Selling has never been this easy – just snap, list, and sell on Carousell.
Looking to turn your old stash into cash? Or do you occasionally sell hand-made crafts?
Whatever your intentions, it’s best to learn the ropes of how Carousell works before you can go ahead and list anything, and just so you can be sure you’re not missing any tricks.
Carousell attracts millions of eyeballs per month. In fact, close to half of the population in Singapore use their service regularly.
We’ve crammed as much info as we can into this simple guide — starting with the basics of setting up a Carousell seller account, all the way to time-tested tips on how to make a killing selling on this platform.
Carousell is a C2C and B2C online marketplace for selling and buying both new and second-hand goods in Singapore. It’s an online version of a flea market, only that it also allows you to sell new products.
Brief History of Carousell
Carousell was started by three university students – Siu Rui Quek, Lucas Ngoo, Marcus Tan. The three teamed up to start Carousell in 2012, after their one-year internship in Silicon Valley.
Inspired by technology, the three were looking for problems they could solve when they had a light bulb moment with the idea. They started by setting up classified sites and selling forums, but they’ll soon go lazy.
At the time, they only intended to reserve the app for personal use. But it was gaining a lot of traction, so they decided to incorporate it on 2nd January 2013. It then that they started developing it into a real company.
Expert Tips on How to Become a Top Seller on Carousell
Selling on Carousell is as easy as ABC. All you have to do is take a good picture of the items you’d like to sell and then proceed to post them on Carousell with a snazzy description and caption, not forgetting a price tag and everything else.
While there’s nothing so complicated about setting up your Carousell account, there are few things that you might need to hack to become a top-seller on the platform.
Understand the Right Item to Sell
Don’t just run with the first item that comes to mind. You have to give everything a serious thought and settle on a product that you’re sure will make you a profit, a significant amount of profit.
More than 50 million items have been sold on this platform. The most popular categories are fashion and beauty. However, the items with the highest number of transactions are electronics and gadgets. Tablets and laptops get sold rather quickly compared to any other item listing. Other items that sell pretty fast on this platform include bikes, comics, lego, and sneakers.
Use High-quality Photos
There’s no enough emphasis for this. Buyers will decide on whether or not to purchase your products based on the pictures they see. Through image quality, colour, and more, your buyers will have an easy time assessing your product and reaching a decision.
Here are a few things to observe while taking the product photos:
- Make sure the photos are well lit, high resolution and colourful: Make sure these photos are quality enough to inspire buyers’ confidence.
- Avoid Using Stock Photos: Unless you’re dealing with pre-order, you should avoid using stock photos at all costs. Your buyers want to see the actual images of the item you’re selling and not a mere representation of it.
- Offer a Wide Selection of Photos: Don’t just settle on the first photo you take. Be sure to offer a variety of them so your buyers can view the products from different angles.
- Take a minimalist Approach: Don’t overcomplicate things. Use an uncluttered background with no text or border when taking the photos. You’re not only doing this to meet the marketplace’s guidelines but also to eliminate any distracting element so your buyers can focus on the items.
Apply SEO to Your Product Listing
Online shoppers don’t like to browse through pages trying to locate your products. To save time, they’ll limit their searches to the first few results they can see. It’s with the same reasoning that a listing that ranks at the top of Carousell’s search result will be attracting greater sales compared to the one with a lower ranking.
So how do you ensure your product ranks higher on this ecommerce platform:
Thorough keyword research: The keywords in your listing have to match the buyer’s search term. The only way to ensure this is by doing thorough keyword research before listing your products on Carousell. Use tools like Google Keyword Planner and Ahref to find out what keywords your potential customers are using.
Conduct Your Own Carousell Research: Scour Carousell’s marketplace for products that are similar to what you plan to sell. Find out what keywords your competitors are using, and which ones among them rank atop. Most likely, these are the keywords that are frequently searched by buyers.
After you’ve identified these keywords and compiled them in a list, you can narrow them down to popular phrases and words. Ahref should be your friend in this. Lastly, you want to incorporate them throughout your listing – specifically in your:
- Item title
- Item description
- Listing specifics
- Profile page, and so on
Promote Your Listing
Don’t rely on Carousell SEO to sell your items. If your budget allows it, consider promoting the listing on Google, blogs, and Facebook. Look around for different ways to make your listing gain more exposure, and consider putting them into practise.
Since you won’t be promoting your listing for free, here are a few pointers to help you gain the most value from the little investment you’re about to make:
- Pick a product that would benefit the most from the exposure: Choose an item that receives a lot of attention, and has the potential to attract lots of buyers.
- Choose the Right Time to Run the Promotion: Don’t just run the promotions without a plan. If anything, make sure you’re listing them items at a time when your prospects are most motivated to buy.
