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Sellers Choice 2020 Marketplace Ratings: Mercari

Mercari

Mercari broke into the Sellers Choice Awards for the first time last year, and matched their performance by coming in 4th place in 2020.  The mobile selling app was praised for its simplicity, though sellers want greater functionality.

In January 2020, EcommerceBytes readers rated 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 10 online marketplaces included in the survey.

Profitability:

Customer Service:

Communication:

Ease of Use:

Would you recommend:

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

Summary:
Mercari came in 4th place in the 2020 Sellers Choice Awards for Online Marketplaces.

Easy and no listing fees, many sellers said – and the 10% commission fee was deemed reasonable by sellers who enjoyed the platform.

As far as features, several sellers said Mercari’s shipping features were very good – “makes shipping a breeze,” said one.

Another seller wrote, “Labels can be incorporated into your sale and emailed to seller.” However, they added, “Drawback: you can only do a single item as they are not set up to do multiples.”

While simplicity was praised, sellers also said they wanted greater functionality – including the ability to import listings from other platforms. “It doesn’t allow for customization of item information or multiple quantities,” wrote one. Another said, “It’s a fine platform for a casual seller cleaning out stuff from their garage, but it is not well suited for professionals trying to make a real living.”

“Mercari REALLY needs a batch uploader. I don’t have time to list 2500+ items one at a time,” wrote another seller.

A common complaint among sellers rating ecommerce platforms in Sellers Choice is that many seem to attract “lowballers” – buyers who don’t want to pay full price. That’s true on Mercari, some said, but one seller pointed to a feature on Mercari they said helps with that problem. “I can post as many items as I want for free, and it is able to kind of block out lowballers by only allowing people to make offers 20% off the asking price.”

You can’t choose not to get offers on Mercari, said one seller, “so we always list everything a couple of dollars higher than eBay so have a little room to deal on offers.”

“Buyers are MUCH more interactive,” wrote one seller – although that may not be seen as a positive by everyone.

One seller said they liked Mercari’s authentication and instant-pay features, which “increased my trust on Mercari.”

Some sellers praised Mercari’s returns policy. “Like the fact that buyers can’t rent items and then return, they only have 3 days to open a return and then the transaction is over and done and money is ours,” said one.

The same seller noted some improvements made in 2019 – now sellers can search their own items when they need to delete or edit something. Remaining on the seller’s wish list: “It would be great if you could list quantities greater than one or have a relist button when an item sells. Also if it was easier for buyers to follow your items.”

One problem cited by a seller: “You are not allowed to share outside info, like an email address to receive pics of damaged items in transit.”

Another seller noted, “The ability to communicate with a buyer disappears after a few days, which is unfortunate in the event a package is returned to sender, there is no way to really get in touch with the customer to offer to resend it or find out if they no longer want it, etc.”

The same seller noted an issue they had with offers: “The other thing I don’t like is once you make an offer to likers, you can only offer a lower price in the future. If you have a whole new crop of likers on the product who didn’t get the first offer, it does not matter. This does not inspire sellers to make very attractive offer is knowing that they only have one shot.”

Several sellers said customer service was sorely lacking. Wrote one seller, “We have the ability to contact Mercari tech support only regarding accounts / payments issues otherwise we have no way of contacting tech support for any other questions.”

“You also have to wait for feedback from the customer before Mercari will release your money to the Mercari site,” one seller wrote. “If you want to transfer your funds to your bank account, that can take a few more days to process.”

Mercari received a 5.87 in Profitability; a 5.52 in Customer Service; a 5.67 in Communication; and a 6.90 in Ease of Use. It received a 6.24 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
I love Mercari! Fast sales, easy to use. Again, the fees are kind of rough but there are other platforms with higher fees…

Easy to use and decent sales, very good with their excellent 3 say policy and that’s it, much less bad buyers,

Mercari is a great site for small businesses. Mercari should advertise that they sell a ton of new items not just used

They are the best site I have ever found. I have made a lot of sales and I am rated as a 5 stars seller. Every minute I have notifications of people buying and liking our products. Usually make at least a sale a day but mostly two to three sales a day. I am super happy and grateful to them and have made over 300 sales since I started with them in December 2018. They are awesome, great communication, recognition, and terrific traffic.

This is a great platform. Has the best shipping rates. Once you rate the transaction it is done. None of that eBay crap where the customer has gained 20 pounds and wants to return a shirt from 2 months ago for a refund. Once you rate on Mercari that’s it.

