Mercari vs eBay – Is Mercari Better than eBay 2020

When you want to make a good profit out of your used items or buy items at the best possible rates, finding the right platform or an online market is of utmost importance. 

We have many key players in this area namely Mercari,eBay, Poshmark, and more. 

So I know you’ve landed here because you have managed to narrow it down to possibly two of the big selling conglomerates  Mercari vs eBay and you’re obviously wondering which among these is safer, reliable, and dependable. 

The online world is like an infinite ocean of possibilities and being safe in this vast ocean is the most important thing. 

Before you make a decision it’s always good to get some insight about these selling platforms on factors such as how they work, whether Is it legit, how exactly can you sell and buy on the platform, etc.

I am going to guide you to the best of my possibilities so that you can choose better.

Continue reading to see if Mercari is better than eBay or are they both actually just equally the same.

In this post we will be looking  at :

Mercari Overview  – What is Mercari and how does it work?

Mercari is a selling app, a Japanese e-commerce company that is currently operating in Japan and the United States.

Mercari vs eBay

In just about seven years Mercari has become Japan’s largest marketplace application having around 16 million subscribers and about a billion products on their platform.

It provides a range of choices for the shipping and packaging of items. One thing different about Mercari is that it has started a trial for  “At-Your-Service Shipping” in February 2020, to pack and ship items for its users. So, with this sellers will not have to worry about having a storage space for the items that they want to sell or even about packaging and shipping the items to the buyers directly.

This application is designed to help its users to sell pretty much anything and is easily accessible from your desktop or you can download the app on your phone. The easy of use of this application from a smartphone is also one of its strong features and a key to its success.

The Mercari business model allows anyone to be a seller and there is no identification requirement to list items for sale. Another amazing factor is that there is no age limit to sell, although parental or guardian permission is recommended for minors.

It’s as easy for the buyer as it is for the seller. The purchase of any items is just a click away with Mercari handling the payment and shipping.

Before we start comparing Mercari vs eBay, for those of you who are new to Mercari can read below what is the process to sell on Mercari.

How to Sell on Mercari

Selling on Mercari is a simple 3 step process:

Take a few Good pictures

Take a couple of good photos of the item that you want to sell, trying to capture every angle of the item. You have an option of uploading around eight photos per item which is good enough.

Here are a few tips to capture good photos :

  • Try to use natural light as much as possible to capture the best image of your item.
  • Make use of gridlines to balance your shot.
Mercari vs eBay - Is Mercari Better than eBay 2020 1
  • Make sure that the background is not overpowering. Use a neutral background so that the picture of your item is clearly visible to the buyer. Preferably try and use a solid background as it looks more professional.
  • Ensure the photo is taken from a nearer distance and not too far away to get a good focus on the item.
  • If it is a clothing item that you are selling then try to use a mannequin if possible, as it looks more appealing to the buyer.
  • Use a wide-shot photo as your primary photo to give the buyer an overall outlook on the item.

Add a description for the item

Add a suitable title in the title area. You have a limit of 40 characters here, try to be very specific of what exactly you are trying to sell. You can consider using abbreviations to define factors like size.

In the description box provided, try to include as many details about the item as you can. This could be the brand, color, model name, size ( add a size chart for better clarity ). Maybe you could also write a little review and say why you purchased the item and what you really liked about it.

You can add up to 1000 characters for the description, so go bonkers and be as descriptive as possible!

Select a category from the recommended list of categories. If you do not find an appropriate category then select others. You will also need to mention the brand and condition of the item. Try to be honest when you give these details so that the buyer knows exactly what he/she is investing in and also to avoid the return of the purchased item.

Next, enter your Zip code so that the app can calculate the shipping details during any transaction.

Name your price

Set a price you feel is appropriate for the item. Mercari takes a 10% selling fee for every item that you would have sold. So, take this into consideration when you name your price.

Remember you only pay Mercari when your item sells, you don’t have to worry about your invested money in case you don’t manage to sell the item.

Selling on Mercari vs eBay – Is Mercari better than eBay

Both Mercari and eBay are very intriguing platforms. When you get started with selling for the first time online, there’s always a question that would be on your mind “Where can I get maximum value for my item, being safe at the same time.”

Should I Sell on Mercari or eBay

Let’s find out if Mercari is better than eBay or if it’s the other way around!

Mercari is not as popular as eBay, but it’s on the rise and getting there. Let’s break down our comparison between eBay and Mercari based on different factors.

Customer base

eBay has over 180 million users, whereas Mercari has around 16 million subscribers, which is a huge difference when compared to eBay. The customer base plays a huge factor if you are looking to sell more than 50 items in a month. With more people using the platform, you will have greater chances of selling out your item.

Location availability

This question is for you. “Do you want to sell worldwide or just in the United States?”.

eBay’s services are available worldwide; it has made its presence felt in over 100 countries around the world, whereas Mercari is just limited to the United States and Japan. It had opened up for a short while in the U.K., then later shut down.

Mercari vs eBay fees fee structure

The fee structure for Mercari is a flat 10% on anything that you sell. If you sell something for $20 then the fee would be $2.

eBay has various different fee structures, and they’re a bit complicated to understand as well. They have their store subscription fees, shipping charges, and payment processing fees. The final value fee (the fee you have to pay once the item sells ) is capped by category.

  • If you are selling Clothing, Shoes & Accessories then the final value fee is 0% if the selling price is $100 or more else is 10%.
  • If you are selling Musical instruments or gear, the final value fee is 3.5%.
  • If you are selling under a business or industrial category, the final value fee is 2%.
  • In most of the other categories, the final value fee is around 10%.


