There are so many online marketplaces to sell your items online for a profit. I created a reseller’s guide to Poshmark and Mercari to articulate the pros and cons of each, including the user experience, audience, listing process, amount of work required, shipping process, platform fees, seller protection, and more!
Poshmark reports having a large audience of 60 million active users. On Poshmark, you can sell fashion, accessories, new personal care products, home goods, and select pet items. See more specific information about what you can sell on Poshmark here.
Mercari reports having over 15 million active users (as of 2020 press release) so this number has undoubtedly grown significantly). On Mercari, you can sell just about anything; the only prohibited items being illegal items or those which cannot be shipped.
Which is better? Poshmark. While you cannot sell as many categories, there is a much larger audience with significantly more active users. Poshmark also offers superior search engine optimization (SEO), which provides additional exposure for your Poshmark listings across the internet.
The listing process is easy and straightforward on both Poshmark and Mercari. Both require images of the item, a description, drop-down selections as to the item’s category, size, brand, color(s), condition, price, and a few optional drop-down fields. The process is relatively equivalent, excluding the extra shipping information that is required in each listing with Mercari.
On Poshmark, you can include up to 16 images and 10 seconds of video footage. Poshmark allows up to 50 characters in the title and 500 characters in the description field. On Poshmark, you can also make multi-quantity listings if you are selling multiple of the same items, even in different sizes.
On Mercari, you can include up to 12 images (no videos). Mercari allows up to 40 characters (soon to be 80) in the title and 1,000 characters in the description field. Mercari does not support multi-quantity listings; instead, you will need to create duplicate listings if you are selling items in multiple quantities.
Which is better? Poshmark. It’s a close call… but Poshmark wins, despite having less title and description space. Poshmark allows more photographs and video content, and a video is worth a thousand photographs. Poshmark listing is also much faster, without the shipping information required in each listing.
Reseller Tip: Use Vendoo to list and cross-list all of your inventory. It does most of the work, so much of this is not relevant when you’re using the software.
You may also like: 8 Great Marketplaces Every Reseller Should Consider
Making Sales- How Much Work Is It?
On all reselling platforms, consistency is the key to success. Both platforms require responding to offers and questions and managing your listings.
On Poshmark, maintaining listings and facilitating sales requires a bit more work. You must share your listings to keep them at the top of search feeds and advertise them in your followers’ news feeds. Poshmark features offer to likers, where you can send a private offer to all users who have liked your item. On Poshmark, you can also add items to a user’s bundle, encouraging bundle sales and offering special discounts for orders with multiple items. Poshmark also features promotional days such as “Closet Clear Out Days,” when you can reduce your prices by ten percent and your buyers will receive a notification with a special shipping rate (paid for by Poshmark).
Mercari is less work, with less social features and no sharing requirement. Mercari is more of a “list it and leave it” marketplace. However, Mercari offers smart pricing, which allows you to schedule your listing to gradually decrease the price (to your bottom line), notifying likers with each decrease. Mercari also has offers to likers to send private offers to those who have liked the listing. Mercari offers the ability to promote your listings with subtle price decreases to notify all likers.
Which is better? Poshmark. Poshmark is more work but provides more opportunities to expose and promote your listings. Sharing your Poshmark listings is tedious, but it provides endless opportunities to draw attention to your listings. The bundle features, the ability to offer shipping discounts in offers to likers, and the “story” feature (which works similarly to Instagram stories) all maximize marketing opportunities. While it may be more work, it provides more tools to help you sell your items quickly!
Poshmark offers the most simplified shipping process in comparison to all of the other reselling platforms. It is so easy! On Poshmark, a USPS priority mail shipping label is emailed to the seller at the time of sale. These labels can be affixed to your package, and you can use the free Priority Mail packaging available at USPS. Tracking information automatically updates for the buyer upon shipment.
