8 tips to REALLY sell more on Carousell Singapore – the best guide online

November 7, 2015

Posted in  Lifestyle

The best guide online with 8 actionable ways to boost sales on Carousell Singapore you won’t find in the FAQ: gain more followers and likes on Carousell, and get visibility on your listings without losing your sanity.

Updated 26/05/2016: Now with even more hacks!

Since I first published this post in November 2015, I’ve been getting a heck load of views! I’ve now updated from 5 to 8 tips and a quick guide to what all those short forms on Carousell mean.

Leave a comment if this article helped you out. Happy selling!

“Don’t you mean Carouhell, Sonia?”

I can relate 100%. I’ve met plenty of dingdong buyers on this app, but for someone who isn’t trying to make a living off this it’s been great.

I first created my Carousell account in February 2014, but only got serious about it in July 2015.

A snapshot of Sonia Mao's carousell profile
Only good stuff here.

As of 7 November 2015, I’ve closed 59 deals, have 192 listings and 995 followers.

Update: As of 26 May 2016, this is now 134 deals, 274 listings and 1843 followers.

Since July, I’ve sold on average 1 – 3 items and made $30-$50 weekly.

Not bad for extra pocket money – it’s been paying for my lunches and movie dates.

Ka-ching! Credit: muthead.com

Carousell, although gaining rapidly in popularity, is still pretty new and no one has really cracked it yet in terms of SEO to boost your sales posts.

So I decided to craft my own that goes way beyond Carousell’s ‘how to sell’ help page, sharing what I’ve learnt from experience on what’s worked.

Sonia’s  guide to get more buyers on Carousell:

Sonia looking very excited with a shopping bag.
One happy carouseller coming right up.

1. How to use tags on Carousell

Carousell doesn’t have hashtag equivalents, so “tags” in this case means adding an extra portion in your item description with relevant keywords that would help someone searching for it.

When thinking of what “tags” to use, ask yourself the following 6 questions:

  • 1. What popular brands may carry similar designs and prices?
    eg ASOS, topshop, f21
  • 2. How would I describe the colour/print?
    eg tie dye, batik, blue
  • 3. The style of the item?
    eg hippie, boho
  • 4. What are some similar categories of items?
    eg joggers, pants, trousers, bottom
  • 5. When would someone use this?
    eg date, casual
  • 6. Where would someone use this?
    eg office, work, school

Carousell doesn’t have a very sophisticated search function: if you search “cats”, every item that has “cats” in its title or description gets pulled out.

What that means for you is that this is a great opportunity to use your descriptions to your advantage.

There is no word limit on your description. 

Keep your list title short and to the point so that it’s immediately visible when browsing, and save everything else for the description.

For example, I listed these pair of pants:


and, using the 6 questions above, I added in these tags:


These 6 questions apply to any item you list. For example, headphones could be sennheiser, bose, shure, music, earpiece, etc.

There isn’t a google keyword planner for Carousell, so get creative and look at what other sellers are using as well.

2. Use $0 pricing

There are a number of ways in which someone can filter his search for an item on Carousell.

Let me share how you can “hack” the “lowest price” filter.

Carousell’s filter options.

To “hack” the cheapest filter, simply price your item as $0.00.

Yes, this is an option on Carousell.

A screenshot of Audiotechnica headphones priced at $0
No, this doesn’t mean they’re free.

Tadah! I’m the top result when you search “audiotechnica”!

(no idea how the other results are relevant, but you see what I mean by Carousell isn’t very sophisticated.)


Mind blown
Mindblown. Photo credit: genius.com

For myself, I don’t always use this tactic.

I think it’s really irritating when everything in a profile is $0.00 and I have to keep clicking in to check prices.

I use this for anything above $50, and always list my selling price at the top of the item description for interested buyers.

Keeping your profile relevant and prices obvious save browsers an extra click, and helps in gaining followers and likes on Carousell.

3. The most sellable item on Carousell = Anything/Everything

Whilst you probably think Carousell is chockfull of blogshop apparel, it’s actually not the case.

People increasingly now check Carousell out first before a regular retailer. You also have casual browsers who don’t know what they want until they see something they like.

Because Carousell is such a massive generic marketplace with categories like “For Her”, “Housing” “Baby & Kids” to name a few, it attracts all sorts of people looking for all sorts of products.

I’ve sold everything from hand creams to branded bags to a unicorn mask, between price ranges of $3 to $320.

Some of my current randomness includes:

Neopets, pusheen, paintings for ants and Baubax travel jackets.

