How to sell on Mercari: A beginner’s guide with examples and tips

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Ever heard of Mercari? If you haven’t, now is the time to learn more. 

Sure, it might not be making headlines like its big-shot cousins eBay and Amazon. But with 23 million monthly users and a market cap that’s nothing to sneeze at ($1.92 billion, to be precise), 

Mercari is quietly making waves in the world of ecommerce.

We know what you’re thinking: “Yeah, yeah, another sales platform trying to steal my time.” But hear us out… 

Mercari isn’t your average Joe, and has plenty of tricks up its sleeve to make selling online a whole lot sweeter. We’re talking unique features, lower fees, a user-friendly interface, and a community vibe that’s downright refreshing.

So, grab your mug of coffee, settle into your comfiest chair, and prepare for a full lowdown on how to sell on Mercari. 

What is Mercari? 

Mercari is an online marketplace with a diverse user base where users can buy and sell just about anything under the sun. From vintage trinkets to brand-new gadgets, it’s a happening virtual hub where sellers and buyers unite in the pursuit of the perfect deal.

So, what sets Mercari apart from the pack? Let’s explore a few of the primary benefits: 

  • Ease of entry: Whether you’re a seasoned seller looking to expand your horizons or a newbie dipping your toes into the ecommerce waters, Mercari welcomes you with open arms.
  • Ease of use: Say goodbye to convoluted interfaces and hello to simplicity. There’s no complex tech wizardry here – just straightforward functionality that gets the job done.
  • Effortless listings:  With handy tools and templates to help optimize your listings, you can upload photos, write descriptions, and set prices within just a few clicks. 
  • Efficient sales management: Built-in features like shipping labels and payment processing help you streamline the entire process without breaking a sweat.

How to get started with Mercari

Interested in taking the plunge? Great! But before we get down to the brass tacks of how to sell on Mercari effectively, let’s make sure the basics are covered. 

Here’s everything you need to know about getting set up, plus some bonus info on familiarizing yourself with Mercari’s policies and user interface. 

Setting up a Mercari account

Most of the Mercari action happens on the Marketplace App, which has been purposefully designed to help users sell items quickly, easily, and conveniently from their smartphones. 

However, if you prefer to work from a desktop, you can also access the website version.

Getting started is child’s play. There are no hoops to jump through or complicated approval processes to navigate (yay!). Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Hit ‘sign up’ on the app or website, enter your email, and set a username and password.
  2. Fill out your profile info, shipping address, and bank details.
  3. Verify your phone number by SMS code. This secures your account so only you can log in and helps the Marcari team assist with account recovery, should you need it. 

And that’s it. You’re good to go! 

Understanding Mercari’s policies and guidelines

Many Marcari users are everyday people rather than dedicated retailers or professional ecommerce players. The marketplace guidelines have been developed with that in mind to keep interactions and transactions fair, neighborly, safe, and legal in the simplest possible way. 

The four primary sets of guidelines and policies refer specifically to:

  • User conduct – The prohibited conduct guidelines cover various facets of account use, communication, listings, and transactions. 
  • Item listings – The list of prohibited items is likely exactly what you’d expect, covering illegal, stolen, offensive, dangerous goods, etc.
  • Cancellations – Marcari’s cancellation policies are designed to provide maximum protection for both buyers and sellers. 
  • Returns and refunds — As with cancellations, Marcari’s returns and refunds policy balances the needs of both parties. 

Navigating the Mercari app or website interface

We can’t overstate this enough: Mercari’s user-friendly platform makes the selling process smoother than a freshly buttered biscuit. Even users with minimal technical know-how find the minimalist design easy to follow and interact with.

  • Intuitive dashboard – The dashboard is your central hub for managing account settings, tracking sales, responding to buyer messages, and editing your profile.
  • Listings made easy – Simply tap the “Sell” button and follow the prompts to add photos, write a description, and set your price.
  • Search and browse functionality — Use the search bar to find what you’re looking for and filter results by price, location, etc. 

