Photo: Shutterstock 

If you’ve been a seller on consumer marketplace Carousell, I’m sure you can relate to this statement: It can be annoying as hell.

Why? Not because the platform is lacking in any way, but because sellers have to deal with, you know, humans — and humans can be very, very, annoying.

We’ve seen it all: Buyers who ask 1,350 questions about the product (AND make you snap photos of it from every angle in different lighting) and then decide it’s not for them. Buyers who agree to meet you, and then ghost you on that day or worse, 15 minutes before the planned meet-up. Buyers who are rude and abrupt in their enquires (“Still got, hah?!!” and “Got discount??”). Buyers who haggle when you’ve already priced an item so low that asking for a discount is offensive (“Can you give $2 off” when you’re selling at $5. #Srsly.).

The emotional rollercoaster can be brutal, wild, and lead you to drink heavily.

So what can sellers do to reduce the heartache and maintain their sanity (and sobriety) while trying to declutter their homes? Read on.


1. Don’t expect too much

I’ve come to develop a pretty laissez faire attitude when it comes to Carousell. Assume nothing and expect even less — the deal is not done until the cash actually grazes your hand, or bank account. In fact, I tell myself that I’m probably not going to sell anything (cue shrug). And if I do, it’s a bonus. This helps to keep my expectations in check, so that I don’t feel crushed when my $65 bottle of perfume was ALMOST sold.


2. Be detailed

To prevent multiple questions of the same kind, include as many details as possible in your listing. Be honest: Talk about flaws if there are any, the number of times you’ve used it, and even why you are selling it — that adds credibility. Also make sure you state any conditions you might have: If you don’t want trades, low-ballers, or meet-ups, state it upfront. You’re then not obliged, really, to answer any irritating queries that don’t meet that criteria.


3. Give yourself some wiggle room on price

Set your price higher than what you were willing to let the item go for, but not too high — you don’t want to scare away potential buyers! Somewhere between $2 to $5 more is good enough. You can then offer a “discount” when customers come a knocking . This makes you look good and you don’t feel the pinch.


4. Research, research, research

Before getting into a lengthy negotiation with a potential buyer, click on the buyer’s profile to check the feedback they’ve received. For me, if someone’s negative reviews make up more than 10% of the total feedback, that’s a sign for me to decline dealing with them. Of course, you can always ask the buyer about their negative reviews to see if there are valid reasons behind them.


5. Ask for offers

When the deal is almost through (that is, negotiations about price and location are done and a meet-up is imminent), get the buyer to make a formal offer. This gives you a small measure of protection because you can then leave feedback for each other — and there’s a higher chance the buyer won’t flake out. It’s not a guarantee, but at least you can leave an angry rant about the irresponsibility of this buyer and save another person from your fate.


6. Be safe

Photo credit: Carousell

For added security, ask buyers to pay you via CarouPay, Carousell’s payment feature which allows people to pay directly within the app using DBS PayLah!, credit or debit cards. It’s a win-win situation: buyers will be less likely to back out since payment has been made; CarouPay holds onto the funds until buyers have received their items, so that gives you extra cred.


7. Have the patience of a saint

When someone tries your patience, take the high road and keep your cool. What’s really going on is that everyone wants a good deal, and some might try to get it in ways that are more assertive than others. Breathe, maintain professionalism and take the lows as par for the course (see point 1). The consumer may not always be right, but you don’t necessarily have to be affected by it. At the end of the day, it’s just stuff, isn’t it?