Alibaba Singles Day is a major international shopping event that originates from China and has now spread throughout the globe. Offers started on November 6th, and shoppers everywhere from the United States and Great Britain to China and Indonesia are able to nab some good deals.
Many analysts, including App Annie and Adobe, predict that Singles Day will sell more than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined, based on last year's figures. App Annie put the figure over $ 32 billion, while Adobe estimates $ 23.4 billion in revenue.
Nevertheless, the holiday is not known here in the United States. And for beginners, it's not clear how to get started. Here's a quick tutorial about what to know.
The holiday, believed to have been started in the 1990s as a way for men in high schools to celebrate being single, was transformed into a 2009 shopping event by Alibaba's Jack Ma and has since become an annual tradition. Other retailers, including JD.com, Suning and smaller brands, have begun to participate in the holiday by also offering sales and promotions.
Alibaba has several platforms, which it offers sales at: Taobao, Tmall and AliExpress. The latter focuses more on international customers and is the only one of the three available in English. Tmall and Taobao are very similar, unless Tmall's offer is offered by companies to customers, while Taobao contains offers sold by individuals, which is more like eBay.
Some of the highlights we expect from AliExpress and Tmall include offers on Huawei and Xiaomi devices. We are constantly updating this article with the latest Singles Day offers.
It is easiest for English-speaking speakers to shop at AliExpress and you will find that virtually all items on the site are for sale for at least $ 1 on Singles Day. It's a very minimalist website that seems like Amazon does. It also offers 24/7 customer service and free returns. This is where you need the best shopping experience and the easiest comparison of offers, so we recommend shopping here instead of other Alibaba platforms.
If you feel adventurous and want to try the Chinese-language sites, you can do it here: First, create an account for Taobao on the mobile app (available on iOS and Android). While you do not need an account to browse only items, you need one to send them to you. Taobao's app also lists Tmall, so by shopping on a platform you can see offers from multiple sources. You can still search for items in English, as sellers often contain an English phrase or two in the item description to help foreigners find products.
If you're in China, even if you're just visiting, you'll be able to get Taobao and Tmall orders within one to two days if you order from a seller who lives in the same province as you and about three to four days if you Order from a seller in a province that is further away. As far as aliexpress, aimed at foreigners, the provincial information is often not shown.
Shipping to the United States may take over a month or longer depending on which method you choose, even though AliExpress offers delivery that arrives as soon as 12 days. If you hope to have holiday gifts or time sensitive orders, they may come after the season's tension is dimmed.
Unlike many American retailers, Singles Day sites often show their offers in advance, but you will have to wait for the day to enjoy these prices. Prices can be ridiculously cheap, but if the goods are sold by a third party at Taobao, they may be suspected. Check out reviews and seller reviews. Taobao has a particularly complex system for rating its sellers, including honoring the best with more royal crowns. Pretty good sellers get diamonds, and beginners sellers with some good reviews get hearts.
I do not recommend purchasing any Apple, Google, or other imported products from the United States on any of these platforms. Foreign imports are often marked at higher prices in China, and many US dealers offer the same devices at cheaper, with much faster shipment and more reliable delivery estimates. Even when it comes to brands domiciled in China like Xiaomi and Huawei, some American dealers like B & H could offer even better deals on identical products.
You must also give your bank advanced warning that you need to make foreign transactions. For some reason, as opposed to making casual purchases from a UK brand, purchases of things from Taobao could interrupt alarm clocks that called your bank. For example, last year I ordered a Halloween costume from Taobao, and my bank flagged it as a foreign transaction from China and froze my card for a month until I saw. Many banks make it easy to leave travel reviews, but it may take a little more scary to leave a more specific note saying that you are still physically in the United States but are trading internationally.
Below I have highlighted some good Singles Day offers either with Chinese exclusive products or products marked markedly. Here is the main page for Tmall offers, and the main site for AliExpress also deals.
Huawei Honor 10 starts from $ 259.99 (usually $ 305.87)
Asus Zenfone 5Z starts from $ 475.23 (usually $ 720.04)
Meizu M6 with 2GB RAM and 16GB ROM for $ 79.99 (usually $ 99.99)
Xiaomi Gaming headphones with LED and noise cancellation for $ 49.23 (usually $ 80.70)
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Starting at $ 125.77 (usually $ 161.24)
Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Instant Camera Bundle with movie, bag, filters and frames for $ 103.27 (usually $ 161.36)
Anchor Bluetooth Soundcore Spirit X Earphones for $ 29.62 (usually $ 40 elsewhere)
Anchor Bluetooth Soundcore Spirit Earphones for $ 25.71 (usually $ 40 elsewhere)
Anker Soundcore Flare Portable Bluetooth Speaker for $ 49.71 (usually $ 85.70)
Anker SoundCore 2 Portable Bluetooth Wireless Speaker for $ 34.67 (Usually $ 67.98)
10,000mAh Xiaomi Power Bank for $ 18.52 (usually $ 26 elsewhere)
Xiaomi Smart LED Lightbulb (Color) for $ 18.69 (usually $ 24.92)
Samsung microSD card 8GB to 256GB starts from $ 1.96 to $ 16.00 (usually $ 9.80 to $ 80)
Lenovo 7000 2018 8. Intel Core i5-8250U, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, AMD Radeon 535 to $ 632.17 (usually $ 689.81)
Huawei Mate 20 Pro with 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD for $ 776.05 (usually $ 1,059)