Want to make money selling things online but not sure where to start? By the time you finish reading this post, you will master the basics of selling online in Singapore including:
- the best places to sell things online
- what you should include in the description + example
- how to accept payment from buyers
- how to send your items to buyers
What are the best places to sell online?
There are hundreds of marketplaces you can list your items to sell but only a couple of them have enough buyers to make it worth your time. (If you are a complete beginner, just pick one of them and put your item there. Don’t get overwhelmed by trying to do too many things at once :)) Below are the top places to sell your items:
If you have a smartphone, Carousell is the easiest way to sell your brand new products or pre-owned items online. Just snap a photo, fill out some basic information and you’re good to go. You can also choose to post your item to STClassifieds, Facebook, and Twitter from the app automatically which equals to increased exposure for your item and higher chances of it getting sold.
Items on Carousell are listed Instagram-style and good photos help your items sell better. Buyers can leave public comments on the item or make private offers when they are ready to buy. Carousell does not provide any payment support so you’ll have to work out with your buyer when and how to pay. Most buyers on Carousell either meet up for the deal, do bank transfer, deposit, or send concealed cash.
Gumtree SG is another easy platform to sell your items. All you need to do is choose a category, fill in information on your item and your contact information.
Buyers can contact you on Gumtree itself, by e-mail or by phone (if you provide a number). Like Carousell, Gumtree does not provide any support for payment so you’ll have to make your own arrangements with the buyer.
Gumtree has been marketing aggressively these days and I’ve seen advertisements of it on television. So this mean more eyeballs are going to be looking at whatever item you list on it.
eBay Singapore has been around forever and offers both free and paid options for selling stuff. You can list items with a Buy Now button or in auction format. eBay offers PayPal as a payment method which (for a small fee) lets your buyer pay you immediately after they buy the item. Otherwise, you can also make arrangements with the buyer yourself.
eBay has a steeper learning curve than the previous two platforms but if you are looking to start an online store or have a high value second hand item to sell, it’s definitely worth checking out.
But if you’re just trying to sell a few items and don’t want to make things too complicated, it would be better to stick to Carousell and Gumtree.
If you’ve done any shopping online, you’ve probably come across Qoo10 Singapore (or Gmarket Singapore before it was renamed) and maybe even bought something from it. Like eBay, Qoo10 is more suitable for serious sellers.
Qoo10 is not easy to use at all and because it’s translated from Korean, there are lots of features (for sellers) that don’t make sense in English. You’ll have to go by trial and error to figure out a lot of things on your own because the seller’s guide is practically useless and customer service for sellers is nearly non-existent.
The reason it’s still one of the best places to sell online is the massive amount of people who go to Qoo10 every day to shop for almost anything under the sun. Of all the local platforms I’ve listed brand new items in, Qoo10 is the one that gets the most items sold.
What do I need to let my buyers know?
No matter which platform you choose to sell on, you should include relevant information on your item as well as information on how you are going to transact. A good item listing answers common questions, increases buyer’s confidence and makes them more likely to buy from you.
I assume that you’ll also have a photo of the item (because nobody is going to buy something that doesn’t have one) or multiple photos. An actual photo is preferred but you can use stock photos if it’s a brand new item.
Your description should answer at least the following questions:
- What is the condition of the item? (Brand New/Pre-owned)
- What features does the item have? (You can copy this from manufacturer’s site if available or just describe the item in general)
- What forms of payment do you accept?
- Will you do meet-ups? If so, when are you available to meet?
- Will you send the item by post or courier? If so, are there any delivery or postage charges?
- How long will it take for the item to arrive?
- Missing items, returns, and other policies
*** Download this free listing template with all the above questions answered ***
How do I receive payment from buyers?
Besides meeting up with the buyer, there are many ways you can accept payment without ever seeing anyone. Here are a few common methods and how they work:
Bank Transfer / Deposit (Free)
You give the buyer your bank account number and she transfers payment directly to your bank account through internet banking, ATM, or by making a deposit to your account at the bank or cash/coin deposit machines. Internet banking transfers from the same bank usually show up immediately in your account but those from a different bank than your own will take a few days.
Cash by Registered Post (Free for Seller)
The buyer mails cash to you by registered post. It costs $2.24 + stamps to send registered mail at any SingPost outlet and this method can be used only with payments that are under $100. Many people send concealed cash without registered post but this is actually not allowed.
Q4: Can cash be sent through the post?
Cash cannot be sent by ordinary post. However in Singapore, cash below S$100 can be sent by registered post. It is, however, not encouraged. Money Orders or Postal Orders are recommended. For posting overseas, cash can only be sent through “insured” post provided it is not prohibited by the receiving postal administration.
The buyer goes to PayPal and sends a payment to your e-mail address. The buyer can use their PayPal funds if they have any, or send money with their credit or debit card through PayPal. The buyer does not need a PayPal account to send money but you will need one to receive it.
PayPal deducts a processing fee of 3.9% + S$0.50 from the payment sent.
How do I send the item to my buyer?
You probably already know how to send mail via the post office, but sending items is slightly different. Depending on what you’re sending, you may need bubblewrap or other protection for your product. Delivery charges can eat a lot into profits if you are sending bulky or heavy items so make sure you take these costs into account before you list your items for sale. Here are a few ways you can send your item to the buyer:
Send Packages by SingPost Normal/Registered Mail
SingPost has branches and postboxes almost everywhere in Singapore and most new sellers start out sending their packages with it. If you are selling clothes or books, SingPost is probably the easiest and most convenient way to send your items. You don’t even have to visit a post office if you get stamps from a SAM Machine and your package is small enough to fit into a postbox’s opening.
- The buyer’s address should be written clearly in the middle of the package
- Always include a return address in case the package cannot be delivered
- Weigh the package and use the correct amount of stamps or bring it to SingPost and their staff will do that for you
- Use registered mail for high value items
- Maximum package weight of 2kg
- SingPost usually takes 1 to 3 working days to deliver the package
Send Packages by TA-Q-BIN
TA-Q-BIN is a same-day/next-day delivery service that can be cheaper to use than SingPost in some cases. TA-Q-BIN charges by volume instead of weight and prices start from $6 for a 60cm (width + length + height) package up to $25 for a 160cm one.
- Get the pink form at 7-11 or ask TA-Q-BIN to bring one along when they show up for collection
- Fill up the pink TA-Q-BIN form with your buyer’s and your address and phone number
- Fill in date you would like the item to be delivered and pick a time slot
- Fill in a short description of what’s inside the package
- Bring your package and the form to any 7-Eleven; 7-Eleven charges $1 less than the published rates
- If you prefer to have TA-Q-BIN come collect the package from your home, use their hotline at 1800-2255-888
- TA-Q-BIN can deliver your package on the same day or the next day
Frequently Asked Questions
More tips for selling online in Singapore
Thanks for reading and if you have any questions or comments, please leave a message below and I will get back to you soon 🙂