- Find an Ad Rate that helps increase your chances of closing more deals without digging deep into your profits: Rundown all your expenses and evaluate the average ad rates to reach an amount that works for you.
- Track Results: Track your promoted listing to determine if they need any improvement for greater returns in the future.
Avoid Selling Problematic Products
Unfortunately, there are dishonest and unscrupulous people that are always looking around for a way to pounce on clueless Carousell sellers. Don’t make yourself a victim. The best way to protect yourself is by staying away from high-risk products, such as:
- Smartphones and iPhones
- Autographed items
- Event tickets
- High-end designer clothing and shoes
- Counterfeit items such as handbags, designer jeans, designer sunglasses, Ugg boots, high-end cosmetics, Otter boxes, and so on
Re-List the Items That Have Been up for More Than Six Months
Buyers can see how long a product has been listed. Even if it’s brand new, any listing that appears to have been up for long will automatically look less attractive to buyers. Any product that’s been up for more than six months is considered ancient. So, unless you make an effort to dust things up and re-list them from time to time, then don’t expect any buyer to come looking for them.
Ask Buyers to Make an Offer Before You Transact
Don’t just exchange your items for money and be done with it. You first have to ask the underlying buyer to make an offer. After you approve, both you and the buyer will be allowed to review each other. Serious buyers have no problem with creating an offer. Just tell them what the reviews mean to your business. Don’t waste your sweat on buyers that refuse to make an offer. Instead, open the sale to other buyers.
Broadcast Your Listing in Carousell Groups
Carousell Groups were created so that seller can interact and broadcast their listings to a particular group of people or community. You can start by looking around for a neighbouring group and be sure to join it. The more it’s convenient for both you and the buyer, the easier it will be for you to meet up and seal the deal. The only downside to this is that Carousell doesn’t allow users to create their own groups. But you can always request for one should you feel the need for it.
Carousell tries to make things easier for those already running an Instashop. You don’t have to post your listings manually. Instead, you can use their Instagram import function to copy your entire listing as it is directly to your Carousell account. They also allow you to edit your listing after you’ve imported it, in case you feel like it could do with some minor tweaking.
Boost Your Listing on Carousell
Carousell recently introduced a boost function that you could use to get your listing at the top of their result pages in no time. Of course, you have to be prepared to part away with a small amount for this. So, make sure your payoff is significantly higher than the amount you shell out.
If Your Items Fail to Sell, Drop Your Price a Little
If, after listing your items for quite some time, you find out that it’s not selling, then perhaps it would be wise of you to consider dropping your price, even a little. Carousell will respond by giving you a small bump to your listing, and which might see to it that it ranks even better.
Bonus Tip: Your Friends Should Be Your Number One Promoters
Let your friends help you. They’re the people that you can count on while starting. So, reach out to every single one of them and personally ask them to help you share your listing around.
You’re naturally friends because you share a common interest, hobby, and even tastes in lots of things. They’re the right people to help you promote your listings.
Here’s one way to look at it – assuming you have 50 friends that you can ask to help you promote your listing, you can count that these friends also have another group of 50 people that they’ll be exposing your listing to.
Do this, and you just might never know which ones among their friends are interested in your product offering.
How to Sell on Carousell
Carousell is one of the easiest ecommerce platforms to sell on. You can either use their mobile or web app, but the procedure remains pretty much the same.
Here’s a simplified, step-by-step guide on how to sell on Carousell:
Via the Mobile App
- If you haven’t already, you can start by downloading their mobile app and installing it on your smartphone. You have the option of signing up using either your Facebook account or email address. You may also be required to share your location to connect with buyers or sellers around your area.
- Tap on the “Sell” icon (the “+” icon) at the end of the page to list your items.
- You’ll be asked to take a photo of the item you wish to sell or to choose from the photo gallery. You’re allowed to choose up to 10 photos of the products. You also have to decide which photos will be used as the cover photo, in which case you might want to choose the most appealing photo of the bunch.
- Fill the rest of the requested details in the form provided.
- Select “List it”, and that’s pretty much like it. You’ll also be provided with a social media button that you can use to share the listing on Facebook or Twitter.
Via their Web App
Where you do not wish to download their mobile app, you have the option of doing everything on their website.
- Go to their website, and click on “sell” at the top right corner of the page.
- Select your product photos. If the photos are too large, you may have to resize them.
- After you select each photo, you can hit the green “Save” button found on the photo preview box that pops up.
- Proceed to fill in all the requested fields.
- Go ahead and click on “list it” after you’re done with everything.
You have to fill in all the necessary fields. Otherwise, the “list it” button will be greyed out. Meaning, you’ll not be able to list the product. So, go back to the form and make sure you have filled everything.
