December 18, 2023

How to Sell on Mercari in 2024: Mastering Mercari in 10 Steps

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In recent years, Mercari has earned its place as one of the major ecommerce marketplaces for buying and selling new and used secondhand goods. It's become a popular destination for buyers looking for anything from discontinued sneakers to nostalgic gaming consoles, and as of writing boasts an impressive 20 million monthly active users across the United States, United Kingdom, and Japan. So how can you know if Mercari is a good fit for your ecommerce business, and how do you decide what to sell on Mercari? In this guide, we'll go over how to sell on Mercari, and cover everything you need to know about setting up your Mercari store, what kind of selling fees you can expect, how to fulfil orders, and everything in between.  

How to sell on Mercari
Source: Mercari

What is Mercari?

Mercari is an online platform for selling secondhand goods, similar to Depop and Poshmark. It was established in Japan as a local platform for selling secondhand goods with the goal of reducing waste, but has since expanded to include US and UK markets, with over 4.93 million monthly active users conducting transactions in excess of a billion dollars on the US platform in 2023 alone. Like many secondhand ecommerce marketplaces, Mercari is very beginner-friendly, and has taken a simplified approach to everything from selling fees to shipping. Its wide-ranging product categories make it a good option for sellers selling all kinds of items across a wide range of niches, which enables you a lot of flexibility when deciding what to sell on Mercari. In short, Mercari offers a great start for sellers just dipping their toes into the online retail and reselling world, with virtually limitless potential for growth.  

How Mercari works

How Does Mercari Work?

Mercari provides a platform for users to buy and sell goods in new and good secondhand/used condition online. Unlike marketplaces such as Walmart and Amazon, Mercari itself doesn't list and sell products on its own platform. Instead, Mercari works by providing a platform for listing, selling, buying, and shipping items between users. Practically anyone can list on Mercari, and sell a variety of items ranging from clothes to electronics. Mercari has its own shipping system to facilitate simple order fulfilment for all kinds of goods, a simple listing process, and even an optional authentication service for high-ticket items.

What to sell on Mercari

What can you Sell on Mercari?

Mercari allows sellers to list practically anything they can realistically pack and ship, with few exceptions. You can sell clothes, accessories, toys, home goods, electronics, beauty products, pet products, books, and more on Mercari. Among the things you won't be able to sell are live animals, drugs, tobacco products, alcohol, and firearms. If you're not sure whether the items you're selling can be listed on Mercari, check out their prohibited items policy before listing.

How much does it cost to sell on mercari

What are Mercari's Selling Fees?

As a marketplace, Mercari does not charge any listing fees. All fees you'll pay are paid only after you've made a sale on the platform, meaning you'll be able to list items without putting any money on the line up front. Understanding how much it will cost you to sell on Mercari depends on several factors, including what you choose to sell, how you'll want to ship, and how you want to withdraw your earnings. Here, we'll take a look at the different kinds of Mercari selling fees to help you better estimate how much selling on Mercari is expected to cost you. Note that Mercari has a 10% transaction per order, meaning that that is the absolute least you can expect to pay in fees. This is Mercari's commission charged on every sale made via the platform, and is calculated as 10% of the transaction total.

Payment Processing Fees

Also known as a transaction fee, this is the fee you'll pay to Mercari for handling your buyer's payment and associated payment protections. This fee is calculated on the entire transaction amount (i.e. sale price plus shipping), and is equal to 2.9% + $0.50 for each transaction. This means that if you sold an item for $50, you can expect to pay $1.95 in payment processing fees to Mercari.  

Shipping & Delivery Fees

When you make a sale, you'll have the option of shipping with Mercari or shipping independently. We recommend the former for two reasons: in our experience it's usually cheaper than shipping on your own, and more importantly, automatically grants you protection from Mercari if anything goes wrong while the package is in transit. If you choose to ship with Mercari, however, you will need to pay Mercari for the shipping label. This is your shipping fee.

