Today is 11/11, a date I usually see as Remembrance Day, when the UK holds a minute’s peace at 11am each year to commemorate our troops both past and present. But 11/11 is totally different on the other side of the world here in China. It’s called 光棍节 -Singles Day.
Because of all the 1’s, the date looks like single people standing next to each other, and of course if you’re single, looking at all those single one’s next to each other could make you sad…so China’s biggest online retailers Taobao, Tmall, etc took advantage of this to offer customers discount prices on items bought online, kind of like America’s Black Friday, but as it’s in China, it’s much much bigger. China has a population nearing 1.4 billion people and Single’s Day is the biggest shopping day of the year.
Of course, some online retailers rise their ‘standard prices’ in the weeks coming up to 11/11, so for example in October a set of pjs is 40rmb, but in November they raise the price to 95rmb, on Singles Day they have a ‘half price’ offer, making them 47.5rmb, so more expensive than before, but you think you’re getting a bargain if you look at the RRP from the other days in November.
I have a lot of warm clothes to buy, since I didn’t bring a coat or many warm things with me. I also need some more shoes that are suitable for cold and wet weather, as it’s common for it to rain the whole day here.
Because it is really busy today, the internet was slow and I also had to keep entering security information, see below:
I started looking on Tmall, and searched for ‘ladies coat’ [in Chinese of course], I couldn’t see the type of coat I wanted to buy and also didn’t know how to describe it in Chinese, but eventually I found something I liked, that didn’t have a 50 year old lady modelling it.
This is the coat I decided to buy, it looks quite puffy, which is what I wanted and the description said that it was suited to women aged 25-29, so maybe a bit too old for me, but I couldn’t be bothered to look any more and just wanted to see if I could actually buy something online in China.
The picture that persuaded me to buy the coat in black was the one below, just look how cool this model is, laughing into her coffee cup!
Anyway, I started the payment process and was quite terrified as I didn’t get any error messages, was I doing this all right, by myself? I probably should have tried to order something smaller for my first transaction, but I need a coat pretty fast.
I entered all my details, my address, my card details and was pretty scared that I was going to transfer too much money for this, but I continued. I finally pressed ‘submit’ and had another cute little animated person appear on my screen, with the words ‘currently paying, please wait patiently’, although I was so scared I’d done something wrong, I wasn’t very patient.
So now the process is over, I got a text from my bank saying the money had gone through and I’m waiting for my coat to arrive. I still don’t believe that it will actually work until I get my new coat…but I am hopeful. In the meantime, I’m going to continue looking online for shoes, jumpers, thermals, slippers, books etc…