I can post as many items as I want for free, and it is able to kind of block out lowballers by only allowing people to make offers 20% off the asking price. I have made over 100 sales on here within a half a year and was even able to sell some stuffed animals (which is far too hard to get noticed on certain platforms such as eBay). There are a good amount of sellers on there without it being overwhelming, so the competition is low and even new sellers can get their items noticed. I have also never had issues selling an item, and the one time my item arrived broken the seller let me keep it and Mercari resolved the issue and refunded me quickly.

Features like authenticate and instant pay has increased my trust on Mercari. Along with that, I really love their pricing guidance during listing. Now, I feel satisfied while listing my items.

Been on there about 18 months. 10% fees are attractive. Buyers are MUCH more interactive. It’s quickly reached about 20%+ of my sales. Mostly $20-30 items, but, things that have sat on eBay for a year move faster there. Doing professional listings as I do on eBay on Mercari, I really stand out from other sellers. It’s been a very nice addition. Plan on expanding on it this year

So much quicker and easier to list on than eBay. Have made some improvements to the site this year, can now search your own items when you need to delete or edit something. Would be great if you could list quantities greater than one or have a relist button when an item sells. Also if it was easier for buyers to follow your items. We sold over 700 items on Mercari in 2019 our first year listing and certainly helped boost our sales where they were lagging on eBay. Cannot choose to not get offers on Mercari, so we always list everything a couple of dollars higher than eBay so have a little room to deal on offers. Like the fact that buyers can’t rent items and then return, they only have 3 days to open a return and then the transaction is over and done and money is ours.

Love this site! Selling hundreds of items at higher prices than eBay. Moved my main store over from eBay to Mercari. Over 1,000 sales in a short amount of time, never had a bad rating, never been scammed, never had a return. Free non stop listings at a flat 10%, this is the way to run a selling site. No gimmicks, no stores, no BS, just sell. I predict Mercari will overtake most of these smaller sites, I’m sending everyone to Mercari. I love Mercari.

Mercari is a good site for selling. Just don’t sell as much as I would like. Does need a little work for the way it presents itself for buyers.

Mercari 10% fee is only thing negative. I make sales on this site. Lots of sales. I don’t mind the fees if I’m actually selling things. I love it! Listing is super easy and doesn’t take much time.

Wow! These guys are the best! No listing fees. Keep you in constant contact with people who show an interest in your item. Listing is easy as pie. Labels can be incorporated into your sale and emailed to seller. Drawback: you can only do a single item as they are not set up to do multiples, but overall so far, the best I’ve seen.

Creating listings is super easy, you can promote and send offers easily…it’s just great all around! They need better marketing because a lot of people still don’t know about Mercari

Mercari is now my top selling site and growing strong. I love Mercari, how they set it up not to make their money off of sellers backs, no games, no scammers, great feedback system, unlimited listings, and I make a ton of money over there! America, Japan is at your back, pay attention. Mercari is awesome AND I sell for higher prices than eBay. Win win.

This is where I’m making the money at. Started off slow, haven’t been around long on it, but the only problem you are not allowed to share outside info, like an email address to receive pics of damaged items in transit.

Not a lot of traffic but very easy to use and some sales. Seems Mercari is growing its tools, which is very good.

Mercari is a great place to list things. However, it’s really hard to get ahold of anybody if you have a problem. The ability to communicate with a buyer disappears after a few days, which is unfortunate in the event a package is returned to sender, there is no way to really get in touch with the customer to offer to resend it or find out if they no longer want it, etc. The other thing I don’t like is once you make an offer to likers, you can only offer a lower price in the future. If you have a whole new crop of likers on the product who didn’t get the first offer, it does not matter. This does not inspire sellers to make very attractive offer is knowing that they only have one shot.

Instant pay is fabulous! Also their authenticate feature makes it so much more trustworthy so the buyer can trust what they are getting!

An excellent ecommerce venue for beginners, Mercari is very easy to use! For anyone that is very casually selling or has never sold online before I would definitely recommend it. It basically guides you through the whole selling process and even makes shipping a breeze. Where this company fails is in Customer Service. When (and I do mean “when” and not “if”) you encounter a problem it’s a nightmare! They are slow to respond (usually several days). Answers are often canned and not applicable or unspecific. They roll out updates quite frequently and unfortunately some seem to follow the pattern of eBay’s pro-buyer attitude. However, I commend their ITs as updates do not usually affect functionality of the site. Bugs and page issues are very rare.

