[SG] Serious car enthusiast finds e-commerce success running car dealership

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Han Xiang (@mybrogarage) had always been into bikes and cars, even before he hit the legal age to get a license in Singapore. In fact, his dream was to experience working in the automotive trade, but being in the corporate line, there was never an opportunity for him to do so. When he was 29, he decided to take a leap of faith with his love for all things auto, leave the corporate world and venture into starting his own autos business before he hit the big 30.

He started selling small and lower-priced car accessories items on Carousell, choosing the platform as it was free to use. He subsequently sold more higher-priced items to grow the business, expanding to other car accessories including carbon fiber parts and bodykits. He also collaborated with workshops to provide installation and spray painting work. Han Xiang vividly remembers his very first item listed as a magnetic phone holder and how he had almost instantaneous enquiries. 

“Personally, I think Carousell is a great platform—making it easy for sellers to sell, and simple for buyers to buy. The setting of the marketplace is casual & friendly, making transactions happen successfully most of the time. In fact, I ended up having some good conversations with most of the Carousell users, with quite a number of them becoming personal friends,” said Han Xiang.

Since he started driving, he changed cars often as he craved the experience of different drives, makes and models. Inspiration struck him to take up the trade of being a car dealer and he set out to learn the tricks of the trade from scratch. Today, the account that started with a magnetic phone holder listing is now a reputable motor trade company with a physical car dealership that specialises in offering quality used cars.

This self-learning and agile spirit in running a business boded well when the Covid-19 pandemic hit Singapore in 2020. During the Circuit Breaker, car dealerships were called upon to cease operation in their physical showrooms. “These two months were the toughest to get by. We had no income, yet cars in inventory were depreciating and overhead costs were building up. On the bright side, we were already on Carousell. There was significantly more traffic and enquiries from potential car buyers, perhaps with more time to go online during this period. The good news was we had a higher conversion rate post-lockdown from Carousell, which helped the business get back on track,” said Han Xiang.

Han Xiang was recognised for his efforts with the Caroupreneur Merchant of the Year 2020 and Best in Carousell – Autos (Used Cars) awards in the inaugural Caroupreneur Awards. View the list of other winners here.