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So you, like millions of fellow kiasu Singaporeans (us too!), want to shop the 11.11 sale.
For the uninitiated, this event was originally a holiday where young Chinese people celebrated their singlehood through shopping (the number 1 looks like a solo individual, hence the date). It became so popular that now the whole world celebrates this day, single or not, through both online and offline sales.
Typically 11.11 discounts and deals can feature up to a whopping 90% discount, with a slew of digital promo codes, in-app games to score more shopping credits, and other incentives like bank tie-ups so you can get an even better deal.
Feeling FOMO yet? Don’t fret — here are 11 of our survival strategies so you can emerge triumphant this 11.11.
#1: Commit your credit card details to memory
Do this, or at least pre-save your card details in the shopping site so you won’t be wasting precious seconds (or even minutes) fumbling for your wallet or card to key in the 16 digits, before your browser decides to time out or your Internet connection gets cut.
If you are using an e-wallet like Singtel Dash, make sure you top it up beforehand, because all that additional time taken might mean the item you’ve been hankering after might be SOLD OUT right before your very eyes.
#2: The wishlist is a powerful tool, use it
Never mind if you’re not planning to buy an item just yet (or at all), just put it on your wishlist while you deliberate. This will help you keep track of what you plan to buy and weed out dupes at a glance. With the sheer volume of items available online, finding that dress you came across yesterday is akin to looking for a needle in a Taobao haystack. Shortlist now, and you can always whittle down your shopping list later.
#3: Monitor prices, every day
Another good use of the wishlist function is to monitor the prices of the items you might want to buy. There are discussions online about how merchants sneakily raise prices before the actual sale. i.e. a $10 item gets jacked up to $12 a week before the sale, and then sells on 11.11 at the “offer” price of $9.90. Err… NOPE. You are better off buying the item at full price and looking for cashback deals.
If you don’t have time to monitor your wishlist like the stock market, there are also price tracking tools to show how prices for a particular item have changed over time.
#4: Take your measurements beforehand
Unless you are on a fad slimming diet or a binge-eating spree, taking your measurements ahead of time is a simple hack. This is especially important for efficiency when buying clothes, shoes, and so on. Note down the typical sizes needed, such as PTP (pit-to-pit), waist, bust, and length, and even note down your size in EU, UK and US sizes — just to make sure you cover all the bases before the big day.
#5: Do all your research in advance
Ahead of time, look out for the “cheapest price in XX days” for items on certain platforms like Lazada. The higher the number of days stated, the better the deal. Make sure you read all the reviews (especially those with negative feedback or low ratings) and double check the seller’s rating or product’s rating. If the product is available in a brick-and-mortar store, take advantage of that to try the item on for size and comfort. You don’t want to buy a dud, or leave your brand new purchase to the dust bunnies.
Don’t forget to check out the shipping option(s) available to you. Always check if the item even ships to Singapore, and if not, look for a shipping forwarder in advance!
#6: Strength in numbers
Have a group of friends, colleagues or neighbours that share your 11.11 fever? Buy in bulk to save on shipping costs. You might even be eligible for free shipping should you hit a minimum amount, or perhaps it will be worth your while to invest in express shipping if you’ve managed to rally your whole kampung to shop 11.11 with you.
Just make sure your fambam compiles a list of items they want beforehand so you can add all of them to your cart, triple-check and finalise the order before the 11.11 battle starts. Excel is great, because it can even calculate how much your pals owe you later.
#7: Always have a backup plan
Lazada sold out of the Nintendo Switch you’ve been eyeing? Well maybe Shopee or Ezbuy still has stock! If the item you want is offered across various platforms, note it down so that you can either go for the cheapest deal on the day itself, or quickly move to Plan B without skipping a beat.
#8: Cheapest doesn’t mean best
Do your due diligence by checking on seller reputation, buyer reviews and item warranty before you buy. For example, I was really tempted to buy a standalone hob and oven combi at 25% off online, but then I started worrying about the various “what ifs”, like defects and installation. In this case, I’d rather wait for a sale at a major retailer, so that I can do all my checks, ask all the questions, get a 7-day 1-to-1 exchange in case of defects, and a 1-year warranty (or consider getting an extended warranty at a nominal fee).
