Ok, so I'm freaking pissed right now as I've blogged a whole entry using my iPad and it's all GONE!
So much for trusting an iPad *rolls eyes*
Well.. It's okay, I guess I shall re-blog it again although I can never put everything in exact words anymore.
Yes, I'm gonna blog about something that may interest many of you (especially if you are one shopaholic). Don't worry, this isn't a sponsored advertorial and I am in no way paid for this.
So I've noticed colleagues and friends around me who are currently using this:
(Yes, that's Carousell)
If you are interested in knowing how Carousell works and the DIFFERENT KINDS OF ANGELS AND DEVILS on the platform, then read on.
In case you have no idea what Carousell is, it is basically a mobile app that allows you to BUY and SELL things fast and... steadily.
I guess one of the reasons why Carousell is getting increasingly popular is due to its easy user interface.
Seriously, it doesn't take one long to figure out how to use it.
I have been using Carousell since its early days, and there is no denying that I was hooked to it. Somehow it motivated me to search for all kinds of junk items in my house and list them up for sale. LOL.
Of course, I was skeptical whether someone would really offer me $$$ for those junk items but hey, IT WORKED!
Subsequently, I got addicted to shopping on Carousell too as I could find many items on there at a good deal as most of the sellers are open to negotiations. I'm not ashamed to say this, but I LOVE to HAGGLE and I may be a low-baller sometimes. HAHAHA. Nothing wrong with trying your luck, right?!
Of course, everything has its pros and cons as well. As much as I enjoyed my Carousell experience, it is inevitable to come across unethical people on there, too. I'm gonna' share some of the most commonly-heard experiences here and probably it might benefit someone *shrugs*
1) Sellers who don't mail your items out
So the seller has promised to mail out your items after you've transferred the money to his/her account.
You wait and wait...
And finally you ask - after a week-
"WHERE THE HECK IS MY ITEM?!?!?!?!"
To which the seller replies, "Sorry, I am not responsible if it happens to be a LOST MAIL."
FOR THE BENEFIT OF ANYONE who is confused about postage, I'll take some time to explain it here. You can thank me later.
There are two kinds of postage methods - NORMAL MAIL (likely to have a risk) and REGISTERED MAIL.
So what's the differences between Normal Mail and Registered Mail? Basically, a Normal Mail (NM) is the cheapest mailing option. Simply put, the seller writes your name and address on the envelope, goes to the nearest post box, dumps the envelope into it and Voila! The seller's responsibility ends there.
In other words, there is absolutely NO WAY for you to track where the mail is at after it leaves the seller's hands. Let's just say the postman accidentally misplaces or drops your envelope somewhere (You may not believe it, but this can actually happen), you will NEVER receive it, ever.
Worse still, you can't blame it on the seller because he/she will tell you that it is not their responsibility for the lost mail.
And you? Yes, suck thumb and blame yourself why you opted for Normal Mail in the first place.
(There are sellers who take advantage of this and claim to have sent out your items when, well.. in actual fact, DID NOT. They can easily dismiss it as a lost mail and there is nothing for you to fall back on.)
As for Registered Mail, it is considered a safer mailing option that requires an additional top-up $$ for an extra service. (It depends on whether you are stingy or not to spend that bit of money for the security feature)
So what is the "extra service", you ask?
Yes, this means that the seller has to provide you an unique TRACKING CODE (provided by SingPost) after he/she has mailed out your item at the post office. With the tracking code, you'll be able to track the mail online and chances of a lost mail is relatively low.
I've tried to google for an example of the tracking code, and here it is:
(Notice the numbers on the top left)
Here's a screenshot example of the tracking page:
Instead of having the mail delivered to your mailbox, the post man will KNOCK on your door and deliver it personally to you. (& you have to SIGN on the receipt)
My suggestion: If your item is a non-expensive item, then it is alright to opt for Normal Mail. Choose this option only if you can afford to bear the risk. For extra "security", you may request the seller to take a "Photo proof" or "Video proof" of the envelope before mailing. It is quite a common practice on Carousell now, so do not be embarrassed to request for it.
If your item is kinda' costly (let's say $20 or more), then I would suggest it would be safer to go for Registered Postage. It doesn't hurt to top up that bit of money to exchange for a peace of mind, does it?
Again, the choice is yours.
