Since shopping online has become very popular over the last couple of years, it’s not surprising that many vendors and businesses have taken their business online.
You don’t have to build an online store before you get started, as there are several popular marketplaces and selling apps that small business owners and side hustlers can use in selling their products.
Two online marketplaces that sellers prefer include Mercari and Poshmark, but which one is better?
This Mercari vs. Poshmark comparison for sellers covers what you need to know in 2023.
What is Mercari?
Mercari is a Japan-based reselling app that first opened in 2013. The online platform already attracted over 1 million listings in its first year.
The online flea market has a unique Latin name which means ‘marketplace.’
You’re not restricted to only selling clothing on this website, as it accepts a wide range of goods.
As long as the product can be shipped, Mercari will accept it, except for illegal goods like drugs, weapons, counterfeits, alcohol, and more.
But, goods like designer clothing, electronics, and home goods are widely famous on Mercari.
You can also make a lot of profit selling household items, kitchen appliances, gaming consoles, video games, and even DVDs.
Pros of Mercari
Free to List: It’s completely free to download the Mercari app and list your business to sell.
Low Commission: Mercari takes a very low commission, setting it apart from other online marketplaces, including Poshmark. It is set at 10%, giving you more of your profits.
Buyers Private Chat: Sellers can seamlessly chat with buyers through the private chat option, which is an excellent way to attract high ratings for customer service. It also helps customize products for customers or negotiate prices on some of your items.
Lower Price Bracket: Items sold on Mercari have a lower price bracket, which means sellers can access a wide range of shoppers. This includes those looking for a good deal.
Offer Promotions: With this online flea market, sellers can easily organize promotions and discounts on their items by promoting the sale publicly or sending private messages to those who have bought before.
When you list your promotion publicly, you can get pushed to the top searches, gaining more attention for your goods.
Accepts a Variety of Sellable Items: Another top benefit is that sellers can offer a wide range of items from their homes, as long as it’s shippable.
It’s best to check their terms and conditions and take note of prohibited items.
Easy Listing Process: Mercari is well-known for its convenient listing options, making it easy for sellers to customize their pages and edit the pictures of their products.
You can add up to 12 photos at a time to attract customers.
Cons of Mercari
Shipping Costs: Shipping costs cause quite a dilemma at Mercari, as either buyers or sellers will have to pay. If sellers choose to pay for shipping, they make more sales but lower profits.
On the other hand, asking buyers to pay for shipping discourages them from buying.
No Sharing Function: There’s no option to share products you list to sell on Mercari. Once you post it, it is part of millions of other products.
Even if you make it one of the top searches, you must reduce the price, which might not be feasible sometimes.
Slow Payout Process: Mercari does not pay its sellers until the buyer gets the package and rates it. When they do, it’s sent into your Mercari account, but you must wait another five days for withdrawal processing. If you want instant processing, you pay $2.
Poor Customer Service: You can only contact customer service at Mercari through email, although they respond in a day or two. But it would be nicer to have multiple contact channels.
Low Prices Means Low Profit: Since Mercari attracts cheaper sales, you would be making a lower profit than Poshmark. Because of its target market, you can’t quickly sell designer items as high as thousands of dollars on this platform.
Related: 35 Hobbies To Make Money.
What is Poshmark?
On the other hand, Poshmark opened two years earlier than Mercari and is well-known as the best marketplace for high-end, expensive items.
It became a huge success once it emerged as an easy-to-use and attractive alternative to eBay.
Within minutes, sellers could list their products and attract customers, unlike the time-consuming process required by eBay.
Poshmark is known for offering designer items at great prices, so that you can expect on-trend items from brands like Chanel and Gucci.
Sellers also list mid-level brands and do well, including Banana Republic, Anthropologie, and Loft.
Remember that Poshmark allows a slimmer range of accepted goods, unlike Mercari.
You can only list clothes and accessories like shoes, bags, jewelry for all genders and ages, and home goods like skincare products or makeup.
But other items Mercari allows, like gaming consoles, phones, perfumes, DVDs, and more, are disallowed.
