February 20, 2024

Understanding Mercari Fees for Selling: What Need to Know About Mercari Selling Fees in 2024

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Selling fees are a reality of online selling, no matter which marketplace you're listing on or what you’re selling. Every platform has different selling fees and other associated selling costs, making it difficult for online sellers to parse through the various terms and fee calculation formulas to understand what kind of fees they can expect to pay for selling on each platform, a problem that becomes particularly challenging if they're looking to expand their business to sell on multiple channels.

One of the latest marketplaces to make its mark on the ecommerce world is Mercari, the steadily-growing Japanese ecommerce platform whose US site boasts an impressive 23 million monthly active users. If you're considering selling on the platform, you've likely tried to understand what the Mercari fees for selling might look like for your ecommerce business. To help you better understand how much it could cost you to sell on the platform, we've created this simple seller's guide to Mercari fees for selling, listing, and advertising products on the Mercari marketplace. Keep reading for a simple breakdown of Mercari selling fees, how to calculate them, an explanation of how to promote Mercari listings plus how to calculate advertising costs.

What are Mercari fees

Overview of Mercari Fees

We'll begin by taking a look at what are the Mercari fees that the platform may charge sellers in various listing, selling, and order management scenarios. This overview will help you understand the associated costs of each step of the listing and selling process. We'll examine the Mercari fees for selling, listing, advertising, refunding, shipping, and more, to give you a better understanding of the fees you can expect when selling on Mercari.  

1. Listing Fees

Unlike many ecommerce marketplaces, listing a product on Mercari is free, no matter how many listings you create. This is great for sellers who are just starting out in the world of secondhand online selling because it enables them to get a better feel for their customer base and the market rates for their products. The fact that there are no listing fees, however, does not mean that selling on Mercari is free – the marketplace recoups the costs of running its platform in a variety of other fees, which we'll cover below.

2. Payment Processing Fees

Payment processing fees on Mercari are charged as a percentage of the total order amount plus a flat fee. The total order amount includes shipping, even if shipping was paid for by the seller. Payment processing fees on Mercari are calculated as 2.9% of the total transaction amount, plus a flat rate of $0.50.

3. Transaction Fees

Transaction fees on Mercari as essentially Mercari's cut of every sale, and are calculated as a minimum fee of 10% of the transaction total. Mercari charges its sellers this fee on each completed transaction. In other words, this is a 10% commission, and is the absolute minimum you can expect to pay in fees to Mercari whenever you sell an item on the platform.

4. Balance Withdrawal Fees

In addition to the Mercari fees for selling an item, you may also have to pay a fee for withdrawing the earnings from your Mercari balance into your bank account. For direct deposit withdrawals (i.e. directly to your bank account), you'll pay a flat fee of $2 for deposits under $10 or deposits that have failed/been rejected by your bank. For successful withdrawals of at least $10, you won't have to pay a fee.

Furthermore, if you're using Instant Pay, you'll pay a fee of $3 per transaction regardless of the withdrawal amount.

5. Shipping Fees

Sellers on Mercari have two shipping options: shipping out orders with a label they purchased directly from a carrier, or purchasing a label through Mercari. If you fulfill orders with your own postage, you will not be liable for any shipping fees to Mercari. The majority of sellers, however, opt for the second option – purchasing a shipping label through Mercari. Mercari labels support shipping for items weighing 50lbs or less, and measuring 34" or less in length. When purchasing a shipping label through Mercari, you'll be able to choose a USPS, FedEx, or UPS label. Mercari shipping fees range between $3.99 to $95, depending on the size and weight of your item, as well as the shipping method and carrier you choose.

6. Promoted Listing Fees

There are two promotional features available to sellers on Mercari: Promote and Send Offers to Likers.

Mercari Promote gives your listings a boost in buyer searches, thereby increasing your chances of making a sale. Since Mercari ranks newer listings higher than old ones, your listing ranks lower in search results over time. To help you keep your listing visible to potential buyers, Mercari launched the Promote feature. Take advantage of this feature by going to your listings on the Mercari app and tapping "Promote." You'll then be prompted to drop the listing price by at least 5% in order to be eligible to enroll your listing in the Promote feature. This price drop is permanent and binding, meaning you won't be able to raise your listing price again after you've dropped it, and that you'll have to sell your item at this price if a buyer purchases it.

