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Need a new place to sell your Silhouette or Cricut made products? Have you heard of Mercari? If not, don’t worry. I spent some time looking at it and using it in December, and today I’m sharing my thoughts with you.
What is Mercari?
Mercari is a marketplace app available for Apple and Android devices. It’s available in the USA, the U.K., and Japan. I’d compare it as being similar to the Facebook Marketplace. However, unlike most Facebook Marketplace transactions, most Mercari transactions are shipped from seller to buyer.
Mercari – The Good
- There’s a handmade section in the app. When I browsed it, there were a decent number of well made craft products for sale.
- Mercari has been promoting on billboards around my local area. This suggests they are growing.
- It’s easy to list: Snap a picture, write a description, add a price and you are done.
- Mercari listings are free. If your item sells, there is a flat 10% fee.
- You have 3 days to ship your item after a sale is made.
- There’s a built in shipping label generator.
- It’s safer than meeting up with strangers around your town.
- In the event of problems, Mercari will act as a mediator between you and the buyer.
Mercari – The Bad
- Sellers don’t get paid until the buyer rates the product. If the buyer doesn’t rate the product, there is a system of checks and balances built into the app so that sellers still get paid.
- Mercari isn’t somewhere that you can build your business. You don’t have a shop – just listings. I’ve found it good for one off sales – but it definitely isn’t a place to get your name out.
- Buyers on marketplace apps are often looking for a deal. In fact, Mercari advertises to buyers “… save up to 70% on millions of new and used items”. These buyers aren’t always compatible with the handmade market as a whole.
- Mercari users can make offers on your listings. I found it annoying, but others might not mind.
Mercari Best Practices
If you want to use Mercari in your Silhouette or Cricut business, here’s a few recommendations:
- Use actual product photos of the exact product the buyer will receive rather than mockups. Since the buyer has to rate you before you are paid, you need it to be clear exactly what they will receive.
- Don’t do custom orders through Mercari. I always recommend that receive payment before a custom product is made. Since Mercari doesn’t do payments this way – there’s nothing worse than getting stuck with a custom product that you might not be able to resell.
Have you used Mercari? What do you think of it? Let me know in the comments.
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Since 2015, Christine Schinagl has been helping crafters start and run craft businesses through her blog, Cutting for Business. As a Silhouette and Cricut crafter herself, she has a unique take on what works and what doesn’t work in the craft business world. She also teaches a course on creating digital SVG designs, available at How to Design SVGs.