Almost here is the biggest extravaganza of the retail year, but it's not black Friday. And that's not Cyber Monday. We are talking about the eleventh day of November 11th.
You can forgive that you have not heard of it – The Singles Day originated in China and began to live like an anticancer day for Valentine's Day and singledom celebrations.
Non-affiliated Chinese university students celebrated their solo status in the 1990s by purchasing gifts on November 11, the date written 11.11, or one-on-one.
The Chinese retail giant Alibaba, the Asian response to Amazon, adopted the Singles Day in 2009, making it a major shopping festival and recently sold it as the "11.11 World Shopping Festival", or only 11.11.
Regardless of what you want to call, Singles Day is a big business. Last year, Alibaba's single-day event reached 25.4 billion dollars in sales over a 24-hour period, up 39% from last year.
To do this in context, the US Black Friday sales last year reached $ 5 billion.
In the United Kingdom, the solstice day is still to be continued, but that does not mean you have to miss. This is the perfect time to experiment with the so-called "gray market" products.
How to use legally
Do not worry, the gray market is not illegal, for example, the black market; it simply allows consumers in the UK to buy products outside the manufacturer's normal distribution channels and at lower prices, which are usually paid in overseas countries.
In some cases, you can buy the same brands that you used to see in the UK, while others will be brands that you have never heard of, but which is a big business in other countries.
There are several websites created exclusively for the sale of Chinese products in the United Kingdom and other markets. The biggest one is AliExpress.com, removed from Alibaba.
Although Alibaba focuses on wholesaling, AliExpress is a retail market for products sold by either retailers or individual vendors.
It has already got loads of 11.11 transactions ready to go from more than 70,000 retailers with proper sales kicking off on November 10th.
So what's in the offer?
HotUKDeals is a thread dedicated to Singles Day offers.
The site's users have noticed Singles Day offers for AliExpress, including the Bluedio 2.0 Bluetooth Speaker with Amazon Streaming for £ 19.51 and the Bluedio TN2 Sport Bluetooth Headset for £ 7.85.
AliExpress is literally more than a thousand transactions, with household appliances up to 73% off, outdoor sports equipment 54% and a 57% discount on shoes and bags.
You can pay AliExpress in US dollars or pounds, but if you choose pounds, you will find a dynamic currency exchange with AliExpress, which sets the exchange rate.
A better plan is to use a card that can be used abroad, such as Revolut, Monzo or Starling, and pay in US dollars.
If you're on a new smartphone or other gadget market, it's worth visiting The Solution Shop, GearBest and GeekBuying.
Chinese smartphones from Xiaomi, Huawei, OnePlus and Vivo are equipped with specs of competing leading phones from Apple and Samsung – but they are much cheaper.
Any problems to watch?
James Barron from Comparemymobile.com recommends that consumers conduct research before buying a phone from abroad.
"You need to check if the device is compatible with the United Kingdom – from connectivity to the type of charger that you will need. You should also consider what happens if there is something wrong with the phone – would your warranty be valid?" He said .
There are a few other factors to consider before you go crazy for online shopping fun. Firstly, customs and VAT payments can be eaten in any way you save.
Before you buy something from abroad, make sure you understand whether taxes are included or not.
Solution Shop prepay taxes, but if you buy from GearBest or AliExpress, it's up to you.
Regardless of whether your packaging will be checked in the United Kingdom customs legislation, up to success, but you could pay a VAT of 20% for an amount greater than GBP 15 and a customs duty of at least 2.5% exceeding GBP 135.
You should also consider shipping costs.
Delivery is free for many items from AliExpress, but goods can take up to 40 days, so if you think you will be shopping for Christmas in China, you now have to turn around.