A new user behaviour study conducted by Carousell, one of the world’s largest and fastest growing classifieds, shows that Malaysians largely adapted to the Movement Control Order (MCO) by making the best of what they have, through selling and buying. During the MCO alone, the average Malaysian made RM1,396, selling on Carousell.
Most opt for second hand items for monetary reasons, to either get 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 Malaysians made more than 690,000 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.
Yet, there is still a lot more value to be unlocked in selling underused items. On Carousell’s marketplace alone, Malaysians could be selling an additional RM640 million worth of second hand items.
The second hand market has quickly become a top of mind destination for certain items like fashion and electronics, two of Carousell’s historically popular categories. During the MCO, electronics were still in demand, with over 1.2 million searches for Work From Home equipment. But Malaysians were doing more than working from home—they clocked out of their home offices to visit their kitchens.
During Ramadan, Malaysians took to Carousell to continue selling their homemade delights despite the closure of physical bazaars, using the newly launched Local F&B category where users were able to search within a 10km radius of their location to narrow down the food nearest to them. It’s no secret that Malaysians love their food—during the MCO period alone, chats for items in the F&B segment alone increased by more than threefold. Malaysians were both selling their homemade goods on Carousell and using it to source for their cooking and baking needs too, right down to the nitty gritty of equipment such as whisks, which have doubled in demand.
For users like Fiza, who found themselves cooped up at home, baking and selling on Carousell provided her with the avenue to grapple with the MCO period and make the best of it. “I wanted to push myself to make the best of this newfound time to work on my baking, something that I’ve been wanting to do for the longest time. My late mother made the best pineapple tarts, and I want to follow in her footsteps and share her creations with everyone,” Fiza shared.
Malaysians have been entrepreneurial in more ways than one. With masks becoming a necessity in the post-COVID world, searches for masks have increased by more than 5 times. Users have responded to the rising demand too, with a 2.5 times increase in the number of face mask listings on Carousell. Like many, Carousell user Yanice, started crafted and selling handmade masks on Carousell because her family business had to take a pause. She has sold over 200 masks, using Carousell Protection, Carousell’s trusted escrow payment solution, and integrated shipping methods in each of her transactions, so that she could abide by social distancing measures. Overall, there has been a 115% increase in the average daily transactions made through Carousell Protection.
Tang Siew Wai, Country Head, Carousell Malaysia said, “The spirit of Carousellers never ceases to inspire us every single day. This was particularly moving during Ramadan as, despite being unable to visit the Ramadan bazaars, Malaysians made the best of the situation by selling and buying traditional home-cooked kuih and other Hari Raya essentials online. In this way, celebrations were made possible despite the changing times. This validates our mission, which is to inspire every person in the world to start selling and buying. The pandemic has shown us that the service we offer is now more relevant than ever. We are excited and inspired by our community of users who are ever resourceful and entrepreneurial in so many ways no matter how difficult the MCO period was, and we want to ensure that our platform continues to empower them in their journeys.”