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Mercari Buyer Review: How It Works, The Buyers’ Perspective

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Last Updated on by Buayifa Ojeogwu

For new Mercari buyers, you may have several questions about the selling app before shopping there.

Even as a seller, I have shopped on Mercari, so I know what it’s like to be a buyer.

And in this post, we would look at how Mercari works from the buyers’ perspective.

We’ll also talk about tips for shopping on Mercari and finding good deals.

Let’s begin.

Mercari Buyer Review: How It Works, The Buyers' Perspective

How Mercari Works For Buyers

Buyers can send offers or haggle prices on Mercari

What this means is that you can offer a lower price for a listing you are interested in.

How to send an offer on Mercari

  • Click on an item you want to buy then hit the “make offer” button,
  • Next, select a price from the options provided or name your price
  • then click next, and confirm your payment method,
  • and hit “send offer”.
  • Just so you know, the seller may accept, counter, or reject your offer.

Or message the seller privately to ask for a price reduction. They may ask you to send an offer, which you can do with the steps shown above.

See How To Bundle Items On Mercari To Save On Shipping – With Pictures

Buyers can add items to the cart

Mercari recently added the cart option, which I find interesting.

So how does the Mercari cart work?

You can use the cart to buy various items from several buyers and make one payment for everything.

Then your payment would be allocated accordingly.

Tip: Do not use the cart to create a bundle from the same buyer. When you do, you’d pay the shipping on every item in your cart. If there are 10 items with shipping of $4.55, you’d pay $4.55 on each of them.

So always talk to the seller about bundles or combined shipping.

Keep reading…

You can buy bundles

If you find several items you like in a Mercari seller’s store, send them a message to create a bundle for you.

So the seller would combine the items, create one listing with one shipping, and add the price.

Never use the cart to buy bundles.

Mercari buyers sometimes get free shipping

When shopping on Mercari, you would find items with free shipping, and some you would have to pay for shipping.

As attractive as free shipping sounds, you must know that it’s been added to the total cost of the item.

Still, I’d rather buy items with free shipping than ones without.

Mercari Buyer Review: How It Works, The Buyers' Perspective
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Buyers can message sellers privately

There are two ways to message a seller on Mercari.

  1. Swipe the pictures of the listing, when you get to the last picture you will see “message seller” OR
  2. swipe up to read the item description, you would see the blue “message seller” button just after the seller’s name.

You can pay with several payment methods

Mercari buyers can pay with their debit cards, credit cards, and also with PayPal.

And when you return an item, Mercari refunds your money back to the original method of payment.

So if you shopped with a credit card, debit card, or PayPal, your refund would be sent accordingly.

Buyers can return a purchase

After receiving your order, you have three days to inspect it and either rate the seller, or if you are not satisfied, return the item.

Take note: You cannot return an item if your reason was already in the description before you bought it.

But if the item is not as the seller described it, then your return would be processed.

Now, if you haven’t rated the seller after three days, Mercari would rate and pay them. Then your return window would be closed.

Keep reading for shopping tips on Mercari

Mercari Buyer Review: How It Works, The Buyers' Perspective
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Tips For Shopping On Mercari

1. Don’t buy brands you don’t recognize

Seriously, if you haven’t seen or heard of a brand before, then maybe you shouldn’t buy it.

When I see a brand I don’t recognize on Mercari, I Google it, and if I’m not getting any informative results, I don’t buy the product.

Of course, you can’t possibly know every brand.

But some are low-quality items people bought and found out the item is crappy, and want to sell, and get their money back.

The return process on Mercari is just exhausting (to me), so don’t waste your time and money buying inferior stuff.

You don’t know the brand? Walk on by.

2. Tweak your search keyword

If you are searching for a particular item on Mercari, you enter your search term and get results. Right?

But I’d tell you, that’s not all the results for that particular item.

So what you can do is tweak your keyword and think about other names you or other people call that items, and search for it.

This would give you more results for that particular item and maybe you’d even be lucky to find the product with free shipping.

3. Compare prices and shipping rates when you shop on Mercari

The next thing you need to do is to compare prices and shipping costs.

The thing is one seller may ship a particular pair of shoes for $4.99, while another would ship for $7 or sometimes $11.

Of course, you need to like what you are buying.

But also think about how much you’re paying to ship, especially when you know that item may not weigh up to that.

4. Always check the Mercari seller’s store for other similar items

If you find something you like while shopping on Mercari, make sure to check the seller’s store for more.

You just might find something else you like or need.

Recently, I bought a robe and 9 pairs of earrings for $11 with $2.99 shipping from one seller.

The robe was in like-new condition, and four pairs of earrings were brand new with tags while the others were in good rock-able condition.

5. Consider bundling when you shop on Mercari

This tip will be useful if you are buying lots of similar items.

