How to Sell in Latin America with MercadoLibre and GeekSeller

As the leader in a market of over 635 million people in the Latin America region with one of the world’s fastest-growing Internet penetration rates, MercadoLibre provides buyers and sellers with a robust online trading environment, now available to the United States sellers.



What is the MercadoLibre marketplace?

Most likely, you have already heard about MercadoLibre’s success from the press, but it is not just another e-commerce site. MercadoLibre is the largest in Latin American technology and commerce ecosystem, offering an e-commerce marketplace platform, logistics, warehousing, and online payments. MercadoLibre is present in 18 countries including Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Venezuela, and Peru.


How can a US seller sell in Latin America?

To simplify the process, MercadoLibre created the Global Selling Program, which allows international merchants to sell throughout Latin America. Currently, Cross-Border Trade is enabled in Brazil, Mexico, and Chile. 

MercadoLibre knew that to get international sellers to join the marketplace, they needed to support them with all the complexity of selling globally. Thanks to the Global Selling Program, they conquer challenges such as currency, calculating customs, taxes, and shipping. Global Selling Program makes selling in Latin America as simple as selling within the US.

MercadoLibre partners with local carriers (in the US it is DHL), so sellers do not need to worry about calculating shipping costs and import taxes. Sellers receive ready-to-print shipping labels without a need to integrate or negotiate with a new shipping provider. Sellers drop off packages to the local DHL office (or it is picked up by the carrier), everything else is taken care of by the DHL and MercadoLibre. 


What Can You Sell on MercadoLibre?

MercadoLibre offers all categories of products, and if you currently sell your products in US marketplaces, you are most likely to be able to sell them on MercadoLibre as well. However, before you start uploading products to MercadoLibre, you need to take into consideration the dimension and weight restrictions, as well as a list of restrictions for some Latin American products.


Uploading products to MercadoLibre

MercadoLibre offers an option to upload products via CSV to the seller center. However, this is much easier to do using GeekSeller’s tools and graphical interface. Before you start working on your catalog, keep in mind that similar to other marketplaces, MercadoLibre will need your products to have correct categories, GTIN (EAN or UPC), and proper dimensions (weight and size). The good news is that you do not need to translate your product description to local languages. MercadoLibre technology will do it for you!


Returns 

  • When fulfilled by the seller: MercadoLibre is going to refund the buyer. The seller is not getting the payment for the product and it will need to afford the cost of the return shipment.
  • When fulfilled by Mercadolibre: MercadoLibre is going to refund the buyer and there is no extra cost for the return shipment.

See the following link where you can find more information regarding Returns. 


How much does it cost to sell on MercadoLibre?

It is free to list your products on MercadoLibre. Similar to other marketplaces, MercadoLibre charges a percentage of the sold products as a fee. The applicable fees for Mexico are between 12.5% and 22.5% (depending on your products category) and 16% for Brazil and Chile. On top of that, if you are selling with free shipping (i.e. Mexico) you will be paying for a percentage of the shipping cost; see details.

You are selling in Latin America, but you will receive an international wire transfer in USD. This is important to mention that you do not need to worry about currency fluctuations. Sellers submit products to MercadoLibre indicating the price in the USA. Buyers on MercadoLibre pay in their local currency, but sellers receive the amount in USD, so MercadoLibre takes on them the potential currency rate changes.


Shipping products to Latin America

MercadoLibre offers a few options to help the US sellers ship products to buyers from Latin America:

  • Ship By MercadoLibre – similar to Amazon’s FBA and Walmart’s WFS program, qualified sellers can ship products to MercadoLibre’s warehouses and have products being automatically fulfilled by the marketplace. Learn more about Fulfillment by MercadoLibre here.
  • Ship with Partnered Carrier – this is the preferred way for the US companies selling on MercadoLibre. MercadoLibre works with the local carrier (for the US sellers this is DHL) and provides ready-to-print shipping labels to sellers. Below, we go into details about how it works.