So don’t be afraid to list whatever you have lying around at home. You don’t need to limit yourself to just apparel and accessories.

Appealing to a broad audience will help you reap followers and likes from all sorts of Carousell shoppers – and sales.

Just avoid anything unethical or unsanitary obviously, and Carousell does have some seller’s guidelines on what won’t be accepted on the platform as well.

From my personal experience, however, I’ve observed the following:

What sells best on Carousell:

  • Electronics – even expensive ones
  • Books
  • Makeup (provided you’re selling cheap or it’s branded)
  • Laptop stickers

What doesn’t sell on Carousell:

  • Shoes
  • Clothes (probably because there’s SO MUCH on Carousell)
  • Accessories
My book listing: totally sold out.

4. Have a call to action

If you have several listings, let people know!

If someone’s chanced upon one of your items, they’re probably not going to see anything else unless you explicitly tell them you’ve got a collection worth browsing further.

Being shameless will get you sales.

5. Combine items into one post

When you have several items that could be grouped together, combine them!

This has the following benefits:

  1. Having more relevant tags in one description (even if one gets sold, you can leave the description there)
  2. People potentially buying more than one item from the group
  3. Making it easier to browse through your profile because it’s not like you have 900 listings.

My rule is:
Group to the point where you can still tell what each individual item is from the thumbnail preview on mobile.

Screenshot of several pins grouped together in one image
It’s a zoo!

Part II: The big guns to really super power your sales

Here’s where I share the three most effective means of achieving my Carouselling goals.

You’re going to want to write this down.

6. The best way to boost sales on Carousell: Update regularly

The single most effective tactic I’ve discovered is regularly updating my sales listings.

During my most chiong, I was updating every weekend with around 5 new listings in one sitting, sometimes even twice or thrice a week.

After December 2015, however, I slowed down to nearly never posting.

The difference in sales was huge.

Here are my sale averages in months of regular postings vs no postings:

  • Regular postings: 25 sales / month 
  • No postings: 5 sales / month

I put this down to 3 reasons:

  1. Your followers get your updates in their browse views
  2. Your new listing will show up on the homepage for random browsers
  3. Newer listings appear higher when one uses the ‘recent’ filter

The best time to post a new listing on Carousell? Weekends.

I would get queries almost instantaneously or within 24 hours.

Timing doesn’t really seem to matter, although I find I get slightly more queries if I update between 6 to 10pm.

7. The best way to gain likes on Carousell: Be a ‘featured seller’ on a collection

One time I received almost 60 likes on a koala onesie and nearly 10 queries about it overnight.

I was like, “what just happened”. It was a $60 koala onsie that I had listed nearly 3 months ago.

Turns out, I had gotten featured in a Carousell collection with a theme around “being comfy”.

My soft cotton onesie sure fit the bill, and it was sold in no time at all.

To date, I’ve been featured twice in these editorial collections, even back when I didn’t have many positive reviews or followers.

You definitely want to get yourself in there.

There doesn’t seem to be much of a pattern to become featured in a Carousell ‘editorial’ collection, but here’s what I would recommend.

3 tips to become a featured seller in a Carousell collection:

  1. Use “tags” in your description – It pays to be comprehensive. If your item has the theme’s word mentioned, it helps.
  2. Update regularly – unlikely items older than a few months get featured
  3. Carousell sometimes prompts you to upload a particular category of items eg costumes for Halloween – do it!

To be in the elusive ‘recommended seller‘ editorial that is a permanent collection,  the Carousell help page basically says… it’s a matter of chance.

To increase chances of being a “recommended seller” on Carousell you should, however, aim to:

  • Take pretty photos
  • Have good reviews
  • Update regularly
  • Abide by community guidelines
  • Have clear pricing (aka skip the $0 hack)

Unfortunately, I haven’t been in that feature and haven’t been able to crack any patterns yet either.

I’ve seen recommended sellers with 10 – 100s of positive feedback, 100s to 1000s of followers, so I can’t advise if there’s any ‘minimum’ metric to aim for. Looks like it’s a lottery.

Carry on carouselling and keep hoping. Good luck!

8. The best way to get followers on Carousell? Follow other people

Carousell is kind of similar to Instagram in this particular tactic.

If you follow A, A gets a warm, ego-boosting notification that he’s “gained a new follower!”.

If your profile photo and name looks intriguing enough, A might check you out – and boom, sale or new follower gained in turn.

It’s a bit like going around shouting about your shop to others in the marketplace.

