Review of Carousell in 2020

(This is not a sponsored post.)

By now, I’m sure you have heard of the online buy/sell/trade platform called Carousell. Heck, some of you might already be calling it Carouhell, lol.

This post is intended for those who are:

– new to Carousell

– already on Carousell but seldom use it for some reason (fear of scam, unsure of how to use it, having doubts about the app etc)

Even if you are already using Carousell, I’m sure you can find something useful here. I’d like to hear about your experience and comments on Carousell too, do share it in the comments section at the bottom of the post.

Carousell has the potential to earn you some money, so do read on to know more about the app!

Intro/History

Carousell is an application that offers a platform to buy and sell things. What things? All sorts of things, almost anything in fact. From items to services, brand new or second hand items(or third or fourth hand, we wouldn’t know would we?), Carousell has it all. Think of it as a flea market (but in an app), where you can just open a table and put your items up for sale, and also buy stuff from other sellers.

The simplicity of the app is that you can easily upload pictures and description of the item you want to sell, post it and wa-la, it’s up for all to see (for all those that are on the app anyways).

You can also search for items that you want to buy easily.

 

Carousell is an app that I’ve used since Dec 2013. It was first launched in August 2012, so when I joined, I’d consider the app as still quite new. Everything was quite basic and easy to use back then; I felt that it was really focused on users to buy and sell their new or used stuff. For me, selling on the Carousell was definitely a win over selling at forums or local EBay back then.

Read: How 3 friends turned their unwanted items into a $550 million business

Flash forward 2020, and the app has changed tremendously. The developers have added plenty of new features, like bumps, coins, analytics and even a business account, and the format of transactional feedback has changed. The ease of use is still there, but now, like all over the internet, YouTube, and other social media, advertisements appear everywhere. They appear in between search listings and even your own inbox messages. I personally find it quite annoying, but I guess the ease of use of the app is still there, so I just ignore the ads.

Platform

Though Carousell initially started as a mobile app, they do have a website/desktop version too.

I definitely prefer the mobile app as it’s neater, easier and more convenient to use (in fact I’ve never used the website version lol). You can just snap pics of the item on your phone and straight away upload it to create a listing, as opposed to having to transfer to a laptop/desktop if you were to use the website, and you can do all that anywhere; during MRT/bus rides, on the comfort of your bed, during lunch breaks at work, literally anywhere (with data connection of course lol).

I wouldn’t even consider using the website version. However, I’ve seen people who post listings that have a very long description; that’s probably an instance to use the website version so you can type it out on the laptop/desktop instead of struggling on the handphone keypad.

Carousell WebsiteCarousell Website

User experience

As Buyer

As a buyer, all you have to do is type in the item you are looking for into the search bar right at the top of the app, and that’s it. It’s as simple as other online shopping platforms in terms of search.

Once you find an item that you like, you can either chat or make an offer. Before that, do read the description of the item (as an occasional seller, I always get annoyed when potential buyers ask about something that is already stated in my description).

I always start communication by chatting, and negotiate where possible before offering. There’s really no right or wrong here, but I usually don’t negotiate if I already know that the price is already unbeatable compared to other sellers. You can try your luck to nego on an already low price; you’d end up with an even better deal, or the seller might just end up ignoring you.

Once a price is agreed, you can then make offer. Most sellers would want you to make offer (for accountability and feedback purposes), but there are some sellers who are bo chup and won’t ask you to.

You pay by cash, bank transfer, paynow/paylah, or Caroupay, depending on the choice of transaction of the seller. Caroupay is a payment service offered by Carousell to protect both the seller and buyer. However, I actually prefer not to use it as the amount received through Caroupay would end in the in-app Carousell wallet, which you’ll then need to transfer out to your bank account. I’d rather have it straight to my account, heh.

Tips when buying:

#1 When searching for an item, use ‘Recent’ option to see the latest listings. Compare the prices, and if you scroll down to an older listing which has a decent price similar to recent prices, you’d likely to have a better chance at negotiating a lower price (as the seller has held on to the item for a while and might be eager to sell it, unless in the description, it was already stated as ‘no nego’).

