Recently, we are exploring the possibility of expanding our little humble online business as Qoo10 seller. We started off from Carousell simply because it is free and easy to set up. We have also tried Shopee, which feels like something between Carousell and Qoo10. We will write about Shopee when we have fully exploited the platform.
Unfortunately, Qoo10 is so difficult to use (as a seller) that we have to spend more than a week to figure out their tools. We suspect many avid online entrepreneurs might be interested in trying out Qoo10. Why not read what we have here before making a decision to register?
Registering as a Qoo10 Seller
Before you can register as a seller, you have to acquire a Qoo10 account. Once you have done so, you will be able to register as a Qoo10 seller here. Here, you can either choose to register as an individual seller or a company’s shop. We registered as a company because we wanted to use our business name.
We thought that we might face some problems because we were unaware that we might need to submit official business registration documents for verification. It turned out that we worried for nothing. We uploaded one of our bank statements and NRIC. After the weekend, they verified and approved our shop. We guessed it’s fine as long as you can verify your bank account belongs to you.
Even though there is no charge in setting up a shop in Qoo10, you have to top-up 10,000 Q-Cash (S$100) upfront. We heard about this but we could not find any information about it until we were registering our business.
What is Q-Cash?
Q-Cash is a virtual currency used in Qoo10 for sellers to bid for marketing opportunities on their platform. They force sellers to top-up some money upfront so sellers will be forced to use their marketing tools. We discuss more about this in the later part of the Qoo10 series.
Honestly, we found that S$100 is too much. There are platforms in the market that offer free registration. If their marketing tools are so good that all sellers want to use it, they don’t really have to force anyone to top-up Q-Cash upfront. Since we really want to try the platform, we topped up anyway.
Please note that you will not be able to refund or cancel your Q-Cash once you have topped up. You are also not allowed to use the money to purchase items in Qoo10. Q-Cash is strictly used for marketing opportunities.
Charges You May Need to Know
Unlike Carousell or Shopee, Qoo10 does not offer free transaction. For each transaction, part of the earnings will be deducted as Service Fee. They imposed different charges for different tiers. The higher tier your shop (more sales), the cheaper the service fee is. Their formula is shown as follows:
Total Transaction Amount = Selling Price + Optional Fee + Shipping Fee (Discounted fee is excluded)
A normal-tier shop is entitled to 12% service fee. Supposed we made a deal for S$10 and our shipping fee costs S$1, the total transaction amount is S$11. We are required to pay 12% of S$11. Hence, we will only receive S$9.68 from the sales.
(S$10 + S$1) – 12% = S$9.68
Excluding Discounted Fee
We could not really comprehend what they mean by “discounted fee is excluded” when we first registered. But after fiddling the system for a while, we reckon that discounted fee is excluded in computing total transaction amount.
Basically, you are to give discount for your items. For instance, you can set a 25% discount for your item over 2 weeks when you list your item for sales. Supposed we decided to give a S$5 discount for a S$10 item (with S$1 shipping cost), our total transaction amount remains as S$11 instead of S$6. The service fee remains as S$1.32 (12% of S$11) instead of S$0.72 (12% of $6).
If you think about it carefully, this is the “fee” you have to incur if you use their platform to set a discount on your item. If your item is originally priced at S$10, you could have priced it at S$15 and give a S$5 discount forever. On your product listing page, it would look much more attractive to the buyers. This is similar to the effect to those shops that are forever having close down sales.
To make our explanation clearer, here’s a picture of what you will see when your order has been settled successfully.
Basically, Qoo10 takes 12% of your shipping rate and item price. Oh wait, it doesn’t stop there. It also takes GST from your earnings! We are not sure if we missed out any details when we are reading their website. But seriously, we are pretty shocked that we have to pay GST for using the system. Oh well.
As mentioned above, if you have included discounts for your item, the service rate remains the same. However, you will be receiving less money (because it’s discounted!).
Another thing is that if your service fee ends up to be in some weird numbers (e.g. $1.3604), your amount will magically be rounded up to $1.38. Isn’t this kind of shady?
The Bottom Line
Just by going through the registration system, we can already point out two things that we dislike about Qoo10.
We had a really hard time trying to comprehend Qoo10. Their self-help pages look as though they have used Google Translate to directly translate from Korean to English. As an international e-commerce platform, we thought it is really vital for the organisation to provide good and comprehensive self-help pages so we can set up our shop as quickly as possible. This is especially true when Qoo10 is supposed to be one-stop portal for an online shop (i.e. inventory keeping, product listing etc)
The second thing we really dislike is the fact that we have to top-up S$100 upfront. We thought it will be much better if we are not forced to do so. We should only top-up only after we are able to assess if their marketing tools are useful in the first place! We have not find a possible way to withdraw the money. We are not exactly sure if we are unable to withdraw or we have not figured out where to withdraw.
At this stage, it is still too early to tell if this is a good platform for our business. We have already paid S$100 so we have to make full use of the functions. However, we cannot deny that Qoo10 has a pretty wide audience. If we are able to reach out the large set of audience, we might be able to strive better as a Qoo10 seller.
We discuss more about QSM – the Qoo10 Seller Management portal in the next post.