How does Ship with Partnered Carrier work?

Step 1.
Working with GeekSeller, sellers publish products on MercadoLibre, making sure listings have the dimensions and weight information provided; see product Dimensions and Weight Restrictions.

Step 2.
Based on the information provided by the sellers, MercadoLibre calculates shipping costs and taxes for each market; more details about costs.

Step 3.
When a seller receives an order, MercadoLibre automatically generates a label and a seller can print it directly from the GeekSeller panel.

Step 4.
A seller needs to deliver products to the carrier within 3 business days (maximum handling time allowed). If a seller generates at least 10 orders per day, it is possible to schedule the carrier to come for a pickup (you need to contact MercadoLibre to activate it).

Step 5.
Carrier delivers products to the buyer; see standard delivery times.


Advertising on MercadoLibre

MercadoLibre has a lot of traffic, with proper products and pricing you will not complain about a lack of orders. However, MercadoLibre allows sellers to give even more visibility of their products with MercadoLibre’s advertising solution called Product Ads. MercadoLibre will create ads with your listings and choose the best place and time to show them to buyers. Sellers have the ability to hide, pause, or activate campaigns, as well as set a daily budget. The platform is based on the PPC model, so you only pay when a user clicks on your ad.


How to register on MercadoLibre?

Ready to sell on MercadoLibre? Not all sellers can join the program, MercadoLibre works with sellers with a track record of selling quality products and offering outstanding service to buyers. There are also some preferred categories of products that MercadoLibre is looking for.

GeekSeller works with MercadoLibre to select and onboard sellers, please contact us to see if you qualify and work with us on your application.


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About the Author

GeekSeller

This post was written by the GeekSeller team.

37 responses on this

  1. Tidtee jung November 16, 2020 10:47 am

    Hi there,
    It is very interesting marketplace platform. However, I do wonder that is it possible for me to sell on Mercado Libre because I’m not US seller, I’m from Thailand. If yes, please give suggestion about the payment record briefly.
    Thank you in advance.

    Reply
    1. GeekSeller January 2, 2021 10:14 pm

      Hi Tidtee, at the moment, the integration and the marketplace are designed for US sellers. We encourage you to apply with us, and we will contact you as soon as the integration is available for sellers outside the US.

      Reply
  2. Alex Luo December 20, 2020 7:05 pm

    I have submitted my application to sell on Mercado Libre from the US. I am not sure what to follow after applying. Will somebody contact me and let me know.

    Thanks for your attention.

    Reply
    1. GeekSeller January 2, 2021 10:17 pm

      Hi Alex, thank you for your patience. It usually takes us a week for one of our representatives to review your application and contact you.

      Reply
  3. James Drummond February 14, 2021 6:18 pm

    Are there plans to work with UK suppliers?

    Reply
    1. GeekSeller February 14, 2021 6:30 pm

      Hi James, the current program we run with Mercado Libre is designed only for the US sellers. However, we encourage you to fill out the application form anyway or subscribe to our newsletter. At one point, we should be able to expand the program to sellers from all over the world, and we will notify our readers about it.

      Reply
  4. Amanda February 16, 2021 12:44 am

    Hi, i have a company in USA but my products are coming from Greek as a re-seller. I am very interesting this market place. Please kindly let me know if it is possible or not?
    Thanks in advance

    Reply
    1. GeekSeller February 16, 2021 12:50 am

      Hi Amanda, yes, as long as you ship from the US. The current program with Mercado Libre requires the US sellers to have their products being shipped from the US.

      Reply
  5. Franziska February 22, 2021 12:58 pm

    Great possibility but there is still a big question mark. How does ist work with return, if products are shipped from the US.

    Reply
    1. GeekSeller February 22, 2021 2:16 pm

      Franziska, Mercado Libre team offers a few ways to handle returns. They are also testing new options on an ongoing basis to improve this process. At the moment, you should be able to work with Mercado Libre on setting up the return policy that suits you best. More options will be introduced soon. I am sorry for this not specific answer, this is a tricky part of doing business abroad, and we will have more information about this soon.

