“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair…”
Every Beijinger during an e-shopping holiday
The Chinese seem to love their e-shopping holidays, where even the modest of shoppers get the urge to splurge on days such as Chinese Valentine’s and Singles’ Day. Soon the next shopping holiday with be upon us, giving us all yet another opportunity to fill our boots full with all kinds of purchases and revel in electronic retail therapy.
When will the next foray of shopping euphoria begin you ask? June 18, otherwise known as 618, is the founding day of the online shopping platform JD. JD celebrates this day by hosting massive sales across all of the categories on their website, with products ranging from socks to screens being marked down considerably while discount vouchers are handed out like candy. Of course, JD doesn’t get all the fun. Other companies also cash in (quite literally) with flashy sales that turn an average day into a shopping festival for all.
618 is undoubtedly the best time to stock up on things you’ll need for the upcoming year – at least, until Singles’ Day rolls around once again. What are you waiting for? Join the fun as a family and experience e-shopping the Beijing way.
How to Prepare
We here in Beijing are extremely serious about our shopping holidays. We have to start planning months in advance and keep up to date with every deal that pops up. By the time the month of June starts, we will have created an hourly schedule for every day with a solid plan of when to catch the best deal. At midnight on June 18, buy the electronics. Then, five and a half hours later, you can begin buying the daily necessities. Save the cartoon socks for the last hour of the day. Always keep 4G on as a backup in case the Wi-Fi suddenly fails from excessive traffic.
If approaching 618 like a battlefield sounds a little too intense for you, don’t worry! Nobody has to follow such a strict routine. However, it’s best to plan most of your purchases before the actual day starts to avoid losing out on the best deals and forgetting anything on your shopping list. Some deals last the whole month, some last from June 1-18, and some for just a day, so make sure you know when everything is going on sale.
If you have extra time before the frenzy starts, compare the discounted prices to the original prices before 618. Some shady companies will mark up prices right before 618, so what looks like 70 percent off might only be 10 percent cheaper. The greatest advantage of planning early is that it allows you to avoid impulse purchases. Sure, we are all going to run into sweet deals too good to pass up on the day, but plan now and save yourself the regret later. What do you need? Are you interested in buying this because it’s cheap, or because you were interested in buying it anyway? Go into 618 with a plan, and I promise you’ll come out alive and with change!
What to Buy
Everything under the sun has a discount price during 618, and the possibilities are endless. If, like me, you can’t even decide what to eat for breakfast, you may also struggle when facing JD’s homepage. Luckily for you, as an experienced online shopper, I have suggestions for the best things to buy during e-shopping holidays.
Need a new phone? Computer? Refrigerator? Foot massager? 618 has them all. Technology and household appliances are usually pretty pricey, but when the discounts start rolling in, don’t miss the chance to grab an item and take it home! (Well, the courier will take care of the delivery, but same sentiment.) Many companies that specialize in electronic appliances have their own sales during 618, so not only can you search JD for tech deals, but you can go directly to websites such as Suning for an even wider selection to choose from.
Aside from the big appliances, 618’s biggest use is to stock up on items that have no expiration date. This includes cleaning supplies, diapers, bedding, and of course, toilet paper. Purchasing these daily necessities at a low price now will save you money later on in the year when you already have everything you need. You can stock up on products and slowly work through them until the next shopping holiday, where even bigger sales will be waiting for you.
Snacks and groceries are cheaper during 618, but be wary about buying too many of them! You don’t want to overestimate your stomach capacity and cause lots of food to go to waste. Set realistic expectations and think about whether or not you genuinely like what you’re buying, not just the price tag.
Any upcoming birthdays? Do some early gift-shopping! Just don’t go shouting about how heavily discounted your surprise gift was.
As 618 approaches, make sure to exercise your finger muscles and prepare for a stressful but rewarding shopping experience. At 23:59 on June 17 , we’ll all be sitting with our computers or phones, more than ready to mǎi, mǎi, mǎi.