Mercari Temporarily Waives $2 Payout Fee As FTC Complaints From Angry Sellers Rack Up

Liz Morton
Liz Morton


In the wake of massive pushback from sellers, including social media campaigns urging reporting the company to the FTC, Mercari is temporarily waiving a new $2 fee for direct deposit payouts instituted earlier this week.

Mercari said it's goal was to "shake-up the resale industry" when they launched a new fee structure on March 27, dropping commission and payment processing fees for sellers and shifting them over to buyers instead.

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The announcement certainly did shake things up, but not in the positive way Mercari may have hoped.

On the buying side, many have balked after suddenly seeing a confusing new checkout experience that some have likened to an AirBnB booking with three different cleaning fees or airlines tacking extra charges on to the ticket price.

Users on both sides of the marketplace have also been confused and upset at apparent double dipping when some orders charged fees to both the buyer and the seller as the transition to the new fee structure was anything but smooth.

Several sellers took to Reddit with the receipts showing the double charges and questioning whether Mercari might not be in some legal trouble over this whole situation.

"Why did we BOTH have to pay fees?!?!" One Redditor asked while showing a screenshot of an order confirmation clearly indicating the seller was charged a $4.00 selling fee and $1.83 payment processing fee while the buyer also paid a $3.60 service fee and $1.77 processing fee.

But beyond the questions and confusion about commission/service and payment processing fees, sellers have also been outraged out the sudden introduction of a $2 fee for each direct deposit with no warning.

Previously, sellers could request available funds to be sent via ACH to their bank account without paying any extra fees.

Under the new fee structure, it will now cost $2 for each and every direct deposit transfer, which is clearly meant to try to incentivize users to keep their funds in their Mercari balance to use for future purchases.

Mercari requires sellers to ship the item once a transaction is completed, but does not actually release the funds to their balance until after the item is received and rated by the buyer or 3 days after delivery if the buyer does not rate the sale.

Springing this update on users with immediate effect and no warning created a situation where  some sellers paid the old fees on the transaction for items ordered before the transition and would have to pay the new fees on the payout after the transition, which many argued was another form of double dipping and highly questionable from a legal perspective.

That prompted several sellers to file complaints against Mercari with the FTC and some of those sellers took to Reddit and other social media platforms to encourage others to do the same.

I spent my lunch break today being productive—I reported Mercari to the FTC.

I stated the fact that the notice of changes was sent out overnight, then implemented in the early morning, that you might not have gotten a notification of these changes until after you log in, and the fact that they are showing different notices to everybody—I have seen a ton of screens from this group that never showed on my app, and that I was never able to find from searching their help section. I personally never read ANYTHING about the new fee to transfer funds from the site.

And since Mercari is classified as a financial company, because they hold our funds (in interest-bearing accounts), I put into the report that they have abused their position and essentially stole $2 from me.

Others also encouraged reporting to a state Attorney General or other appropriate consumer protection agencies.

Don't forget to also report to your attorney general and CA's attorney general!

I filed a complaint with NY DFS with respect to Mercari's money transmitter license (and encourage everyone to do the same) as well as a California regulator. They encouraged me to also file with the FTC and recommend others do the same to ensure Mercari is appropriately investigated for this behavior with the fees and TOS change. So passing it along - everyone affected should go file with the FTC so there is a broader investigation opened into Mercari's unlawful and deceptive practices

The situation could also be legally complicated for Mercari as some sellers who wish to close their accounts due to these changes say their funds are basically being held hostage unless they pay a fee they never consented to pay when originally creating an account and agreeing to the terms of service.

It appears the pressure has worked (or that perhaps Mercari finally consulted their lawyers) as a temporary waiver of the $2 fee was just announced today with the following notice being emailed to users and posted on Mercari's help pages.

On March 27, 2024, Mercari announced that it would begin charging a $2 fee(s) (“ACH Charge”) for all ACH direct deposit requests. Effective immediately through April 3, 2024 at 11:59 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time (“Waiver Period”), Mercari will waive the ACH Charge for ACH direct deposit requests made prior to the end of the Waiver Period for all eligible account holders.*

All requests made after the end of the Waiver Period will incur the ACH Charge.

Customers who were charged ACH Charge(s) (or associated charge(s) for rejections from ACH direct deposit request(s)) since the March 27, 2024 announcement, will receive refund(s) in the form of an ACH direct deposit to their bank account on record. Mercari will begin processing refunds on April 4, 2024.

While it is only a temporary reprieve, this waiver will at least address concerns of those who had funds in flux at the time of the announcement and provide those who wish to make one last withdrawal before closing their accounts to do so without paying any extra fees.

Will you continue selling on Mercari once the new $2 ACH fee really goes into effect? Let us know in the comments below!

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Liz Morton is a seasoned ecommerce pro with 17 years of online marketplace sales experience, providing commentary, analysis & news about eBay, Etsy, Amazon, Shopify & more at Value Added Resource!

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