      Reply
  6. Josue Díaz March 10, 2021 10:32 pm

    Actualmente vendo en México que es donde vivo pero quiero vender en otros países, se puede?

    Reply
    1. GeekSeller March 10, 2021 10:53 pm

      Joseu, Este programa está disponible actualmente solo para los vendedores de EE. UU.

      Reply
  7. Chintan Thakkar March 24, 2021 6:41 am

    We are India’s leading Ayurveda & Herbal products manufacturer since 1966. Currently, our products are sold in India, US and around the globe.

    Just filled up registration form

    It would be great if get opportunity to more expand our cross border online sell with Mercadolibre.

    Looking forward for the positive feedback

    Reply
    1. GeekSeller March 24, 2021 1:55 pm

      Hi Chintan, Thank you for your interest in GeekSeller and Mercado Libre. At the moment we can onboard mainly the US based businesses. However, very soon this program should be available to companies from other countries, we will contact those applications with an update.

      Reply
  8. Manuel May 8, 2021 7:55 pm

    Hi There, is there any way to sell as a German manufacturer directly on Mercado Libre? Or just via distributors in the Latin countries?

    Reply
    1. GeekSeller May 9, 2021 3:28 pm

      Hi Manuel, yes there are options for a German manufacturer to sell directly on Mercado Libre. We will contact you directly with details.

      Reply
  9. Manuel May 10, 2021 1:53 pm

    Thanks! Looking forward to your email!

    Reply
  10. Omar May 23, 2021 5:32 am

    Hi,

    We have a company based in US and we would like to know if it s possible to send our products and then have Mercado libre agent handling our stock and send our products to the customers.?

    Reply
    1. GeekSeller May 28, 2021 6:33 pm

      Omar, yes MercadoLibre has a program called FBM (Fulfilled by MELI). However, we suggest starting with selling on Mercado Libre as a 3P seller, so you can test the marketplace. FBM is a great choice for large-volume sellers.

      Reply
  11. Steve July 31, 2021 12:13 pm

    Hi, I am incorporated in US and have applied to sell on Mercadolibre, what are the qualifications to be considered, I currently sell on Poshmark, will it be enough? Also, is there customer service in US and how do US sellers handle returns, specifically who pays for shipping back if customer simply didn’t like the item and there is nothing wrong with it, thx

    Reply
    1. GeekSeller August 9, 2021 2:47 pm

      Hi Steve, MercadoLibre has a few programs helping sellers to deal with returns. They will explain and provide your options. Just to let you know, at the moment we are onboarding only sellers with an active GeekSeller account. We will be contacting non-GeekSeller sellers with details later this year. Thank you for your patience.

      Reply
  12. Josh Bernstein August 4, 2021 7:17 pm

    Hello, I submitted my company your way last week, how long does it take to receive a proper response? Excited to become a seller.

    Sincerely,

    Josh

    Reply
    1. GeekSeller August 9, 2021 2:45 pm

      Hi Josh, at the moment we are onboarding only sellers with an active GeekSeller account. We will be contacting non-GeekSeller sellers with details later this year. Thank you for your patience.

      Reply
  13. Jorge M. Garcia November 8, 2021 6:01 pm

    Hello,
    How does the currency exchange work? If I submit the price of my products in USD, does ML guarantee that I will receive the exact same payout in USD(obviously minus fees, etc.). What I means: does ML manage the local FX risk for me?
    Thanks

    Reply
    1. GeekSeller November 9, 2021 8:50 pm

      Jorge, you submit your price in USD, and you are guaranteed to get paid the same amount you submitted to MercadoLibre. The marketplace takes care of the currency exchange and risk of the currency fluctuations.

      Reply
  14. orlando escobedo November 18, 2021 5:39 pm

    Hello, I am very interested in starting to sell on the Mercado Libre platform.
    I just submitted my application. How long does it usually takes to get a response?

