December 4, 2023

Comparing Poshmark vs Mercari: Which Platform is Better for Online Sellers in 2024?

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min read

Thrifting both on- and off-line has seen a massive resurgence in recent years, and it's showing no sign of slowing down. Bolstered by ecologically-conscious-minded millennial and gen z shoppers, the secondhand market has gained new life in the digital age. Gone are the days of rummaging through Goodwill bins; today's thrifting is done largely online. As a seller of secondhand and vintage goods, you've more than likely felt this shift to electronic thrifting, and have found yourself wondering how to best tackle this digital wave.

Many sellers shy away from bigger platforms like eBay or Etsy, where they can get lost in the sea of resellers, and instead opt for smaller marketplaces like Poshmark or Mercari. Making the choice between these two marketplaces hinges on a variety of individual seller parameters, and there is not a "one-size-fits-all" answer for which is better for every online seller. That said, comparing the pros and cons of Poshmark vs Mercari on several key points from a seller's perspective is important when deciding on which one is right for your online business.

In this guide, we'll take a look at Poshmark vs Mercari from a seller's perspective, and break down everything from selling fees to payment processing and buyer protections. We'll also review the promotional tools each marketplace offers its sellers to promote their products on each respective platform, and explore additional ways to promote your products off these marketplaces, too. Keep reading for a complete comparison of Poshmark vs Mercari from an ecommerce seller's perspective.

Overview of Poshmark and Mercari

Poshmark and Mercari are both online marketplaces for selling secondhand goods, and while they have many similarities, they also have significant differences in how they operate, who their buyers are, and the seller experience they offer. This section will give you a short overview of each marketplace, plus what you'll be able to sell on each one.

What is Poshmark?
Source: Poshmark

What is Poshmark?

Poshmark was founded in 2011 as a social commerce platform for buying and selling secondhand fashion. It initially began as a US-only marketplace, but quickly expanded to include region-specific sites for Canada, India, Australia, and the United Kingdom. Poshmark enables its users – known as Poshers – to buy and sell secondhand goods within their respective global Poshmark site. It does not allow for international shipping, and instead focuses on fostering a sense of community between Poshers on the platform.

What can I sell on Poshmark?

While primarily a fashion-focused platform, Poshmark allows its users to list much more than just clothing. When you sell on Poshmark, you'll be able to list fashion accessories, shoes, unused/unopened beauty and wellness products, home goods, pet products, and some electronics. You'll not be able to sell replica or counterfeit items, food, and live animals, to name a few. If you're not sure you can list your item on Poshmark, we recommend reading the full prohibited products policy.

What is Mercari?
Source: Mercari

What is Mercari?

Mercari is a Japanese social commerce platform for selling secondhand goods. Unlike Poshmark, it does not focus on a particular niche, and six years after its founding in 2013, it opened its doors to international commerce via the proxy shipping service Buyee.  As a C2C social commerce platform, Mercari emphasizes its "decluttering for the greater good" approach at every turn, providing an easy start for those who have little to no experience selling online.

What can I sell on Mercari?

Mercari allows the sale of practically all secondhand items in good condition. This ranges from vintage items to unused new items with tags, and covers the sale of practically anything that can be shipped. Mercari does prohibit the sale of illegal items, pornographic materials, and more, as well as the sale of dropshipped items or items you don't currently have on hand (i.e. backordered items). Before listing on Mercari, we recommend reading their prohibited items policy.

Poshmark vs Mercari

Comparing Poshmark vs Mercari: Fees, Shipping, and More

Both Poshmark and Mercari are C2C social commerce platforms for selling used goods, but each one is unique. This section will compare the two platforms from a seller's perspective, and focus on the most important things you'll need to consider when deciding on selling on Poshmark vs Mercari. Keep reading for a point-by-point comparison of selling fees on Poshmark and Mercari, what you can expect in terms of shipping and payments on each platform, what the product listings requirements are, and more, so you can make a more informed decision when deciding on the right platform for you.

1. Marketplace Selling Fees

Selling fees are an inevitability of selling online, but luckily both Poshmark and Mercari have relatively simple (albeit rather steep) selling fee structures. Here, we'll take a look at what you can expect in terms of selling fees as a seller on Poshmark and Mercari.

