Looking to find the best place to sell on? Here is the ultimate breakdown of eBay vs. Poshmark vs. Mercari including 21 things you need to know!
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1. Items You Can Sell
The first thing you will want to consider with whether to choose on eBay, Poshmark, or Mercari is what you are going to be selling.
Here is the breakdown:
On eBay you can sell almost anything you can think of. You can go here to see what kinds of things you can’t sell and what items have restrictions.
(Hint: Here are 50+ Best Things To Sell On eBay)
Poshmark is geared towards clothing and includes:
They also have a catch all “Home” category that includes subcategories such as:
- Wall Art
Mercari is similar to eBay in that you can sell pretty much everything. It is not just focused on clothing.
Verdict: Choose eBay or Mercari if you want to sell a variety of items.
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2. Customer Base
There are several things to consider when comparing the customer base of eBay, Poshmark, and Mercari.
As far as age, Poshmark tends to be more popular with younger buyers.
Another difference is the size of the customer base. Poshmark and Mercari only have domestic (non-international) customers. (Both platforms do have other sites for sellers and buyers in other countries.)
On the other hand, eBay has a large customer base worldwide. On eBay, I’ve sold to numerous countries, a small list of which includes:
As far as number of active users, here is the breakdown:
182 million active buyers
1.5 billion listings
530 million app downloads worldwide
60 million members (buyers and sellers)
100 million listings
50 million app downloads
350k new listings daily
Comparing number of users and listings is helpful, but the most important thing to compare would be the revenue between the two companies.
For quarter 2 of 2020, eBay reports gross revenue of $2.9 Billion.
Since Poshmark is currently not a publicly traded company, their revenue is not public information, so the comparison between revenue for eBay vs. Poshmark sadly cannot be made.
With Mercari, it is a Japanese company, traded on the Japanese stock market. It is also hard to tell what the actual revenue is for the US market.
Verdict: Choose eBay for the larger customer base, but consider cross-listing on Poshmark and Mercari as their customer bases will likely grow.
Also consider if what you are selling is geared towards younger customers.
Did You Know?
You don’t have to choose between eBay, Poshmark, or Mercari?
In fact, if you only choose one platform and not the other, you are probably leaving money on the table.
With cross-listing tools like Vendoo, you can easily post across multiple platforms (eBay, Poshmark, Mercari, Etsy, and others) at once as well as manage inventory all in one place.
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With eBay, shipping can be quite overwhelming when it comes to the number of options available.
Do you choose between:
Which service do you choose?
Do you charge for shipping or offer free shipping?
How much should you charge for shipping?
(Hint: Read these 4 Little-Known Ways To Save On Shipping)
With Poshmark, shipping is pretty straight forward. It is currently $7.11.
The only time this changes is if:
- You send out an offer (you will also need to provide discounted shipping), or
- Your item is over 5 pounds. In that case, you will need to upgrade your label.
You can read here the 3 Easy Steps To Shipping With Poshmark.
The shipping on Mercari can be a little bit confusing. You will need to enter the weight of your item to get an accurate estimate.
Anything over a pound, Mercari wants to charge $9.99 for! That is a lot!
Thankfully, Mercari allows you to print your own labels, so this is what I’ve found is best for those expensive labels. I am able to print them myself for around $7 for priority shipping.
Comparison For A Lightweight Item
The $7.11 can be pretty steep for lightweight items. Yes, buyers are paying the shipping, but it does take a cut out of how much they are willing to pay you for the item.
Take for example a bra that someone is willing to pay $20 total for (including shipping).
- The selling price on Poshmark would be about $13 (plus roughly $7 shipping).
- The selling price on eBay would be about $17 (plus roughly $3 shipping).
- The selling price on Mercari would be about $15 (if you go with their $4.99 label)
That’s another $4 in your pocket, minus fees for selling on eBay!
Comparison For A Heavyweight Item
The reverse of this would be heavy items that cost $15-$20 to ship on eBay. For those items, Poshmark may be the better choice.
Let’s compare a theoretical heavy winter coat (4 lbs) that would need to be sent by Large Flat Rate Box on eBay (roughly $20 for simplicity’s sake). Let’s say the buyer is willing to pay a total of $60.
