Before researching and writing this article, I would be the last person you’d ask about Qoo10. I totally respect that Qoo10 isn’t a generic e-commerce clone… But why oh why does it have to be so complicated, with its own weird logic and jargon?!
I’m really lucky that my partner is something of a Qoo10 expert, so if I want something on the site, I ask him to buy it. The fun part is asking him how much he paid for it in the end. It always amazes me how a $12.90 item always ends up costing “$7 with coupons” or something ridiculous like that.
So just what on earth are Qoo10 coupons? And what are all those weird tricks that Qoo10 lao jiaos use to save money? As I soon found out, there are many, many levels to this…
- [Beginner] Check for Qoo10 cart coupons
- [Beginner] Collect Qoo10 shop & item coupons
- [Beginner] Qoo10 Time Sale / Daily Deal / Group Buy
- [Beginner] Save on delivery with store collection / Q-Prime
- [Intermediate] Buy $100 Qoo10 gift cards to save 2%
- [Intermediate] Earn Qpoints by daily attendance + Qoo10 roulette
- [Intermediate] Leave reviews for Qpoints
- [Advanced] Use BOC Qoo10 Mastercard
- [Advanced] Become Qoo10 Shopping Curator
- [Questionable] Buy Q*coins on Quube
[Beginner] Check Qoo10 / your credit card for cart coupons
Unlike all the other online shopping sites, Qoo10 doesn’t really use promo codes. Instead, most discounts are available via what’s known as Qoo10 coupons.
These are basically vouchers structured like this: “$X off with minimum spend of $Y”, which is great since you never need to calculate percentages or figure out how much you can spend before you hit the cap.
There are 3 types of Qoo10 coupons, in diminishing order of usefulness:
- Cart coupons (applicable on everything in your shopping cart)
- Shop coupons (can only be used with a particular seller)
- Item coupons (only for specific items within a Qoo10 store)
Qoo10 cart coupons are obviously the best to have, and fortunately, Qoo10 can’t even go a week without giving away random cart coupons. For example, right now there’s a $12 off $80 cart coupon.
You will probably get coupons in your inbox upon registering an account, but if you don’t, you can also search Qoo10 for “qoo10 cart coupon” and click through any of the results to get it.
This is what shows up when I click on one of the listings:
Alternatively, you can use one of these credit cards which also have cart coupons available:
|Credit card||Qoo10 cart coupons|
|Citibank||$10 off min. spend $60|
|Maybank||$10 off min. spend $60|
|Citibank SMRT Card||$10 off min. spend $70|
|UOB||$10 off min. spend $80 until 30 Jun 2019|
|UOB||$10 coupon pack (every Tue)|
|Standard Chartered||$10 coupon pack (every Thu)|
To make use of Qoo10 coupons, first click/tap on the “GET” button next to the coupon, then make sure you “Use Cart Coupon” on the checkout page. The discount is applied to your cart balance.
[Beginner] Collect Qoo10 shop coupons / item coupons
Before you check out your shopping cart and give yourself a high-five for shaving $10 off your purchase, you should also know your way around Qoo10 shop coupons and item coupons.
Qoo10 shop coupons can be used on anything in the seller’s store, subject to a minimum spend (e.g. $5 off min. spend $50). These are pretty common so always, always check the item listing before you buy.
Some of these are offered if you become a “fellow” of (i.e. follow) so – duh – just click the “Join Fellow” button lah, it’s free.
Because of Qoo10 shop coupons, it’s really, really difficult to do comparison shopping on Qoo10. Let’s say two sellers are selling the same item; Seller A prices it at $15 and Seller B prices it at $17. No brainer to add Seller A’s to cart, right? Until you realise Seller B has a $3 shop coupon, making his product $14 instead… Urgh.
Qoo10 item coupons are said to exist, though I haven’t come across them before. I suppose maybe they’re for more expensive items? Anyway, if you see one, grab it, because…
Qoo10 cart coupons, shop coupons and item coupons are stackable.
That is, you’re not limited to using just one Qoo10 coupon when you check out. You can use a $10 cart coupon + $5 shop coupon + $1 item coupon to get a total $16 off your purchase. Note that you’re limited to one coupon of each type at each checkout, though.
[Beginner] Qoo10 Time Sale / Daily Deal / Group Buy
While shopping on Qoo10, you might have stumbled upon the Time Sale, Daily Deal and Group Buy pages. They’re basically the lelong section of Qoo10; Qoo10 sellers actually pay to discount their products and get listed on these pages.
