Carousell takes to the streets to boycott Singles' Day sales

Singles' Day is tomorrow, and brands are ramping up their promotional efforts for their 11.11 Singles' Day sales. Well, most of them anyway.

In an unconventional move, eCommerce platform Carousell has boycotted the 11.11 sale. The brand took to the streets of Orchard Road on 8 November to announce its boycott with a Carousell representative and a loudhailer. This brought upon many turned heads, with passer-bys looking confused, according to Cassandra Leong, head of regional brand, Carousell. She also said that some people stopped to take pictures, and the brand was mentioned by a few others walking past. 

Carousell later explained on its Facebook and Instagram platforms the reason behind this boycott: to remind consumers that there is no need to rush for sales because Carousell claims to have 11.11 prices on its platform every day. Leong said that this comes as the brand usually observes a frenzy of buying due to time-pressured flash deals that consumers are afraid of missing out on. 

With the boycott, Carousell will not be promoting any 11.11 sales this year. However, its users are still free to price their items on their own listings however they choose to.

Leong also said that the brand wants to achieve top-of-mind recall as a "re-commerce" platform with the boycott. "We often see regret purchases finding their way back to Carousell; they’re in excellent condition or even brand new. We’re reminding users that we’ll be here for them long after the flash one-day sales, for the lowest prices and deals all year around. We’ll even be here to take care of their unwanted purchases," she added.

Carousell first said it was holding a boycott last week, when it posted on its Facebook and Instagram channels that its 11.11 sale is "not on". The brand explained in its caption that "while the world camps by their computers this 11 November, Carousellers take it easy knowing its 11.11's prices last all year". It subsequently posted an open letter to its consumers on its social media channels, reiterating that Carousell consumers do not have to join in on the 11.11 mega sale rush because the platform's prices are always comparative to sale prices. 

The post added: "Instead of camping at your computer for sales to drop, use today to take it easy. Maybe call a loved one, or take a well-deserved nap?"

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Besides the marketing stunt, Carousell has included a banner that leads to a curated collection of low-priced products on its website. The collection is grouped into categories such as "fashion under SG$50", "furniture under SG$100", and "home cleaning services from SG$12". 

Carousell is not the first brand to dissuade consumers from joining in the hype of 11.11 mega sales. In its most recent campaign, foodpanda reminded Singaporeans to first prioritise their purchases to items they will definitely have a use for. This objective came as the company found that consumers have been purchasing unnecessary items on impulse.  These items are then more often than not discarded or refunded after the sale period. Thus instead of impulsive purchases, foodpanda's campaign looks to encourage customers to take advantage of the real deals and prioritise purchasing items that will benefit them almost immediately. 

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