Today I’m going to show you exactly how to sell on Mercari, without skipping a step.
You’ll also learn the most profitable things to sell on Mercari, and the best strategies to boost sales that I’ve learned after selling on Mercari for a long time.
This comprehensive guide is split into sections for easy navigation:
- Account Setup (in 60 seconds)
- Best Items to Sell
- Creating Your First Listing
- How to Ship on Mercari
- Mercari Fees
- Secrets to More Sales on Mercari
Account Setup (in 60 seconds)
Most sites to sell things have account setups that take hours to complete. Fortunately, creating an account on Mercari takes minutes not hours.
Feel free to complete this process on your computer or phone, the steps are the same.
The first thing you’ll do is add basic account information.
Next, you’ll be asked to add your phone number. If you don’t want to do this, you can download the free Google Voice app, and generate a phone number that way.
At this point, you’ve filled out the required info, but it’s a good idea to also add a profile picture and bio to increase your credibility (which leads to more sales).
To do this, go to “view profile”.
Then click on “edit profile” to make these changes.
Best Items to Sell on Mercari
In my experience, the best things to sell on Mercari are household and personal items, like clothing, shoes, electronics, toys, furniture, purses, and sports equipment.
Things that don’t sell well on Mercari, are super niche items that only appeal to a small group of people. Feel free to give it a try, but I’ve found better luck selling on eBay with those items.
- Cards – basketball, baseball and Pokemon cards sell like crazy
- Watches – smartwatches and traditional watches
- Video Games – vintage games sell the best
- Shoes – collectable shoes, everyday shoes, and even incomplete pairs
- Jewelry – costume jewelry sells extremely well
- Camera Gear – lenses, lights, bags, and cameras
- Popular Toys – board games, Lego items, Nerf items, action figures, dolls, and vintage toys
- Jackets – leather jackets, puff/down jackets, and vests
- Sports Equipment – golf clubs, baseball bats, and tennis rackets
- Purses/Bags – you’ll find lots of designer bags, book bags, and luggage for sale
Don’t miss the extended list of best things to resell online to boost your sales further.
Creating Your First Listing (5 Steps)
Similar to account setup, listing on Mercari is shockingly fast.
Here are the 5 elements for Mercari listings:
- Photos – Show all the angles of your item in great light. Can add up to 12 images.
- Description – title, product description, and hashtags (up to 3)
- Details – additional info about product (includes: category, brand, condition, and color)
- Delivery – shipping methods include: Mercari shipping or local shipping (using Uber)
- Pricing – set your listing price
Mercari is a barebones selling platform. As such, pictures are one of the few items buyers use to determine if they want to buy, so make sure your photos are on point.
How to take great product photos:
- Clean background – A cluttered background distracts buyers from your product, and comes across unprofessional. Instead, use a clean backdrop in your pictures like hardwood floors, carpet, brick, or neutral colored walls.
- Excellent lighting – Natural light works best, due to its balanced and warm effect. Indoor lights are the next best option, positioned so the product is fully visible for buyers.
- Multiple angles – Photograph each side of your products to bring transparency to listings, and instill confidence in buyers.
- Effective product positioning – Lighting and backdrops won’t save an item that still needs sprucing up. Before taking photos, do a quick spot check and get rid of any dust, hair and dirt.
The description is where you write your listing title, description, and hashtags. The most important part of this section is the listing title, because it’s what buyers initially see. Not to mention, incorporating lots of keywords will get your items in front of more people.
Although not recommended, a lot of sellers leave the product description blank. It’s your call, but if you want to maximize your store’s conversion rate, it’s best to add some more info about your product here.
Hashtags are optional, and give you more opportunities to appear for searches. I always add the 3 hashtags sellers are allowed to use.
The details section helps Mercari surface the right products for shoppers, so make sure you fill out these 4 questions.
This info also enables your results to appear when users use filters while shopping.
You have four delivery options during the listing process.
- Mercari Shipping – sell across the United States. Mercari will email you a shipping label
- Mercari Local – sell your item locally. An Uber driver will pick up and drop off your item to the buyer.
- Mercari Local & Shipping – allow for both methods of shipping, which increases chances of a sale
- Ship on Your Own – purchase a shipping label from another website (such as Pirate Ship) and input the tracking code details in Mercari
The “Mercari Local” option is one of my favorite parts of the platform. The days of sketchy meetups in parking lots are over!
I’ve tried both “Mercari Shipping” and “Ship on Your Own” over the years. Although you save a few dollars by shipping on your own, it takes more time. So, it’s up to you whether you want to maximize your profit or maximize your time.
All in all, I’ve been pleased with the shipping experience on Mercari.
Like most platforms, Mercari will suggest a selling price for you based on their sales history for your product. I’ve found this feature to suggest prices on the low end, and therefore prefer to come up with the price myself.
The easiest way to determine market price for your item, is to search your item on the platform and then review sold listings to gauge what people have recently paid for it.
With that information, you can easily price your item.
How to Ship on Mercari
How to ship on Mercari will depend on which of the four methods you selected, but in any case it’s very intuitive.
If you want the easiest shipping method, use Mercari Shipping.
With this method all you need to do is pack your item up, and bring it to the postal carrier. Once there, they’ll scan your QR code, and then print the shipping label and paste it on your package.
Mercari also provides $200 in shipping insurance as well.
If you want to save the most (usually a few extra dollars), use Ship on Your Own.
With this method, you buy shipping yourself through a major carrier, or from a discount shipping website like Pirate Ship (it’s the best discounted shipping service I’ve used).
Here’s the recommended shipping method based on package weight and size:
If you ship locally, you can skip the meetup for a small fee, and an Uber driver will deliver your package for you at a time that works for your schedule.
Tactic for Success
It’s less important how the packaging looks, and more important how protected your item will be in transit. Feel free to double box your item, use newspapers for extra packing material, and make sure all seams on the box are taped up so no water/dust gets inside. Also, using a poly mailer is the recommended way how to package clothing to sell for the lightest packages.
Mercari charges sellers a fee of about 13% to sell on their platform.
When comparing Mercari vs eBay vs Poshmark, Mercari’s fees fall in the middle.
I think it’s a pretty reasonable fee considering you have instant access to millions of shoppers along with other seller benefits.
How to Sell Faster on Mercari
After selling on the platform well over a year, here are my best tips for selling on Mercari.
Cross-selling is the practice of listing the same item across multiple online marketplaces such eBay and Poshmark.
When cross-selling you can tap into the benefits of all of them and supercharge your selling potential.
Cross-listing gets your products in front of more buyers, some of which might only use one platform exclusively that you would otherwise miss out on by only selling on one platform.
Send Offers to Buyers Regularly
On Mercari, shoppers have the option to like listings by pressing the heart icon.
This allows sellers to see which users are interested in their item, and would likely purchase if the price was a tiny bit lower.
Seasoned sellers send out offers every week if not daily to nudge interested users into purchasing.
Mercari selling has quickly become my favorite marketplace due to its streamlined selling process and massive pool of shoppers.
Hopefully, this guide helps you with your online selling journey.
John-Paul Cody has been an avid online seller for years, across platforms including eBay, Mercari, Craigslist, and more. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Economics from UNC Chapel Hill, and works in data analytics and marketing.