I’ve always been a sucker for the resale game. I love thrifting and what I call “treasure hunting”. Finding a treasure for pennies gives me such an adrenaline rush! (Tip: Know your niche! You can’t spot a treasure if you don’t know what’s popular and how much it’s worth!)
I’m not sure what exactly let me to try Mercari, but I did notice that from time to time when I searched for things in Google, listings from Mercari showed up. Curiosity got to me I suppose, even though I was hesitant after trying other selling platforms with little luck.
Needless to say, I tried Mercari and I’m hooked! This isn’t a sponsored post but it almost feels like it is with how much I’ve made. It’s only been a month but I’m really hoping to keep the momentum going. I’ve been able to dump about $400 into my credit card, buy most of my kids birthday and Christmas gifts, and help with the bills.
Next month we are hoping to take a little trip with the money and I would like to keep paying down my credit card bill. I’ve been sharing a lot about my experience on my Instagram and I get a lot of questions about how it works so I thought I’d share a blog post to have all the information in one place.
Mercari takes 10% of the total earned off each sale. It sucks, sure, but it’s the lowest I’ve seen on platforms like this. As easy as it is for me to sell the ‘little things’ that aren’t necessarily worth meeting someone in person for, it’s worth giving up 10%.
I’m selling stuff I would have probably donated to Goodwill! I almost gave away some old curtains the other day and ended up selling them on Mercari for $50! You never know, you may have some unchecked money laying around your house. As they say, “One person’s trash is another one’s treasure”.
Start out by pricing your items a little high.
Not so high that they won’t sell, but don’t start at your lowest price. I made that mistake hoping things would sell quicker…don’t do it. When you list an item that Mercari recognizes, it will offer you a pricing range suggestion. Use that as a guide unless you have an item you know is worth much more…then trust your gut.
By doing this, you can get more eyes on your items. Set ‘smart pricing mode’ and pick a base price. Over a day or two, Mercari will gradually lower your item’s price and bump it up in the search results each time.
Once that’s over, as long as your item is more that $10, you can ‘promote’ it, which will lower the price by $1 and bump it again.
If you have people that ‘like’ your listing, they are waiting to see if you will lower the price.
Any time you do, they will get a notification. You can promote your items to just the likers and choose your price. I like to use this option when I just want an item gone to make space in my closet. Then I will drop the price really low so they go quickly.
You can only promote to everyone for 10 listings per day, and you can only promote an item to your likers once every 3 days.
I like to try and stay as active as possible on Mercari. I buy things pretty regularly and the people I buy from will see my page too. I scroll, I like listings, and I scope out what’s popular and what’s selling.
Try to list at least one or two items every day at various times. These methods aren’t scientific, they are just what work for me. I have been listing items constantly.
Since I list so often, some of my listings get pushed way down in my feed. So every day I try to take 3-5 listings or whatever I have time for and I delete and re post them.
Which leads me to…keywords and tags.
Use keywords and tags to your advantage! I’m not quite sure how the Mercari algorithm works but I have noticed that the more I write in my description box and the more keywords I use, the more likes I get and that’s more $$$ in my pocket.
Sometimes below the actual description I will write a bunch of ‘tags’ separated by commas. For example if I’m selling a wooden toy I will add “Montessori, homeschooling, wooden toys, educational play, open ended, teaching” etc, etc. I try to think of what people will be searching for and I use those words or phrases. I’ve been able to sell a lot more this way!
I love the way the shipping is set up on Mercari because it makes it super easy for my simple brain to comprehend. I like to offer “free” shipping on small or lightweight items. People tend to be more likely to buy something if shipping is free!
The cheapest I’ve been able to get shipping on Mercari is $3.49. I choose that for super light items or articles of clothing. If it’s a big/expensive item or a large bundle, I don’t offer free shipping (usually). Mostly because I look at what’s been sold on Mercari and see a lot of people who will pay that shipping for those items because they expect it.
I am lucky to live really close to a UPS store that closes at 8pm, so if I ship out any larger items that cost $9.99 to ship, I just take it there. They have been really cool about weights too. I sold my Wii and all of it’s part and extras last week and the label said ‘4lbs’. When I took it in and set it on the scale it came out to 10lbs! The girl said ‘meh, it will get there’. I don’t think they are SUPER worried about weight being off as long as it isn’t REALLY off.
So far (knock on wood) I have had everything arrive at it’s destination with no issues and no postage due, so I’m happy!
I tend to get sales sporadically throughout the day and into the night, so I’ve had to set aside specific times to package everything and print shipping labels, or I’d be at it all day. I do try to pull out any sold items as they get bought and put it in a pile.
Ratings are super important on Mercari! If you have good ratings, people will feel more comfortable buying from you. They can rate you on many things, friendliness, communication, packaging, shipping speed, etc. And you don’t get paid until that rating comes in!
It sucks at first that you have to wait so long to get your first payment, but once you get into a rhythm you should be getting paid a little bit every day.
What if they don’t rate you?
After 3 days (and a reminder or two), Mercari will give you 5 stars and pay you automatically. At that point the buyer won’t be able to return their purchase either.
Another thing I love about Mercari is the ability to use your balance to purchase items you find on there. In my brain it’s like that money never existed. It never entered my bank account so it’s kind of like trading items for new/different things. I’m able to purchase items I normally wouldn’t have because it’s not money I’m taking away from my budget, it’s “fun money”.
Plus, it gives me more room to go thrifting without worrying about junking up my house. Everything I buy now must have a good ‘resale value’. If it’s something I want for my kids, I’ll go through and sell a couple of their old, unused toys.
If you’re looking to declutter your home, this will light a fire under you for sure! I’ve sold so many things that have been collecting dust and it FEELS GOOD!
I try to write in my description of each item and remind people to look around and make a bundle. Take more stuff and I’ll give you a good deal! Try to keep an open mind and accept more offers than you decline!
I’ve found that these items sell pretty well:
Toys, Baby gear, blankets, shoes, electronics and games, and nice books. The clothes do okay, but they aren’t my top seller by any means! In my niche at least, people love Disney, PJ Masks, Wild Kratts, and battery operated toys.
You can “save searches” if you’re looking for certain things. The above categories are some of my saved searches, along with Rags to Raches, Harry Potter 2t, Girls 24mo handmade, wooden toys, and Frozen 2. Then I can go back and see what new items are available very easily.
I’m still working on making my room not look like the back room of the USPS facility…but I’m getting there.
Do you have any questions about the resale game or Mercari in general? Ask me in the comments!