    Reply
    1. GeekSeller November 19, 2021 12:08 am

      Orlando, we will send you details about who you can contact to learn more about your application.

      Reply
  15. Lena Kirilchik February 10, 2022 5:43 am

    Hello GeekSeller Team!
    Please advise if being a US company we can sell digital software on Mercado Libre (BR, MX, CO, CL)?
    We have just submitted an application via the form above.
    Looking forward to hearing from you soon.
    Thank you!
    Sincerely,
    Movavi Team.

    Reply
    1. GeekSeller February 14, 2022 10:25 pm

      Hi Lena, At the moment, Mercado Libre accepts only physical products to be listed on the marketplace.

      Reply
  16. Zeshan Yousaf February 13, 2022 2:38 pm

    I am from Pakistan and i want to sell on Mercado Libre Platform .I own a Company in US with EIN Number.

    I think i am not able to sell through Pak but if it is possible to sell via US company as i can ship from US.

    Please reply me with a detailed explanation .

    Many thanks

    Reply
    1. GeekSeller February 14, 2022 10:27 pm

      Hello Zeshan, yes, this Mercado Libra Marketplace program is meant for companies from the US. So, if you gave your EIN Number and you ship from the US, you will be eligible. Please fill out the registration form to join the waiting list. Thank you,

      Reply
  17. mint March 22, 2022 1:55 pm

    Hi. For official shop, will buyer send product back to Mercado Libre warehouse or back to sellers? If back to warehouse, Does Mercado Libre help QC parcel and judge or not?

    Reply
    1. GeekSeller March 22, 2022 3:00 pm

      Hi, Mercado Libre has its own warehouses and offers fulfillment for sellers, similar to Amazon’s FBA and Walmart’s WFS. Please see this page to learn more. However, at the moment MercadoLibre prefers to work with sellers who store and ship products. Shipping is done via DHL, and MercadoLibre provides shipping labels. So, you start as a drop shipper and switch to the MercadoLibre Fulfillment option when your products are proven to be successful in the marketplace.

      Reply
  18. mint March 22, 2022 4:03 pm

    Hi GeekSeller Team!

    Thanks for previous reply. I have more question.
    Q: How about return – for official shop, will buyer ship back to Mercado Libre warehouse or ship back to seller? if ship to Mercado Libre warehouse, seller can manage and judge their refund or Mercado Libre do it

    Thank you

    Reply
    1. GeekSeller March 23, 2022 2:01 pm

      Thanks for your question. I just updated our blog post with this information, and please let me go by each option:
      Fulfilled by the seller: Mercadolibre is going to refund the buyer. The seller is not getting the payment for the product and it will need to afford the cost of the return shipment.
      Fulfilled by Mercadolibre: Mercadolibre is going to refund the buyer and there is no extra cost for the return shipment.
      Also please let me share with you the following link where you can find more information regarding Returns.

      Reply
  19. Anila Latif May 24, 2022 7:27 am

    Hello, Pls Answer this query.
    We are creating Mercado Libre Max Account, but it Demands a Mexican Address.

    We are a company Based in US, what is the solution to these companies?

    Do we still need the Mexican Address? Or we can give our US Address somehow?

    If No, Should we use a Virtual Address? Or we need to Hire a Agent who will Represent Us in Mexico, we will use his Name, Address & VAT Number to Register the Account?
    If No, then pls let me know if there’s a solution to using US address?

    Reply
    1. GeekSeller May 24, 2022 9:14 pm

      Anila, You do not need to have a location in Latin America to sell on MercadoLibre. The program is designed to allow US-based companies to sell in Latin America without a physical presence in that region. MercadoLibre offers its own solutions to help with returns, and you ship from the US. How did you register, and which form are you using? Please apply to MercadoLibre via this form, and somebody from the MercadoLibre team will work with you on completing the application.

      Reply

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