Mercari is an online marketplace where consumers can buy and sell a wide variety of items.
The company originally launched in Japan. It expanded into the US in 2014.
Buying and selling can be done through the Mercari app (iPhone/iPad, Android) or their website.
Mercari markets itself as “the perfect place to declutter and discover items that are uniquely you.”
Is Mercari Legit?
Yes. Mercari is legit. It has many thousands of happy, regular, users.
However, there have been more than 3000 complaints filed against Mercari through the Better Business Bureau (BBB) over the last three years.
It would appear from the complaints that, overall, buyers have more protections than sellers.
A buyer can request a return within three days of receiving the item if 1) it is not as described, 2) there is undisclosed damage, 3) the item is incorrect or missing, or 4) the seller did not ship it.
After that three day period, or when the buyer provides a rating for the seller, the money is released to the seller and the transaction is complete.
During the return period, Mercari instructs buyers request a return through Mercari if there is a problem, not the seller.
Mercari also makes it very clear that giving the seller a rating completes the sale and nothing can be done after that point.
Here is Mercari’s page on buyer protections.
Sellers have a much longer, more involved, page when it comes to seller protections. It includes a lot of very specific details and time frames which must be met for their seller protections to kick in.
Mercari offers sellers up to $200 in shipping insurance, if the seller uses a Mercari prepaid label, though there are a number of restrictions and exclusions.
Mercari Customer Service
Thousands of transactions go right on Mercari… but what happens if one goes wrong?
On their website, Mercari has a help center with information and tutorials, and a customer service contact form.
On the Mercari app, the help center can be accessed by clicking on the account icon in the upper left corner, then selecting ‘help center’. There’s a ‘contact us’ link at the bottom of that page.
Mercari’s customer service phone number is 1-888-325-2168.
A common theme seen through the BBB complaints and other reviews online is that Mercari customer service is slow, and poor. Form letters (emails) are standard, and complaints are often not resolved the way that the user would like.
Admittedly, Mercari is in a difficult position when two users are pointing fingers at each other. Someone’s going to be unhappy with Mercari’s decision.
Tips for using Mercari safely
Tip 1: For both buyers and sellers, communicate and make your payment transactions through Mercari.
If you take your communication and transactions off of Mercari and use email or another payment platform, you lose protections that Mercari may have been able to provide.
Besides, being asked to complete a transaction on a platform other than the one it was initiated on, is a sign of a scam.
Tip 2: Consider user reviews. A person with tons of positive reviews would be more trustworthy than a user with a small number. Having lots of reviews would also indicate a more experienced user that understands how things work.
Tip 3: Use a credit card with buyer protections over other means of payment. Many credit cards offer protections to buyers that debit cards do not offer. Check your credit cards to find out what benefits are available.
Have you used Mercari?
Tell us what you think of them in our comments section!