An online shopping option: Carousell

If the circuit breaker has provided you ample time to do one thing, it might be to completely assess every worldly possession in your home, perform that deep cleaning, re-design, organize, and yes—perhaps rid your life of “stuff.” Carousell is a popular app and website that was first launched in the heart of Singapore and has since garnered over 350 million users worldwide. It may not be as well known within SAS, but it is a go-to e-commerce site for the locals of Singapore.

Home page of the website!

Started up on the 14th of May in 2012, Carousell was founded by Quek Siu Rui, Lucas Ngoo and Marcus Tan. This was only available within Singapore for a period of time before opening its doors to the worldwide market and beginning operations in the rest of Southeast Asia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. It’s operated in a way similar to that of other prominent e-commerce corporations such as Ebay and Amazon; in which there are sellers and buyers. Sellers list products which can be second hand, brand new or for pre-order and the products can be categorized into different classifications like furniture, entertainment, collectibles; and there’s even a category solely for selling cars and property! Starting up a Carousell account is also a good way to find a new home for items you may no longer want while earning a bit of your cash back. For example, many students who no longer have to take certain subjects choose to sell their textbooks, workbooks or hand written notes to other students so that they would not have to throw them out while also earning back some of the money they spent on their items. Another important note is they prohibit some items to be sold through Carousell as to uphold the safety of the consumers; such as smoke-able products, beauty services and healthcare items. 

Carousell also offers options to chat with sellers of products to negotiate for cheaper prices; which is definitely a nice touch for those who are looking for items at a discounted price to save up some cash. Many sellers may sell similar or identical products so you can chat with them before securing a deal to ensure that you are getting the most of your money’s worth. There are also groups where you can be added to, with other fellow Carousell users to start discussions, trade, buy or sell to those who may have similar interests to you; such as the “Sneakerheads SG” group which currently has 39,120 members.

Don’t forget to check the reviews to avoid getting scammed!

Although Carousell is widely used in Singapore, we do need to keep in mind that it’s still an e-commerce site and we should stay vigilant to prevent getting scammed or stolen from. The Singapore Police Force reported in 2018 over 70% of e-commerce scams took place on Carousell; in accordance to this, it’s has since added more functions such as protection to safeguard the well-being of its consumers. Carousell Protection is a payable service that ensures both buyers and sellers are able to actively communicate with one another and live up to the notion of “what you see is what you get” to prevent fraud of any kind; support will also be given from the Carousell Support Team if a problem arises. 

There is also an option to leave reviews for sellers and buyers likewise, this must be done from both ends for a review to be posted to a profile to ensure full honesty from both sides. This greatly helps interested consumers when looking at items as they are able to look at profiles and read through the reviews to check if a seller or buyer are trustable. 

One of the trusted meet-up spots found in CLEO (source)

As Carousell will only show you product listings from the country you are in, there is no need to fuss over whether a seller is able to ship to your country like you do on other sites . In fact, the most popular way to go about Carousell transactions are actually meet-ups. They normally take place at MRT Stations as it is an easy to find public space, but one must ensure to not hinder those who are trying to take the public transport as we should all stay courteous and respectful; especially since it is not necessary to meet-up at only MRT Stations. In early 2018, Carousell started to place “Trusted Meet-Up Spots” around shopping malls and public places in Singapore to guarantee safer transactions. This project was in collaboration with Frasers Property Singapore in which designated spots which would be surveilled by the CCTV network; and security officers had large red signs placed near them showcasing the Carousell logo and the words “Trusted Meet-Up Spot”. These spots can be found in Frasers malls such as Centrepoint, Robertson Walk and Causeway Point. This ensured that there would be a safe environment for the transaction to take place and no confusion when setting up a meet-up spot; which also makes this feature very convenient. 

Sell your own products in a few easy steps

Carousell gives local independent businesses a platform to use to sell their products. It may be difficult to set up a website for certain businesses as they have a shortage of staff and have no time to prep and maintain the store, but Carousell fixes that issue in no time. Carousell already has all the features needed to kickstart your independent business as it has options for payment methods, delivery methods and much more, making it easy to carry out transactions. To promote your products, you would just have to click on the ‘sell’ option at the top right corner of the website, add some photos, fill out information on category, payment etc. and you’re good to go!

VintageWknd’s main page

Carousell is also a great way to gain exposure, a clothing store that I am in love with called VintageWknd has both a Carousell account and a website of their own. However, as you would guess, I originally found out about them through searching for keywords of clothing pieces I wanted using the search bar on Carousell! This led me to follow other social media they had such as Instagram and kept me up to date with all their latest launches. 

From my experience, I believe that Carousell is the most convenient and economical way of purchasing items as I am able to have the opportunity to talk with the sellers, enquire and negotiate. It also gives me a chance to check on the item’s condition in the case of a meet-up before taking it home with me. I have also sold items from hobbies and interests that I have fallen out of on Carousell before and am glad to know that not only did the items find a loving home, but it also helped me earn back some of the money I had spent on it in the first place. It is also a great place to find people who have the same interest as myself so that we can share product listings of our sought after items and chat about what we are passionate about. 

Author: Hyun Ju

Hyun Ju Lee is currently a senior and this is her second year being part of The Eye. She is a Korean that was born in Boston, but raised in Singapore since she was two years old. She can be contacted at lee46856@sas.edu.sg

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