It’s easy to upload photos and list the things I want to sell. I like the communication between the people using Mercari and all the communication I’ve had from Mercari itself has been very helpful and speedy.

Mercari is easy to setup, but very basic. It doesn’t allow for customization of item information or multiple quantities.

The customer on this is looking for bargains. Selling price is usually lower. Otherwise this is a good site to sell. Straight forward and no hidden fees.

I wish they would make certain things easier to access, such as the way we look online at our listings (rather than one line at a time, I can look at an entire page). I would like a broader range of shipping choices.

It’s a fine platform for a casual seller cleaning out stuff from their garage, but it is not well suited for professionals trying to make a real living.

Can’t stand this site – hardly any views and they spam my phone with message after message after message.

You have to decide if you can afford to pay their 10 percent commission on everything you sell. You also have to wait for feedback from the customer before Mercari will release your money to the Mercari site. If you want to transfer your funds to your bank account, that can take a few more days to process. It’s an odd way to do business.

Mercari makes selling easy for beginners but platform is not extensive enough to support larger volume sellers.

I have made 1 sale so far on Mercari. They need to offer a 4×6 format label option for sellers who have those printers. Very inefficient to print on paper to cut and paste! Direct deposit went fine and arrived in 2 days to my bank. The surcharge for instant payment at $2 is ridiculous, as well as asking for my drivers license. No way will I give that info! Please offer import from eBay.

Slow sales. Everything is manual. No imports makes it slow to list. Will be shutting down our Mercari account soon.

Shipping is more expensive than most other sites for items 1-3 pounds.

Mercari’s auto price dropping function makes sure you don’t make a profit from your sale. Fee for even a cheap item is way too expensive and you get another fee if you withdraw less than 10 dollars to your own money to your bank.

The customer service is by far up there with craigslist for seller protection. The worst. Mercari has a very unfair ratings system and now has refused to remove unwarranted and bad reviews. Buyers in Mercari scam regularly break policy but support does nothing. It’s easy to list but very hard to get views. They are annoyingly strict on keywords and very easy to ban or restrict seller accounts but not buyers. Buyers get away with everything on the app and Mercari protects them. Mercari allowed a girl I blocked to create a 2nd profile to buy my item. This happens often and they even have horrible groups on Facebook where other sellers will Gang up on people and report their account until it’s suspended or banned when they see fit. Mercari support does not care one bit.

Mercari makes changes without notice. Unhappy with new shipping guidelines. Customer service is bad.

Whatever online help is there, that’s it. There is very little choice to ask for help for any specific question(s). We have the ability to contact Mercari tech support only regarding accounts/payments issues otherwise we have no way of contacting tech support for any other questions. We are getting views/likes from people but not many people are buying our products. Mercari’s automated pop-up notifications constantly bother us to reduce the price of our items to sell our items. We have reduced our prices so much so that it’s literally at loss for us in some cases but still our items are still sitting with us. Not much luck. We are selling brand new items in their original packages of many items. We had reduced our prices way lower than what we paid for but still not able to sell them. We are disappointed.

Mercari REALLY needs a batch uploader. I don’t have time to list 2500+ items one at a time!

Most items have to be priced fairly inexpensively to sell, and then be prepared to come down on price even more.

The site is easy to use, but the low-ball offers are just too much to deal with. That is not Mercari’s direct fault, but there are things they could do to help sellers.

Waste of time. Their site has a technical issue that I even got my ISP involved to explain to them. They were responsive to emails, but they blamed me despite being shown proof of the problem, and didn’t fix it. Sold one item on there and left. Waste of time.

I like selling at Mercari as a friend referred me years back. Even though I have been through all the computer changes at the site, one issue is ridiculous. There is NO BUTTON to just click on to make it simple to reach customer service. You have to go through pages and pages in the system to get to an area which may have no meaning for your question or complaint to reach a customer service rep. Some Reps read what you have written and others blow right through that the responses are uneducated. In turn the sellers has to re-explain why they are making contact with customer service.

Their seller protection is a bad as eBay’s. Buyers are super cheap and want everything for free. People now seem to return things for made up reasons.

No real seller reporting – or buyer reporting either. Difficult to transact a return. Another consumer to consumer feel with many unscrupulous sellers.

They take 10% of your profits and they hold your money for 3 days, or until the customer “rates” you – whichever comes first. They have a desktop version which is wonderful for visually impaired people. But not all features are available. So I have to also us their mobile app in tandem with the desktop. They need to improve on that.

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.