- The selling price on Poshmark would be about $53 (plus roughly $7 shipping).
- The selling price on eBay would be $40 (plus roughly $20 shipping).
That’s $13 additional dollars in your pocket (less fees) for selling on Poshmark!
Verdict: Poshmark wins for ease with shipping. However, you want to take into account the shipping cost on eBay.
4. Printing Shipping Labels
Verdict: If you plan on having lots of sales, eBay is easiest to ship from.
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Others may make an oversimplified comparison between fees on eBay vs. Poshmark.
Yes, Poshmark is 20% (or $2.95 for listing prices under $15) and eBay and Mercari are roughly 13% for most categories (with payment fees added in).
But it’s not as simple as that.
- Poshmark fees are only charged on the cost of the item.
- Whereas eBay fees are charged on the cost of the item plus any money you collect for shipping.
- Mercari payment processing fees are also charged on the total cost your buyer pays (including shipping).
To complicate matters further, payment processing fees are also collected on the sales tax portion collected by eBay, which varies by the location of the buyer.
Additionally, to accurately compare the sale of an item on each platform, you need to take into account how much the buyer pays total (including shipping).
As discussed above, shipping can make a big difference so that needs to be taken into account when calculating how much you actually make.
The final thing that needs to be taken into account is if you have Top Rated Seller status on eBay. If so, you are eligible for generous discounts on shipping.
Knowing Your Fees
Poshmark clearly shows you exactly how much you will make.
Just enter the listing price, for example $25. Once you’ve entered your listing price, the “Your Earnings” field will update to show how much you will make. For this example, $20.
eBay on the other hand, isn’t clear on how much you will make. At the time of listing, you won’t know your buyer’s location which will likely affect the shipping cost and their sales tax rate (if any).
The easiest way to get an idea on how much you will make is to use an eBay Fee Calculator like this one.
Like Poshmark, Mercari will also show you your earnings if you sell.
Verdict: The most profit depends on the item. Poshmark and Mercari win when it comes to ease in seeing how much you will actually make from a sale.
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6. Number Of Items You Can List
EBay, Poshmark, and Mercari are drastically different when it comes to the number of items you can list.
With Poshmark and Mercari, you can list an infinite number of items.
With eBay, the number of items you can list (and their total value) will depend on how long you have been selling and your track record.
As you build your track record, eBay will allow you to list more and more items.
To give you an idea, I’ve been selling for three years, and my current limit is 2 Billion items and $2 Billion. Pretty infinite in my opinion, but it always wasn’t that high.
Just be sure to provide accurate descriptions and ship your sales on time and eBay will increase your selling limits quickly.
Verdict: If you’re new and want to list a ton of items, you may want to start with Poshmark or Mercari until you’ve been able to establish your track record with eBay.
7. Listing Process
The listing process on all three platforms (eBay, Poshmark, and Mercari) are pretty similar.
EBay does provide more “Item Specifics.” These are fields (material, fit, style, etc) you fill in that help buyers find your item.
It does take a bit more time to fill in all the item specifics, but it allows eBay to offer a much more powerful way for shoppers to find exactly what they are looking for.
Some other differences you will have with eBay are:
- Choosing auction or buy it now
- The ability to take offers or not
- Choosing your shipping method and what you will charge.
- Choosing if you will accept returns.
Verdict: Poshmark and Mercari are more straight forward for getting items listed. However, eBay gives you more control over running your business.
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Whichever platform you choose to sell on, you will want to make sure your photos look professional. This is the one thing that is easiest when it comes to setting yourself apart from your competition.
Also, amazing pictures is one of the 21 ways I recommend increasing your Poshmark sales!
You can read here some articles related to taking professional looking photos:
- Using A Mannequin To Display Clothes For Reselling
- 10 Affordable Lighting Kits Under $100
- 10 Best Mannequins For Clothing Photography
There are a number of differences when it comes to taking photos for each platform.
Here are the differences:
Number Of Pictures
On Poshmark, you can upload 16 photos. eBay and Mercari allow 12.
