I have been a carousell fanatic since I joined last month. Like seriously, nuts. I always thought that fleas were the best way to get great deals. I frequently pride myself on how cheap my clothes are, my other life attainments like getting a diploma and entering a local uni pale in comparison. But, alas, I have a new way of supporting my insatiable love for cheap clothes. fleas are great and all, but its actually quite physically draining. its a lot of squatting and sifting through clothes, and sweating. so many sweaty girls. what a horrific sight for me.
but Carousell allows me to get cheap clothes on the go. I’ve never really entertained the idea of online shopping. if they’re retail, like zalora or love bonito or whatever, its probably above $10. which is $5 more than I am used to. if they’re second hand, like gumtree/ ebay, its just way too much of a hassle. formatting’s so hideous. words everywhere. its a damn mess. The trouble involved in setting up an account and carrying out the transaction is gonna waste more time than the money I’d save. But carousell has totally revamped online shopping for me. I have bought like I think $50 worth of stuff in a month, all amazing quality and from super friendly people :))) And I got rid of the stuff I have lost interest in as a well.
So I have new pretty clothes, got rid of my unwanted stuff. And I still profit what sorcery is this.
The moral of the story here is that Carousell rocks. However, the unregulated ease of transactions also mean that people have a lot of discretion to do harm.
A friend of mine recently transferred a deposit of $720 on two iphones to this carouseller, following which he became uncontactable. He deleted his listing so the conversations are gone as well. She then created a new account and chatted with his newly created persona, whom she found to indeed be him when he provided the same mobile and bank account number. Police investigations are still ongoing.
Some ways to prevent yourself from getting scammed on carousell:
1) Always choose cash on delivery. Deposits to show sincerity/ commitment requires a little too much trust in a complete stranger. Its not like a tenancy agreement that has proper contracts drawn up. You’re transferring money to a person you know very very little about. Especially if its a large purchase, like over $30, COD is the way to go. Plus, you get to conduct your own QC.
2) Research your seller. Look at his feedback. How long he’s been on carousell. How many listings he has. If he created that one listing, has no feedback, no followers and registered his account 2 days ago, then he’s a long way from proving himself a trustworthy seller. Even if your seller has positive feedback, the users who provided them have to be researched too. He could have easily created another account to give himself positive feedback.
3) Obtain as many details as possible before committing to an offer. That means his name, number, colour of his cat. Make sure that if he does scam you, it would be, in the very least, a major inconvenience for him. Give him a call to verify if the number is legit. My friend’s scammer even provided ‘his sister’s’ number and two different bank accounts to choose from. This scammer was quite detailed in his scam. Then again, bank accounts and phone numbers are easily traceable by the police. Once those personal details are provided, they are opening themselves up to being tracked.
4) Avoid rushing into a deal. Scammers like to push forward a deal by acting impatient or informing you there are other buyers. Do not be rushed into a deal you are not 100% comfortable with. Most carousellers are leisurely people playing with their phones tryna make a little money and have some fun talking with people who show an interest in their stuff. If your seller sounds like he is weirdly eager to close a deal with you, it is possible that he is more concerned with profit than your interests. If you choose to deal with him anyway in spite of his peculiar impatience, refer to the above three points to prevent yourself from getting scammed.
Carousell is a great place with very little regulation. Buyers and sellers deal with one another with no interference from Carousell’s administrators and that makes it an awesome medium for sincere buyers and sellers to get what they want. However, the dearth of regulation also guarantees frequent exploitation of ignorant carousellers who don’t know how to protect their interests.
btw, I know my language suggests that only guys can be scammers. pardon my insensitivity to sexist remarks like that. in Dr Cox’s words; “In this day and age, it’s damn hard to know what’s kosher.”
update: there’s been no updates by the police. they claim that is related to a broader overseas scam and needs more work. ?? I though it was a straight forward case but I guess not.