How to Sell on Mercari: Tips for Making Sales

Updated on June 20, 2020
KCO profile image

Katy has sold clothing on Mercari and Poshmark for two years and does most of her thrift shopping online using eBay, Poshmark, and Mercari.

Learn how to sell clothes and other household items on Mercari.
Learn how to sell clothes and other household items on Mercari. | Source

Thinking of selling on Mercari? Whether you already sell online or you're looking for a place to start, Mercari can be a good choice. In this article, I will explain how the process works for sellers and give you tips for increasing your profits!

Still not sure? Dive into my review of selling on Mercari to see if it's the best platform for you.

How Mercari Works for Sellers

Selling your clothing and other items on Mercari is a simple process:

  1. List Your Item: include pictures and a description.
  2. Set the Price: choose the listing price and cost of shipping.
  3. Make a Sale: buyers either make an offer or buy outright.
  4. Ship the Item: via USPS or FedEx.
  5. Receive Earnings: funds are released when the buyer receives the item.

Mercari has a similar structure to other resale websites. There are only a few nuances that are a bit different.

Listing Items

Listing is fairly easy on Mercari. You can now add up to eight photos. After you fill in the Title and Description, it tries to auto-fill the Category and Brand for you. That saves a lot of time.

Sellers then choose the shipping method and how much to charge. Mercari can either calculate the shipping for the buyer based on weight or set a flat shipping price.

Attracting Buyers

Once your item is listed, it will appear in search results. If your item is popular, buyers will start liking it. Buyers can make you an offer on any of your items. This will send you a notification and you can choose whether to accept or reject it.

Buyers can also ask you questions about your items. It's a good idea to reply to these if you want to make sales!

Note: Check out the Selling Tips section for more information on how to get more buyers for your items.

Second-hand purse for sale on Mercari.
Second-hand purse for sale on Mercari.

What to Sell on Mercari

You can list almost any product on Mercari. But certain clothing items sell better than others.

These items sell the best on Mercari:

  • Toddler Clothing and Shoes
  • Women's Casual Dresses
  • Women's Jeans
  • NWT (New With Tags) Items
  • Named Styles

Note: "Named Styles" means clothing that has a specific style name—like Express's Editor pants or Lularoe's Julia dress. These sell well on Mercari because buyers can search for that specific name.

Mercari Selling Tips

Here's are my four big tips for getting sales on Mercari:

  • Add 10% to Listing Prices (at least)
  • Drop Prices
  • Include Measurements and Material
  • Offer Free Shipping (optional)

These tips assume that you've already put in the effort of being a quality seller. Your photos should be of good quality and show the details with any flaws. It's also important to write thorough descriptions.

Read on to learn about each tip and how to use them to get major sales!

Pricing Tips

Let's look at how to use the pricing tips from above:

Add 10% to Listings Prices

If you sell online, you're already familiar with marking up your prices. You need to account for fees, shipping, and room to drop prices. Just like Poshmark, it's important to leave room to drop prices on Mercari.

This will allow you to incorporate the next tip . . .

Drop Prices

When you decrease prices by 10% or more all the Likers of your item get a notification.

Why do you want to do this?

Buyers want to feel like they're getting a good deal! This is especially true for shoppers of bargain sites like Mercari. Hook in these buyers by dropping the price after you have a few Likes.

How to Write Great Listings/Descriptions

Aside from your photos, the description is all buyers have to decide whether to buy an item. Take some time with each one and follow these tips.

Include Measurements and Material

Include detailed measurements in all your clothing listings. I follow this tip for my Poshmark listings also. Listing measurements decreased the number of questions I received from buyers.

With measurements and materials stated, buyers make a purchase outright more often.

Offer Free Shipping

This tip might not work for everyone, but it's worth considering in your pricing strategy.

Offering free shipping gets the attention of many buyers. Search results can be filtered to show "Free Shipping" items only. This means your items could be spotlighted over similar ones that aren't offering free shipping.

You can add the cost of shipping to your listing price to maintain the original profit. Most buyers will realize it costs them the same in the end but this strategy helps get views on your items.

This tip has most often worked out for me with sub $15 items.

A dress form or mannequin helps display shirts and dresses and make sales.
A dress form or mannequin helps display shirts and dresses and make sales.

How to Take Great Photos for Selling

The photos are arguably the most important part of the posting. Learn how to take great photos.

Capture Every Aspect of the Item

Customers are used to being able to touch and examine clothing in-store. If you notice pictures for online clothing retailers they're very thorough and always on a model. This is even more important when selling used clothes.

Photograph the Tag, Details, and Flaws

In addition to full pictures of the item, also take some zooming in on the tag. This will help you remember the material and size for later. And it gives the buyer confidence that the material you listed in the description is correct.

Also, zoom in on the details that make the item unique. And make sure you clearly communicate any flaws. This will prevent buyer disputes later.

Use a Dress Form/Mannequin

This Dress Form was my first and was totally worth it. I started on Mercari selling dresses from my closet, but they didn't get a lot of attention. I used earnings from my other items to buy the dress form and retook those photos. I sold all of my dresses before the end of summer!

If you sell shirts or dresses, a dress form is really important for your photography.

I liked that dress form because it would stand on its and fully adjustable. I ended up retaking photos for all of my shirts, pants, and dresses on it.

Use Natural Lighting

Using natural lighting will make a huge improvement in your images. It lets the customer see the true color. Also, the post-processing of pictures taken in true lighting is minimal.

