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Sellers Choice 2019 Marketplace Ratings: Mercari

Mercari

Mercari made it into the Sellers Choice Awards for the first time this year, coming in 4th place and picking up an award for Ease of Use. The mobile app, founded in Japan in 2013 and launched in the US the following year, is like classifieds without the meetups.

In January 2019, EcommerceBytes surveyed over 13,000 online sellers and asked them to rate the marketplaces on which they had experience selling. An introduction to the Sellers Choice survey along with a summary of the overall ratings can be found here, along with links to results for each of the 11 online marketplaces included in the survey.

Profitability:

Customer Service:

Communication:

Ease of Use:

Would you recommend:

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Mercari
Year Established: 2013
Description: Mobile selling app; similar to classifieds, but all items ship
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Summary:

Mercari made it into the Sellers Choice Awards for the first time this year, coming in 4th place and picking up an award for Ease of Use. Its presence, along with Poshmark, indicate sellers are embracing the simplicity of selling through mobile apps, a warning for more established marketplaces.

Mercari is a mobile selling app that has a classifieds vibe, but without meetups – all items ship. It launched in Japan in 2013 and in the US the following year. Mercari launched in the UK in 2017, but exited that market in January 2019.

Despite landing in the top-4 on Sellers Choice due to solid ratings, sellers should temper their expectations about volume. While Mercari has been downloaded more than 40 million times, the stats say this venue is not a replacement for more established sites: Every day, people list more than 150,000 items for sale on Mercari; and in 2018, the average U.S. seller on Mercari made $114 per month, or more than $1,300 per year. Nevertheless, only one marketplace topped Mercari for most-recommended marketplace.

Mercari allows sellers to choose who pays for shipping. If the seller picks up the tab, their items will have a “free shipping” icon. Or, they can choose to have the buyer pay for shipping. Mercari works to make shipping simple for sellers, offering prepaid labels or “ship on your own.” It also offers “Pack and Ship,” where sellers can take their item to a The UPS Store location so they don’t have to find a box and package the item.

Mercari got some rave reviews on the simplicity of listing – in fact, the entire selling process. Sellers liked the app features. The site charges reasonable fees and has decent traffic, according to many Mercari users.

There were mixed reviews on customer service – some said it was good, others said it was good for buyers but not for sellers.

One drawback mentioned: While buyers can pay via PayPal, Mercari only offers payouts to sellers via ACH Direct Deposit to checking accounts. And numerous sellers complained of “rude” buyers.

Mercari is app-focused, and sellers who list using desktop computers said that many features were unavailable as a result. “I rated the ease of use as a 3 because I like working from my desktop and most of Mercari must be accessed by a smartphone, which I find very inconvenient,” one seller explained.

Sellers said the limits were too strict on the number of items that they could list prior to having sales. Some sellers said they’re unable to respond to feedback, good or bad. “You get the mediocre review and you can’t defend yourself, it is just THERE,” wrote one.

Some sellers said Mercari lacked features needed by volume sellers: No way to relist, for example; multiple items can’t be listed in one listing – only single-quantity items; and no reporting features to help for bookkeeping and tax purposes.

Another shortcoming: inability to import listings – “Takes a terribly long time to list my inventory. They REALLY need an inventory import feature,” one seller wrote.

And one seller said it took time to sync items listed on both Mercari and eBay (if an item sells on one venue, it must be deleted from the other venue).

But the same seller also noted some seller-friendly policies: “Buyers have 3 days to rate item or Mercari automatically rates and funds are released. No 30- to 60-day return policy like eBay!”

“The problem with Mercari for a seller is the inability to contact the potential buyer to make a deal. In the past, you were able to chat with potential buyers and we sold many items this way. Now they no longer have that option so selling is not great on that site any longer.”

 “It does not have an Offer Button, and when offers come, they come through the message board.”

Mercari received a 6.24 in Profitability; a 6.31 in Customer Service; a 6.14 in Communication; and a 6.92 in Ease of Use. It received a 6.89 from sellers when asked, “How likely are you to Recommend Mercari as a selling venue to a friend or colleague?”

Reader Comments:The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Great customer service. Easy to use. Up and coming website with nice customers.

