Is the Mercari App a Scam – When I Took Closer Look… It Shocked Me

Is the Mercari App a Scam – When I Took Closer Look… It Shocked Me

Are you looking for an online flea market where you could sell items you don’t need anymore (and thus make some side money)? Or maybe you want to buy stuff with a cheap price?

If so, Mercari App is one of such online marketplaces that you may want to consider. There is a big trouble, though – The internet is flooded with complaints against Mercari. So therefore, you may want to ask, “Is the Mercari App a scam?”

Is the the platform trustworthy and safe enough to make business with it?

The Mercari App review below tries to answer these (and other related) questions.

So let’s dig right into the details:

Quick Review

Logo of the Mercari appName: Mercari App
Mercari App
Mercari App download: App Store for iOS, Google Play for Android devices
Niche: Online flea market
Price: (Download: free; buying: free; selling: 10%)
Founder: Shintaro Yamada (Japan)
My Overall Rank: 5 out of 10

My Verdict: Mercari App is legit make-money-online opportunity!  

However, approach with great caution! Because there are tons of complaints against Mercari circulating in the internet (more on that below). Way too many former members (both buyers and sellers) have had awful experiences with the app. Hence my rank 5 out of 10.

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Full Review – Is the Mercari App a Scam?

What is Mercari App

Mercari, a Japanese company founded by Shintaro Yamada, is the Japan’s “biggest community-powered shopping fair,” which has recently expanded to United States. It advertises itself as “a hassle-free and secure way to buy and sell items straight from your mobile device or tablet.”

In other words, Mercari is a mobile app which allows people buy and sell goods online right from their phones. 

What items you can sell on Mercari?

Truth be told, pretty much everything. You can sell fashion, electronics, jewelry, console games, etc.

Mercari is an online flea market

Also, as you might expect, you can sell new, used, and hand-made items.

How Does It Work?

The whole process is pretty similar to eBay and other online shopping marketplace. If you are not familiar with it, here’s how it goes:

How to Sell on Mercari

the mercari app login pageFirst, you obviously need to create your Mercari account and download their app. After that you can start listing your items by uploading their images and adding some details. Uploading has been made extremely simple as the the app allows you to shoot photos and automatically upload them.

Second, when the buyer has picked the item and paid for it, the Mercari App allows you to create and print a shipping label in your home.

Third, send the item to the buyer.

Fourth, Once the buyer has received the item, he…

  1. Will use the Mercari App to confirm that he has received the purchase
  2. Will rate his/her experience transacting with you.

Fifth, Only after the buyer has verified that he/she has received the item and it is as described, Mercari releases the payment to you (seller).

Sixth, After the buyer has finished rating your service, you can rate the buyer.

Note! On Mercari, buyer’s rating completes the sale.

How to Buy on Mercari?

First, download the Mercari App from the Apple Store or Google Store (all transactions go through the app):

To buy on Mercari you first need to download the app

See! You cannot buy or sell on Mercari without downloading their app.

Second, select an item you want to buy and pay for it.

Note! Mercari will hold your payment until the item gets delivered and you verify that it is as described.

Third, If you are happy with the item, close the sale by rating the seller. However, if the item was not as described, go through Mercari to initiate a return.

Note! On Mercari, if you return the item, you lose the ability to rate the seller.

Is the Mercari App a Scam?

So far so good! So what’s the problem? Is the Mercari App legit? Or is it a scam?

As I discovered, there are some huge problems connected with the Mercari flea market platform that you may want to know before starting buying/selling on it.

As far as I understand, the biggest problem is not that the marketplace is filled with dishonest sellers and buyers… The biggest problem is that Mercari cannot (or don’t want to) deal with the fraudsters.

As a result, its best two groups of people – good buyers as well as good sellers – fall victim to the system. And that’s tragic.

Who are the winners?

  1. Mercari
  2. Fraudulent (dishonest) sellers
  3. Dishonest buyers

Let me list some of the main problems of Mercari App and see what you think! To make things easier to understand, I split these problems into two parts:

  1. Problems connected with sellers
  2. Problems connected with buyers

Here we go:

The Mercari App Complaints

As I told above, Mercari online flea market seems to be heavily filled with scammers (both buyers and sellers). Therefore, either way you go it’s easy to fall victim to their fraudulent schemes.

