Want to shop the smart way? Keep an eye out for these online shopping sale days that will allow you to maximise your savings. There’s one almost every month of the year!
When you first become a parent, you’ll have to fork out quite a bit. Essentials such as a baby crib, milk powder, and a stroller aren’t cheap. As your little tyke grows into a toddler, you’ll have to get a high chair, new clothes, new toys, and more. When they enter school-going age, there’re school shoes, backpacks, and other paraphernalia to purchase. Raising a child is definitely expensive!
So instead of just buying items as and when they come to mind, plan your purchases to coincide with online shopping sale days. In this article, we break down five popular online shopping sale days, and tell you what to look out for in each!
(See also: Save $4,500 in Baby’s First Year)
Amazon Prime Day (in July)
Amazon Prime Day was introduced in 2015 to celebrate Amazon’s 20th anniversary, and 2018 is the first year that shoppers in Singapore could join in. While this year’s event (which fell on July 16th 2018!) has already passed, there’s always next year’s Prime Day to look forward to.
Amazon Prime Day deals are available exclusively to Amazon Prime members. If you haven’t signed up for an account yet, there’s no rush. Wait till a week before Amazon Prime Day 2019. You get a 30-day free trial, so if you find that you’re not really using the service after Prime Day, you can cancel your account without incurring any cost.
What to buy:
• Amazon products such as the Echo Dot, Fire TV Stick, Fire Tablet, and Kindle. This year’s top sellers were the heavily discounted Amazon’s Echo Dot and Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice remote. We’re anticipating that Amazon will slash the prices of these products during their 2019 Prime Day as well!
• Electronics, phones and household products. Among the discounted products on Prime Day 2018 were Bose headphones and Samsung phones (up to 50% off), Panasonic appliances and Tefal cookware (up to 40% off), and Philips Lights (up to 30% off). Brands such as KitchenAid and Sennheiser also unboxed exclusive new items only for members.
• Credit card deals: For Prime Day 2018, new Prime members who were VISA card holders enjoyed $30 off a minimum purchase of $60, with all other card holders getting $15 off with the same minimum purchase. Existing Prime members were also privy to $20 or $10 off a minimum purchase of $80 (applicable to VISA cardholders and other cardholders respectively).
9.9 (9 September)
The 9.9 sale was pretty much unheard of a few years back, but it’s quickly become a massive online shopping day. Merchants offering deals on 9.9 include: Shopee, Lazada, Expedia, Zalora, FAVE, Redmart, Microsoft, and Vaniday.
What to buy:
• Brand-name products on Lazada. On 9.9, you’ll be able to get your hands on heavily discounted brand-name products (we’re talking up to 90% off). Leading up to 9.9, Lazada also runs special “category” sale days – be sure to check out their “Super Mother & Baby Day”, which was on 8 September this year.
• Travel deals on Expedia: Grab your chance to score some great year-end holiday deals on Expedia. But be forewarned: If Expedia’s 2018 promotion was anything to go by, you’ll only be able to purchase for last-minute getaways (the travel period in the 2018 sale lasts till 31st January 2019). This means you will have to travel on pretty short notice. If your kids are already enrolled in holiday camps, tuition or other activities, and you can’t shift those around, you might have to give this one a miss. Otherwise, get in there and start planning your trip!
• Groceries on Redmart: Redmart offers up to 70% off, so this is a great time to bulk-buy items that your kids use on a regular basis. Milk, detergent, washing powder, nappies… stock up while you can get them cheap!
• Credit card deals: For Lazada’s 9.9 sale in 2018, shoppers could get 15% off with a minimum spend of $60 using DBS or POSB cards, or $99 off with a minimum spend of $699 using AMEX cards. Shopee also ran a S$10 off site-wide with minimum spend of S$80 (with Citi cards) promotion. Do note that these credit card promotions are typically limited to the first few hundred redemptions per day. Make sure you check out all the promotions beforehand, and use the right card on 9.9!
(See also: 8 Unique Places to Travel to as a Family)
10.10 (10 October)
Like the 9.9 sale event, the 10.10 sale is simply another sale event that popped up following the massive success of 11.11 and Black Friday. Merchants offering deals on 10.10 include: ASOS, Zalora, Agoda, Vaniday, Lazada, Qoo10, Shopee, Ezbuy
What to buy:
• Miscellaneous products on Qoo10: Apart from discounted products (up to 90% off!), Qoo10’s 10.10 events also feature new brand launches, flash deals, shopping quests, and more. Visit their campaign page and collect your coupons before and during the sale. All Qoo10 members are entitled to “draw” a certain number of coupons per month depending on their membership tier. There will also be special event coupons that you can “claim” on the site during the 10.10 promo.