You also can’t sell knock-offs on this site, as all designer goods must be certified.
If you’re interested in selling your designer clothes, shoes, bags, and jewelry, Poshmark offers a fantastic platform for you.
Pros of Poshmark
Free: Poshmark, like Mercari, is free to download and set up an account. You can also list as many items you want to sell without paying any fees.
Features a Social Media Design: One feature that made Poshmark highly popular is its engaging design, making it seem like a social network.
Users can comment and like listings, and sellers can share other sellers’ listings in support. Sellers are also allowed to hold virtual live parties to promote their items.
Built-in Features for Marketing: Marketing your products, not only on Poshmark but on other platforms, is also easier.
You can easily share listings on other social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Pinterest. This makes it easy to increase sales.
Complete Control Over Your Listings: Sellers stay in complete control over their listings and closet, making it easy to monitor your transactions and sales.
You can offer private discounts to customers, organize promotions and deals, and share products directly with a buyer.
Convenient Shipping: The shipping process for Poshmark is also much easier than with Mercari. All sellers can ship their products using USPS Priority mail, and Poshmark provides the label and packaging for you.
Buyers aren’t allowed to return items, too, although they can open a dispute against the seller if they aren’t pleased with the product.
Quick Payouts: Payouts are usually given to sellers within three days at Poshmark, which is much faster than you get with Mercari.
Once you make a sale, the payment is processed, and buyers are required to accept the item within three days. Then, Poshmark automatically accepts it, and you can cash out at once.
Cons of Poshmark
High Commission Fees: One discouraging feature of Poshmark is its commission fees, which are higher than Mercari’s. The commission fee is charged based on the transaction amount.
Sales under $15 attract a fixed fee of $2.95, and more than this comes with a 20% transaction fee, double what Mercari requires.
Low Range of Products and Items are Expensive: You are highly limited to a few items when selling, and Poshmark is known for its high prices. So, the high prices might discourage buyers from purchasing your products.
Poor Customer Service: Poshmark only offers email for its customer service channels, and it takes up to two days for them to respond, which is quite frustrating when the request or complaint is urgent.
Also, sellers have complained that the customer service is sluggish and unhelpful by sending generic replies.
Time Consuming: Although the social aspect of Poshmark can help increase sales, it can also be increasingly time-consuming to keep track of all likes, comments, followers, and share items.
It was so difficult to do that that some sellers used the Poshmark automation software.
Highly Competitive: Poshmark is also widely competitive, especially since there is a wholesale market for sellers to buy goods and sell them at retail prices.
Many sellers on Poshmark have similar products, so you need to stand out to get more customers than others.
Related: Sites Like eBay To Sell Stuff.
Selling on Mercari vs. Poshmark
Now that you know what to expect from both platforms, you might wonder what their significant differences are.
Selling on Mercari vs. Poshmark has similarities, like their free download and easy-to-use accounts.
Still, both are also different in commission fees, shipping, seller protection, customer support, and more.
Mercari and Poshmark set commission fees on all sellers’ sales, although they have different structures.
It’s free to create an account and list your items on both platforms, but when comparing Mercari vs. Poshmark fees, you should also put the extra rates and transaction fees in mind.
The Mercari fees seem lower, but they depend on how much you sold the item.
First, there’s a 10% commission on every item sold. Then, Mercari collects 2.9% + $0.30 per sale based on the item’s final price.
You must also pay withdrawal fees of up to $2 and another $2 if you want an instant withdrawal.
On the other hand, Poshmark charges a fixed $2.95 fee for items sold lower than $15.
Those higher come with a 20% commission fee regardless of how much you sold the item. Also, you can withdraw your payout without any extra fees.
Expected Customer Base
It’s always important to know the customer base you’re getting when signing up at an online marketplace, and these two platforms attract different types of customers.
Mercari has more than 17 million users (as of 2019) and attracts a wide range of buyers, especially those looking for good deals and various items outside of clothes and accessories. Designer goods don’t sell well on this platform, so think of it as a flea market.
But you can sell designer goods with ease when using Poshmark.