After you’re done with everything, your item will be posted in the Carousell market place where buyers can view it.
Your Carousell Profile
Carousell operates like a social media network. For starters, you’re allowed to set up your page profile where all your product listing will be shown. You’re also allowed to follow other users, like their items, comment on their listings, and so on.
You can even send a direct message to any user and have a private conversation.
How to Receive Payments from a Carousell Buyer
Carousell is simply a platform for connecting buyers with sellers. It facilitates the buying and selling of products, while also allowing their buyers and sellers to decide which payment method suits them best.
Consequently, the payment method has to be decided by the buyers and sellers themselves.
Here are a few payment methods that could work for you:
- Cash on delivery when you agree on meeting up
- Bank transfer
The point is to discuss with your buyer and choose an option that best suits you both before you can proceed with the transaction.
How to Deliver a Product to a Buyer on Carousell
It bears repeating that Carousell was designed to operate as a platform that strives to connect sellers with buyers. Nothing about it is written in stone. Instead, it grants you the opportunity to discuss with your buyers and agree on a delivery method that could work for both of you.
Meaning, the delivery method has to be decided and agreed upon by the seller and buyers themselves.
That being said, here are a few options to consider:
- Meet-up, face-face deal
- Normal mail
- Registered mail
Just be sure to discuss with the underlying buyer and choose a delivery method that they’re comfortable with.
What Can You Sell on Carousell?
Here’s a list of items you can easily sell on Carousell:
Think of Carousell as your digital ukay-ukay. Think of those clothes you bought and never got to wear– Carousell is the perfect place to exchange all that stash for cash.
Here’s an important tip: try stalking the celebrities that list their stuff on Carousell, and you may just come across something really nice and snazzy to add to your collection.
Home Appliances and Décor
Think of all the unused appliances eating up space in your home, talking of toasters, coffee machines, ovens, and other stuff. It’s high time you exchanged all the discarded appliances, such as vases, lamps, and dining tables, for a quick buck. Don’t let them fill up your space when they’re not helping you in any way.
Vintage Collections and Art Pieces
Carousell is also a perfect marketplace for artists, as well as vintage and antique collectors. If you have a few art pieces that you have no trouble discarding, then this is where you list them for sale. Just give it a good price and list it up on the site and you’d be surprised by the number of people that are willing to take it off your hands for a good price.
K-pop fans who recently changed bias don’t have to store those babies. Instead, they can have someone adopt them in exchange for cash. All you have to do is state the condition for your K-pop paraphernalia for easier transactions.
To those looking to buy K-pop merchandise, be sure to check the K-Pop Wave tab on your Carousell app.
Let’s say you had purchased a concert ticket and then something came up and now you’re in no position to attend it. What do you do? Do you let your money go to waste?
No – just list it on Carousell and sell it to whoever wants to attend the gig. However, while doing that, there are few things to keep in mind. The first one is never to display the details on your tickets. Hide your ticket number, bar code, and seat number to stop anyone from duplicating the ticket.
The second caveat goes to the person buying the ticket. Don’t be quick to send money without first establishing if the ticket is genuine. Ask to meet the seller in a public place, and if possible, have someone accompany you just in case something goes wrong.
What Can You Not Sell on Carousell?
There are a few restrictions as to what you can sell on Carousell. Not every item you come up with can be listed on the platform. We’ve identified a few items that Carousell prohibits you from selling on their platform.
Here we go:
Carousell is no place to sell food items. Come to think of it, the products you list on Carousell can go for days without selling. It’s for this reason that you certainly do not want to use the platform to sell perishable goods. Another reason is that some of the food sold may be contaminated or cause health problems.
This one is pretty obvious. Alcohol is one of the items that are heavily taxed in Singapore. Therefore, selling any alcoholic drink outside a registered shop could be interpreted as a subterfuge to avoid taxes, which makes it illegal. Another plausible explanation for this is that selling alcohol on an app that can be easily installed by anyone might actually be encouraging under-age drinking.
Carousel only approves physical commodities. There has to be some tangibility factor to the item that you’re trying to sell. For example, you’re not allowed to sell an online account or an in-game currency. The possible explanation for this is the superficial nature of virtual commodities. Should anything go wrong, there should be something to prove that a transaction occurred. Plus, buying online games and accounts flies against the rules and regulations of many websites.
Again, Carousell is no place for selling your services. You cannot list yourself as a plumber, writer, or marketer. Similar to the case above, it’s hard to prove that a particular service was offered. Plus, there are situations where the services offered may fail to match the client’s expectations. You also have to remember that what’s considered the best service might not be that good to another person – because then again, standards are subjective.
It’s common sense that no platform would tolerate anyone listing a fake product. Plus, counterfeit products are illegal, to begin with. So, it’s only natural that such products would be blacklisted from being sold on this platform.
