Review on Carousell

This is NOT a sponsored post.

HEY FELLOW SHOPAHOLICS! I’m sorry if this took ages to be up (if anyone is even waiting for it) because it’s a hassle to take screen shots on my slow phone!

As promised many posts ago (actually not really since I didn’t really update very often), this is my review on my favourite shopping app as of now, Carousell! I exceeded the data usage bundle in my plan during the first few months of using Carousell because you really don’t want to miss any great deals (you have no idea how fast a great deal can be snapped up).

Let me start with a brief introduction of Carousell. As many of you would have known from my first Carousell blog post, it’s a mobile app for shopping available on Android and iOS. Sadly, it’s only applicable in Singapore and Malaysia since most of the sellers there reside in these 2 countries. However some (a minority though) do provide international shipping so, rejoice! If you’re lucky enough to encounter buyers who practise international shipping, you can pay through Paypal. I do have to warn you, though, that we’re very wary of buyers from countries further than Malaysia because of possible frauds. One blacklisted country would be Nigeria because, you know, the only word you’d associate Nigeria with is “scam”. True enough, quite a number of Carousell users were swindled out of expensive branded goods that were worth hundreds of dollars and duped by fake Paypal payment confirmation emails (what’s new?).

On Carousell, you can be a buyer, seller or both. I started out as more of a seller but I gradually got too lazy to measure my apparels so now I buy more instead. There is a camera function on Carousell where you can just snap pictures (4 maximum), add a short description and post! There are many lurkers on the app so don’t be surprised to receive offers at ungodly hours like 5am.

Adding on to the roles on Carousell are traders. Traders, as the name suggests, simply trade their items for other items listed by other users. They hardly purchase because they are self-proclaimed “poor”. I am perfectly alright with trading but sometimes you just gotta admit that it can get really annoying to keep getting trade requests especially when you have already stated “NO TRADES” on your listings. On top of that, their items are not very appealing either -_- No offence traders but, please learn to read okay before you get on my nerves. *shakes fists*

What are “trades“?

This is one of the most common questions asked by people who are new to this whole online shopping world. Basically, to trade means to swap, and in this case, you swap items with the other party. The one who initiates the trade would express interest in one (or more) of your items, either by commenting on your listing or (most annoyingly) offer you $0 to start a private conversation with you, though you don’t really need to offer anything to send a private message now. You start by looking through the initiator’s listings, and see if anything catches your attention. Typically, you’d want to pick the item which value (i.e. selling price) matches that of yours. Otherwise, the one who is receiving the item of a higher value would have to top up the balance in cash, or offer another item that is around the same price.

For example, if Carouseller expresses interest to trade in your $10 item, you look for something that costs around $10 in her listing. If you like something that costs, say, $15, you may negotiate with the other party and see if she is able to compromise the difference of $5. Otherwise, you’d have to offer $5 in cash or another item that’s valued at $5 on top of the original $10 item that sparked the discussion.

Some sellers tend set difference pricing for purchases and trades. For example, the listing may show $10 but somewhere on her profile or item description, you notice something like: “trades+5” or “U+I+”. For the former, the value that’s indicated beside the “+” is how much you have to factor in on top of the listing price if you’re planning to trade. So for example, if the item is selling for $10, and seller specifies “trades+5”, she reserves the rights to pick something that is worth $15 on your listing for trades without having to top up any difference. Or, if you offer something that is less than $15, she can request for a top up of the difference in value even though both items may cost the same.

Why is there such a practice, you may ask? Well, apart from greed, some sellers see trades as making a loss because she may be trading something of superb quality with a rag (yes, dishonest sellers everywhere!). Hence, this serves as a cushion to minimise the impact of feeling cheated. Some sellers just dislike trades, but they don’t want to be too inflexible and miss out on great deals. Others are just trying to deter fickle people from approaching them for trades.

“U+I+” simply means “You add, I add”. This is usually to combat sellers who charge unreasonable trade premiums. Thus, if you have this as one of your terms and conditions, you can say that your item is now $15 instead of $10 now because the other party started it first.

Carousell interface

Carousell interface on iOS.

