware, electronics, and lots more!

If you’re brand new to selling online it can be confusing when you start, how do you upload photographs? What do you write? There are lots of tricks you can use to increase your profits on sales sites and in this guide that’s exactly what we aim to help you do.

We’ve got some great tips and advice on all aspects of selling on this fantastic site. The great thing about it is that you never meet with your buyer. Meeting strangers to buy or sell things is risky and potentially unsafe, but with this particular site, everything is shipped which means a much safer transaction.

So if you’re ready to get started with your new venture, make sure you read on to learn all about selling and making some easy money! From how to upload your pictures to writing a winning description, we’ve got everything you need to know!

How to sell on Mercari – a guide

When you sell on Mercari, it’s not just a case of uploading a few photographs and writing a few words in the description. The buyer obviously can’t see the item in person so it’s essential to show it off as much as possible.

It’s the same with the description, this is the part that could mean the difference between a sale and an unsold item. In this section, we’ll go into detail about each step you’ll need to take to create a great item listing.

Listing your item

Before you can start creating listings, you’ll need to create an account. This is super simple, all you need to do is give yourself a username and a password and then enter your email address. Once you’ve done this you’re ready to start selling.

Once your profile is set up, it gives you so much information. On Mercari, people can “follow” you and you can follow them, on your profile it will show you how many followers you have and it adds up how much money you’ve made to date. There’s also a trust and identity bar, this shows how many pieces of ID you’ve provided.

If you provide three pieces, you’re awarded a purple shield next to your username. If you go back to the homepage, it will show you what’s selling well and some recently sold items. You’ll also notice categories that are trending; this is mainly to get you to buy more but it can also help you as a seller.

Selling items in popular categories means you have a better chance of making a sale. If you’re not sure what price to set your item at, you can use the search feature to find similar items and see what they’re being sold for, to get an idea.

Listing an item on Mercari is super easy, upload your photos, write your description, and then set a price, done! Once you’ve made your listing, just sit back and wait for your buyers to come in. The more you sell, the more feedback you’ll receive and you’ll become a higher rated seller.

However, always make sure your items are as described. If you offer fast shipping, make sure you do. If you know you can’t ship within 1 day then don’t offer it, it’s always better to underpromise and overdeliver. If your buyers aren’t happy with your service they can give you negative ratings, which can drastically affect your credit and people won’t want to buy from you.

Even if you’re only selling for fun or to make a bit of extra money, try to think of it as a business. You want to give your buyers excellent customer service so they buy from you again. You also want their valuable positive feedback so you can reel in new buyers as well.

Uploading your photos

Photos are incredibly important when you sell on Mercari. Don’t be one of those people who list items with no photographs at all. If you do this it’s highly likely you’ll never sell anything, buyers just won’t buy something unseen.

It’s also not a good idea to use a stock photo of the item you’re selling. Even though it shows what you’re selling, it doesn’t show the actual item, its condition, etc. Always take the time to take pictures of what you’re actually selling. You’ll make far more money this way.

When you sell on Mercari you’re allowed to upload 12 pictures. It’s highly recommended that you use all 12 photos. This gives you a chance to show all sides and angles of the item you’re selling. It also means you can show any minor defects or imperfections clearly.

It’s best to have your main photo as a wide shot, showing the whole item. Then you can photograph close-ups, showing every detail. Don’t use a close-up as your main photo, as the buyer won’t know what it is and they’ll simply move on to something else.

Try to take your photographs in the daytime as natural light is the best for capturing good photos. You want your item to stand out so always use a neutral background – don’t photograph a white shirt on a white background, or a floral top on a flowery throw!

Always make sure your pictures are fully in focus as well, blurry ones never sell well! Have a look at how other sellers are displaying their items, how are they photographing them? Which angles work best?

Once you’ve got your 12 photographs, upload them in the order of importance, your wide shot should be first as it’ll be your main photo. Then upload the different angles you’ve shot, and lastly be sure to include any photos of imperfections (make sure these are stated in the listing too!)

Writing your description

Your description is a key part of listing items on Mercari. It can make or break your sale, so you want to get it right. A good way to think about it is, what would you like to see in the description if you were the buyer? This should help you to write a good description.

Start by stating essentials such as the brand, the model name, and color. Size is also important, add measurements as well if you can. This is especially handy if you’re listing clothing items, as then people will get a good idea if the item will fit them or not.

