I Made $1K in 30 Days: A Mercari Guide

As the old adage goes..."One man's trash is another man's treasure".

I started selling on Mercari about a month ago after seeing Instagrammer Thrift & Tell post multiple stories about it. She's posted about Mercari previously, but I didn't think much of it until I saw her share a post from a follower who said she had made $3K in three months selling their "junk". With so much extra time on my hands from being in quarantine, I thought, "why not"? 

I've sold on Poshmark for a few years now, but I feel like items move pretty slowly there with Poshmark also taking a rather large percentage of your sales. Over the years I've probably made around $800 total on Poshmark...which is nothing in comparison to the rate at which I've been able to sell on Mercari.

I started out by just double-listing a bunch of things from my Poshmark account because I didn't want to invest all this extra time if my items wouldn't sell. It's pretty easy to just screenshot your photos from Poshmark and upload them as a new listing in Mercari. I had recently listed a ton of old costume jewelry on Poshmark and had gotten little to no likes on them and also made no sales. I ended up selling almost all of my old statement necklaces on Mercari within a week or two of listing and also ended up pocketing more money than I would've if I had sold via Poshmark. Mercari only takes a 10% cut on every sale you make vs. Poshmark which takes closer to 20%!

As of today, I've made over 40 sales on Mercari and profited over $1000, after the 10% Mercari fees. In today's post I'm going to share with you how it works, what sells, my top 5 tips & tricks, and also a roundup of some luxe items you can buy after one month of clearing out things you would've most likely tossed in the garbage or thrown in a donation bag without a second thought.

Before anything else, step one is to download the Mercari app and sign up to get started. If you use my link here through the end of September, you will get $10 off your first purchase, and a bonus $20 after you make your first $100. This is better than the normal sign-up offer they have!

Next, start listing! Mercari will probably keep prompting you to verify with a government ID but I have not done that and truth be told, I don't think it affects your account. I'm wary about inputting personal information like that unless completely necessary, so if you're like me just ignore it!

I like to call Mercari my virtual garage sale. Do not underestimate the things you may consider trash, because they are likely items you can convert to cash! The items I've found to sell best are non-sized items. So what does that mean? It means that items like clothes and shoes sell much slower than items like accessories, beauty and random knickknacks (at least from my personal experience). What I like most about Mercari is that you can sell virtually anything. Whether it's old decor or kitchen items to electronics, toys and opened beauty/fragrance products, everything and anything is fair game.

Here's some of the best examples of items you probably would never consider selling that I actually sold, prices included!

- Small Louis Vuitton Shopping Bag, $15 (you read that right, a shopping bag)
- Lot of 14 Perfume Samples, $12 (yes, like the kind you get for free with beauty purchases)
- Apple Headphones, $11 (another free item that comes with your iPhone)
- Used (and old) Victoria's Secret Perfume, $48 (people have zero qualms about used fragrances)
- Kate Spade Artist Prints, $23 (bought on clearance years ago and never opened)
- Hello Kitty Chia Pet, $6 (received as a gift, never used)
- (Opened) Ilia Skin Tint, $30 (arrived looking opened; Sephora didn't want it back & sent me a new one)
- Various Stuffed Animals, $6 - $14 (two random stuffed animals I had lying around)
- VS PINK Decorative Hanging Pillow, $60 (received during my time as an intern at the company)
TOTAL: $200, after fees

As you can see, almost everything listed above was essentially free to me or came at an extremely low cost but I turned it around for $200 of pure profit.