• Miscellaneous products on Shopee: Shopee’s 2018 9.9 sale event wasn’t much to shout about, but its 10.10 event was a lot larger. It ran from 1st to 10th October so shoppers had more time to snag their deals. We’re crossing our fingers that they’ll do the same in 2019!
Shopee’s 10.10 events feature a “Sale of The Day” category (of 5-star bestsellers), a Spin To Win promotion, 10.10 highlights, giveaways, and more. Items are discounted up to 90%, and there are tons of freebies up for grabs (this included Fossil watches and an iPhone XS Match in 2018). Flash sales run eight times daily, with new products being released. Check out the specific deals, and redeem your vouchers on Shopee’s campaign page or in-app before the sale commences!
• Items from Korea and USA on ezbuy: ezbuy organises its 10.10 sale event according to country. While you can get good deals on China items, we’re more interested in their Korea and US sales. During the 10.10 Korea sale you’ll have access to discounted products from a huge range of Korean cosmetic brands. These include Laneige, Innisfree, Missha, Banila, Etude House, 3CE and more. It’s like shopping at Myeongdong… in the comfort of your own home!
The same goes with ezbuy’s 10.10 US sale – get all sorts of US products at discounted prices. Check out the “Mom & Baby” category which features Fisher-Price toys, Braun thermometers, Burt’s Bees ointment and other baby care products. You can also purchase cheap Kate Spade bags and wallets, as well as Clinique, e.l.f, NYX, Maybelline and MAC cosmetics!
• Credit card deals: Most merchants offer credit card promotions that give you additional discounts. For Lazada’s 2018 event, shoppers could enjoy 15% off with a minimum spend of $60 if they made a purchase with their HSBC card (in-app). Qoo10 also offered redeemable cart coupons for pretty much every credit card, including Maybank, UOB, Standard Chartered, Bank of China, AMEX, and Citi.
11.11 Single’s Day (11 November)
Single’s Day, also known as “Bare Branch Day” in China, is a non-official holiday that celebrates single-hood. Back in 1993, students in Nanjing University came together to toast their single status. While it isn’t clear how this happened, merchants in China started offering attractive promotions to entice shoppers to splurge on this day.
Fast forward to now, and Single’s Day has become the largest offline and online shopping day in the world. Pretty much every retail or eCommerce store in China (and plenty across Southeast Asia!) participates in Single’s Day. However the majority of sales come from Taobao and Tmall. Last year, these two platforms earned a record-breaking US$25.4 billion on this day. Alibaba also set a world record for processing 256,000 payment transactions per second during the event.
Merchants offering deals on 11.11 Single’s Day include: Taobao, Lazada, Ezbuy, Shopee, Mothercare, Zalora, Watsons, Hotels.com, Superga, Klook, Zuji, ASOS, Qoo10, Vaniday, Sephora, Body Shop, Benefit, Deliveroo, Dumex, Redmart
What to buy:
• Products on Taobao and Tmall: You’ll be able to find the best 11.11 deals on Taobao and Tmall. Make sure to take full advantage of the event by bookmarking your favourite shops, and checking out pre-event promotions.
Here are a few pro-tips to score the deals during 11.11:
- First, understand how pre-order sales work. If the shop you’re looking at is running a pre-order sale (订金限时疯狂翻倍), this means you’ll be able to secure your sale item before 11.11. Simply make a deposit ahead of time, then log in on 11.11 to pay your remaining balance. If you want to conduct a search to find stores that offer pre-order sales, add “预售双11” to your search.
- On top of that, maximise your coupons and red packets. Most Taobao shoppers will know that Taobao and Tmall stores offer coupons from their shopfront. If you have a number to choose from, use the 11.11 exclusive coupons first (仅限1111). You can save your other coupons to use on a later date. Coupons aside, look for the additional 11.11 red packets that are distributed on 11.11 itself. These are typically released around 2pm Singapore Time, so keep your eyes peeled!
- Finally, you’re probably using an international shipping agent such as ezbuy, SGshop, or Peeka. Compare each of these agent’s rates before deciding which to go for. Most will lower their rates for the 11.11 event, but some will state that you have to check out on 11.11 itself to be eligible for the lower rate. Others might offer their reduced rates for an entire week. Choose your agent wisely!
