Mercari is one of the largest online marketplaces in the world, boasting more than 19 million users!
If you want to make more money on Mercari, you need to be using the latest strategies and features available to sellers.
Today we will share the best tips for selling on Mercari so you can maximize online sales.
1. Add More Keywords in Titles to Boost Visibility
Keywords refer to product modifiers (ex: quilted, zip, leather, woven, gray, North Face, etc) and alternative product names (ex: cap, hat, snapback, etc).
Each keyword combination searched by Mercari buyers leads to a different feed of products based on the product modifiers (aka keywords added in the titles by sellers).
By including more keywords, you will make your listing appear for more searches, which drives more sales.
For example, keywords were the primary reason I was able to resell a pair of shoes for $150 recently that only cost $8.
2. Save Big with Mercari Local
Mercari local is a brand new feature that allows users to sell locally without meetups.
The service uses Uber drivers to handle the delivery between the buyer and seller and starts at only $7.99.
This service saves sellers a fortune on heavier items that would otherwise ship the traditional way.
Plus, buyers never see your address and won’t ask to meet in a random parking lot for the exchange. This feature alone makes Mercari one of the better websites to sell things in my opinion.
3. Set Prices 25% Above Your Bottom Dollar
It’s common for buyers to send offers below asking price hoping to score a better deal on Mercari.
This can be especially frustrating to sellers, if the item is already priced at your bottom dollar.
To avoid this frustration, price your items 25% higher when you list them to allow plenty of wiggle room for negotiating and making offers to buyers.
After using the platform for a while, I’ve learned this is a vital strategy for selling on Mercari.
4. Bundle Similar Items Together
Bundling is an effective way to move large quantities of items. Oftentimes, large families want to buy big bundles of things like jackets and shoes, because it’s much quicker than buying everything individually.
Collectors and resellers often buy lots (aka bundles) as well to lower their buying price per unit.
In addition, shipping bundles of items can often be cheaper since everything is being delivered in 1 box, rather than multiple.
This is the core principle behind liquidation companies, which is still one of the lesser known business ideas you can start.
5. Set Your Prices Competitively Using Sold Listings
Pricing too high is one of the biggest reasons sellers struggle to make sales. Even if your store is filled with the best items to resell, bad pricing can still result in slow sales.
It’s not always intentional either, some sellers just don’t know the current market price of their items.
The most effective way to determine the market price of your item is with sold listings.
Always do a quick sold listings search to get a snapshot of how much the item you want to sell is actually selling for in the market today.
6. Low Quality Descriptions Hurt Sales
Blank descriptions leave buyers wondering why there’s so little information posted about the product? Is there something wrong with it? Was the seller in a hurry?
It ultimately makes buyers hesitate to purchase, which is the last thing you want them to do.
Putting helpful information like clothing dimensions and what’s included in the sale, saves you from having to answer those questions from buyers in the future.
Descriptions can also be used to add more product keywords to improve discoverability of your listing.
7. Send Offers to Buyers Regularly
On Mercari, potential buyers have the option to like listings by pressing the heart icon.
This gives sellers the option to see which users expressed interest in their item so they can send them offers directly.
Seasoned sellers send out offers every week if not daily to nudge interested users into purchasing.
8. Pictures, Pictures, Pictures
Pictures have the power to make or break the sale, since people buy with their eyes, especially online.
Great pictures will even let you get away with selling the same item for more money, because it looks more appealing.
Taking great pictures comes down to 3 simple elements:
- Use great lighting
- Photograph all sides of the item, and get close-ups on important details (clothing tags, model numbers)
- Clean and clutter free backdrop
9. Add 3 Hashtags to Boost Visibility (Even More)
Mercari gives sellers the opportunity to add up to 3 hashtags when listing on the marketplace (ex: #cowboy boots or #vintage video games).
That way sellers can decide which other customer searches their listings will appear in, which puts more eyeballs on your listings.
Don’t pass up this feature to increase your listing visibility, especially because it’s free.
10. Always Ship Within 3 Days
Sellers have 3 days after a sale to ship out the item. If you drag your feet and ship it out past that timeline, it will likely result in negative feedback and even a cancelled sale.
For online stores, positive feedback/reviews represents someone’s trustworthiness as a seller.
If a store has lots of positive feedback, buyers are more willing to buy from them thus boosting sales.
11. List A Lot Initially to Spark Sales
A brand new Mercari account has 0 reviews and no badges (such as “Quick Shipper” or “Reliable”). This means many buyers will be hesitant to buy from you, since you don’t have a track record yet on the platform.
Listing a high volume of fairly priced items on the marketplace is the quickest way to get past this point.
Sooner or later, someone will buy from you and your account will get it’s first review sparking more sales.
12. Add Clothing Dimensions in Descriptions
Within the reseller community, whether or not to include clothing dimensions has been a debate for years. The biggest argument against including them is that measuring clothes is a time consuming process.
While it does take a few minutes, it’s pretty quick once it becomes part of your system. In addition, buyers will be more confident buying from you because they aren’t guessing if something will fit them.
This means more sales and less returns.
13. Alcohol Erases Blemishes off Sneaker Soles
Shoes are a very common item sold on Mercari. However, no one wants to buy dirty, beat up shoes, which means some light clean up goes a long way.
A common eye sore on shoes is dirty rubber soles. A quick and cheap way to make them look brand new is by using small dabs of alcohol on a rag to clean away scuffs and other marks.
Alcohol is quite abrasive so it’s best to test it on a small area of the rubber first to see how the area responds. Tino The Sole Advisor is a great channel to learn about restoring shoes.
14. Boost Sales with Free Shipping
Living in the Amazon era, most consumers are accustomed to getting stuff shipped free. On other platforms that don’t always offer free shipping, this can become a roadblock for potential buyers.
A great workaround is to offer free shipping and then incorporate most if not all of the shipping price into your asking price.
This way, buyers still get that warm and fuzzy feeling from free shipping without passing off all the cost burden to the seller.
15. Go the Extra Mile When Packaging
Skimping on packaging is a common mistake made by beginner sellers. Without adding enough protection on the item when it ships, there’s a very high likelihood the item will be damaged in transit.
In those situations, the seller is responsible because the item was not adequately protected before beginning the shipping process. Not only will sellers lose out on the sale, but a bad review will likely follow.
So, spend an extra couple dollars to ensure your packages are well protected before sending them on their way.
16. Make Sure Items are Clean before Selling
Quickly cleaning items before selling helps them sell faster and for bigger payouts.
The 4 most helpful items for cleaning include: Clorox wipes, lint roller, scissors and a Tide-to-Go pen.
With those 4 items in your toolbelt, you can tackle 95% of issues. Your store’s inventory will look amazing, and you’ll maximize your earnings in the process.
17. Use the Free Package Pickup Service from USPS
If you’re like many sellers who sell on the side, it can be difficult making shipping runs throughout the week when you work another job.
A great solution available with the USPS is their free Package Pickup service that runs from Monday – Saturday.
Simply visit the Package Pickup page on the USPS website and schedule your daily, weekly, or monthly pick up, and save tons of driving time and gas money.
18. Embrace Cross-Selling
Cross-selling is the practice of listing the same item across multiple online marketplaces such eBay and Poshmark.
Although there are differences between eBay, Poshmark vs Mercari, 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.
19. Use Pirate Ship to Save on Shipping
Some sellers opt to buy postage off the Mercari platform so they can dial in shipping costs a little better and potentially save money.
The best service for that approach is Pirate Ship, which offers steep discounts for shipping similar to online marketplace discounts.
Sign up takes less than a minute and then you’re off to the races with your shipping savings.
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.