I started selling on Mercari in 2018 and love it. Mercari has turned into my most profitable selling site.

Mercari is very easy to list on. I love its tiered shipping prices, which can save sellers or buyers a lot when shipping heavier or larger items. I like that they’re advertising (I’ve seen billboards in Denver). On the down side, customer service on the seller side is fairly nonexistent. But I’m planning to ramp up my listings in 2019.

I haven’t been on this site for long, but there is a lot of activity on this venue and items do sell…if you list and promote daily. Items often sell for higher prices here too. I will be working more on this site in 2019.

Easy to list. Lots of traffic. All CS communication is thru app, which can be frustrating waiting for responses

Their platform is excellent. Super easy to list items. However, I was limited to 100 items.

Super easy, lots of promotion. My listings come up pretty high in google searches. Sales steady if you work your shop. Good profit margin.

The entire selling process from listing, to shipping and receiving payment is just so simple and user friendly.

Mercari is my favorite selling site. Fees are great, ease of use is fabulous…so many wonderful things to say about them that is positive. The only down side is not enough advertising to capture wider audiences, but I do believe they are working on that. Mercari is very fair to their sellers and they do not tolerate replicas “knockoffs” and are very quick to deal with these type of issues. Love selling on Mercari.

Any issue customer service has been on top of it quickly. I was very skeptical to sell here at first, but over the last few months I have moved more and more product to Mercari and away from other selling sites.

Very accepting of the small seller, fee structure is simplified, and they always get back to you with viable answers when contacted through their customer service.

I was able to sell fine miscellaneous items and ship them out in a week with little effort. Super smooth as a seller.

I discovered Mercari two years ago and love it. If you do have a problem, it’s a little confusing on how to contact them, but oddly enough if you are in a message conversation with a potential buyer and they think you are violating a policy, they will pounce on you instantly.

Even if buyers do not rate, Mercari releases the funds. This is helpful because there are dishonest buyers out there and the seller is protected.

I really like Mercari, probably the simplest to list on. Seller reporting could be better (sales/fees for bookkeeping & tax purposes).

I have been using Mercari for nearly 3 years now and is probably going to be one of the only apps I will use to sell. The layout of the app gives buyers and sellers to either make a profit or buy something.

Easy to list and sell. The pictures do most of the work.

Mercari is great except when it comes to disputing an unfair rating (they are few and far between).

Love the site. Wish more non-trendier items were sought after on the site. Easy to use. For the most part, awesome buyers, great customer service.

I love this app. They make it very easy to use this app to sell my old and unwanted items for profit. Customer service is very helpful when needed and they make sure you get your money fast.

Very easy to list on Mercari. They need to include sales tax option and a way to communicate with them via phone. Love selling on here they just need to make an option for sellers to communicate with them anytime they have a question.

Super easy to use, reasonable fees. Site can use some adjustments to make selling for volume sellers easier (for relisting, viewing one’s items, etc.) but overall a great venue. No competing with China knockoffs, great options for shipping labels, and can communicate with buyer through an instant messaging system – brilliant.

Second favorite place to sell, even though a lot of buyers are either dishonest or scammers. Have had more issues on there than any other site with lost shipments…a curious thing considering most items are under $20. Still, moves cheaper merchandise better than any other site and fees are acceptable. Shipping rates phenomenal. Great overall.

I have been selling on Mercari for 5 months, and am very happy with the initial results. I use a laptop computer to do my listing on Mercari. Simple to list, but occasionally a listing gets lost or doesn’t post to the site. There are problems with ease of use, in that the organization of listings leaves much to be desired; multiple items can’t be listed in one listing; only single items. For certain collectible items, Mercari is very good. I look forward to listing many more items on Mercari in the future, beyond the 500 I have listed there now.

Listing is super simple, no way to relist an item if you have more than a quantity of one without doing a new listin,  and also only way to refresh a listing is to repost. Buyers have 3 days to rate item or Mercari automatically rates and funds are released. No 30 to 60 day return policy like eBay! Lots of buyers want to do combo listing to buy multiple items no easy way to do that really, but worth the time if they are buying several items. Crosspost items in Mercari and eBay so spend time each morning making sure sold items are deleted trying to keep inventory in sync. Have sold over 500 items in just a few months of listing on Mercari, several weeks sales are better than on eBay!