The cost of the shipping fee will vary depending on what you're shipping, its dimensions, and its weight, but you can expect an average savings of around 40% on postage compared to shipping on your own at standard retail prices thanks to Mercari's partnership with popular couriers like FedEx and UPS. For bulky and heavy items, Mercari has also partnered with Uber and Dolly to facilitate local delivery through Mercari Local. You can ship items that weigh up to 300lbs with Mercari Local, with the expected shipping fee based on the weight of the item.  

Mercari Authenticate & Warranty Fees

As a marketplace focused primarily on second hand and pre-owned goods, Mercari offers sellers the option of increasing trust with potential buyers by purchasing an authentication service called Mercari Authenticate. Mercari Authenticate gives buyers peace of mind when buying high-ticket items such as vintage luxury purses and other designer pieces.

When you purchase Mercari Authenticate for an item, you'll pay a flat fee of $5 for the authentication when you create your listing, and will need to submit photos of the item for Mercari's third-party authenticators to review. This will give your listing a Mercari Authenticated badge, and will automatically boost the listing in buyer searches. When the item sells, you'll pay an additional $10 to get a digital authentication certificate.

Earnings Withdrawal Fees

Once your listings start selling and you begin getting payments from buyers, your earnings will go into your Mercari balance. In some cases, withdrawing these funds may incur withdrawal fees.

If you withdraw funds using Instant Pay, you'll be liable for a $3 fee per transaction. For direct deposits to your bank, you'll only be liable for a fee if the withdrawal is rejected by your financial institution, or if the funds transferred are less than the $10 minimum transaction amount.

You won't be liable for any fees for direct deposits of $10 or more into your bank account.  

Cancellation Fees

Cancellations are highly discouraged on Mercari, regardless of whether they're initiated by buyers or sellers. As such, sellers who cancel an order once it's been placed due to being unable to fulfil it may be liable for a cancellation fee of 5% of the transaction amount, capped at $25 per order. This fee is levied at Mercari's discretion, and you will receive a warning prior to Mercari beginning to charge cancellation fees and imposing additional sanctions on your selling account due to cancellations.

How to sell on Mercari in 10 steps

10 Step Guide to Selling on Mercari

If you think Mercari could be the right platform for your ecommerce business, you can learn how to sell on Mercari and start listing products in just ten steps. Here, we'll take you through setting up your Mercari store, creating your first listing, and managing your Mercari store step-by-step, plus give you some insider tips for boosting buyer engagement and increasing sales.  

Step 1: Sign Up for a Mercari Account & Set Up Your Profile

Start by creating an account on Mercari. You can do this on the desktop website, or through the Mercari app. We recommend you download the Mercari app regardless, as it makes listing and account management simple and accessible on the go.

Since Mercari verifies every user on the platform, you'll need to provide your full name, address, birthday, SSN/TIN, and a copy of your government-issued ID in order to create your account.  

As soon as you've set up your account, you're ready to list. If you're using the Mercari app, simply swipe left to the Sell section, then tap the orange "Sell" button with the camera icon on the bottom of your screen. If you're listing via the website, click the purple "List an Item" button at the top right-hand corner of the screen.  

Sign up to Mercari

Step 2: Take High-Quality Photos of Your Items

The first thing you'll be prompted to do when creating a listing is to add photos of your item, and for good reason; they're one of the most important factors that nudge buyers towards make a purchase.

We recommend you take as many photos as possible of the item from different angles, zooming in on different details as you go. Your main picture should be of the entire item, preferably against a neutral background, with ample natural or artificial light. If the item has any flaws, make sure to include photos of each one. Mercari allows up to 12 item photos per listing, and we advise making use of all those slots. In our experience, buyers are much more likely to make a purchase when they have many detailed images of the item, since they're not able to interact with it in person before buying.

