Poshmark vs Mercari: Which platform is better for both sellers and buyers
When I made the decision to detach from most of my worldly belongings to travel the world, I had to figure out what to do with all my “stuff”.
I could give it to friends, donate it, or sell it…
I ended up doing some of each, and what really surprised me is how much I’ve been able to sell.
I had been selling random items on eBay since the days of dial up but found their platform to be cumbersome and annoying.
In an effort to find a new selling solution, I came across Poshmark in 2016.
At the time, Poshmark was a great alternative to eBay and focused on clothing which is what I had the most of to sell anyway.
Unlike ebay that had a complicated fee structure, Poshmark was very straightforward with selling fees being 20% for items over $10 and a flat shipping cost of $5.99 (which has since risen to $7.11). Buyers could post questions directly on the listing page for other buyers to see and for sellers to answer. Sellers could offer bundle discounts and hopefully sell multiple items out of their closets at one time.
So, I started to list, and list, and list! Sometimes I would get a sale at full price for an item, but more often I would receive a low ball offer. This became very frustrating as a seller, so once again I decided to search for a new solution...enter Mercari.
Mercari is also straightforward with a 10% listing fee, (that’s half of what Poshmark charges!).
Mercari also gives sellers flexibility with shipping. You can select the weight of your item in increments of ¼ lb, ½ lb, 1lb, 3lbs and more to charge buyers more accurately for the shipping of their items. Mercari encourages you to offer free shipping, however, as a seller you need to make sure you bake that into your listing prices. I personally don't offer free shipping, because I don't think buyers actually appreciate it, but I am more than willing to work with buyers if an item is heavy to help offset the cost of the shipping.
The shipping flexibility is one of the many things I really like about Mercari vs Poshmark. Why would anyone pay $7.11 say for example a pair of earrings or some makeup when it should only cost $2.99 to ship?
In addition to flexible shipping charges, Mercari also has a messaging feature where you can privately text with buyers/sellers. This is super convenient when potential buyers have questions and it gives you the ability to have a more intimate, private chat with someone allowing you to build a some rapport and be less transactional. I truly beleive it leads to increased sales. It's also a better tool to answer buyers' questions rather than having to post your responses publically...and you stand the chance to make new friends! I have one friend I made in particular, who encouraged me to apply to Lululemon's Sweat Collective for trainers and coaches becuase of my kettlebell background. I constantly wear Lululemon and it wasn't for her I would have never known about the discount and ambassador programs they have for trainers and athletes.
Another great feature of the Mercari app is that it lets you upload multiple photos at once. This is a HUGE time saver!! Poshmark only allows you to upload one photo at a time so it’s super annoying to have to go back and select each photo from your gallery individually after the previous one has finally uploaded (which on my phone is up to 3 different clicks per pic).
Finally, Mercari’s built in “make an offer” feature discourages lowballing. The app will not let anyone make an offer less that 25% below the listed price. This encourages dialog between buyer and seller and I believe leads to better deals for both parties.
For a visual comparison below is a benefit and drawback chart for quick reference on the difference between the two platforms:
In summary, and based on my own personal experience (I've managed to sell over $10,000 worth of stuff!), Mercari is the superior platform with better selling fees, better communication tools, better user interface and frankly, better buyers.
Will I stop using Poshmark all together?
- No, because it has so many users. I want eyes on my items and I’ve been able to convince some of them to buy from me on Mercari instead which is a win-win!
Have I stopped listing new items for sale on Poshmark?
- Pretty much. Now I only spend my time listing high value items in which I want greater visibility.
What do I do with lowball offers?
- Ignore them.
10 Tips and Tricks for creating awesome listings:
1) Use your native camera app and set the ratio to 1:1. This allows you to take the best quality photos and the 1:1 ratio is what both Mercari and Poshmark accept.
2) Set your initial price 20% higher than what you want to list it for. This allows you to use Mercari’s free promote feature and reduce the price by 5% and move it to the top of search results.
3) Use a plain background and good lighting to take photos. This goes without saying, but a better photo leads to a better final sale price.
4) Act like you own your own physical store. Organize your inventory so you know where it is when it comes time to ship it out.
5) Ship as quickly as possible. Your buyers are excited to receive their “new to them” item, so try not to keep them waiting. If you are delayed, let them know ahead of time. Most are very understanding.
6) Packaging matters. 1st impressions are everything. If your item shows up to a buyer in a beat up box or envelope, they may question it’s quality and inspect it way more than if it showed up in a beautiful package complete with appropriate packaging material (tissue paper, packing peanuts, air pockets, etc).
7) Appreciate your buyers. Include a note with your item to let them know how grateful you are for their purchase.
8) Wash your used items before shipping. Buyers will inspect the items you sell before they accept them. Continue to make a good impression by sending an item that has been freshly laundered, free of smells other than laundry detergent.
9) Don’t be afraid to relist items. Sometimes you don’t want to sell for any less and your discounting has hit rock bottom. RELIST! Relisting will move your item to the top of search results and generate brand new interest. I can’t tell you how many items I’ve sold from a relisting.
10) When relisting and cross listing (i.e. using multiple selling platforms) consider using the desktop application. It’s easy to download the photos (rather than taking a screenshot) and then just upload them all at once in the new listing. Plus you can easily cut and paste your descriptions.
Bonus Tip: Use hashtags to help users find your items easier. Don’t rely on the 3 tags Mercari offers. Skip that step and put your hashtags directly in your listing including the brand name, item colors and other relevant keywords that people may use in their search.
Please leave your comments and questions below and if you want to shop my closet, find me on Mercari by chlicking here or searching for "MissJaye"
If you don't have Mercari here's a link to receive $10 of your 1st purchase!!