Poshmark Selling Fees

Poshmark has a simple approach to selling fees, with a two-tiered commission-based fee system. This means that publishing a listing on Poshmark is free, since you only pay once you've made a sale.

Poshmark determines how much you pay in commission based on the total order amount (including shipping). For orders totaling $15 or less, you'll pay a flat fee of $2.95, and for orders totaling more than $15 you'll pay 20% of the order amount in selling fees.

Mercari Selling Fees

Mercari's selling fees are considerably more complex than Poshmark's, and include a payment processing fee, a shipping fee, and varying deposit fees for when you transfer your earnings into your account.

Mercari has no listing fees, but it does charge its sellers a payment processing fee of 2.5% + 50¢ for every sale made on the platform. Furthermore, if you ship through Mercari, you'll pay a shipping fee based on the shipping service you use and the dimensions/weight of the parcel. Finally, Mercari offers authentication services that cost $5-$10 per listing.

Note that each order has a minimum fee of 10%, meaning if you don't pay Mercari 10% of the order total in fees (payment processing, shipping, etc.) Mercari will round the fees for that order up to 10% of the sale price.

Finally, deposit fees are charged when you transfer funds from your earnings to your bank account, and vary between $0-$3 per transfer depending on the method used and the amount transferred.

2. Shipping and Order Fulfillment

Shipping and order fulfillment will be a major factor in your selling experience when selling online, and this is true both on Poshmark and on Mercari. Since neither platform allows for the sale of digital goods, how well your items ship – and how fast you ship them – will have a direct impact on your business. This section will take a look at the shipping and order fulfillment solutions you'll have available to you when selling on Poshmark vs Mercari to give you a better idea of what selling your items could look like on these platforms.

Shipping Your Orders on Poshmark

Poshmark has taken a unique approach to order fulfillment – it gives neither buyers nor sellers the option to choose how they want their order to ship. Poshmark requires all sellers to use its own shipping service called PoshPost, which provides a prepaid, pre-addressed shipping label automatically the moment an order is placed. Buyers pay a flat rate for shipping directly to Poshmark, and you'll just need to print the prepaid label out, package your item, and ship it within 7 days (though Poshmark recommends to ship it in no more than 2-3 days).

Note that Poshmark's default prepaid label is for items weighing 5lbs or less. If you have a heavier item or one that's very large, you'll need to upgrade the label within Poshmark. Any additional postage costs beyond the shipping paid by the buyer will be deducted from your earnings for the order.

Shipping Your Orders on Mercari

Mercari gives sellers two options for fulfilling orders on the platform: with a prepaid label from Mercari, or independently. If you choose the former, Mercari will simply send you a prepaid label once an order has been made, and you'll be able to opt for either free or paid shipping for your buyers. On average, you'll pay 40% less for your label through Mercari than you would for the same label at the standard retail price, and, more importantly, you'll automatically be covered by Mercari Shipping Protection should anything go wrong.

If you prefer to ship on your own, you'll be required to use a tracked service, and upload the tracking number to Mercari once you’ve shipped the order. Even with a tracking number, however, you're not eligible for Mercari Shipping Protection, and are therefore liable for any damaged or lost parcels.

3. Payments: Getting the Earnings from Your Sales

Ultimately, the most important part of your online business is your bottom line, and how simple (or difficult) it is to get your earnings into your bank account. Luckily, neither Poshmark nor Mercari has a particularly complicated process for payment disbursal, but there are some things you should be aware of before trying to transfer funds for the first time. Here, we'll take a look at the payments process on Poshmark and Mercari, examine the pros and cons of each, and help you better understand the steps you'll need to take to get the earnings from your sales.

Poshmark Payments

When you make a sale and ship an order to your buyer on Poshmark, you must wait until the item is delivered before the earnings for the sale appear in your Poshmark balance. Assuming there are no issues with the order, this can take anywhere from 1-3 business days. Now that your earnings are in your Poshmark account, you'll be able to redeem them in several ways: via Instant Transfer, PayPal, direct deposit, Venmo, or by a physical check mailed to your address. You'll be able to redeem your earnings either through or through the Poshmark app.

