Is Mercari Safe for Buying & Selling Things? Learn What it is and What People Say in this Mercari Review
Someone on Mercari just sold an iPhone 8 Plus for $340. You’ve got an old one sitting in a drawer, could you sell it on the Mercari app too?
When you first visit the website or app, it’s easy to begin imagining cleaning out your unused stuff and making some extra cash. But many pause to wonder, “ Is Mercari legit?”.
Mercari and apps like Mercari offer a way to do an online garage sale of sorts, but without the face-to-face interaction. You list your item in the app, ship it when someone buys it, then get paid.
Sounds simple enough, but what do Mercari reviews say about that getting paid after it ships part? Is that a problem? And what is the experience like for buyers? Can you get some really great deals on the Mercari app?
We’re delving into the world of this online selling app to answer the questions, “What is Mercari?”, “When was it started?” and “Is Mercari safe to use?”.
We’ll also take a look at any Mercari lawsuits out there, Mercari scams to avoid, and Mercari seller fees.
If you’ve ever wondered about selling your unwanted stuff on an app like Mercari, you’ll want to read on to find out about the benefits and potential drawbacks.
AdvisoryHQ News Mercari Review | What is Mercari & Where Did it Come From?
Mercari is somewhat like eBay but without the auction part. They call it “The selling app” on their website and it’s designed to make it easy to sell things online like those old Le Creuset Salt & Pepper Mills or that collection of Beanie Babies sitting in the closet.
The Mercari app connects sellers and buyers and helps facilitate the purchase and shipping process.
The company was founded in Japan in 2013 and now has added locations in the United States and United Kingdom.
A few of the awards the company has garnered over the years include:
- Best Shopping App by Google Play (2013)
- Best App by Google Play (2014, 2015)
- Forbes Japan’s Startup of the Year (2016)
While evaluating Mercari reviews at the Better Business Bureau (BBB) for their US-based operation, we found a dismal “F” score there, with 964 complaints. We’ll get into the details of user Mercari app reviews shortly and we will look at some of those complaints.
The company states they have over 100 million Mercari app downloads worldwide and over 100,000 items are listed daily.
How Does Mercari Work? (Fees, Shipping, Ratings)
Those wondering, “Is Mercari legit” might think the process looks a little too easy.
You take some photos and list your product with description. It’s free to list items, and the Mercari fees don’t come in until the item sells.
The site also gives you the option to use a Mercari prepaid label to ship the item or ship it on your own. They say you save an average of 33% on shipping costs if you use their prepaid label.
Precise timing both on the buyer and seller sides is part of the system of how Mercari is supposed to work. Many that run into Mercari scams, have problems with this shipping or receiving and ratings process.
Mercari Shipping/Receiving/Rating Times
- The seller is asked to ship the item within 3 business days of a sale.
- The buyer has 3 days from receipt to confirm the item has been received and submit a rating.
- You don’t get paid until a rating has been given.
- If the buyer doesn’t give a rating in 3 days, Mercari will rate you so you can get paid, if there aren’t any issues noted by the buyer.
- You then rate the buyer and get paid.
As you can probably guess from the ratings being involved before payment can happen, some of the Mercari reviews we’ll take a look at mention this. Problems can be based upon buyers not giving ratings and sellers not understanding the rating process that needs to happen before payment.
Another intricacy of this rating before getting paid process includes that Mercari tells buyers that if they’re not happy with the item or it never arrived to contact them through the Mercari app instead of rating the seller.
This holds up payment to the seller until the issue is resolved. Naturally, some sellers think this is some type of Mercari scam, but it’s meant as a protection against an item being shipped that wasn’t as it appeared to be online.
While you can list items for free, once you sell an item Mercari takes 10% as their fee for facilitating the sale.
The prepaid shipping labels through either USPS or Fedex each come with $100 shipping insurance. Costs range from $4.25 for an item less than a pound to $70 for items between 100-150 pounds.
If you make a direct deposit request to transfer your balance into your bank account that is under $10, there is a $2 fee. There is also a $2 Mercari fee if a direct deposit transfer is rejected by your bank for any reason.
