Online shopping. Once you’ve had a taste of the incredible bargains it can net you, how could you shop IRL ever again?
Well, don’t pooh-pooh the good ol’ bricks-and-mortar shop just yet. With a little bit of legwork, you can save more than just money by going to town to pick up that brand-new toy.
Here are the things we love most about going shopping at malls in Singapore.
Sure, you might receive the occasional department store flyer in the mail or see ads on Facebook alerting you limited-time offers on certain brands.
What you may not always be alerted to are the freebies sales staff can sometimes throw in to sweeten the deal for you. For example, many cosmetics brands bundle attractive samples with their goods above a certain value. Or, you could get free accessories thrown in to make your new laptop even more useful.
In many cases, this generosity is often the prerogative of the salesperson attending to you, which brings us to the next reason we love shopping IRL.
There are times when shopping is best done in your PJs in the dead of night, searching diligently for deals and getting it just-so at your own pace. Other times, though, it’s really nice to have a human being explain things to you without you having to research until your eyes water.
A good sales experience can be a great way to lift your mood after a long day — and you can’t really put a price on that. More importantly, that salesperson can explain technical details, and provide tips on maintenance of the item. This something you rarely encounter online, even if you might save some money by buying it over the Internet.
The feeling of satisfaction is even further enhanced if you happen to have chanced upon an unexpected price reduction on your item. Often, shoppers choosing between similar items are persuaded by the one that happens to be on offer. I mean, paying less is more, no?
Thing is, you likely would not have known about the sale item if you hadn’t ventured into the store in the first place. And while you might be able to get the same thing online for less, there’s shipping costs plus the interminable wait time. It might make more sense to buy it at a mall in Singapore.
Even without surprise sales, certain credit cards confer additional discounts and loyalty points for specific malls. This helps you save on everyday purchases made in-store.
The new American Express CapitaCard, for example, rewards you with 3 STAR$ for every S$1 you spend at CapitaLand Malls. Once you’ve accumulated a nice collection of STAR$, you can trade them in for CapitaVouchers. 10,000 STAR$ gives you a S$10 voucher, while 50,000 STAR$ gets you a S$50 voucher.
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You also get free parking at CapitaLand Malls if you spent at least S$1,200 in a calendar month. Oh, and did we mention that you also get 50,000 STAR$ if you spend S$888 on the card for the first 6 months?
Of course, bargain hunting online is fun and amazing — that is, until you get scammed.
Savvy shoppers will already know where to find legitimate deals online, but not all of us are so clever. That’s where the bricks-and-mortar shop is still useful.
By vouching for the authenticity their wares, these retailers are eliminating one major worry you might have. If anything goes awry with your purchase, you could very well bring it back to them and get an on-the-spot exchange. Try doing that with an online shop.
Some Stuff Shouldn’t Be Bought Sight-Unseen
Finally, there’s this, too. I mean, how could you possibly buy furniture without testing it first? Or checking that it fits you or your décor? This is also true of electronic gadgets like hi-fi systems and TVs, which you really should try out before purchasing (no matter how good the reviews).
A lot of things may look good on paper but is not actually compatible with you — which could turn out to be a major dampening.
So, by all means, shop for good deals online. But don’t forget to get out there every now and then. You’ll be surprised by how shopping at malls can still be so satisfying.
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