Beauty Products section

Beauty Products section

There are many different categories catered to different types of shoppers. “For Her” are mainly listings of female apparels, shoes, accessories and anything girls use in general while “Beauty Products” are cosmetics and stuff you apply on your body, just to name a few. For me, I frequent “Beauty Products” so much that I rarely shop at Sephora now because you can get brand new items there at a fraction of their retail prices. You can find brands ranging from Urban Decay, Benefit, MAC, 3CE, Anna Sui and even Dior there. I’m an addict and you’ll be astounded to see the results on my next post HAHA.

Carousell feedback

Feedback left by my sellers and buyers on my profile which I obviously blurred so that no one can stalk me.

One tip for new Carousell users to avoid getting scammed or stood up is to read sellers or buyers’ reviews left by other users whom they have transacted with. This review function was recently added and it really helps in deciding if you should go ahead with the transaction. There are 3 kinds of feedback: Positive (+) / Neutral / Negative (-). I personally take positive reviews which are too vague (e.g. “friendly buyer”, “item received”) with a pinch of salt because they look really forced and patronising, like they were pestered by the seller/buyer to write them a good review to add to their positive feedback count. Receiving positive feedback can stroke your ego so I guess that’s why.

Feedback cannot be deleted but it can be amended by the giver. For example, if you find that you have received an unsatisfactory product after giving the feedback, you can change your review from “Positive” to “Negative” and even amend the explanation.

Feedback page

You can easily add a feedback by going to the user’s profile. I have only added feedback to those who are worthy of it and if I’m kind enough (I usually am), I’ll reciprocate reviews left on my profile. 😛

However as you know, it can be a hassle to keep visiting profiles to spy on others’ reviews so another way to know who the problematic users are is by looking up the keywords “blacklisted”, “scammer”, “beware” or anything similar on the search engine. It will pick up listings which contain the keyword in their description. I used to search for “blacklisted” users but recently there have been an increase in users warning buyers of being blacklisted should they back out on the deal on their listings. Now you’ll need to get past tens of listing to finally get to the first actual blacklist notice. To save time, I only search for the other 2 keywords now.

How a typical blacklist notice looks like.

How a typical blacklist notice looks like: a screen shot of the blacklistee’s profile as the cover photo and screen shots of their SMS conversation coupled with written account when you click on them.

It can be really fun to read blacklist accounts but after awhile you’ll realise that it’s always the same ol’ story – buyer delays in payment and never does, buyer doesn’t turn up for meet-ups, seller receives money but never sends out item as promised, etc. Unrepentant blacklistees appear on so many blacklist notices that their usernames are naturally etched onto your memory.

So far I haven’t blacklisted anybody because I’ve only encountered buyers who back out on deals which is fine with me. I understand the consequences of impulse buys (lol) so I do not insist that they have to buy even after confirming the purchase. They can change their minds for all I care (unless I have travelled all the way to their convenience to meet them – that is just downright irresponsible). This pretty much makes me a very bad salesperson LOL.

You can also use the search function to look for things (duh) because sometimes the seller may have accidentally selected the wrong category for the item so you don’t see it in the correct “department”. For example, a lipstick listed under “For Her” (technically it’s not wrong la). The administrator of Carousell would reclassify it but he would miss at times.

Searched for Urban Decay

“Urban Decay”

Searched for Benefit

“Benefit” – for the unaware, BNIB means BRAND NEW IN BAG (and BNIP means BRAND NEW IN PACKAGING)

I hope the listed sellers don’t mind that I am indirectly promoting their items here. And I have to reiterate this: EXERCISE CAUTION WHEN BUYING COSMETICS. Don’t end up buying counterfeits please. It’s so-not-worth-it.

In my opinion, what sets Carousell apart from other online marketplaces is the convenience in negotiating prices. Being a true blue Singaporean, I really enjoy bargaining even though some prices are already a lot lower than retail. It’s terrible I know, but most of the time I’m just trying my luck. If it succeeds, great! Otherwise I am always understanding enough to adjust my prices closer to what the buyer/seller wants. Some people dislike bargaining as much as trading though. I respect that but I usually stay away from such inflexible sellers (unless the item is already ridiculously cheap). I mean, it’s an online marketplace for a reason right? Pfft.

Hone your negotiating skills on Carousell!

Hone your negotiating skills on Carousell! I usually go 2-5 bucks (the acceptable range) lower than the stated price unless it’s below $10, which I’ll probably only take 1-2 bucks off. But on really crazy days I’d go down by half. But that’s a very rare occurrence so please don’t judge me 😦

I have pretty much mentioned the unique features of Carousell.

