Is Mercari or eBay Better for you to Sell On?

Categories: Sell on marketplace
Sam Thomas avatar
Sam Thomas Updated: May 01, 2021


Is Mercari or eBay Better for you to Sell On?
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When you are trying to make a profit off your second-hand items, choosing the perfect marketplace or online market is of the essence. You might be sitting on the fence whether you should sell on eBay vs. Mercari.

There are other platforms, of course, but these seem to be the two most common in my experience, and I want to help you find out which platform you should be using.

Table of contents

What is Mercari?


Mercari is an e-commerce company which was established in Japan in 2013 and is primarily active in Japan and the USA. It has evolved to become one of the largest markets powered by enormous communities in both nations since its introduction. Mercari serves as a substantial online flea market where users can promote and sell their products.

The marketplace is currently carrying out 10 billion yens worth of transactions per month. While revenues in the US are not yet revealed, we can confidently assume that it is also enjoying tremendous popularity in this market.

The European market was one sector where the network did not receive a sincere welcome. Mercari launched its first European division in the UK in 2016, only to close it two years later. The company, depicting the circumstance as a “temporary retreat,” told that they would be looking forward to new chances in the near future.

Two groundbreaking aspects, the Mercari Channel and Mercari NOW have immensely led to the growth of the website. The former facilitates e-commerce live streaming, whereas the latter enables users to pay for the products immediately.

The marketplace is readily accessible either from the desktop or from its app, built to help users sell just about everything.

The innovative delivery mechanism that allows goods to be delivered anonymously to nearby grocery stores is another strong point; it lets consumers secure their privacy and maintain personal details.

All these elements make Mercari more enticing to sellers as well as buyers.

What is eBay?


eBay is an online commerce website that is renowned for its auctions and consumer purchases to users. It is also a big hit as a distribution platform for online retailers to use. eBay is open in several different countries. Nevertheless, by inserting the zip code, you can check for items available in your local region. Alternatively, you can check for items available domestically or globally.

Anyone can register an eBay account for free. As well as buying goods, you can sell your items. If you have a vendor account, there are some correlated costs, such as listing fees. The prices may differ, based on the price at which you market your goods as well as how long you show them.

eBay has grown into a household name despite its modest beginnings in 1995. You have undoubtedly heard people talk about it, or seen it on TV, in films, or on the internet, even though you have never used it yourself.

This is attributable to the fact that virtually everything can be purchased and sold online. Millions of transactions are made daily; in 2019, eBay grossed an enormous 10.8 billion dollars.

The thoroughly capitalist economic essence of the web is the major attraction for eBay buyers and sellers. An object on eBay is worth exactly the money that someone is prepared to pay for it.

This can mean that dealers can pay too high prices for products such as collectibles, discontinued products, antique items, unusual merchandise, or something in limited supply for widely coveted after items. This has made eBay the place to go for enthusiasts who are willing to procure stuff they would not find locally.

Collectors congregated to eBay due to their fraud-detecting and preventing mechanisms for the excellent variety of products, the sophisticated filtering software, the warning systems, the user-centered aspects of the site, and the potential to prevent fraudulent purchases. Each day on eBay, some enthusiasts spend hours on end making big bucks buying and selling collectibles.

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Pros and Cons of selling on Mercari

Pros and Cons of selling on Mercari
Pros and Cons of selling on Mercari

Pros of selling on Mercari

  • Low sales commissions: Mercari is the least expensive of all the markets out there. It doesn’t have any secret costs, and you will have to pay 10% of your revenue, which means that if your listing ended and you have not made a profit, you will not have to pay anything upfront or fear that you will incur losses.

  • Free and easy listing: Here, Mercari has progressed a long way! Listing 12 photographs (equal to eBay), automatically improving the brightness of your pictures, choosing a bunch of images to list simultaneously, moving images around, and taking long or square photos are some of the latest improvements.

Mercari did a lot to make listing quicker and easier. You can list items either on your phones or your computer.

  • Listing promotions: Unlike many other markets, Mercari supplies sellers with actual promotions. For example, it also runs payment discounts for certain products, such as just 5 percent commission on a certain day for male shoes listed. To elevate your listing on the first spots, you may still opt to offer a discount on your items, yet you will not have to pay anything beforehand.

Recently, I haven’t seen this sort of promotion available. Mercari now enables you to publicly or privately cut the rates. Your item will be promoted, meaning your items will appear on the top spots of search results.

  • Private chat feature: eBay already has this function as well, but we appreciate that Mercari gives you the ability to share all the information about the order in a private window between you and your buyer.

