Is Shopping & Selling on Mercari Legit & Safe? Here Are the Facts!


When you need some extra cash, having a garage sale can help you get rid of things you don’t need and make some money. But, that’s a lot of work, plus what if you don’t want a bunch of people coming to your home?

Why not take that garage sale online with sites like Mercari? Or… Mercari in particular!

Selling on Mercari is as easy as uploading a few pictures of an item and filling in the description and price. Then once the item sells, you ship it to the buyer. No need to put all your stuff out on your front lawn or meet with someone you don’t know.

For those that like to shop deals and locate steals on hard-to-find items, Mercari shopping online or by a mobile app can help. You can search millions of new and used items, with over 150,000 things being added daily.

Mercari Website Screenshot for Mercari reviews

Mercari Reviews | Mercari Is It Safe?

It all sounds great, but is Mercari legit? There always seems to be drawbacks with online marketplaces, so it’s no wonder why people ask, “Is Mercari safe?” and “Are there Mercari scams?”

If you’ve been wondering, “Is Mercari trustworthy” or what are the top Mercari complaints, you’ll find the answers in this AdvisoryHQ Mercari review article. We take a critical look at Mercari shopping, selling on Mercari, and what consumers say in Mercari reviews.

Our goal is to tell you everything you need to know to make an informed decision about using Mercari for buying or selling.

Mercari, is it safe? Let’s find out!

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What’s Mercari?

Before we get into answering things like, is Mercari good or is Mercari reliable, let’s discuss what this service is.

What’s Mercari? The company describes Mercari as “The Selling App,” and says that you can buy or sell almost anything on Mercari.

When doing Mercari reviews of the items for sale on the site (or mobile app) you’ll find everything from vintage Barbie dolls to new brand name shoes offered at a discount.

What Sells on Mercari?

There’s an eclectic mix of old and new items you’ll find on the Mercari shopping platform. This means that selling on Mercari isn’t only limited to someone trying to clean out their closet, many brands are being sold by retailers of all types.

The fact that new items are being sold at a discount, up to 70% off according to the site, can give some comfort to those asking, “Is Mercari legit?” because it lends some credibility to the online marketplace.

Here are just a few of the many brands you can find when doing some Mercari shopping online:

  • Adidas
  • Bath & Body Works
  • Burberry
  • Disney
  • Gucci
  • Nintendo
  • Sony
  • VANS

It’s important to state when answering, “What’s Mercari?” that Mercari is not selling these brand name items, they are being sold by 3rd party sellers. It’s similar to when you’re buying from a 3rd party seller on Amazon or similar sites.

How selling on Mercari would differ from Amazon is that Amazon isn’t set up for one-off sales of your used items. In this way, Mercari is closer to eBay.

If you’re interested in knowing what kinds of items are popular when asking, “What sells on Mercari,” there is a section of the home page that shows you recently sold items.

Product Catalog for selling on mercari

See What Sells on Mercari


Who Owns Mercari?

Mercari is a public company, which is headquartered in Japan. The company has three offices in Japan and three in the United States.

So, the answer to, “Who owns Mercari?” would be: Its shareholders.

When looking at Mercari reviews and wondering, “Is Mercari Legit?”, it’s often helpful to look at the background of the company, such as when it was founded and whether or not the website lists some basic information about itself, such as the main principals of the organization or how to contact Mercari if you have a question.

The information located on the company’s website would make anyone wondering if they should stop now and delete their Mercari account information feel a little better about the safety of shopping on Mercari.

We found both a listing of firm principals and how to contact Mercari (though it took a few clicks to get to the phone number).

About Mercari

A very good sign when you’re asking, “Is Mercari legit?” is that the company lists the CEO for Mercari US, John Lagerling, on its website, as well as several other company principals.

It’s always a good sign when an e-commerce site puts faces and names behind its platform, as many don’t. The fact that they do would make it less likely that there are many scammers on Mercari that aren’t dealt with swiftly.

Here is a little more about Mercari.

Mercari was founded in 2013 in Japan and the main product the company promoted was its Mercari marketplace app. Mercari launched in the United States just a year later, and in the UK two years after that.

Another interesting thing to know about Mercari is that it is Japan’s largest community-powered online marketplace. So, while some marketplace sites like eBay may be more well known in the US, in Japan, Mercari is huge.

Mercari Contact Number

Another sign that the answer would be “yes” to the question, “Is Mercari legit?” is that the company does list the Mercari contact number on its website. Although it’s not immediately apparent.

If you’re frustrated about Mercari returns or another issue, it can be a little confusing figuring out how to contact Mercari. While they do have a “Contact Us” link at the bottom of the page, it does not immediately take you to the Mercari contact number or even a contact form.