Another difference is the aspect ratio. Poshmark only allows for square photos.
On eBay and Mercari, you can upload any aspect, but I highly recommend using square photos as they display best especially for mobile shoppers. (For eBay, currently, you will need to take pictures outside the app in order to get a square aspect).
Stylized photos do really well on Poshmark. Having a cute background and photo props are a must.
On eBay and Mercari, there is no pressure to design cute flat lays. Yes, you can if you want. But feel free to take straight forward pictures of just the item itself.
Poshmark is pretty lenient on their photo requirements. They allow stock photos to be used for new and used items.
They also allow borders and text.
EBay on the other hand, does not allow stock photos (unless you have permission from the owner). They do not allow added borders, text or watermarks on pictures. You also cannot added “placehold pictures” that convey a message (for example “make an offer”). You can read the entire eBay Picture Policy here.
Mercari doesn’t seem to have a whole lot by way of “rules” when it comes to shipping.
The only real thing I could find was related to copyright infringement. Nevertheless, I would avoid using stock photos, text or borders.
Verdict: Poshmark and Mercari are much more lenient when it comes to pictures.
With Poshmark and Mercari, there are no returns for fit or buyer’s remorse.
With both platforms, if the item received is not as described (damaged, defective, counterfeit, etc), the buyer has three days from when they receive the item to open a case. If the return is approved, this is the one time you will end up with a return.
eBay, on the other hand, will allow you to accept returns if you wish. You can choose how long will you will accept returns (30 or 60 days) and who pays for the return shipping (you or the buyer). You also have the option to not accept any returns.
Of course if an item is “Not As Described,” you will need to accept the return and either:
- refund the buyer (and let them keep the time)
- or pay for return shipping and refund the buyer (if you want the item back)
Accepting returns might sound scary, but it can actually increase your sales!
Yes, offering returns might seem scary, but by offering returns, you gain your buyer’s trust – resulting in more sales.
And you don’t have to expect a lot of returns if you do choose to offer returns.
To give you an idea, I offer 30 day returns, buyer pays return shipping. I get around 2-4 returns a month on around 200 total sold items each month.
That’s less than 2%!
Here are 5 Other Ways You Can Increase Your eBay Sales.
Verdict: It’s nice not having to worry too much about returns on Poshmark and Mercari, but don’t dismiss the power of offering returns on eBay to increase your sales.
10. Packing Your Sales
With Poshmark there is a little more pressure to package your item nicely with cute tissue paper, twine, etc. They also ask that you include a hand written thank you note.
One of the great things about Poshmark is their agreement with USPS when it comes to shipping. All items you ship with Poshmark can go in any of the USPS Priority Flat Rate boxes or envelopes. (Or you can use your own box.)
You can order FREE shipping supplies here or stop by your local post office to pick some up.
Free boxes, yes please!
With eBay and Mercari, you can use free USPS boxes as well, but for most items, it will be cheaper to ship first class in a poly mailer. (Commercial first class covers items up to 1 pound.)
Verdict: It’s nice being able to use free USPS shipping supplies for Poshmark.
Hey Poshmark Seller!
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11. When Do You Receive Payment?
With Poshmark and Mercari, you will receive funds into your account once a buyer receives the item and accepts it (within 3 days of receipt).
From there, you will need to link a bank account to be able to transfer funds from Poshmark/Mercari to your bank.
With eBay, funds are available as soon as a buyer pays you. (Unless you are brand new, in which case PayPal will put a hold on your funds until they can establish that you are a legitimate seller, usually around 15 days.)
The exact process will be changing a bit for eBay as they roll out Managed Payments over the next year or so, but even so the funds will be available within a few days.
Verdict: eBay is the quickest to receiving your money.
12. Customer Service
With eBay, there is a dedicated team just to assist sellers. You can reach a live person within a matter of minutes – no long automated system to get through before reaching a human that speaks English!
Just head to the eBay website. Follow the directions to get help. There are multiple ways you can get help, but I like by phone the best.
Just enter your number and they will call you in a minute or two! No waiting on hold, no buttons to press!
eBay also offers customer service via Twitter (@AskeBay) and via chat.
