Step-by-Step Instructions to List an Item on Mercari
Are your kids growing faster than the weeds in your garden?
Are you or your kids so picky, that you have all of this stuff that nobody will attempt to wear, but you bought it on clearance and can’t take it back?
Do you HATE having yard sales? (But if you love shopping them, I have tips for your here)
Try selling your stuff on Mercari.
I am not an expert on Mercari (yet), but I am selling almost everything I list! I want you to have even more success, so I’m going to show you how I list an item.
*DISCLOSURE: I only recommend products that I would use myself. This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I may get a commission if you make a purchase through my links, at no cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Read my Disclosure for more information.
First of All: What is Mercari?
Mercari is an online marketplace, like eBay, Facebook Marketplace, and Poshmark, where you can buy and sell your unwanted stuff.
It is available online, but you can do everything in the app, which is user-friendly and fairly intuitive.
Mercari is free to download and list your items, but you will have to pay fees when you make a sale.
You can sell almost anything on Mercari, but be sure to check their guidelines if you have questions about what is not allowed.
Before you list your first item, you will need to set up your free account. When you are ready to start listing, follow my step-by-step instructions.
Step 1: Add Photos
The first thing you will be asked to do is add up to 12 photos.
Take as many pictures of your item as you can from every angle possible.
Be sure to include close-ups of any flaws. Full disclosure is my policy when adding photos. Not only is this the right thing to do, it will also keep people from being able to return the item later.
Use good lighting! The lighting in our house is not very good for photography. I ordered a light box, which I love, and use it when I am taking pictures. It is easy to set up and creates the perfect background and lighting.
I also use it for my macro photography. Visit my Instagram to see my #100daychallenge of shooting 100 macro photos in 100 days!
You can browse or purchase some of my photos from iStock.
Check out my VERY FIRST YouTube Video as I walk you through a photo shoot.
*UPDATED (October 2022)*
The Mercari app now has an automatic input feature. If you upload an item image and Mercari recognizes it, the listing details may be populated for you.
For example, I uploaded an image of a Lalaloopsy doll.
From just one image, the app filled in the Description “What are you selling?” box, the Category, Brand, and Color. This may not seem like much, but when you are listing a lot of the same items, it helps to shorten your upload time, even if it’s just a little bit.
Step 2: The Description
Listing an item is easy. The more details you use in your description the better. Just follow along in the app and answer the questions/fill in the blanks.
What are you selling?
- You will have 40 *80 characters to describe your item. Try to use words that you would search for if you were looking for this item. Whatever details you can’t fit here, you can include in the description. (*updated 10-2022)
Describe your item (5+ words)
- You have to include at least 5 words in your description, but you have up to 1000 characters to add as many details as you can about your item. Take advantage of this space!
- Even though there are separate spaces for details like category, brand, size and color, you should still include those details in the main description. The dedicated spaces for those other details don’t always give you the choices you’d like to use.
- Be sure to include any information about damage or flaws in your item.
- For example: If the buyer knows ahead of time that there is a small hole in a shirt, they can’t complain about it and ask for a refund, unlike if they find it on their own.
- Don’t be afraid to get a little personal here. If your kid didn’t like the way a pair of shoes fit because he has wider feet, say that!
Step 3: Hashtags
Add up to 3 hashtags (optional)
- Most people understand how to use hashtags by now. I’m not the best at it, but I add something here anyway 🙂 I figure that it can’t hurt to add more information and give you a better chance for your item to be discovered in a search.
- Just start typing key words. When you are ready to type the second hashtag just hit space and start typing the second word. The hashtags are automatically inserted. (It took me a while to figure this one out)
Step 4: Category and Brand
Once you begin entering an item and adding photos, some of this information may be filled in for you. It may not be correct, so check it!
- There are general categories to choose from which include just about anything you need to list your item. If not, you can always choose “Other”. Try to find the category that fits the best. It’s like trying to answer an ACT test question: Choose the Best Answer.
- Check out the categories to see what options there are. You may get inspired to sell those old books you have laying around.
- Start by typing in the name of the brand of your item. If it is listed, choose it. If it’s not listed, you can enter the brand name and submit it to be added.
- If your item doesn’t have a brand name or you don’t know it, you can choose “No Brand/Not Sure”.
You can watch my step-by-step instructions video below, as I walk you through listing an item from start to finish.
Step 5: Details
- There are 5 conditions to choose from (definitions are from Mercari):
- New: New with tags (NWT) This means unopened, unused items in original packaging.
- Like New: New without tags (NWOT) This means unused and no signs of wear.
- Good: Gently used. One or a few minor flaws but still in functional condition.
- Fair: Used, still functional, but may have multiple flaws or defects.
- Poor: Major flaws, may be damagaed but can still be used for parts.
- Sometimes I have a hard to calling something just “Good” when I think it is still “Like New”. If that’s the case, I go with “Good” under the condition, but I add a detailed description of why I think it is still “Like New”.