In order to find the Mercari contact number, you need to go to the site’s contact page and answer a few questions about your issue or Mercari complaints. You’ll then be taken to an FAQ answer page.

Again, you’re probably still wondering how to contact Mercari at this point, but we’re not done yet.

Scroll down, and you’ll see a button to contact them. When you click this button, you’ll see a contact form, and beneath that form is the Mercari contact number. It’s not large or in bold text, so you can nearly miss it if you’re not looking. But the answer to how to contact Mercari by phone IS there.

As of this writing, the Mercari contact number is 1-888-325-2168. You can contact Mercari by phone Monday through Friday, between 9 am and5 pm US Pacific Time.

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How Does Mercari Work?

One of the biggest questions people want to know is, “Is Mercari free?” Yes, Mercari is free to use. Those buying products on Mercari have no membership fee and those selling on Mercari can list as many items as they like for free. After an item sells is when you’ll get charged a seller fee.

How Mercari works is slightly different for buyers and sellers. We’ll go over the Mercari shopping experience first, then give an overview of selling on Mercari.

How Does Mercari work for Buyers?

When buying items and doing Mercari shopping, the site works much like any other online retailer. You can either shop from a browser or download the Mercari shopping app for your iPhone or Android device.

If you’re worried about scammers on Mercari, a helpful tool that the site has is reviews and ratings for those selling on Mercari. Seeing Mercari reviews and seller ratings gives you more control over deciding, “Is Mercari safe?” or “Is Mercari legit?” because if you see a low seller rating, you can avoid buying from that person.

Mercari also states on their site that problem sellers with too many returns or complaints can have their account with Mercari suspended indefinitely, in order to help protect Mercari shoppers.

Two more ways that you can answer, “Is Mercari good?” or “Is Mercari reliable?” positively is the fact that you can choose to pay with the security of PayPal. Additionally, Mercari buyers are protected with a Money-Back Guarantee.

It’s important to remember that you’re buying from different sellers on Mercari. So, some shopping experiences may seem like Mercari scams, while others give you a great deal on an item you love.

Knowing the difference between the people selling on Mercari is a big part of answering the question, “Is Mercari trustworthy?” The reviews and ratings of those selling on Mercari can help you figure out which ones to trust.

How Does Mercari Work for Sellers?

We’ll go deeper into the basics of selling on Mercari in the next section. First, we’ll provide a brief overview of the entire process.

As mentioned, the answer to, “Is Mercari free?” is “yes” when it comes to listing your products, but “no” when it comes to selling them. They charge a 10% selling fee when a sale is completed.

The process is pretty straight forward:

  1. Sign up for a Mercari account or sign in with Facebook
  2. Create a listing, adding a few pictures of your item, the price, and description
  3. When the item sells, ship it within 3 business days
  4. Confirm to Mercari that you’ve shipped the item
  5. The buyer confirms the item arrived as specified (they have 3 business days)
  6. The buyer has to rate you
  7. You have to rate the buyer
  8. After rating the buyer, you receive the funds in your Mercari balance
  9. You can use the money for Mercari shopping or cash out and have it sent to your bank

Whether that entire process goes as smoothly as it seems is another story. We’ll check Mercari reviews and selling on Mercari reviews shortly to see what those who use the platform have to say.

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The Basics of Selling on Mercari

Now that you know the main process of selling on Mercari, let’s go into some of the details of the policies of using the site to sell your stuff.

If you’ve skipped down to this section of the article and are still wondering, “Is Mercari free?” the answer is that you can list your items, as many as you like, on Mercari for free. So, there’s no risk to list things and see if you can sell them.

Once they’re sold, Mercari fees are 10% of the sales price.

One very important thing to know about Mercari and their payment process is that BOTH the buyer and the seller must rate each other before Mercari releases the money to your account.

Mercari Fees for Withdrawing Your Balance

How does Mercari work when it comes to getting your money? Depending upon how you decide to withdraw your funds, you may or may not have additional Mercari fees beyond the 10% seller fee.

If you’re not aware of the withdrawal policy, you might think you’re the victim of a Mercari scam when you see these funds vanish from your account.

Here’s what to expect with these additional Mercari fees:

  • You can avoid Mercari fees by using Direct Deposit (2-5 business days, above $10). If there is a direct deposit rejection from your bank, it will cost you $2.
  • If you use a direct deposit for less than $10, there is a $2 fee.
  • If you use Instant Pay (money is paid in minutes to your debit card) it will cost you $2.

Mercari Fees for Shipping

You can choose from three options for shipping your item once you’ve sold it.

