How to Sell in Latin America with Mercado Libre 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, Mercado Libre provides buyers and sellers with a robust online trading environment, now available to United States sellers.



What is the Mercado Libre marketplace?

Most likely, you have already heard about Mercado Libre’s success from the press, but it is not just another e-commerce site. Mercado Libre is the largest in Latin American technology and commerce ecosystem, offering an e-commerce marketplace platform, logistics, warehousing, and online payments. Mercado Libre 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, Mercado Libre 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. 

Mercado Libre 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.

Mercado Libre 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 Mercado Libre. 


What Can You Sell on Mercado Libre?

Mercado Libre offers all the categories of products, and if you currently sell your products in US marketplaces, you are most likely to be able to sell them on Mercado Libre as well. However, before you start uploading products to Mercado Libre, 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 Mercado Libre

Mercado Libre 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, Mercado Libre 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. Mercado Libre technology will do it for you!


How much does it cost to sell on Mercado Libre?

It is free to list your products on Mercado Libre. Similar to other marketplaces, Mercado Libre charges a percentage of the sold products as a fee. The applicable fees for Mexico is 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 Mercado Libre indicating the price in the USA. Buyers on Mercado Libre pay in their local currency, but sellers receive the amount in USD, so Mercado Libre takes on them the potential currency rate changes.


Shipping products to Latin America

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

  • Ship By Mercado Libre – similar to Amazon’s FBA and Walmart’s WFS program, qualified sellers can ship products to Mercado Libre’s warehouses and have products being automatically fulfilled by the marketplace. Learn more about Fulfillment by Mercado Libre here.
  • Ship with Partnered Carrier – this is the preferred way for the US companies selling on Mercado Libre. Mercado Libre 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 Mercado Libre, 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, Mercado Libre calculates shipping costs and taxes for each market; more details about costs.

Step 3.
When a seller receives an order, Mercado Libre 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 Mercado Libre to activate it).

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


Advertising on Mercado Libre

Mercado Libre has a lot of traffic, with proper products and pricing you will not complain about a lack of orders. However, Mercado Libre allows sellers to give even more visibility of their products with Mercado Libre’s advertising solution called Product Ads. Mercado Libre 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 Mercado Libre?

Ready to sell on Mercado Libre? Not all the sellers can join the program, Mercado Libre 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 Mercado Libre is looking for. 

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


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GeekSeller

This post was written by the GeekSeller team.

19 responses on this

  1. Tidtee jung October 12, 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 October 12, 2020 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 October 12, 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 October 12, 2020 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 October 12, 2020 6:18 pm

    Are there plans to work with UK suppliers?

    Reply
    1. GeekSeller October 12, 2020 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 October 12, 2020 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 October 12, 2020 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 October 12, 2020 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 October 12, 2020 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 October 12, 2020 10:32 pm

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

    Reply
    1. GeekSeller October 12, 2020 10:53 pm

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

      Reply
  7. Chintan Thakkar October 12, 2020 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 October 12, 2020 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 October 12, 2020 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 October 12, 2020 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 October 12, 2020 1:53 pm

    Thanks! Looking forward to your email!

    Reply
  10. Omar October 12, 2020 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 October 12, 2020 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

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