Last Updated on by Bree
I used to ask myself, “Can a seller get scammed on Mercari or Poshmark?” until this happened.
Though I wasn’t scammed, I learned a thing or two about avoiding scams when selling on selling apps.
When my husband got a new laptop, we decided to sell the old one (less than a year old).
So we listed it on Mercari, Poshmark, and Facebook marketplace.
Once the listing was live, scammers started pooling in.
We ignored most of them.
And we finally sold the laptop on Mercari.
This post will explain how to avoid scammers when selling on Mercari, Poshmark, and Facebook.
But first, let’s discuss signs your buyer is a scammer.
7 Signs the Buyer is a Scammer
I’d never experienced scammers when selling online until I listed a laptop for over $1000.
So it was surprising seeing scammers commenting on my listing.
And even if I wanted so badly to sell the laptop, I wasn’t desperate to the point of falling for the scam.
So here are signs that a buyer is about to scam you.
1. They only go after high-end product listings.
I’ve never had anyone try to scam me since I’ve been selling online.
Before the laptop listing, the highest I’ve sold an item on Mercari was a little under $100.
But this laptop was listed for $1000.
So you can imagine why scammers would be interested.
They want a product they can make a good profit from.
And also, because they know you want to sell (of course), they won’t haggle the price with you.
Which makes you really want to sell to them and get your money quickly.
2. Also, they’ll leave messages asking you to call a particular number
Another sign the buyer is a scammer is that they’ll all leave you comments on your listing asking you to call a number or send them emails.
When I cross-posted the laptop on Poshmark, I got several messages about it.
Buyers saying they want to buy the laptop for their kid or sibling.
Telling me to call a number and the person will send the money for the laptop.
Something like that.
The scammer will try to make you take the transaction out of the selling platform.
So they can scam you there without seller protection.
3. All the scam messages will be similar in text and context
In case you don’t know, most scam messages always have identical text.
It’s like they copy and paste it, or it’s automated to go out with different names.
That’s how the scam buyer comments will appear under your Poshmark listing.
It would look something like the picture above.
4. They’ll try to pay you outside of the selling platform
Another sign the buyer is trying to scam you is that they’d ask if you accept Venmo or Zelle.
So they’d try to pay you outside the selling platform.
And again, because those payment methods are instant, it can entice you to ship your item to them.
But keep in mind that Venmo or Zelle are instant transfers.
And you get the notification and see the payment in your account instantly.
And your notifications hardly go to spam.
But the scammer that contacted us on Facebook Marketplace said we should check our spam mail.
And the automated spam email was there.
And we knew right away it was fake.
So we blocked the person.
5. Also, the scammer would offer a higher amount for your listing
Because the scammers plan to do the transaction outside the platform, they’d offer higher than you listed your item.
The scammer on the Facebook marketplace offered $1300 for a laptop we listed for $1000.
And said she’d pay through Zelle.
So my hubby sent his Zelle email to her to transfer the money – big mistake, right?
He’s not familiar with selling online. I’m the pro. Lol.
Anyway, he didn’t get any notification.
Then she told him to check his spam emails.
Lo and behold, the fake scam Zelle notification was right there.
But no money to show in the account.
So he told her we weren’t interested in selling anymore and blocked her account.
Imagine if we didn’t know how Zelle or Venmo works.
Or if I didn’t stop him from shipping outside the marketplace.
We’d just ship an item to a seller without getting paid.
6. Their payment won’t go through.
Another sign a buyer might be a scammer is that their payment will fail several times.
When a buyer first made an offer, for some reason, the transaction failed.
The offer was there, and I accepted it.
But the moment I hit accept, the transaction failed.
And it happened several times.
Now I can’t tell if they were trying to scam me as they tried again the next day.
And messaged me back and forth.
But still, it failed.
And I told the buyer that the listing was also on Poshmark that they could try buying it there.
But Mercari didn’t like that.
So they deleted the message and told me I was taking the buyer out of the platform. Lol.
Anyway, the buyer gave up.
And someone else made an offer even higher than the last one.
This time the payment was successful.
And I ship the laptop to them.
7. Another sign of a scammer is that their account will be new without reviews
If a buyer is a scammer, you’ll notice their accounts are new.
They have several new accounts they use to scam sellers.
I noticed the scammers on Poshmark and Mercari had new accounts.
So they probably opened the account just to scam and then disappear.
Because as you can see, this buyer was only active when my listing was live.
And they’ve been inactive since then.
Some were old accounts but without profile pictures or ratings.
I’m not saying every new buyer is a scammer.
But most scammers who left comments on my Poshmark listing had new accounts and no profile pictures.
Also, they’ve never sold or bought anything before.
And on a couple of them, I noticed they’ve commented on other listings with the same comments they left on mine.
And the comments were on high-end products like designer fashion items, expensive tech products, etc.
So you’ll notice the pattern.