I will get my haul post up soon (link here). Meanwhile download the app on Google Play or AppStore and shop away!

NOTE: Since publicising this post in 2013, the app has undergone massive makeovers. While this post remains relevant today, I still urge everyone to download the app and experiment with the newer features not mentioned here. I will do an updated review if time permits.

38 thoughts on “Review on Carousell

  1. Really enjoyed your articles! Can I know whats your Carousell username? I would really love to check out your listings!


  2. Hey Grace! Thanks for visiting and your kind feedback! My carousell handle is -censored- but you won’t find much exciting things for sale as I buy more often than I sell haha!


  3. I have bought many items in carousell, how do I delete the previous records or it will be automatically be deleted by carousell?
    Cause I just want the latest items for my account not the past few months .


  4. Hey Grace! From my understanding, you are not able to delete your bought items unless the seller (owner of the listings) delete them from their own listings. The same applies to your “Activities” but this will not go away even if listing is deleted.

    Perhaps you can try giving a feedback to carousell on this matter? I believe it’s a valid suggestion and they will work on it 🙂


  5. Thanks for the reply!
    Typo error,
    I mean I have tap too many likes, comments etc , under “activity”, how do I go about just having the current stuff that I intend to buy on offer to appear only and delete those that I tap ‘like’, and those many items that I previously bought; they keep accumulating!
    I want to keep my “activity” clean


  6. Hi Grace! The same applies to likes. You won’t be able to filter them in your “Activities”. I think the only way to just have your current pending purchases is through “Me” > “Offers Made” which will give you an overview of everything you bought and offered.


  7. Hi Zoe, local (to Singapore addressee) postage can be arranged. But if you are referring to overseas shipping, it depends on whether the seller is fine with it. But usually as long as you pay for the extra cost for overseas postage (air/land) there shouldn’t be a problem. We usually use Singpost (our national postal operator) unless otherwise instructed 🙂


  8. Hey!! I enjoyed reading your blog. Ive been eyeing some stuff to get from carousell. Do you mind sharing me the name of the user that sell the Tarte amazonian clay blusher. I cant find it anywhere 😦 😦


  9. Hey Nad! Thanks for dropping by 🙂 Unfortunately it happened a really long tie ago so I don’t remember who I bought my blush from anymore! 😦 Maybe try stalking the beauty section everyday? You’ll bound to find some great deals 🙂


  10. I’m not so sure about this site… An online store which has the option to meet up to ‘try before you buy’ doesn’t that just defeat the purpose of an online store? For busy people like myself I don’t have the time to do random meet ups with people I don’t know online. I had this one person wanting to buy my product and wanted to meet and I said i’m primarily an online store so I will ship it out to you. She wanted more information on my product even though my discription is a page long and she didn’t trust my discription of the product. If this is the case don’t shop online… Go to a store or market to sorce out your products. I’m a genuine person with genuine products which are all handmade… People like this could ruin a persons business with a click of a button. Is it really worth being an online seller?


  11. Hey helztona, there are bound to be difficult customers everywhere, let alone online. But you being the seller can choose not to let them have their way. I encountered someone wanting to try my pair of new shoes before buying but I flatly declined. Having said that nice buyers do exist. Ignore those paranoid and hard to pleased ones and things will be a lot easier for you trust me 🙂


  12. Dear Fiona, I just start my buy & sell @ carousell recently and having lots of fun! Your blog gave me all the information I needed and answered more of my questions. Really appreciate you. Keep writing!


  13. Hello. Does this apps only for preloved items? Because i would like to sell new items. Its easier to sell on an apps like this than on insta or fb


  14. Hello! Just wondering… How do you go about with payments with your customers?? I’m trying to sell a few items but I’m not sure which is the best way of dealing with the payments! Also, do you charge for the postage??


