The United States presidential elections are done, and for better or worse, life (and shopping) goes on.
Given that the US Dollar is expected to crash with a President Trump win, shopping become all the more relevant for those of us outside of the US.
Already, the next big US event is fast approaching – Black Friday and Cyber Monday – and there’s no harm in indulging in some well-deserved, year-end retail therapy.
On 25 (Black Friday) and 28 November (Cyber Monday), the biggest shopping days of the year will be upon us, and majority of retail outlets will be offering the lowest prices and deepest discounts.
Here are some tips for Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping:
1. Use Parcel Forwarding Services
While the price might be right, a lot of cult-favourite US retailers do not ship to Singapore. If you sign up for parcel forwarding services like MyUS, you will get your own US delivery address, so you can shop across all your favourite American websites. MyUS then takes care of shipping the purchases to you within 2-4 days, including handling customs and duty forms for you. Even if stores do ship to Singapore, parcel forwarding services can help you save more on international shipping charges, by consolidating all your packages into one shipment.
2. Get Started on Your Shopping Wish-List Early
Start building your shopping wish-list before the start of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This way, you’ll be able to figure out whether the items you’re planning to buy will actually be a good bargain. More and more American retail giants are even expanding their Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales – some like Amazon will roll out Cyber Monday a week in advance, giving consumers more chances to avail of the deals.
3. Go Online When You’re in the Stores Too
Even if you’re not planning to do Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping this year, do consider cross-checking online even if you’re at a physical store in Singapore. If there are any items you’re particularly interested in buying, take a minute to check their prices on American websites – the savings could be huge. A lot of the popular American retailers release their Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals in advance, so shoppers can plan ahead.
4. Don’t Discount the Return Policy
As great as the deals might sound, it is important to check the stores’ return policy before diving into Cyber Monday shopping. When shopping overseas, international returns can be troublesome to go through. But with services like MyUS, you can get all the help you need to return your purchases easily. Your MyUS personal shoppers will be able to inspect your purchased items on your behalf, so you can be sure you’re satisfied with the purchase before MyUS dispatches the packages to Singapore. This way, you can take advantage of US domestic return policy if needed, and minimise shipping costs for returns.
5. When in Doubt, Leave Your Cart
Shopping varieties in the US are endless, with more and more indie retailers popping up nowadays. But be sure to shop at secure websites only. Retail experts recommend looking for a padlock symbol on the URL bar to determine if the website is safe to shop from. At the very least, the website address should start with “https://…”, which indicates if the e-retailer is using secure technology to protect online transaction.
Singaporeans looking to get in on the shopping craze can do so with MyUS, an online service and mobile app that allows you to shop from multiple US outlets. By offering one consolidated shipment from multiple American stores to your doorstep, you will get to save on shipping costs on top of the festive discounts – all while avoiding the insane queues (and potential injuries).