When Sherilyn (@nylirehswong) accidentally ordered three extra pairs of shoes and listed them on Carousell five years ago, she did not expect that to mark the start of a new hobby and side income. “I still remember vividly the first night that I’d downloaded the Carousell app, and I was very excited to sell my preloved shorts. But what I didn’t expect was for it to grow beyond selling my preloved items… to something which I could generate a sizable revenue from,” said Sherilyn.
The three pairs of shoes were sold within a day, at S$16 each. “It wasn’t that the shoes were sold at a crazily cheap rate… And since it cleared so quickly, I was thinking perhaps I could buy an additional three to four pieces of clothes to sell, while shopping for my own each time,” said Sherilyn, who was then a 2nd-year undergraduate when she started curating and selling more new items on Carousell.
“The response was supportive on the consumer side, I didn’t keep track of the count actually. But my followers kept increasing and about five months later, I think I amassed around 500-800 followers. Perhaps the curation and affordable pricing are presumably the main reasons for the jump,” said Sherilyn, who continues to run her shop as a hobby while working at a marketing agency.
“There were numerous times that I felt like giving it up, while struggling to juggle between work and Carousell. However, I’m constantly reminded that my main motivation in doing this isn’t profit-driven, but a pursuit of my passion for fashion. Hence, one of my key principles is to keep things really affordable.”
Through the years, Sherilyn has grown to source for more exclusive designs such as self-manufactured prints, by working with several local clothing suppliers. Her stocks currently include a mix of overseas-sourced and locally self-manufactured apparels, with some curation of bags, shoes and fashion accessories. Her items retail below $20 on average.
She values the interactions with each buyer, beyond addressing their questions. “The relationships at times extend beyond a transactional nature; there are buyers who’d contacted me via WhatApp seeking advice for school or work-related questions. And if I’d gone to other e-commerce platforms, I would lose that human connection. One key highlight of Carousell is the ability to have your own personal transactions,” said Sherilyn. “I’ve had buyers coming to me at 10pm, texting SOS for self-collection, because they urgently need work pants for tomorrow. As a consumer, which e-commerce site would be readily available to resolve such desperate needs at unearthly hours? In another light, this enhances my reliability as a clothing supplier for these buyers and it definitely helped in gaining more support and return customers.”