• Baby care products on Mothercare: Last Single’s Day, Mothercare ran a 15% off storewide promotion, and also offered several online-exclusive promotions. Amongst other fantastic deals, shoppers could snag a Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Complete Feeding Kit for $189 (UP: $482). There are massive savings to look forward to, so access Mothercare’s website early and check out as quickly as possible when the clock strikes midnight!
• Miscellanous products on Shopee: Shopee’s 11.11 sale last year was impressive. There were hourly promotions, $1.10 flash deals, Shopee Mart 1+1 bundle deals, and plenty of giveaways. Shopee also introduced a “lowest price guarantee” scheme for over 1,000 products including Mamy Poko Disney Diapers. With this scheme, if you find a comparable item that’s cheaper on another platform, Shopee will return you twice the difference. Check if the household products your family uses on a regular basis are on sale, and stock up!
• Credit card deals: Most stores will offer credit card promotions; same for Taobao and Tmall. Last year, the two heavyweights offered special deals for Maybank and UOB card holders. The first 800 Maybank cardholders who spent $100 or above on 11.11 got a $25 rebate. That’s an extra discount on top of whatever price reductions Taobao/Tmall merchants are offering!
Black Friday and Cyber Monday (from 23 November)
Black Friday refers to a sales event held on the day following Thanksgiving (22 November this year). Most stores slash their prices heavily and major retailers open their stores extra early to cater to shoppers hunting for a good deal. While Black Friday originated from the US, there are plenty of local brands and eCommerce platforms that also run Black Friday sales. Some US and local retailers will extend their sales past the weekend to what they call “Cyber Monday”.
If you’re thinking of buying from US-based eCommerce stores, remember to factor in the time difference. Black Friday 2018 starts on 23rd November at midnight EST / PST (that’s midday or 3pm local time). We recommend setting up an account with a shipping service (eg ComGateway or vPost) before that. This way, you’ll be able to check out your items quickly, with minimal fuss.
If you are purchasing electronics, bear in mind that you won’t get a local warranty for your item. For this reason, you’re better off sticking to reputable brands. Do also note that you’ll have to get a transformer to use your electronic item if its voltage requirements are listed as 110V. If it’s 110V – 240V, then you can skip the transformer. You’ll probably need a power plug converter as well.
Finally, you’ll have to pay 7% GST if you’re shipping any items that exceed S$400 in value to Singapore. If you’re buying expensive items, keep this in mind, and make sure you’re still getting a good deal after factoring this in!
Merchants offering deals on Black Friday include: Zalora, Qoo10, Lazada, Shopee, ezbuy, Marks & Spencer, Metro, Sephora, Robinsons, Courts, Harvey Norman, Gain City, Watsons, Superga, Reebonz, New Balance, Amazon
What to buy:
• Electronics and other products on Amazon: Most sellers on Amazon will offer some sort of Black Friday deal. Items with heavy discounts are generally game consoles, cameras, and other electronics. Amazon also runs massive promotions on its own brand items such as Amazon Echo devices, Kindles, and Fire tablets.
Pro-tip: Some sellers mark up their prices in the days leading up to Black Friday. This is so that their items will look more discounted than they are. Before you purchase, use a price comparison tool such as CamelCamelCamel to check the item’s historical prices!
• Department store products (in-store): Singapore’s department stores are stepping up their game when it comes to Black Friday. Last year, Metro stores at Paragon and The Centrepoint opened at 7.30am on Black Friday. There was plenty up for grabs, including early bird purchase-with-purchase deals such as the Dyson AM07 fan at $80 (UP $799). Metro even provided free breakfast for shoppers.
Robinsons also extended their operating hours from 7am to 1am on Black Friday last year. On top of purchase-with-purchase promotions, Robinsons also offered gift-with-purchase deals. Shoppers could get an Apple iPad Wi-Fi + Cellular (128GB) with a minimum spend of $3,500 storewide, or an Apple iPhone 8 Plus (256GB) with a minimum spend of $6,000 storewide.
Note: Don’t want to go down to the physical store? Make your purchases on the department stores’ online websites.
• Credit card deals: There are fewer credit card discounts and promotions to tap on with Black Friday. Robinsons offered a “Robinsons Poker Card” containing either a $5, $10 or $500 voucher to the first 2,000 OCBC Robinsons Group Visa cardmembers to reach their stores in 2017, but that’s about it.
Buy from the right place, at the right time
Groceries, electronics, baby products, household items – no matter what you’re looking for, you can most definitely get it online. To stretch your dollar, time your purchases right, and buy your big-ticket items during one of the online shopping sale days. Missed this year’s already? If you’re in no hurry, start planning for next year. As the saying goes, good things come to those who wait!