Mercari is an online retailing platform that exploded during the 2020 pandemic. The Japanese-based company also has offices located in the United States to oversee its US operations.
But does Mercari ship to Canada?
Unfortunately, Mercari does NOT ship to Canada or any other international countries, for that matter. At this time, Mercari is only available to US and Japanese-based shoppers, where the company is based out of.
While this may come as bad news to some, I do have some good news for you – there’s a loophole that allows you to bypass these shipping restrictions. Keep on reading to learn more!
Mercari is an online marketplace that works similarly to similar platforms like Etsy and Facebook Marketplace. Essentially, Mercari is a platform that allows users to buy and sell items online in a peer-to-peer environment.
Mercari doesn’t manufacture or produce any of its own branded products. This means that all of the products on Mercari’s marketplace are sold by its users.
Some items are brand-new, while others are sold in lightly or heavily used condition. You’ll find everything from video game consoles and electronics to clothing and shoes on Mercari.
Mercari makes its money by taking a small percentage of each sale made on its platform.
Sadly for international shoppers, Mercari only ships to the United States at this time. If you’re in Japan, then you can use the Japanese version of the platform to get items shipped in-country as well.
Although Mercari doesn’t officially support shipping to Canada, there is a clever workaround that Canadian shoppers can exploit to buy Mercari items online from US sellers (for a fee).
Below, I’ll show you how to use a package forwarding service and a VPN to mask your location and make it appear as if you’re shopping in the United States.
Here’s a quick overview of the steps:
- Sign up with a US-based package forwarder
- Mask your IP address with a proxy
- Shop online with a USD account
- Ship your order to your virtual mailbox
- Forward your Mercari package to Canada
Now, let’s go through the entire process, step-by-step.
Package forwarding was around long before platforms like Mercari or ASOS imposed strict international shipping regulations. In days past, package forwarding was primarily used by international travelers to ensure that packages they purchased while traveling made it back home.
Essentially, package forwarders are middleman distribution centres that receive packages and send them to another location (usually internationally).
If you’re trying to get a Mercari order shipped to Canada, then you’ll first need to get your order shipped to a package forwarder in the US that offers forwarding services to Canada.
Once you register with a package forwarding company, you’ll be given a virtual address located in the US that can be used for mailing purposes.
This address corresponds with a personal storage unit located within the package forwarders warehouse.
Recently I made a post on the best package forwarders that ship to Canada. Some of the top-rated forwarders that I can name off of the top of my head include:
- Global Shopaholics
Each forwarding company has its own specific benefits and drawbacks. Some are better suited to one-time orders, while others have reduced pricing for premium members who shop online frequently. Do some research and figure out which company best fits your needs.
Once you sign up with a package forwarding company, you’ll be given a virtual address that you can ship products to. However, this isn’t the only thing that you’ll need to do to shop online with Mercari.
If you’re shopping online from Canada, then Mercari’s servers will be able to see your location based on your IP address (which is linked to your wifi router’s geo location).
Because of this, Mercari may not allow Canadian visitors to access all of the features on its app or online website.
Before accessing Mercari’s online platform, you’ll need to connect your device to a proxy or use a VPN like ExpressVPN with a US-based server. Both of these options effectively mask your Canadian IP address and allow you to adopt an IP address associated with a US location.
The main difference between proxies and VPNs is that the latter are more secure. Proxies route your internet data through unsecured or minimally secured channels, which can pose a security risk if you’re shopping online and entering personal data into forms.
Once you’re connected to a US-based IP address, then you should be able to access the complete Mercari selection via the Mercari app or online store.
However, there’s still one more step you’ll need to take to ensure that your order goes through smoothly.
Based on the research I’ve done, Mercari’s online platform has been updated and now requires you to pay using a USD account. Unlike other websites (such as Kohl’s, for example) that allow you to pay using your Canadian credit card, Mercari will block the sale if you try to pay using an international card.
If you don’t have a USD bank account, then I recommend loading your PayPal account with USD. Mercari allows shoppers to pay with PayPal, so as long as you’re paying with USD instead of CAD, then your order shouldn’t encounter any hiccups.
Now that all of your preparations are complete, it’s time to shop online, pick out the items that you want, and pay for them.
Instead of entering your personal address in Canada, as you would with a typical Canadian retailer, you’ll provide Mercari with the virtual address given to you by your chosen package forwarding company.
Depending on how quickly the Mercari sellers are able to process and ship your orders, the package forwarding warehouse in the US should receive your order in about a week (or less).
Once the package has been safely received, you’ll be notified. From here, you’ll be able to ship the package to your Canadian address across the border.
Most package forwarding services offer multiple shipping options to customers, so you can choose the price and shipping speed that best fits your budget.
The time it takes to receive your Mercari order depends on two factors:
- How long it takes the Mercari sellers to ship the package to your US virtual address
- The shipping option you choose to forward your package from your virtual address to your Canadian address
Generally speaking, your order should arrive at the package forwarding warehouse within a week. This is the short leg of the shipment.
Shipping the package across the US-Canadian border is what takes the longest. If you’re dealing with a reputable package forwarder, you may be able to receive your package in as little as two weeks (yes, this is the fastest you’ll be able to get it).
However, if you choose the discounted shipping option, then it could take up to two months to receive your package.
I’ll be blunt here – getting a package forwarded from the US to Canada can be expensive.
Even if you opt for the cheapest (aka, longest) shipping option, you should still expect to pay an additional $25 to $50 for shipping. The fastest shipping options often cost over $100, which is often more than the cost of a single item itself.
Alternatives for Mercari for Canadian Customers
If you don’t want to go through the hassle of package forwarding, here are some alternatives to Mercari that Canadians can use:
- eBay: One of the oldest and most extensive online marketplaces, eBay allows users to buy and sell a wide range of new and used items, from electronics to clothing to collectibles. It operates in many countries around the world, including Canada.
- Facebook Marketplace: Integrated within the Facebook platform, this marketplace lets users buy and sell items locally. It offers a broad variety of items and is easily accessible for anyone with a Facebook account.
- Kijiji: Owned by eBay, Kijiji is a popular online classifieds site in Canada. It allows users to buy and sell a broad array of goods locally, from furniture to cars to housing. It also includes services and job postings.
- Poshmark: Poshmark is a social commerce platform where users in Canada can buy and sell used or new clothing, shoes, and accessories.
- Etsy: While Etsy is best known for handmade and vintage items, it’s also a platform where users can buy and sell a wide range of products.
- VarageSale: This is another online marketplace for people to sell their unwanted items to people in their communities. It’s available in various towns and cities across Canada.
Pros & Cons Of Package Forwarding Mercari To Canada
Here’s a quick breakdown of the pros and cons of using a package forwarding service to ship Mercari to Canada:
- You can shop online internationally without limits
- Package forwarding warehouses often allow you to store items short-term, which can be useful for travelers
- Package forwarding services can protect your identity by keeping your location anonymous
- Package forwarding services often charge a fee for providing services
- Shipping a package internationally is still rather expensive
- Even the quickest shipping option can still take up to two weeks
If you’re looking to purchase second-hand items that are still in good condition, I recommend using a more Canadian-friendly platform like Facebook Marketplace or eBay. Unfortunately, Mercari’s international shipping restrictions make it difficult and costly to purchase anything if you’re living in Canada.
Looking for some great ways to make some extra cash and fund your online shopping? Check out my proven guide to making money online with Tik Tok next!