Step 3: Write Detailed Descriptions

Providing a good description of your item is important for buyers, but it's also important for SEO. While Mercari's algorithm works a bit differently to traditional search engines in that it lowers your listing's ranking over time, you should still make sure you use relevant keywords when writing your product descriptions. Make sure you use the keywords naturally in the text, and don't use trending but irrelevant keywords just to get more eyes on your listings.

Your descriptions should also note any flaws the item may have, and refer to the photo of said flaw by number (e.g. "small stain on left sleeve, see third photo").

Step 4: Price Your Items Competitively

Pricing items online is always a bit of a guessing game, but you'll want to try to make an educated guess when deciding on a price for your listing. To get a feel for the going market rate, look for similar items on Mercari to see how other sellers are pricing them. If you're not able to find anything similar on Mercari, you can look at other secondhand platforms like Depop and Poshmark. Price your item competitively, but keep in mind that you can always drop the price if your item isn't selling.

Step 5: Choose Shipping Options

As we mentioned earlier, Mercari has its own shipping options, but you can choose to ship your items on your own as long as you ship within 3 days and provide a valid tracking number. You'll need to decide two things when creating your listing: whether you're shipping with Mercari, and whether you want to offer your buyers free shipping.

We recommend shipping with Mercari as it means your shipment is covered by Mercari Shipping Protection up to $200 (or $20 for First-Class envelopes). We also recommend covering postage yourself when possible and offering your buyers free shipping, as buyers are much more likely to complete their purchase when they don't have to pay additional shipping and handling fees.

If you've chosen to ship with Mercari, you'll have many options for shipping, and Mercari will recommend you the most relevant one once you've input the weight and dimensions of the packed item. While this isn't required for listing, we don't recommend you skip over this step, as knowing your shipping costs beforehand will enable you to predict your bottom line for every sale.

Step 6: Utilize Promotion Features

When you sell on Mercari, you have two promotion features at your disposal: Offers to Likers and Promote. These promotional features are pretty straightforward, and are relatively simple to use both for novice and experienced sellers. Somewhat confusingly, however, both the tools can be accessed by tapping "Promote" on the item you want to promote, after which you'll be prompted to choose either Offers to Likers or Promote. Let's take a look at each promotional tool to see how it works and when to use it.  

Offers to Likers

Like the name implies, this promotional feature enables you to send an offer to people who've liked your item. In order to take advantage of this promotion, you'll need to offer a discount of at least 10%. Once you've dropped the price through the Offers to Likers feature, the last 50 people to have liked your item will receive a notification of the price drop. Note that your price drop is not permanent, and if no one takes you up on your discount offer, will go back up after 24 hours. Additionally, while you can use this option multiple times to promote the same item, the next time you use Offers to Likers you'll need to drop the item's historical low price (i.e. your previous discounted price) by 10%. This means that every time you make use of the Offers to Likers feature, you'll have to drop your price to a new low.


Mercari's Promote feature is designed to give your listings a boost in buyer searches, thereby upping its chances of being seen and increasing the likelihood of a sale. To take advantage of the Promote feature, you'll need to drop your listing price by at least 5%, and you will not be able to increase it again. After you've used Promote to boost your listing, the new price is permanent and binding. Promote can be used for up to 10 items in your Mercari shop every 24-hour period.  

Pro Tip: Mercari's algorithm prioritizes new listings over old ones, meaning that your listing will slowly slide down in search ranking over time. Instead of using the Promote feature and dropping your listing price, you can use ExportYourStore to take down, edit, and relist items to give them a boost in searches!

Promote listings on Mercari

Step 7: Respond to Messages and Offers Promptly

On the Mercari platform, buyers are able to message sellers directly either through the seller profile or through item listings. While responding to presale questions does not get counted towards your seller metrics and has no effect on your Fast Responder status and badge, we recommend answering buyers as quickly as possible, ideally within 24 hours. From our experience, offering great pre-sale service can be a great motivator for buyers when deciding to make a purchase, plus it helps strengthen your reputation as a seller.