#2 Type one or two words, and also the full name of the item when searching for that a specific item. For example, if you are searching for a Bluetooth speaker, you can search for ‘speaker’, ‘Bluetooth speaker’, ‘brand x Bluetooth speaker’, ‘brand x speaker’, ‘brand x Bluetooth speaker model no123’. Basically do a few searches as the previous example I shared, and not just one. Some sellers may hastily post and don’t include the model type or brand of the item, and that might just be the cheapest one available that is listed. So yeah, doing this increases your chance of coming across a good deal. (I’ve bought a branded digital thermometer which costs around $100 at pharmacies, for $16 brand new. So yeah, search using different words! You’ll never know if you’d get lucky.)

#3 As mentioned earlier, I usually don’t offer first. Chat first with the seller, ask questions, and nego if you want to. When you have made a final decision to buy then you make the offer. Sometimes buyers offer immediately without thinking through, and once the seller accepts, it’s gonna be difficult for them to back out without getting a negative feedback.

#4 Always look at seller’s profile and feedback. They should be on your red alert notice if they have some poor feedback. Deal at your own risk then. Or look for other sellers.

As Seller

As a seller, it is really convenient to post a listing. Back in 2013, only 4 pictures can be uploaded, but it has been increased to 10 now. So yeah, take up to ten pictures of the items that you want to sell from different angles and close up description on the box (if any) and you can make a selling listing on the go!

Tips when selling:

#1 Make sure whatever necessary information is included in the description to prevent people from asking so many questions. If they still ask and the answer is there, just ask them to go back to the listing and read it.

#2 Include your place of meet up (either a specific MRT station, a specific place or just ‘Tampines’ will do), mode of payment accepted and if postage/courier can be done.

#3 Put a slightly higher price than the price that you want to sell. So that if people nego, it’ll drop to your expected price or just slightly below it. Buuuuut, if you need to get rid of it fast? Put a cheap price lol.

#4 Search for other similar listings if you are unsure of what price to put for your item.

#5 For me, I won’t accept the offer till everything is done (item received by buyer, and buyer is satisfied). I do this to minimize getting a negative feedback, just in case the buyer makes a scene. However, if the buyer request that I accept their offer, I will check their feedback first before doing so. If they have a lot of positive feedback, it’s good to go.

My Personal Experience

I’ve been on Carousell for 6 years and counting.

I use Carousell a lot to get what I need. Whenever I need to find something, for example a new/second hand DSLR, earphones, basically anything, and I have time in hand (if it’s too last minute I might just buy off retail lol), I’d always search the item at Carousell as I know I can get better deals there.

As a side income

I also sell plenty of stuff on Carousell. It has been an ad-hoc sort of side income so to speak. Whatever things that is unused or still can be used, I’d put it up at Carousell. From my extra action figures, to impulse buys, to unused and used items (but in good and usable condition), I’ve sold them all. All the extra dollar that I get helps, especially when it’s the week before payday lol.

I have slightly over 1k positive feedback (1035 to be exact) as of the date of this post (and there should have been a bit more because for some deals, the other party didn’t exchange feedback). About two third of them are feedback as a seller, and one third are as a buyer, so yeah, I sell more than I buy on the platform since 2013.

In my opinion, Carousell can generate you some income, but it can never be enough to be your only income stream. I’m sure for online sellers, they would sell across multiple platforms and Carousell would be one of them.

So yeah, for me, Carousell helps me get a small amount of money from things that I don’t need anymore or have stopped using. It’s a good (if not the best) platform to sell stuff without the need of become a registered business of any sort. Can it help you earn a 4 digit income? Probably not, but it is indeed a very useful platform to monetize your unwanted stuff. If you have some products to sell or home-based business ventures, Carousell would be a useful platform too.

My buy/sell experience

Having been on Carousell for about 6 years, I have my fair share of positive and negative experience on this platform. I’ve come across some great deals and found things that I have been looking for that are not available in retail shops. I’ve sold stuff that earned me some money. I’ve even mailed out to Malaysia once for a Malaysian who searched for stuff on Carousell Singapore.

On the flip side, just like in any business, you’re bound to come across buyers or sellers that give you a bad experience. From being impatient, rude, to slow replies and to last minute back outs, you’re gonna face them all if you keep using Carousell. I experience them too occasionally, but I’ve learnt to just move on from such experiences.

My item was listed at $360. That’s not how you nego lol.

A point I’d like to share is that, you’ll face bad experience everywhere, even in physical shops and not just online. These bad experiences that I have are mostly due to the people using the platform, nor the platform itself.

Scams?

