6 tips to ace Singapore’s shopping season

Tips to ace the shopping season
Reading Time: 7 minutes

You mean it’s already October and we’re left with 3 months more to the end of the year? It’s hard to believe what an inconvenience COVID-19 has brought upon us. And because we’ve been cooped up for so long,  what better time than now to #treatyoself?

9.9 to 12.12 mark our region’s golden period for online and e-commerce shopping–from great deals to mega discounts, how excited are you?! 

But besides thinking of how best to stretch your dollar, it’ll be much easier to also shop with the peace of mind that you’re getting the item you’ve been eyeing safely.

Here are 6 tips to look out for to not let your second thoughts dampen your shopping spirits!

Tip 1: Make sure you’re getting the item you want

Dislike salespeople in stores trailing you when you shop? The beauty of online shopping is that you don’t have to talk to them before making a decision and payment. A godsend for introverts, I know!

However, not being able to touch and feel the actual product might come with its shortfalls. Just think of this guy who wanted to surprise his wife with a couple of (what he thought were) small Snorlax plushies, but…

oversized Snorlax plushies user featherlit on Carousell
Image credit: user <@featherlit> on Carousell

Yup, you get what I mean.

Here are some tips you might want to keep in mind when buying from these categories:

what to look out for when shopping online


Tip 2: Get the right advice when you shop

Even after doing as much research as you can for an item, that urge to consult someone you trust before you check out is REAL. Does this really suit my needs? What’s the difference between this version and the newer version? Wait–do I really need this?

Besides asking your friends for their opinions, retail shopping offers you the chance to ask the salesperson for some help. But when it comes to online shopping, who do you go to?

Shopping forums, Telegram groups or chatting with the seller directly is your next best alternative! Dayre blogs are a great way to find the best products and deals for anything health and beauty related. There are also a bunch of Telegram channels, such as GoodLobang, SG Budget Babes or SG Fitness & Health, specialising in informing followers about discounts, cashback and more. A tip to share is to do as much prior research using these channels on your desired item as possible before you cart out!

But your best bet in seeking a trusted second opinion is by chatting with the seller directly. The seller would know best the specifications, product features and how to care for the item that they are selling. Just like salespersons when you shop retail, chatting with the seller is as good an option for shopping online! On Carousell, just tap on the “Chat” button on your desired listing to get started 😉 


Tip 3: Support local as you shop

Think living in the midst of a pandemic is bad? With tons of local cafes and eateries ceasing operations, local retail stores like BooksActually shuttering, I think we can safely conclude that living in a recession as a business owner is way worse 🙁

Local businesses, compared to huge conglomerates, care about the community and the people they serve. BooksActually prides themselves to be a home for book-hungry readers or aspiring writers to seek inspiration from the plethora of books they sell. It’s a pity they couldn’t tide through the recession. But with this new-found knowledge of local businesses, we can serve to protect more of such stores from now on!

Instead of buying from large corporations, try buying from your neighbours instead by filtering for location when you search for an item! Trust their opinion on their brand new or rarely used items. They’re just casual sellers like you and me, trying to clear what they don’t need.

You’ll also be showing that you care for the environment when you shop from them. Reduced packaging and carbon footprint when dealing by meeting up is an added bonus! 


Tip 4: Shop sustainably

Ever wondered how ‘fast’ fast fashion really is? To clue you in, Singaporeans buy an average of 34 pieces of new clothing and discard 27 pieces of preloved clothing each year (psst, this average number is lowered because of the inclusion of male Singaporeans!).

Along with that, Singapore only recycles 7% of textile waste, the second-lowest type of waste to be recycled, before plastics. Due to its low manufacturing costs, fast fashion clothing is largely made of synthetic fibres which take up to 200 years to biodegrade. 

Earth Day 2020 COVID-19 Infographic and statistics on textile waste in Singapore

Electronic waste is another huge contributor to landfills every year. Singapore generates about 60,000 tonnes of such waste a year. To put that into perspective, that’s equivalent to discarding about 70 mobile phones per person!

If you’ve haven’t already heard it enough from your mom, we’re here to reiterate: “Aiyo don’t waste la!” Here’s a simple mind map to use to help you decide if you should buy anything:

should I buy infographic

Managed to get your answer? If you landed on “buy”, here are some further steps to take to reduce waste as you shop:

  • Buying secondhand clothing, electronics or home appliances;
  • Repairing or refurbishing faulty or broken items; 
  • Recycling what can be recycled at your nearest recycling point!


Tip 5: Keep an eye on your desired items

Gimbles, GoPros and other travel knick-knacks are now a thing of the past. This year’s most popular items are definitely Xiaomi’s Roborock Robot Vacuum Cleaner and Nintendo Switch. And because their retail price can go up to $400 usually, sales are definitely the best time to get them!

But before you jump into your cart, don’t get tricked into buying more than what you actually need! eCommerce sites tend to get you to buy more just so you can hit the minimum spend to get free shipping or a measly discount voucher. Why do that when you can get great deals all year round when you shop smart on Carousell?

Whether they’re decluttering or regretting, people take to Carousell to list brand new or underutilised items they don’t need anymore. Mostly at a fraction of its retail price too, so you never have to worry about camping online for a deal release! The Xiaomi Roborock? A mint-condition one is going for $270 when its retail price is almost 1.5 times of that. 

Buying a Xiaomi Roborock on Carousell vs. other marketplaces

The Nintendo Switch? Retail price is around $500, while a rarely used set is going for $280 on Carousell.

Buying a Nintendo Switch on Carousell vs. other marketplaces

Be sure to use the Saved Search function when you’ve got your eye on a certain product! This ensures that you’ll be informed about each new listing of the item you’re interested in. Similarly, follow sellers whose listings interest you–you’ll never know what great finds you can get! Take it from Feng Yi <@quadsandasmile> who snagged tons of useful fitness equipment during Singapore’s circuit breaker, despite high demand due to closed gyms. Score!


Tip 6: Sell your items away if they’re not what you expected

If you’ve ever shopped online, you’d know that there’s a chance that the item wouldn’t be what you thought it would. Especially so if you didn’t have the time to do extensive research, such as reading reviews by other buyers.

Other than being thoroughly disappointed, I used to pile up all my “regret buys” because I couldn’t bear to throw them away. I mean, they’re brand new after all!

Instead of letting them create a mess in your home, list your unfavourable online buys on Carousell instead. Just because they didn’t live up to your expectations, doesn’t mean it’ll be the same for someone else! 

Also, don’t worry about not making profit out of it. There’s a good chance that you can recoup up to 90% of your “losses” from these regret buys when you manage to sell them. Selling them to someone who’ll get more value out of it is much better than having it take up useful space at home. And hey, this makes space for more shopping too 😉

Haven’t listed secondhand items or need to know how to get the most out of it? Read our pricing guide for tips gathered from our experienced users!


Above all, don’t forget to protect yourself from unnecessary spending and unsafe payment methods! If possible, always deal face-to-face through cash on delivery or ensure you’re paying through a secure platform. Buying through Carousell Protection will assure that you get your items as listed, and that payment is only released to the seller once you’ve received the item. No more worrying about sharing bank details and phone numbers with sellers! 

Happy shopping! 🙂


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