Almost all Singaporeans have probably bought or sold something on online marketplace Carousell and met their buyers or sellers at MRT stations, under the void deck, or wherever is convenient for the seller. The good news is, you can now make use of official meet-up points for safer transactions.
The company has collaborated with Frasers Property Singapore to designate trusted meet-up spots in 10 Frasers shopping malls, including The Centrepoint, Causeway Point and Robertson Walk.
These spots will be surveilled by the malls’ security officers and the CCTV network. They will be recommended as options when Carousellers choose a meet-up location on the platform.
Carousell co-founder and president Marcus Tan said the idea came after teams from both companies met at a networking event. “We hope to provide malls as a safer alternative meet-up location, due to the easy navigation, convenient amenities and onsite security,” he said.
When asked how many reports the company has received regarding meet-up experiences, Marcus did not share numbers, but said the majority of transactions have been positive, “far outweighing the negative ones”.
The company estimates that 60 per cent of all transactions take place over meet-ups.
Marcus said users are advised to arrange meet-ups at trusted locations, to physically inspect goods before they close a deal.
“If at any point buyers or sellers are uncomfortable with the proposed arrangement, we urge them not to proceed with the deal and look for an alternative,” he said.
Some Carousell users welcomed the availability of trusted meet-up spots.
Claire Chan, 23, said: “It’s a good measure for one’s physical safety, especially for those who are underage and using the platform. However, it doesn’t protect them from online harassment.”
Dai Jing En, 21, said that while most of her experiences have been positive, there have been a few instances where she felt that her safety was at risk.
Three years ago, a seller asked for pictures of her wearing the bikini she was selling. She declined to give the seller the photos.
Text: Audrey Leong / The New Paper / May 2018
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