  • Ship it on your own through any shipping service (no Mercari fees for shipping)
  • Use a Mercari Prepaid label from popular carriers (Mercari fees for prepaid labels are up to 60% off retail carrier rates)
  • Use Mercari Pack & Ship through the UPS Store (additional cost for the packing service)

Mercari Returns Policy

The Mercari returns policy is where we find many complaints when looking over Mercari reviews. Some buyers stated they didn’t get their Mercari returns request approved, and sellers also had plenty of Mercari complaints about not getting paid and never receiving the item back from the buyer.

Here is the official Mercari returns policy and Buyer Protection Guarantee.

A buyer has 3 days after confirmed delivery to request a Mercari return. It can be requested if the buyer has one of the following Mercari complaints:

  • Item not received as described
  • Item is potentially a counterfeit
  • Item is prohibited
  • Item is defective
  • The wrong item was received

Buyers returning an item should not give the seller a rating. Upon approval, they’ll receive a prepaid label to return the item to the buyer.

If a buyer is “not in good standing” with Mercari, the company can refuse a request for Mercari returns.

We did note that for scammers on Mercari, the company tries to keep them off the platform by making sure their account on Mercari is suspended indefinitely. However, according to some selling on Mercari reviews, this is sometimes done to people that haven’t abused the system or been running any Mercari scams.

How to Delete A Mercari Account

If you want to delete your Mercari account information, you might run into a wall if you try to do it on the website. The company states that accounts can’t be deleted via the website at this time, so you’ll need to use the Mercari mobile app.

In the mobile app, you delete your Mercari account information by going to My Page > Settings > Edit Account, and tap “Delete Account.”

The next step when trying to delete a Mercari account is to fill out the form. As soon as the request is received, your account will be deleted.

mercari shopping using mercari mobile app

Mercari Reviews | How Does Mercari Work?


Is Mercari Legitimate? Is Mercari Safe?

Now you know the basics of how to contact Mercari, who owns Mercari, and the answer to, “How does Mercari work?” Next, we’ll address how safe it is to shop on Mercari.

First, let’s look at it from a corporate standpoint. Is Mercari legit?

Yes! Mercari is a legitimate public company that is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. The company lists addresses for offices in the US and Japan.

When answering, “Is Mercari trustworthy?” we can point to the fact that several executives from the company have their names and photos listed on the ‘About Mercari’ page of the US website, which is a positive sign.

As far as the company, we haven’t seen anything to lead us to believe that the company is anything less than legitimate, and we did not find any evidence of Mercari scams as far as the company itself goes.

Mercari, is it safe?

How safe it may be to buy and sell on the website is another story.

Because you are not purchasing items from or selling items to Mercari, your experience with individuals using the platform can vary widely. This makes it much more difficult to answer “Is Mercari good?” or “Is Mercari reliable?”

Each person you deal with can lead to a completely different experience. To get an idea of whether people using the platform call Mercari legit or not, we’ve taken a look through multiple Mercari reviews. We’ll discuss those next.

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Mercari Reviews

Is Mercari safe according to those that use the platform? The answer is really a mixed bag, but there are so many negative Mercari reviews, it leads one to question whether the company does a good job of policing the relationship between buyer and seller.

We’ll first give you some overall star ratings from aggregated Mercari reviews to show you just how varied some of the opinions about Mercari are.

Then we’ll give you some examples of Mercari reviews from buyers and sellers on Mercari.

Mercari Reviews and Ratings:

  • Sitejabber: 1.52 stars out of 5.0 (980 reviews)
  • Trustpilot: 4.2 stars out of 5.0 (16,596 reviews)
  • Better Business Bureau (BBB): 1.0 star out of 5.0 (692 reviews)

See what we mean? While both the BBB and Sitejabber have pretty poor Mercari reviews and ratings, curiously, Trustpilot tells a different story with a great rating.

Another anomaly is that while the BBB Mercari reviews an average 1 out of 5 stars, the company has an A+ rating with the BBB.

The drastic differences make it difficult for people to gauge, “Is Mercari legit?” and “Is Mercari safe to use?”

Buying on Mercari Reviews

Some of the ‘Buyer’ Mercari complaints were largely about the lack of help from Mercari customer service when they had a problem.

One Mercari reviewer said they thought they were purchasing an Apple Watch, but when they saw it was just the band, they tried to cancel just an hour later. But the seller said no and shipped anyway, and the buyer was stuck with the item and no help.

Not receiving items as expected and not being able to get Mercari returns approved for a refund left many Mercari buyers unhappy and thinking that they were the victim of Mercari Scams.

