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:

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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…

…That being said, approach Mercari with great caution! There are tons of complaints against the platform circulating in the internet (more on that below). Sadly, 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.


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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

My verdict: The Mercari is a LEGIT platform to buy and sell stuff (and thus make some side money online). That being said, because of huge amount of complaints against Mercari App, please approach it with great caution. This is 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. Kathleen McAferty says:

    I purchased an Easy Bake Oven for my great-niece’s birthday that was supposed to have arrived yesterday. The only communication after I placed the order was an order confirmation. After that, nothing! I have serious doubts that I’ll ever see it. I will NEVER use this site again.

  2. I got suspended from the site because they said an item was fake, they didn’t even ask me for proof, they blocked the account and they still said I had an old account, but I have $ 740 in sales and I can’t even get my account because I’m blocked for everything, I’ve sent many messages and they do not help me! this is theft, theft, this site is a disrespect to the sellers and I will seek justice and spread so that no one sells there anymore, they have my money, do not sell, do not risk because they steal the money from their sales and do not allow you more access even to remove!

  3. Scammed 4times in 1 week with iwatches. Was charged three times. The sellers were unresponsive after purchase and then refunded my money back days later. The 4th time purchased a watch from seller AnnaLWebb it shows no scratches in the picture or description. The watch came to me severely scratched up on the apple watch face and Rebecca is supposed to be the support crew. Did nothing! My bank said they will deal with each name of deceitful people and horrible customer service.from seller AnnaLWebb (Anna L. Webb) from Oklahoma City and Danielkok from Florida, Lauren Zapetalfit from Tennesse, bluefacefrank and Rebecca from customer support.

  4. Mercari is a joke. I have had to return more items than not because of lack of proper description. I had only listed lower end items on Mercari for fear that I will get scammed or ripped off but finally took the chance and listed an authentic Louis Vuitton item. As soon as the buyer received the item they asked me where I bought it and I gave them an honest answer of Tradesy. The buyer proceeded to tell me they would compare this item with one that their friend has. The next day I received a message from the buyer stating that they had had the item authenticated by some random authentication service I have never heard of and told me it was not authentic when I know for a fact that it is. I told them to go ahead and initiate the return and I would have the item authenticated for myself. Suddenly Mercari removes my item and sends me a warning regarding prohibited items and approves the return without asking me any questions or asking me for any authenticity paperwork or information. It’s been 3 days and the buyer has not even shipped my item back and I am concerned that I’m going to get scammed and my original item will not be returned. Very concerned that I will get a different item back. If it shows delivered with the label Mercari provided the buyer for the return they will refund the buyer immediately and I may be out myaurhenti, expensive item . This has been a harrowing experience and as soon as I received my item, hopefully the same item in the same brand new condition that I sent it in, I’m going to delete my account. I’ve been selling for many, many years. There are much safer online venues to sell your items in like Poshmark, eBay and Etsy. Everyone should do themselves a favor and stay away from Mercari. Sellers kget no opportunity to rebut any buyer’s false claims and aren’t even notified of the reason the return was approved. . Completely ridiculous and a terrible way to treat legitimate sellers.

  5. Holly Woodard says:

    I purchased an item through Mercari that is defective and have not received any help with a return, and, the website is impossible to navigate.

  6. eBays new algorithm for determining sellers cases is completely broken and leaves the selling 100% exposed to fraud.
    Mercari (a/o mid 2019) is a viable platform. They recently opened US offices on three different places. Much has changed and it’s been an amazing experience in switching over. I was doing about $50k a year is sales on eBay prior to switching. My number on Mercari are on point with what I was pulling in on eBay. I like how they take fees up front (same 10% as eBay/no PayPal fees) as well. Mercari I can vouch for has really shapes up it’s USA platform this year. Extremely impressed by the customer support as well. Only complaint I have is there is no one to speak to regarding selling/buying issues. You have to use email communication only for account specialist problems.
    Was informed they are working on a live chat system however.

    • Hey, Chris, and thank you for the feedback. I am glad to hear Mercari is improving their services. Let’s see. Time will tell if it will become a reality. Until now… There are still way too many complaints against them. But it is only good news if they change their behavior and attitude.


  7. Thank you so much Mr. Egon,
    Thank you so much for your article on Mercari. I had just seen an ad on TV about Mercari. I was curious and thought I might try it out. Before doing so I did a bit of research and found a lot of negative comments from current and former users of the App.
    Your comments and information about Mercari was just what I was looking for.
    I use eBay from time to time and have never had a problem.
    What bothers me about Mercari is the way payments are held by Mercari and depends on the buyer “rating” the seller before funds are released to the seller. My doubts were confirmed by the negative remarks I found about this subject while researching.
    Again Thank You so much
    Joyce Davis

    • Hey, Joyce, and thank you for taking time and giving me some feedback. Yes, there are tons of complaints against Mercari. Even in this very thread the big majority of comments are written by people who have had a bad or a very experience with Mercari. I just cannot understand why Mercari has allowed it happen Why they don’t care about their (often the most loyal) members – both buyers and sellers?

      There have been signals in recent times that Mercari has improved their services and now they are honest online marketplace. But it is very difficult to believe because… As you can see from this thread alone, so many people have been scammed because of their dishonest (and often ugly) behavior. Therefore, I would like to ask – If Mercari is a sincere and honest platform now, have they compensated to all these victims? No.

      That’s why I am still very skeptical about them.

      Stay safe,

  8. Bruce Moyer says:

    Great info. As a 22 year seller of collectibles on Ebay with over a million dollars in sales there and 10,000 plus positive feedbacks without one negative, I was very interested in a new venue to sell, but from the information provided, I have decided mercari is not for me.

    • Hey, Bruce, and thank you for the feedback. You have an awesome track record, to say the least. Congratulations :)

      As for Mercari then yeah… Way too many complaints and bad experiences to call it a great (or even trustworthy) platform. There are some signals that Mercari has improved their services recently but I have my doubts.

      I am glad you found my review helpful, sir.

      God bless you,

  9. I have had 144 successful transactions on Mercari. I have made over $6000 in sales in the past 3 month. I am very accurate in my listings and honest with my buyers and have had 0 problems with Mercari. I like how upfront they are with their fee’s and shipping. There are no hidden costs to selling on Mercari. I also sell on eBay and Amazon and get very frustrated with how they (mainly Amazon) change their fee’s depending on what your selling. I have purchased a few items on Mercari as well and those have gone perfectly.

    • Hey, Azariah, and thank you for your comment and feedback. I am glad to hear Mercari online marketplace has worked great for you. Because Mercari is Japanese business then people say there’s quite a big difference in quality of their services in Japan and in US. Can you tell me, do you sell/buy in Japan or in US?

      Because, as you can see from quite a few comments in this thread, there are people who also have done everything right and yet got heavily punished by the system. Or they have done a minor and insignificant mistakes and Mercari has closed their accounts and thrown them out.


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