S4H

Is Mercari the future of physical collecting?

By Pentram | Outside thoughts | 22 Apr 2022


Where have I been?

Where?

 

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.

 

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.  

 

Drawbacks?

Bad

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?

Market

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.  

 

Bartering?

Barter

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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Pentram
Pentram

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

Just me sharing my opinions and thoughts on marketing ideas.

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