Why Sell on Carousell?
If the idea of selling your unused stuff for a quick buck doesn’t excite you enough to get the ball rolling, here are more reasons many people choose to sell on Carousell:
Promotes the Culture of Re-Using
You’ve probably heard about the importance of 3Rs. Carousell offers you a chance to put that into practise. And what you view as trash could be another person’s treasure. So, as the society continues to lean towards a culture that’s big on consumerism, you want to do your best to promote re-using, and hopefully, reduce the habit of throwing things away.
The Thrill of Closing Deals
Selling on Carousell is all fun. Of course, it’s going to take you a while to close your first deal. But after you do, then all you’ll ever want is to close even more deals. In the later sections of this post, we’ll be providing a Carousell cheat sheet that you can use to close more deals.
The Culture of Selling Before Buying
It’s every person’s prerogative to engage in some form of retail therapy, especially when dealing with stress. You’ve probably spent on something that didn’t prove to be so useful to you and ended up regretting it after. The best way to keep yourself in check is by allowing yourself to spend only after you’ve recouped some part of the cash by selling off your unused or underused stuff. It’s your only chance to stay sane.
Takes Less Time to Sign up and List Your Items
If you’re like most people, then you’d like to pass up this idea on the pretence of not having enough time to list up your products. Well, no one understands your predicament better than the people behind Carousell. For this, they had to design their platform with your busy schedule in mind – and it’s all evident in their motto, “snap list, sell,” all in 30 seconds.
Selling Unique, Upscale, or Handcrafted Items
If what you plan to sell is already listed on other Ecommerce platforms such as Qoo10 or Lazada, or there’s something very similar to it, then great. If not, then you’re certainly going to have trouble attracting buyers, or that you may be risking getting buried at the bottom of the search results that show.
In the broadest of sense, buyers that visit the likes of Qoo10 and Lazada are always looking for standardised brand products, where Carousell tends to attract buyers that are looking for unique deals and goods.
Flexibility and Control
With Carousell, you’re free to sell outside the listed catalogue. You’re free to promote your items with images and text that you chose. You can sell your items in their different states of completeness or repair, with minimal confusion, something that’s difficult to do on any other platform successfully.
How Carousell Works: What’s Their Business Model?
Carousell is only a platform, an online C2C market place for users to buy or sell things with just a few touches on their smartphones or a few clicks on the web. The platform accommodates two types of users – sellers and buyers.
Sellers take pictures of the items that they intend to sell and then list them on the platform as they wait for buyers to make inquiries or proceed with purchases.
Once a buyer stumbles across this post, they’ll either reach out to the seller with inquiries on how to proceed with the purchase or to discuss further details. They’ll then set a meeting or agree on something else.
The seller delivers the item (either in person or by mail), and the buyer releases payment, and that’s pretty much like it.
How Much Does Carousell Charge You for Listing Your Items with them?
Not a penny.
Carousell doesn’t charge you anything for listing your products with them, whether you’re a buyer or seller. Their services are completely free.
This begs the next question:
How does Carousell make money?
First, you have to understand that Carousell enjoys the financial back up of International Venture Capitalists such as Golden Gate Ventures, Rakuten Ventures, and 500 Startups. Meaning they’re in no hurry to start monetising the platform. Currently, they’re only focusing on expanding their market share and increasing their user base.
Other than that, they’re making money by offering premium services and running paid adverts for some of their users. They have recently indicated that they’re trying to raise revenue without relying on Venture Capitalists.
Carousell Efficiency Criteria
Carousell is all about creating value and joint profitability with users. Sellers are given a chance to get rid of the items that they no longer need at absolutely no fee. Buyers, on the other hand, get the items they want at an affordable price – a win-win situation for everyone involved.
Unlike other online flea markets, Carousell goes beyond offering a marketplace where people can trade. They offer convenience by reducing the time and effort that people use to list their items online.
It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved, and Carousell is no exception. Their biggest gain in all this is their ever-expanding user-base. That provides them with even more data for data analysis. Plus, they get to sell ads for profits.
What Are Some of the Drawbacks of Selling on Carousell?
Carousell operates as a venue for offering and browsing the internet for the items to buy or sell. They don’t offer a payment gateway. That means you have to organise for a face-to-face meet-up with buyers to seal a deal and be paid either in cash or via a bank transfer.
Alternatively, you can agree to go the old-fashioned way. The buyer releases payments, and you mail the item to them. You might need an external escrow service for this.
The key to making more sales – and making more money – on Carousell is to give your listing enough time to get noticed. Armed with these tips, you should be able to get rid of all the unused stuff in your home and even grow it into a business by helping others discard their stash.