If you want to make money selling stuff you don’t use anymore, it’s never been easier thanks to the internet.
There are so many local selling websites and various apps you can use to find buyers. This lets you sell everything from everyday essentials to niche collectibles, all from your home.
Two of the most popular selling apps you can use are Mercari and OfferUp.
Both platforms provide an easy way to buy and sell products online or even locally. And if you need quick money and want to make a quick sale, Mercari and OfferUp are two useful apps to have.
However, there are differences in seller fees and how these apps work that might make one superior. That’s why this Mercari vs OfferUp breakdown is covering how these two apps work and how to pick the right one for your situation.
Let’s get to it.
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Table of Contents
Mercari is a popular selling app that first began in Japan in 2013. Since its launch, it quickly grew to become the country’s largest community lead marketplace, producing over JPY 10 billion in transactions each month.
In 2014, Mercari expanded to the United States, also finding traction quickly. It’s now become a popular way to sell household goods, everyday essentials, and pretty much anything you can think of right from your smartphone.
Mercari has also been recognized for its excellence through awards from Google Play including,
- Best Shopping App, 2013
- Best Local App, 2014 and 2015
- Best App, 2016
Overall, it’s one of the most popular selling apps out there, and it’s incredibly beginner-friendly to use.
OfferUp is an American company that began in 2011 and is a community-based online marketplace for local buying and selling.
The platform is actually quite similar to Facebook Marketplace, letting local buyers and sellers easily transact. While Mercari focuses on online sales, OfferUp is certainly more geared towards local selling and easy, cash sales.
However, you can still sell stuff online and ship with OfferUp just like Mercari, so both apps cater to local and online sales.
And like Mercari, OfferUp is also one of the top selling apps out there. In September of 2021 the app was reported to have been downloaded around 90 million times with 20 million active monthly users.
Mercari vs OfferUp – Features
Maybe you’re trying to make some easy money by selling a few unused things. Or, perhaps you’re starting a flipping side hustle and plan to regularly sell on Mercari or OfferUp.
Whatever the case, you need to know the differences and similarities between these two platforms to make the right choice. So, let’s dive into OfferUp vs Mercari to help you find the right selling solution.
When selling stuff, seller fees can make or break your profits. And fees are one massive difference between OfferUp and Mercari you should know before picking a platform to sell on.
Mercari seller fees are fairly straightforward. The app is free to download and use, but you pay various fees after making a sale that include a:
- 10% commission on all sales
- 2.9% + $0.50 payment processing fee
- $2 processing fee for direct deposits that are below $10
This 10% fee for sales is fairly standard for online marketplaces.
Mercari also has a newer feature called Mercari Local, that lets you sell stuff locally instead of shipping it to customers. However, Mercari Local sales still charge the same sales and processing fees as a regular online sale.
One of the main advantages of selling on OfferUp vs Mercari is that OfferUp doesn’t charge fees for local sales. This is a massive advantage over Mercari, and all you have to do is arrange a meeting time and place with your buyers and transact in cash.
You can also sell online with OfferUp. However, there’s a minimum online sales fee of $1.99 or 12.9% of an item’s sale price.
This online fee means OfferUp is best for local selling while Mercari is generally more affordable and streamlined for online sales.
Trends & Popular Products
Another important factor to consider when picking between OfferUp or Mercari is what sells well. After all, you want to find buyers as quickly as possible so you turn your unused stuff into cash.
You can sell just about anything on Mercari, including cars, home goods, jewelry, and pretty much anything you can think of.
Some of the most popular things to sell on Mercari include:
- Collectibles like comic books, Pokemon cards, coins, sports cards, Funko Pops, and vintage goods
- Electronics (especially Apple products)
- Video games
However, since Mercari is best for online sales and not local selling, you have to consider shipping costs and item size. Generally, smaller is better with Mercari, so things like used furniture and appliances only work with Mercari Local.
Also note that Mercari is a useful marketplace for selling more niche products since online buyers can search for what you’re selling.
Like Mercari, OfferUp lets you sell just about anything you want. But since OfferUp charges higher online sales fees than Mercari and no fees for local sales, it truly shines for selling stuff in person to nearby buyers.
Some top selling items on OfferUp include:
- Bikes and sports gear
- Fitness equipment
- Home goods and decor
- Pet supplies
- Used tools
- Wedding supplies
Really, selling on OfferUp is similar to Facebook Marketplace in terms of what’s popular to sell. And the lack of local selling fees is the main reason to use OfferUp over Mercari.
Shipping is another important factor to consider when selling stuff online. That’s because things like shipping fees can eat up your profits. Plus, you want to ensure the process is as smooth as possible so you have less headaches.
Shipping is also another way Mercari and OfferUp are quite different. Let’s take a look.
Mercari has two main options for shipping:
- Prepaid Shipping Label: This option provides you with a shipping label with $200 shipping protection. This also allows you to file a claim if the item gets lost or damaged in transit and you will still receive your money.
- Do It Yourself: If you prefer, you can choose to ship the parcel yourself which means providing your own shipping label and tracking number. However, this option doesn’t protect you for oversized, bulky items unless you opt for Mercari’s pack and ship feature.
The prepaid shipping label option keeps things easy. But if you’re selling online regularly for your side hustle, you really have to be careful that fees don’t erase your profits.
Of course, you can use Mercari Local as well, but you still pay pretty steep seller fees.