Next talk about the item’s condition, is it brand new? Lightly used? There are some popular abbreviations used on online selling platforms, for example, NWT stands for new with tags. If your item is brand new and never worn, but doesn’t have the original tags, you can put NWOT, new without tags.

If the item has any flaws or imperfections, these must be stated in the listing. It’s not nice for the buyer when they purchase an item described as in excellent condition, only to find it has a stain on the back. Before you list your item, take the time to meticulously inspect it for any marks, stains, pulls in the fabric, etc. People always appreciate honesty, and just because it has imperfections, it doesn’t mean it won’t sell!

State how long you’ve had it and why you’re offering it for sale. List all of the item’s benefits to entice people. If it’s an item of clothing you could offer fashion advice, what could the buyer pair it with? If you have other items of clothing for sale on Mercari, you can suggest pairing these items together to encourage the buyer to make multiple purchases.

Offering combined shipping for multiple purchases is a good way of reeling in buyers. This means that when they buy 2 or more items from you, you ship those items as one package so they only pay one shipping charge, as opposed to paying for separate packages. You can write descriptions up to 1000 words long and you can also add up to 3 hashtags to get your item noticed more.

Adding your title

Your listing title is the first thing people will see when they search on Mercari. You’ll want to make it snappy and enticing. If your item is brand new, this is a good time to tell people. Stating in the title that your item is new will instantly attract people.

But what do you include in your listing title? Essential stats such as style, size, condition, and color are good places to start. You want to give people enough information in that one title so they know that your item is for them. If you just put something vague, they’ll lose interest and move on.

When it comes to adding your title, you need to think like a buyer. Imagine if you were looking for your item, which words would you search for. Using keywords in your title increases the chance of it being found by more people, meaning you have more chance of making a sale!

Categories, brands, and other information

Once you’ve written your title, Mercari will start to give you category suggestions for your item. They don’t always suggest the correct category so be sure to double-check it. It’s super important to get the right one, if you don’t you risk your item not being found.

For example, if you have a coat for sale and you accidentally list it under trousers, it’s not going to get many views because people who are searching for trousers want to buy, well, trousers. Avoid this potentially costly mistake by ensuring you choose the right category.

Sometimes, you may not be able to find the correct category, if this is the case, select “other” and write a really good, keyword-rich title, so your item is easily found. You can add a brand name separately as well. While it’s advisable to do this, it’s as important to add it to the title and description as well.

You’ll need to think about your price as well. This can be a tricky thing to get right. On one hand, you don’t want to charge extortionately because people are shopping on Mercari for bargains. But at the same time, you don’t want to rip yourself off.

It’s a good idea to search for other items that are the same or very similar to yours, to get a feel for what they’re being sold for. If you find the same item being sold by someone else, try to match the price or go very slightly under. If you go higher, people will choose the cheaper item, so bear this in mind.

Lastly, you need to think about shipping. According to Mercari, when you offer free shipping, your item is much more likely to be sold. People are instantly attracted to free shipping and there’s even an option to only search for items with free postage, so yours could end up being unseen.

Obviously, if you pay for the shipping yourself, then you’ll lose out a lot, particularly if the item was priced low, you won’t make any profit. A way to offer free shipping without leaving yourself with nothing is to add the shipping cost to your item price.

It’s a bit psychological, the buyer sees free shipping and instantly thinks they’re getting a bargain when in reality they’re paying the same as if you added shipping costs on as well.

What Do I Need To Know To Sell On Mercari?

So now you know the basics of how Mercari works and you feel like you’re almost ready to get started. But you’re still a little unsure. No worries, in this section we’ve got some great advice on how to get the best from your experience as a seller and how Mercari actually works.

The benefits of selling on Mercari

Mercari is a great place to get rid of your unwanted belongings and make some extra money. Years ago, it seemed that once you bought clothes and other items, you’d spend your hard-earned money on them, use them a few times, then either throw them away or give them away to a thrift store.

Those days are gone, Mercari is the app that allows you the chance to regain some of that money. This is particularly useful if you have children. They grow so quickly and constantly having to buy new outfits every few months gets expensive! Mercari is a fantastic way to make a few dollars if your bank account is looking a bit unhealthy!

