How to Optimize Your Mercari eCommerce Strategy

eCommerce businesses are selling their products everywhere in online stores. From Amazon to eBay, there’s almost an oversaturation of online selling platforms. Mercari is a marketplace website and selling app that allows you to sell almost anything, all across the U.S. Even better, there are plenty of eCommerce sellers that have made over $2,000 in 4 months just on Mercari.  

This marketplace is less restrictive than its big-name competitors and lets you list items that Amazon may restrict. Mercari’s payment options allow users to get paid quickly, and it’s easier to promote your items using a “promote” button. eCommerce sellers should know about all their options before choosing the marketplaces in which to sell their items. They must choose the best options for them and their business and then optimize those markets for better sales.   

Sell Smaller Items

On Mercari, you can start listing smaller and less expensive items first, instead of promoting big-ticket items and worrying about getting exactly the right price. Over time, the smaller things you sell will build up and amount to serious money. Even if you don’t seem to make much at first after paying the seller’s fee, you’ll still accrue money faster than you realize. You’ll also most likely be able to sell more small items than bigger ones. 

The downside of selling smaller, lower value items more frequently is that you don’t make as much money in your first few months. It may even feel too much like a full-time job, but it’s a perfectly viable selling strategy. Even though you’ll still be gaining income, you may want to focus on bigger-value items if you want to make more money in a shorter period. 

Relist Items

Another way to optimize your sales strategy on Mercari is by relisting items to sell them differently. If an item isn’t getting as much attention as you want for it, you can always take it down and relist it. You can also take advantage of your page doing well by relisting older items when people are more active in your shop.

Doing this will help you sell more items on Mercari by ensuring that people see listings they may have missed before in the search results. This is important if you’re going to be proactive with your business, which is always an excellent way to manage your eCommerce brand. 

Constantly relisting and promoting your items takes time if you want to do it correctly. While you might want to spend this time on other aspects of your business, relisting your products and staying on top of promotions is something you’ll have to do consistently if you want your Mercari business strategy to be successful, especially if you are selling secondhand items where each SKU is unique. 

Shipping Cost

Ensuring that your shipping estimates are accurate and that your items arrive on time is a huge part of success in the eCommerce sphere. Knowing how much your items weigh before packing and shipping (including the container, padding, and so on) will help diminish any shipping errors. If there’s any miscalculation of weight, you or the buyer will have to pay for it later, which doesn’t make you look good. 

Weighing all of your items carefully before listing them will help you avoid costly mistakes later. It may seem like a lot of work upfront, but it’s well worth it to prevent errors that will end up costing you extra. You need to know the precise weight of each item before listing it, which may necessitate owning several accurate scales capable of holding different loads and measuring to the ounce. Always ship the item promptly, because the sooner your customer receives their purchase, the happier they will be.

Also keep in mind that if your shipping cost is higher than other shops, buyers may not want to purchase your item.  Offering free shipping is optional, but whenever a buyer can choose not to pay for shipping, they usually will. However, since Mercari does allow shoppers to make offers on items that you can accept, reject, or counter, in their name your price model, you may want to keep shipping costs in the buyer’s court as the shipping costs will really cut into your margins if you accept a lower price. 

Personalize Your Shop 

Personalizing your shop will help humanize your business and build a better relationship with your customers. Most people want to buy from a shop where they feel like they know the seller, rather than a shop with no personality. Posting photos and talking about why your shop is so important to you helps create a relationship that makes people want to return.  

Having this kind of relationship with your customers means you’ll attract loyal buyers and create a better user experience for your customers. You’ll draw more people to your shop either through other consumers or through the appeal of personalization. You’ll have to put in the work to make your shop stand out, even though it seems a lot easier just to post your items quickly without worrying about communicating with customers or writing a bio. 

A bio is an important way to personalize your shop. You can use it to welcome potential customers and talk about why you do what you do. You can keep a placard with your shop name or logo in all of your pictures to help people remember who listed the item, or you can use a consistent backdrop to become memorable.   

Clean Photos & Good Descriptions

In the same vein as personalizing your shop, having good photos and descriptions will pull buyers in. For clean images, take them in daylight to provide good lighting and make them look more professional. Also, using white poster boards as backgrounds for your jewelry and accessories is an easy way to up your photo game. But, if you want to get creative, you can create a signature background that is unique to your brand. While it doesn’t have to be white, it should be on the light side so people can better see the items. 

For the descriptions, using the “Brand, Type, Size,” format is the best default way to go. You can also add information about what occasion the item is suitable for, like if a dress is great for the fall season. It’s vital to include measurements as well as the size on the label, because nobody wants to buy something online if they’re not sure it’s going to fit. 

Be completely honest in your descriptions. If the product is damaged or has an imperfection, call it out. Buyers want to know exactly what they are getting. Since there are no returns, they don’t want any surprises. If the product is priced correctly, people will still be interested in buying open or imperfect products if they feel you’ve been honest with them and that they are still getting value out of the sale. 

These tricks are easy and inexpensive ways to help your Mercari shop stand out. Plus, once you start to make more sales on Mercari, you’ll be able to afford more expensive photography equipment if you think it’s necessary. Even if it takes more time and effort than you’d like, taking the time to make the most of your shop is the best way to sell on Mercari. However, shoppers on Mercari don’t necessarily want to see the most high-quality images. They want to know what the item they are buying actually looks like in real life. So if you’re just taking photos with your phone, that is totally fine, especially with phone cameras these days. 

If you don’t have the time to list detailed information for each item, it could start to feel overwhelming. Simply take a step back. Prioritize the items you think will sell the best and get them listed. Having any item in your store is better than none, especially when you’re just starting out.

Mercari Benefits for eCommerce Sellers

Mercari is great for adding options to your eCommerce channels and giving you an opportunity to reach new customers. You probably won’t make a ton of money as easily as you can on larger platforms with more volume, but it can give you another option for listing items that you need to move or returns that you can’t sell as brand-new. Plus, you can always add your business card to the packages you ship and drive some traffic to your main store site or preferred platform. All in all, it’s worth giving it a try. 

You also get some pricing flexibility when you use Mercari. This platform allows buyers to make an offer, which you as the seller can accept, reject, or counter. While some buyers will always try to lowball, this “Name Your Price” model can help you get a handle on that product’s market and ideal pricing, even for other platforms. Depending on how far below your list price the offers tend to be and the price the buyers ultimately accept, you can determine how closely your pricing model matches current demand. Many sellers on marketplaces such as Mercari and Poshmark, price their items slightly higher than they normally would knowing that most potential buyers will make an offer for lower than the listing price. This can help accommodate the offers and make the buyers feel like they got a deal while still protecting your margins and moving inventory more quickly. 

Learn more about what it takes to succeed on niche marketplaces

Victoria Sullivan
Victoria Sullivan is a Marketing Manager at Payability. She has over eight years of social media, copywriting and marketing experience. Prior to joining the Payability team, Victoria developed social media content and strategies for top technology brands such as Skype and Samsung. She holds a degree in Advertising from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. She can often be found in a yoga class or working on her fashion blog.

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