It’s that time of the year again and the mad sales are coming! Maybe you’re just like this because of all the cheap deals coming your way:
You know what I’m talking about:
The 9/9 sales. And the 10/10 sales. And the 11/11 Singles day sales
Then the Black Friday sales and Cyber Monday sales..
And after that we have the 12/12 sales. Plus next year with the new year and CNY sale.
And because there’s a sale for every date and month that’s the same for some reason, I get in a certain kind of mood.
So here’s a quick guide to help you prepare how to maximize these sales and get the most out of your shopping experience
1. Sign Up For Shopback!
I recommend this a lot because if you’re shopping, why not get some extra money back while doing so?
Shopback is one such site that helps you earn rebates on your purchases. They also have their own shopping event, the Shopback Shopfest which comprises all the main shopping events at the end of the year starting with 9/9.
I know most of you reading this already have an account. But for those of you that don’t, click here to sign up for an account now and get $5 after making a $25 purchase through Shopback!
How to use Shopback is really simple in case you’re wondering
Step 1. Go to the Shopback website or app
Step 2: Find the website you’re buying from and click through it
Step 3: Shop and pay as per normal
Step 4: Done! FREE MONEY!
With Shopback, you stand to receive real money which you can cash out back to your bank account. Plus, they have introduced many things such as offline in-store rebates, purchasing vouchers and even more!
So while you’re shopping online (and offline) during this sales period, Shopback helps you get money back!
2. Optimize Your Spending
With Phase 2 still going on, chances are that you’re taking part in these sales online. So the last thing you want to do is do something like PayNow, NETS, or COD because you don’t earn any rebates at all.
What I’m talking is using the correct debit or credit cards for your purchases.
For debit cards, there are quite a lot of good ones such as the DBS Visa Debit Card that earns you 3% on contactless payment if you’re shopping offline but comes with a $400 minimum spend.
Most of the good rebates come with credit cards. There’s really too many to list here but you can check out on websites like Singsaver, Gobear, and Moneysmart that help you get the best credit card based on your spending requirements.
But here are the main ‘types’ of cards:
Cashback cards: Good for big spenders. Usually comes with a minimum spending like the UOB One Card which requires $500 spend. If you don’t hit the required spending, you won’t get the cashback or at a very low rate like 0.25%. However if you do hit, then the cashback can be as good as 5-8% depending on the card you pick.
Miles card: Good for travelers. Typically awards you in bank points, or miles directly. Some popular ones include DBS Altitude card and Citibank Premiermiles card because the miles don’t expire. Usually no minimum spend
Unlimited cashback cards: Good for small spenders. Like cashback cards, but no minimum requirement. The rates are typically at 1.5% now like the Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback or the Citibank Cashback+ card.
BIG TIP: If you’re applying for the Standard Chartered Unlimited Cashback card, get 12 months of unlimited data FREE if you sign up here with Circles Life. Might as well get more lobang while at it right?
If you have these cards, consider which cards work best where. If not, you can consider applying for a credit card if you don’t have one but meet the requirement
TAKE NOTE: I need to highlight that while credit cards are good, they are dangerous if you overspend as you can easily rake up too much spending that it becomes debt.
And it’s not a joke when the credit card rates charge you 28% per year if you’re paying it with interest.
So remember, responsible shopping and ultimately...
Which leads us to point 3.
3. Budgeting 101 For Sales
This is the most important thing while doing your upcoming shopping over the next few months. While there’s many ways to go around this, here’s how I do it to make sure I get what I want at the best price:
Step 1: Create Your Shopping List
Write down everything you potentially want and need to buy during this sales period. If you’re always wanted to buy that new phone, airpods, Nintendo Switch, now is the time to do so!
After writing down everything you need, classify them into wants and needs.
Step 2: Tackling your ‘Needs’ list
Some potential needs for your household that you need every month are:
- Food Essentials: Cooking supplies, Tidbits, Drinks, Instant Noodles, Rice
- Toilet Essentials: Toilet paper, Bath essentials, Toothpaste
- Cleaning Essentials: Dishwashing, Detergents, Sponges
- Household Essentials: Tissues,
- Pandemic Essentials: Masks, Hand sanitizers, Toilet paper (again)
While this list is not exhaustive, it is definitely a start. If you can, best is to buy bulk for the things that can be stored for a long time to save even more money during these sales.
Step 3: Tackling the ‘Wants’ list
Next step is to watch out for potential deals for your needs list. Especially with so many sales upcoming, make sure you snag a discount with everything you buy.
If you miss a discount or if what you want has no discount during the sale, wait for the next sale. This is especially if it’s a big ticket item like a mobile phone.
Step 4: Tackling the ‘Surprise’ Purchase
One last thing is to budget extra for extremely good deals that you don’t see elsewhere. I call this the surprise purchases because some of these deals are time sensitive and you need to make a snap decision to purchase very fast.
For most of these sales, this is the portion where you get the best of the best deals. I’ve gotten deals like 24 packs of milo, $5 Grab voucher code, and Truffle Chips for just $1.
Then there’s the ‘surprise box’ that platforms like Shopee and Lazada promote where you can a bundle deal for heavily discounted goods. These boxes are fixed items, or could be a random chance to get something very good.
Most of these purchases will be under ‘Flash Deals’ which are usually 1-2 hours max to make a decision to buy. If one of your Needs or Wants item appear here, that’s even better because you can take the chance to purchase.
4. Identify The Right Shopping Platform
There are loads of shopping websites, but the main ones are probably Shopee, Lazada, Qoo10, and ezbuy. Speaking of Shopee, have you seen their new ‘viral’ ad?
I personally use Shopee the most at the moment, but every shopping platform has their own points system and associated perks!
On Shopee, you can collect vouchers during the sale day itself which really give you a huge discount. You can also prepare by buying Shopee Coins through its $1 Big Prize for more off-set during the sale day itself.
If you’re new to this, I definitely recommend Shopee first as it’s really simple to use with a wide variety of items to choose from 👍
The main thing about online shopping is to see how you can maximize your returns and reduce as much cost as possible.
Again, a reminder to spend responsibly and not overspend so you don't have to ‘eat grass’ for the rest of the month.
Hopefully with these tips, you'll be able to save some money while doing your shopping be it online or offline.
At the end of the day, write down your purchases and amount and see how much you spend so you’ll be conscious about it and not overspend!
That being said, may the luck be in your favour to get the best discounts!
Speaking of discounts, don't forget about our very own Circles.Life 9.9 sales! Join in on our interactive mystery campaign to solve a kidnapping and win yourself a 2D1N stay at The Warehouse Hotel.
There's also great deals on our new Multi-SIMs and Data Only Plans so click here to dive in and explore them yourself.