Is The Mercari App A Scam?

is the mercari app a scam

I came across the Mercari app after browsing the Google Play Store looking for a better alternative to eBay.

I’m always on the lookout for better ways to make money online and the fact I can do a much-needed clear out by getting rid of some of my old stuff is a bonus.

But is the Mercari app a scam or a legit way to make a bit of extra cash on the side?

eBay has been the top dog for buying and selling second hand stuff for donkeys years but personally I find listing items to sell on eBay takes a long time and is a lot of hassle.

In this Mercari app review I’m going to go through some pros and cons of selling through the app and then you can decide for yourself if you want to download it.

If you have any experience with the Mercari app and would like to share with us, please leave your Mercari app review below.

What is the Mercari app?

what is the mercari app

The Mercari app is a buying and selling app that was started by Shintaro Yamada in Japan in 2013. The American version was released just a year later and Mercari UK launched in March 2017.

Mercari got my attention when they said it takes just 40 seconds to list an item and its free. (It turns out not to be free but more on this in a second)

Mercari is available as an app on Google Play and iTunes or desktop users can go to

The Mercari app has had over 60 million downloads worldwide and this may be partly due to their referral program. Unlike eBay, Mercari gives your friends $2 for signing up and you get $5 just for referring them.

Mercari app review

The Mercari app has its fair share of complaints as pretty much any app does but with a 4.4 out of 5.0 rating out of over 80,000 reviews buyers and sellers alike give it a positive rating overall.

Obviously eBay is more established so the numbers of users are a lot higher but hen you compare the Mercari app with eBay app ratings side by side you can see they look very similar:

Mercai vs. eBay Comparison

You can sell all kinds of items through the Mercari app; from clothes to dumbbells, make-up to furniture. Unlike eBay Mercari doesn’t run online auctions but you just set the price pretty much like the “Buy it now” option.

selling on the mercari app

I just want to show you how easy it is to list stuff. It’s a simple 3 step process:

Step 1:

Once you’ve downloaded and installed the app, open it and click on the Sell button in the bottom right.

mercari is a scam or legit

Step 2:

Upload at least 4 images of the item you want to sell and add a short description giving the basic details like the condition, branding and any measurements.

is the mercari app a scam

Step 3:

Enter your ZIP code, set your price, and hit the ‘Post!’ button and you’re done!

the mercari app review scam

Here’s a live demonstration of someone listing something for sale, as you can see the process seems quick and straightforward enough:

3 most common Mercari app complaints

Whilst their Google Play ratings are pretty decent, sites like SiteJabber, TrustPilot and the Better Business Bureau have hundreds of Mercari complaints which is worrying.

Just take a look at this, I was shocked:

mercari complaints

While I totally get that review sites are more prone to attracting negative reviews than positive ones, this is an usually high percentage.

After reading through dozens of them, there are a few issues I see coming up again and again…

1. Selling on the Mercari is NOT free

I think Mercari are slightly misleading people by saying its completely fee free to sell – its not. While there are no listing fees, you have to hand a whopping 10% chunk of the selling price over to them.

When you sit down and work it out, the truth is Mercari is actually more expensive than eBay.

2. Scamming buyers

The way Mercari works, a buyer will pay 50% of the purchase price first and the other 50% once they’ve received the item. Unfortunately the way this system is set up if gives fraudulent buyers an opening to scam sellers.

All a buyer has to do is say they didn’t receive the item or they’re not happy with it and they don’t have to pay.

While I understand Mercari needs to provide protection for buyers, it seems to have swayed too far over in their favour in this case.

3. The biggest complaint: a lack of support for buyers

This is definitely the biggest complaint. Unlike eBay where you have the PayPal dispute center which acts as mediator between buyers and sellers and investigates claims made on both sides, with Mercari it seems you’re just left to work it out amongst yourselves.

Mercari have no support phone number and while they do have an online Help Center, sellers can have a real hard time coming up against sellers who want to scam them.

Here’s just a couple of examples of what could happen as a seller on Mercari:

the mercari app is a scam
mercari app reviews

It comes down to a total lack of seller support. It seems like Mercari aren’t too interested in getting involved with buyer-seller disputes which means if a buyer wants to take advantage of the system and play you, they pretty much can do whatever they want.

I think Mercari could do a lot to improve the app if they just stepped it up and did more to protect buyers (and sellers alike).

When it boils down to it, Mercari just don’t seem to care about looking out for their sellers, they’re hard to contact and can take a ridiculously long time to get back to you.

Is the Mercari App a scam?

No, the Mercari app is not a scam and sellers like this one are making some decent money selling their stuff through the app.

I think its good there are more options opening up for people wanting to sell their second-hand stuff, but I guess your experience with Mercari will ultimately depend on the kind of buyers and sellers you bump into.

But while the Mercari App is not a scam, you do have to be careful because there are buyers and sellers on their that are scammers and unfortunately you can’t rely on Mercari for support. The main issue I have with the Mercari app is that they’re obviously not doing enough to help solve buyer-seller disputes.

As a money making app, if you’re looking to make a few extra dollars a month by doing a clear out then you might like Mercari.

While its quicker and easier to use than the eBay app, when you work out how much time it takes to list, communicate with potential buyers, ship items out and deal with people looking to scam the system, you could find yourself working for just a few dollars an hour.

Is it really worth the time, energy and hassle?

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  1. Pat 05/01/2019
    • Simon Crowe 05/01/2019
  2. Andy Zeus Anderson 05/01/2019
    • Simon Crowe 05/01/2019
  3. Paul 05/01/2019
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