Another benefit of Mercari is the fact that it will encourage you to declutter! It’s safe to say that when it comes to organizing and decluttering, many people procrastinate. However, knowing that your organization will earn you some extra dollars is a great incentive, right? Not to mention how much better you’ll feel once you’re free from clutter. Tidy life, tidy mind!

Another great thing about Mercari is that there are no pickups, everything that you sell you ship. No one comes to your house, and you don’t go to theirs. It’s safer and much more convenient!

Tips for selling on Mercari

So we know the Mercari app is a fantastic place to sell your outgrown things, but some people make good money using it! The great thing about it is, it can be what you want it to be; somewhere to occasionally sell old things that are cluttering up your house, or a nice little side venture to top up your main income.

Think about what you’ll charge for your items. A good price is essential. Unfortunately though, even if your item is brand new and in pristine condition, you won’t get the full price that you paid for. For a brand new item, you’d be looking at around 80 percent of the retail price. For lightly used items that are in very good condition, you could expect to get around 50 percent.

Another useful tip about pricing is whether to set it as non-negotiable or are you open to offers? Some sellers state in their descriptions that their prices are set. Unfortunately, you’ll likely still get people messaging you asking if you will lower the price.

It’s up to you which option you take, being open to offers may help the item to sell, however, you may get some silly offers, so bear this in mind.

In your Mercari seller journey, it’s highly likely that you’ll end up with items that don’t sell at all. Don’t worry though, not everything sells the first time so don’t give up. Try reducing the price slightly and then relist it. If the item still doesn’t sell, take it off the site. Assess how you’ve described it, the title, and photographs to see if there are any parts you can improve.

Redo your listing and see if there’s any vital information you’ve missed that could affect its salability. Maybe your pictures aren’t clear or there aren’t enough. Try to use as many as you can, this is usually 12, to give people a very clear view of the item’s condition. Once you’re sure that your listing is ready, relist the item at the original price.

Something else to be aware of is people offering you low prices for your items and then reselling them again at a higher price. This is called retail arbitrage. If you do get someone offering a very low price, check out their profile to see if they’re an active seller. If so, it’s highly likely they’re looking to make a profit on your item.

What Sells Best On Mercari?

When you start using Mercari, you want to be a smart seller. Choosing popular items that sell well is important if you want to start making some serious money. But how do you know which items are hot sellers? Mercari makes it easy for you by suggesting trending categories and items, so you can get an idea of what’s hot and what’s not!

Whichever site you look on, women’s handbags are a bestseller, and Mercari is no exception. If you have a limited edition style or a bag from a discontinued line, you may be on to a winner! Handbags are an accessory that will never go out of style, people will always want them because they’re practical and stylish.

Shoes are incredibly popular as well because let’s face it, everyone needs them! We all have footwear that we’ve used once or twice and then thrown into the back of the closet, never to see the light of day again. Give them a new lease of life by letting them go to someone who will get better use out of them. If you have brand new, unworn shoes that are still in the box, these are guaranteed to be sought after.

These days, more and more people are getting into fitness and the summer months are perfect for getting rid of your surplus gym apparel. Activewear can be extremely expensive, so people will be turning to sites such as Mercari to update their workout gear. Leggings, shorts, t-shirts, and sports bras are all bestsellers!

Electronics and video game consoles are popular too. Cell phones, tablets, and videogames are all super pricey items to buy brand new. That old phone in your drawer could be worth a lot more than you think!

How Does Mercari Work?

Mercari makes it simple to get rid of unwanted things and setting up your listing is easy and hassle-free. The most important thing to remember is to have a good descriptive write up about your product. Don’t forget good quality photographs as well, blurry pictures will not sell!

Once you’ve shipped the item and it’s been confirmed as delivered, the buyer has three days to approve the item as described and give you a rating. Don’t worry if the buyer doesn’t give you a rating after the three days, Mercari will rate you so you get paid. Then you can give your buyer a rating.

Once this is complete, the money is added to your balance. When the money appears in your account, Mercari will pounce and try to get you to spend the money on the site. Ignore this and save your funds! You even have the option of setting up earning goals in the app.

To transfer your money to your checking account, simply click transfer underneath the balance. You have the option of transferring through direct deposit or instant pay. Whichever method you choose, if the request is under $10 you’ll be charged a $2 fee.

