Mercari! Can I buy and sell through it? I’ll tell you.

Like so many other online marketplaces, Mercari is just another platform.

While many users have had positive experiences with Mercari, some have raised concerns about the platform’s safety and legitimacy.

So the question is…

Is It Safe?

Let’s take a closer look together, and we will find out.

Is Mercari Legit? What do I think?

Well, I can tell you right off the bat that Mercari is a legitimate and reliable e-commerce platform.

[And actually, if you use this link to sign up, you’ll get up to $30 back!]

Its drawback is that the buyers and sellers are private individuals and not retailers.

What does this mean?

As you’re not purchasing from a retailer or a company, you have no guarantee whether the individual is legit or not.

So you have to make the call if the person you’re buying from and selling to is trustworthy. 

Mercari itself is totally legitimate, but it can’t guarantee the safety of the transactions that go on there.

You will have to use common sense.

If you find a listing for the latest iPhone, and it’s selling for only $50, then you should be skeptical. 

Like eBay or Craigslist, sellers don’t always disclose all the information about their selling products.

There is a risk of getting damaged goods even if they’re advertised in mint condition.

And you’ll never really know until you receive your order.

In a way, it’s like gambling. 

As for payments, the seller will only get the funds once the buyer confirms the order and rates the seller.

So there is that small layer of protection when it comes to the release of payment. 

The trouble with Mercari is sometimes you’ll get an item that is not as advertised.

Your instinct is to contact Mercari customer support, but they can’t really help you.

Your beef is with the seller and not the platform. 

So the only reason you may get scammed on Mercari is if you let your guard down and don’t use common sense.

How exactly does this happen? 

How Do Buyers Get Scammed On Mercari? 

Just like most online marketplaces, Mercari has possible lurking scammers.

And how do you spot a scammer?

Well, their profiles are usually new, with no or bad reviews, and items with questionable prices.

Too good to be true usually is!

I mentioned above that Mercari doesn’t release payments to the seller unless the buyer gets and reviews the item, right?

That should be enough to stop people from getting scammed, right? 


Sometimes, a seller might try to contact you on another platform like, let’s say, WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger.

If you deal with a seller outside of Mercari, there’s a high probability that it’s a scam. 

Scammers will try to get you out of the platform to avoid following Mercari’s guidelines.

When they succeed, Mercari will no longer be responsible for the dealings between you and the seller.

So stick to the platform and scroll down to learn how to not get scammed.

How Do I Avoid Getting Scammed On Mercari As a Buyer? 

stock photo about avoiding scams

Every time you want to buy something from Mercari, answer these questions first.

How much is it going for these days?

What does it look like in brand-new condition?

What are its specs and features?

Never make a purchase that’s too good to be true because it will most likely be a scam.

Think about it: no one will give you free stuff.

Here are a bunch of tips to apply to ward off potential scams: 

Don’t share personal info.

It’s good practice never to share your banking information and social security number unless absolutely necessary.

You should also never share your login details to prevent people from hacking into your account. 

Don’t deal outside Mercari.

That makes sense, right?

Because when you deal outside of the app, you’re no longer covered by their protection policy. 

Use common sense

Never buy from someone with a sketchy profile and bad or nonexistent reviews.

Make sure you have a reasonable ballpark price for the item that you’re eyeing.

If someone is trying to sell you a normally expensive item for much less, it’s a SCAM! 

Decide if you want to keep your received item within three days.

When you get your order, you have three days to assess if the item is damaged or not as described.

If you’re happy with it, confirm it and release the payment to the seller.

If not, request a return.

Easy peasy! 

Use a credit card to make payments (not a debit card)

Credit card companies offer buyer protection to save you from fraudulent purchases.

If you accidentally release payment to someone by any chance, you can call your credit card company to forfeit the transaction. 

That is why I am a big proponent of using credit cards. You just have to use them WISELY. This video has some food for thought for you on CCs.

How To Sell Items Safely On Mercari? 

Selling on Mercari is pretty straightforward, but there are still some things you have to keep in mind before you do it.

Let’s see what those are….

Be honest and accurate in your product listings. 

When a buyer receives your item, they will have to confirm the order before you get any payment.

If they examine it and realize that it’s not advertised, they will want to return the item, which is going to be your responsibility. 

To prevent this from happening, you need to make sure that all the details in your listings are accurate.

You will always win an open dispute if you had written an accurate listing in the first place. 

Ship your items correctly. 

When you make a sale, you will need to ship the item within three days of the purchase.

You’ll be required to put in a valid tracking number to complete the transaction on the app.

Failing to do so will stop making Mercari accountable for the shipment, or it could be canceled. 

Before shipping an item, make sure to package it carefully.

Add some protection so the item won’t get damaged in transit.

When you complete all this, the final step is to go to the Order Status page and tick “I’ve shipped it” to let the buyer know that their order is on the way. 

Have all shipment and delivery details handy. 