The same goes for buyer offers, which are enabled on all Mercari listings. Buyers will be able to send you offers for your items, but won't be able to lowball you since they won't be able to submit an offer below 75% of the item's listed price. For bundle offers, however, buyers are able to offer any amount they want. If you're not interested in managing offers on your own, we recommend taking advantage of Mercari's Smart Offers feature. This feature enables you to set a minimum price you're willing to accept for your item, and will automatically send one-time counteroffers to buyers on your behalf.

Step 8: Ship Your Items Out Quickly and Securely

Once you've received an order, you'll need to ship it out and confirm as much with a valid tracking number within 3 days. You will need to package it securely, and make sure your packaging is compliant with the shipping method you've chosen. Mercari provides some tips in their Help Center on how to pack your items if you're using Mercari Shipping, so you can know ahead of time if the packaging you've chosen is compliant and avoid any late shipments or returned packages.

Step 9: Leave Feedback for Buyers

Mercari places significant emphasis on ratings, and encourages buyers to rate sellers within three days of their order's delivery. Once you've received your seller rating for a given transaction, you'll be able to rate your buyer too. Only once both ratings have been submitted is the transaction considered complete, and Mercari will transfer the payment to your Mercari balance.

Step 10: Continuously Update Your Inventory

Aside from refreshing and relisting old items, you'll want to keep your inventory fresh and interesting to keep buyers engaged. We recommend focusing on a specific niche, as this has a higher likelihood of attracting repeat buyers and enables you to establish a loyal customer base. Stay on the hunt for new items to list, and list them easily in bulk with ExportYourStore.

Tips for selling on Mercari

Tips for Selling Successfully on Mercari

Whether you're new to the world of ecommerce or just looking to get your bearings before selling on Mercari, we've spoken to our most veteran Mercari sellers to get some insider tips and insights from their experience selling on the platform. Check out these five tips for successful Mercari selling from day one.

Utilize Keywords in Your Listings for SEO

When you first create your Mercari listing, it's important to include relevant keywords in the listing title and item description. In the title, you'll want to use the main keywords that indicate what it is you're selling. If you're listing a Chanel handbag, for example, you'll want your title to specify that it's a Chanel Small Classic Flap Handbag in Black Calfskin with Gold Tone Medal Hardware.

In your item description, include your keywords naturally in the text, but avoid overusing them. It's not the quantity of keywords that matter, but their content, and overusing keywords (known as keyword stuffing) can actually have a detrimental effect on your listing's performance.

Finally, make sure to use product tags in your listing. They work just like hashtags on social media, and are great for snagging buyers who are looking for a #vintage #handbag, but not specifically a Chanel Classic Flap Handbag.

Ultimately, the more details you have and the more optimized your listings are, the better Mercari's algorithm can match them with relevant buyer searches, and the more attractive they will be to buyers.  

Offer Discounts and Promotions

No matter the platform, discounts and promotions are a powerful tool for driving sales. Mercari gives its sellers two promotional tools: Offers to Likers and Promote. When you promote an item with Offers to Likers, you'll be required to drop your listing price by at least 10%. Once you've done that, Mercari sends a notification of the price drop to the last 50 buyers who liked your item. The discounted price is valid for 24 hours, after which your listing will go back to its original price.

The second option is Promote, which gives your listing a boost in buyer search rankings. To qualify for Promote, you'll need to drop your price by at least 5%, and can't raise it above that discounted price again.

Utilize Social Media to Promote Listings

Social media is another powerful promotional tool for online sellers. With a relatively low barrier of entry and a practically endless potential for growth, social media is a great way to get the word out about your Mercari items.

If social media isn't quite your thing, consider partnering with influencers to promote your Mercari store. Mercari doesn't offer a platform for sellers to create coupons for buyers like eBay does, but an informal influencer coupon code sent in an offer message is a good way to get around the lack of built-in coupons.