Offers to Likers is another listing promotion feature on Mercari that requires you to temporarily discount your selling price (by at least 10%) to select buyers. When you enroll a given listing in this promotion, Mercari sends out a notification to the last 50 buyers who've liked your item with the discounted price. They then have 24 hours to purchase the item at the discounted price before it expires. Buyers who have not received the offer will still see the listing's original price.

While neither of these promotional features carry fees in the traditional sense, we've included them because they will cost you quite a bit in potential revenue loss due to the required price drops.

7. Refund Processing (Cancellation) Fees

Since it is a secondhand marketplace, returns are generally not allowed on Mercari, and buyers are instead encouraged to relist purchases on the platform if they've decided the item is not a good fit for them. You generally won't be required to accept returns as a seller, and will only need to refund (with or without return, at Mercari's discretion) an item if the buyer received it damaged or if it is not as you described in your listing (i.e. major flaws weren't noted, for example). Additionally, if you cannot fulfill the order as agreed for any reason, you must cancel it and refund the buyer.

You first few cancellations or refunds will not incur Mercari fees, but if Mercari sees that you cancel or refund more often than you should, they may charge a cancellation fee. This fee is calculated as 5% of the transaction total, and is capped at $25 per transaction. Mercari will warn you before you reach the maximum cancellation threshold and therefore become liable for cancellation fees.

8. Legal Fees

In rare instances where Mercari has been instructed to provide information about one of its users to law enforcement, Mercari may charge legal fees for processing and handling the request. As a seller, you are not liable for these fees, as they are paid for by the parties who've made the request.

9. Mercari Authenticate Fees

Mercari offers an optional authentication service for certain items listed and sold on the platform, intended to give buyers peace of mind and sellers a seal of approval when selling high-ticket designer items. This service is known as Mercari Authenticate, and is offered for certain designer wallets, watches, glasses, shoes, and handbags listed for over $100. For most items, Mercari Authenticate is optional (but from our experience, strongly recommended), unless you've exceeded the Authenticate threshold listing price for your particular listing category.  

Whether required or purchased voluntarily, you'll pay for Mercari Authenticate in two phases – first when you list the item, and secondly when the item sells. The initial fee, which gives your listing an authenticate badge, is $5, and the second, which provides a certificate of authenticity, is $10.

In total, Mercari Authenticate will cost you $15 per authenticated sold item, regardless of the transaction amount.

Hmuch are Mercari fees

How to Calculate Mercari Fees

Calculating Mercari fees is relatively straightforward for two reasons: Mercari has a simple fee structure, and there is a minimum transaction fee that Mercari charges for every transaction on the platform. The former means that it's relatively simple to predict how much you'll need to pay for a given transaction, while the latter gives you a "best case scenario" minimum to work with. In this section, we'll give you a few examples of various Mercari fee calculations and work out how much are Mercari fees for a given transaction.

Examples of Fee Calculations

For simplicity's sake, our example listing be for a $150 Gucci handbag whose postage weight is 3.3lbs and packs into a standard shipping box measuring 12 x 8 x 5 inches. Postage for this item paid for by the seller (i.e. free shipping), and it will be authenticated with Mercari Authenticate. For the resulting example transaction, we'll calculate the payment processing fee, authentication fees, transaction fee, shipping costs and applicable fees, and the costs associated with using the Promote and Offers to Likers features to advertise your listing.  

1. Calculating Shipping Costs

For our example, we'll use Mercari Shipping as the shipping method for our listing. When selling on Mercari, we strongly recommend purchasing your shipping label from Mercari by selecting "Mercari Shipping" as your shipping method when creating your listing. You'll enjoy competitive shipping rates, and better seller protections via Mercari Shipping Protection if something goes wrong while the item is in transit.

If we take a look at the Mercari Shipping rates, we can see that UPS offers the best standard shipping rate for a package weighing 3.3lbs and measuring 12 x 8 x 5 inches.

Mercari shipping price

Postage costs for this order will be $13.50 to deliver to our buyer.

This brings our total transaction amount to $163.50.

