Crafty Singapore Mostly international buyers? Have any of you thought of expanding locally?

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Original Post

Dyllis from mooseart says

I've had very very little local buyers, my international market is expanding by quite a bit thought. Recently, I've been thinking about reaching out to local buyers. Is there a local platform where I can sell in SGD? I'm not quite a fan of blogshops, honestly. Also, since I'm currently selling in USD, I'm not sure about pricing in SGD and whether it will affect my revenues and profits.

What do you guys think?

Posted at 12:44am May 5, 2012 EDT


Same here, those few that did buy from me on etsy are actually foreigners staying here. The fluctuating USD default may be a deterrent but when I changed to S$ previously, I had no international sales for a long while until I change back to USD. So not good idea to price in S$. I get more local sales on ebay but it's troublesome to list there. I also would like to know if there is a good S$ equivalent to etsy.

Posted at 4:56am May 5, 2012 EDT

Dyllis from mooseart says

Hi Yen, that's an interesting point. I've not tried selling in sgd here yet, interesting how you had no international sales then.

Personally, for as long as usd remains stronger than sgd, and since I'm paying etsy fees in usd, I will sell in usd, for international sellers that is.

But I wish there was a local platform for me to reach out to locals, where I can sell in sgd.

I've not tried Ebay before, hmm. Do you sell in sgd on ebay? I'm most interested to know if you do. Say for something you would sell for 20usd on Etsy, do you sell it for 20sgd?

Posted at 11:10am May 5, 2012 EDT

Online, all my buyers are international. In person, I've sold both in the US and in Singapore and also know that Singaporean shoppers expect prices to be competitive with mass produced products (especially students and uninitiated), while international buyers in Singapore (especially those who know the value of art) think my prices are too low. Working in paintings/drawings, I pretty much don't expect to sell my originals locally, while prints/cards/small items can move and sell by me being very calculative with production costs--basically, I almost don't bother too much with paper quality, sharper printing, or "added value" like mounting prints because the higher price I'd have to charge means I'm less likely to sell it--locally, anyway. My last sales table in SG: I sold loads of the cheapest and smallest items, only a tiny number of the mid-priced and mid-sized items, and no originals.

Due to this difference in the local and international valuing of my work, I do keep prices on my items "the same" in US and SGD--a card at $2.50USD will be $2.50SGD because (1) it's easier, (2) it still covers my costs, and (3) I'm trying to, I suppose in my own way "hook" locals with easy low-cost bait and hopefully get them looking into collecting my other and pricier offerings when they can afford it. I just won't budge on items that have more time/cost investment. I have no idea if this will work.

Is there still no local equivalent of etsy? I'm so tempted to try my hand setting up such a site, but the scale of such a project is quite daunting! (Anyone else here with large site building experience? It's quite an undertaking to do alone.)

Posted at 12:13pm May 5, 2012 EDT

Dyllis from mooseart says

Hi Janet, I've sold in person in Singapore and yes, the cheapest items are the ones that were sold, I priced them 'the same' in usd and sgd as well. I would say that Singaporeans still do no see and understand the value of handmade and are not willing to pay what is worth. Sometimes that makes me wonder if I should just not focus on locals.

I'm tempted to set up such a site too! But I'm just terrible with builiding sites.

Posted at 12:40am May 6, 2012 EDT

I just started selling on Maybe you can give it a try :) For me, so far still no sales though :(

Posted at 1:22am May 6, 2012 EDT

@Moose: For online I try to keep a parity in prices so I will put SGD equivalent of USD if I list on eBay SG. Listing is free but needs to be renewed every week and nowadays there's an irritating limit on the number of listings you can make based on the feedback you get. I usually use it for clearance stuff. Singaporeans have a tendency to contact you rather than bid, and some 'funny' ones will try to cut your price. Just be firm. That said, I did get some good sales from the contacts there from time to time.

And yes, for face-to-face events, unfortunately I do have to use numerical equivalent in SGD, I take it as 'national service' to encourage Singaporeans to buy art!

@Amy: Do let us know how it goes.

Posted at 10:18am May 6, 2012 EDT

Thanks for the link Amy. I'll check it out.

I sell both locally and internationally through my Big Cartel site and I get some customers through Etsy too. Local sales are few and far between.

I tried the USD=SGD method but since I get more orders overseas at full price I decided to price it based on the conversion rate.

Posted at 10:30pm May 7, 2012 EDT

Hi all, when this thread was posted, I know there is a platform nearer to our home but have forgotten the name. Recently came across it again. I don't know if you know about this website but here it is

its very much like Etsy, created last year (I think) by a team from Singapore, Malaysia and Australia. They charged US$0.10 per item and there is no transaction fees. This is their Facebook page which is about 35k fans strong. Check it out!

Posted at 3:51am Jun 17, 2012 EDT

Hey everyone,
I've been a bit dormant in my shop lately because of school and such, but online, almost all my sales have been international. I think many locals don't know about Etsy to begin with, and even if they do, a lot don't understand why our items are priced higher than those that are mass-produced.

If I do sell locally in markets, etc., it's pretty much only to clear out old stock at low prices. Otherwise, it's really difficult to make sales. The best luck I've had was at the Baybeats festival as well as MAAD.

Posted at 10:56am Jun 17, 2012 EDT