2) Sellers who do Pre-Orders
So you have finally found that item you always wanted but it is on Pre-Order and requires a waiting time of 2 - 4 weeks.
Usually, the seller would request for payment or a minimal deposit to confirm your order.
This is based entirely on trust.
There are many cases of sellers making use of Pre-Orders, only to delay stocks or worse, close down their accounts and disappear. JUST. LIKE. THAT.
The buyers will have no other choice but to cry victim and lodge a report... (But seriously, lodging a report even to the police doesn't really work. Its SO common nowadays!)
Personally, I have never trusted Pre-orders, despite how reputable a seller may appear to be. One of the main reasons is because I don't like to WAIT. It's either INSTOCKS or nothing. Period.
3) Sellers who MIA-ed (This applies to buyers too)
If you have no idea what MIA means, it stands for "Missing In Action".
Imagine arranging an appointment with the seller only to find yourself standing at the location like a fool for half an hour.
AND NOT A SINGLE SOUL IS SEEN.
Don't think this isn't impossible, because I AM SPEAKING FROM EXPERIENCE.
I was played out by this #(*$&)(# seller once, and had to return home empty-handed with a huge portion of my time wasted.
Well, the seller eventually got back to me.
"Sorry, my handphone battery was flat."
FLAT?! Are you freaking kidding me?!
(If you are not interested in selling it to me, just say lah!)
4) Sellers who agree to do TRADES
OK,it is a VERY common sight to see people requesting for trades on Carousell. I'm one of them. Trades are for people who are on a tight budget and yet they hope that their item would somehow interest the other party so that a mutual agreement can be met for an exchange of items. It can be a rewarding experience when the deal is completed on a non-monetary basis.
However, I have seen and heard of countless Carousellers who do trades via POSTAGE. Seriously?? Do you really trust the other party - who is a complete stranger - so much that you feel safe trading via postage?
If you have agreed to do this, then please, for goodness sake... DO NOT whine or complain when you did not receive your item. Either you have been played out by the other party, or the postman has simply left your mail somewhere in Neverland.
Get into the real world and deal via meetup, please.
If you have time to be on Carousell so often, then there should be no issue with you taking time out to travel and meet PHYSICALLY for the trade.
How big can Singapore be?
5) Sellers who are... Creepy
I've came across sellers who are downright creepy. So creepy that I've decided to pull out of the deal despite the item being the cheapest on Carousell.
The seller would SPAM me with constant messages and asked the same question over and over again, repeatedly,
"So do you still want the item?"
"Are we still meeting up?"
"I'll meet you later ok?"
"How old are you?"
"How do you look like?"
Oh God, tell me.. TELL ME.. Can you picture yourself meeting up with this person?
Shop smart, people. No doubt that Carousell may be a convenient online shopping portal, but be vigilant when dealing with others.
It's always recommended to ensure that the seller has clicked on the "ACCEPTED OFFER" button before proceeding with the deal so that you will be able to leave a feedback.
(Should the deal goes unexpectedly sour, at least you can leave the seller a -ve feedback!!)
Personally, I feel that it is important for sellers/buyers to have positive feedback. LOTS AND LOTS of them. I am the kind of buyer who will STALK (ok lah, not that scary) the seller's profile page and check out their accumulated feedback before dealing. I am sure many other buyers will do that, too.
So sellers.... Building a good reputation on your page IS important as it pretty much sums up how trustworthy you are.
Of course, I have dealt with people who have zero rating on their profile (Everyone starts from 0, so I'll give chances) and the deal went smoothly. I am NOT implying that those with 0 rating doesn't deserve to buy or sell on Carousell, OK?
You'll have to judge for yourself.
Personally, I opt for meet-up than postage (unless the item I am purchasing is really cheap. I can't possibly meet up for an item that cost $2 or less, right? My transport fare alone cost more than that! LOL)
At least, a meet-up has more pros than cons:
Pros - Able to check the quality of item. Can reject paying on the spot if item is not of satisfactory standard. No money wasted here.
Cons - Only wasting of time or transport fare should the other party doesn't turn up.
There are all kinds of people on Carousell. Some are downright crazy, but there are still legit ones out there.
Just be more cautious when dealing with... Strangers.
Someone has came up with a hilarious site dedicated to people who create hell on Carousell. Quite an interesting read for your morning rides.
If you ever have an interesting Carousell experience, feel free to share with me here!