25 October, 2021

Today’s topic: Mercado Libre

Mercado Libre
Mercado Libre

I thought I’d covered this one before, but I searched my archives and nothing came up! Mercado Libre is Latin America’s answer to Amazon dot com. Not quite the selection as Amazon in the USA, but more variety than Amazon dot Mx. Things can be crazy cheap, or crazy expensive too – and you can get a wild mix of prices for a single item. Mercado Libre = https://www.mercadolibre.com.mx/ .

My initial reason for wanting a Mercado Libre account was Asian food/kitchen items. There are things I can’t find at Toyo. Of course, the item I had in mind was Lao Gan Ma Chili Crisp. If you haven’t had it do yourself a big favor and never taste it. It’s addictive! It’s just as bad as Costco crack chickens (those rotisserie chickens they sell for $5 usd that I swear they rub with crack seasoning [disclaimer: I don’t know that for a fact])! Anyway, evidently Mercado Libre believes it contains crack, because a 210 g. bottle of it is $1,258.98 mxn or $62.36 usd according to today’s exchange rate! See for yourself! https://articulo.mercadolibre.com.mx/MLM-779263089-lao-ma-gan-picante-chile-crujiente-741-oz-210g-_JM#position=4&search_layout=stack&type=item&tracking_id=ee883f1d-5125-4d3a-95e6-795d9bb2f177 . My solution was to grab a 700 g bottle from Amazon dot com when I was last in the USA and schlep it down. Yes, I had to explain to customs it is not seeds, but salsa – and it’s cooked so any seeds will not ever sprout. They were in a good mood that day and my 700 g bottle is still half full!!!!!

Back to the topic! Getting yourself a Mercado Libre account is not always easy. If you are a Méxican citizen they want a copy of your voter registration card. Their website told me I needed to give them a copy of my passport. I’m almost 64. I’m not a millionaire. I live in a tiny apartment in a working class neighborhood in Centro. I sincerely doubt Mercado Libre wants to steal my identity, and I doubt hackers are knocking down doors to get to the data either. So I gave it to them, and got an automated response that it could take up to 3 days to approve my account.

After 3 days still said 3 days. After 3 more days still said 3 days. After 3 more days still said 3 days. After more 3 days still said 3 days. You get the picture. I couldn’t find a ‘help me’ email address anywhere. I searched the internet for answers. After literally weeks of off-and-on searching I ran across a post that said you have to use social media and contact them that way!

Wooooo! So, here you go. If I remember correctly I got a response from the ‘help’ account on Twitter. They wanted me to hold my passport next to my face and send them a photo of that – in addition to the copy of my passport. Did it, and now I can order Asian food (and even caraway seeds!!!) to my heart’s content!

Keep in mind that Mercado Libre maintains branches in many Latin American countries, so you have to use the Méxican one(s) when you contact them. Here are some links:

Mercado Libre, join in on the fun!! Get your own account and stop having to ask your neighbors to order stuff for you!

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