How to avoid scammers when selling online
1. Don’t respond to their messages
First things first, never respond to scammers’ messages.
Just ignore them.
Or update your listing description like I did that you won’t be calling or emailing anyone to buy.
And when they see that in your listing, they’d stop leaving their spam messages.
2. Never accept payment outside the selling platform
To avoid getting scammed when selling online, never accept payment outside the marketplace.
Facebook is quite free about how buyers and sellers do transactions.
So it’s easy for a scammer to contact you and ask to pay through Zelle.
But Mercari will keep the message from getting to you.
And even if it does, Mercari deletes it immediately and warns the buyer.
And, as far as Poshmark is concerned, the comments will be on your listing.
Not it’s left to you to do what you like with it.
But since Poshmark won’t weed out scammers for you, I’m telling you not to accept payment outside the selling platform.
Whether you’re selling on Mercari, Poshmark, Facebook marketplace, Ebay, Depop, etc.
Because when you accept payment outside the platform, there is no seller protection.
So Mercari cannot fight for you when the buyer takes your product and reverses the transaction.
Even PayPal isn’t safe for taking payments outside Mercari.
Because the buyer can ask for a refund, and PayPal mostly take their word over yours.
So to be safe, always do your transactions within the marketplace.
3. Take enough pictures of your items
Another way to avoid scams when selling online is to take and upload several pictures of your item.
Because several times buyers ruin the item, maybe while opening it.
And turn around and ask for a refund claiming it was damaged when they received it.
It’s possible the item was damaged during shipment.
Which isn’t your fault.
But it’s also likely the buyer ruined it when opening the package.
So having pictures and videos of your item before shipping would help if the buyer asks for a refund.
4. Report them if you like
Another thing you can do when a buyer is trying to scam you is to block or report them.
But blocking is enough.
Reporting them is also okay.
But I doubt the selling platforms would do anything about it.
So you just take precautions to block them and move on.
FAQs about selling on Mercari
Can you get scammed as a seller on Mercari?
You can, but it’s unlikely.
Compared to other marketplaces, Mercari blocks and delete scam messages.
Especially those from buyers asking you to take the transaction outside the platform.
But I noticed buyers could leave scam messages on my Poshmark listings.
While I never got any of those on Mercari.
How do I protect myself when selling on Mercari?
The best way I protect myself when selling on Mercari is by doing all my transactions on the platform.
So I sell, ship, and accept payments on the Mercari selling app.
Because if you ship on your own and something goes wrong, Mercari wouldn’t defend you.
But you can make a case if you ship and accept payment on the Mercari platform.
And have some advantage over someone who shipped on their own.
How do sellers avoid being scammed on Mercari?
My advice is to do your transactions on the Mercari platform.
Never take your transactions out.
Also, take pictures of your items.
You can even make a video of the item before shipping it to prove it was in excellent condition.
Because some buyers will damage their purchases and claim it was ruined when they received it.
So your pictures and video will prove that you shipped the item in excellent condition.
How can I avoid being scammed while selling?
Don’t be too desperate to sell that you forget to protect yourself.
Also, don’t fall for buyers offering more than you listed for.
Most of the time, when they offer more, they also require you to accept payment outside the platform.
So they can scam you easily.
Do sellers have protection on Mercari?
The most seller protection I’ve seen on Mercari is they’d delete scam buyers’ messages.
Once, a buyer asked me to take a transaction outside of Meracri.
And Meracri blocked them from messaging me.
What happens after someone buys your item on Mercari?
After someone buys your item, you’d receive an email with the shipping label to ship the item.
Once you ship the item, the tracking will update.
And you’ll only get paid after the buyer receives the item and rates you.
And if they have yet to rate you after three days, you’ll get an automated rating.
Then your funds will be released to you.
Is Mercari a good place to sell?
Mercari is a great place to sell, as you can list items for free.
But customer service is almost unavailable.
Is it better to sell on Poshmark or Mercari?
I sell on Mercari and Poshmark.
They both have their perks and drawbacks.
What I love about Mercari are its several shipping rates.
But it can get high when the item weighs over a pound.
While Poshmark shipping is a flat fee for most items under 5 pounds.
Just choose which of them is convenient for you.
In conclusion, can you get scammed as a seller on mercari
My answer is it depends.
You’ll likely be safe if you sell and accept payments on Mercari.
But some buyers can still scam you on Mercari by lying about the condition of the item they received.
Or receiving the item but claiming they didn’t.
And from my experience, Mercari said they’d pay the seller if the matter isn’t resolved within 3 days.
The buyer might get a refund from the mail carrier if the item was lost in transit.
And that’s my real-life experience about how to avoid getting scammed on selling apps.
As a seller on Mercari or Poshmark, do you have any scammer experiences you want to share?
Please share your tips to avoid them in the comments.
Also, if you find this post helpful, please share it.
Thanks for reading.
See you in the next one.