Guide to listing your items on Mercari

Got some goodies you want to sell on Mercari? Awesome! But before you start snapping photos and typing up descriptions, let’s break down the listing process into bite-sized chunks to ensure you’re prepped for success.

How to select the right items to sell on Mercari

Choosing the right items to sell is key to ensuring they fly off your virtual shelf. Here’s how to do it:

  • Explore trending categories to keep your finger on the pulse of what’s hot and what’s not. 
  • Look into niche markets that might have less competition but still attract passionate buyers. 
  • Gauge competition, profitability, and demand by looking at the number of other listings, average selling prices, and buyer engagement.

Tips for creating effective listings on Mercari

You can’t master the art of how to sell on Mercari without first honing your listing prowess. 

Looking to craft listings that catch buyers’ eyes, get your items selling like hotcakes, and seal the deal with a satisfying ka-ching? Here are a few top tips to get you started. 

Writing compelling titles and descriptions

Grab buyers’ attention with catchy titles and detailed descriptions highlighting key features, benefits, and unique selling points. Be honest and transparent in disclosing any flaws or imperfections, and avoid misleading or exaggerated language.

Capturing high-quality photos

A picture is worth a thousand words, so make sure yours are top-notch! Use natural light, clean backgrounds, and multiple angles to showcase your items. Oh, and don’t skimp on resolution – the clearer, the better.

Setting competitive prices

Pricing can make or break a sale, so careful research is required to ensure you’re offering competitive prices that attract buyers without undercutting your profits. Consider factors like item condition, market demand, and competitor pricing.

How to optimize your listings on Mercari

While the Marcari platform is super easy to use – and particularly well suited to sellers looking to get rid of excess stuff quickly – it’s not quite as simple as throwing up a few photos and crossing your fingers. You’ll need to actively work on optimizing your listing to stand out in the marketplace. 

Understanding Mercari’s search algorithm

Ever wondered what makes certain listings pop up at the top of search results? It all comes down to the mysterious beast known as the search algorithm. 

At its core, Mercari’s search algorithm is designed to connect buyers with the listings most relevant to their search queries based on:

  • Relevance
  • Engagement
  • Seller Performance
  • Listing Details

Utilizing keywords effectively in your listings

About that relevance factor we mentioned above…

Keywords are the bread and butter of an online search. However, there’s a bit more to it than stuffing your listings with every keyword you can think of and hoping for the best. Here’s a list of best practices for nailing how to sell on Mercari with listing descriptions that convert.

  1. Brainstorm a list of relevant keywords that describe your item. 
  2. Put yourself in a buyer’s shoes and think about the terms they might use to search for your product. 
  3. Look at similar listings and see what keywords they’re using.
  4. Strategically sprinkle the keywords you identified in the steps above into your title and the first few sentences of your description.
  5. Avoid using the same keywords over and over again in your listings. Instead, mix it up using various terms to capture different search queries. 

Strategies for improving item visibility and ranking

With the fundamentals of how to sell on Mercari covered, it’s time to put your newfound knowledge into action – preferably alongside these additional proven strategies used by top sellers: 

  • Use hashtags — Hashtags make your listings more searchable. But remember, you only get three per listing – so use them wisely!
  • Sell branded items – Popular brands tend to have a stronger following, which boosts engagement and ranking. 
  • Target peak times – Set up a schedule to reach people at times when they are most engaged – like during lunch breaks and commutes. 
  • Keep relisting – Old listings lose their rankings over time. Relisting helps you get back in position and increase sales.

Managing sales and orders effectively on Mercari 

Got your listings up and running? Congrats! But there’s no time for a celebratory cup of success just yet. First, you have to dot your i’s and cross your t’s to ensure smooth sailing through the seas of sales and orders. 

