Selling on Mercari

Hey everyone! I’m Molly, an editor here at The Penny Hoarder. I recently started selling on Mercari and thought I would share my experience.

I had only ever bought second-hand items on sites like ThredUp and Poshmark. (My most recent purchase is a Dooney & Bourke handbag I got on Poshmark for $99 that would have cost a few hundred new. I love it so much and love that I got it for a bargain!)

I really never thought much about selling because it seemed like work, especially having to deal with shipping. But then a friend told me she sells on Mercari and how easy it is. Buyers generally pay for shipping (unless you offer to), so all you do as the seller is print the shipping label provided by the site, stick the item in an envelope or box and drop it in the mail or a UPS store. (I order from Amazon enough that I’m never short on boxes.) That seemed simple enough.

So I listed several items at once – clothes and shoes from my closet that I wasn’t wearing, plus some items my kids have outgrown. I set everything at a price recommended by the site – generally in the $10-$15 range – and had buyers pay shipping. I posted several photos of each item, showing it in full, a close-up of the fabric, a picture of the tag verifying the brand and any other pertinent detail shots. I wrote detailed descriptions of each item and was candid about the condition or any flaws. Here’s what I’ve learned so far.

Sold: a pair of kids’ no-lace Converse sneakers, a J. McLaughlin dress I’d bought used from ThredUp but never worn and a pair of heels from Mod Cloth that I wore once and were like-new. So it’s clear that brand names sell. No big surprise there.

I’ve had no luck with the kids clothing I listed – not even brand names like OshKosh and Ralph Lauren. I suspect there’s just a ton of children’s clothing on offer. A handmade purse I listed has gotten little love; ditto for a vintage cardigan. And the clothes and shoes that are from little-known brands have gotten no notice.

I learned from my buying experiences on Poshmark that when you like an item, you’ll often quickly get a discounted offer from the seller. So I applied that tactic as a seller on Mercari and found that it gets results. I think most people on resale sites know you generally don’t have to pay the full asking price.

My take so far: $31. So I’m not getting rich, not by a longshot. But as my friend Maryann pointed out – that’s $31 I didn’t have before! And it was all for stuff I hadn’t touched in ages and was likely headed for a donation box.

Plus, I’m having fun with my new side hustle.

If you’re selling stuff online, how’s your experience been? Any wisdom to share with newbies like me? I’d love to hear how it’s going for you.


@molly.moorhead this is fascinating! I have to say, I’ve never gotten into reselling items, but I love reading success stories about it.

Tagging a few folks who I know have dabbled into some online selling. I know @arica mentioned putting some things up for sale recently. I believe @six.on.a.budget and @moore.income have had success with eBay, and @crystal on Poshmark. @eber.a asked about selling on OfferUp last year. Would love to hear more experiences and tips!

2019 was the 1st time I had ever purchased anything online that wasn’t from Amazon! ( I bought a sports car the first time on this site) After my friend told me about “OFFER UP” (thanks gf) Let me just say…my experience with this site has been nothing but positive. Easy to use and hassle free, so impressed with it that I’m going to be posting a car I have for sale and have every confidence it’ll sell fast! Check it out! There’s so much there. Not just cars. Also, for those ladies that have clothes, shoes, and kids stuff, a great place to donate/give clothes is any battered women’s shelter. Now, since the locations are not available to the public for obvious reasons, most Fire Departments will see they are taken care of! There’s so many women in these shelters who are working so hard to overcome abuse, build confidence, and to be able to hold their heads up, maybe for the first time in their lives… Stuffed animals are any first responders’ favorite donation to receive and can be dropped by any of the departments of service they represent. They are kept in the trunk’s, on the trucks, and anywhere they may be needed. I’ve watched police open the trunk of their cruiser and pull a little stuffed teddy bear out to help calm a child traumatized by what’s happening at that moment! Comes in especially handy when you’re dealing with a child that is in crisis and doesn’t understand or speak English! The power of a single teddy bear is amazing! So sorry this got so lengthy…stay blessed!


Thanks for sharing your experience with Mercari! When Poshmark was fairly new in ~2014, I successfully sold designer items I no longer needed. They were gently used or new/never used bags, purses, shoes, clothes, jewelry, accessories, etc. It was easy to post photos and descriptions, communicate with buyers, print shipping labels, carefully pack and send. Buyers paid for shipping, which Poshmark set at USPS priority mail flat rate. Poshmark takes 20% from each sale, resulting in more net earnings than dropping off designer gear at a loval consignment stores or “clothes for cash” stores. Nowadays, Poshmark appears to be saturated and cumbersome to search. I haven’t posted new items in over a year, so I hope to sell a lot before I move!

I definitely think saturation is a big issue on all these sites. There’s Just. So. Much. Even as a shopper I get overwhelmed! And as a seller, it can be hard to get your stuff noticed. As a follow-up to my first post, I dropped the price on everything I still had on Mercari since it wasn’t moving and quickly sold a cocktail dress! $10 – a great deal for the buyer and $10 for me that I didn’t have before!

thanks for all the information, i always enjoy learning from this community

Reselling is a great side hustle that I always encourage anyone to try out. I have been selling stuff on eBay since I was 14 and it has been a great way to generate an income on the side, and I am now working to make it more of my primary income source.

I personally don’t resell a lot of clothing but Poshmark has a larger market for that. Video games, household items and shoes do well on Mercari, and nearly anything sells on eBay.

Another marketplace that is up and coming is Facebook Marketplace. It is still in the early stages but they keep releasing new features making it easier to sell and ship items and with their huge audience they already have, I can see FB Marketplace becoming a major player in the future.

For people looking to try out reselling, I recommend just starting with things you already have around the house. Then if you are inclined to keep going, focus on a specific category (ie. shoes, clothing, electronics, etc.)

As a good example, I like selling the college calculators (TI-84, TI-84 Plus, & TI-84 Plus CE)

I am even willing to pay up for them as I have a buyer who buys nearly all of the ones I list on eBay.

Just the other day I sold a total of 16 calculators for $960. After shipping, fees and cost of goods, I came out with about $165 in profit! Compared to the sales price, that may not seem like much, but considering I only had about 2.5 hours of work to get that amount, it turns into a pretty nice hourly wage and ROI!

Most of the calculators I sold I bought straight off of FB Marketplace and sometimes I even buy them on eBay and flip them on eBay.

As you can see, just this one item can bring in a nice little side income over time and there are so many items and categories of items just like it that can bring you in some extra cash!