Just like when you plan to buy computer parts at Sim Lim Square, you gotta be street smart and avoid scams or scammy-looking listings. This goes for any online shopping platform, not just Carousell.

Maybe you’ve heard of people being scammed on Carousell. The problem is that scams can happen anywhere, so you just have to be vigilant.

A deal is too good to be true? It probably is.

Read: What to Do if a Carousell Seller Goes MIA after Getting Paid

In fact, on my very first deal, I was scammed. I was selling a digicam for a $100. The buyer paid me $50 upon getting the digicam, and said would transfer the other $50 within a few days. Me, being the trusting person that I am (and the person was friendly), agreed. And guess what. No replies after a few days. However, that didn’t deter me from using the platform. It was definitely a lesson learnt, and I’m just more careful from then on.

Some pointers to help prevent yourself from falling prey to a scam on Carousell:

#1 Look at the Carouseller’s feedback. If they have low or no positive feedback, or has a mixture of positive and negative feedback, better not to engage in any deal with them.

#2 Especially for pre-orders, if you don’t feel confident that the seller is legit, then don’t pre-order from them. Look at their profile and their listings, check their feedback. Even if you decide to go ahead, the deposit should not be high.

#3 Compare the item with other sellers. Look at the price range of the item and check the feedback for each seller before deciding on a seller. I would think twice to trust a seller who has very low amount of positive feedback

#4 Ask for photo or video proof before seller mails out the item.

TL;DR

+ Simple interface on the app, easy to use

+ Easy to upload pictures and create a listing to sell

+ Convenient (as a seller); can create a listing on the go, anytime, anywhere (as long as you took pics of the items earlier)

+ Easy to search for items to buy

+ Has a website version

+ Don’t need to be a registered company or fill up any sort of application to start selling

+ As of the date of this post, Carousell is based in Singapore but the app can also be used in Malaysia, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Indonesia, New Zealand, Philippines and Taiwan.

– Need to be wary of scam (in my opinion, the numbers are not that high, but there are such cases, so you can never be too careful)

– Advertisements are posted between search listings and between messages in your inbox

– Be mentally prepared to ignore low ballers

– Be mentally prepared for occasional unpleasant deals (rude, last minute back out, last minute changes etc)

Would I recommend using Carousell?

No online platform is perfect, and even when it is good, the people using it may not be.

I would definitely recommend selling your stuff on Carousell. It really is an online flea market, and best of all, it’s free. You can also pay to get the listing in the ‘spotlight’ (I’ll share about this soon!) for more exposure if you want to.

Like I mentioned earlier, there is a high chance you will face some unpleasant people, just as I did. However, I take it as being no different then running an actual shop; you are bound to come across this sort of people from time to time. The difference on Carousell is that you can’t see them, so if the deal is not working out (whether it’s buying or selling), just say that you are not keen to proceed and then just ignore them.

Scams may sound scary, but besides my very first deal which I mentioned earlier, I’ve never been scammed of my money. Bottom line is, you gotta be street smart and cautious when buying and selling on Carousell, and for the matter of fact, when shopping anywhere else too, be it online or not.

Would you be able to make a lot of money? A 4-digit income? I highly doubt so. I have, however, earn a little here and there when I sell my unused or unwanted stuff, so that does bring in some ‘pocket money’. Every dollar helps, man. Lol. If you have some side hustle, posting your items or services on Carousell would definitely help.

My review and experience is based on my usage of the app in Singapore. Share your experience or opinion on Carousell in the comments below, especially if you use it in another country! 

Can You Really Make Money In The Online World?

The Online World

Now, unless you are extremely fortunate to have a mentor who will handhold you in an entrepreneurship or business journey, you are gonna have to find your own resources and knowledge source. Where else to find that in abundance other than from the online world?

The online world has an almost infinite amount of content. Whatever you want to ask, or think of doing, there would be a very high chance of you being able to find the answers and opinions on the internet. You need to find some knowledge pertaining certain areas? Professor Google is always there for you.

How about making money online? You can! It is definitely possible, but that’s where plenty of people have fallen into many different traps, falling prey to scams and losing money instead of earning.

I really believe there is no short-cut to success and wealth (with the exception of inheriting them lol). We have to start somewhere (most of the time from scratch!), and build a strong foundation before moving on to bigger things. When we see successful people, we don’t know what their struggles and their journey to success is like. So always be mentally prepared to face difficulties so that when you do face one, you’ll be ready to overcome it.

