Singles' Day is an annual one-day shopping festival in China that's bigger than America's Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined. The Alibaba Group, which runs the Singles' Day sale event, is gearing up for a much bigger event this year. Singles' Day is held on November 11 — 11/11, all singles — each year with sales for the one-day shopping festival nearly touching $25 billion (approximately Rs. 1.8 lakh crores) last year. Alibaba claimed it sold $1 billion worth of products in the first two minutes of the sale itself last year, and Singles' Day 2018 promises to be even bigger.
Here's everything you need to know about Singles' Day 2018 sale and how you can make the most out of it while sitting right here in India.
Singles' Day started out as an anti-Valentine's Day festival when some students at Nanjing University decided to organise something for single people. It was thought out to be a day when single people can buy stuff for themselves, a complete opposite of Valentine's Day. Alibaba joined the party by offering great deals from 2009 and things haven't been the same ever since.
Singles' Day isn't quite popular in India yet and even though the online festive season sale just ended in India, you can still grab some products at almost dirt-cheap prices during the one-day sale event. A number of Chinese online stores ship to India and if you're careful enough, you can score a number of decent deals. Online stores such as AliExpress, DealExtreme, and Gearbest are some of the best options available to shop during Singles' Day. Some of the low-cost products are even available with free shipping, although those are generally shipped via snail mail.
The first few hours of the sale are always crucial, that's when you have more chances of being able to grab some great deals. Make sure you've already set up an account on the online store where you'd like to place an order. You should also install mobile apps of these stores. Ali Express has a decent mobile app that's easy to use on both iOS and Android. At times, mobile apps get slightly better deals as well. The sale includes a number of flash sales where products are offered at extremely low prices. We'll be bringing you the best deals once the sale goes live, so make sure you tune in to Gadgets 360 on Singles' Day.
Safety has to be your biggest concern while shopping online during Singles' Day. The first golden rule is not to buy on any random Chinese online store, no matter how good the deal may seem. Stick to popular online stores and always check seller ratings before buying. Sites like Ali Express are simply marketplaces where other sellers sell their goods. Checking ratings and reviews is both easy and makes it worthwhile.
Another thing you need to keep in mind is to refrain yourself from buying just about any gadget out there, some of these products could turn out to be fakes, especially if they're being offered at extremely low prices. You should also consider the fact that buying products on these sites will not offer any sort of warranty, other than the limited coverage offered by the marketplace itself.
The last, but most important, factor is using a credit card for your payment. Some debit cards still work but you should always prefer a credit card. It's easier to file for a chargeback with a credit card in case anything goes wrong.
Is it really worth it?
Singles' Day isn't a hot favourite in India right now because very few people know about it. Shipping is slow so you're never too sure when your products may arrive, customs may tag your packages with a high import duty, so there are a lot of uncertainties involved. But if you're just looking to grab cheap accessories or unique gadgets from across China, sales like these are a good option. If you follow all the safety measures we listed above you shouldn't face any trouble. Singles' Day could be a fun little event if you love to shop online for some fun gadgets.