It’s that time of the year again.
When one’s inner shopaholic beast is aroused, when credit cards are whipped out more frequently than sexy body parts at strip bars, and when Tmall’s annual Singles’ Day Sale – affectionately termed 11.11 or 双11 – happens.
For those who have just moved out from under a rock – 11.11 is THE shopping event of the year. Even Guinness World Records says so: 2014’s 11.11 earned USD 9.3 billion (BILLION!) in 24 hours and currently holds the titles for “individual company with the highest online retail volume in a 24-hour period” and another for “individual online retail platform that sold the most mobile phones in a 24-hour period.” During the sale, Tmall.com sold 1,894,867 total units of mobile phones, according to the company. That’s a lot of ETs phoning home.
Telling you about the history does nothing exciting. What’s better? The prices. Just a little teaser to get you all hot and bothered:
11.11 update: I bought 2 pairs of earphones and a powerbank at $30 flat. YAY!
So here’s what you gotta know, expect and do.
[Part I: What You Must Know]
1. Many Tmall sellers have already started pre-sales. (Here, here, and here.) Although 11.11 is officially for Tmall only, plenty of other sellers on other sites get in on the action. Try Taobao, JingDong, Vancl, Womai, Jumei, ShopIn orMBaoBao. My personal favourites are Mushroom Street & Pocket.
2. Verify your Skycart account. For those of you who have just joined Skycart (awesome, you) do be sure to verify your account by clicking on the link in the email that was sent to you when you registered. An unverified account cannot proceed to checkout, so be sure to smoothen the entire process for yourself!
3. Top-up Skypay in advance with more than you actually need (we think 20% is a good gauge) so you don’t have to wait for verification on 11 November. Sellers may charge extra domestic fee or you may suddenly see a deal that cannot be missed. On the day itself, it’s better to use credit card and Paypal instead of iBanking because the first two methods are instant.
4. Start adding items to your wishlist right now, instead of your cart. You won’t have time to do so on the day itself. Items go out of stock faster than you can click and items in your cart will not reflect the discounted prices.
[Part II: What To Expect]
1. Delays are inevitable. The entire China comes to a standstill for up to 6 weeks after 11.11. Skycart will do their best to ship your things over to you as soon as possible once the sellers have dispatched your item(s).
2. Items will sell out extremely fast on 11.11.2015. Your option(s) might not be available at the time of purchase. If this happens, your item will be considered Out Of Stock and be cancelled. You will receive a full refund within the next few hours.
3. Full amounts must be paid upfront. For example, this item, which has a RMB26 定金 (or deposit), must be paid RMB 259 (预售价) through your Skypay. Skycart will handle the deposit and reservation for you. Note: 价格 means original price. In this case, its RMB299. Deposits are non-refundable and items are not eligible for 7-days return. These terms are from the sellers, not us!
4. Contact them on their Facebook page for quick response. For 11.11, they’ll be able to respond much faster on Facebook PM, so look for them here.
[Part III: What To Do]
1. State 11.11.2015 in the Remarks box. With this, we will only purchase your item on 11.11. If you do not leave this remark, we will purchase your item immediately and you won’t get to enjoy the discounted price.
2. Check out and pay way before 11 November so we have time to allocate a dedicated officer to handle your account for you.
3. Have options and substitutes for your shopping. Tell us exactly what colour/size you prefer, and be kiasu – give us your options #1, #2 and #3 in case what you want goes out of stock. We also recommend that you wishlist a few similar items from different sellers in the event that every link you checkout goes out of stock.
4. Pay the highest price in your item link. If you did give us options 1/2/3 (thank you!), option 3 might cost more than option 1, which already went out of stock. This way, we won’t have to wait for you to top-up. You’ll get refunded for whatever was not spent.
And here’s a quick guide for y’all so you don’t have to scramble around like headless chickens while deciding who gets the honor of taking care of your shopping:
(I was paid to put these up but hey, numbers don’t lie right?)
Tons of people – myself included – have something to say about the 5000/6000 volumetric calculation so Skycart came out with these comparison charts that pretty much shuts every one up.
To be absolutely honest, I’m still dividing my purchases between 65daigou and Skycart cos they both have strengths and weaknesses. I’ve been a super long time customer with 65daigou and I have a shitload of credits with them so I haven’t been paying agent fee for about a year now? Hahaha. But with Skycart, the sea shipping rates are cheaper and I get $5 to spend for every referral instead of 500 credits, which is the 65daigou way.
Even though I’m now in Skycart employ as their blogger, I feel the need to be honest in my own space to my own readers. Skycart’s still new so I’m watching to see if they’ll grow up to be as reliable as 65daigou is. But the best thing about them? They’re really open and responsive even if their paid blogger is talking about a competitor positively in a post they paid for so just imagine the places their open-ness could take the business too.
Register for a Skycart account here! (And earn me that $5 too. Or let me know if you don’t want to pay 65daigou agent fees. I can share my credits.)