  • Flexible solutions for delivery: You can choose to deliver the orders alone or request for delivery assistance. You get a flat-fee delivery rate to all 50 states if you ship under Mercari’s name, plus benefit from delivery incentives.

  • Legislation and rules: I assume Mercari checks listings for potential unauthorized products and violation of laws every night. In certain cases, this is beneficial because it helps to keep fakes and duplicate entries off the web and only enables legitimate listings on the web to be visible.

Cons of selling on Mercari

  • Unrefined interface: Mercari might be new, but both the app and website versions look obsolete. They are not easy and certainly not the best to use … I am looking forward to more straightforward user experience and better functionality for the app.

When you are looking for something, Mercari displays all available and sold listings by default. This makes it easy to navigate through even more listings for the item I want to purchase or for the past prices of sold stuff. Mercari has lately gotten some slight improvements, such as putting a “for sale” and “sold” button at the top of searches to filter this easily.

You can’t quickly check through your listings on a mobile device. It partitions the listings on the desktop into separate pages. If I want to check for all my things from one brand, it is not optimized. The more products you have available for sale, the more complicated it gets

  • Conning buyers: Maybe scamming buyers is the biggest issue you must pay close attention to. If the seller doesn’t explicitly demand the item to be returned, Mercari gives customers the chance to keep an item after having successfully requested a refund. As such, there are a lot of dishonest clients who only try to get the products for free.

Honestly, this problem persists on every platform, and I don’t expect Mercari to be able to eradicate these risks altogether. However, security and procedures have progressed so you can be worry-free, take precautionary actions in case it happens

  • Payments are slow: Until you and the buyer assess each other, your money is held, which is preferred but not mandatory within 48 hours of delivery of the item. If you’re not rated by the customer, you will have to wait a few days for Mercari to unlock your money automatically.

It often takes up to 5 business days to transfer your money. The Instant Pay alternative is now open, where you can move up to $500 a month in only a couple of minutes, but there is a $2 fee.

  • Needs frequent relisting: Another drawback related to the free listing functionality is that, because of the quick method, everybody is compelled to post an item to offer. This means that in all that labyrinth of new listings, your listing will quickly get misplaced. You’re going to have to relist very frequently in order to keep yourself noticeable.

  • Weak referral and credit system: sellers’ credits ranged from $2 to $10. The expiration date for these credits ranged from 5 to 30 days. These terms frequently change, oftentimes without warnings.

Pros and Cons of selling on eBay

Pros and Cons of selling on eBay
Pros and Cons of selling on eBay

Pros of selling on eBay

  • International market place: eBay receives a lot of traffic, which we have already referred to. As many as 164 million engaged customers frequent to it! Obviously, not all of these individuals can become clients, but there are plenty of individuals looking for the goods you sell.

Though there may be nobody purposely visiting eBay for your brand. However, they could stumble upon your merchandise, which they would not otherwise do. You then have a chance to turn them into a regular visitors until they become your buyer. So, if you play your cards well, it can be profitable to turn into this resource

  • Ideal market place: Customers love the convenience of purchasing everything, all from one place. Naturally, this draws customers to sites such as eBay. In addition, most online shoppers trust popular markets such as eBay, instead of a new retailer they have never used or heard of.

Besides, you can sell almost everything on eBay: household objects, memorabilia, random trinkets, antique toys, clothes, you name it

Unlike other online stores, eBay provides sellers the choice of auctioning off or registering their products as a ‘Buy It Now’ listing.

  • eBay does not battle with sellers for customers: Unlike Amazon, eBay does not sell goods on its marketplace, which ensures that they will not try to conceal your products to sell its owns.

  • Phone customer service: When you have an immediate issue, you really would like to speak to someone and get answers right away. You will use eBay to do so. They’re open from 5 AM to 10 PM every day. Not all customer service agents are fantastic, but the silver lining is that you get fast service

  • Minimum time investment needed: If you really want to, you can list your things and forget about them. You don’t have to waste your time promoting your goods with each other.

  • Each month’s free listings. When eBay is having a sale or you have your own store, you get 50 free listings per month and more. You will be charged for the store, but for each thing you sell, you pay less than the regular fee. It could be worth it, actually.

  • Enjoy Security for Sellers: eBay secures its customers.

In the unlikely case, sellers are not paid by a buyer without any evidence proving that the seller has done something wrong, or a customer files a ‘Money Back Guarantee’. In those cases, eBay has policies and procedures to protect the seller.

  • It’s quick to set up and run: It’s much better to set up an eBay storefront than to build your e-commerce site. Simply register for an eBay account and buy a membership that helps you to run a store. From there, you can easily configure your storefront and then begin adding items to your shop shortly.

