Emily VanSchmus | 

Is Mercari Legit? Here's How to Make (& Save) Money

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What if we told you there was a way to make money and save money at the same time? With Mercari, you can do just that. It’s an online resale platform where you can find discounted prices on all the things you’re already buying. So is Mercari legit? Yep, indeed. While you’re shopping for cheap shoes and sale-priced sweaters, you can also make money selling your own gently-used items.

Mercari offers more of a variety than niche sites like Poshmark, which targets secondhand clothing and makeup. And Mercari has some of the lowest fees of any resale site — so you can make more money on Mercari than if you were to sell other places. It’s a nice little side hustle that can earn you some extra cash, and you might even find some amazing deals there, too.

Here’s everything you need to know before you create your account.

For more ways to make and save cash, text DEALS to 57299 to be the first to know about the hottest deals each day.


So is Mercari legit?

Mercari is definitely a legit way to shop and make money, but since there are thousands of sellers on the site — and really no verification process for who is doing the buying or selling — it doesn’t hurt to be extra careful. If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. (Spoiler alert: that Chanel bag listed for $50 is probably not real.)

But Mercari does have some protections in place for both buyers and sellers. As a buyer, you’ll either get the products you paid for, or you’ll receive a reimbursement. As a seller, your items are protected for up to $200 in case they get lost or damaged during shipment. You also don’t have to worry about buyers canceling their orders on a whim, so once you receive the notification that an item has sold, you can expect a payday.


How do you make money on Mercari?

First things first: you need items to sell. Of course, new and name-brand items will sell more quickly, so take inventory of the products you’re not using. You can’t sell everything, but there are only a few restrictions. Mercari really only prohibits illegal or dangerous items like drugs or weapons, food, and counterfeit items (you can find the full list of no-nos here). There’s never been a better time to clean out your closet, attic, or basement and start making easy money.

Listing items is free, and as the seller, you determine the shipping cost and carrier. You can hike up the price of your item and offer free shipping or have the buyer cover the delivery costs.

Once you’ve made a sale, there are two ways to get paid on Mercari:

  • Use Instant Pay to transfer the funds to your debit card instantly for a $2 fee.
  • Request a bank direct deposit (it can take up to five days) with no fees for payouts above $10.



How can you save money by shopping on Mercari?

Young person wrapping product into a box

If you’re more interested in shopping than selling, there are a few easy ways to make sure you’re getting the best deal. You can save money shopping on Mercari by toggling on the “free shipping” filter. This means you’ll only be on the hook for the list price of the item without having to add shipping fees later. There’s nothing worse than finding a great deal only to realize shipping is an extra $20!

There’s also an “offer” tool you can use to try to get an even better deal. It essentially allows you to barter with sellers and offer them a lower price. For example, you could offer $15 on a $20 sweater, and if the seller wants to make a quick sale, they’ll likely accept.

The site itself also runs discounts and promotions, so watch for those if you’ve had your eye on something.

Related: You can often find name-brand clothing for cheap (I’m talking 80% off!) on 6pm.com.


Does Mercari take out fees?

Mercari does take out fees, but they have some of the lowest fees compared to similar shopping platforms like Poshmark. Mercari takes a flat 10% of each sale.

They also charge 2.9% plus $0.30 for payment processing, so plan on a total fee of 12.9% plus $0.30 per sale. While it’s not ideal, it’s a lot less than most other resale sites take (Poshmark takes 20%, for example). As long as you list your items for 13% more than you want to make on the sale, it’s not a bad deal at all.


Is Mercari worth it?

Person Collecting a package

Mercari is an easy place to score great deals on gently used name-brand items. As long as you don’t mind buying pre-loved items, it’s a good way to snag some big savings.

And since sellers can list products for no fee, there’s no reason not to list as many items as possible and wait for the offers to roll in. As long as you don’t mind waiting for your things to sell, there’s no harm in having dozens of things listed at a time.

Another major perk of the platform is the Mercari Local option. Similar to Facebook Marketplace, the Local feature lets you explore nearby listings and make transactions quicker than having to deal with shipping. Through Mercari’s partnership with Uber, they’ll deliver the items for $10.99 with no need to plan meetups with the seller or buyer or coordinate pickup times. (This is also a nice safety measure, too!) This service isn’t available everywhere, though, so check the availability near you.

Related: Read up on another resale site with our guide to Is Poshmark Legit?

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