  15. Hi Danielle! I accept payment through ibank transfers (the most fuss-free option I feel) and Paylah! or Paypal for overseas buyers (this, you have to be really careful because there’s a lot of scams going on nowadays!). Those are recommended payment options for buyers who want their stuff mailed to them. But if you’re intending to meet up with the buyer. then cash is the ideal option. I usually factor in postage/transport fees into my prices to save the hassle of adding more charges 🙂


  16. Hi Fiona ! May i know where can i see any purchased that i have made on my account and when i needed to purchase something from a seller do i need to chat with the seller in order to buy ??? Sorry for bothering because this is my first time using carousell…


  17. Hey Sylvia, yes you’re supposed to chat with the seller on the app if you’re interested to buy anything. Otherwise I don’t know how you’re going to communicate with the seller! The correspondence can be retrieved from your chats, under “Buying”. Then once you’ve decided on the item, you should make an offer so that u can leave a feedback after the transaction is completed.


  18. Thank you for the informative article. I have found quite a bit of great stuffs to buy from Carousell esp vintage stuffs like vinyl records and cassettes. Good day!


  19. Nice read, Fiona. but just wondering, who will want to describe, “beware, blacklisted, scammer, etc” on their listings ?? hmmm ..
    maybe its good if carousell will has a function to disable the “like” button on the cover / search page to prevent touts trolling & spamming to their own listings instead of reading or looking at your listing to really LIKE it & even harassment.


  20. Thanks! Those are PSI postings to warn others of scammers on Carousell. They are definitely not to sell anything haha. Yeah if only I could disable notification for likes! So pointless. Maybe they could replace it with “Add To Wishlist” or something…


  21. hi, nice blog on carousell. Will recommend your blog to new user of carousell.

    May i ask for a tip? I installed carousell on my mobile. I login. However, I cant find an option to log out. Is there any? pls help. thanks.


  22. Thanks! Yes, you can log out of your account by going to Me > Settings (the gear icon above your feedback bar) > Logout (under Version X.XX.X, the last option). Hope that helps 🙂


  23. The Delivery called me up on 30 Oct ask me if I am home. I told him I am at work and will only be back at nite . So he said ok delivery will done by today. But no one turn up. 2nd day no one call . Worst is they Don have a contact number to call . Only email. And it took them long time to reply. 1st time using Carousel and it also my last time.


  24. Hi Fiona, May I have your advise on how to deal with cheaters at Carousel? I encountered two unethical sellers after transferring funds but goods undelivered!! Can we report them to the police?


  25. HI Cynthia, reporting to police is your best and only solution if you have no information about the sellers. Hopefully more victims will come forward and amplify this case!


  26. This is a public service announcement!
    Beware of this pervert shemale on Carousell, who is out to trick and seduce straight guys!
    Many people have fell for this, read about it here:

    She had tricked people to her CCK flat and tried many means to take advantage of them!

    Including opening the door dressed in her lingerie!


  27. Hi Fiona,
    I do not know if you find carousell has gotten worst in recent years with new format such as not allowing buyers or sellers to respond to ratings left by parties after a transaction?

    Lately, I innocently transacted with a buyer who didnt first expressed any dissatisfaction with the item he purchased to me. I even wrote to him that i left him a rating and asked him to leave me one. He wrote false information of me instead. And there was no way for me to respond to his false allegations that is totally unfair to me.

    Hence, such unfair practices in carousell existing now, would it then be better NOT to ask for any ratings any more instead?

    Your comments, pls.


  28. Hello! I noticed the change in how buyers & sellers rate each other too and also wondered what would happen if cases like yours happen. I guess you could write to Carousell admin and ask if there is a way to deal with such false claims? Or get them to look into the rating system and consider bringing back the reply function like before? They seem to take such feedback quite seriously so no harm giving it a try.


  29. Hi. I recently bought a phone on Carousell via Carousell Protection. The delivery was fast. I checked the phone–SIM card, screen, camera, etc. All seemed to be working. So I left a positive feedback. The phone didn’t come with a cable, and I didn’t have any with me. So, rushed out to get one. Came home, connected the phone to a PC, that’s when my face turned ashen gray. The USB port was dead. The next thing I knew, the phone also lost signal. The signal would come and go, but the USB was no go. I hurriedly wrote back to the seller. At this point, he was completely uncooperative, seeing as money had changed hands. He pointed me to his profile page, showing a line that frees him of any responsibility after sale.
    To cut the story short, Carousell told me they disavow themselves from this seller’s action, and I’m on my own.
    Knowing that this is a lost cause, I’ve been searching for a way to remove the positive feedback I gave to the seller. A Carousell helper told me they would do it, but I doubt that was a sincere and truthful answer. It’s been a few days and there have been no changes.


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