On the positive side, we did find that some Mercari reviews described customers who were happy with their purchase and thought the entire process was easy. Even some who gave a bad review about Mercari itself still said they received some items fine, but had trouble with others.

Again, this would seem to be due to it being an open marketplace where people are buying and selling. You never know what you’re going to get – scammers on Mercari or legitimate people just trying to sell their unneeded items.

Selling on Mercari Reviews

It’s not only buyers wondering, “How does Mercari work?” and “Is Mercari safe?”, but sellers too.

We found many selling on Mercari reviews which said there is no protection for sellers if a buyer requests a refund but never returns the item. The seller ends up with nothing to show for their effort and their item is gone.

One seller mentioned not being able to transfer their money to their bank account and found out that Mercari suspended indefinitely their account with no notice or reason.

Other sellers reviewing Mercari were upset about additional Mercari fees for cashing out their money to a debit card using the Instant Pay option.

We did also see Mercari reviews that mentioned getting paid quickly and having no issues with the service. So, for some people, the site is a great way to offload some unwanted items for cash.

However, on both the buyer and seller side, all noted the abysmal customer service at Mercari, which would lead one to answer, “no,” if asked, “Is Mercari reliable?”

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Can You Get Scammed on Mercari?

Can you get scammed on Mercari? Yes, you definitely can. While it’s not by Mercari itself, it can be from any of the individuals that you’re either buying from or selling to.

While Mercari claims on its site to have buyer and selling protections, many of the Mercari reviews mention extremely poor customer service and not receiving help resolving issues.

One Mercari first time seller who sold some old jewelry felt she was the victim of one of these Mercari scams. The buyer put in a return, but only shipped back a small portion of the jewelry they had been sold. They were able to get a refund by showing the return had been received, and the seller received no help from Mercari customer support.

It seems one of the biggest reasons people answering, “Is Mercari legit?” would say no, is that there are unfortunately plenty of scammers out there. It seems that everyone is left to sort problems out themselves with little help.


Is it Worth it to Sell on Mercari?

Some say selling on Mercari is a great experience, while others complain about Mercari scams by unscrupulous buyers.

Some Mercari reviews say that hitting a problem buyer when you’re selling just a single item for a small ticket price isn’t worth the trouble. They end up out of the item and the cost of the shipping.

Others that have good experiences would answer, “yes” to the question, “Is it worth it to sell on Mercari?” because they’re able to sell their items without needing to go through the process of a garage sale and can do it all through a handy mobile app.

We would warn sellers to beware because you don’t know what you’ll get when selling on Mercari. It all depends upon who is on the other side of the transaction.

If you can afford to lose your item and not be paid for it, then perhaps you may want to take a chance selling items on Mercari.


Is Mercari Better than eBay?

Looking over eBay’s BBB rating, we see that it’s identical to Mercari’s. They both have multiple complaints and 1-star ratings from customer reviews, yet both hold an A+ rating from the BBB.

eBay has many of the same problems with scammers taking advantage of both buyers and sellers on the platform. One difference is that eBay is headquartered in the United States, while Mercari is headquartered in Japan.

We don’t see anything that points to Mercari being better than eBay. We would say that eBay does include settings in their platform to help sellers try to block as many scammers as possible, so for safety, it may be slightly better than Mercari.


Where Can I Find Sites Like Mercari?

If you’re looking for online marketplace sites like Mercari, there are plenty of them out there for buying and selling new and used items.

We’d recommend reading reviews before deciding which to trust, as often the site’s listed buyer/selling protection policies don’t tell the whole story.

Here are a few sites like Mercari you can buy and sell goods on:

  • eBay
  • Poshmark
  • Letgo
  • ThredUp
  • Vinted

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Conclusion: Is Mercari Legit? Safe? Worth it to Sell or Buy?

Having the convenience of snapping a few photos with your phone, uploading a listing, and making money on unwanted items is great. The Mercari app makes it a simple process for both sellers and buyers.

Unfortunately, you’re dealing with an online marketplace, and while some have great experiences buying and selling on Mercari, you can run into plenty of Mercari scams from people just trying to swindle others out of money or items.

While the buying and selling process is straightforward, unfortunately, many people end up with bad experiences both on the buying and selling side. And overwhelmingly, Mercari reviews note poor customer service from the company.

Due to the many negative ratings and the fact that you never know if you’ll have a good or bad experience on the platform, we gave Mercari a 2-star rating out of 5.

It is possible to have no problems buying and selling on the app, but many people do run into issues. We urge you to be wary of using Mercari both for buying and selling items.


Image sources:

  • https://www.mercari.com/
  • https://www.mercari.com/
  • https://apps.apple.com/app/id896130944?mt=8


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