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Singles' Day 2017: where to shop and what to buy

The yearly sales extravaganza is back and it's gonna be bigger than ever

It’s been eight years since Alibaba formally declared November 11, or Singles’ Day, as a dedicated shopping bonanza, though for such a recent phenomenon its deeper origins remain somewhat mysterious. Hazy tales of heartbroken university students in Nanjing establishing a day of celebration for the single have floated around, but much like Christmas, Halloween or even Election Day, we’ve lost sight of what it’s really all about.

From an anti-Valentines movement, we've somehow ended up at this ode to consumer craziness – Alibaba alone raked in $17.8 billion USD last year – but, however you feel about the hype and vast sums of cash that will change hands, it’s an excellent chance to grab a bargain in time for Christmas, or to just treat yourself.

The Big Two

Tmall, the Alibaba baby and original purveyor of fine Singles’ deals, is the bargain hotspot for pretty much everything, and many of its offers include discount electronics, fashion, furniture, cosmetics and even holidays. Check out the 11/11 landing page for the latest deals throughout the day where offers will be going as low as 50 percent off.

tmall

Other deals not to miss include hoverboards for only 599RMB, as well as sales on items for sexy times, including lube (95RMB) and 'anal backside bleaching cream' (149RMB). We have to hand it to Tmall, they're definitely optimists.

lube

We can't guarantee if Kylie Minogue will actually be included in this hamper.

The other big player in the game, Jingdong, has also got the bargain ball rolling. It regularly has flash sales for the impulsive buyer, and is going even lower with special offers changing from hour to hour. Expect to see big slashes on electronics, appliances, apparel, baby formula and everything in between.

Electronics

For electronics, Suning is the place to look, and if it's a new phone or laptop you’re chasing, then what a time to be alive. Suning has posted deals on computers, cameras, kitchen appliances and more, however, with winter on our doorstep and pollution back on the rise, it seems as good a time as any to step up your air purifier game. At 2,798RMB, you can save 1,200RMB on a Sharp KC-WB6-W1 air purifier, while for the less extravagant, certain models of Xiami air purifiers are down from 908RMB to 699RMB.


xiaomi

Clothing

Amazon is also in on the action, though a quick look at the site shows less Singles' fanfare than its counterparts. In any case, some of the best offers are on skincare, cosmetics and clothing. Check out the retail giant's 11/11 landing page for a mixed bag of deals.

Other big international clothing brands are offering 50 percent off Singles' Day sales through official Tmall stores, including Uniqlo, Nike and Zara; look out for those little red stickers bearing '双11狂欢价' (lit: Singles' Day carnival price) across the site.

zarah


For Beijing-inspired swag, head to Plastered 8's online store where all t-shirts and shirts have been discounted.

And if you're struggling with Chinese...

baopals

Chinese websites are largely an overwhelming sensory experience, and particularly challenging if you can't read the language – especially on a day like this when offers fly at you left, right and centre. Baopals is one of the best English language e-commerce companions, with millions of Taobao listings translated and full English service.

Offers pop up (and disappear) every hour, some even in seconds, so our best advice for the savvy bargain hunter is to keep one eye on and one thumb poised over the homepage of your favourite online retailer, to ensure the score of the hottest deals of the day. Godspeed, happy shopper.

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