Mercari is pretty easy to use and they are not making you pay for advertisement yet.

Mercari does a poor job communicating, sending you to the FAQs almost every time. However, they have improved significantly this past year with redesigned website. Easy to use without a lot of BS. Straight 10% commission. I do not like their PROMOTE feature as the pricing they enforce is totally geared to make money for only them.

Very easy to use. They tend to side with the buyer even when they are wrong. I don’t like the fact that you can not respond to lower rated feedback, or even good feedback. You get the mediocre review and you can’t defend yourself, it is just THERE. Then they pull a GAME board for Married couples saying it is pornography!! They also are a double standard platform. You can’t sell something, but their bigger sellers can. I enjoy selling on it, again, because 99% of my items are ok to sell on any platform. BUT, to recommend, they would have to correct their flaws, because they are massive

Great potential, if there were more buyers, also many buyers are too frugal. Largely app related, which I do Not have, so many features are not available to desktop users, a negative in my view .

Ridiculous limits on number of items that can be listed prior to having sales.

Mercari, even though it’s about 5 years old, has a lot of improvement to do. I get sales – more than eBay – on the site, but it takes CS 48 hours to respond. And they don’t have a way to list multiple items (more than 1 quantity). So you have to list each item one at a time. It also does not have an Offer Button, and when offers come, they come through the message board.

Can’t do everything with the computer site as done on the phone app. Not the easiest to navigate.”

I’ve made several listings twice only to have them deactivated quickly. I don’t get it.

Search ability is challenging. Listings removed after 30 days of no activity. No way to contact customer support.

I’ve listed a hand full of things – with no success. I know many others love this site.

Sales are slow for us, but we have only been selling on there for a few months. We have a lot of likes but few offers/purchases. Still we will remain and learn more about the site in coming months.

It’s actually simple and fun, like when eBay was a fledgling, except their buyers are rude, no manners, with buyers and sellers, the shipping is Bipolar and schizophrenic.

I started off listing 30 items on Mercari. Mercari then removed almost all of my listings. They said my listings had to be removed since I included stock photos in my listings. I’ve never had this problem with any other website. Another big issue with Mercari is you get notifications telling you your item received a like. However, you can’t send the person that liked your item an offer! Really counterproductive to making any sells. My experience with selling on Mercari has been really bad.

They need to let sellers use PayPal for sale money deposits. Be a huge help.

It’s very easy, but the users / buyers 99% looking for bargain. Even if you sell below cost, still buyer need more bargain, almost 85% just chit chat in my more than 2 years experience…

It’s not the easiest platform to work through on the app. In addition, seeing a bunch of sold listings automatically scattered through the website makes it less appealing for buyers as they’re not looking to purchase sold items.

Mercari still needs to work on their overall site with the rudeness of buyers and sellers. The rating of the feedbacks are just down right wrong when a seller has done everything they are suppose to and the buyer gives either no rating or a poor rating and are allowed to leave rude remarks. Remarks should not be allowed to be left. If a seller has sold for a year and they wish rude feedback comments to be removed Mercari should automatically know what a stellar seller we are and remove the rudeness. The blocking of buyer and seller is nasty. There needs to be another way. Buyers if asking a question and a seller doesn’t respond right away and the buyer blocks the seller that buyer should complete their communication or Be band. A tougher system needs to go in place. Also if a seller is on her or his way to the post office to mail a package and comes home to a cancelled purchase there should be a button that states seller shipping so we can check off that we are on our way to the post office then click on shipped when we return.

No communication with buyer; no way to Negate negative feedback. They are still amateurs in this business. They cater to 20 something that only want something for next to nothing. I could go on, but suffice to say…..this is Swap Meet Prices you can get.

It’s just okay – the listing form is too long (too many clicks to accomplish a simple listing) – didn’t feel like my listings got any views, and I hate having the money tied up with them and having to be sent to my bank account – I wish they worked with PayPal.

Sellers Choice Awards:
We thank all readers who took the time to rate the marketplaces. If you have comments about the Sellers Choice Awards, please feel free to post them below.

Ina Steiner on EmailIna Steiner on LinkedinIna Steiner on Twitter
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.

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