How to buy or sell anime figures on Carousell?
I can’t believe it has been 4 years since I started out selling anime figures, merchandise and toys on the platform Carousell. Carousell is a tech start-up created by a group of Singaporeans in 2012 as a platform to facilitate Consumer-to-Consumer purchases – basically C2C.
Gosh, I am starting to remember my days in university understanding and explaining these business terms.
These are things that you should know before going into the app too deep!
- Carousell users do not only post listings to sell
- The Carousell community is rife with fraud, shady dealers
- Deal at your own risk
- Negotiations are the norm in Carousell
- What does ‘convenience’ mean at Carousell?
- Shipping Costs
Basically, anyone can post and list brand new or second-hand items and deal directly with any interested buyers. So here I am, sharing about my experience and informing about the general things you should be aware as a Carousell user.
1) Carousell users do not only post listings to sell
As a seller, one needs to be aware that people can list virtually anything. Commonly, there are listings that ‘shout-out’ friends or notable users in the community. There are also lucky draws, giveaways, and even posts that try to engage with social media accounts like Facebook/Instagram.
Technically, Carousell has terms & conditions that actually meant these non-sale listings should and will be banned/removed. However, the fact is that these postings will never stop because the user base is so huge and these listings get posted up faster than they get removed.
Worse still, people put up listings with $0.99 or $0.01 so it occupies the top few spaces of their respective categories when people are searching. The default filtering is from ‘lowest to highest pricing’ so it works well for them.
Sucks to be a seller who prides on most competitive prices, right?
2) The Carousell community is rife with fraud, shady dealers
Before I start, I don’t mean to say all buyers or sellers are like that. Gotta love generalized comments without context. I’m just kidding.
What I meant is – it is so easy to create an account. You can expect any kind of sellers/buyers. Literally ANY kind.
I think my most memorable experience was that a user contacted me about a particular anime figurine. He said that he is ‘just a kid’ so he cannot do a bank transfer. He opted to mail cash to me and I would have the product sent by registered mailing after receiving the money.
I provide a disclaimer saying that sending cash through the mail is at one’s risk. I did not receive any money and he did not provide any photo evidence. Eventually, he accused me of cheating him when I refused to send out the figurine.
Ridiculous, isn’t it? Read more on Straits Times.
Rule of thumb – be careful when dealing strictly through online or through meet-ups.
For online deals, always ask for photo evidence or receipts/screenshots of bank transfers. For meet-ups, ensure that product and money are exchanged at the same time, especially if the exchange is done over the MRT gantry.
You should do this at your risk because security guards will actually stop you from dealing over the gantry because it is simply so crowded. In fact, you can get fined for doing so!
Otherwise, please also assess the body language and behaviour of the person you are meeting up with. You will never know if the buyer might just snatch the product away without paying.
3) Deal at your own risk
I cannot emphasise this enough. I always assume things can go wrong.
Late-comers are common. We all have friends who cannot be punctual. I have buyers who would back-out 15-30 mins before a deal.
There are buyers who would not reply and go Missing-in-Action. The list goes on.
I do have my own personal ‘instincts’ checklist on whether I should proceed with the deal but it is just so little you can do if the buyer ultimately does not show up.
4) Negotiations are the norm in Carousell
Negotiations are what people do to reach a mutual agreement. Low-balling is a term used to describe a ridiculously low bid or offer.
This is very common on Carousell.
I am STILL not sure how low-balling became a culture on Carousell. As a buyer, I would like to bargain and get the best price possible. However, it gets very annoying when the offer is not reasonable. Yes, reasonable is the keyword.
I sell authentic, high-value products at competitive prices. For example, a buyer is interested in a particular anime figure. The suggested retail price is $229. The general price range around is $150 – $200. He or she sees my listing at $169 and the location is convenient. I have a substantial number of reviews so there is a degree of reliability.
Some people would say, ‘Hi, can deal for $100?’. This happens even if it is a newly-released product.
Yes, it is THAT ridiculous.
I would simply reply, ‘Price is as stated’. Negotiations are fine if the buyer is willing to give-and-take. For example, there was a buyer who offered to deal at my house at my convenience. He asked if a 5% discount was possible and he would not trouble me at all.
In this case, I would give it.
5) What does ‘convenience’ mean at Carousell?
What does it mean to meet up at one’s convenience? Convenience can be broken down into time and place. MRT stations are my favourite places to deal at.
I strongly suggest for sellers to only meet up at one’s convenience. Sometimes I get desperate to clear stock so I go out of my way for a deal or perhaps I would try my very best to fit the deal into an already-packed schedule.
Remember I say deal at your own risk?
Yes. There were times where I would carry out my goods to school, only for the buyers to back out last-minute. For instance, I agree to meet a buyer at Clementi MRT station as it was on the way back home for me. So I was lugging things around the whole day and wasting precious time and energy.
6) Shipping Costs
For shipping costs, I would always insist that the buyer pays it. Registered mailing is expensive – it ranges from $3 to $8 depending on the weight of the item.
I would not recommend free shipping unless the item is mailable using a small envelope and a stamp(negligible cost).
Final words about Carousell
I hope that the stories I have shared would be helpful in guiding your decisions on Carousell, be it selling or buying.
That’s all folks! Have a look at my Carousell profile too!
Find out more about how to avoid trouble with Carousell.