And Why You Should Be Using It To Grow Your Reselling Business
On July 20, 2021, Mercari announced a brand new feature that is being added to their platform, Local Pickup! In partnership with Uber, this platform has figured out a way to solve the safety and privacy concerns many had with doing local pickup on Facebook Marketplace and other platforms that offer this feature.
What Is It?
Exactly what it sounds like! Mercari Local Pickup is their new feature that allows you to buy and sell within your local area, with no shipping or meet-ups needed! Instead, delivery is handled by one of their partners, Uber or FedEx Same-Day. If you sell an item via Local Pickup you'll be able to schedule a time for a driver to pickup the sale and deliver it to your buyer contact-free!
So What Can I Sell?
Mercari explains that this service is perfect for those bulky, heavy, or fragile items that are tough to ship. The only stipulation they make is that the item cannot exceed 50 lbs and must fit in the trunk of a car (45" x 35" x 15"). This excludes large furniture, appliances, and outdoor gear that wouldn't fit in the trunk of a car.
In NYC, they ask that you tell them whether your item is small, medium, or large. The criteria for each are:
A small item can be carried in one hand
A medium item would require a tote bag to carry
A large item would need two hands to carry, like a computer monitor
Personally, I'll be listing all my items with this option because there are no categories that I sell that are off-limits!
Who Pays For It?
As always on Mercari, listing remains free. You'll be charged the normal fees that Mercari charges (10% selling fee, 2.9%+$0.30 processing fee), and the buyer is responsible for the delivery fee, which will vary depending on the distance between you and the buyer.
For Uber, the delivery fee will range anywhere from $7.99 to $20.99, and you can schedule a pickup anytime Monday-Sunday from 7:00am-10:00pm. Fedex Same-Day, which is only available in Houston and the San Fransisco Bay area at the moment, charges anywhere from $10.99 to $39.99, and pickups can only be scheduled Monday-Friday from 7:00am-5:00pm. Fedex will deliver your item by 8:00pm the day it is picked up and for an additional $40, they will deliver to your buyer on a weekend.
For both services, Mercari emphasizes that you MUST have your item ready for the driver when they arrive. Drivers will not wait longer than five minutes for the item so keep that in mind when you schedule!
How Does It Work When I Sell Something?
If a buyer chooses to purchase an item through Local Pickup, they'll submit their availability to Mercari at checkout. You will then be able to schedule a time that works best for you, based on the buyer's availability!
You will want to be sure to securely wrap and package your item for transit because there is the potential for sudden stops and bumps on the road while your item is in transit. Mercari also asks that you label the package with the buyer's name and apartment number (if applicable). It's also important that you make your item as compact as possible for travel, and if your item is over 10 lbs, be sure to wrap it in something strong that can sustain being carried to and from the car. If your buyer purchased multiple items, they all need to be packaged in the same box or bag.
Both buyers and sellers can leave detailed instructions for their driver in the Mercari app, and it's important that you do. Most pickups/drop-offs, if not all, will be contactless, meaning you won't speak to your driver in person. They will need to be able to easily locate the package at pickup and find the correct address for drop-off.
As I mentioned, drivers won't wait longer than five minutes for either service. For Uber, the driver will show up at the scheduled time, so be ready! FedEx, on the other hand, will pick up the sale within a four-hour window from the scheduled pick-up time in order to provide the most affordable delivery. You'll be notified via SMS message when FedEx is on its way!
How Will I Be Protected?
All drivers are vetted and trained by Mercari's partners, Uber and FedEx Same-Day. As a driver for Uber myself, I can assure you that your sales will be in safe hands. Drivers take their job incredibly seriously because we love it!
But on the off chance that something does go wrong, all sales will include a $200 shipping protection from Mercari! If an item is lost or the buyer files a return for "item damaged in transit", this protection will cover you!
So Why Should I Use It?
Because it has the potential to make you so much money! This new feature is going to bring all-new eyes to Mercari. Buyers that had previously ignored shopping on Mercari because they didn't offer local pickup will now be more attracted to the platform. They'll also potentially be more willing to use the normal shipped options as well since they're now on the platform anyways!
It's easy to brush off these new features because we all love what works already, but it's important to remember that these companies do TONS of market research before implementing new ideas. Mercari must truly believe Local Pickup will help to expand our businesses and the platform as a whole! This new feature really only has the potential to provide growth to Mercari, their delivery partners, and their sellers!