A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Sell on Carousell Singapore

Carousell has become so much more than an online flea market. Here’s how you can leverage one of Southeast Asia’s biggest startups for your business.

After successfully raising $100 million in new funds in 2021, web-based marketplace Carousell is proving that it is more than just an "online flea market." The Singapore-based company, now valued at $1.1 billion, is setting its sights on further expansion and acquisition to boost its business.

It is also banking on consumers' changing behaviour, propelled by the pandemic that forced people to stay home and perform their purchases at a click of a button instead of going to physical stores.

The appeal of Carousell is no rocket science. Users take a photo of the items they want to sell, post it on the Carousell app along with relevant information, and wait for a buyer to make an offer. Since its launch in 2012, the company now has millions of active monthly users as it operates in Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, Macau, New Zealand, Australia, and Canada. 

In Singapore, its home market, more than 2.8 million had downloaded the Carousell app as of 2019, translating to over half of the city-state's population. Strangely, the idea of second-hand items was generally frowned upon in Asia, Carousell's biggest market.

Asian boomers treated preloved items as a cultural taboo on the presumption that they carried bad vibes from their original owner. But thanks to the later generations' fascination with vintage items and the sheer satisfaction of scoring a nice item at a fraction of the original price, the second-hand market found its space online. 

Carousell, the latest startup to join a long list of Singapore unicorns, is now leveraging the pandemic-induced consumer shift, fintech, and the exponential rise of e-commerce to boost its marketplace. This article will give you a step-by-step guide to selling your products on Carousell and best practices to generate more sales.

How to Sell on Carousell

Step 1: Create an Account

Carousell is available to iOS and Android users. After downloading the mobile app from the Google Playstore or App Store, the next thing to do is create your account. You can log in using your Facebook account or sign up via a valid email address. You need to provide your mobile number, to which Carousell will send a confirmation text message to verify your identity. Once verified, choose your username and create a strong password.

 Pro Tip: While you can create an account and upload photos via the Carousell website, it is highly recommended to install the app on your phone to immediately receive notifications when your buyers make an offer or inquire about a product.

Step 2: Product Listing

There are two ways to list your products on Carousell's online marketplace: mobile app or website. For the former, click "Sell" at the bottom of your profile page; for the latter, you can find "Sell" on the page's right-hand portion. You will have an option to either take a photo of the item or choose the pictures from your gallery. You will be asked to resize your image if it is too big. Up to 10 photos are allowed per product listing.

Your images should be clear, well-lit, and reflect the actual condition of your product. If you are using your mobile phone, you will have the option to edit the pictures. Once done, choose the appropriate product category. 

Pro Tip: Avoid using stock photos as they tend to turn off customers and diminish your product's authenticity.

Step 3: Provide Other Product Details

The next step is filling in the details, including the product listing title, price, condition of the item (brand new or second-hand), and product description. After this, click "List It" found at the bottom of the form and wait for buyers to find your items. 

How to Receive Payments from Buyers

Carousell allows sellers and buyers to agree on a convenient payment method for both parties. The safest option is Carousell Protection, an in-app payment feature that enables sellers to receive money straight to their Carousell Wallet via DBS PayLah!, debit card, or credit card. Sellers can cash in the money instantly as long as there are no complaints from the buyer.

This feature is available for free to sellers, with no hidden charges. To enable it, go to your profile, click the settings, and choose "My Payment Methods." You will then have to select either via credit/debit card or PayLah! Express Checkout. To complete the step, provide other relevant details and then submit.

Another option is through electronic payments such as PayLah! and PayNow. Once the buyer and seller have agreed on the price, the buyer will pay the amount and send their proof of payment. Once confirmed on the seller's end, said seller will arrange the item's delivery.

Buyers can also meet up with the seller to receive and pay for the item. Some buyers prefer this option as it allows them to check the product in person to ensure that it has no damages before handing out the payment. However, exercise caution when meeting up with strangers and ensure that your agreed meet-up place is a public area.

Carousell Fees

Carousell makes money by taking a small portion of the item and delivery price like other online marketplaces and web-based classifieds. This fee varies per market.

In December 2020, Carousell Singapore raised its fee to 2.5% from 2%. Aside from this, the online marketplace also earns money by advertising, which makes up a significant portion of Carousell's revenue stream. It offers various advertising packages to sellers and brands, with prices depending on the niche, industry, and location. 

Carousell also charges a listing fee on specific product categories such as automobiles and real estate. Listing is usually free for the first transaction and is activated during subsequent ones. Payment for the listing, advertising, and other features are made via Carousell coins.

To buy Carousell coins via the website, go to your profile page, click the "Coins" option, and choose the package you would like to buy. Then, enter your bank transfer details to pay.