Making Sales and Earning Money

When your item sells you'll receive a notification that it's time to ship it.

Ship the Item

Package the item and use whatever method you selected for shipping. Mercari will send you the shipping address. Print out the label from whatever carrier you chose when listing the item.

USPS provides flat rate boxes or you'll have to provide your own for FedEx. Make sure you have these on hand before your first sale. You don't want to be scrambling for a box while trying to get the item out on time.

Receive Earnings

Once the item arrives and the buyer approves the purchase, your funds will be released. Your Mercari earnings can be used as shopping credit or deposited into a bank account.

Bonus Tip: Combine with Other Selling Platforms

Many clothing flippers use Mercari as just one part of their online presence. It's a good strategy to cross-post listings on Poshmark, Mercari, and eBay. These three platforms have varied user bases, so your listings will reach more buyers.

Different sites have different advantages for sellers. Some sites are better for some items and price ranges. It will depend on the customers you're trying to reach and what features you need in a selling platform.

Still considering which one to sell on? Read my review for selling on Poshmark to see if it's a good choice for your business.

Share Your Mercari Tips

Do you have other Mercari selling tips I missed? What has worked for you? Please share in the comments below!

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2018 Katy Medium


Submit a Comment
  • profile image


    2 weeks ago

    Hi greatest information share. You can check the mercari return policy below.

  • profile image

    Shay Cooper 

    5 months ago

    Thank you

  • profile image

    Rudi Nellis 

    6 months ago

    I need to sell two sets of Vera Bradley Luggage One set has purses Pill case an unbrella an chain purse The other set is just the luggage

  • profile image

    Cindy Ritz 

    7 months ago

    Great info and so helpful to those not knowledgable about Mercari. Can you please talk a little more about shipping.

  • KCO profile imageAUTHOR

    Katy Medium 

    10 months ago from Denver, CO

    Hi Brenda, Mercari pays for the return shipping within 3 days if it's a legit reason like not as described in the listing.

    Buyers can't return just because it doesn't fit and after the 3 days they can't return for any reason. I hope that clears it up.

    There is some help to the seller but some unfair returns are bound to happen no matter what.

  • profile image


    10 months ago

    If the buyer changes their mind after receiving the item, or the usual doesn't fit or didn't read the details before buying and they want to return who pays the return? before or after the 3 days....

    Or if they accept the sale can they decide weeks or months later to return?

    Kind of like buyers do on ebay, buy it, use it for the occasion they need it for then return it. The ones that think we are clothing rental companies.

  • KCO profile imageAUTHOR

    Katy Medium 

    12 months ago from Denver, CO

    Hi Enrique, Mercari releases the money to the seller after 3 days if the buyer doesn't accept it. The buyer has to open a claim with Mercari to get their money back.

  • profile image

    Enrique Largo 

    12 months ago

    What if the buyer doesn't approve the sales and keeps the item?

  • KCO profile imageAUTHOR

    Katy Medium 

    14 months ago from Denver, CO

    Hi Linda, yes both their desktop and app versions work. Try giving the app a try.

  • profile image

    Linda Jarvis 

    14 months ago

    can you use this site on a computer or just iphone, or ipad. I keep trying to set up on my pc and it won't let me. Anyone have any tips.

  • KCO profile imageAUTHOR

    Katy Medium 

    15 months ago from Denver, CO

    The seller fee is 10% of the sale.

  • profile image


    15 months ago

    How much does Mercari charge the seller?

  • KCO profile imageAUTHOR

    Katy Medium 

    15 months ago from Denver, CO

    Hi Jane, the return policy lies with each seller. Message them to find out.

  • profile image


    15 months ago

    What is the return policy on Mercari?

  • KCO profile imageAUTHOR

    Katy Medium 

    15 months ago from Denver, CO

    Sellers have four options for shipping costs: #1 Buyer pays and uses a prepaid shipping label from Mercari (based on weight). #2 Seller pays for prepaid label (based on weight) #3 Seller pays nothing to Mercari, takes care of shipping on their own. #4 Seller pays $20 for Mercari Pack and Ship at UPS, which is pretty ridiculous.

    Where you might be getting tripped up is in order to do #2, #3 or #4 you need to select Yes in "Offer Buyers Free Shipping?" when editing an item. Comment again if you have further questions.

  • profile image


    15 months ago

    Did they do away with the ship on your own feature? I am new and someone suggested it to me and I can't seem to figure it out. Mercari's shipping is ridiculous. I can get cheaper shipping for items on my own.

  • KCO profile imageAUTHOR

    Katy Medium 

    15 months ago from Denver, CO

    Hi Loveit1, thanks for reading! Glad to hear that Mercari is working out for you. Selling online takes a lot of effort no matter what but Mercari is a great place to try. Thanks for sharing.

  • profile image


    15 months ago

    Thank You Katy for sharing this nice advice.

    I do love Mercari where I did my first sale. It works. Just follow rules, Recomendations and be patient. Nothing is magic. Let’s work hard to receive rewards. Loveit1@Mercari

  • profile image


    15 months ago

    Not sure I like the idea of waiting until the buyer approves the item before getting paid.

  • profile image


    16 months ago

    Mercari is awesome. I just started 3 days ago, and made 4 sales on mercari and 2 on ebay. I noticed buyers love bundles, so I started making sets - like spa set, baby clothes set, different perfumes in one lot, etc. Thank you for the information!

  • profile image

    Ralpheal Jackson 

    20 months ago

    Nice info! Thanks nuch


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