Mercari is a popular marketplace for people to sell all types of products. From clothing to accessories to home decor to electronics, you can find it all. Unfortunately, I’ve read quite a few negative Mercari reviews where people were scammed and started questioning if the site was legit.
Having purchased (and sold) various items on Mercari for over 6 years, I figured I’d clear the air on the subject and help anyone who’s on the fence make a decision!
Is Mercari Legit?
As a company, Mercari is completely legit. However, there’s no guarantee that people selling or buying are legit since anyone can join the website.
That being said, Mercari has plenty of guidelines in place to help avoid scams.
For one, the seller doesn’t receive their money until the buyer receives their item. The buyer has 3 days to report anything wrong with the item, and then the funds will be released to the seller unless something was wrong.
They also don’t allow people to take business outside of the platform. Some sellers will request this so they can save money on the seller fees, but some will also try to scam you. When you do business outside of Mercari, your purchase isn’t protected, so make sure to stay on the platform.
How to Avoid Scams on Mercari
Instead of blindly purchasing from anyone on the site, there are quite a few precautions you can take to minimize the risk of being scammed.
Never do business outside of the platform – This is against Mercari guidelines for a reason. When you do this, your purchase isn’t protected and you won’t be able to get your money back if anything goes awry.
Check seller feedback – When buying from a seller who has tons of great feedback, it’s very very likely they will deliver what they promise. I especially recommend this if you’re buying a more expensive item.
Confirm your order – Once your order is marked as delivered, you have 3 days to request a refund if anything is wrong. After this, Mercari will assume everything is fine and the funds will be released to the buyer. So, if anything is wrong, make sure to let them know within these 3 days.
Avoid electronics – One big problem on Mercari is fake products. To avoid these, it might be a good idea to just avoid purchasing higher-end electronics altogether (especially Apple products). Fakes have become pretty surprisingly close to the real thing, so you might not even realize it’s not real. Odds are, if it’s an amazing deal, it’s too good to be true, so you might as well just purchase it somewhere else.
That said, cheaper items are less likely to be fakes. For example, I purchased a used Instax camera from someone who didn’t want theirs anymore and it was perfect.
For sellers, get a weight receipt at the post office – Unfortunately, sellers can be scammed too. Some buyers will order something and say the box was empty, resulting in a refund (sometimes they will even ban the seller). So, when you drop off the package, take an extra minute to get a receipt that shows the weight of your package.
For sellers, check buyer reviews – You shouldn’t only check Mercari reviews when you’re buying products – sellers should check the reviews of your buyer as well! If your buyer has great feedback, it’s less likely they’re trying to scam.
At the end of the day, Mercari is a very legit company and I have made hundreds of purchases and sales on this platform. As long as you check buyer feedback and don’t do business outside of the platform, you’re in good hands!