If you are purchasing through the mobile app, tap "Coins" on the "Me" page, click "Get Coins", and choose your desired bundle. You can make your payment via the Google Play Store, App Store, or your existing payment method.

Remember that Carousell coins are non-convertible to cash, so it is best to keep track of your balance. As of this writing, Carousell coins are only available in Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. 

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How to Deliver Items to Buyers

Carousell's primary role is to act as the middleman between the buyer and seller. That leaves the buyer and the seller to decide the most convenient form of payment and delivery. There are three main delivery methods you can do via Carousell, and these are often tied up to the parties' preferred payment mode.

Meet up

Sellers can deliver the parcel in person by meeting up with the buyer. To do this, tick off "Meet up with Carousell Protection" on the listing page. Vendors can modify existing listings to apply this option. Then, choose your preferred location to meet your buyer, and click save.

Make sure that you and the sellers agree on the date, place, and time before clicking "Confirm Deal."

Once the buyer has received and properly checked the item during the meet-up, they should complete the order by clicking the "I have received my item" button. However, in the event that the buyer misses doing this, the order will still be completed nine days after the seller confirms the deal.

Through Mail

Another option is by delivering the item through mail under Carousell Protection. This feature allows sellers to provide different ways to send their products securely. On the Deal Method page, you will see the following options:

  • Basic Package - This is for untracked small packets

  • Tracked Package - This is for small packets that are being tracked by Carousell's system.

  • Registered mail - This is for printed paper deliveries that are tracked.

  • Custom Courier - Choose this option if you want to find your own delivery partner and determine your shipping fee.

Carousell has partnered with different logistics and delivery companies to smoothen the process of shipping items between buyers and sellers. One of which is uParcel, which can pick up the item from the seller and deliver it to the recipient on the same day.

Pro Tip: Always use Carousell Protection to secure all your transactions. Using this feature, the payment will not be released until the product is confirmed to have been received as listed.

Tips to Improve Your Sales on Carousell

If you want to take your Carousell business to the next level, waiting for buyers to find you is not enough. There are tried-and-tested strategies you can do at little to no cost to make your experience far from being "Carouhell". Let us take a look at some of them.

Use Keywords

One of the ways to boost the searchability of your product listing is by using relevant keywords. These related words may appear as part of the product listing name, description, and tags. When users type in the search bar, Carousell will suggest the most relevant product pages. Keywords may include general product categories like "cosmetics" and "make-up" for a lip tint product or slightly more specific ones such as "lip tint" or the brand name itself.

Think of it as the equivalent of hashtags identifying content about a particular topic. However, do not add too many keywords or tags as this could appear like spam content and turn off buyers.

Join Carousell Groups

Carousell groups allow users to discover others with the same interests as theirs. It is convenient to target potential customers because the niche has already been narrowed down based on the members' interests. Carousell Groups are available to all users for free. On the Carousell mobile app, click "Groups" to find a list of communities that you can join. You can also type in the search bar to find groups relevant to your products.

Relist Old Items

Nobody likes outdated content. If you are selling via an online marketplace like Carousell, ensure that your listings are recent and accurate. In Carousell, other users can see when your product was listed. This means that even though your item is brand new, people might find it less appealing simply because of the old date. Ideally, you do not want to keep an item that has been up there for more than 12 months. Do not fret, as Carousell does not penalise sellers for relisting items. Delete the original listing and create a new one with the same old product. Boost your post by improving the keywords and making the description sharp and witty.

Upload Great Images

Online shoppers put a premium on visuals when deciding on whether to buy an item or not. That is why it is very important that your product images are clear, well-lit, and reflect the actual condition of the item you are selling.

Running an online marketplace for your brand means investing time and energy in creating great visuals to attract potential customers. Although you do not need to pay for a professional photographer or buy expensive camera equipment to take good photos, you can improve their quality by editing. If you have a model, try applying filters. 

When taking a picture of your product, make sure that the background is free from clutter, as this turns buyers off. You can also do flat lays to complement your main product in the picture.

Use Your Social Media Presence

It pays to be active on social media if you sell your products via an online marketplace. Like Carousell groups, social media networks are a great place to find buyers that might be interested in your products. If you already have a social media presence, leverage your influence to broadcast your Carousell shop.

To do this, go to your profile, select the listing you want to promote, click the three vertical dots found at the top-right corner, and click "Share." Then, choose which social media site you would like to promote your product, and you are all set. It is hassle-free and comes at zero cost!

Follow Other Users

Like Instagram, Carousell notifies a user when you follow them. While there is no guarantee, this gesture could encourage the user to check out your profile or give you a follow back. If it is the former, the user could find something interesting in your listings and inquire about your products, setting the stage for a potential sale.

If it is the latter, you will at least gain a new follower and boost the credibility of your brand. It is a win-win situation. You can start finding like-minded users by joining Carousell groups and looking through the profiles of other members.

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