To help a buyer keep track of the shipped item and to make Mercari accountable for it, you have to provide a valid tracking number.

If the item doesn’t get to the buyer by any chance, you will have proof that you sent it. 

Make sure you don’t sell and send prohibited items. 

Be care full of the products you choose to sell with Mercari.

If you attempt to sell a prohibited item (according to Mercari’s list), it will automatically remove the listing and terminate your account. 

For your help here is a list of items you can’t sell on Mercari: 

  • Illegal drugs 
  • Tobacco and alcohol 
  • FDA restricted foods
  • Firearms, ammunition, and parts 
  • Digital items such as software and Ebooks. 
  • Stolen information 
  • Insurance
  • Legal documents like licenses and passports 
  • Mystery purchases (gambling/lottery) 
  • Pets and livestock 
  • Human body parts 
  • Pornography 
  • Hazardous materials 
  • Viruses and malware 

Like Mercari, there are many other online marketplaces where you can do business as well.

(If you have time) dig into the resources below, or bookmark them and come later.

What items to sell on Etsy?

How to get more sales on Etsy?

What is eBay, and how to sell more clothes on it?

How Etsy and Depop are different from each other?

Mercari vs eBay.

Doing Business With Mercari – The Pros and Cons

Like any online marketplace, there are some advantages and drawbacks to using Mercari.

Here are the pros and cons to consider if you think you’d like to buy and sell there: 


It’s free to make listings. 

Putting up an item to sell on Mercari is completely free.

Listings are also very easy to create and can be done in a few minutes. 

It’s a great place to hunt for bargains. 

Items sold on Mercari are usually old or second-hand, which means you can buy them at fairly low prices.

The selling fee is low. 

Once you complete a sale, Mercari charges a flat rate of 10%, which is reasonable and lower than other platforms.

It’s easy to ship items. 

Mercari’s shipping process is straightforward and reliable.

Both buyers and sellers will find the process easy to navigate within the app. 

Buyer-to-seller communication is possible before purchasing. 

If you’re looking to buy a product and you want to know more about it, you can contact the seller on the app.

There is a chat option to reach out to sellers, so you don’t have to communicate outside of the app. 

You can manage your business entirely on your phone. 

It’s great that you don’t need a desktop or any other device to do business in Mercari.

All you need is your phone, which means you can conduct business pretty much anywhere. 

Need a break??

Watch this video to find out some other side hustles that you can do, along with selling items with Mercari.

Hope you’ve liked the video above. Let’s get to the cons of selling withe Mercari.

And the CONS are

It’s not a place to buy lower-end items. 

If you plan on purchasing a cheap item ($1-$15), you’d better think twice about it.

There is a standard 10% fee on top of shipping costs to consider, which makes it not worth it. 

Sellers can ghost you or be unresponsive. 

Unfortunately, there are some sellers on Mercari with a wide range of interesting listings that are not so active on the app.

It can be hard to communicate with certain people, so it’s frustrating if you want to learn more about an item but can’t. 

You won’t get paid unless the buyer rates you. 

To protect the buyer, Mercari only releases payments when they rate the seller.

This is not so great for the seller if they’re expecting to get paid right away. 

Is Mercari Reliable – FAQs

What are some other legitimate online marketplaces?

Here are some other legitimate online marketplaces like Mercari:
Facebook Marketplace

How to know if a Mercari seller is legit?

Some ways to determine if a Mercari seller is legit are:

Check the seller’s ratings and reviews
Look for detailed item descriptions and photos
Check the seller’s transaction history
Use Mercari’s messaging system to communicate with the seller

And most importantly, trust your instincts

Should I buy from Mercari?


Is Mercari buyer protection good?


Does Mercari sell fake Items?

Unfortunately, Yes.
There are scammers everywhere and Mercari is no exception.

My Final Thoughts On Mercari

In conclusion, Mercari is a legitimate and safe platform for buying and selling a wide range of products.

[A reminder, if you use this link to sign up, you’ll get up to $30 back!]

While there are some risks and challenges associated with using any online marketplace, Mercari has put in place a number of policies and protections to help ensure a positive experience for both buyers and sellers.

Whether you’re looking to declutter your home or find a great deal on a new item, Mercari offers a convenient and reliable platform that you can trust.

So go ahead and start buying and selling on Mercari with confidence!

PS: If you are really into selling second-hand items, Check out these two guides.

Selling clothes on eBay

Reselling Yeezys

Disclosure: This article might contain affiliate links to the resources I refer to. It's at no cost to you, and it's how we pay the bills. Get more info here.

Brooks Conkle Banner Image
Brooks Conkle

Brooks is an entrepreneur, father, husband, & follower of the golden rule. He has over 15 years of experience as an entrepreneur after graduating with a Finance degree from Auburn University. Addicted to starting new business projects, he believes in creating multiple income streams and a life of flexibility. Business should work around your life, not the other way around. He creates content on his website, sharing his projects to help other hustlers in marketing, personal finance, and online business.