Since the early days of eBay, questions about the legitimacy of e-commerce platforms have lingered in the back of users’ minds. These questions still exist today in the world of e-commerce resale apps. Take the Mercari app, for instance. With over 1.6 million ratings in the App Store alone, the app certainly seems legitimate. But what’s the truth of the matter? Let’s explore all there is to know about Mercari. How does the app work? How do users feel about it? And what do the experts have to say? Here’s what we found out.
What Is Mercari?
Mercari is a popular e-commerce app founded in 2013 by Shintaro Yamada. Though it originated in Japan, the platform has since become a global sensation in the decade since its founding. The app’s basic concept is straightforward: an e-commerce platform where users can easily buy and sell unused, unwanted, or unneeded items online. In this respect, it’s not unlike eBay, Poshmark, Depop, and other similar services on the Internet and in the app store.
Mercari expanded to the United States in 2014. This move marked the beginning of its journey beyond Japan and throughout the rest of the world. American users quickly latched onto the app for its focus on simplicity and its commitment to providing a safe marketplace for users. Mercari’s smart features and intuitive pricing helped it grow even stronger here in the States. Today, it boasts over 20 million active users a month and counting.
How Does Mercari Work?
Mercari makes it easy to buy and sell used items through the app.
Selling on Mercari
Selling works like this: First, you create a listing. Take a photo, and Mercari will use its smart features to intuit what you’re listing. It will autofill many of the required fields such as brand, product name, and color based on the photo. Write a short description, set your price based on what other people have sold the item for, and make it live. It offers smart pricing, which means your price will gradually lower until it sells or reaches a pre-determined floor price.
Now, you wait for an offer to come through. Anyone interested can message you with questions or make an offer. You can counter the offer, or you can accept it. After the deal is set, you pack your item and send it to the buyer. When creating the listing, you choose whether the buyer pays or you pay for shipping. Either way, Mercari provides discounted shipping labels for you to print and attach to the package. In some areas, you can also choose to meet up with the buyer in person (in a safe area). Once the buyer receives the package, you both rate the transaction and then the seller gets paid.
Buying on Mercari
Buying on Mercari works just as easily. You can search for items by typing keywords or browsing categories. You’ll see pictures and prices for each item, as well as the option to sort by things like free shipping, lowest to highest price, and more. If you see something you’d like to buy, make the seller a fair offer. If accepted, you’ll pay and wait for the package to arrive. Rest assured, Mercari has safety features in place to verify users, protect payments, and rate users for everyone’s safety.
What Do Users Say About Mercari?
If you want to verify the legitimacy of Mercari, you can look to one of two places: user feedback or expert feedback. Let’s look at user feedback first. As it turns out, users have a lot to say about the e-commerce app Mercari. Their feedback generally taps into several key points. From Reddit threads to App Store reviews, here’s what users say about Mercari.
Ease of Use
Many Mercari users love how simple and easy it is to navigate Mercari. They appreciate the app’s user-friendly interface, which makes listing items for sale and browsing for products a breeze. Plus, features like saved searches make it easy to keep up with new listings.
Variety of Items
Users also like the wide range of items for sale on Mercari. You can find everything from clothing and electronics to collectibles and home goods on the app, all at bargain prices. Countless items are added every day, making it worth checking up on regularly.
Safety is a top priority when shopping for second-hand goods online. As such, Mercari users love the safety features offered by the app. From identity verification to payment protection to the ability to rate and review buyers and sellers, these elements help build strong trust within the Mercari community.
Room for Improvement
Of course, no app is perfect — especially Mercari. While there’s plenty to love about the e-commerce platform, there’s also a lot that needs to be addressed if it wishes to grow even larger than it is now.
For one, users complain about the way sold items appear in search. Another big issue is the amount of time it takes for shipped items to arrive. Fraudulent listings are also a problem from time to time, but Mercari is working hard to stop these.
What Do Experts Say About Mercari?
Looking past user reviews, what do the experts have to say about Mercari? Let’s turn to the Better Business Bureau (BBB) for answers. Mercari has been an accredited business with the BBB since October 3rd, 2014. Additionally, the BBB has granted Mercari, Inc. an “A” rating. However, BBB’s website shows an average Mercari user rating of 1.07 stars out of five. Here’s what you should know.
BBB User Reviews
The BBB website shows an average star rating of 1.07 out of five stars for Mercari. This number is averaged from over 1,200 customer reviews. It’s pretty shocking to see a score so low, especially considering the BBB rates Mercari with an “A.” However, looking at the reviews themselves, you start to notice a pattern. These negative reviews primarily come from dissatisfied users who experienced problems on the platform. From issues with transactions, communication, or item quality, these bad experiences led users to leave a bad review with the BBB.
BBB Customer Complaints
In addition to the user reviews on the BBB site, the Better Business Bureau also lists the number of customer complaints lodged against Mercari. These can range anywhere from problems with refunds, disputed transactions, or difficulties with communication. Like user reviews, these complaints are not factored into the BBB’s rating — however, they still help us understand what potential issues might exist on the Mercari app. As of this writing, there have been over 4,900 complaints in the last three years alone.
Mercari: Pros and Cons
|Pros of Mercari||Cons of Mercari|
|Mercari is a very user-friendly app that makes it simple for both buyers and sellers to navigate and complete transactions.||Mercari charges fees for each sale, which eats into your profits as a seller.|
|Safety features like identity verification and payment protection help build trust between buyers and sellers in the Mercari community.||Some Mercari users may experience difficulties in communication with buyers or sellers, leading to delays or misunderstandings when buying.|
|Mercari often offers items at lower prices compared to buying them new, making it a budget-friendly option.||Mercari shipping times can vary, leaving buyers waiting longer than expected to receive their items.|
|Safety features like identity verification and payment protection help build trust between buyers and sellers in the Mercari community.||While rare, there have certainly been instances of fraudulent listings or scams on Mercari.|
The Verdict: Is Mercari Legit?
Taking into account user and expert opinions and using the app firsthand, it’s apparent that Mercari is a legitimate e-commerce platform you can trust. Of course, there are always going to be issues with fraudulent activity on any e-commerce platform or resale app you find. Beyond Mercari, this is just as true of eBay, Facebook Marketplace, and the like. With that being said, Mercari developers are very clearly committed to creating a safe, secure, trustworthy platform for users to buy and sell used items with ease.
From its 4.9 star rating on the App Store to its “A” from the Better Business Bureau, there’s no denying it: both users and experts alike are pleased with Mercari, Inc. Though there are all sorts of disgruntled reviews on the BBB site concerning Mercari, it’s important to note that people are generally more motivated to leave negative reviews on the BBB site as opposed to positive ones. Everything we’ve seen in our research and our hands-on experience with Mercari has convinced us it’s legit.