Mercari Reviews of Items for Sale
What type of items can you buy on Mercari? It’s as varied as a yard sale. You have the ability to shop by keyword and by category to more easily find what you’re looking for.
Main categories on Mercari include:
What is Mercari’s policy on restricted items? There are some restrictions to what you can sell on Mercari. In our AdvisoryHQ Mercari review of their seller policies, we found the following item restrictions.
Prohibited items that can’t be sold on Mercari:
- Age restricted products or offensive items
- Counterfeit items
- Digital items (like eBooks)
- FDA restricted items (such as food, vitamins, diet products, etc…)
- Financial products/services
- Humans or body parts
- Illegal items
- Items not in your physical possession (no drop shipping)
- Items that are a safety hazard
- Items used for identity theft
- Live animals
- Stolen goods
- Tobacco products
Prices are as varied as the products and people that sell them. Some items look to be a great deal, like an Apple iPad 2 for $79, while others seem a little pricey, like a small Coach suitcase for $340.
The app is definitely used by lot of people judging from the wide and varied selection of items for sale through Mercari.
Mercari Reviews | Complaints and Praise from Users
Is Mercari a legit site for buyers and is Mercari safe to sell your items on? Those are the main questions people have when deciding to download their app or other apps like Mercari.
When money’s involved, so are scammers, and Mercari scams are no different. You’ll see the same types of scams as you see on sites like eBay, where people pretend to be a buyer or seller but are actually just trying to scam you out of some money.
So, how it is to buy and sell on Mercari? We’ve taking a look through Mercari review and ratings sites and have the results of those scores for you first.
After the ratings, we’ll get into some highlights of Mercari app reviews from users and give you a peek at 5 postive and 5 negative reviews so you can see what people have to say about Mercari and its platform.
Mercari App Reviews & Ratings Overall:
- Google Play Store (106,521 Mercari reviews): 4.4 out of 5
- iTunes Store (253,223 Mercari reviews): 4.8 out of 5
- Sitejabber (484 Mercari reviews): 1.5 out of 5
- Trustpilot (276 Mercari reviews): 1.6 out of 10
The Mercari reviews and ratings are surprisingly split, with pretty positive scores in the app stores and just the opposite on other review websites. But if you consider the overall number of reviews, the app stores win out with many more users giving opinions there.
Mercari Review Highlights | Negative Reviews
- In a 1-star Mercari review on Trustpilot, the reviewer said they bought an item that never arrived and customer service was no help in resolving the issue. They thought Mercari was a scam because they had no way to get their refund or item.
- Another reviewer also mentioned that there was no customer service help available when they needed it. Their Mercari review stated they had made three successful sales but did not receive their money even 5 days after delivery.
- In a Google Play store Mercari review, the reviewer did not like the $2 service fee for direct deposit (for under a $10 amount, according to the site) and said they and their friends started off selling a lot, but then sales slowed down for all of them.
- A reviewer said they would not use the app anymore because it was overrun with scammers and abusive users. The first time they made a purchase, the item never came and they said getting a refund was difficult.
- In a Mercari review at the BBB, the seller said they had over 300 positive customer reviews and yet had their account suspended and money taken without warning, and they didn’t receive any satisfactory answer from customer support.
Mercari Review Highlights | Positive Reviews
- In a 5-star Mercari review at Sitejabber the reviewer thought the app was very easy to use for listing items and printing the shipping labels. They said they had sold over 160 items and only had one issue with a buyer.
- A reviewer on iTunes said they’d tried many other selling apps like Mercari, but found Mercari to be their favorite. They liked the easy communication through private messaging and the ease of listing items for sale.
- If asked, “Is Mercari safe,” this user would say it was. In their Mercari review on Trustpilot they stated they really enjoyed using the app and will recommend it to friends and family.
- Easy communication between buyers and sellers through the app was a plus for one buyer. Their positive Mercari review also said the app had a very fluid interface and had become their new favorite way to buy things online.
- A reviewer that both buys and sells on the Mercari app said they had great experiences on both sides of the equation. They said they did not have any problems with any of the sales and that the site was a great alternative to eBay.
