With more and more people wanting to start a side hustle, be their own boss and work from home, reselling apps like Poshmark and Mercari have exploded in popularity in recent years.
While eBay remains the undisputed king of the second-hand online marketplace, there are new apps popping up every day where you can resell your old clothes, homeware, shoes and more.
Two of the biggest reselling apps on the market are Poshmark and Mercari, and while they might seem very similar at first, they actually have some major differences, so if you’re considering starting a reselling business from home, you’ll need to look at Poshmark vs. Mercari and figure out which is best for your business.
In this article we will outline just what Poshmark and Mercari have to offer, as well as looking at the major differences between Poshmark vs. Mercari when it comes to fees, shipping, customer service and the overall effort required to make money on both apps.
So, with all that said, let’s get into it!
Poshmark vs. Mercari – Which is Best?
What is Poshmark?
Before we get into the nitty gritty of Poshmark vs. Mercari and which is best as a whole, we need to dive into the two separately and get an understanding of what exactly the apps are and who they are designed for.
Poshmark was founded in 2011 in California, and according to Poshmark’s Social Commerce Report in 2020, it has reached 60 million users across Canada and the US.
Poshmark is an app and website (although it is primarily used as an app), where you can buy and sell gently used clothes, accessories, shoes and other fashion apparel, and it’s name is a play on the word ‘posh’ and ‘marketplace.’
When it first started out, Poshmark promised to turn women’s closets into stylish boutiques where they could sell their designer goods for cash, right from their mobile phones.
The business model that Poshmark uses is a social commerce marketplace – a cross between a traditional online marketplace and social media site.
Sellers will help each other out by engaging with and sharing each other’s content, following each other and hosting virtual ‘Posh Parties’ where they can show off their latest goods to a wider audience.
All of this gives buyers the feeling of choosing something from their friend’s closet rather than an impersonal eBay seller, and buyers on Poshmark are often fiercely loyal to the app and their favourite stores, coming back time and time again.
What is Mercari?
Meaning ‘marketplace‘ in Latin, Mercari is, in its own words, a ‘flea market app’ where a whopping 10 billion items are sold every month.
It was founded in Japan in 2013, but it is also popular in the US and UK, and as of 2020 it boasts 60 million users in the US and Canada.
Unlike Poshmark, which is limited to fashion apparel (and more recently, homeware), Mercari allows users to sell just about anything, in any condition, just so long as they’re honest about it.
In their words, ‘If it ships, you can most likely sell it.‘
Mercari’s goal is to ‘establish a society where resources are circulated’ and people can earn money, minimise clutter and be more sustainable.
Poshmark vs. Mercari
One of the biggest things to consider when selling on Poshmark vs. Mercari is the fees involved.
After all, you’re doing this to make money, right?
You don’t want to sign up to a platform and then discover that it has exorbitant fees or a nasty commission structure.
When selling on Poshmark, there are two fee structures.
If your item is $15 or less, there is a flat fee of $2.95 to sell it. For any items above $15, Poshmark take a 20% commission from the sale, which is very high.
It is free to list your items on Poshmark.
When it comes to Mercari, their ‘fee’ is a 10% commission of the total sale, plus another 2.9% + $0.30 in payment processing fees, bringing the total commission to just over 12.9%.
You also have to pay a $2 transfer fee if you are withdrawing less than $10 to your bank account, but this is easily avoided by just waiting until you have more than $10 in your account.
Winner: Mercari. Mercari has less fees, meaning more money in your pocket at the end of the day. With that said, Poshmark’s flat fee of 20% is easier to work out than doing the maths with Mercari.
When analysing Poshmark vs. Mercari, shipping is perhaps one of the most important things to pay attention to, because not only can shipping items take a lot of time and effort, but it can also end up costing you a lot of money if you don’t do your homework.
Luckily, when it comes to Poshmark and Mercari, shipping is very easy on both platforms.
On Poshmark, the buyers automatically pay a flat shipping rate of $7.45 (unless you decide to provide a discount) on packages that weigh 5lbs or less.
It may not sound like it, but 5lbs is actually quite a lot, so for items at the high end of the scale, $7.45 is actually a very good deal!
With that said, if somebody is just buying a pair of cheap costume earrings, they likely won’t want to pay all that money for shipping.
A way around this is to encourage shoppers to buy in bundles, meaning that they can buy multiple items from your store while only paying one shipping fee.
When it comes to Mercari, the sellers are responsible for setting up the shipping, so slightly more work is required.
This involves filling out a shipping section for every single listing, where you have to know the weight and dimensions of every item you’re selling.
You can then select from three logistics providers (USPS, UPS or FedEx), and charge your buyers significantly less by doing it through Mercari than if you were to ship through these vendors independently.
You can also offer free shipping on Mercari, meaning that you will have to cover the shipping costs yourself and work them into the price of the item, making the customer believe that they are getting a better deal.
