Why are Mercari Fees so High & How to Easily Lower Them

by Erin Schollaert

Updated

Offering the chance to declutter your closet and make some extra money: Mercari has become a powerhouse among sales platforms.

You have the chance to make some fast and incredible sales, but unfortunately, many first-time users will immediately start wondering, “why are Mercari fees so high?”

If you find the Mercari fees too high for your budget and want to make some real money: this is everything you need to know.

What are the Mercari fees?

Mercari’s fees are a mixed bag of reasonable and unreasonable seeming.

Although it doesn’t charge for you to make a listing or to transfer your money out in a direct deposit to your bank: it does charge a separate sale and payment fee, along with high-priced cancellation and instant transfer fees.

mercaris-main-fees

These are some of Mercari’s main fees:

  • Listing Feeit costs nothing to make a listing on Mercari. 
  • Sale Fee – when you complete a sale, you’ll have to pay a minimum of 10% of the item price as a fee.
  • Payment Fee – there’s a payment processing fee of 2.9% plus $0.30 per sale based on the price of the item.
  • Low Deposit Fee – if you want to transfer less than $10, you’ll have to pay a $2 low deposit fee.
  • Rejected Deposit Fee – if your deposit doesn’t go through, you’ll have to pay $2 to try again.
  • Instant-Pay Transfer – if you don’t want to wait for payment, you’ll have to pay $2 per instant transfer.
  • Cancellation Fee – if you cancel a customer’s order, your fee will be 5% of the item’s value, up to $25.

It’s easy to see why so many people are asking, “why does Mercari charge so much?”: these fees are steep when you consider that the average listing on Mercari is only around $10 to $20.

Check out these tips for selling on Mercari to be successful despite these high fees.

Tactic for Success

To ensure you don’t lose track of fees, calculate them into the price of your items. If you want to get $10 from a sale, you’ll have to price it at $11.12 to ensure you get the full $10 after the sale fee.

Why are these fees so high?

Hosting a site that allows for as much traffic and interaction as Mercari can quickly get expensive, which is part of the reason eBay fees are so high too.

Not only do they advertise listings for free and bring customers directly to you, but they also have to pay for your payments to go through and get transferred to your bank.

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Their fees may seem steep from the outside, but generally, Mercari has been very transparent about their changes, adding the 2.9% payment fee in 2020 and has kept their fees generally low.

If you host your own store website, it could cost from $1,500 to $6,000 to start it and then another couple hundred dollars a month to host it.

Besides this, you’d have to pay for advertising, search engine optimization, and so much more that can quickly add up. This is a huge financial risk if you’re starting a new business.

Mercari ensures that anyone can start selling with a 0% listing fee: and that’s fantastic if you’re testing the waters.

Every platform is different, so it is important to discover the differences between Mercari, eBay, and Poshmark when starting your online business.

Trend on the Rise

eBay, Etsy, and multiple other sites have come under fire within the last two years for raising their prices: with Etsy asking for 30% more than they did previously. Sites, including Mercari, are expected to continue to raise their fees over the next five to ten years.

Is it worth selling on Mercari?

Selling on Mercari is a fantastic site for beginners! This Japanese-founded site has been giving people the chance to sell their unwanted clothes and goods for nearly ten years.

Users quickly took to the site because of lower fees, the fact that there’s no limit on how many items you can list, and the lack of listing fees: and it’s seen booming success.

Of course, it’s not perfect in every way. The fees average out to around 13% per sale, with other fees that many users find unexpected and frustrating.

Mercari-pros-and-cons

Mercari sees near-constant growth, though, and currently has over 15.38 million active users every month and over 3 billion listings.

This is a great platform for any newer business to springboard off of.

Trend on the Rise

The resale market has grown by 53.3% since 2020, thanks in part to a large number of people wanting to buy used to save money. This is a massive market that continues to grow, with user bases on these sites continuing to expand. 

How to Lower Your Mercari Fees

The best way to lower your Mercari fees is to be aware of your actions on the site and how the fees add up.

For instance, you should avoid fast-transferring money out of your Mercari account more than once a week, since the transfer fee applies to every individual fast transfer.

mercari-screen-trends

If you allow your money to accumulate and then transfer it out, you’ll be able to get one small transfer fee instead of dozens on tiny orders.

To avoid fees, you should also try to keep order cancellations as low as possible. 

Doing so will ensure that you don’t have to deal with cancellation costs, which can quickly add up when you’re not taking in any money.

Triple check your listings, and make sure they’re what you want them to be before you post them. 

Lastly, take advantage of these cheapest ways to ship internationally

Tactic for Success

The fees you pay Mercari can be counted as a deductible when you file your taxes. This is considered a business expense: so if you can’t lower the amount you pay Mercari, you can at least use it to lower your taxes. You have to include your Mercari income in your taxes to do this.

How do Mercari fees stack up against other sites?

Mercari’s fees are surprisingly low compared to other sites.

Not only is the 10% lower than eBay or Poshmark, but they’re also similar to what you’ll find on Depop and far more predictable than the 6% to 45% range you would deal with on Amazon.

This is how some of Mercari’s competitors stack up:

  • Selling on eBaypossibly the highest competitor, eBay has high seller fees (at 15% up to the first $1,000) and has a massive marketplace.
  • Selling on Poshmark – focused on clothing, Poshmark is recognized as a major reselling site for people new to selling. This site takes 20% of sales as a commission.
  • Selling on Etsy – although the main sales on Etsy are of unique arts and crafts: you can make money selling used items. Etsy takes a 6.5% commission on sales.
  • Selling on Depop – Depop is the most similar to Mercari, offering the same fee amounts and a similar site layout to sellers. 
  • Selling on Amazon – Amazon can still be a profitable platform as long as you’re competitive and have a good product. The seller fees here range from 6% to 45%.

Every site has its own fees; it really depends on how you use them to decide whether it’s worth it for you or not.

If you’re new to these sites, it might be worth it to consider trying a few different platforms at once.

How To Make Sure Your Items Sell

funko-pops-mercari

If you’re struggling to make sales on Mercari, and the fees are hurting more because of that, it’s time to boost your business.

These are some of the top ways to ensure your items sell.

End Any Non-selling Items Regularly

This will boost your listing to the front and will ensure that your store looks fresh and active.

Post Listings at the Best Buying Times

Generally, the best time to post new listings is between noon and seven in the afternoon. Fridays and Mondays are the best days since they’re when most people are idle at their computers.

Get Verified

If you don’t have your ID verified, do that soon by allowing Mercari to state that they’ve seen your ID and have identified you as who you say you are.

This gives you a badge and makes your store more trustworthy.

Keep On Top of Sales

Customers want to buy from sellers they can trust. Prove your company is trustworthy by shipping quickly, answering questions, and treating this like you would treat any full-fledged business.

Your ability to make money on Mercari depends on how well you can source items for cheap, how active you are on the website, and how sought-after your items generally are.

If you can keep on top of these ideas, you’ll be able to make a lot of money in no time.

Wrapping Up

If you’re eager to make some money and aren’t afraid of the fees it can cost to set up your own business: consider working through Mercari!

This site is a great option for hobbyists and businesses alike.

About the Author

Photo of author
Erin is a business teacher and mother of three. When she’s not in the classroom or fulfilling her obligations as an A+ hockey and lacrosse mom, she’s working on her latest article.