Note that this is quite a time-consuming, manual labour sort of tip – but it’s certainly worked for me.

I normally invest around 30 minutes two to three times a week to like at least 200 ‘relevant’ profiles each time.

Relevant followers = likely to be buyers of my stuff.

5 tips to getting followers on Carousell with this hack:

  1.  Avoid following accounts that have more than 500 followers/following – they’re probably like you, trying to sell more rather than buy
  2. You can expect to have a 0.5 (or less) return rate on your following – ie you’ll have to follow 2 or more to get 1 follower in turn.
  3.  I normally go into the featured collection and look at the items that have lots of likes –  and follow those likers on items that seem similar to what I’m offering.
  4.  Expect lots of big retail accounts using this tactic (ie 20,000 followers/following kind of big) following you – don’t get excited about these sort of followers
  5.  If your following number starts to significantly surpass your follower number – start to unfollow as it looks spammy otherwise. I usually try to maintain a following number below 500 when it’s pruning time.

Want some help kickstarting your Carousell profile, or just don’t have the time to set it up?

I offer services in the initial set up of Carousell accounts – ie taking photos, uploading and writing descriptions. Perfect for anyone moving house and would like to try selling some things on Carousell first.

Get in touch with the form if you’d like to know more.

Bonus: What do all those short forms on Carousell mean?

Avail: Short for ‘Available’, or “still can buy anot”

BN – Brand New
BNWT – Brand New with Tag
BNIB – Brand New in Bag
BNIP – Brand New in Packaging 
Most that start with ‘BN’ are variations on being new and unused.

F4F – Follow for follow: Similar to L4L. I’ll follow you 4 a follow back so we can both look more popular.

L4L – Like for Likes: Not a spin off of L4D, L4L means I’ll give your items a like if you give mine a like so we can both pretend our stuff’s more desirable. Probably a useless kind of trade.
LF – Looking For: Somebody’s wishlist that they post in hopes someone may be selling their heart’s desire, oftentimes asked for at a lower than market rate.

Nego: short for negotiate, or “can make cheaper anot”
NM – Normal Mail: just regular mailing out at the post office; risks of lost mail.

PO – Pre-order: means it’s probably from Taobao. A pre-order indicates you have to pay upfront for something that is not currently instock – do so at your own risk!
Preloved: another way of saying pre-owned, second-hand or simply, ‘used’. Check for condition if this is the case!

RM – Registered Mail: mailing out at the post office with a registration code for tracking and additional security against lost mail. This service costs an additional $2.30 at the post office.

Trades: I love trading on Carousell. Trades can be item for item, or item + cash according to values that traders agree upon. Some people hate it though so don’t go around and “trade?” everyone.

U+I+: This is in reference to trades. Some people ‘increase’ the value of their items’ list prices in the trading scenario and will usually state so on their profile, description or in the message. U+I+ = If you +$x on your sale price when it’s a trade, I also +$x on my sale price.

WTT – Want to Trade
WTS – Want to Sell
WTB – Want to Buy ‘WT-something’ usually states a specific intent.

There’s no surefire way to become a super seller, but I hope this helps you close a little more deals in Carousell.

Let me know if these work for you in comments!

Check out my carousell profile here

Or, fed up with Carousell and want to shop elsewhere?

Learn how you can save money when shopping online at stores like Lazada, ASOS and Taobao with ShopBack.

gif of Pusheen the cat rolling dough
You, rolling in the dough. Credit: wifflegif.com

Note: these tips are all drawn from personal observation, and in no way is this post endorsed by Carousell or any other commercial entity.

Other articles online may also disagree with some of the strategies I’ve mentioned; just use whatever works for you!

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  1. Hey Sonia, this was really insightful but I had signed up with the intention of clearing a lot of unused clothes and shoes – the very things that do not sell well on Carousell based on your observations 🙁 Are there other sites that would work better for selling clothes and shoes?

    1. Oh my… It’s been a looong time since your comment, but I’m going to reply anyway in case it’s still useful information.

      For clothes and shoes, I actually prefer to go for fashion swaps.

      There are a couple of ad-hoc events you can look out for (eg swappaholics), but here’s a really cool store with the swap concept in Liang Court I’m a big fan of:

  2. Thanks Sonia for sharing your experiences!
    I tried uploading photos using my laptop to Carousell but somehow the photos just wouldn’t load!
    However when I do the same on my mobile phone using the app the same photos get uploaded and the listing gets posted successfully.
    Ever encountered this problem and any advice to resolve this?

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