Qoo10 Time Sale is a fine piece of e-commerce engineering. This is where items are discounted for only a few hours that day, inducing you to panic-buy before the deal ends or the stock runs out. But sometimes it’s just bluff one – I have seen certain items go on “Time Sale” every damn day.
Qoo10 Daily Deals are pretty much the same as Time Sale, just on a full-day basis rather than a few hours. Again, some items are on “Daily Deals” almost perpetually.
Now, Qoo10 Group Buy – now, that’s an interesting one. It’s where sellers discount a product on the condition that they get a minimum number of buyers during the sale period. (If they don’t hit the minimum, the Group Buy is off, and you will get a refund.) You can also see how many people bought the item – a great way to exploit the herd mentality of Singaporeans.
The main downside of such sales is that, usually, Qoo10 coupons cannot be used with items on sale.
Personally, I don’t see the appeal… It’s pretty hard to find what you want, and the listings don’t even look like very good deals sometimes. Proceed with a healthy dose of skepticism.
[Beginner] Save on delivery with store collection / Q-Prime
This isn’t directly related to deals or promo codes, but one thing that can really jack up the price of an item are delivery fees, especially if the item is located overseas.
To save money on delivery (and also cut short the lead time), my partner usually checks only the local seller listings by selecting “Singapore” under the “Shipping from” drop down list.
Many local Qoo10 sellers offer the option of store pickup, so if it’s a common item, it’s a simple matter of choosing one with a convenient store location. Otherwise, you’ll have to shell out something like $3.99 or $5.99 for Qxpress delivery.
Some sellers also let you opt for the cheaper SingPost delivery, but it’s still at least $1.50 or $2.50, which is significant if you’re buying just, like, a $2 pair of socks.
Another way to save on delivery fees is to check if the item you want is available through a Q-Prime eligible store. If your item has the little pink Q-Prime diamond, it’s eligible.
Q-Prime lets you get free local delivery (min. purchase $50) or a flat $3.99 (purchases under $50), as long as every item in your cart is Q-Prime eligible. This is a definite plus over having to pay shipping separately to every single seller in your order.
Unlike Lazada LiveUp or Amazon Prime Now, there’s no subscription fee for Q-Prime. The only downside is that not all sellers offer it, so your options are limited.
[Intermediate] Buy $100 Qoo10 gift card to save 2%
On top of the above, many frequent Qoo10 users also purchase Qoo10 gift cards for themselves. These can be used to top up Qmoney, which is stored value in your Qoo10 account, similar to GrabPay or Lazada Wallet top-ups.
Since it’s stored value that you cannot ever get back, it’s definitely only for those who feel reasonably confident that they’ll spend money on Qoo10 again. Hence, I filed it under “intermediate”, although the procedure is really easy.
The gift cards are available in smaller denominations, but only the $100 gift card is worth buying, because you can get it for $98, i.e. at a 2% discount.
Sounds a bit lame, but if your baby is going through Huggies nappies at a speed normally reserved for wildfire and car chases, you’ll appreciate any savings you can get.
[Intermediate] Earn Qpoints by daily attendance + Qoo10 roulette
Personally I find this very bo liao, but hardcore Qoo10 users will log in to Qoo10 or open the app to “take attendance” every day at the Q-Lounge. The reason for this undignified behaviour is that you can get Qpoints – i.e. money! – for just showing up and tapping on a button.
|Attendance days||Points awarded|
|6 days||20 Qpoints|
|12 days||20 Qpoints|
|18 days||30 Qpoints|
|24 days||30 Qpoints|
|30 days||100 Qpoints|
|TOTAL for 30 days||200 Qpoints = $2|
Since 100 Qpoints = $1 value, you can actually get $2 in credits for basically doing nothing. You can use Qpoints to offset your next purchase.
While you’re chilling with the cool cats in the Q-Lounge, you can also play Qoo10 Roulette (Roulette Q). I know it sounds crazy but it’s so easy. Just click on “PLAY” and see what you get – either 10 / 30 Qpoints or $5 / $10 / $30 cart coupons. Shiok, right? If only the RWS casino worked like that…
You can spin the Qoo10 roulette every day when you sign in. (Now you know what to do next time you’re on the toilet.) Purchasing stuff on Qoo10 gives you additional chances to play, too.
I love how blatant Qoo10 is about incentivising people to do stupid shit on their platform. It seems stupid, but is actually really smart. Sort of like playing the miles game – the more ridiculous things you do to game the system, the more invested you become!
[Intermediate] Leave reviews for Qpoints
From a purely consumer-centric point of view, I think Qoo10 is actually a really good platform because there are actual reviews… with pics!!!