If you choose a direct deposit for a request over $10 you won’t be charged, which is why it’s a good idea to wait until you’ve got larger funds. Be aware though, that instant pay is only available if you’ve provided a government ID to verify your account.

Although you don’t pay to list your items, Mercari will take a 10 percent commission from sellers when their item is sold. Bear this in mind when you set your price so that it’s worth your while. Once your buyer confirms that they’re happy with what that they’ve bought, you’ll be paid.

You may be thinking, but what if the buyer forgets to confirm? Mercari has thought of this. If after 3 days there’s no response from the buyer, you’ll automatically get a five-star review and your funds will be added to your balance.


How do I ship items?

So your item has sold, what next? How do you actually ship it? Once it sells, you have three days to pack and ship the item. Mercari will offer you a prepaid shipping label and they have a chart that tells you the pricing for various items. According to Mercari, you’ll save on average around 30 percent on shipping when you use a shipping label from them.

Every item that you ship using a prepaid label is insured for up to $200. If you decide to ship on your own you’ll have to make your own label and obtain your own tracking number.

What about weighing your items? Mercari will always give you a good idea of what an item will weigh and it’s perfectly fine to use their estimates. If you do plan to sell a lot of items, however, it may be a good idea to invest in a set of good quality scales.

Always ship your items with a tracking label, orders sent without a tracking label will be canceled, even if you’ve already shipped it.

What about packaging materials? It’s important that your items are well packed so they don’t suffer damage during transit. Clothing and similar soft items can be packaged in a poly mailbag. These are waterproof and super tough. If your items are electronics or other delicates, use strong cardboard boxes filled with packaging materials to protect them. Polystyrene peanuts and bubble wrap are both good options. Ensure that the box is taped well and super secure!

Always try to ship on time. You have three business days from when your item sells to dispatch it. Just keep in mind, the quicker you get it shipped, the quicker the buyer can approve it so you get paid.

What if the buyer wants a refund?

The one downside to becoming a successful seller is that you’ll inevitably encounter at least one person who wants a refund. Quite often, it’s for a genuine request such as the product not being as described. Or it could be someone who wants it for free.

If you do have a return case opened against you, you’ll be notified of it straight away and usually, you can respond to it. Mercari will then decide whether to approve the return or not. If they allow it, they’ll give the buyer a prepaid label so they can ship it back to you.

It’s worth noting that people cannot request a return if the product doesn’t fit, such as clothing. If you’ve stated that there are flaws or imperfections in your listing, a return can’t be requested for these reasons either.

How much does it cost to sell on Mercari?

It’s completely free to list your stuff on Mercari! There are no listing charges. The only fee that you’ll pay is 10 percent of the sale and this is simply deducted from your balance when you’re paid. To avoid fees when you transfer your money, only transfer a sum larger than $10.

If you transfer less than that, you’ll be hit with a $2 fee. The new feature called instant pay allows you to access your money instantly. However, there is a $2 charge for this as well. Although a regular transfer takes longer, you’ll save on fees. As we mentioned before, you can’t use the instant method unless you have a government ID linked to your account.

Is Mercari Safe?

If you’re new to online sales sites, you may be a bit apprehensive about starting. Mercari is a perfectly safe and legitimate site, however, the people using it may not be as genuine. It’s important to use your common sense. If anyone asks you to do deals or transactions outside of Mercari, step away from them!

This is against the guidelines as it increases the risk of falling victim to scams. As a seller, never ship any items before it’s been paid for! It sounds obvious, but never give out your personal information either, such as email addresses, cell phone numbers, or social media information.

To protect your account, use a strong password with a mixture of numbers and letters, both uppercase and lowercase. It’s a good idea to change your password regularly too, just be sure to make note of any changes you make so you don’t forget it!

Is Mercari worth it?

Yes! Mercari is an awesome platform for creating listings quickly and efficiently. If you have items that are popular or much sought after, this site is a fantastic place to get started. The fees that they charge are incredibly low compared to other online sales sites, this means higher profits for you! The shipping process is also very straightforward and you have multiple options to choose from.

Once you start making more and more sales, you’ll get a feel for what are the best sellers. This will help you make extra money and it could become a successful side hustle for you. Mercari offers you the chance to clear out any unwanted things such as clothes that no longer fit, or aren’t your style anymore.

If you’re looking for a no-nonsense, easy method of getting rid of old stuff and making some good money, Mercari is definitely worth checking out!

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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