You may have heard about Mercari, and you are now wondering whether this platform is safe and should you use it. Maybe you’ve had a bad experience with some e-commerce site in the past, and you now want to be sure before you start using another one. That’s the right attitude because, in the online world, you never know.
We have written this guide to explain whether Mercari is legit, and can you get scammed there. Keep reading to learn more about this platform and get information that will help you decide whether to use it or not.
What Is Mercari?
Mercari is a selling platform that launched back in 2013. Its purpose is to enable people who are not retailers to sell things that they no longer need. If you are a seller, this is where you can earn some extra cash for your electronics, clothes, books, etc.
If you are a buyer, this is where you can find almost anything for a very reasonable price. The sellers are usually looking to get rid of the things they’re selling and earn some side money. They are not professional sellers, and their prices are typically reasonable. Maybe they’re selling stuff because they’re moving out or their kids have overgrown them.
One of the best things about Mercari is that it is now possible to do everything via mobile app, which makes this platform super convenient and universally accessible.
Is Mercari Legit?
Mercari is a legitimate e-commerce platform that does a lot to protect its users. However, sellers don’t work at Mercari. They are just regular people who want to sell the stuff they don’t need anymore. Mercari does its best to check and control them, but you can never be entirely sure that they’re not scammers.
Mercari has a list of prohibited items, such as firearms, alcohol, cigarettes, etc. The company suspends people who try to sell these items. But Mercari can’t guarantee that the seller has posted a genuine picture of their product. You have to be careful who you buy from, and make sure to ask the seller for additional information and more photos if you’re suspicious.
To answer your question: yes, you can get scammed on Mercari. That doesn’t happen often, and it usually happens to people who ignore the red flags along the way. We’ll explain the things that you should pay attention to if you want to avoid scammers.
You should be very careful when you see a new profile without any reviews. That could be a regular user, but it could also be a scammer. If you are wondering how do people get scammed when Mercari doesn’t pay sellers until buyers receive and rate items, keep reading.
People could try to scam you in two ways: they could try to convince you to continue the conversation on some other platform, such as WhatsApp or Viber. That’s a big red flag, because once when you start talking on other platforms, Mercari is not responsible for the transaction anymore.
Think about it this way: why would a seller want to talk to you through another app when Mercari allows you to send private messages and photos via the platform?
Some people might try to scam you by making their products look better in the picture than in reality. That usually happens with furniture and electronics. If there’s only one photo of the product, you should always ask the seller to send you more pictures, preferably from different angles. If they refuse, it probably means that they’re hiding something.
Another red flag is an unusually low price! Yes, people usually sell used items, and they cost less than new ones in the store. But if a price seems too good to be true, you should be concerned. For example, if someone is selling an iPhone for $50, the chances are that the phone doesn’t work.
How to Protect Yourself?
Here are a few tips on how to protect yourself from potential scammers lurking on Mercari.
Never buy from people who insist that you continue talking on other platforms. In terms and conditions, Mercari states that the app is not responsible for anything that happens away from the platform.
If something looks suspicious, always ask the seller to provide you with additional photos and info about the item.
Read user reviews carefully. It’s always better to buy from sellers who have a lot of reviews on their profiles. Read them to see whether buyers were satisfied with the items they have received.
Be very careful if the price seems too good to be true. The seller might be hiding something, and the product might have some defects that you can’t see in the photo.
Use a credit card instead of a debit card. It’s always safer to use your credit card, and this applies to all kinds of online shopping.
When you receive the product, check it carefully. Remember that you have three days to confirm your order. If something is missing or if the product is in bad condition, you can file a complaint and ask to get your money back.
This option makes Mercari way safer and fairer than some other e-commerce platforms. However, if you spot a defect after more than three days, it might be too late to complain. That’s why we advise you to check the item as soon as you receive it.
Mercari Is Legit, but You Should Be Careful
The platform is entirely legit, but it doesn’t mean that you should trust everyone on it. Most of the people who got scammed weren’t careful enough. Most likely, it happened because they didn’t pay enough attention to reviews and photos. Or even worse, because they made a deal with the seller on some other platform.
This app protects its buyers, but you have to protect yourself first! Have you ever had a bad experience on any e-commerce platform? What happened? Feel free to share your experience in the comments section below.