Here’s the thing about making money online:

1. It is possible.

First off, you have to believe it is possible. It really is possible, and not by illegal or unethical ways. If you don’t believe in it, then you shouldn’t even try. It requires perseverance to start off and may take a while before earning anything at all, and some people give up just before reaching any success. As cliche is it sounds, it requires time, effort and patience to achieve success.

2. You are a small fish in the big and vast ocean.

Chances are you feel that there are already plenty of successful businesses or individuals making money out of the internet and that you can’t compete with them. Get that thinking out of your system.

According to Statista.com, the number of people online as of January 2020 is 4.54 billion.

4.54 BILLION people online!

The number of people online is extremely high, and even though there are already many people who are successful in generating income online, we can always get a slice of the pie. Like I mentioned in my previous post, we just got to have a plan.

3. Infinite knowledge!

The amount of knowledge sources available online is almost limitless. Any of your question can be answered by Google.

Of course, we have to be careful to ensure that the site that we are visiting is legit. Always do some research and cross-check the information or knowledge that you are looking for. Don’t end up paying for anything which is not needed, or ending up with incorrect or false information.

4. Beware of scams!

If you google ‘how to make money online’, there’ll be countless search result on this. What’s important is that you need your due diligence to always check if a site is legitimate by cross-checking with other sites.

If you are confident the site is legit, then go ahead with the program it offers or using the content to learn.

If you are doubtful, it’s best to skip the site and check out other alternative sites.

It sounds easy to spot a scam, because it is! It just takes a few Google search to check if a website is legit.

But sometimes the problem lies within ourselves; which is the temptation of making a lot of money fast. Let me remind you again, if it was so easy, everyone online would be rich. It really takes hard work and plenty of effort and determination to earn your first dollar and beyond.

What Are You Waiting For?

Like I mentioned in my previous post, don’t wait!

Start planning now on how you can earn online! There has been many success stories about people making a living from the online world. Why not you?

I’ll share what I do to get some income from the online world in my upcoming¬† posts!

The Rat Race

Do You Love Your Job?

I feel that this is a simple question that may have a difficult answer.

The saying goes that if you choose a job that you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.

Some are fortunate to get a job that they love; it can either be their passion, great colleagues or simply their salary. However, I feel that most would agree that there are so many factors that affect our job, that even if we love what we do in our job, we might still be unhappy about our job in some ways.

Working 9am-5pm is what most of us have been programmed to do by our education system. Study so that we can join the workforce. We grow up studying from kindergarten all the way to tertiary education; studying, studying and more studying in order to get a job.

Once we get a job, we’ll be bound to it. Waiting for our bonuses, waiting for increments in pay, waiting for promotions.

We’re stuck in the rat race.

The Rat Race

Although the term ‘rat race’ usually has a negative connotation to it, it actually isn’t.

It’s actually a safe passage towards a stable income (as long as you don’t screw up too much at work lol), and living comfortably within the income earned.

I’m sure some are happy being in the rat race. Some like the life of going to work and slogging it out to achieve their bonuses and promotions, and there is really nothing wrong with that at all. Others feel like they have no other choice and that this is the only way to earn a living.

So are you ok with you 9am-5pm job? If you are, then good for you. But if you are not happy about it and always thinking of a way out of your day job, you really got to ask why you are feeling that way. What are you priorities?

Your Priorities

It really boils down to what we want and our priorities.

Are you happy with what you do at your job?

Are you earning enough?

Do you have enough time for yourself (your own activities, hobbies/interests)?

Do you have enough time for your family?

Are you happy?

If your answer is yes to these questions, and you are comfortable where you are with your job, the time you have for your family and yourself, and you are happy, good for you. I believe that is what most of us want; to be happy and living comfortably.

Will it make you become a millionaire? Probably not, but as Gary Vaynerchuk always emphasize, being happy and contented is really more important.

But what if you want to earn more? What if right now, too much time is spent at work, and you want some time for yourself? Do you want to spend more time with your family? Spend more time with your spouse or your parents, to really be there when your kids grow up? Or you simply want to earn more?

If you feel this way, and your current job is not allowing these to happen, it’s time to make some changes.

Make some changes in your life

Don’t wait a year or two later. Don’t say that you’re too old to make a change. Don’t say that it’s too late to start something new. Don’t say that it is too risky. Don’t say that it is too difficult and you don’t know what to do. Don’t say that it is too late. It’s never too late.