2. Calculating Payment Processing Fees

Formula: [2.9% of the total transaction amount] + $0.50

Calculation: [0.029 x 163.50] + $0.50 = 4.7415 ≈ $4.75

This means that Mercari will charge you $4.75 for payment processing on a $163.50 transaction.

3. Calculating Mercari Authenticate Fees

Formula: [$5 fee to receive Mercari Authenticate listing badge] + [$10 fee for Mercari Authenticate certificate]

Calculation: $5 + $15 = $15

This means that we'll pay a flat fee of $15 to authenticate our item.

Mercari authentication fees

4. Calculating Promote Button Costs

To use the Promote button to promote a listing, sellers have to drop the current listing price by at least 5%.

Formula: [Listing Price] x 0.05 = Price Drop

Calculation: 150 x 0.05 = 7.5

This means that we’ll need to drop the listing price by $7.50 in order for the listing to qualify for the Promote feature.

5. Calculating Offers to Likers Feature Costs

To use the Offers to Likers feature to promote a listing, a seller must drop the price by at least 10%.

Formula: [Listing Price] x 0.10 = Price Drop

Calculation: 150 x 0.10 = 15

This means that we'll have to drop the listing price by $15 in order to send personal discounted price offers to people who've liked the listing through the Offers to Likers feature.

6. Calculating Transaction Fees

Formula: [Total transaction amount] x 0.10 = Commission on transaction

Calculation: 163.50 x 0.10 = 16.35

This means that the transaction fee for our order is $16.35.

Mercari transaction fees

Tips for Reducing Fees

As discussed earlier, selling fees are an inevitability, no matter what marketplace you're selling on. And while there is no real (and non-policy-violating) way to avoid all selling fees, there are several ways to reduce some selling costs associated with selling on Mercari.

Firstly, you don't really need to permanently drop your selling price with the Promote feature in order to keep your listing at the top of buyer searches. Instead, you simply need to relist your item to take advantage of Mercari's search algorithm's prioritization of new listings. You can easily do this for any number of listings quickly and easily with ExportYourStore, which enables you to remove and relist items in bulk.

Secondly, employing general good SEO practices on your listings can do wonders for your visibility and conversion rate, which can save you money by maintaining your optimal listing price, rather than requiring you to lower it via the Offers to Likers and Promote features. These include optimizing your titles, including multiple item photos, and utilizing relevant product tags in your listing.

Additionally, consider creating bundle listings for things that wouldn't be worth the hassle – and fees – to sell on their own. Your buyers get a discount, and you sell items that you otherwise wouldn't have bothered to list on their own in the first place.

Finally, strategically plan your earnings withdrawals in a way that makes sense, and avoid unnecessary withdrawal fees. Withdraw only to your bank account, and ensure that you're always over the $10 withdrawal minimum to avoid the $2 withdrawal fee. If you can avoid it, don’t use Instant Pay, since you're liable for a $3 fee for each Instant Pay withdrawal.

We'll also take this opportunity to add an honorable mention on the kind of fees you shouldn't try to minimize: Mercari Authenticate and Mercari Shipping.

If you're selling a high-ticket item, you'll likely be required to purchase authentication for your listing, but even if Mercari doesn't require it, we strongly recommend it. In our experience, a Mercari Authenticate badge not only gives honest buyers peace of mind, it also ensures that less-than-honest buyers who'd claim an authentic item was counterfeit stay clear of your listing. Mercari Shipping, aside from giving you competitive rates, also affords you valuable protections against damage or misdelivery, making it a far better option than shipping orders out on your own in most cases.

Tips for Managing Mercari Fees

Having a solid understanding Mercari fees is the first step towards managing them as part of your overall selling strategy. Now that you're familiar with the various fees on Mercari and understand how to calculate each one, we'll take a look at how to manage them as part of a broader Mercari selling strategy. We'll discuss how to strategically price your items while taking into account the applicable Mercari fees, how and when to offer free shipping, how bundles can help you save on shipping costs, and more.

Price Your Items Strategically

No matter which marketplace you sell on, you'll need a solid pricing strategy that takes into account that marketplace's selling costs, including its various selling fees. On Mercari, we know that the absolute minimum fee you'll pay is the 10% transaction fee (Mercari's commission) whenever you make a sale. Additionally, you'll be liable for a payment processing fee of 2.9% plus $0.50 per transaction. Therefore, your pricing strategy must take these two costs into account as an absolute minimum starting point for your projected Mercari selling costs.

