Start Dropshipping On Mercari: Step-By-Step Guide

Table of Contents

Do you want to start dropshipping on Mercari but don’t know where to start? In this comprehensive guide, find out everything you need to know about dropshipping on this platform.

At the end of the article, you’ll learn;

  • What Mercari dropshipping is
  • The advantages and disadvantages of Mercari dropshipping
  • Whether Mercari dropshipping is allowed
  • The profitability of Mercari
  • How to start dropshipping on Mercari
  • How to maximize sales on Mercari

For the finer details, keep reading.

What is Mercari Dropshipping?

Mercari is a Japanese eCommerce platform considered the Amazon of Japan. The company was started by Shintaro Yamada in 2013 and served the Japanese market only, but later on, in 2014, it expanded operations to the United States.

As one of the biggest online marketplaces in Japan, Mercari has many dropshipping opportunities. We can always tap into the established audience and rake in sales using Mercari as our selling channel.

Guys like Bryan Guerra moved from 0 sales to 5,000 sales on Mercari by just laying down a plan and executing it with dedication.

Advantages of Mercari Dropshipping

Like any other form of dropshipping, Mercari dropshipping is a great idea as we don’t need inventory, and besides, it’s a low-risk investment. 

Dropshipping on Mercari also gives us flexibility, is a highly scalable business, and a perfect passive income stream.

But narrowing down, why Mercari?

Mercari is one of the most popular online marketplaces in Japan and the US, attracting well over 140 million monthly visits.

Well, that’s huge traffic!

While 70% of the audience is from Japan, a large number of visitors are still from the United States.

Challenges Merdcari Dropshippers Face

Like any other business, Mercari dropshipping has some challenges.

To start, there’s stiff competition from other dropshippers, so you need to bring in your A-game to stay afloat. The fact that much of the audience is from Japan and the United States also limits your reach.

Note: Mercari was also started in the UK but closed down in 2019.

Another shortcoming of Mercari is its stringent rules and policies, which, when violated, might leave us with a banned account and even the funds frozen. This is a common problem dropshippers highlight. Its hard stance on dropshipping should also worry you.

Is Dropshipping on Mercari Allowed?

Mercari is among the marketplaces that don’t allow dropshipping, so you risk having your account closed and even funds frozen if you’re caught dropshipping. There’s an anti-dropshipping software the company deploys to catch dropshippers.

The company also says explicitly that selling items that are not in your possession is prohibited. Mercari goes further ahead to prohibit shipping an item directly from a manufacturer. The two instances directly point to dropshipping.

But is this the end of the road? Certainly not!

Like with Temu and other marketplaces that shun dropshipping, we can circumvent these policies and establish our dropshipping business on Mercari, just like the thousands of dropshippers selling on the platform.

There are also several tips that can help us steer clear of any risks that may lead to account suspension or termination.

Below are some noteworthy tips;

  • Ship locally, as Mercari prohibits international shipping, so make sure to ship locally to avoid raising eyebrows
  • Avoid using stock photos and copied product descriptions, as these are indicators you’re dropshipping

  • Don’t cancel orders, as this is a sign you never had the product you had listed
  • Your address should be consistent, so for every order, make sure to use the same address where the item is shipped from.
  • Process returns fast enough so the products aren’t sent back to the supplier’s address, which is obviously different from your listed address.

How to Start Dropshipping on Mercari in 3 Easy Steps

Dropshipping on Mercari has some disadvantages, but it shouldn’t be the reason you shelve your ambition of starting a Mercari dropshipping business. 

As long as we keep a low profile and implement the above tips to prevent the company from detecting your dropshipping activity, we’re good to go.

Now, the big question is, how do you start your Mercari dropshipping business?

Step 1: Product and Supplier Research

Like with any other dropshipping model, be it eBay dropshipping or Amazon dropshipping, finding a niche, finding the best suppliers, and winning products are the keys to success in Mercari dropshipping.

Mercari is a one-stop store with plenty of categories, so you can sell anything.

But we always recommend going for a specific niche as it helps you build a refined audience and streamline your marketing 4efforts.