OfferUp offers two methods of getting your item to your buyer:
- In Person: This is the main way to sell on OfferUp, and the platform actually has numerous suggested meeting places that are in busy public areas or near police stations to improve safety. You buy and sell in cash, so there aren’t any selling fees or complex shipping issues.
- Online Sale: OfferUp provides pre-paid shipping labels like Mercari for online sales. But you pay a hefty 12.9% sales fee for online sales.
As you can see, OfferUp really excels for quick cash sales that are local, whereas Mercari has more flexible shipping options.
When selling locally or online, you also want an easy-to-use platform to keep things simple. Thankfully, both Mercari and OfferUp are quite beginner-friendly for both buyers and sellers.
Regardless of your skill level when it comes to technology, Mercari is a well-designed platform that is easy to navigate.
You manage all of your listings, sales, and communication with potential buyers through the Mercari app. The platform also processes payments securely so you don’t have to figure out payment methods with your buyers.
Overall, Mercari lets you sell stuff online without needing any prior experience, professional photos, or shipping knowledge.
The OfferUp app is super similar in layout to Mercari’s. Creating listings just requires snapping some photos with your phone and writing a quick description. And you manage messages and your listings through the app as well.
There’s no real winner between OfferUp or Mercari since both platforms are super simple to use.
Once you start making sales on Mercari or OfferUp, it’s important to actually get paid in a timely manner. And this is another area where these two platforms differ significantly.
When you make a sale on Mercari, the money is held in your account balance. This balance can be used within the app to purchase other items being sold, or you can cash it out.
There are two options for getting paid on Mercari:
- Instant Pay: You can get paid at any time of the day instantly with Instant Pay and the money deposits straight to your debit card. Instant Pay costs $2 per use.
- Direct Deposit: This method deposits money in your bank account within five business days following a successful sale.
Since most sales are done in-person on OfferUp, you mostly get paid with cash. And you shouldn’t opt for PayPal cash or online payment methods for in-person sales since people can try to reverse the transaction and scam you.
If you sell online, buyers have two days to inspect and approve the item to finalize the sale. You then get paid within five days to your bank account.
Selling online is quite similar for both Mercari and OfferUp, but OfferUp is superior for local cash sales.
Selling online or in person can be risky since there are scammers out there. So, one final consideration in the Mercari vs OfferUp debate is the protection each platform offers sellers to avoid these scams.
To qualify for Mercari’s Seller Protection you have to ship your items on time, provide accurate descriptions of photos in your listings, and only listed items are permitted by Mercari’s Terms of Service.
And if you use Mercari prepaid shipping labels, you get $200 in coverage if your item is lost or damaged in transit.
Mercari’s team also supports sellers if a buyer tries to scam you, provided you take photos of what you’re selling and provide proof you’ve shipped an item.
Extra Reading – The 10+ Best Tricks To Selling On Mercari.
OfferUp has a Trust & Safety team working around the clock as well as policies and partnerships in place to ensure a safe platform for buyers and sellers.
This is paired with world-class fraud detection, machine learning, automation, and data models making the platform a trusted place to sell.
OfferUp’s local meetup stops that are by busy public places and police stations are also another feature that improves platform safety for local sales.
Extra Reading – The Best OfferUp Seller Tips & Tricks.
Tips For Selling On OfferUp Or Mercari
Mercari and OfferUp are two of the most popular selling apps for good reasons. Both platforms are easy to use, have extensive audiences, and let you sell just about anything.
But before you choose one platform to sell with, here are a few selling tips I’ve found helpful over the years to help you find more buyers:
- Take Quality Photos: Potential buyers want to see as many photos as possible. Take numerous ones from different angles and make sure you’re honest about your product’s condition.
- Write Good Descriptions: Mention information like size, brand, condition, and if you live in a pet-free or smoke-free home when selling stuff online.
- Research Competitor Prices: How much are similar products selling for on both Mercari or OfferUp? Do some basic competitor research before listing merchandise for sale so you’re in-line with other sellers.
- Respond To Buyers Quickly: Enable notifications on OfferUp or Mercari and reply to buyer questions quickly to try and close sales fast.
Extra Reading – The Best Apps Like OfferUp.
Is Selling On Mercari or OfferUp Better?
OfferUp is better than Mercari if you want to sell locally. The lack of local seller fees and list of safe meeting places are the two main reasons for this. And even though Mercari has added Mercari local, it’s not as good as OfferUp.
In contrast, Mercari is better than OfferUp for selling online since it has lower fees and a large online audience. Plus, Mercari is better than OfferUp for selling niche collectibles.
They both have great interfaces that are easy to use, plus policies to protect buyers and sellers against scams.
Extra Reading – The Best Items To Flip.
I hope this OfferUp vs Mercari breakdown helps you choose the right platform to sell with.
After testing out each one over the years, you really can’t go wrong as long as you know the pros and cons of each platform. Personally, I suggest using OfferUp for easy local sales and sticking with Mercari for selling niche items online.
But remember: you can always try both Mercari and OfferUp to see what works best for you. And there are plenty of other selling options, like using apps like Facebook Marketplace or Poshmark, that you can explore as well.
I also made a YouTube video on some of the most popular selling apps you can use if you want even more ideas to sell stuff for quick cash.
Best of luck!
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Tom is a full-time blogger and freelance writer with a passion for side hustling, passive income, and the gig economy. His work has appeared on dozens of personal finance websites like Money Crashers, The College Investor, Investor Junkie, and more. This Online World is all about providing people with honest ways to make and save more money by using technology. To learn more about Tom, read his About Page!
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