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13 Best SALE Days Around The World To Save MORE Money

Shopping and saving? Yes please!

Mark your calendars, shoppers of the world! Because you probably won’t find better retail or online shopping deals than these!

While Covid has made online shopping easier, being a savvy shopper still takes skills, patience and finesse. In fact, if you’re looking to maximise your dollar and get the most bang for your buck, you might want to hold off your purchases – whether online or off – until these dates. From Chinese New Year and Christmas deals to the frenzied discounts of Black Friday and 11.11, these are the most important international promotions you ought to know.

1. Chinese New Year

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When: Before the beginning of the Chinese Lunar calendar

As the name suggests, Chinese New Year (or the Spring Festival in China) is when the Chinese Lunar calendar refreshes into another year. And it’s a momentous holiday for people all over the world. Capitalising on that, many brands will offer discounts and promotions to entice shoppers to splash out, especially since the Chinese people believe that purchasing new clothing and items usher in good fortune of the new year. Usually taking place between mid-January and mid-February, the date changes every year according to the Lunar calendar. One tell-tale sign that it’s approaching: much like Christmas, you’ll start to hear merry festive tunes.

Available at most online and offline retail establishments.

2. 502

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When: May 20

One of four shopping events created in China (the others being 618, 11.11 and 12.12; more on those later), the 520 sale is the earliest in the calendar. The Mandarin pronunciation of ‘520’, or wu er ling (五二零), is deemed to be a homophone to ‘I love you’, or wo ai ni (我爱你). Also known as qin zi jie (亲子节), 520 roughly translates to parent and child festival. And according to a shopping aficionado we spoke to, the date is especially great for purchasing parenting and kid products. As with most retail events, the 520 sale has slowly expanded to categories beyond home and families.

Available at most online and offline retail establishments in Singapore.

3. 618

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When: June 18

Next on the Chinese shopping calendar is the 618 sale, which is akin to other mid-year sales, such as Mother’s Day (second Sunday in May) in Australia and other countries or Memorial Day (last Monday in May), Independence Day (July 4th) and Labour Day (first Monday in September) in the U.S. According to China Internet Watch, 618 was created by a Chinese e-tailer as part of its yearly anniversary celebration, and other retailers have jumped onto the bandwagon in recent years. This is a good time to shop for furniture and electronics.

Available at most online and offline retail establishments in Singapore.

4. Great Singapore Sale

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When: June and July

When is it in 2021: 6 June to 7 July

The shopping event in Singapore, the Great Singapore Sale (or GSS) is an annual movement that has retailers nationwide slashing prices and rolling out deals and promotions. Per VisitSingapore, the inaugural GSS was held in 1994 to such success that businesses decided to make it an annual event. If you’re a Singaporean or resident who has lived here long enough, this is an event that you’ll be well aware of and are looking forward to. Across categories of fashion, beauty and lifestyle, you can expect steep discounts and enticing deals to stretch your dollar. In the past, GSS was billed as a lifestyle experience, so you might have seen pop-up stalls, movie screenings and fashion shows as part of the event but unfortunately, due to Covid, the GSS is, for the moment, an online affair. Check out our article on the best GSS deals to lookout for this 2021!

Available at most online and offline retail establishments.

5. Amazon Prime Day

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When: Usually in mid-June or July

When is it in 2021: 21 June

Amazon is an American e-commerce site similar to China’s Taobao or Singapore-based Lazada. Amazon Prime Day is exclusive to Prime members (i.e., a paid subscription service), and shopping deals last as long as 36 hours, unlike Black Friday and Cyber Monday (which lasts for just 24 hours). And with Prime now available in Singapore, it’s time for us to cash in. Pro tip: Even if you’re not a Prime member, you can sign up for the trial and time it to last over the Prime Day sales. More and more retailers are also offering sales to compete with Prime Day. Win!

Available at Amazon Prime Day.

6. Qixi Festival

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When: Seventh day of the seventh month of the Chinese lunar calendar

When is it in 2021: 14 August

In Chinese mythology, a tragic love story recounts how the cowherd and weaving girl only get to meet once a year, on the night of the seventh day of the seventh month of the Chinese lunar calendar. That day is now known as the Qixi (七夕) Festival and is the Chinese equivalent of Valentine’s Day. As Business of Fashion shares, Qixi Festival has grown to be a festival of gifting. Retailers, ranging from high end to high street, will offer limited edition pieces and flash promos via WeChat. No worries if you’re not on the platform: Many retailers will also cash in on the joyous occasion with its own deals, as AsiaOne details via China Daily.