Poshmark themselves do not charge any additional fees when you redeem your balance and transfer funds, but you may incur fees from third-party services like Hyperwallet, a service used by Poshmark to transfer funds to PayPal, Instant Transfer, and Venmo.

Mercari Payments

Mercari offers its sellers two ways to withdraw their earnings balance: with Instant Pay or via direct deposit to their bank account.

Instant Pay transfers are limited to one transfer per day and capped at a maximum dollar amount of $600 total per month. Every transfer, regardless of the amount, incurs a flat fee of $3, and takes 30 minutes or less to appear in your bank balance. Note that you'll need to verify your identity for your first withdrawal with Instant Transfer.

If you opt for direct deposit, successful withdrawals over the $10 minimum are free and unlimited, though they may take up to 5 days to appear in your bank balance. Withdrawals that are rejected by your bank or those under $10 will incur a $2 fee.

4. Buyer Protections on Poshmark and Mercari

Selling online through platforms such as Poshmark and Mercari means adhering to a certain code of conduct and rules put in place by each respective marketplace. These are enforced by a selection of buyer protections, and include everything from listing requirements to a basic standard of customer service. Buyer protections will have a significant effect on your day-to-day business management, as well as a larger overarching effect on your business' direction and growth on its respective platform. In this section, we'll give you an overview of the buyer protections on Poshmark vs Mercari to help you decide which one is more suited to your selling needs.

Poshmark's Buyer Protections

When compared to buyer protections on larger ecommerce platforms like Amazon and eBay, buyer protections on Poshmark, known as Posh Protect, are minimal. Overall, returns are not allowed on Poshmark, so you won't be required to accept them as a seller like you would on many other marketplaces. That said, there are certain instances in which buyers can return items: if the item has damage that was not disclosed in the listing, if they’ve received a different item than the one advertised in your listing, if the item is missing a part or has not arrived at all, or if it's a counterfeit/inauthentic item. Even in these cases, the buyer must provide proof to Poshmark of their claims, and has only 3 days to report the issue to Poshmark. If their return is approved, they must post the item back to you within 5 business days using a label provided by Poshmark. In any other cases that stem from buyer's remorse, buyers cannot return their order, and are instead encouraged by the platform to relist the item and sell it on Poshmark themselves.

Mercari's Buyer Protections

Much like Poshmark, Mercari's buyer protections are minimal when compared to traditional ecommerce marketplaces. Buyers cannot request returns for any buyer's remorse reasons (i.e. doesn't fit, changed mind), and can only return their order if it arrives damaged, not as advertised in the listing, or it has not been delivered in part or in full. They have a short timeframe of 3 days to report any issue with the order directly to Mercari, and 24 hours to provide information to back up their claims. Mercari will then forward the return request to you, and you will need to decide whether you want to try to resolve the issue with the buyer or accept the return. If they've backed up their claims, Mercari may overrule a rejection and force you to accept the return. If the buyer fails to reach out to Mercari within 3 days of delivery, or fails to send the item back within 7 days after their return was approved, the order is considered final sale, and they're no longer eligible for return for any reason. You'll then receive the funds from the transaction.

5. Listing Requirements on Poshmark and Mercari

As more amateur-oriented reselling marketplaces, both Poshmark and Mercari have taken a pared-down approach to listings on their platform. As opposed to eBay's fancy listing templates and Amazon's tedious upload files, Poshmark and Mercari are designed to enable you to create a listing directly from the app on your phone. That said, from our experience, the more professional your listings look and the more optimized they are for their respective marketplace, the higher your chances are of making a sale at a higher price point. Take the time to stage your product pictures, upload as many as you can, and optimize your product titles and descriptions for SEO.

Poshmark Listing Requirements

Poshmark requires relatively little information for a complete listing: a product title, a description, product category, size (if applicable), the original price you paid for the item, and the listing price of the item you're selling. You'll also have the option of filling out additional fields: quantity (if you want to sell more than one unit), brand, color, mark the item as new with tags (NWT), and Style Tags (effectively hashtags on Poshmark for categorizing items into styles). You'll also be able to input additional details that are visible only to you, such as SKU, cost price, and other info (free text to add notes for yourself).