You must be sitting there smiling, thinking what a wonderful world it is. I hate to break it to you: It’s not that Qoo10 users are particularly altruistic, but because you can earn Qpoints for leaving picture reviews.
That’s why sometimes you get nonsensical pictures, like product screenshots, photos of prata, and that picture of a rose. But there are also good photos in there, like that lovely action shot with an armchair.
You have to hit a minimum word count for the review. Presumably this is to encourage people to describe the item in further detail, but many users just post something like “Good Good Good Good Good Good Good Good Good Good” or some crap about the delivery guy being 2 minutes early.
All this effort will get you a few Qpoints, up to 10 Qpoints per review, depending on the value of your purchase (and some other unknown factors).
[Advanced] Sign up for BOC Qoo10 Mastercard
OK, here’s where things really get into gong tao territory…
If you’re so devoted to Qoo10 that you don’t mind getting a Qoo10 credit card that lets you earn rebates in Q-money instead of, you know, actual money… this thing actually exists.
The Bank of China Qoo10 Mastercard isn’t all that difficult to use. If you consolidate your spending and hit a minimum of $600 in a month, you get pretty good rebates on public transport spending (20%!), dining (5%), Grab rides (5%) and – obviously – online shopping (10% on Qoo10, 5% elsewhere).
Plus you get a $100 Qoo10 coupon pack once your card is approved! If only the rebates were in real money, I’d sign up for this card in a heartbeat.
If you’re not too keen on having Qmoney sitting in your account forever and ever, there are also some regular credit cards that dangle Qoo10 coupons if you sign up:
|Credit cards||Qoo10 coupon sign-up gift|
|American Express||$150 gift card|
|Standard Chartered||$200 coupon pack|
|Citibank||$150 coupon pack|
|HSBC||$120 coupon pack|
|BOC Qoo10 Mastercard||$100 coupon pack|
Note that some may impose minimum spending requirements in order for you to get the gift.
My favourite is the Amex promotion, because I’d rather have virtual money to spend than a bunch of “$X off minimum spend $Y” coupons.
[Advanced] Become a Qoo10 Shopping Curator
The very prettily-named Qoo10 Shopping Curator programme is Qoo10’s version of an affiliate marketing programme.
Basically, it encourages influencers and wannabes to “curate” their favourite Qoo10 buys in a gallery, share them with their followers, and get some money when their “fans” make a purchase. You can see some curator galleries and “themes” here.
Actually, you don’t reallly have to be a “curator” to earn money, according to this blog post about affiliate marketing on Qoo10.
If you’re already waxing enthusiastic about specific products on Qoo10 to your fellow Dayre moms or favourite HardwareZone thread, you can actually post affiliate links. You’d earn a 1% to 2% cut of sales generated from your affiliate link.
[Questionable] Buy Q*coins on QuuBe
Done all of the above? Congratulations, you’ve unlocked the highest possible level of Qoo10 gong tao: QuuBe.
QuuBe, which stands for “Qoo10 united ubiquitous Blockchain economy” (lol), is Qoo10’s very own cryptocurrency-based e-commerce site.
The site itself is like a Bizarro Qoo10, with the same structure you know and love – you can check out Time Sales and play Qoo10 Roulette in the Q-Lounge here. The products are also similar, lots of tech gadgets and baby stuff especially.
The only difference is that all prices are displayed in a pseudocurrency, Q*coin, which has its own symbol ∯, so ∯3 instead of $3. The Q*coin to SGD exchange rate is currently ∯1 = $1.40.
To buy stuff on the site, you have to purchase Q*coins and spend them. Depending on the exchange rate and the price of the item, it may or may not be cheaper to do this than to buy on Qoo10.
I didn’t do a thorough survey, but just glancing at the QuuBe site, the items don’t exactly look dirt cheap. For example, this SK-II facial treatment essence costs ∯47.29 [S$66.20] while its counterpart on Qoo10 costs $69. Not exactly insane savings.
However, you can take advantage of promotions to secure Q*coins at a cheaper rate. For example, Amex has a 15% off promo for Qcoin.
Obviously, buying Q*coins is a really risky affair, although according to this Qoo10 blog post, the “value [of Q*coins] will never be lower than what you paid” because… something something price revision something.
Personally I think it’s a huge gimmick. But what do I know? I’m not a Bitcoin millionaire. If you’ve tried Q*coins, let me know what you think.
Have you tried any of these Qoo10 strategies? Tell us if we left out anything.