Are you even Singaporean if you haven’t used the local e-marketplace Carousell to buy and sell stuff? I personally hit up the platform frequently to sell some unwanted things for extra cash and snag cheap items including attraction tickets, last minute staycations and movie tickets.
What is Carousell?
For the uninitiated, Carousell is a local community marketplace established in 2012 that lets you buy and sell almost anything and everything from property, cars, clothes, beauty products and electronics to furniture, books, luxury goods, home services and more.
Why is Carousell so popular among Singaporeans?
One of the main reasons why Carousell is so widely-used among locals is because it is absolutely free to use.
For the sellers, Carousell doesn’t take any commission from your sales and it’s pretty quick (think, less than 30 seconds) and convenient to list an item for sale. You can also attach pictures to give your customers a preview of what they would be getting.
Buyers, on the other hand, can hunt for bargains with ease usingCarousell Protection — you can get a refund/exchange/return the item if you face issues with your purchase. This, however, comes at a small fee of 2.5per cent of the item and delivery price which is chargeable to the buyer.
Fortunately, there is an ongoing promotion for payments via DBS PayLah!. Carousell is currently running a 2.5per cent discount for your purchase, which essentially means buyers get free protection. You don’t have to worry about hidden charges because the fee will be made visible on the payment summary page before you cart out.
Tips for selling (and buying) on Carousell
Be a responsible seller
1. Include pictures in your listings
You are allowed up to 10 pictures on a single listing, so make use of it! Flaunt your item from different angles so that your buyers are able to see the full details before committing to a purchase.
2. Describe your product as much as you can.
Is it new and unopened, or pre-loved? How much does it cost for mailing? Ask yourself: if you were a buyer, what would you like to know about your listing? Then, add in as many details as you can. And be truthful about its condition. Not only will this enable your buyers to decide faster, but also saves your time answering their questions.
3. Place your items in the right category
This will allow buyers to find your item easily, which translates to faster moving stock.
4. Make it a point to exchange reviews
When all aspects of the deal have been negotiated and agreed on, ask the buyer to make an offer to show that both parties are committed to the deal. After the transaction (or lack of), you can post a review on their account to let others know about your experience dealing with them.
5. Make sure to always receive payment before shipping out the product
Especially if it’s a high-value item. You’ll never know if your buyer will decide to run away.
6. Price your items slightly higher
On Carousell, you should expect some bargaining before closing the deal. Pricing your items slightly higher will ensure that you do not actually make a loss.
Be a smart buyer
1. Make sure your seller is legit
One of the best ways to confirm this is to read user reviews. If they have more than four stars along with hundreds of positive reviews, chances are they are reliable.
Genuine sellers will also boost their credibility by linking their Facebook, e-mail and SingPass to their profile. You can identify them with a blue tick next to their name. The last thing you want to do is get scammed after paying, so do your own due diligence.
2. Ask all sorts of questions
If you’re buying a beauty product, ask about the manufacturing and expiry date. If you’re buying a designer bag, make sure it isn’t a fake by requesting for its authentication card and bringing it to the store to verify its authenticity.
3. Bargain a little before closing the deal
Carousell sellers would usually expect some haggling from buyers so just ask nicely and you might just get the discount you want. If they decline, well, at least you’ve tried. Speaking of bargaining, it brings us to our next point:
Lowballers — How to spot them
Ah, lowballers. Every online seller hates to deal with this infamous group of people. Here’s how to identify a lowballer so that you can stay the hell away from them.
Usually, a lowballer would slide into your inbox with a rudely-phrased opening sentence: “$40?” on a $200 listing. Or ask plenty of annoying questions before telling you that they can only afford $20 on your $50 product.
Don’t get me wrong, negotiation is almost always expected and asking for a slight discount usually does no harm. But if you’re going to offer 10per cent of the seller’s stated price then… bye.
How to deal with lowballers
If you’ve sold something on Carousell at one point, you’d know the pain of dealing with lowballers. Indeed, it’s utterly infuriating (and insulting) to receive a ridiculously low offer on a reasonably priced item.
In fact, such occurrences happen so frequently that Carousell is often referred to as Carouhell. If you Google it, there are tonnes of personal anecdotes and articles coupled with screenshots detailing some ridiculous offerings on the platform.
However, sellers need to understand that these buyers are just trying their luck to get the best deals for themselves.
Here are a few things you can do when you face lowballers:
- Just decline and block them.
- Don’t respond at all.
- Nicely tell them that their asking price is too low, and make a counter-offer.
- Always be respectful. Even if you manage to close the deal in the end, disgruntled and unreasonable customers might give you a bad review, which may affect future sales.
- Put a note in your listing and make it clear that “no negotiations are allowed” or “lowballers will be blocked”.
- In your future listings, put around a 20 per cent buffer on your selling price so that there is room for bargaining.
Pro tip: Don’t even waste your time and energy by getting mad at them. Just laugh it off, because life is too short to get pissed off by someone trying to get a good deal.
This article was first published in SingSaver.com.sg.