In our experience, sellers that take the time to optimize their titles and descriptions with relevant keywords perform better than most, but those who make full use of the optional listing fields – especially Style Tags – find that their listings are much more popular with buyers. Taking the time to optimize your Poshmark listings for SEO not only helps them rank better in buyer searches, but also increases conversion since buyers aren't missing any important information about the item.

Make sure to clearly note any flaws, and add pictures of them to the listing. Remember that buyers can only return an item on Poshmark if it wasn't as described in the listing, so avoid unnecessary returns and make note of each and every flaw, no matter how minor it may seem!

Mercari Listing Requirements

Keeping with the amateur seller theme, Mercari also takes a simplified approach to listing items on the platform. Your listings will require a title, a description of at least five words, clear photos of the item (up to 12 total), item condition, size, and flaws (if applicable). We also recommend you input the brand if you know it, as buyers will oftentimes search by brand. Additionally, you'll be able to add tags to your listing, which work in the same way as Poshmark's Style Tags. Add relevant product tags whenever you can; they're great for SEO. Next, you'll need to input a price, or opt in to Smart Pricing and define a range within Mercari will automatically price your item based on demand. Finally, you'll need to decide what shipping options you want to offer. You can ship yourself or with Mercari, and choose whether to offer free (i.e. you cover shipping costs) or paid shipping.

You'll also be able to enhance your listing with Mercari Authenticate services, and receive a diamond badge which will better your item's chances of selling, especially if it's a high-ticket piece!

6. Additional Features: What's it Like Selling on Poshmark vs Mercari?

As secondhand marketplaces geared towards more amateur sellers, both Poshmark and Mercari have developed some unique features for both sellers and buyers. This section will take a look at some of the notable mentions for each platform, examine how they might affect you as a seller, and help you better gauge which platform is better for you and your selling needs.

Poshmark Additional Features

Poshmark was launched as one of the first social commerce sites, long before the term entered common use in the ecommerce world. It was modeled after the social media platform of the time, Facebook, and has grown and evolved true to its social-media-inspired roots. Since its inception, Poshmark has consistently offered sellers a unique approach to online selling, with a more community-oriented approach than other ecommerce platforms. From an egalitarian approach to buyers and sellers (there is no distinct seller account on Poshmark; all users can both buy and sell) to terming the platform's users "Poshers," the implementation of Twitter-like sharing of listings to rebranding positive reviews as "Love Notes," everything on Poshmark reinforces this community-centric approach.

One of the main unique features of Poshmark is the platform's daily Posh Parties, which are live, themed shopping events hosted by Poshmark at pre-scheduled times. These parties are hosted by other Poshers (known as Posh Ambassadors, more on that below), and every user can participate in Posh Parties as a buyer. As a seller, if you want to participate in a Posh Party, you'll have to enroll your listings in the relevant Posh Party.

In a similar and more social-media-esque vein, Poshmark also allows sellers to host their own Posh Shows. These are essentially live streams where you can showcase products – either just your own or along with other sellers in a Sell Together Show – and interact with the Poshmark community directly with live messages and auctions.

Poshmark has additional community-hosted events, both live and virtual, focusing on everything from best listing practices and strategies to fostering community.

Another unique Poshmark feature worth mentioning are Posh Ambassadors, Poshers who've reached a certain standing in the Poshing community and function as role models on the platform. Attaining Posh Ambassador status gives you a badge and a slew of perks in the community, such as early access to PoshFest and the opportunity to join Posh Affiliate.  

Mercari Additional Features

Mercari is a simple and straightforward marketplace, especially when compared to Poshmark. It's accessible, amateur-friendly, and has taken a far more basic approach to selling secondhand goods online. That said, there are some special features on Mercari worth mentioning, starting with the newly-implemented Merchat AI.

Merchat AI is a tool for buyers, but it's a great opportunity for sellers selling niche, hard-to-find items, or those whose items may not necessarily be in high demand by the wider community. Merchat AI helps buyers more easily find what they're looking for on Mercari through a simple chat with Merchat AI, a ChatGPT-powered personal shopper, even if they're not quite sure what they're looking for yet. As a seller, this gives your more obscure or niche listings a better chance of being found by interested buyers, thereby increasing their chances of selling.

