Shoppers wanting to grab a pre-Christmas bargain could find it on Singles' Day - but they're advised to check prices first.
Celebrated on November 11, Singles Day is a shopping festival that gives singles license to treat themselves. Originating in China, it's celebrated all over the world, but Kiwis have been slow to catch on. Reporting that 1.9 billion products were ordered on Singles Day last year, CNN anticipates that due to COVID-19, 'revenge spending' will be one of this year's biggest trends.
On Wednesday, several New Zealand retailers including The Warehouse, Noel Leeming, JB Hi-Fi and Farmers offer discounts ranging from 11 percent to 50 percent.
Retail NZ chief executive Greg Harford said Singles Day deals are likely to become bigger here as retailers compete with businesses overseas. He recommends that bargain-hunters shop local.
"Customers should be aware that there are real pressures on supply chains as a result of COVID-19, and some products will be in short supply over the coming weeks," Harford said.
"For peace of mind, it's always a good idea to shop from a local brand that you know and trust."
Liisa Matinvesi-Bassett, country manager at product and comparison website PriceSpy, said data from last Singles Day showed many retailers put prices up instead of down.
She urges shoppers not to assume prices offered on special shopping days are discounted.
"One-tenth (13 percent) of all products were discounted on Singles' Day 2019, but a third (32 percent) of all products actually increased in price, Matinvesi-Bassett said.
To check if a 'discount' is valid, shoppers can make a list, search for the items online and check historical prices before they shop. If an item costs less over the year, this is a red flag.
"It's worth asking the retailer if they're prepared to drop their price to match what the product is being sold for at a different time of year...if they're unable to do this, be prepared to walk away," Matinvesi-Bassett said.
Three tips for getting the best Singles Day deal
To help shoppers identify a true discount, PriceSpy has the following three tips.
Make a list of the items you're looking to buy and stick to your list. Don't fall into the trap of buying more to save more.
Search online for the product you want to buy. Checking price history is a good way to find out the cheapest price a product has sold for and whether the current price really is the best deal.
Compare prices across multiple shops
Once shoppers are confident that a retailer's discount price is a good deal, a quick comparison against other retailers will help them find the best price overall.
Aside from Singles Day, other pre-Christmas discount shopping days are Black Friday on November 27 and Cyber Monday on November 30.