Utilize Mercari's Resources

Mercari has a vested interest in seller success, and provides a variety of tools and resources for sellers to help them succeed. Mercari has an extensive help center, with simple and concise guides to everything on the platform. Secondly, Mercari maintains and regularly updates an impressive blog filled with tips, ideas, and inspiration for secondhand sellers. Finally, Mercari's authentication services enable you to protect yourself while providing your buyers peace of mind when purchasing, an invaluable tool when selling high-ticket designer pieces.

Stay Active and Engaged on the Platform

Selling on Mercari is not complicated or particularly intensive, but it does require your daily attention. You'll have to say on top of orders and ship them out on time, but you'll also need to stay active on the platform itself. Whether it's using ExportYourStore to update and relist items to keep them at the top of searches, replying to offers, answering buyer messages on chat, or leaving ratings on time so you can get paid, Mercari requires your attention and engagement on a daily basis.

Final Thoughts and Key Takeaways: Why You Should Consider Selling on Mercari

From our experience with so many ecommerce marketplaces, we've learned that Mercari is one of the easier marketplaces for first-time sellers to get started on. It's very accessible to sellers who have limited experience selling online, and it all comes at a cost of relatively low selling fees. If you're interested in selling secondhand goods, we recommend you give Mercari a try, but don't limit yourself to Mercari alone. With ExportYourStore, you can you’re your secondhand goods simultaneously on Mercari, Depop, Poshmark, and eBay, with virtually no added work.

Mercari is an ideal selling platform for selling new and used secondhand goods, and provides a good balance of flexibility and built-in features. Unlike Poshmark, it won't force you to use proprietary labels, but will give you the option of using them if you choose, and unlike eBay, it won't require you to upload GTINs just to list your products. For first-time sellers, Mercari is a great first step into the ecommerce world.

FAQs for Selling on Mercari

Still on the fence or not sure what to sell on Mercari? Still not quite sure how Mercari stacks up against other online marketplaces? Check out our frequently asked questions to learn more about how to sell on Mercari.

- Q: How much money can I make selling on Mercari?

The amount of money you can make selling on Mercari depends on various factors, including the types of items you sell, their condition, pricing strategy, and your overall selling activity. That said, your potential earnings are unlimited if you are willing to put in the work. Mercari has relatively low selling fees in comparison to similar marketplaces like Poshmark, but they're still taking a 10% minimum cut of every sale. With that rough number in mind plus the average expected transaction amount based on the items you plan to sell on Mercari, you'll be able to gauge your potential earnings per sale and extrapolate that to overall earnings.

- Q: What are the benefits of using Mercari over other online marketplaces?

Mercari's main selling point is its ease of use for new sellers that's perfectly balanced with the flexibility that more seasoned sellers crave. Mercari has a relatively straightforward and accessible fee structure, an easy-to-use (and optional) shipping program, strong seller protections, and a marketplace-wide policy of no returns, giving you a great starting point as a seller.

- Q: How can I utilize Mercari's resources to improve my sales?

Sellers on Mercari have two promotional tools at their disposal: Offers to Likers and Promote. The former requires you to drop your listing price by at least 10% for a 24-hour period, and sends the discounted price to the last 50 buyers that liked your item. The latter requires you to permanently drop your listing price by at least 5%, and boosts your listing's raking in buyer searches.

Another tool that can help improve sales is Mercari Authenticate, a service purchased by sellers through Mercari that provides third-party authentication for certain luxury goods. It costs between $5-$10, and gives you and your buyer added peace of mind when selling high-ticket designer items.  

Finally, Mercari's selection of seller badges – Fast Responder, Go Getter, Reliable, and more – reward sellers for providing good quality service on the platform and help you earn buyer trust. Make a point of earning and keeping seller badges, and watch your sales grow.

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