With the Chinese Singles' Day coming up on November 11, gadget nerds have a lot of great deals to look forward to. The only catch is that these sales are available only on Chinese websites, since pretty much no one outside of China celebrates Singles' Day. Lots of sites from China stock cool gadgets and accessories and they even ship these to India (quite often for free). This means that you can check out great deals, and as long as you're prepared to wait for your orders to arrive from abroad you can grab some great offers.
Singles' Day actually started as a student tradition in China not too long ago, in the 90s. It was a thing for college students to get together and organise get togethers, and Alibaba is the company that really took things mainstream, in 2009. Since then it's become a norm across many Chinese sites, and there are some incredible deals to be had, though remember, if a deal sounds too good to be true, it might actually be a dud. The sites themselves warn people to beware of misleading listings that are out to make a quick buck from deal-hunters in a hurry.
And of course, some sites are more famous than others when it comes to the kinds of deals they have on offer. It's too soon to say what the best Singles' Day sales will be, but looking at past trends, here's what we figured out. Alibaba remains a big seller in China, with sales to watch out for. Last year, it had some of the best deals on Beats headphones. Lazada has become a big destination too. T-mall had big discounts on MacBooks and iPhones last year, so that's going to be a destination people will watch. Looking at last year's sales, we also saw a lot of big deals in the cosmetics and apparel sections, with even high end brands getting big discounts, far more than gadgets.
Here are some well known and largely trusted Chinese websites that were positively recommended to us, which will be hosting Singles' Day sales, that ship to India. We've also put together a guide for shopping on Chinese websites that you should read if you want to pick up something during the Singles' Day sales or any other time. With that said, here are some websites where you can make the most of the sales.
You can think of AliExpress as China's Amazon or Flipkart. The site sells pretty much every product you need, so it's not limited to just gadgets. The site has some great Singles' Day deals on things such as clothes, beauty products, and smartphone accessories. For instance, shoes worth Rs. 6,000 will be marked down to Rs. 2,000. AliExpress' deal prices are quite good usually and everything we've ordered in the past has arrived within 3 weeks, though it might take a little longer due to the increased demand during the sale.
DealXtreme is the hub for all kinds of electronics, so this is the site gadget nerds need to frequent. Whether you like drones, want gadgets for pranks, need solar-powered toys, or just want conventional gadgets, DealXtreme's one of the best Chinese websites for all these goods.
Light in the Box
They sell everything from blingy shoes to security cameras and they have a big Singles' Day sale coming up too. The discounts on the sale look great, with some products being available at up to 70 percent discount. They do sell smartphones from companies such as Xiaomi, but we'd advise against ordering these unless you're comfortable rooting your phone and changing the firmware, because they may not ship with Google Play, and may have critical Android features blocked.
Light in the Box
Gearbest is another great site for ordering gadgets from China. Remote-controlled toys and 3D printers are just some of the products available there at great prices, and you should definitely check it out if you're into wacky and unusual gadgets.
Which Chinese website have you ordered from? Let us know via the comments.