There are over 60 million users on Poshmark (2020), and due to its social design, this is expected to increase further in the future. It’s an ideal place for those who want to sell designer goods at high prices.
On both platforms, sellers need to decide whether to incur the shipping costs themselves or place them on the buyers. Mercari and Poshmark also use different delivery companies.
For Mercari, shipping costs $3.49 for every 0.25 pounds package, and it increases the heavier the parcel is.
The platform also partners with shipping services like UPS and FedEx.
On the opposite end, Poshmark has more expensive shipping costs, but this is because of the labels and weights.
Items weighing less than 5 pounds cost $7.45 and are sent using USPS Priority mail.
If the seller isn’t offering any discounts, the buyers pay the fees. Poshmark also provides different seller tools like Posh Bundles or Exclusive Discounts that allow sellers to reduce expenses.
When comparing Poshmark vs. Mercari in seller protection, the former does better than the latter.
As long as Poshmark sellers use the USPS tracking system, they are protected, and buyers cannot refund the goods.
Also, sellers are fully covered if the package is lost during shipping, and items that cost up to $400 require a recipient’s signature.
Mercari also offers good seller protection for all items sent using their shipping label or delivered through Mercari Now.
But, the seller protection is limited to things that cost as high as $200, and this depends on the extra paid fees.
Features and User Friendliness
This includes marketing features, sharing features, and how easy it is to use either Poshmark or Mercari as a seller.
Poshmark offers more features that make selling easier for its users, although this also means that it is challenging to keep track of everything.
Poshmark offers social network features that make it easy to reach a wider audience and increase your sales. It also allows sellers to host virtual parties and other promotions.
On the other hand, Mercari doesn’t offer a lot of social interaction, but it does make negotiating and private promotions easier through private chatting.
Also, you can boost your items on the search list by promoting them, although this reduces the sale price by 5% each time you do it.
But, Poshmark has more seller tools and features than Mercari to reduce a seller’s work.
Related: Free Online Jobs That Pay Daily.
Mercari vs. Poshmark: Which is better?
When contrasting Mercari vs. Poshmark, whichever is better depends on you and the type of items you plan to sell.
If you want to sell affordable light items and can sell quickly without having stylish photos and a lot of marketing, Mercari is suitable for you.
This is especially if you don’t want to limit yourself to clothes from high-end brands.
Although Mercari profits are less because the items are cheaper, it offers a lot of freedom to sell whatever you can.
But, if you’re planning to list only authentic and luxury clothes, shoes, bags, jewelry, and skincare products, especially from designer brands, Poshmark is ideal for you.
Poshmark offers all the seller tools and supports that a seller listing expensive goods will need to make better sales, but don’t forget about the commission and shipping fees.
Mercari vs Poshmark FAQ
Is Poshmark or Mercari better for buying?
This depends on what you want to purchase, as both platforms have an easy-to-use interface and a wide range of sellers to meet the needs of their buyers.
Those looking for designer goods can check out Poshmark, but anyone who wants a wide range of items can check out Mercari.
Also, some sellers on Mercari can take the shipping costs off buyers, so that’s something to consider.
Do things sell faster on Mercari or Poshmark?
It depends on what you’re selling. Goods on Mercari sell quicker because there’s a wide range of offerings available to everyone.
But on Poshmark, there is tight competition; there are also over 60 million users to sell your goods quickly with the proper marketing.
Is selling clothes on Mercari worth it?
Only if you’re selling thrift wear; selling expensive or designer clothes on Mercari isn’t worth it because most people are looking for affordable items on this platform.
Is Poshmark cheaper than Mercari?
Poshmark is cheaper in terms of its commission since Mercari costs can go high based on your sales.
But for shipping fees, the prices are a bit intimidating, and Mercari is cheaper. Selling on Mercari is much more affordable since it isn’t a platform for high-end goods.
There’s a lot of competition surrounding selling goods online with marketplaces, which is why you should choose the best one for you.
It’s advisable to plan the type of items you want to sell and your target audience.
Then, you can use our guide to decide whether Mercari or Poshmark will meet your needs.