You don’t have to invest a great deal of time and money on eBay to build up your e-commerce service. Even via a smartphone app, eBay sellers can manage their shop, which again provides customers with an easy way to manage their business.

Cons of selling on eBay

  • Prohibitive fees for the Marketplace: Marketplace charges of eBays are sort of a drawback. If you’re selling goods making little profit, selling on eBay might not be profitable.

Accordingly, if you consider eBay, you’re going to need a solid understanding of your profitability and the fee for which you’re going to pay so that you would have a better idea of whether eBay is the right sales channel for you.

After your first 50 listings available per month, you have to pay for extra listings. eBay already makes a commission, but they still want to profit off listings.

You also have to pay a 10 per cent fee on shipping expenses in addition to paying commission (a final value fee) on the item. This is the reality whether or not you offer free delivery or the customer pays for it.

By obtaining commercial shipping rates, you could get a hefty discount. However, shipping that initially costs $2.9 will cost you over $3.

  • Slow payments: Winning an auction or purchasing a product does not immediately result in a person’s credit card being paid or money from an account being withdrawn. It may take days for your customers to pay you

You may request instant payment, but prospective customers could be deterred by that. Buyers sometimes don’t pay at all, so you have to motivate them to pay by email or receipt.

You can open a lawsuit against a purchaser after a certain period of time: In the meantime, for your product, you can’t do anything except let it remain in your cabinet or wardrobe. This is a pain in the arse and a waste of resources.

  • You may not be in control: eBay wants to attract attention to the merchandise not the actual sellers, which dramatically hampers the opportunity to connect with your customers and market your company

Additionally, eBay owns your store: This indicates that you are subjected to their terms and conditions, and eBay can change these in a heartbeat.

  • There are thousands of other sellers offering homogeneous products: You’re going to need to find a way to put the brand apart from the others, which can be sort of difficult for small businesses.

  • Weighing before shipping is compulsory: if you mistakenly estimate the weight of your packed item or weigh it incorrectly, the extra expense would come off from your profit.

  • Buyers’ quality: eBay has a reputation for attracting discounted-products hunters, which suggests that most shoppers prefer items at the lowest prices possible. Therefore, eBay may not be the sale site for you if you are hoping to sell luxury products.

  • Difficult to sync your inventory: For many e-commerce sellers, eBay is the second marketplace. That is why many companies are struggling over an efficient way to sync data across multiple platforms. Lack of synchronization can cause a logistical problem, demanding a great number of resources.

Is Mercari or eBay better to sell on?

1. Shipping territory

eBay is the biggest rival for Mercari, so you may be curious whether you should prefer the latter over the former or vice versa. Both markets give you the chance to sell just about everything; however, there is one major distinction about shipping territory that you might want to take into consideration.

Are you interested in selling worldwide or only to US buyers? eBay offers you access to overseas markets, which means you could reach out to any countries.

Mercari is restricted to the US, so you will not be able to deliver your products to Europe, for example.

So, in this department, eBay has some advantages over Mercari.

2. Free unlimited listings

How the listing is processed is a major difference? As we mentioned above, Mercari needs regular relisting if you want to keep on top of things and be noticeable to your customers.

On eBay, the listing is similar to those on Amazon. You might set your products up and do something else while waiting for anyone to notice what you sell. However, on eBay, you can only get 50 free listings a month. Mercari, on the other hand, comes with limitless free listings.

So, in this term, Mercari seems a little bit better than its rival.

3. Returns Handling

How the returns are handled is another significant difference. Mercari requires the sellers to provide refunds, while if you choose eBay, you can opt not to send refunds at all.

eBay also wins when it comes to shipping. Although Mercari comes with versatile shipping options, shipping on eBay will cost you very little as $2 via PayPal. Sadly, selling through PayPal implies you are obligated to issue refunds, as per the policy of PayPal, whether you like it or not.

When it comes to transfers, all platforms have a too long loading speed, and it can take a while to obtain the money regardless of what payment method you chose.

In terms of customer service, eBay is superior. You can contact the support service either by email or by phone, whereas Mercari only has email support.

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At the end of the day, no marketplace is flawless. Mercari is a perfect marketplace if you are okay with marketing to US buyers only and investing some time to ensure that all is going as planned for your listings.

Or, if you would like to spend a little extra but have access to a foreign customer base and the option to reject refunds, you can head to eBay.

Both markets are good starting points for selling your used goods or starting an e-commerce venture, no matter what your preference is.

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