It is extremely easy to list on Mercari. The listing is Mercari is always free, you will not have to pay, but you only get 100 free listings and this number will keep increasing as and when you make sales. After 100 listings you will be capped. If you are an active seller then in a matter of time your listings could also go up to 500 or 1000.

Listing on eBay is a little time-consuming, but you get up to 50 free listings with your eBay base account. Once you’ve used up your free listings, the fee structure that follows would be :

  • Up to 35 cents per listing. This could again vary if you have an eBay store account or depending on which category you are listing under. In most cases, it’s 35 cents unless you are a well-established seller, who seeks industrial items for which case the listing fee could be about $20.
  • If you are selling Clothing, Shoes & Accessories, then the listing fee is free, provided the minimum price of the item is $100.
  • You’ll be charged for listing in every category. If you list your item in two categories then you will be charged for listing in each of the categories.
  • You’ll be charged each time you choose to re-list your item on eBay.
  • Your listing fee on eBay is non-refundable if your item does not manage to sell out.


Easy shipping options on Mercari. You can either pay the shipping charges yourself or have the buyer pay it ( Tip: if you pay for shipping, you will likely have more buyers, hence more sales ). You get to choose between the Mercari weight-based shipping label or you can figure out the shipping yourself.

On eBay, you first need to decide whether you are shipping internationally or just within the US. The shipping rates will be adjusted accordingly. You get to choose whether you want to set a fixed shipping price or charge buyers based on their location. The shipping schemes are a bit confusing at first, with many factors to consider like weighing, selecting classes, and selecting carriers. This will get easier as you use the app.


Mercari provides just email support. Not very sure of their call support seems like there isn’t a specific number to contact their customer care via call.

eBay customer support is fab. They provide on-call support as well as email support.

Both the apps have some frequently asked questions listed in their help centers; if your question is something basic that is frequently asked you may just find your answers there.

Selling and Buying On Mercari – Pros & Cons

Most of the pros and cons are mainly what I have gathered from users who are using the app for selling and buying.

Mercari Pros

The Mercari App is being downloaded over 30 million times, so we know that the customer base here is huge. Hence, you can easily sell your items and the buyer also side by side has a vast variety of items to choose from so that he can also get his right pick.

The Mercari application is very easy to use. You will be able to get around the application and get used to its interface within minutes.

Pros for Sellers

Low seller fees. They charge a flat selling fee of 10% when the item has been sold.

Shipping protection is provided. If you ship using the Mercari prepaid labels then an additional $200 dollar insurance is included for items that are lost or damaged in transit.

There is a 3-day return policy, something sellers can be happy about, unlike the 30-60 day return policy on eBay.

Easier to sell out items whose rate is less than $30.

To keep you safe and your identity hidden, all transactions take place through the App. You can avoid meeting strangers face to face.

It’s very easy to list items. Once your item has been listed there is not much maintenance involved apart from answering buyer queries whenever they may come.

Pros for Buyers

Buy with confidence, as Mercari comes with a money-back guarantee. If the item received is not as described, you can request a full refund within three days of receiving the item.

There is a Saved Search feature. You will be notified when there is a new item listed.

Easy checkout process. The item that you desire to purchase is just a click away.

You can expect to save anything between 60% -70% on a large variety of new and unused items from electronics to home furnishing items, beauty goods, toys, clothes bags, and the list goes on.

Mercari Cons

Cons for Sellers

The seller dashboard is a bit too restrictive like description has to fit within 1000 words, so if you’ve thought of a long description then it’s going to be tough to fit it in that amount of characters. I think a little more work is needed to make the seller dashboard more likable.

Mercari is more app-focused, some of the sellers have complained that using it on the desktop is not as convenient as it would be on the mobile app.

Complaints have come that seller protection is not up to the mark and buyers return items more often than they keep them.

Final Verdict Mercari vs eBay

Let me start by saying that there are two sides to this. Which one is better really depends on your needs. So, I am going to give my opinion on two types of sellers. 1. A large-scale seller, who is looking out to make a business out of selling. ( Sells more than 100 items a month ) 2. A small scale seller, who just has some extra stuff and wants to make a couple of bucks selling them like me (Sells between 1-50 items).

I personally love Mercari, because it is the best for small scale sellers who sell fewer than 50 items. This is why :

  • It’s very easy to list on Mercari. So, if you are new or have very little experience selling online and don’t want to give in much time in considering so many factors then this is the best for you. Plus you get 100 free listings initially, which is a really good deal and the listings keep increasing as and when you make sales.
  • Since listings are free, by chance your item does not sell out you wouldn’t have to bear any kind of charges. Whereas on eBay, since you pay some amount for the listings that amount is non-refundable.
  • eBay is a massive platform so naturally, buyers have a lot of options to choose from, many items from small-scale sellers remain unnoticed and lie on the platform for a long time, and additionally you also have to pay the charge to keep re-listing the item.
  • Very easy to work out the shipping details on Mercari, definitely nothing to break your head about. Simple to understand and implement.
  • Flat seller fee of 10%, nothing confusing here. On eBay, the seller fee keeps changing based on category, and you need to keep calculating each time you want to sell an item.
  • A 3-day return policy, unlike eBay’s 30-60 day return policy, helps you to re-sale the item quickly and you don’t have to wait for almost 60 days to get your items back.

Why the large-scale seller should go for eBay:

  • The first point is pretty obvious, it’s because of eBay’s humungous customer base. You can be assured that at some point your item will probably sell out if it is in good condition and the prices are reasonable.
  • eBay has been in the market for a longer time. Hence, people generally find eBay more trustworthy than newer platforms.
  • You don’t have to pay one fixed selling fee. The selling fee varies category-wise, which is good if you sell under multiple categories.

Thanks for reading. Tell me which platform do you like more, I would love to know. If you have any questions for me please leave them in the comment section below.

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