Generally, the buyer pays a flat rate of $7.55 shipping for all orders, unless you offer a shipping discount when you make offers to likers, in which case the seller pays the difference. The bundle feature allows a buyer to purchase multiple items simultaneously and pay shipping only once. (Note that for orders over 5lbs, the seller must upgrade the shipping label at their own expense)
On Mercari, shipping is more complicated, with many selections. When listing, you must select whether to:
- Ship with Mercari or ship on your own;
- Offer free shipping or charge shipping; and
- Use USPS, FedEx, or UPS.
Each Mercari listing has a shipping section for this information. If you elect to ship with Mercari, they will provide you with a label upon sale (similar to the Poshmark model). However, the weight and dimensions of the item in packaging are required at the time of listing. Electing to ship on your own requires purchasing your own shipping label and providing Mercari with the tracking information for the package.
You have the choice to offer free shipping (pay it yourself) or charge your buyers. You can also select the shipping carrier whom you are most comfortable with based upon your items, location, and business preferences. My business model is offering free shipping on all items (accounting for the same in my listing prices), and shipping on my own using Pirate Ship for the best rates.
Which is better? Usually, Poshmark… but it really depends on what you are selling and how you would like to ship it. The shipping process on Poshmark is the easiest thing, and it is also an incredible deal! $7.55 shipping to anywhere in the United States is an amazingly low rate, especially for heavier items. However, this deal is not so amazing for lightweight items under 1lb.
For example, (using Pirate Ship) if I am shipping a 5lb package (10”x10”x5”) from Massachusetts to Hawaii via Priority Mail, the costs are as follows: Poshmark: $7.55, Mercari: $36.00 Alternatively, to ship a 12oz package from Massachusetts to Hawaii via Priority Mail, the costs are as follows: Mercari: $4.28 (Ship on your own option), Poshmark: $7.55. So basically, Poshmark is easiest and preferred for all items over 1lb, and Mercari offers better rates for items under 1lb.
Poshmark fees are a 20% commission on all items sold for a final sale price of over $15.00, and a flat-rate fee of $2.95 for all sales under $15.00
Mercari fees are approximately 13%; that is a 10% commission and 2.9% plus $0.30 in processing fees.
Which is better? Mercari, because the selling fees are lower.
For example, if I sell an item for $20.00 (without any shipping discounts), the fees will be as follows: Poshmark fees will be $4.00, and I will make $16.00 on the sale, or Mercari fees will be $2.88, and I will make $17.12.
Getting paid on both platforms is similar, as well. On both platforms, you get paid after the item is delivered to the buyer; immediately upon their acceptance rating, or after three days if they neglect to acknowledge receipt. Similarly, on both platforms, you can use your funds to shop on the app or request an electronic transfer to your bank account. Poshmark also offers a paper check via mail.
Both platforms offer seller protection in the event of a dispute, problem, or fraud. Posh Protect and Mercari Seller Protection are nearly identical. However, neither platform offers protection in circumstances where the seller did not comply with the platforms’ terms of service, including engaging in communications or transactions off of the platform.
Similarly, both platforms have congruent refund policies; all sales are final unless the item(s) is not as described, damaged, or never sent. Neither platform allows returns when an item is accurately described, so a buyer cannot return items that do not fit, that they do not like, because they have changed their mind, etc. However, buyers may attempt to open a case on Poshmark or initiate a return request on Mercari. On both marketplaces, this process takes several days to be resolved, during which time your funds are held up.
Which is better? Poshmark offers better customer service and seller protection. Although, there is room for improvement across the board, because neither platform resolves issues particularly quickly. Mercari has a phone number whereas Poshmark is available via email and in app-messaging only. Even so, having sold a high volume on each platform, I wholeheartedly think that Poshmark offers better customer service and seller protection. While buyer fraud is actually less common than it appears online, it inevitably happens. I have experienced it on both platforms, and Poshmark has handled it more professionally and consistently with their terms of service. Mercari has a reputation for “always siding with the buyer.”
Overall, Poshmark is a better place to sell items online. The larger audience, maximized SEO, simple shipping process, superior seller support and more advanced features justify the higher fees. Which reselling platform is your favorite? Tell us below!