Client : PayPal Country : SingaporePublication : The Straits TimesDate : 9 November 2012Topic : Shop on Black Friday at home (Online)URL : http://www.straitstimes.com/premium/life/story/shop-black-friday-home- 20121109?rm=1Visitorship : 400,000Shop on Black Friday at homeWith a little online savvy, Singaporeans can enjoy discounts during the biggest sale event in the USBeat the crowds and queues in the United States such as those that form outside retailers such asJ.C. Penney by shopping online with help from online shopping concierges. -- PHOTOS: BLOOMBERG,COMGATEWAYBy Rachel ChanSingapore shoppers, get set for the most highly anticipated sales event of the year in the UnitedStates: Black Friday on Nov 23. But far from being unlucky, it means even buyers here can get luckyand enjoy the huge discounts on offer.The "black" refers not to doom, but boom, as profits pour in for retailers, putting them "in theblack".Although Singaporeans cannot visit the bricks-and-mortar outlets of famous American clothingchains such as Macys or Old Navy when they open their doors to eager spenders camped outside,they can still shop online.
No need to be put off by the fact that some US merchants do not accept international customers ordeliver outside the country - just use a PayPal account and a US address provided by an onlineconcierge such as Borderlinx or VPost (see story below).PayPal is an electronic payment method, while an online shopping concierge receives your parcelsand forwards them to you in Singapore for a fee.And even though merchandise is priced in US dollars and shipping costs extra, the massive discountsmake it worthwhile. In fact, shopping online is better - you can avoid the crowd-crush and visit morethan one store at a time.Hundreds of merchants give discounts of up to 70 per cent off everything from apparel andelectronics to toys and toiletries.Black Friday is always the Friday right after Thanksgiving and is on Nov 23 this year.It is when most of the US does its Christmas shopping. Around 20 per cent of the years sales happenbetween Black Friday and Christmas. According to news articles on About.com, Black Friday hasbeen the unofficial opening of the Christmas shopping season since the 1930s.And when Cyber Monday - the Monday after Black Friday - rolls around, prices on items that are notalready sold out are likely to be further reduced online.A spokesman for HopShopGo, an online shopping concierge which enables users from selectedcountries outside the US including Singapore to shop at sites which do not accept payment from ordeliver outside the country, said that there was a 50 per cent year-on-year increase in the number oftransactions from 2010 to 2011 during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday period."We expect 2012 to be bullish, especially with the increased awareness of US online shopping inSingapore," he added.Online shoppers here who Life!Weekend spoke to said that they counted Drugstore.com andwebsites by Macys, Nordstrom, Gap and Banana Republic among their favourite go-tos for BlackFriday sales.Ms Chan Limei, 27, a teacher who has been an avid Black Friday shopper for four years, says: "Someof these brands are available in Singapore but their merchandise is better-priced online.Plus, the range is more varied. She adds: "This year, Im planning to get a nice set of Calvin Kleinpyjamas for my mother for Christmas. I bought a pair before for about US$30 (S$36.60) when it wason discount; a similar set in Singapore might go for up to $90."She recommends finding friends with whom you can consolidate your purchases to maximiseshipping, she recommends. Shipping multiple parcels together means you pay only one base charge.Here are some tips from four seasoned Black Friday shoppers.