AdvisoryHQ Review | Mercari Lawsuits
When searching for any pending Mercari Lawsuits, we did not run across any that were in litigation from users of the platform, but we did find mention of people that wanted to sue the company. The reason being that sellers had their money held by Mercari and not paid out to them.
There is one survey that is collecting user stories in order to build a case for a Mercari Class Action lawsuit. We also saw another mention by a user in their Mercari review that said they planned to sue them for withholding payments due.
One Mercari lawsuit we did find was related to patent infringement litigation that was closed in 2017, with the plaintiff being Hair Flair Limited and the defendant, Mercari, Inc.
Other Apps Like Mercari
If you’re still not sure about the question, “Is Mercari legit?”, we’ve got a list of few other apps like Mercari that you can check out.
Online Selling and Buying Apps:
AdvisoryHQ’s Tips | How to Avoid Mercari Scams
As we mentioned, Mercari users can fall prey to the same types of scams you’ll find on other online buying and selling platforms.
You can find many horror stories online in Mercari reviews and other app reviews about bogus transactions and money that was scammed from unsuspecting buyers or sellers.
Here are a few ways you can protect yourself from getting scammed on Mercari.
Request a Tagged Photo
If you’re buying a big ticket item, you want to make absolutely sure the photos posted by the seller are for real. One way to do this is to ask them to write something on a piece of paper (the “tag”) and put it next to the item and send you a photo.
Always Use Delivery Verification
If you’re selling an item, you might be tempted to go for the cheapest shipping method, which doesn’t include tracking, but that’s a mistake.
It’s well worth the extra money to ship with delivery verification so you have something to prove your item was delivered if the buyer claims it wasn’t.
Be Suspicious of “Too Good to Be True” Deals
If you see an iPhone 8 for $25 that claims to be in perfect condition, it should send up a big red flag. Many scammers put out deals that seem too good to be true, and it’s because they usually are, and are just used a bait to hook you.
Avoid People That Want to Go “Off App”
One of the protections Mercari has for buyers and sellers is that they act as the middleman. Criminals may ask you to sell them a listed item but not through the app itself and the reason is so they can scam you.
One common example is that they “accidentally” send you too much money via a check that your bank initially takes. They then ask for a refund of the extra by PayPal. Then, only too late, you find out the check was bad. Selling in the app avoids this type of scam.
AdvisoryHQ’s Conclusion | Mercari Review
If you’ve got some items you’d like to unload but don’t relish the work involved with a garage sale, then Mercari can provide you a safe platform for selling items where no in-person meeting is required.
Likewise, for buyers, you can find some great deals through their app without having to drive around town looking for yard sales.
Many of the Mercari app reviews are positive with both buyers and sellers finding the interface very easy to use. But the lack of customer service is one complaint that comes up often.
On the selling side, there are several complaints about issues with receiving money due from sales. Many of the negative Mercari reviews were about seller accounts being closed without warning and money due to them not being paid.
Some sellers said that Mercari claimed they were selling counterfeit goods, but they said they were not and could not get any help from their customer support.
When looking over the reviews for Mercari, a plus was that we saw the company attempts to respond to user reviews, both positive and negative.
Scammers can also cause a bad experience on Mercari, as they do on other selling and buying sites. Being careful about transactions and aware of scammer warning signs can help you avoid them.
In our opinion, Mercari is as safe a shopping platform to use as a site like eBay. You need to watch out for crooks, but overall can sell some of your unwanted items for cash or get some great shopping deals.
The users that seem to have the most issues with Mercari are people that sell a lot of items regularly. If you’re just selling your own unused items to make a few extra dollars, Mercari offers an easy way to do that from the comfort of your couch.
AdvisoryHQ (AHQ) Disclaimer:
Reasonable efforts have been made by AdvisoryHQ to present accurate information, however all info is presented without warranty. Review AdvisoryHQ’s Terms for details. Also review each firm’s site for the most updated data, rates and info.
Note: Firms and products, including the one(s) reviewed above, may be AdvisoryHQ's affiliates. Click to view AdvisoryHQ's advertiser disclosures.