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Buying and selling used products from other people on the internet isn't a new concept. However, we've come a long way from the days when your only options were eBay or Craigslist. Now, there are mobile apps that put extra focus on user interface and ease of use.
Mercari and OfferUp are two of the most popular apps out there right now that make it incredibly easy to sell or buy used products, either locally or through shipping. We'll take a look at the biggest differences between these two major private selling apps and figure out which one is better overall!
1. Ease of Use
One of the most important things to look out for when using an app is its user-friendliness; we'll compare Mercari and OfferUp below.
Mercari is slowly growing in popularity and becoming the selling app of choice for smartphone user's across the US. The user interface is super intuitive and easy to navigate, even for those who aren't so skilled with technology.
When you first open the app, you'll see the home screen with items you've liked and items the app recommends to you based on your search history. If you haven't really looked around the app, there won't be much personalization to this section.
The search bar is at the top of the screen, as well as your cart button for easy access. Then, you'll see the navigation bar at the bottom, where you can quickly access your liked items, inbox and notifications, profile, and your selling tab with all your listings.
Whether you're looking around the app for something to buy or you're trying to post a new listing to sell a toy, a piece of clothing, or something techy, the app holds your hand from start to finish. There's never a question of what you're supposed to do or which button you're supposed to click.
Similar to the Mercari app, the OfferUp app has a search bar at the top of the home screen, making it easy for you to find exactly what you need. Then, next to the search bar, there's an organizational button you can tap to view the major categories on OfferUp.
The bottom of the home screen also resembles what you see in Mercari's app. There's a navigational bar where you can easily swap between your inbox, the new listing page, your selling tab, and your account info screen.
Although both OfferUp and Mercari have slightly different looks, they're similar to use and do a great job of helping new users along, whether they're looking to buy or sell.
2. Associated Fees
You'll also want to think about any money you'll need to pay, and below is a breakdown of fees associated with Mercari and OfferUp.
Listing an item on Mercari is completely free. However, if your item sells, Mercari takes a 10% selling fee and a 2.9% + $0.30 fee for payment processing. Then, depending on how you design your listing, you may also be paying for the shipping as well. You have the option to make the buyer pay for shipping, but your items often sell faster if you incorporate free shipping into your listing price.
For local delivery on Mercari, it's the same general process. You can post the item for free, but there's a $10.99 delivery charge paid by you or the buyer once the item sells. This delivery charge covers either Uber or FedEx SDC picking up the package from your doorstep and delivering it to the local buyer.
Then, as a buyer on Mercari, you'll be subject to a tax fee for the item you're purchasing.
Just like Mercari, posting an item on OfferUp is completely free. If you sell the item to a local buyer, there are no extra fees for you, the seller, or the buyer.
However, if you ship the item to a buyer in another state, you'll have to pay some fees when the item sells. The fee is either a minimum of $1.99 or 12.9% of the item's sale price. Then, the buyer pays for shipping and also pays any applicable sales tax.
Selling is the main reason you'll use Mercari or OfferUp, so it's worth looking at how the two compare to one another.
Some of the most popular items to sell on Mercari are smartphones, anything video game related, and clothing. To sell an item on Mercari, you'll tap on the Sell button in the bottom navigation bar. Then, there should be a purple button that pops up on your screen, reading List an item. From there, everything you need to fill out before the listing is ready to post is on one screen.
You have to add pictures, a title, a description, category, brand, condition, delivery method, and the price you want to sell the item for. When you enter a price for your listing, you'll be able to see how much you'll make after Mercari's fees and any applicable shipping costs. This makes it easy to bump your price up before publishing your listing if you're not making as much as you want after all the fees.
After your new listing is published, people will start viewing it and liking it if it's something they're interested in. You'll be able to see stats of how many views and likes your item receives.
Then, if your item isn't selling at the price you have it at, you have the option to promote it for free. You can promote it to everyone on the Mercari app and permanently reduce the price, or promote it to people who've liked your item and temporarily reduce the price for just those people for 24 hours. When you promote the item, the price drops by 5%.
The process of selling an item on OfferUp is quite similar. Instead of requiring everything for your listing on one screen, however, the OfferUp app splits the process into four separate steps, titled Photo, Details, Price, and Finish.
On the first screen, you'll take a photo or multiple photos and title your item. Next, you'll choose a category for the item (and a sub-category if applicable), state the condition it's in, and offer up extra details about the item if you want. Then, you choose a price and state whether the price is firm, meaning that you don't want people to offer you anything below that price.
On the Finish tab, you'll choose an approximate size and weight for the package, which determines the price that the buyer will pay for shipping if they're not local. Unfortunately, OfferUp doesn't show you an estimate of what you'll earn after fees, so you either have to do the math yourself before publishing a listing or just taking a guess.
Buying an item from others is easier on some portals than others. To help you make a better decision, we've compared Merari and OfferUp in this respect below.
To buy an item from someone else, you'll first search for what you're looking for in the search bar at the top of Mercari's home screen. Mercari displays all items with a picture in a square box, with the price underneath, as well as whether the seller is offering free shipping. If an item has been promoted, you'll also see how much of a percentage discount there is off the original price.
If you see an item you like, you have three options. You can favorite the item by pressing the heart within the listing and see if the price goes down, buy the item outright at the price it's listed for, or make an offer to the seller. When you select Make offer, Mercari gives you three options, one at 10% off, 15% off, and 20% off the original price of the item you're trying to buy.
When the seller gets your offer, they can reject it, accept it, or counter your offer with a different price. At any point that an offer is accepted, the sale is finalized.
For the most part, buying an item on OfferUp is just like buying an item on Mercari. The most notable difference is that when you're browsing items, you can't see the item's price unless you tap on the listing to open it.
If you're browsing local items, you can ask the seller about an item or make them an offer. Then, you'd meet up in person to exchange cash and the item.
For items that are shipped nationwide, you can see the item's price and the shipping fee that you'd have to pay as the buyer. You can ask the seller about the item, make an offer, or choose to buy the item immediately as is.
Which App Comes Out on Top?
Even though OfferUp has way more reviews on Google Play and is a solid private selling app, Mercari comes out on top for a few reasons. When you're trying to buy something, you can quickly see item prices as you're scrolling. And when you're selling items, you can see your profit while you're working on the listing, promote items for free, and include shipping costs in your price to make your listing more appealing to buyers.