Is Mercari the future of physical collecting?

By Pentram | Outside thoughts | 22 Apr 2022

Where have I been?



So I disappeared for a bit.  I've been spending time managing my physical collections.  While I still love my Doctor Who: World's Apart NFTs (I'm still waiting on the release of the actual game), I collected a lot of stuff over the years.  So I started looking into ways to sell off a bunch of old stuff that I don't need.  I looked at Ebay, Etsy, Facebook marketplace, local auctions...  Then I found Mercari, and I felt like I was looking at the future.



Why did I choose Mercari?


The first thing I noticed with Mercari is the lack of fees.  I can list as much as I want.  I only pay when my items sell.  So if I don't sell this one-of-a-kind collectible (I deal a lot in animation art), it's no loss.  Ebay and Etsy charge to list things in the first place.  I do have an etsy store and a website where I sell shirts and stuff in that POD approach, but to place a one-of-a-kind thing on Etsy is absolutely pointless and Ebay charges just to create the listing.  So I turned to Mercari.

Mercari allows you to create listings in the app for free.  So I have hundreds of listings for things that are literally one-of-a-kind.  I can put up to a dozen photos of each piece to show a general image, then get into detail.  It's almost like this app was designed specifically for collectables.  




Of course!  To get the money out of the app, you either pay a rush fee or wait a few days.  It's not an immediate transfer unless you pay for it.  So I don't pay.  I have the advantage of being able to wait a few days for the cash to hit my account.  To me, it's not a big deal.  The app does hold your money till you ask for it too, but I'm not sure that's actually a drawback.  It may actually foster a whole new trading market type.


New Market type?


This is where I really start enjoying Mercari.  I've enjoyed bartering at conventions and markets for many years.  We usually trade according to dollar value.  This just makes sense: to make sure we exchange evenly, we trade items for items at similar values.  Mercari basically allows us to do this, but as a massive collective.  I'll send one piece out to somebody in Texas, and I want something that another person has in Michigan.  Through Mercari, I can apply the credit I get for sending out that piece to Texas to getting the piece from Michigan.  I've been doing this a whole lot.  




Yes, there is a message system in the app that allows us to communicate and make offers for the items posted.  There's literally a "make an offer" button.  This sends a predesigned message to the "seller" and they can accept or respond with a counter offer at the push of a button.  It's all too easy.  I've essentially traded some stuff that was just sitting in my closet for holiday gifts, tools, clothes, and enhanced the collections I decided to keep.  I don't ever want to stop.

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With degrees in Theater and Literature, I currently write and do voicework with the Eldritch Defense Force. I own an FLGS. Collections litter my home, inundating my visitors with fandoms galore.

Outside thoughts
Outside thoughts

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