Is Mercari a scam? Start your e-commerce store with Mercari

Is Mercari a scam

Whenever you think of buying or selling a product online, the first thing that comes to your mind is if the platform is legit or a scam. The thought of it can easily discourage you. There are many platforms where you can buy and sell products online. One of them is Mercari. Is Mercari a scam? You will find out in this post. You would also want to know if it is safe to transact on Mercari. All your fears and more are part of what I will trash out in this Mercari review.

Mercari is a marketplace where people can buy and sell. It is just like eBay. The difference is that eBay has got a wider reach than Mercari.

What is Mercari? An Overview


Mercari is an e-commerce company from Japan. It was founded on the 1st of February, 2013. The founders are Tommy Tomishima, Ryo Ishizuka, and Shintaro Yamada. The company has an app that is available on both Android and iOS. As of December 2017, the app has been downloaded more than 100 million times.

Mercari allows you to buy and sell products like smartphones, cameras, speakers, designer clothing, video games, outdoor goods, bags, purses, etc.

Real people buy and sell products on the platform. Since the products are not sold by retailers, it is susceptible to scams. Read on to find out how you can avoid scammers on the platform.

How to sell your products on Mercari?

You will find all the details you need to get started with Mercari in this section. To sell anything on Mercari, these are the steps you have to follow:

Mercari Category
  • Open a Mercari account – The first thing to do if you want to start selling anything on Mercari is to open an account. Go to or download the app to create an account. After signing up, click on your profile picture located at the top of the screen. Clicking your profile picture allows you to see people following you and people you are following. You can provide a government ID so you can access your funds pretty fast as a seller.
  • Create your listings – Mercari allows you to create as many listings as you want. To create a list, click on “sell” located at the top of the homepage on the app or website. Next is to enter details of your listing. First of all, upload the photos of the item you want to sell. If it is a used item, ensure that it is cleaned thoroughly to make it look appealing to potential buyers. Take a good shot of the item you want to upload. After uploading the item, write the description, title, size, brand, category and state the present condition of the product. Indicate your shipping preference for the product. Do you want the product to be shipped free or not? You have to indicate it.
  • Wait for potential buyers to show interest – The waiting starts. Wait for buyers to show interest in the item. There will be notifications sent to you when someone makes an offer and drops a message. You can see how many people have viewed the item under each listing.
  • Ship the product – The moment the item is sold, it is marked “sold” automatically. Now, you have to carefully pack the item for shipping. If it is a fragile item, make sure it is well-cushioned. You have to ship it within three business days. You can track the shipped item within the app. Once the buyer receives the item, he or she has three days to confirm that the product was received as described by the seller. The ratings of the buyer will show how credible and trustworthy the seller is.
  • Time to get paid – The last process is to pay the seller after the transaction has been successfully conducted. When the process is completed after the 3-day window, the money will appear automatically in the seller’s account.

How to avoid being scammed on Mercari?

Mercari, just like other marketplaces is open to scams. One of the red flags is when a seller without a profile or reviews makes ridiculous offers like $50 for an iPhone. Avoid items with an unreasonable price tag. Though Mercari doesn’t allow sellers to access their funds until the buyers receive their items, scammers have found a way to con people.

Most scammers will trick buyers out of the Mercari platform to Whatsapp, Facebook, or contact them after exchanging phone numbers. Once the transaction is outside of Mercari, there is nothing Mercari can do about it. So, the safest way is to transact within the Mercari app or website.

It doesn’t matter the marketplace you are buying from. It is important to conduct some research about the product you want to buy and the person you are buying from.

Most scams take place when the sellers and buyers don’t know the red flags to look out for before going on with the transaction.

Below is how you can avoid being scammed when selling or buying on Mercari. These points will help you identify potential scams so you can avoid them.

  • Avoid any deal that is not conducted within the Mercari app or website
  • Avoid sharing personal information such as phone number, Facebook page, or Twitter handle
  • Have a strong password and change it frequently
  • Don’t buy any items without checking the seller’s reviews
  • Avoid sharing your login information
  • Use a credit card instead of a debit card. A credit card comes with more protection for online transactions.

