The shopaholic expat’s guide to online shopping in Singapore
Shopping online might seem like a universal thing but with delivery fees, different locations and other factors to take into consideration, the shopaholic expat might get a little confused. So here’s a little guide to make shopping online as easy as it should be, and get your credit card details ready!
Local websites do it best.
There are many overseas websites that ship to Singapore and they even offer free shipping, but when it comes to online shopping, local sites do as good a job, or even better. The products are stored in local warehouses and shipping usually is dealt with by a courier service like Ninja Van instead of a generic postal service, so you can expect your goodies at your serviced apartment’s doorstep a lot sooner. Plus, you can even track some of your international shipping!
Sites like Zalora and Lazada house both local products and international brands so you needn’t worry about a lack of availability. Plus, these platforms even offer cash rebates and you can use your cashback credit cards too.
Of course, there’s the online shopping giant Taobao too. What it lacks in trustworthy merchants, it makes up for with a comprehensive range of goods and products; you can literally find anything and everything on Taobao, all at affordable prices. Not to mention, you can still arrange for consolidated shipping for all the items on your shopping cart.
Here’s a list of local online shops that have our stamp of approval for the best shopping experience:
The showroom effect.
Online sizes are sometimes generic – ‘S’, ‘M’, ‘L’ and sometimes misleading – a UK ‘M’ could be a Singapore ‘L’. And with websites perpetuating their own different size charts and guides, it can get confusing to find the right fit. But here’s a pro tip: Try to measure your body first, and then refer to the sizing guide of each product. Most retailers would put the measurements there, so you can save on additional shipping fees when you find the right size.
You can go to physical stores that carry the same clothes, try it on to see if it looks good and do a price check on your mobile phone. You can usually find cheaper prices online over brick-and-mortar establishments.
Doing the vice-versa helps as well. Research (especially for electronic gadgets) on your smartphone or computer before going to a shop to try it out.
Check out our 10 best apps post to check out the best apps for shopping online.
Not at home? Not a problem.
Delivery companies usually work regular office hours so if you can’t be at your serviced apartment to collect your order or can’t deliver to your workplace, use a POPStation. You’ll never have to worry about missing another delivery again.
Just pop by a POPstation, and collect your parcel from a secure locker. POPStations are Pick Own Parcel Stations that lets you collect your online shopping in a secure and fast manner. They are located island-wide, with 153 different stations. You can even return unwanted shopping at POPStations.
Brands like Zalora, Qoo10, taobao and Uniqlo all offer POPStation deliveries. For a comprehensive list of retail partners, see here.
Get rid of stuff, to get more stuff.
There are stuff that fall out of fashion, or simply just stuff that you have lying around at home that you don’t use anymore. For stuff like that, there is a special place in Carousell for them. Carousell’s a marketplace where people can sell anything under the sun.
Carousell is a C2C (consumer-to-consumer) marketplace for the average joe to sell anything – brand new goods, well-loved clothes or old technologies. And there are numerous ways to sell these things as well; through postage, meet-ups and more.
There a few things you should be wary of Carousell however. Because it is a C2C marketplace, Carousell themselves have no way of maintaining a quality control over the goods sold on the site. So when buying something off a relatively new seller on carousell, always be sure to perform a QC (quality check) on the goods before completing the transaction.
Blogshop till you drop.
So the term blogshop is a bit ambiguous – it used to mean a blog where women in Singapore has a mini-ecommerce portion to their blog; a virtual shop where they sold their unused or preloved clothes online on blogging platforms.
The blogshop scene and its meaning have evolved. Now you can find ‘blogshops’ that sell a variety of products including clothes, fashion accessories and shoes. These products are brand new and some are even made overseas.
Blogshops are great for getting unique pieces at cut-throat prices and you’ll never have to worry about wearing the same thing as someone else from the usual street fashion mega stores, like H&M and Topshop.
Here are some of our go-to blogshops:
Now that you’re familiar with Singapore’s online shopping culture, get that credit card out and start swiping!