Mercari marketplace to shut UK service in 2019
The online buying and selling marketplace app Mercari will be closing its doors in the UK from next January. The USA service, and that in its home country of Japan, will continue to operate.
As Mercari says of the closure in an announcement made on the 18th December, that has been sent to users via email:
We’re announcing that we’re closing down the Mercari service in the UK from early next year. This article and our FAQs will let you know what will happen over the coming months. We’ve absolutely loved our journey together over the last two years – helping you find new things and sell your old stuff. Unfortunately, as we’ve not grown as quickly as we’d hoped, we’ve made the difficult decision to end the service in the UK. Mercari will continue to be available in Japan and the United States. First things first, if you have a balance in your Mercari account, your money is safe.
– Mercari announcement
The key dates to consider with the closure of the Mercari marketplace app are that from 15th January 2019, they say they will be ending all buying and selling and restricting access to most features. They suggest that before this time that merchants take copies of information needed for records from within the app before this date. They say you will still be able to complete outstanding transactions, request a withdrawal and get support from the customer support team.
And by 15th March 2019, they urge you to make sure you’ve withdrawn your balance because from that date all functionality in the app will no longer work.
There is some speculation that this news and business development is a result of ongoing business uncertainty resulting from Brexit. But it strikes Tamebay as much more likely that the problem has been the lack of a marketing splash made by the marketplace in the UK since March 2017.
Brexit has nothing to do with it…
Who even uses such small-scale marketplaces? For what? Why?
From a customer point of view, I can’t see any reason why I would pick such websites over eBay/Gumtree for used goods and eBay/Amazon/online stores for brand new goods.
Who, no seriously who? I have never heard of them and therein lies the problem. People just didn’t know it exists, it is very hard for someone to compete with Amazon or eBay as they have such strong recognition. Many sellers complain about how both Amazon and ebay are so terrible in terms of seller support, but the closest we have to a homegrown alternative is OnBuy but that is struggling to get market share.
Even if they would do a better job on marketing/promoting the website – what’s the point really?
Again, for customers, what matters is goods selection, prices, delivery etc. They get all that from existing marketplaces, there’s no NEED for them to use anything else.
That’s why it has been so fun for me personally to look at all the “attempts” of such new companies who wanted to compete with eBay over the last decade – NONE of them have succeeded….
Etsy is the best example of going into a sub-market and they handled it very well. Amazon now tries to enter that space with Amazon Handmade but I don’t think they’re having much luck with it. Etsy has earned the name of “handmade” goods, just like eBay for used goods.
There’s still Depop and Vinted. Both are doing a decent job shaping platforms that speak to different users (namely the millennial market..)
Sure eBay is a great space, but not everyone is going to like it. Surely users deserve to choose from other options.
I think any company that can come along and bring a different element to the space, is more than welcome. Variety is important.
How can the last day to sell be 15th when the funds have to be withdrawn on the same day? If you sell on the 15th you won’t eat paid till after the 15rh.