Available at WeChat on the Apple Store and Google Playstore.

7. 11.11

sale days
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When: November 11

The 11.11 sale is also known as the Singles’ Day sales. In 2020, it was the biggest shopping day in the world. Created by Chinese conglomerate Alibaba in 2008, the event is a bonanza that can’t be missed. In fact, of all the other Chinese shopping events, the 11.11 event is probably the best time to cash in on deals.

Available at most online and offline retail establishments.

8. Black Friday

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When: Fourth Friday of November

When is it in 2021: 26 November

Started in the United States, Black Friday is held the day after Thanksgiving, which always falls on the fourth Thursday of November. It is said to mark the official start of the Christmas shopping season. On Black Friday, brick-and-mortar retailers will provide such deep one-day-only deals, they’re likely the lowest prices of the year. While the event used to focus on big-ticket items like electronics, everything now goes on sale on Black Friday, both online and in stores.

Available at most online and offline retail establishments.

9. Cyber Monday

sale days
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When: Following Monday from Black Friday

When is it in 2021: 29 November

Another event that was started in the U.S., Cyber Monday is a continuation from Black Friday and happens on the Monday after. Unlike Black Friday, Cyber Monday specifically, as the name implies, refers to online retailers only. The shopping event was created in response to the growing e-commerce business, and e-tailers around the world have also jumped onboard this lucrative trend. This means you can expect promotions with online-only brands like ASOS, for example. On the other hand, brands with both physical and online presence, such as Sephora, would push special online shopping deals that wouldn’t be applicable at its brick-and-mortar stores.

Available at most online and offline retail establishments.

10. 12.12

sale days
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When: December 12

Following the spectacular success of the 11.11 sales, the 12.12 sales were created by Taobao to help smaller merchants who weren’t able to capitalise on the Singles’ Day event, according to the ecommercechinaagency.com. While it remains smaller in scale compared to its November counterpart, many merchants including Lazada and ShopBack have also joined in the shopping event with its own deals and promotions.

Available at most online retail establishments including Lazada, ShopBack, Shopee and Qoo10.

11. Christmas

sale days
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When: Before December 25

Much like Chinese New Year, the deals in the lead-up to Christmas are to attract shoppers who are looking to score great gifts at an even better value. During this period, many shopping malls (remember those?) would extend its opening hours while throwing in complimentary gift-wrapping services on top of the shopping deals and discounts. In addition, many brands would create gift sets of its bestselling items. These sets would be going at a lower price than if you had purchased the items individually — in other words, irresistible. For e-tailers, there are usually promotions and bundle-deals aplenty, as well.

Available at most online and offline retail establishments.

12. Boxing Day

sale days
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When: The day after Christmas

What happens to the excess stock that retailers have prepped to meet the Christmas shopping surge? Well, they’ll most likely be sold at a fraction of its price with discounts and deals on Boxing Day, which happens on December 26 in the United Kingdom and its Commonwealth countries, including Canada. If you’ve been eyeing to get something before Christmas but are not in too big a hurry, it can often pay off to wait till Boxing Day to score it at a better value. However, hot items might sell out before/during Christmas, so you’ll have to weigh your options.

Available at most online and offline retail establishments.

13. ShopBack ShopFest

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When: September to December

What makes scoring a great deal even better? The ability to get rebates from your spending at the same time. This is where cashback reward program ShopBack, which started in Singapore but has since spread throughout Southeast Asia as well as Australia, comes in. Since 2018, ShopBack has created the ShopBack ShopFest in the final quarter of the year, which happens in the lead up to 9/9 Rewards Day on Sept 9 and 10/10 Perfect 10 sale on Oct 10, as well as 11.11 and 12.12. Besides helping shoppers get the best deals from its partners using coupons and discount codes — which includes over 500 merchants such as Taobao, Lazada and Qoo10 — ShopBack also introduces greater cashback value for limited periods. This event is especially helpful for those who are daunted by the sheer volume of promotions during the many year-end sales and those looking to get the biggest bang for buck.

Available at ShopBack.

By Ho Guo Xiong, June 2019 / Last updated by K Praveena

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More on The Finder:

Great Singapore SALE 2021: The Best GSS Deals To Lookout For!
Where To Buy Customised Gifts In Singapore That Are Truly UNIQUE
Guide To GROCERIES In SG: Supermarkets And Online Marts For EVERY Food Preference

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