Some of the best Mercari dropshipping niches and products include;

  • Trendy fashion
  • Watches and Jewelry
  • Electronics
  • Video games and consoles
  • Outdoor/sporting goods

Note: In as much as I’ve said you can sell anything, note there are prohibited products you can’t sell on Mercari. The list includes;

  • Illegal items
  • FDA restricted goods
  • Stolen goods
  • Counterfeit goods
  • Weapons
  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco products

Once you have found winning products, the next step is finding a supplier, and here’s a catch.

One thing to note here is that to sell in Mercari, you should be in either the US or Japan, and all items should be shipped from within the country. That is to say, if you’re in the US, your suppliers must be in the US, and the same is the case for Japan.

One of the best tools for finding US suppliers is Spocket, which focuses on EU and US suppliers. 

Step 2: Get a Seller Account

The next step is getting a Mercari seller account. Register for an account and go through the verification process to be able to sell on the platform. Remember, you can only sell on Mercari if you’re in Japan or the US.

Once you have a verified account, you’re ready to sell. But I strongly recommend you go through Mercari’s terms and conditions.

Step 3: List your Products

In the third step, we’ll need to list our products on Mercari.

A good product listing should have a scannable and SEO-optimized product title that captures all the key features of the product. Make sure to use keyword variations and fill in all the required information. Importantly, describe the item as it is and ensure accuracy in the information you put out there to avoid returns.

Images are also very important, and sadly, there’s a caveat in that Mercari prohibits the use of stock photos. That means we’ll have to find alternative image sources, probably ordering the product and taking raw photos.

Third, calculate pricing and make sure to include all costs, from the supplier’s price to shipping costs and selling fees.

Talking of selling fees, Mercari doesn’t charge for the seller account, but we pay a minimum 10% commission for any sale we make. We should also factor in transaction costs when setting up our final price.

Listing fees0
CommissionMinimum 10% per sale
Payment Processing Fees2.9% of sale plus shipping price + $0.50 transaction fee

Shipping is the other important aspect when creating our listings.

Here, make sure the address of where the item ships from is the same as the address used when creating your seller account to avoid raising suspicion that you’re dropshipping. You can opt to either pay for shipping or ship on your own.

How to Streamline Operations and Maximize Sales on Mercari

By now, our business is up and running. It’s just a matter of time before we start receiving orders now that Mercari has an already-established customer base. 

But that doesn’t mean we should relax. It’s time to get prepped up for real business.

Prepare a Marketing Strategy

Mercari may have a ready audience, but remember, there are other sellers just like us, so we need a formidable marketing plan to stay ahead of the game.

Social media is among the best platforms we can use to promote our Mercari listings. Another marketing strategy is competitive pricing, where we need to make sure our prices are friendlier than those of other sellers. Free shipping options can also go a long way in raking in those much-needed sales.

Think Automation

Next, we need to think of automation. Dropshipping automation is the way to go if we want to eliminate any chances of human errors and save time that we can otherwise dedicate to marketing and other core aspects of our business. 

Some of the processes we can automate include supplier and product research, product listing, repricing and inventory management, order fulfillment, and even marketing.

Focus on Customer Service

Last, we should endeavor to offer exceptional customer service as customer is always king. Don’t let any message fall through the cracks, as it could be a potential sale and a long-term ambassador of your products.

Wrapping Up

That’s the end of this guide on how to start dropshipping on Mercari. Indeed, Mercari is a great place to launch your business as it’s an established marketplace with close to 150 million visitors monthly. In as much as Mercari doesn’t allow dropshipping, we can still sell on the platform with no inventory by operating under the radar and ensuring everything runs smoothly.

So, what are you waiting for?

Start your Mercari dropshipping business today. You can also consider eBay dropshipping or Amazon dropshipping.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Why was my Mercari listing removed?

The most probable reason your listing has been removed by Mercari is that it’s a prohibited item. Check out the entire list of prohibited products to confirm this.

2. Can you sell electronics on Mercari?

Yes. You can sell any electronics on Mercari as long as the item doesn’t fall in the list of prohibited items. 

3. What sells fast on Mercari?

Some of the items that are in high demand on Mercari include women’s fashion, toys & collectibles, home improvement, men’s fashion, and electronics.