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If you thought that being single is only celebrated in movies, you haven't heard about the Chinese Singles' Day. While this year's event has passed, you should start preparing for next year's holiday. The 2021 Singles' day event will be held on November 11. This event, also known as Guanggun Jie (管棍节), is meant to celebrate young, single men and women. Singles' Day, which takes place on November 11 of every year, is today known as Double 11 because of the date's plentitude of ones, i.e., 11/11. It has also become China's most extensive shopping holiday.
Singles' Day: Discover the best offers and discounts
Where It All Began
The origins of this day can be traced back to Nanjing University in the 1990s. While the details about its inception are vague, two popular theories exist.
First theory: This theory is centered on four university students who enjoyed playing mahjong (game of tiles) in their all-male dorm. While playing, they would talk about the things they wished for – among them being girlfriends. There's a widespread belief that they would play this game on November 11 and that the winning tiles were all ones.
Second theory: This theory talks about a man named Guang Kun whose girlfriend died of cancer on November 11, Guang Kun's birthday. In the following years, both Guang Kun and his friends would pay their respects on the same day. Later on, students from Nanjing would celebrate this day annually.
The Single's Day A.K.A. The Chinese' Shopping Holiday
In 2009, internet commerce giant Alibaba wanted to push Taobao's sales, a shopping platform similar to eBay. The group marketed Singles' Day as an event for singles to treat themselves through shopping. Alibaba encouraged traders to join, and offer up to 50% discounts to its customers. That year, twenty-seven merchants hopped on, resulting in sales of close to $7 million. Since then, it became a shoppers' holiday for everyone, including non-Chinese citizens, and has generated massive sales for Alibaba.
In 2011, Alibaba began recruiting foreign traders to tap into its netizens' growing consumerism. They brought RayBan and Gap on board. In 2015, Alibaba's shopping holiday set a Guinness World record for the most e-commerce sales brought on by a company in twenty-four hours, with over $14billion in revenue. The shopping holiday is currently the largest online and offline shopping day globally.
Following Alibaba's success, western retailers leaped on the bandwagon with the hope of reaping huge sales. Some of the brands include Estée Lauder, Apple, and ASOS. According to an article in the New York Times, top brands Apple and Adidas generated over $14 million in sales during the 2018 Singles' Day shopping event.
This year, luxury brand Christian Dior released a capsule collection specifically for Double 11. Alibaba has also improved its marketing campaign for this shopping holiday. To attract more attention to Double 11, the company has been hosting countdown galas. So far, Alibaba has hired A-list celebrities such as Taylor Swift and Pharrell Williams to perform at the gala.
Making the Most Out of Singles' Day
For you to make the most out of Singles' Day, it would be best to have a clear idea of what you intend to buy. Below is a list of items to look out for on Singles' Day.
Laptops and cameras are but a few of the electronics sold at discounted prices on Singles' Day. Since such items are not on your daily buys, the shopping holiday is the ideal time to fulfil your Wishlist. Remember to research the model you wish to upgrade to beforehand. Doing proper research will save you from impulse buying, which could lead to significant disappointment.
Home Improvement Items
This year has seen many homeowners focus on various home improvement projects, including repairs and interior décor transformations. Most home improvement items are costly. Therefore, taking advantage of Singles' Day deals could help you save a few coins.
Singles' Day comes right before thanksgiving and other religious holidays. The holiday season is a time for gift-giving and family reunions. Let's not forget the countless events to attend, including weddings and graduation ceremonies. These deals could help you get that ideal holiday gift at a friendly price.
Beauty supplies and health products continue to be the most popular items bought on Singles' Day. Other household items include non-perishables such as pet food and canned goods. To save money, you should consider taking advantage of the Singles' Day discounts to stock up on these essentials.
Now that you know the items available on discounts, here's our guide to making the most out of the Shopping holiday.
1. Acquaint yourself with each shopping platform
In case you are not aware, most participating retailers on Singles' Day hail from China. Therefore, it would be best to acquaint yourself with the retailers' respective pages as a foreigner. The page interface can be tricky to navigate, so it's best to do this before Double 11. It would be best if you considered installing The Google Translate extension. This extension translates the product's description, such as the size, color, and price, thereby improving the shopping experience. The translate option also allows you to read customer reviews, which are crucial before making any purchase.
2. Prepare an exact shopping list
Now that you know your way around the retailers' sites, you should prepare a list with all the items you intend to buy. This preparation will ensure you stick to your budget and don't forget to purchase high-priority items.
Remember to open an account for each participating store. You can then add the list of items onto your Wishlist or bookmarks page. This action makes it less of a hassle to transfer your item onto the "add to cart" page. Also, saving your address beforehand will reduce time wastage when during the "buy item" process.
3. Download all coupon codes beforehand
Most retailers offer coupons on their pages. You can click on each store to download the vouchers and add them to your account from the Taobao store.
4. Prepare your credit cards in advance
It would be best to prepare the right credit card, preferably a rewards card for making payments. Also, confirm that your credit company allows international transactions to avoid payment issues on the Day of 11.11. You might want to have multiple credit cards as backup.
5. Always use the verified BuyandShip parcel forwarding service
On Singles Day, countless orders are shipping internationally. It's therefore not surprising when you experience delays. However, you should be able to track your order. Since Taobao and the Tmall store are in China, for international orders, you should use a verified buy and ship forwarding service that is trackable. With such a verified service, you don't need to worry about hidden charges. Also, your item will be delivered on your doorstep.
6. Set alarms
Are you familiar with flash sales? These are huge discounts offered on particular items at a lower price than what's on offer. These deals are provided within a short period then they disappear 'in a flash.' Items with such discounts often get sold out within minutes. To avoid missing out, you may want to set alarms for the next flash sale. You'll notice that each store will indicate a countdown for their flash sales on their home page. Take advantage of these deals by setting alarms or reminders.
We understand how therapeutic shopping can be. Even better is shopping for your favorite items at heavily discounted prices. Preparing in advance is a guaranteed way of making the most out of Singles' Day. Adequate planning not only helps you save money but ensures you buy the right items; those which you intend to use. Remember, research is critical when purchasing stuff online, especially for costly items such as electronics and for food or cosmetic items. Even though this year's Singles' Day has passed, with our guide, you now know the date for next year's event and how to prepare adequately. Looking at the trend for the past years, Singles Day 2021 is something everyone ought to look out for!