For example, if you are looking for children’s clothes, and find a couple, check if the seller has lots.

You may be lucky to find a seller with lots of clothing in your kid’s size.

Then they can sell bundles to you with a discount or even free shipping.

6. Take your time, sleep on it

After you have found the things you would love to buy, don’t be in a hurry to pay for them.

Then check the following day.

You might find new listings and have more options or a chance to change your mind. To prevent coulda-woulda-shoulda moments.

Or even worse, having to beg a seller to cancel a purchase or offer.

So to avoid misunderstandings and regrets, make sure that’s your final decision before making payments.

7. If you find a good deal, buy it fast

This point contradicts the one above, I know. But you know a great deal when you see it.

Listen to your gut!

Once I was looking for boots for my daughter, and I found a pair I liked. They were in like-new condition, $7, and free shipping.

But before I could say, Jack Robinson, someone else bought them.

I spent days thinking about how cute those boots were and how they would look on my little girl.

8. Lastly, buy items in other buyers’ carts

Take this with a pinch of salt.

When you open a listing you’d see something like this:

“one or more buyers have this item in their cart”.

I interpret it as hot cake. Everyone wants it, and I want to be the one that gets it first.

Apparently, I noticed I am not the only one doing that. Again I may be wrong.

So recently, I went hunting for robes on Mercari, and I found a few I liked. And those robes were in other shoppers’ carts, so I added them to mine.

And before I knew it, the other shoppers quickly bought them. Though, I got one I liked.

But there were other robe sets I liked but wasn’t sure I wanted them. It may be because they weren’t in anyone’s cart.

Who knows? Anyway…

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Mercari Buyer Review: How It Works, The Buyers' Perspective
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Boom! How Does Mercari Work For Buyers? Tips For Shopping On Mercari.

So this is my Mercari review, and how Mercari works from a buyer’s perspective.

Remember, you can:

  • Haggle prices,
  • Buy bundles,
  • add items to Mercari cart,
  • make offers,
  • return purchases,
  • pay with several payment methods.

Bonus point: Mercari users earn $10 for every new user that signs up with their referral links.

Sign up with my link for a $10 coupon.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask in the comments.

I will be glad to answer them.

Remember to pin me.

Thank you for reading!

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Saturday 6th of November 2021

If make an offer and someone else buys it. Is my offer still binding?

Buayifa Ojeogwu

Saturday 6th of November 2021

Hi Christel, If you make an offer and someone else buys the item, the offer is no longer valid or binding because the item is SOLD. You'll just have to wait for the offer to expire or message the seller to decline the offer. I hope this helps. If you have more questions, I'll be here to answer them. xx, Buayifa.


Saturday 26th of June 2021

Hi! If a buyer makes an offer on an item, does that offer have to be resolved prior to someone else purchase if the item or can they purchase the item before you get a response to your offer!


Saturday 26th of June 2021

Hi Brenda, If you make an offer and waiting for the seller's response, another buyer can still purchase the item. The thing is, Mercari notifies all the buyers that "liked" the item that someone sent an offer. So if they are really interested, and do not want to lose that item, they'd buy it before the seller accepts your offer. Funny enough, this happened to me just two days ago on Mercari. I hope this answers your question. I'm here if you need more help with buying on Mercari. xx, Buayifa.


Monday 12th of April 2021

As a buyer where can you see the offers you’ve made. I feel like mine just disappear.


Monday 12th of April 2021

Hi Tiffany, When a buyer makes an offer on Mercari, it goes straight to your messages. So make sure to check your DM. That's also where you'd get a notification if the seller accepts or rejects your offer. I hope this helps. Let me know if you need more help with buying on Mercari.

xx, Buayifa.


Sunday 14th of March 2021

If you ask a seller if they can make a two item bundle, they make it a 3 item bundle including a more used item, Am I obligated to purchse?They did a combined price of a $1 less and a larger shipping price than one item because of the weight.


Sunday 14th of March 2021

Hi Geraldine, If you don't want the third item, you can tell the seller to remove it from your bundle. Of which it is more used, and only making the bundle heavier. So no, you are not obliged to buy it. Now, if the items you are purchasing are heavy, the seller would have to go for a higher shipping rate. If they are two shirts, they can still ship for $4.50 thereabout. Ask the seller if they can reduce the shipping cost. The thing is some sellers always go with Mercari recommended shipping, which is sometimes inaccurate. I hope this helps. xx, Buayifa!


Friday 20th of November 2020

When you make an offer, can the seller see your full name and address?

Buayifa Ojeogwu

Friday 20th of November 2020

Hi Erika. No, the seller does not see your name and address when you make an offer. They only see your offer in a private message. The only time a seller has your name and address is when they print out a shipping label for your order. I hope this helps. xx, Buayifa.