Poshmark and Mercari do not have the same level of customer service that eBay offers.
If you have any issues that arise on Poshmark, you will need to fill out this form and wait for a response via email.
Verdict: eBay wins hands down for customer service for their sellers.
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13. Vacation Mode
With Poshmark, placing your closet in vacation mode is pretty straight forward.
Just head to Seller Tools in the app and click on “Vacation Hold.”
All you need to do is toggle on to start your vacation hold:
Unfortunately with Poshmark, you will not be able to sell items while you are gone.
Mercari is similar in that you will have to deactivate your listings. You will not be able to make money while you are on vacation.
With eBay, vacation mode is only available to store subscribers. If you don’t have a store, you will need to end your listings and relist when you return.
If you do have a store subscription, the process to set up vacation mode is quite a bit more involved than on Poshmark. But the positive side is that you can still sell while on vacation!
Because there are multiple steps, I’ve dedicated an entire post to walking you through setting up eBay Vacation Mode step by step.
There’s nothing better than making money while on vacation!
Verdict: Poshmark and Mercari are easiest to turn on a vacation hold (deactivate listings), but you won’t make any money while you are gone. With eBay you will need a store subscription to set up vacation mode, but there’s nothing better that making money while on vacation!
14. Social Sharing
This is one of the biggest differences when it comes to the platforms we’re discussing.
With Poshmark, you pretty much have to share your items if you want to make sales.
Expect to share your closet daily, preferably a few times a day. You also have the option to higher a virtual assistant to do your sharing for you.
The reason you need to share is because when you share your listings, it will bump them to the top of search results.
With eBay, you don’t have to do any social sharing.
EBay and Mercari are a little bit more “set it and forget it.” But there are definitely ways to make your items sell faster including these 5 tricks I use.
You will also want to read 9 Ways To Rank In eBay Search Results.
That being said, these are all pretty hands off methods.
Verdict: You will need to spend lots of time on Poshmark sharing your closet. If you don’t want to bother with sharing, choose eBay or Mercari.
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15. Shopping Your Closet/Store
This is one of the points where Poshmark shines!
With Poshmark, it is easy for shoppers to access your closet and look through your items.
(Be sure to snag your FREE Poshmark Closet signs here to spruce up your store even more!)
Shopping your store is a bit more cumbersome with eBay. This is what an eBay store (mine!) looks like.
eBay is currently working on improving storefronts on mobile devices and it should be updated in the next few months.
Verdict: Poshmark wins for ease of shoppers being able to easily shop your inventory.
16. Bundles/Combined Orders
With Poshmark, you have the option to easily offer a bundle discount for buyers purchasing multiple items.
Bundles are a great way to increase the volume of your sales.
With eBay, you will need a store subscription in order to provide a “volume discount.” It’s also a little more cumbersome to set up.
One easy way I get combined orders is by including a simple statement in my listings that says something like “I combine shipping! Please contact me prior to paying to receive the discount.”
Once the buyer has purchased the items but before they pay (you haven’t to have “immediate payment” turned off to do this), you can send them an invoice with discounted shipping.
For Mercari, there’s no good way to bundle or combine orders. You will need to make an entirely new listing with the items the buyer wants.
Verdict: Poshmark wins for ease of setting up a discount for buyers purchasing multiple items.
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17. Sending Offers
With Poshmark and Mercari, you can send offers to “Likers.”
With eBay, you send offers to “Watchers.”
That’s really just a difference of names. However, the biggest difference comes with the amount of discount required.
Amount Of Discount Required
With Poshmark and Mercari, you have to send at least a 10% discount off the historical low price. PLUS with Poshmark, you have to give a discount of shipping (from $7.11) to either $4.99 or FREE. (YOU have to pay the discount you offer for shipping.)
With Poshmark, your offer needs to be at least 10% lower than your lowest offer sent within the last 90 days in order to be successfully sent.
Unfortunately, Poshmark doesn’t tell you before you submit the offer. They only let you know afterwards that it couldn’t be sent. So it may take some trial and error to get an offer to go through.