Another great selling tool designed to drive more sales is Mercari's use of bundles. While bundles exist on many other secondhand platforms, including Poshmark and Depop, Mercari has built upon the concept to create several different options for sellers. Firstly, you can make a single listing for several items you want to sell together, essentially creating a pre-made bundle for your buyers. Secondly, you of course have the option of a classic bundle – several items bought by the same buyer. What sets Mercari apart is that it enables the buyer and seller to negotiate the price of the bundle via Bundle Offers, rather than requiring sellers to determine a preset discount for buyers who purchase more than 2 items in one order. This system enables you to fine tune the price you're willing to accept for a given bundle, ensuring that you're not sacrificing profit in the name of sales volume.

Finally, Mercari have implemented a seller help tool called Mercari Goals. It’s a simple, straightforward way for sellers (particularly new sellers) to set a sales goal and track their progress on the platform. Simply define your sales goal, and Mercari will track your sales progress as you work to attain it.

Promoting listing Poshmark vs Mercari

Promoting Your Listings on Poshmark and Mercari

The most important tool in any seller's arsenal on every platform is listing promotion. It can help new listings get found, help old listings get the boost they need to sell, and help get the word out about your store. Done right, listing promotion can be an integral part of your business growth strategy, and drive not only more direct sales, but establish your store and build trust with buyers. In this section, we'll examine the options you'll have a seller for promoting your listings on Poshmark vs Mercari to help you understand which one better suits your marketing needs.

Promoting Your Listings on Poshmark

Poshmark offers sellers a very limited PPC promotional tool known as Promoted Closet. You're able to enroll in Promoted Closet, but, as the name suggests, the promotion is for your entire Closet (store). You don't choose which listings get promoted or what keywords to target; everything is done by Poshmark, and all you can do is define your ad budget and monitor the performance of your automatic campaign.

This hands-off approach may be suitable for amateur sellers, but if you're looking for a platform that gives you control over your listings, you may want to look at other secondhand marketplaces like Depop.

Aside from Promoted Closet, however, you also have access to Posh Parties and Posh Shows. While these aren't true listing promotion tools in the traditional advertising sense, they are free to access and can give your individual listings and products a boost.

Promoting Your Listings on Mercari

Unlike most marketplaces, Mercari doesn't offer on-platform ads at all, neither PPC nor commission-based. Instead, Mercari has a "Promote" button that boosts listings in searches if you drop the price by at least 5%. The price drop is permanent (i.e. you won't be able to raise the price after you've used the Promote button), and you won't have a way to monitor the performance of your listing after its been promoted. You'll also have the option of sending offers to people who have liked your item through the Promote button, but you'll have to drop the price by at least 10% to take advantage of this feature.

All in all, Mercari is even more restrictive on listing promotion than Poshmark in that it offers little in the way of actual listing promotion. Sellers who want to be more hands-on with their advertising and listing promotion should look at the aforementioned Depop, or consider selling their secondhand goods on eBay.

Utilizing Social Media to Promote Your Listings

In light of the very limited promotional tools available on both Poshmark and Mercari, your best bet for getting the word out about your listings is social media. Social media is a wonderful tool when used correctly, and can lead to increased sales with minimal spend.

For starters, we recommend focusing on image or video centric social media channels – think Instagram and TikTok – to really showcase your products. As primarily visual media, they are the perfect way to catch the eyes of potential buyers and get them to engage with your listings. If you don’t have an established social media following, you can always turn to social media influencers to help you boost engagement and gain more followers in the long run.

Remember that social media requires patience and a considerable amount of consistent effort to be a worthwhile listing promotion tool for your business. The more time and effort you spend and the more optimized your content, the more traffic you'll be able to divert to your Poshmark or Mercari shop.  

How to sell on Poshmark

How to Sell on Poshmark

All Poshers (Poshmark users) are both buyers and sellers, and in line with this community approach, Poshmark doesn't have seller metrics in the traditional sense, which makes selling on Poshmark remarkably accessible to entry-level sellers. The only real requirements you'll haveas a seller is to accurately describe your listed item, present it honestly, and carefully pack and ship it on time once it's sold. From our experience, however, meeting these bare minimum requirements don't necessarily make for a successful Poshmark business – you'll want to go the extra mile by engaging with interested buyers in the listing comments, enrolling your listings and participating in Posh Parties, and reaching out to buyers who've liked your items with offers. While none of these are technically required for you to be a seller on Poshmark, they are essential to success on the platform.