Brands/Items that I've noticed sell extremely well on Mercari:

- Bath & Body Works: I sold old candles, wallflower refills, etc. There's also fragrances and lotions from here that sell well if they're discontinued.
- Victoria's Secret: particularly their old fragrances and lotions that have been discontinued
- Victoria's Secret PINK: also mostly the older stuff that has been discontinued since the brand has evolved from what it originally was. There seems to be a big following for items from their original line...everything from clothing items, to beauty and fragrance, to branded paraphernalia. I once saw someone sell an old VS PINK shopping bag for $20, and as you can see from above, I sold a decorative pillow for $60.
- J.Crew Statement Necklaces: I had so many of these that I bought back in college when this trend was huge. I haven't touched these in years and could not get rid of them on Poshmark. They sell much quicker on Mercari and also for higher prices.
- Kate Spade, Tory Burch, Michael Kors: these are always in high demand on Mercari, but it seems like people have a lower threshold of what they want to pay (compared to Poshmark) so if you list your items too high you likely will not be able to sell it.
- Rae Dunn: I didn't even know what this brand was until I started selling on Mercari. I see these sold all the time for great prices.
- Starbucks: there seems to be a huge market for hard to get tumblers and reusable cups from Starbucks. I haven't personally sold anything but see this around a lot too with a lot of items sold at high markups.

So the next time you are de-cluttering or cleaning, think twice before you decide to throw something out or chuck it into your donations pile (I recently threw out a bunch of random perfume samples and I'm still lamenting all the dollars that went into that trash bag...). This doesn't mean you have to stop being charitable - I've seen many people take their earnings and donate them to a cause they're passionate about. As for me, charitable donations are something I budget for yearly already, so I've deemed my Mercari sales as my bag fund because what else could be more appropriate?

To date, I've actually made more than $1K through my sales, so I rounded up a list of seven items ranging from $325 to $1250, all pictured below!

Luxe Items Under $1300:

1) Saint Laurent Fragments Card Case, $325 - this is a personal favorite of mine and I talk about it in my Luxury SLGs post. However, if you were to go for a regular card case these retail for under $300.

2) Prada 6 Key Holder, $340 - or any key holder really! Another great option is the one from Louis Vuitton which is just $265 if you can get your hands on it! 

3) Louis Vuitton Zippy Coin Purse, $480 - this is another item I rave about in my Luxury SLGs post. Yes, it is on the pricier side for a small wallet but I think it could last you 10+ years and it is extremely functional while still compact. It is my personal favorite SLG from a practicality perspective.

4) Chanel Classic Card Holder, $550 - there are few things from Chanel under $1000. Within their leather goods department, a small SLG is probably the only thing you can afford at this pricepoint, but is a great way to dip your toes in the world of Chanel leather goods if you're just starting out!

5) Saint Laurent Lou Belt Bag, $995 - fun fact! In New Jersey where certain items like clothes and shoes are tax free (bags are taxed), belt bags are actually considered tax free because it is categorized as a belt and not a bag! This cutie belongs to my sister, but it's such a great piece that I was tempted to snag one in the store too when I went with her. 

6) Louis Vuitton Speedy 25, $1140 - a forever classic piece and probably one of the most popular starter items for a lot of people new to luxury. This one also belongs to my sister and man...I remember she purchased this one in Paris back in 2008 and it was a little over 400 euros at the time! From that perspective, it's also a great investment piece as it has more than doubled in value in the last twelve years.

7) Saint Laurent LouLou Camera Bag, $1250 - a beautiful bag and actually an item my sister and I bought as a gift for our mom for Mother's Day this year. This is a great everyday bag and an item I'd consider adding to my own collection. The camera bag silhouette is a classic silhouette and it also packs a punch. If you don't own anything from Saint Laurent, I personally find it to be one of the most well-priced luxury brands with fantastic quality. 

And if you've made it this far, read on for my most useful tips & tricks to start making your first $1K on Mercari. One of my friends started Mercari-ing recently because of me and made $400 in a week

My Top 5 Most Useful Tips & Tricks for Selling on Mercari:

1) Browse the "Sold in Last 10 Minutes" page! This is quickly becoming a favorite past time of mine. For me it's both research to see what items I can sell, but also eye-opening to see the kinds of things other people have sold and what buyers were willing to pay for them!!