A simple way to do this is by creating an automatic price adjustment for all items listed on Mercari. You can easily do this with ExportYourStore with custom channel-specific pricing rules that enable you to simultaneously sell on multiple platforms while tailoring everything from pricing to product data to each one.

Bundle Items for Lower Shipping Costs

On Mercari, shipping for bundles is always paid for by the buyer, making bundles a great opportunity for you to not only sell more, but also to avoid shipping costs. Mercari has recently integrated bundles into its platform, which means sellers no longer have to create consolidated listings for multiple items in order to sell item bundles; buyers simply add multiple items from your store to their cart, and check out in one order.

The only thing you need to do is encourage shoppers to make bundle buys. The best way to do this is by offering a small bundle discount, and mention this discount in your listing. Buyers will then be able to create a bundle in their cart, then send you a discounted offer price for the bundle through the app.

Negotiate Shipping Rates with Carriers

While most sellers can get the best shipping rates on Mercari, many high-volume sellers find than negotiating shipping rates with carriers actually results in lower shipping costs. If you sell a large volume of items each month – and especially if you sell on multiple sales channels – you'll have better chances of negotiating discounted shipping rates with a carrier.

There is, however, one caveat: when you ship on your own, you're not covered by Mercari Shipping Protection. This means that you'll need to source your own shipping insurance, especially if you're shipping valuable and/or fragile items.

Monitor and Adjust Your Promoted Listings

While listing promotion on Mercari works differently to other platforms in that you don't pay a cut of your sale to the marketplace, using either one of Mercari's listing promotion features has a direct impact on your revenue. For this reason, it's important to ensure that you're using these features only when they're beneficial enough to justify the cost. The best way to do this is to continuously monitor the way you use both "Promote" and "Offers to Likers" in order to establish what works and what doesn't.

If you're using Promote multiple times and consistently finding yourself dropping your price below what makes sense for you, for instance, you may want to reevaluate your use of the Promote feature. Or, if Offers to Likers consistently fails to bring you more sales, you may need to reconsider your discounted offers, and possibly even your overall pricing strategy.

Mercari refunds and cancellations

Dealing with Refunds and Cancellations

Returns, refunds, and cancellations are all things that sellers should strive to avoid when selling online, and doubly so when selling on Mercari. Because Mercari doesn't allow for "buyer's remorse" returns, all returns or cancellations on the platform are implicitly regarded as negative transactions by the platform. Below, we'll take a look at Mercari's refund policy to understand how the marketplace looks at refunded transactions, discuss what happens to Mercari selling fees for a refunded transaction, and outline some steps you can take to avoid cancelled transactions.

Mercari's Refund and Cancellation Policy

On Mercari, buyers cannot return items for "buyer's remorse," meaning that refunds (and returns) are only required if the item is damaged in transit, not as described in the listing, or does not arrive with the buyer after it's been shipped. In a similar vein, cancellations can only be initiated by the seller if they are unable to fulfill the order as agreed with the buyer at the time of sale. Both of these situations necessitate a refund, and reflect poorly on seller performance. For this reason, Mercari may charge a fee for cancelled orders, and might place restrictions on your account if you have an unusually high rate of refunds and cancellations.

If you're facing a situation in which you either cannot fulfill an order as agreed or the buyer has complained about an item that has arrived, try to resolve this with the buyer. If you're unable to resolve the problem with the buyer, Mercari may step in and force you to accept a return, which can reflect negatively on your selling account if it happens frequently.  

How Refunds Affect Mercari Selling Fees

Refunds can only happen on Mercari in the context of return requests, even if those requests ultimately result in the buyer receiving a refund without returning the item to you. When a return is approved by Mercari, whether the item is returned or not, the transaction is essentially reversed. Even if Mercari finds that the buyer's return request is valid and approves their return, they'll provide the buyer with a prepaid return shipping label for items weighing 50lbs or less, so you won't be liable for additional fees to cover the buyer's return.