Let’s dive into some best practices to help you manage transactions like a seasoned captain:

  • Develop a streamlined process for packaging, shipping, and tracking orders to ensure timely delivery and customer satisfaction.
  • Keep a close eye on your inventory to avoid overselling or running out of stock. 
  • Stay organized by setting aside dedicated time each day to process orders, respond to inquiries, and update tracking information.
  • Take advantage of automation tools and integrations to streamline repetitive tasks like printing shipping labels or sending order confirmations. 

How to provide excellent customer service on Mercari 

Of course, learning how to sell on Mercari isn’t all about your listings. There’s also a significant human element to consider. So,  let’s move on to look at the holy grail of ecommerce success: providing top-notch customer service. 

Remember, happy buyers make for repeat customers and positive reviews, so you want every interaction to leave people singing your praises.

The TLDR version: Treat every buyer interaction as an opportunity to shine and build a superstellar seller reputation. For the longer version, we’ve whipped together a quick list of top tips for you:

  • Set clear expectations from the get-go with transparent info about products, policies, and shipping times.
  • Keep the lines of communication open and respond promptly to inquiries, concerns, and feedback.
  • Personalize shopping experiences by addressing buyers by their names and tailoring your responses to their specific questions or concerns.
  • Follow up with buyers after they’ve received their order to ensure everything arrived as expected and to thank them for their purchase. 
  • When issues arise, handle them with grace, professionalism, empathy, and problem-solving prowess. 

Top tips for selling success on Mercari

Alrighty! We’re in the final furlong and almost at the finish line. But before we wrap up, we have a few last pearls of wisdom to share with you. 

The techniques below have been tried and tested by seasoned sellers. So, listen up and have your notepad at the ready!

Consistency is key

Maintaining active listings and regularly updating inventory are the cornerstones of success. But there’s a little more to it than that. Top sellers also:

  • Get down with the lingo – Using the correct terminology like “NIB” (New in box), “NWT” (New with tags), or “NWOT” (New without tag) helps shoppers decide whether your items are right for them.
  • Use vacay mode — Temporarily deactivating when you take a break protects you against missing a sale or shipment deadline. 
  • Pack carefully — Treat your items like the precious cargo they are using appropriate packaging materials to ensure they arrive at their destination safe and sound.
  • Ship promptly – Speedy delivery helps keep buyers happy and maintains your tip-top seller reputation. 

Leverage promotional features and discounts 

Mercari’s “Promote” and “Offers to Likers” features help boost your listings and get your items seen by more browsers. You might also consider sweetening the deal in a couple of other ways:

  1. Offer free shipping – Research shows free shipment entices 79% of consumers into making a purchase. 
  2. Negotiate – Unlike many other platforms, Mercari offers opportunities for negotiation to seal a deal. 

Stay informed

It goes without saying that staying in the know about the latest updates and new features is critical to mastering how to sell on Mercari.

The biggest buzz right now? The abolition of seller fees. 

Quite rightly, this decision has caused quite a stir in the online marketplace scene. On one hand, it makes selling more lucrative. However, there is a catch in the form of listing limits, which has somewhat upset the apple cart for many tenured sellers.

Ready to Sell, Sell, Sell? 

So, there you have it, folks! Armed with these insights and strategies, you’re well-equipped to conquer the world of selling on Mercari. 

But why stop there when you can expand your horizons to even more online marketplaces?

Linnworks offers seamless integration with hundreds of leading ecommerce platforms, including eBay, Refurbed, Wish, and more. 

Request a demo today to learn more and unlock new opportunities for growth. 

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Linzi Trafford


Linzi Trafford is a SaaS-loving, self-professed grammar nerd. She’s written for industry leaders like Crunchbase and Spotify, tech-for-good firms like UpMetrics and Recite Me, and a whole heap in between. When not hammering away at her keyboard, you’ll find her hiking with her rescue dog, singing with her band, or getting stuck into a good old-fashioned whodunnit novel.