Winner – Poshmark. Shipping on Poshmark is a lot less complicated than Mercari, and in most cases, cheaper. A downside of Poshmark is that if a customer is only buying something small, they may be put off by the $7.45 fee.
Poshmark is designed for (mainly) women who want to find branded fashion items that have only been very gently used.
Other items such as electronics or toys are not permitted on the app.
In addition, items must be in pristine condition and brand names (especially designer labels) are what people are really looking for.
Mercari, on the other hand, can be used to sell just about anything, in any condition.
An old microwave oven? Check.
A pile of dusty CDs? Check.
Your childhood Barbie collection? You got it.
Basically, unless it’s a drug, a weapon or something counterfeit, it’s fair game on Mercari.
This is the main difference between the two apps.
When it comes to demographics, buyers on Mercari are looking for a quick bargain, whereas people on Poshmark are likely searching for a very particular item.
Winner – it depends. If you want to become a reseller of designer clothes or have a lot of high quality clothes in your closet that you need to get rid of, Poshmark is perfect, but if you’ve got a tonne of miscellaneous stuff to shift, Mercari is the one for you.
Listing your items on both Poshmark and Mercari is incredibly quick and easy.
You upload some photographs, fill in the fields, set a price, title and description and you’re good to go.
Winner – both.
Poshmark immediately processes your payment the second you make a sale.
The buyer has three days to accept the item, and then it is automatically accepted by Poshmark and you can cash out as soon as you like.
On Mercari, payouts are quite a bit slower.
Your earnings aren’t released until the buyer not only receives and accepts your package, but rates it on the app as well, which can add days to your waiting time.
You then have to wait five days for your funds to be released (or pay $2 for an instant payout), and if the transfer amount is less than $10, there is another $2 fee. However, this can be avoided if you just keep your funds in the account until you have more than $10 available to withdraw.
Winner – Poshmark. While having to wait a few days to receive your money may not matter to some people, a lot of people like to have their payout as quickly as possible, and Poshmark has the edge when it comes to speed.
Poshmark is a social media app, while Mercari is not.
This means that there are significant differences when it comes to how both apps function and how things are sold.
With Poshmark, it is easy to get your products in front of people by following your favourite sellers, engaging with their content and reaping the benefits when they do the same. You can also have virtual Posh Parties to show off your latest products, and buyers can ‘like’ and comment on the things you upload, creating a real community feel and rapport between the buyer and the seller.
While the upside of this is the potential for your listings to get huge exposure, it also requires a hell of a lot of work, and many Poshmark sellers end up spending money on virtual assistants or Poshmark automation software to ease the workload.
Mercari is not built like a social media platform at all.
While there is a private chat feature for buyers and sellers to negotiate, there isn’t the same ‘community’ vibe and sharing things is a lot more difficult.
If you want Mercari to ‘promote’ your products and place them at the top of the search results, you have to lower the price, which is good for getting sales, but you can only lower the price so much before it becomes impossible to make a profit.
With that being said, there is much less overall effort involved with getting your products seen on Mercari, and the private chat feature is also a great addition that is not available on Poshmark, where all negotiations are public.
Winner – Poshmark. While it takes an incredible amount of effort to maintain, the benefits of growing a loyal following on Poshmark are huge, and Poshmark has taken the addictive, community aspect of social media and monetised it for its users. If you don’t mind engagement pods and endless sharing, Poshmark could be great for you.
With any service provider, customer support is one of the most important things.
Fingers crossed nothing ever goes wrong, but if it does, you want to be assured that you will receive the support you need in a timely manner.
When it comes to Poshmark vs. Mercari, both only offer support via email.
Poshmark often takes two business days to reply, and many Poshmark sellers complain that the replies they receive are generic and do not answer the question properly.
Although Mercari also only offers email support, they usually respond within a day and solve the issue.
Winner – Mercari. While both platforms could benefit from chat support, the general consensus is that Mercari are faster at responding to support tickets than Poshmark.
Poshmark vs. Mercari – Which is Best?
When it comes to deciding between Poshmark vs. Mercari for selling your used goods, it really depends on what you are selling.
For the majority of people, Mercari is the better platform as it has lower fees and you can sell pretty much anything you want. If you don’t mind waiting a few days for your payout and you can get used to the shipping process, Mercari definitely has the edge.
However, if you have some designer items that you want to sell or you are keen to start a reselling business where you hunt out thrift store bargains and sell them on, you may find that your idea buyer is waiting on Poshmark.
While Mercari is more geared towards selling anything you no longer need and decluttering your home, Poshmark is for people with a passion for fashion that they want to turn into a business.
Not only does Poshmark require a keen eye and awareness of what’s hot, but it also demands a lot of effort and social media savviness, while Mercari is a lot more similar to eBay.
Whatever you choose, make sure you do your research about how to sell successfully, and remember that you can achieve even your biggest goals.
Until next time,