When Carousell, a buy sell trade app, launched in Singapore, I paid little attention to it. Dealing and wheeling was not my sort of thing.
However when I got pregnant and we needed to set up the nursery, Carousell became really useful in many ways. You see, the baby room before it was a baby room, was my husband’s store room. Half of the things he brought over from his old place when we moved, was chucked into this room, “to be cleared whenever”. Which probably meant never if it had not been for the baby. tv with missing cables. Sound system with 2 missing speakers. Xbox 360. A hand held UV vacuum cleaner. So the best way to get rid of everything was to Carousell everything.
I listed everything at $50. Some saw the good deals that they were and snapped them up without question. There were the handful of negotiators which I ignored. Some were mildly interesting. I had a baby cot which I didn’t find suitable so I tried to sell it off. The interested party was obviously a young mother who was totally clueless about how big baby cots can be. While asking for details about the cot, she asked if it’s something she could transport back on a motorcycle. I wanted to tell her perhaps if she lived in a village yes but not here. My friend suggested since the cot had wheels, she could tie the cot to the back of her husband’s bike and sit in the cot while he pulled her home. I thought that was a pretty good suggestion.
After the baby arrived I soon found Carousell to be god sent. I ended up buying baby stuff online. One can find pretty well maintained secondhand stuff for a good price on Carousell. We got our Bugaboo stroller from a lady whose boy had outgrown it. My freemie breast pumps and Hana baby wrap from other moms. I even got 2 sets of brand new nursing bras at half the retail price.
Out of these many transactions, I encountered the usual; those who ask for really low prices despite the already good price that I’ve listed the items for. There are those who expressed interest but end up not responding after that. Annoying as hell but there’s nothing to do about it.
However out of all that I had one really good exchange. I was enquiring about a breast milk cooler bag and needed it pretty urgently so I searched for one within the vicinity. I then found out the seller was living in the very same apartment as I was! So we started chatting and we both realised we were fans of the same diaper bag brand Jujube and hung out in the same community group on Facebook! What are the odds of finding a neighbour on Carousell. What’s more, she was really nice and honest about the cooler bag, advising me to purchase another brand that worked better, even if it meant a lost sale for her. We both agreed that we should meet up and hang out one day.
But for every good one you meet, there’s invariably one that kinda puts you off. We were at this lady’s house collecting our purchase when she realized we had brought our baby along. She first remarked that it was past his bed time (it was 815pm and we were only there at that time because she couldn’t get home in time to meet me). Then she commented that he was well past the age of having not started on solid food (he’s 7 months old in a few days time). And then she told him that he shouldn’t be putting his fingers in his mouth. We were so glad to just pass her the money and leave after that. I was tempted to rate her as “item in good condition. Comes with free unsolicited advice”.
But this wasn’t the worse encounter I’ve had. I wanted to purchase a pouch from a seller who said it was being shipped in from USA. so I put in a deposit and waited for it. A few weeks went by but the item hasn’t arrived. Responses from the seller were slow and intermittent. Separately in another community chat room some ladies were discussing about the pouch and I realised they had all purchased from the same seller! After a little amateur sleuthing, we concluded that she was scamming us some of us pulled out of the transactions, demanding refunds. One of the ladies decided to make a police report. A few months later, she was charged in court for her scams and was sent to jail for a few weeks. Truly a hard price to pay for just a few dollars.
So it seems Carousell is here to stay. There are a few annoyances about the people you meet on it but the positives do outweigh the negatives. As they say, one man’s trash can be another man’s treasure. And it’s a great way for me to declutter my home of my husband’s things.