What you cannot sell on Mercari

There are prohibited items that you cannot sell on Mercari. The items include drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, etc. Your account can get banned for posting prohibited items on the platform.

Who is it for?

Mercari is designed for people who want to make money online by buying and selling products like electronics, clothing, outdoor goods, gaming equipment, etc.


  • The market is less saturated when compared to others like eBay and Amazon
  • A low return rate of just 3 days
  • It is safe and secure since payment is not released to the seller until the buyer confirms the product has been received in good order.
  • The seller fees are lower compared to other marketplaces. The seller fee is just 10%
  • There is a wide array of products to choose from
  • Listing on the platform is free of charge
  • Payments used to be with a debit or credit card. Now, you can pay with PayPal
  • Communicating with a seller is easy through messaging if the items to be sold are still active
  • There is no limit to the number of items you can list
  • The shipping rate is moderate


  • The customer service is only accessible through messaging
  • Mercari supports buyers more than sellers
  • Some items like drugs and alcohol are forbidden

Is Mercari a scam?

Mercari itself is a completely legit platform for buying and selling different used and new products. It is not a scam.

Conclusion: Is Mercari recommended?

Yes, Mercari is recommended 100% if you are looking for a trusted e-commerce platform to buy and sell your products and make money online.

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8 thoughts on “Is Mercari a scam? Start your e-commerce store with Mercari”

  1. I have come across Mercari before, although I have never use them myself. I do however have many items that I would like to convert into cash as we are moving and need to get rid of unused and unwanted items. 

    I particularly like your advise on how to avoid being scammed on Mercari (and that would be applicable to other platforms as well) I will make sure that I download the Mercari app and use it when conducting business.

  2. Hi and thanks for sharing this. Mercari is interesting. I had not heard of it before. I have been using eBay myself for many years. Always as a buyer and I only once had a bad experience where I paid for something that was never delivered and the seller’s account was cancelled shortly thereafter. I have not tried selling anything yet on eBay but I am quite sure that one day I will. I am not sure what advantages Mercari offers over and above eBay or Craigslist or other more established online auction sites. I have noticed that in recent years there are many more eCommerce sites starting up and it is possible to say that one thing eBay doesn’t do well is local markets. We have a Facebook group for local tag sales and new items are coming up on there all the time. Mostly these are big items like furniture that would cost too much to ship so local trading makes sense. While I am sure that Mercari is completely legitimate I am still wondering why it would make sense to use this platform rather than one of the other more established ones. Thanks and best regards, Andy

    • Hey Andy,

      Thanks for visiting my website and sharing your valuable comments. While I won’t pursue you to join Mercari you can always go through the pros that I have highlighted in the post. Mercari is not as big as eBay but can be a useful source of making some money by utilizing your experience in buying and selling at eBay.

  3. Glad to learn about Mercari! Although this is my first time learning about this e-commerce store, I would like to visit and check out its features and benefits. One of the things that impressed me most is the fact that I can set up my own e-commerce store through Mercari and, at the same time, buy or sell stuff online. I was so curious to find out if it’s a legit platform. And now that I know, I’ll have a look into it. Thanks for the informative review!


  4. Hello Arif,

    I have never heard of Mercari before. Seems like a usable platform for selling products. After reading through this article I think it could be very useful if you have an inventory of items you would like to sell. I was wondering if you can sell single items that you have on hand, kind of like a yard sale online. Does this operate like craigslist or one of those types of platforms?

    I can sure see either way how this could be a very useful tool. I see you have also put up advertisements for Wealthy Affiliate and Jaxxy. Those are two of my favorite online tools that I use pretty much every day!

    Thanks for sharing this information about Mercari! Looks like it could be useful!


    • Hey Chad,

      Thanks for visiting my website and sharing your valuable comments on Mercari. Yes, Mercari is similar to Craiglist or eBay where you can buy and sell the products. It is a good platform to start an online store.


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