2) Do your research. You may think the items you are trying to sell are not worth much because to you it's essentially "trash", but you'd be surprised at the going price for some things! Don't low-ball yourself. I once listed an old Bath & Body Works perfume (brand new, without box) for $25 because I thought it wasn't worth much. In my brain I was like, "who is even buying this??" and I just wanted to get rid of it quick. A kind soul on Mercari actually messaged me privately on the listing and told me I had grossly under-listed my item. Apparently, it's a pretty hard to find scent nowadays and she told me I could get at least $65 for it. $65 for a Bath & Body Works perfume! I doubt the original price was even that high. I did some quick Googling and found that people were selling this perfume for close to $100 on eBay, brand new with box.

3) Take good photos. I only take my photos when I have natural daylight, and I try to photograph everything on a white background, whether it's white carpet or white bedding. This helps your "shop" look clean and cohesive, and personally I think people are more inclined to click on a photo when it looks visually appealing! Just think about your own shopping habits - if you see a listing with a cluttered background and dim lighting, are you inclined to click the item, let alone buy from that seller? Probably not. Also make sure to take photos of your items from all angles with close-ups of any stains, damages or defects.

4) Properly describe your items. It's best to be as clear and transparent about the items you are selling and the condition they are in. People will trust your listing more when they know exactly what they are buying. For example, the opened bottle of Ilia Skin Tint that I sold, I was forthright in disclosing that I received the bottle opened and had tried it once for color on my hand. I always put myself in the buyer's shoes when I list my items so I can be as honest as possible while also answering any questions they might have as a buyer.
Mercari also has a great rating system to describe your goods: new, like new, good, fair, or poor. It should go without saying that your listing price should reflect the condition of your item.

5) Be a 5-star seller. Respond to any inquiries or offers as soon as possible, package your items well, and ship quickly. The way Mercari works is on a rating system between buyers and sellers. Once you sell an item, your earnings don't get released to you until you ship the package, the buyer receives the item, gives you a rating, and you rate them back. On top of a pure 1-5 star rating, the buyer also has the option to select other feedback to note like "great packaging", "quick shipper", "communication", and "item description" as well as leaving open-ended feedback. These will all appear on your shop's Reviews page and is visible to all shoppers on Mercari. To help boost the credibility of your page, it's important to keep your ratings high and your feedback positive.

Two Bonus Tips for Shipping on Mercari:

1) Recycle packaging! You will (hopefully) be making lots of sales on Mercari, so that means you will need a lot of shipping materials. I've found that the best way to save here is to recycle packaging from your own online purchases. It may be a bit annoying (and probably anxiety-inducing for anyone that hates clutter) to save boxes, bubble-wrap, paper stuffing, etc. from your packages, but you will be so grateful for them once you have to ship your sales. I just keep all of mine in our basement, but if you don't have that luxury of extra space you can always flatten out the boxes and fold everything up nicely and stash them in the corner of a closet until you need to use it. It's both cost effective and environmentally friendly!

2) Know the weight of your items. I don't personally offer free shipping for any of the items I sell because I prefer to know exactly what I'm going to get in my pocket from my sales. I've been making my best guesstimate of how much items weigh and have only run into issues at the post office twice. Shipping prices range depending on the weight:
4 oz or less is $3.49 via USPS
5-8 oz is $4.60 via USPS
9-16 oz is $4.99 via USPS
1lb or greater is $9.99 via UPS
Recently I started weighing things on a kitchen scale to make sure my items are not overweight because it is a nuisance to deal with if your items do end up over the weight your buyer paid for. Take into account that most boxes add a good 3-5oz to your item weight plus any additional packing you might use!

I hope you guys found all these tips and tricks super helpful. Don't forget to sign up with my link here for a bonus $30, and please leave me a comment here or send me a DM on Instagram if you start selling on Mercari! I'd love to hear what you guys sell and how much you're making towards your bag fund! If you tune in next week, I'll also be sharing on here what I bought with my Mercari bag fund! Hint: If you follow me on Instagram, it might have already made a sneaky debut.

Happy selling!!

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