If you are a seller, you get scammed by dishonest buyers (they will buy from you, then after receiving the item they cancel the transaction and get refunded…) And if you are a buyer, you get scammed by fraudulent sellers (you buy a brand new item, they send you used one instead, etc.)

And to make things worse, often people won’t get any help from Mercari.

Therefore, just to give you some examples, here are some warning signs for you:

1. If You Are a Seller

Payments not received:

People complaint that they don't get payments from Mercari App

No payments received from Mercari App

No payment - Mercari complaint

Accounts of Honest Sellers Get Shut Down

Many good Mercari sellers find their accounts banned

Good Sellers Get Suspended

Honest people get often suspended by Mercari App

There are many more complaints, like:

  • Awful (also ignorant and lazy) Customer Service
  • Mercari approves buyers deceptions
  • Offer no help to sellers
  • etc., etc., etc.

2. If You Are a Buyer

Full of Fake Items

Mercari allows selling fake items

Sellers Can Leave Retaliation Negative Feedback…

…And thus hurt your otherwise faultless buyer reputation (In eBay you cannot do that). This is huge problem if anyone can give you a stinking rating that is not true and you have no way to defend yourself.

Remember, you must live with that negative rating. There are cases where other sellers refuse to do business with the buyer because of that one bad feedback:

In Mercari sellers can give negative ratings to buyers

Refunds Delayed

Is the Mercari App a scam? Mercari complaints

More Mercari App Complaints

If you plan to sell or buy on Mercari, I highly recommend to at least scroll through the following complaints and feedback. herehere, and here.


Because then you have a much better picture of what you can expect from the Mercari platform. And thus you can stay safe.

Final Verdict

Verdict: The Mercari is a LEGIT platform to buy and sell stuff (and thus make some side money online). However, because of huge amount of complaints against Mercari App, please approach it with great caution. Just to make sure you won’t get ripped off.

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What About You

First, thank you for reading my review. I hope you found the information you were looking for.

Now that you have read the Mercari App review, I’m curious to know your thoughts about it. Is the Mercari App a scam or not?

Also, do you have a personal experience with Mercari (good or bad) that you’d like to share?

Please drop me a comment below and I will return with a response.




  1. Hey there,

    I was about to get this app and start selling when I jump on the part where you said that most people complain of delayed payments.

    And worst of all, it has been suspended for 13 days! Man, I don’t want to suffer the same problems. Do you have any other alternatives I can use?

    • Hi, Dave, and thank you very much for the feedback. I appreciate it a lot.

      I am glad you found my review helpful. Also, I am happy to hear you did not give your money to scammers. Frankly, they don’t deserve it.

      As for the alternative ways to make legit (side) money online, have you tried this? Take a closer look and see whether it can help you. It won’t cost you a penny to figure out if it is for you.

      I personally like it very much (I use it since 2013 and I am very satisfied with their service). Here’s why.

      Stay safe and God bless you, sir :)


  2. April Whitmire says:

    I had been selling on Mercari for about 6 months and because l had one customer that made a complaint. They suspended my account but told me they wouldn’t delete my account until all my sales were final so l still had money coming to me. Then when the buyers had rated me and my money was released they told me that they were going to put a freeze on my funds for 60 or 90 day’s. So l can’t get my money until August. Please tell me where they have the right to hold my money. Their rules are if the buyer doesn’t make a complaint in three days then the sales are final. They don’t have a 60 to 90 day return policy. Please if anyone reading this has any advice, share your thoughts.

    • Thank you for the feedback, April.

      As for your problem, that’s why these schemes are designed in the first place – to rip off innocent day-traders. It’s tragic but that’s how it is. The reason why you cannot withdraw your funds is that the scammers have already divided and spent the loot. You may want to try but remember, people behind the Mercari app are heartless online criminals.

      Is your broker regulated or unregulated? If it is regulated broker, you can submit a complaint and see what happens. If it is some overseas unregulated broker, I am afraid you can kiss that money goodbye, there is no way to get it back.

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