Is it risky? It most definitely is.

Is it scary? A hundred percent.

Change is a scary thing. Especially when we are so used to the routines of our daily lives.

So do you want get out of the rat race? Or simply want to earn more, or have more time for your family?

You need to have a game plan. You don’t just take a nose dive; quit your job and expect things to fall into place. You gotta have a plan.

Start small to end BIG

Set goals for you to work towards.

Then break the goal into smaller goals that helps you move towards your ultimate goal.

Plan on how you are going to achieve your goals. You need to set aside time to think this through before embarking on your journey. Like I mentioned earlier, you shouldn’t just jump the gun. Plan, then implement.

The Back Up Plan

You can do all this while still hanging on to your 9am-5pm job. Job security is real; you wouldn’t want to quit your job to try something new without anything to fall back on. Some people are fortunate to have savings to fall back on, and some may be so certain of their plan that they are willing to quit their day job in order pursue their new goals.

Whichever situation you may be in, always ensure you have a back up plan to fall on. Especially for someone like me who already have 2 kids, my income matters and I need to ensure I can provide for my family while striving to get out of the rat race.

The Mindset

Last but most importantly, you need to change your mindset. I learnt about the Growth Mindset when I was teaching, and this theory is very important in understanding how our mindset works. I’m going to create another post on the Growth Mindset, but the gist of it is that your self-belief that you can improve in whatever that you do, would affect your performance when you are trying to attain it.

Therefore, you need to have the mindset that you can achieve your goals, in order to really achieve them. You definitely should remove any self-doubts! Uncertainty, yes that will happen, but you must have the mindset that you will be able to overcome difficulties.


Having said all these, here I am in my own journey towards my goal; which is to be a financially-stable stay-at-home dad. Do I want to be rich? Who doesn’t, but more importantly, what I want is more time with my family and for myself.

What about you? Are you happy with where you are in your life right now? If the answer is no, it’s time for a change!

Do check out my comings posts to know more about my journey towards my goal!

 

About Me

Tired of working 9am-5pm?

Feel like working for yourself and not for a boss?

Don’t want to be caught in the crossfire of work politics?

And ultimately, do you want to spend more time with your family and your loved ones, and do the things that you enjoy doing?

If you agree with any of the questions above, come join me here and start our journey together to being financially stable and having more time for our family!

My Story

Hi all!

I’m Idris, and I come from the sunny island of Singapore!

I was a full-time teacher of 5 years before making a decision to quit. Now I still teach part-time as a flexi-adjunct teacher, work on getting passive income and side income, all while having more time for my family.

I have 2 daughters, one is 4 years old and the other is 6 months old. I really find it meaningful to be able to spend more time at home and not be bogged down by deadlines. Those who teach as a profession (or any other professions for that matter!) knows that work never ends; there’s always school work to mark, lessons and school events to plan, after school activities and the list goes on!

I used to go home and be physically home, but my mind is always thinking about work. Now I really have peace of mind when I’m home and be able to spend time with my family with little distraction from work.

Now my goal is to earn more through other means, which I will share with all of you at timeforpassiveincome.com!

 

Why timeforpassiveincome.com?

Timeforpassiveincome.com was created to document the progress in my journey towards earning passive income.

It’s definitely a dream come true to earn money passively, but the reality is that it there is no such thing. ‘Passive income’ actually requires a lot of work and patience when starting out. It also requires continuous work to maintain once you start earning. It’s not totally passive and that you can just put it aside and continue to earn, you’d still have to work on it!

The difference between others and me is that I don’t dream it, I do it!

 

My Goal

My ultimate goal is to be able to earn enough just by working at it online so that I can be a stay-at-home-dad, because I’ll be able to work from home and be there for my family. Be it by affiliate marketing, making YouTube videos or by any other means, I’ll share it with you.

And the best part is, if I find something that works, I’ll share it with you! There isn’t a ‘catch’ or anything; when we share what works for us, both of us will benefit it together!

You may think that its not possible to earn online, but there are 3.5 billion people online from all parts of the world, and only a fraction of them have earnings from the online world. Don’t you want a slice of the pie too? I know I do. But of course, via the legal and legit way, not through scam or any other dishonest means.

Do join me in my journey to becoming a stay-at-home-dad, and hope you’ll benefit along the way too!

 

Always working towards my goals,

Idris =)