THE CIRCUIT BREAKER EFFECT: THE AVERAGE SINGAPOREAN EARNED $2,200 ON CAROUSELL

User behaviour study reveals that Singaporeans have become increasingly resourceful, selling and buying to make the best of the circuit breaker

Singapore, 21 July 2020 – Survey says that Singaporeans are more resourceful than they think. A new user behaviour study conducted by Carousell, one of the world’s largest and fastest growing classifieds, shows that Singaporeans have adapted to the circuit breaker by making the best of what they have, through selling and buying. During the circuit breaker1 alone, the average Singaporean made $2,200, selling on Carousell. This far surpassed what they previously thought they could make—in a survey fielded by Carousell in 2019, a majority of 58.8% of respondents felt that they could only make $250 or less by selling underused items.

Cashing in
When asked about what drove them to buy and sell second hand items, a whopping 76% of the respondents cited the monetary benefits: getting a better deal from buying preloved items or making extra cash from selling items they no longer need. These motivations became more important during the pandemic, when Singaporeans made more than 1 million (1,157,858) transactions for second hand items to earn extra money, whether it was to save for rainy days, supplement income, or even to cushion the blow of losing a job.

There is still a lot more value to be unlocked in selling underused items. On Carousell’s marketplace alone, Singaporeans could be selling an additional $430 million dollars worth of second hand items.

With a wealth of items available, the second hand market has quickly become a top of mind destination for certain items like women’s fashion and electronics, two of Carousell’s historically popular categories. During the circuit breaker, electronics were still in demand, with over 6.2 million searches for Work From Home equipment. But Singaporeans were doing more than working from home—they clocked out of their home offices to visit their kitchens. 

Circuit Baking 
With the sudden surge in baking all over the world and likewise in Singapore, an average of 4 baking items were sold every hour on Carousell during the circuit breaker. There was a record 5 times increase in the search for baking items, with Singaporeans searching for all their baking needs on Carousell, from equipment like whisks (243,000 searches), to ingredients that were no longer on shelves, like cream cheese, vanilla extract and flour (338,000 searches).

Empowered Entrepreneurs
After sourcing for what they needed to bake, Singaporeans then began to list their creations on Carousell too. For some, it was a simple and cathartic new experience to bake and sell on Carousell and for users like Zoey, it was an avenue to grapple with the cards they were dealt during the circuit breaker, making the best of it. “I started this business as I lost my part-time job and fell out of a relationship. Times have been tough but my passion for baking has been a saving grace. I want to bake things for people with love and I give my all to each and every item I create,” Zoey shared. 

For many, it was a chance to take control of their entrepreneurial pursuits. Some started selling from scratch, like Magdelene, who felt she was given a second chance to pursue her passion for baking during the circuit breaker and chose Carousell because of its local appeal to her target demographic. Others brought their existing brick and mortar businesses online, with Carousell’s new Local F&B category, which was launched to aid local business owners whose operations had been disrupted. More than 100,000 items were listed on Carousell’s F&B category during the circuit breaker.

Carousell Stories
Ng Chee Soon, Managing Director, Carousell Singapore said “The spirit of the Carousell community never ceases to inspire us every single day. Listening to the stories of how Singaporeans have benefited from our marketplace during the outbreak of a pandemic has been a validation that our mission, to inspire every person in the world to start selling and buying, is now more relevant than ever. As a homegrown startup, we are privileged with the opportunity to serve tens of millions of users today, because we have been relentlessly resourceful from the very beginning. It is truly inspiring to see this entrepreneurial drive mirrored in the stories of our users, and we want to ensure that our platform continues to empower them in their journeys.”

To celebrate and share the stories of Carousellers who have exemplified true grit and resourcefulness, Carousell has launched a #MakingTheBest campaign that will roll out over the next few months. For more Carousell stories, visit Carousell Stories section.

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About Carousell

Carousell is a classifieds marketplace that makes selling as easy as taking a photo, buying as simple as chatting. Launched in August 2012, Carousell began in Singapore and now has a presence in eight markets across Asia. With over 250 million listings, we are one of the world’s largest and fastest growing marketplaces in Southeast Asia, Taiwan and Hong Kong, and are backed by Telenor Group, Rakuten Ventures, Sequoia India and Naspers. The Carousell marketplace has a diverse range of products across a variety of categories, including cars, lifestyle, gadgets and fashion accessories. Download the app for iOS or Android, and visit www.carousell.com for more information.