Let’s say for a $15 item, you will need to discount it down to $13 (they only do whole dollars – and they round up). If you choose $4.99 shipping, you will need to pay $7.11 – $4.99 = $2.12. That’s a total discount of $4.14 you will need to offer AT A MINIMUM! You would make $9.88.
With eBay, you just need to send an offer of at least 5% off. No requirement for discounting shipping.
Let’s take our same theoretical $15 item. With eBay, you could send and offer for $14.25 and you would walk away with roughly $12.50 in your pocket (compared to $9.88 with Poshmark). (Assuming $6 shipping charge, no sales tax).
Frequency Of Sending Offers
Due to the 10% lower than your lowest offer sent within the last 90 days, it’s hard to send offers regularly on Poshmark without significantly cutting into your profits.
With eBay, there is no such requirement. I often send offers multiple times a day on the same item.
I’ve personally seen a higher percentage of offers accepted on eBay than on Poshmark. This is just my experience and yours may be different.
Verdict: eBay wins for the effectiveness in sales resulting from sending offers AND in the amount of discount required.
In addition, sellers can rate you between 1 and 5 stars for the following:
- Item description
- Shipping cost (you automatically get 5 stars for providing free shipping)
- Shipping time
- Seller communication
EBay will publicly show:
- What percent positive feedback you have, for example “99.6% positive feedback”
- How many positive, neutral, and negative feedback in the last 1 month, 6 months, 12 months
- The actual feedback left
- How many stars you have for each rating category
Verdict: eBay. Sellers like to see the honest feedback that eBay provides. Try to aim for 100% positive, but know that it’s okay to have an occasional neutral or negative.
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19. Inventory Management
- Ending listings
- Bulk editing
- Searching listings
- Putting select items on sale
If you only have a few items in your closet, a great inventory management system isn’t really necessary. However, once you have 50+ items a way to manage that inventory is a definite necessity.
This is where eBay shines. Particularly for store subscribers.
One of the perks of having and eBay store is what is called “Seller Hub.”
- Sending out offers on multiple items at once with the push of a button
- Creating sales events
- Setting up automatic feedback
- Bulk editing listings, rather than having to edit one at a time
Really this is just the tip of the iceberg as far as what Seller Hub is. This is one of the main reasons I think paying for an eBay store is worth it!
Verdict: EBay wins hands down for inventory management. We can only hope Poshmark catches up in this area.
20. Notification System
Verdict: It’s easy to lose offers received on Poshmark. EBay wins for thoroughness of communication with sellers and making obvious on the app/website.
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21. Poshmark Ambassador/Top Rated Seller
- Sharing (5,000 shares for others, 5,000 of your own items)
- Selling 15 items
- Having 50+ items in your closet
- Shipping on time
Once you’ve obtained Poshmark Ambassador status you have it for life. (I’m sure in very bad circumstances they could revoke it). The expectation is that you will stay active on the platform and continue to share and sell, but you are not regularly evaluated in order to maintain it.
With eBay’s Top Rated Seller Status, it is something that is evaluated monthly. So once you obtain Top Rated Seller, you have to work to maintain it.
Top Rated Seller is based on:
- Having 100 sales and $1,000 in transactions in the previous 12 months
- Less than 0.5% defect rate
- Less than 0.3% cases closed without seller resolution
- 95% of tracking uploaded on time
With Poshmark, the benefits are minimal. The biggest perk is getting recommended to new Poshers. This is a great way to quickly grow your following.
The other perks included are an “exclusive newsletter” and “unlock access to fun programs and opportunities.”
With eBay, the biggest benefit is the discount on shipping. When you are a Top Rated Seller, eBay gives a pretty substantial shipping discount.
EBay also provides additional seller protection for Top Rated Sellers.
They also give a 10% discount on final value fees if your listing meets certain criteria such as :
- Same or one day handling time
- FREE returns for 30 days or longer
Verdict: Shoot for being both a Posh Ambassador and Top Rated Seller!
Both Poshmark and eBay have their own pros and cons. Here is the breakdown:
While it may be easiest to start out on Poshmark for new sellers, you should consider listing on both platforms.
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