If you need an item urgently, sometimes waiting for 11.11 for a cheaper deal just might not be worth it. Due to overwhelming orders, fulfilment backlogs during sale events are common. So always check the shipping period to avoid being disappointed.
#9: Plan your time
After all that pre-shopping prep, it sucks when something crops up last minute or you realise you’ve double-booked your time. If you’re serious about 11.11, make sure you can devote 100% concentration to the task at hand.
Better still, take leave from work, or ask your husband to look after Junior or Fido… because, #priorities. Also, do take note of the various times that certain items get released or sales begin. Start “camping” in front of your screen, finger on your mouse, at least 15 to 30 minutes before. You want to be early to tackle technical glitches, and just in case your computer time is slightly off from the start time of the sale.
Pro-tip: Set reminders. Some shopping platforms have built-in reminder functions for their various sales. Usually, there will also be an indication of when an item will be on sale ahead of time — you’d do well to bookmark those for easy access on the day of the sale.
#10: Go into full auntie/uncle mode
To unlock full auntie/uncle mode, collect promo codes (hint: there’s a browser extension called RateX), access the website via Shopback, check out your credit card or e-wallet’s cashback, and even note down specific flash deals.
The key is to maximise or stack all available rebates, coupons, spending bonuses, cashback, points, frequent flyer miles, etc so that you get a good deal from the sale and then some. For example, Qoo10 has a feature that gives you points for logging in every day, and a game called Roulette Q to earn even more points and coupons. Platforms like Lazada and Shopee are also likely to have sure-win games during sale periods.
Amass your coupons quickly and ahead of time, even if you’re not planning to buy anything yet. It’s not worth spending precious time trying to get a $2 coupon on sale day, but losing a coveted flash sale item in the process.
#11: Wait, it’s not even 11.11, but we’re adding to cart now?
Sure, why not? Park the items you really, really want in your cart, so that when it’s time, see the prices magically drop and then just press CHECKOUT! But do make sure that the site you are buying from allows you to park the items in your cart without timing out (i.e. in the unlikely event that everything disappears after 15min in your cart).
It’s also good practice to checkout as you go, in case an item you really like gets sold out halfway while you are browsing. Ouch. Though it’s inside your cart, it doesn’t mean the item is yours yet.
But… You don’t need to wait till the actual day as many shops are rolling out different deals on different days, in the lead up to the 11.11 sale.
Singtel Dash, the all-in-one mobile wallet, has a couple of special 11.11 deals that are already in full swing and you don’t need to be a Singtel mobile customer to use it. With its Dash Visa Virtual Account, you can use it to pay for all your 11.11 purchases or any of your shopping on global e-commerce sites.
Shopping offline, dining out or commuting? Continue to use Dash for all your payment needs and top up easily with eNETS, credit card or even charge your top-ups to your next Singtel bill if you are an existing Singtel mobile customer.
Here’s a taste of some of the sweet Singtel Dash deals* available for 11.11:
|Merchant and Promo||Duration|
|Lazada: $10 off $60 vouchers up for collection on 11 November 2019||Till 11 November 2019|
|Qoo10: $10 off $50 voucher and $5 off $25 vouchers up for collection||Till 11 November 2019|
||Till 11 November 2019|
|ezbuy: $6 off min spend of $50 with promo code EZNOV6||Till 12 November 2019|
||Till 15 November 2019|
||Till 17 November 2019|
|iHerb: 5% cashback||Till 30 November 2019|
|Agoda: $30 cashback with min. spend $200||Till 31 December 2019|
|Vpost: $10 off shipping with promo code vpostdash10||Till 31 December 2019|
|Philips: 40% off and $10 cashback with min. spend $200||Till 31 January 2020|
*Terms and conditions apply. Visit dash.com.sg/deals for more information.
If you somehow missed the 11.11 sale completely, or emerged empty-handed, there’s always other shopping events like Black Friday or Cyber Monday to look out for. These hacks still apply!
May the odds be ever in your favour!
Not yet on Singtel Dash? Visit here to find out more.
What are your sure-fire tips to score a dazzling deal during a major sale? Let us know in the comments below!