Mercari is a free online platform that lets you buy and sell used items, specifically collectibles, worldwide.
This site started in Japan and operated similarly to eBay, but the items listed here are more on the ones you will no longer use.
Whether you try the app as a seller or buyer, you want to ensure that your transactions are safe and legit.
So is Mercari legit, and how can you protect yourself from different risks from online buying and selling?
What is Mercari?
Mercari is a reliable eCommerce platform where private sellers can sell their used stuff to customers.
Since the sellers from Mercari are private individuals, you cannot ensure that everyone is legit.
Sometimes, you have to talk to them outside the app or call them so they can earn your trust.
While the app is safe and reliable, Mercari cannot track the safety of the transactions beyond its site.
In this case, you have to rely on your common sense and avoid fishy listings that are too- good to be true.
You may encounter sellers who will not post complete details of their products, and some may need to be repaired or completed.
The seller can only receive the payment once the buyer confirms their order and provides a rating.
So if you still need to receive the correct item and condition, you can negotiate with the seller and ask for a refund.
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Why Do People Get Scammed on Mercari?
It is almost impossible to find a platform without a scammer; even Mercari has some lurking ones.
If you are new to the platform, many sellers will take advantage of you and rip you off or not send the item.
As a buyer, you want to find the best deals; sometimes, these scammers lure you into one.
For example, you want a completely working and mint condition second-hand phone, and they sell it for only $50.
It is already a questionable price, but you’ll inquire about it because you want the cheapest option.
And the seller will ask to talk outside the app through another messaging platform to discuss the process.
It is already one sign of getting scammed, but there are still naive buyers who will fall for it.
You can also find a potential scammer if they have no profile picture, no reviews, and fishy listings.
How Do I Avoid Getting Scammed On Mercari?
You can avoid getting scammed on Mercari if you know the item you want to buy.
To buy a phone, you must research its specifications, authenticity, and expected market price.
You can compare it to a brand-new one and see if you get an accurate description based on the seller’s listing.
But if you think the item’s condition and price are too good to be true, it is most likely a scam.
Especially if the seller’s profile is a blank photo, is newly made, has no reviews, and has bot-like usernames.
As much as you want to receive free stuff, no one will quickly give a collectible item for free or for a steal price.
Have a Skeptical Attitude
Always question accounts with suspicious profiles and nonexistent reviews because they can be a scam or authentic sellers.
It would help if you also researched before purchasing items online to set a ballpark price.
Avoid Sharing Personal Information
It is a rule of thumb to now share vital personal information like your bank details unless needed for the in-app payment.
You may need to input your shipping details, but if you can use a PO box to receive it, the better.
It can save you from identity theft and hacking, as many scammers can use it to their advantage.
Don’t Transact Outside Mercari
It is best to only deal within the app so Mercari can cover your protection and guidelines in case of a scammer.
If you transact outside the platform, Mercari cannot monitor your transaction, and you may not get a refund.
Use Your Credit Card
Credit cards have protection when it comes to frauds that you transact with, so you can get your money back.
Check the Items Once You Receive It
After receiving the item, you have three days to assess whether it is damaged or incomplete.
You can release the payment to the seller by confirming the order, but if not, you can request a return.
Is It Safe To Transact On Mercari
While there are a lot of scammers on the platform, you can land on legit sellers to bring you successful transactions.
As long as you follow the guidelines in Mercari, you will not fall into the traps of scams and fraud.
Is Your Personal Data Safe With Mercari
You may need to use your card details to pay or receive payments when you make online transactions.
It is natural to be cautious about sharing this information, but Mercari is a safe platform.
Mercari protects your data when you set up your account to prevent unauthorized access.
Even if someone stole your device, they cannot easily log in to your account or hack your bank information.
You will need your email address, phone number, name, birth date, location, and more to verify your account.
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How To Sell Items On Mercari
If you are on the platform to sell, there are things you need to do so you can avoid scams too.
Provide Honest And Accurate Product Listings
As a seller, you are responsible for delivering the order exactly as you advertised them on the listing.
Make sure you post the product’s actual condition so you can prevent refunds in the future.
Check Shipping Details
You have three days to ship the items after your buyer confirms the transaction.
So ensure to prepare it on time and put the valid tracking number to complete the transaction on the platform.
Check the shipping details of the receiver and other necessary information so the items will arrive at the correct address.
If you don’t ship the item on time, the app may cancel it, or you will be accountable for the shipment and transaction.
Don’t Sell Prohibited Items
Selling prohibited items will suspend your account because you will violate their terms.
You can also receive a penalty if they find that you posted illegal items and advertised them as legal products.
Advantages of Mercari
Mercari is a legit and safe site where you can freely transact to find or sell rare and valuable items.
Free Product Listings
Posting your product on Mercari is free, unlike other eCommerce that asks for fees before you can even sell your item.
It is also easy to post your item because you need to put the name, description, and price and identify the condition.
A Lot of Bargain Deals
Most items on Mercari are pre-loved or old items with sentimental value that you can buy at low prices.
It is a great place to find deals and use it to your advantage to start a buy-and-sell business.
Low Selling Fee
Mercari charges a low rate of 10% when you successfully sell items that are lower than other platforms.
Their shipping process is reliable and convenient because you can easily navigate the shipment within the app.
Chat Within App
Whether you are a buyer or seller, you can contact each other within the app to discuss the item.
Mercari is accessible on your mobile device to manage your business without a desktop.
Disadvantages of Mercari
While Mercari is a good platform where you can safely buy and sell items, there are also disadvantages that you can encounter.
Mercari is not the place to buy cheap items because most items are collectibles that can be expensive.
You also have to consider the shipping fee and the 10% that sellers usually add on top because Mercari charges that much.
Sometimes, sellers will not be active on the app, so communicating can be frustrating if you are the buyer.
No Payment Release Until Rating
The primary protection that Mercari has for their buyers is that they will not release the payment unless the buyer rates.
You are disadvantaged if you are the seller because you cannot get your money immediately.
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Final Thoughts on Mercari
Mercari is legit and safe to use if you take note of the tips listed here to avoid scams.
While, unfortunately, some will take advantage of unsuspecting people, there are ways not to be one of them.
So shop responsibly and know your rights as a seller and buyer to enjoy the reliable and fast Mercari.