- For example: My son wore these once, so although they are listed as “Good”, they are pretty much “Like New”.
- There are 5 conditions to choose from (definitions are from Mercari):
- Sometimes a color will be filled in for you from your description, but you can change it.
- You can only pick one color, which is frustrating.
- Also, I’m not really sure why Mercari doesn’t include a “Mulit-Colored” option. Maybe I’ll suggest that to their customer service 🙂
- If your color isn’t listed, just pick the closest one. This is where your images and descriptions come in handy.
Step 6: Delivery and Shipping
- This should show your zip code. I use a PO Box for my return address when I ship things out.
- Mercari will recommend a particular shipping carrier, but you can choose a different one.
- It is important that you weigh your item (including packaging) so you get an accurate postage paid label. If your item weighs more, Mercari can charge you for the extra postage.
- Enter the weight of your item in pounds and ounces.
How big is your item? (optional)
- I usually skip this one, but I haven’t shipped anything very large yet.
- You will be given several carriers to choose from. The postage that will be charge is also listed. Pick which one you need to use.
- I like to use USPS because I can put my package in my mailbox to be picked up without having to take it somewhere to drop it off.
- Don’t forget to “Save”!
Who do you want to pay for shipping?
- I usually do free shipping for my listings, which means I pay the shipping costs. Yes, it does eat into your profit, but you can account for that when you price your items.
- People like to get free shipping.
- The shipping amount will be deducted from your earnings.
- You can definitely charge the buyer the shipping cost. I have done this before as well and had no problems or pushbacks.
Step 7: Pricing and Fees
You may have an idea about what you want to charge, but you may be completely lost as to where to start. Try doing a little research before you set your price. Search for similar items in the app and see how much they are. Also, look for similar items that have sold and try to get a feel for the best selling price.
Look up the retail prices as well. If someone can get it brand new from the original company at the same price you are asking, they probably won’t buy it from you. A little discount goes a long way.
If you are paying shipping, account for that when you set your price. Charge a few extra dollars to help cover those costs.
Your price will help determine how quickly your item sells. If you are ready to just get rid of something, then set the price accordingly.
Set your price
- Mercari will give you a suggested price based on similar items.
- There is a price slider that can help you determine the price. It is based on similar items and can help you determine what price may help you sell your item the quickest. It isn’t always accurate, but it gives you a good place to start.
- You can manually enter your price if the slider doesn’t include the number you want to use.
- Mercari charges a selling fee of 10% of the sold price
- Mercari charges a processing fee of 2.9% + $0.30 *$0.50 of the sold price (*updated 10-2022: I’ve seen a lot of people complaining about the increase in the fee, but y’all, it’s $0.20 more…just sayin’)
- I think this is my favorite feature 🙂 Your fees and shipping costs are automatically calculated and subtracted from your asking price so that you can see how much you will earn from the sell. This may also help you determine your asking price or if you want to cover the shipping costs.
- I’ve created a handy-dandy cheat sheet so that I can see how much I would earn without having to type in different prices in the app. You can get a copy of it, too! Just sign up below and I’ll send it to you along with a printable checklist of these step-by-step instructions and a listings table.
*UPDATED (October 2022)*
Mercari recently introduced a feature they call “Smart Offers.”
With this feature, you can set a minimum price that you will accept for your listing. If someone sends you an offer, Mercari will automatically accept it, if it is within the conditions you set. If it isn’t withing the lower limit of what you’ll accept, Mercari will send a counteroffer that is within your selected range.
This could save you some time, especially if you can’t respond to offers right away.
Step 8: Smart Pricing On or Off?
What is Smart Pricing?
- You set a floor price for you item. Mercari will adjust the price of your item periodically, but never below the floor price you set.
- The best part is that Mercari will notify those who’ve liked your item of the price drop and your listing will get a boost. This means more eyes will see your item!
- You can always turn it off.
Step 9: List Your Item
The final step is to list your item!
- You can also save your listing as a draft if you aren’t ready for it to go live.
- Then sit back and wait for notifications. You can adjust your notifications, but you can be notified when:
- Someone likes your item
- Someone sends you a message
- Someone makes an offer
- Someone buys your item
- Be quick to respond to people who are interested in your item. You can accept or counter offers and return messages.
Promote your item (if it isn’t selling as quickly as you would like)
- You can reduce the price and Mercari will boost your listing and notify the likers of the price drop.
- You can also send an offer straight to your likers only.
And that’s it!
Don’t forget to sign up for Dishful Thinking and get your free Mercari Cheat Sheets.
If you have any tips or tricks you’ve used to sell on Mercari, please leave them in the comments below!
Hi! I'm Misty, the imperfect Mama behind Life Between the Dishes. My goal is for you to find tools, tips, and resources here to help you maintain sanity through daily mom life!
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