Mercari is testing a new same-day home pickup and delivery service for buyers and sellers on its mobile-selling platform.
The test, running in San Francisco, is powered by on-demand delivery platform Postmates. Buyers will be able to search by Same-Day Delivery to find eligible items.
The timing is opportune given many people’s reluctance to travel to the post office or meet with others amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The service also has the potential to save sellers time and money for items that don’t need to be packaged as carefully as they would if being shipped. (“No packaging is required, but sellers should prepare their item to be left on a doorstep,” the company explained.)
Mercari is limiting what can be sent through the service:
“Mercari Now is perfect for bulkier items that are too expensive to ship. Items listed with Mercari Now must be less than 50 pounds with maximum size of 59” x 35” x 15” (the dimensions of a Toyota Prius trunk). Once a buyer purchases an item, Mercari matches their schedule with the buyer’s for pickup and drop-off by a neighborhood Postmates driver.”
The service will normally cost $10.99, but Mercari is offering an introductory price of $4.99.
Mercari began reaching out to its most active sellers in San Francisco last month, encouraging them to list popular items with Same-Day Delivery in preparation for the launch.
While it may seem the pandemic was an influence, the company had actually begun developing the Mercari Now service last year. CEO John Lagerling said many users want same-day service.
In addition, he said many sellers find packaging and shipping the least favorite part of the selling process. “If our users in San Francisco embrace Mercari Now the way we expect they will, we have an aggressive expansion plan for 2020 and beyond,” Lagerling said.
Interestingly the company noted that Mercari’s daily traffic has increased dramatically since the Coronavirus pandemic and quarantine began. In April, the average Mercari seller made $183, a 50% increase vs. April 2019. Around the same time, Mercari sellers surpassed $1 billion in sales since the marketplace’s US launch in 2014.