Singaporeans live to shop. Need a clearer sign? Just look at the amount of shopping malls that are already around us, and the number of new malls that are mushrooming every month or so. We just can’t get enough, and retailers know it.
Sure, shopping is easy. You can easily step out of your house and buy whatever you need at any of these malls. But being a savvy shopper takes skills and patience. In fact, if you’re looking to stretch your dollar and get the most bang for your buck, you might want to hold off your purchases — whether it is online or offline — and reserve them on these 13 key shopping events in the calendar. Why? One word — sale.
These are the most important dates you should know about if you’re inflicted by the shopping bug. Good things come to those who wait.
1. Qixi Festival
When: Seventh day of the seventh month of the Chinese lunar calendar
When is it in 2019: August 7
In Chinese mythology, there is a tragic love story that recounts how the cowherd and weaving girl only get to meet once a year on the night of the seventh day of the seventh month of the Chinese lunar calendar. That day is now known as Qixi (七夕) Festival and is the Chinese equivalent of Valentine’s Day. As Business of Fashion shares, Qixi Festival has grown to be a festival noted for gifting. Retailers, ranging from high end to high street, will offer limited edition pieces and flash promos via WeChat. No worries if you are not on the platform: Many retailers will also cash in on the joyous occasion with their own deals, as AsiaOne details via China Daily. These include other Chinese e-tailers such as Taobao.
When: November 11
When is it in 2019: November 11
Falling on November 11, the 11.11 sale is also known as the Singles’ Day sales. Created by Chinese conglomerate Alibaba in 2008, the event is a bonanza that cannot be missed. In fact, the same Taobao aficionado we mentioned earlier has shared that the 11.11 event is the best time, among all the other Chinese shopping events, to cash in on the deals. Straits Times also reported that the 24-hour event generates over S$33 billion in revenue and has expanded beyond China and into Singapore and the regional market. Moreover, local brick-and-mortar and e-tailers, ranging from Love, Bonito and RedMart to Lazada and Zalora, will launch deals and discounts as well. Definitely a date you cannot miss.
3. Black Friday
When: Fourth Friday of November
When is it in 2019: November 29
Started in the United States of America (USA), Black Friday is held the day after Thanksgiving that falls on the fourth Thursday of November. It is said to mark the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. On Black Friday, brick-and-mortar retailers will provide extensive one-day-only deals that are so enticing that people will start queueing outside the store in advance just to get a head start over the others. For example, Straits Times reported that the first person in queue for last year’s Black Friday sale at the Robinsons The Heeren department store started queueing on Thursday from 6am. The perk? iPhones (XR, XS and XS Max models) and iPads were given out to the first few shoppers who hit a certain amount spent. Other retailers such as Metro, Courts, Tangs and Sephora usually offer jaw-dropping deals as well, and Black Friday sales have also extended to e-commerce sites.
4. Cyber Monday
When: Following Monday from Black Friday
When is it in 2019: December 2
Another event that was started in the US, Cyber Monday is a continuation from Black Friday and happens on the Monday after. Unlike Black Friday, Cyber Monday specifically, as the name implies, refers to online retailers only. The shopping event was created in response to the growing e-commerce business, and Singaporean e-tailers have also jumped onboard this lucrative trend. This means you can expect promotions with online-only brands such as Lazada, Shopee and ASOS, for example. On the other hand, brands with both physical and online presence, such as Sephora and Guardian, would push special online shopping deals that wouldn’t be applicable at their brick-and-mortar stores.
When: December 12
When is it in 2019: December 12
Following the spectacular success of the 11.11 sales, the 12.12 sales was created by Taobao to help smaller merchants who weren’t able to capitalise on the Singles’ Day event, according to the ecommercechinaagency.com. While it remains smaller in scale compared to its November counterpart, many merchants including Lazada and Shopback have also joined in the shopping event with their own deals and promotions.
When: Before Christmas that falls on December 25
When is it in 2019: Before December 25
Much like Chinese New Year, the deals created in the lead-up to Christmas are to entice shoppers who are looking to score great gifts at an even better value. During this period, many shopping malls would extend their opening hours while throwing in complimentary gift wrapping services, on top of the shopping deals and discounts. In addition, many brands would create gift sets of their bestselling items. These sets would be going at a lower price than if you had purchased the items individually, so it would be irresistible not to purchase them. For e-tailers, there’d usually be promotions and bundle-deals as well.
7. Boxing Day
When: The day after Christmas
When is it in 2019: December 26
What happens to the excess stock that retailers have prepped to meet the Christmas shopping surge? Well, they’ll most likely be sold at a fraction of its price with discounts and deals on Boxing Day, which happens on the day after Christmas on December 26. If you’ve been eyeing to get something before Christmas but are not in too big a hurry, it can often pay off to wait till Boxing Day to score it at a better value. However, hot items might sell out before/during Christmas so you’ll have to weigh your options.
8. Shopback ShopFest
When: September to December
When is it in 2019: Various dates
What makes scoring a great deal even better? The ability to get rebates from your spending at the same time. This is where cashback reward program Shopback comes in. Since 2018, Shopback has created the Shopback ShopFest in the final quarter of the year, which happens in the lead up to 9/9 Rewards Day on Sept 9 and 10/10 Perfect 10 sale on Oct 10, as well as 11.11 and 12.12. Besides helping shoppers get the best deals from its partners — which includes over 500 merchants such as Taobao, Lazada and Qoo10 — Shopback will also introduce greater cashback value for limited periods. This event is especially helpful for those who are daunted by the sheer volume of promotions during the many year-end sales and those looking to get higher value for shopping.