For cancellations (i.e. transactions cancelled after purchase but before the item is shipped to the buyer), Mercari may charge a cancellation fee of 5% of the total transaction amount, capped at $25. In our experience, Mercari does not charge a fee on your first few cancellations, but if you're consistently cancelling orders before they ship, Mercari may choose to start charging you a cancellation fee.

Steps to Take to Avoid Cancelled Transactions

Cancelled transactions can not only cost you extra in Mercari fees and lose you a potential sale, but they're also detrimental to your selling account health. That's why it's important to take every possible precaution to avoid cancellations and refunds, and ensure that as many of your transactions as possible go through without a hitch. Below, we'll outline some steps you can take to avoid cancelled transactions on Mercari.

Describe your item truthfully

When listing your item on Mercari, it's important that you include an accurate and honest description. Make sure to note and describe any flaws, and honestly describe its condition (i.e. used, new, like new, new with tags, etc.). Misrepresenting your item or neglecting to describe flaws can result in returns requests for items that do not match their description, which will be approved by Mercari.

Include plenty of detailed photos

Detailed pictures from plenty of angles are a perfect way to supplement a good item description. Pictures help you showcase your item, as well as portray any faults or defects clearly and accurately. They can also help lower the chances that buyers will open return requests because the item was not as they expected.

Carefully package your item

Taking care to carefully package your item for transit will help ensure that it arrives with your customer in the same condition that you sent it. Use the right packaging, include the appropriate amount of padding, and insure your item if necessary.

Ensure that your inventory is accurate

As evidenced by the cancellation fee, cancellations are regarded as more egregious by Mercari than return requests, making it incredibly important to avoid them. This means ensuring that you not only accurately describe the item to avoid returns, but ensure that you actually have the item on hand to ship out to your buyer. Keeping your inventory and stock levels accurate can be challenging, especially when you sell on multiple channels. This is why many sellers choose to sell with ExportYourStore, which automatically syncs inventory across all your stores any time you make a sale, so you always have the right item on hand when you need to fulfill an order.

Mercari fees 2024

Final Thoughts & Key Takeaways: Maximizing Profits on Mercari

While Mercari fees for selling are unavoidable, there are some steps you can take to minimize the costs of selling on Mercari. First, instead of dropping your price to use the Promote feature, you can simply relist items to give them a necessary boost in buyer searches. Next, you can use Mercari Shipping to get more attractive shipping rates and better seller protection on your orders. Furthermore, you can avoid withdrawal fees by consolidating your withdrawals into larger sums, and not using Instant Pay to get your funds. Finally, avoid cancellation fees by using ExportYourStore to better manage your inventory. All these strategies can help you minimize the Mercari fees for selling on the platform, and enable you to maximize your profits.

FAQs About Mercari Fees

Still have some questions about Mercari fees for selling? Not quite sure exactly what are Mercari fees or how to calculate them? Wondering if there is a way to reduce your selling costs on Mercari? Check out these frequently asked questions for everything you need to know about Mercari fees in 2024.

Q: How can I reduce my fees on Mercari?

While selling on Mercari will incur some inevitable costs like payment processing and transaction fees, there are some ways you can reduce your Mercari selling fees. Firstly, it's important to consolidate your balance withdrawals to ensure that you're over the $10 minimum in order to avoid withdrawal fees. Additionally, withdrawing your balance directly to your bank account instead of using Instant Pay can also help you avoid Instant Pay transaction fees.

Another way to save on Mercari fees is by relisting items that need a boost instead of using the Promote feature. Using the Promote feature on Mercari requires a steep and permanent drop to your selling price, which takes a bite out of your potential earnings. Instead, remove and relist items in bulk with ExportYourStore to attain better placement in buyer search results without lowering your selling price.

Q: Are there any legal fees associated with selling on Mercari?

There are no legal fees for sellers associated with selling on Mercari. Mercari does stipulate a rate of $25/hour for document processing billed to government agencies/law enforcement if documents are requested by official legal request. This is not paid by sellers or buyers, but by the agency making the request.

Q: Can I negotiate shipping rates on Mercari?

You cannot negotiate shipping rates when you use Mercari Shipping – the rates are set in stone, and are already discounted from regular market rates. That said, you may be able to negotiate lower shipping rates with other carriers if you have a high sales volume or sell on multiple selling channels.

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