When trying new ventures online or doing business with a new site, it’s normal to have fears about whether or not the service is legitimate or a scam. Online resale sites are the latest trend to make money online and to purchase unusual and unique items. If you’re thinking about buying or selling items online and are wondering if Mercari is legit, here is what you need to know.
What is Mercari?
Mercari is an online e-commerce website where you can buy and sell anything essentially. An app similar to Poshmark and eBay, Mercari acts as an online marketplace to list goods, give updates on the transaction, and process payments.
As long as the item for sale can be easily shipped and is legal, it can be sold on Mercari. Sellers directly ship their merchandise to the buyer once a purchase is made and the site does ask for identification verification for sellers. Mercari charges a flat 10% on all sales as a fee, and there may be other charges during the sales process still.
Is Mercari legit? Thousands of buyers and sellers regularly use this platform to buy and sell goods. While most transactions are honest and successful, as with any online retailer, you may occasionally find a fraudulent seller.
Before making a purchase on Mercari or other websites, always be sure to check the reviews for the seller. Make sure they have had successful previous transactions and that the buyers were pleased with their purchases. Use caution when purchasing from new sellers who do not have a review history, or who might be selling items for enormous discounts. If a deal sounds too good to be true, chances are that it probably is.
For example, if a new iPhone is listed for sale at $99, that can be a cause for concern. Be sure to also look at the product listing for details. Some sellers may fail to mention the product’s downsides. This can make it hard to know whether the product is in good condition or not until it is received. Listings that have multiple photos from various angles can also provide you with a more accurate view of the condition of the product.
One level of protection for buyers in this app is that Mercari does not release payments until the product is received and the seller is rated. Mercari does have some complaints in regards to customer support and claims that they have not been helped out with product issues.
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How to Have Safe Transactions on Mercari
Online marketplaces will always have chances of fraud, and even major retail websites such as Amazon do have incidents. However, if you are aware of some of the ways people can get scammed, you will save yourself beforehand.
One of the most common tactics used by fraudsters is a new and fresh profile with no reviews or unbelievable pricing that is far lower than the going rates. Sometimes less savvy consumers are roped into buying the fake product because of its low price.
For the safest shopping experience possible, don’t communicate outside the Mercari platform or make payments outside the platform. Occasionally you may have a seller that will ask you to contact them on another social media platform like Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, etc. This increases the chances of getting scammed, and it is against Mercari’s guidelines. So if you deal with the buyers outside the app and are scammed, Mercari will not be responsible.
How to Avoid Fraud on Mercari and Shopping Online
As with all online transactions, do your due diligence before making the purchase— research who you are buying from and the product you are buying. The main thing to keep in mind is to never deal outside the app. If you do this, the app will not protect you, and your transactions will put you at risk.
You should also never share personal information. This includes all sensitive information like emails, social media handles, and phone numbers. Always keep a strong password on Mercari and elsewhere, and change your passwords often.
Do not share your login details of the Mercari account with anyone else or with any third parties, and make sure to confirm your order within three days. When you have received your order and if there are issues with products, make sure to file your complaint within three days and ask for a return. After three days, you will not have the option to request a return.
If you are selling items, you will also need to reference the Mercari website to make sure they aren’t prohibited. If you indulge in selling such items, your account will be suspended by the app as it is not allowed. Lastly, it is always recommended to use a credit card instead of a debit card. Even after following the above guidelines, there is a risk of fraud; therefore, a credit card is a more secure form of transaction.
Using a credit card (rather than a debit card) or another secure payment method such as Paypal can also be a wise step whenever shopping online. This can help you protect your banking information and give you the ability to file a claim for reimbursement if your purchase does not arrive.
Is Mercari a Safe Platform?
To sum it up, Mercari is safe for buyers and sellers. If you follow all the given guidelines, it will be safe for both parties to carry out transactions. Even the credit information you enter will be safe as Mercari protects sensitive information. The product listings are public and show the sellers’ real names. Furthermore, your account messages and login information is all protected by the platform.
However, it is your responsibility to keep your account protected against potential scams and to do research on the seller and the product before making purchases. As with all online transactions, use caution when releasing personal information and when dealing with strangers online.
I’ve purchased from Mercari several times and it has been a quick and affordable site for me to purchase unique items that I could not find anywhere else online. When my son lost his favorite shirt, I was able to find a replacement on Mercari even though it was no longer being sold in stores. I’ve also found unique gifts for my teen who likes unusual and vintage items.
Overall, Mercari is legit. However, as with any website or app, be sure to do your research and use caution and common sense when buying and selling online.