Aside from that, selling on Poshmark is quite simple, with a listing process that can be done (albeit less conveniently) directly from the Poshmark app on your phone. Listing is free, and all you really need to invest into a Poshmark business is time.

How to sell on Mercari

How to Sell on Mercari

Much like Poshmark, Mercari is a simple selling platform that enables even entry-level sellers to create an online shop for selling secondhand goods. All accounts are both buying and selling accounts, and creating an account on the platform is pretty straightforward, but that's where the similarities with Poshmark end. Your selling experience on Mercari will be much more hands-off, owing to the more limited selection of promotional tools for you to work with and the platform's true marketplace approach, rather than a social-media-like community like Poshmark. From our experience, the most successful Mercari shops are those that focus on listing optimization and create listings that buyers are more likely to find and engage with.

Once you've got that down, selling on Mercari is simple and straightforward. As long as you invest the time and effort necessary to make your listings shine, you're almost guaranteed to get sales.

Final Thoughts on Poshmark vs Mercari

For many secondhand sellers, deciding whether to sell on Poshmark or Mercari can be difficult. Both platforms are very beginner-friendly, and both boast an impressive user base that guarantees no shortage of buyers. Luckily, listing on both platforms is 100% free, meaning you can easily try both without investing anything but time up front. That said, managing multiple online stores on two different platforms and using the same stock for both does come with some risks and challenges.

ExportYourStore can help you do it right with simple cross-platform integration for both Poshmark and Mercari, eliminating the problems of multichannel selling and enabling you to sell on both platforms worry-free. No overselling, no pricing problems, and automatable listing optimizations for integrating your Poshmark Closet with your Mercari sStore or vice versa, so you can seamlessly list and sell on both platforms as easily as you would on one.

FAQs for Poshmark vs Mercari

Still have some unanswered questions? Not quite sure yet where you want to start listing your secondhand items? Check out our frequently asked questions for everything else you need to know about selling on Poshmark vs Mercari!

Q: What are the selling fees for Poshmark and Mercari?

Listing on both Poshmark and Mercari is free, but you'll be required to pay certain fees when you make a sale on each platform.

On Poshmark you can expect to pay a flat fee of $2.95 for sales under $15, and a 20% fee on sales over $15. You'll also be able to opt in to services like Posh Authenticate, which will come with their own fees.

On Mercari, the fee structure is slightly more complicated: 2.5% + 50¢ for every sale made on the platform, with a minimum of 10% in fees for each order. In addition to selling fees, Mercari has optional services like Mercari Shipping and Mercari Authenticate.  

Q: What are the listing requirements for each platform?

Mercari and Poshmark have minimal listing requirements, with only the most basic product information required for a listing to go live. Attributes like size, original price, title, item condition, and photos are required, while other optional attributes such as Poshmark's Style Tags and Mercari's Product Tags may not be required, but strongly recommended for SEO.

Read more about each platform's listing requirements in the Listing Requirements section above.

Q: What strategies can I use to promote my listings on both platforms?

On-platform promotional tools on Poshmark and Mercari are limited, with Poshmark offering only a very basic PPC program that automatically enrolls all listings, and Mercari enabling sellers to promote listings only by significantly dropping the price. From our experience, the best strategy for promoting your Poshmark and Mercari listings is via social media, particularly image- or video-based platforms like Instagram. These enable you to showcase your items, and can easily boost sales and engagement.

Q: What are the pros and cons of each platform?

Both Poshmark and Mercari are very simple selling platforms, designed for sellers with all levels of experience selling online. Their main benefit is their approachability and ease of use, but for more experienced sellers, this heavily-structured selling experience ultimately becomes a big downside.

One example of this is Poshmark's prepaid labels – very convenient if you're new to logistics and don't want to shop around for the best deal for labels, but not being able to determine your own shipping and handling times, decide on your own shipping methods, or even work out a special shipping accommodation with your buyer can be incredibly limiting.

On Mercari, this is evident with the minimalist approach to listing promotion. There are no real promotional tools for your listings, and no ad campaigns you can run on the platform. Instead, you're limited to dropping your price in 5% increments at best until it sells, massively affecting your profit margins.

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