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We interrupt Black Friday for the best Singles Day 2019 deals available now

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The 11/11 Global Shopping Festival, or Singles Day for short, generates more online sales than Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Prime Day put together.


James Martin/CNET

With almost $31 billion in retail sales last year alone, China’s yearly 24-hour 11/11 Global Shopping Festival is now bigger than Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the weekend in between combined. Adobe Analytics predicts this year’s five-day Thanksgiving weekend will drive about $29 billion in retail sales, both online and in-store. So, why have so few Americans even heard of Singles Day?

The history of the world’s biggest shopping day of the year begins with a much smaller, lonelier numeral — the number 1. The unofficial Chinese holiday celebrated every Nov. 11 started out as Singles Day in 1993, when students at Nanjing University in China’s Jiangsu province began hosting singles parties meant to counter the negative social stigma associated with singlehood. Since this was a holiday designed to bring singles together, they chose the date with the most 1s — 11/11 — to celebrate. And it only grew from there, especially after being supercharged by Chinese retail giants Alibaba and JD in the more recent online era — right down to including a giant Taylor Swift concert to boot. 

Thus far, efforts to internationalize the big shopping day haven’t caught on — the date is Veterans Day in the US, Armistice Day in Europe. But in the end, it may come down to semantics and SEO: Whether you call it a Veterans Day sale, an early Black Friday sale or a Singles Day sale — a deal’s a deal, right?

To that end, we’re pulling together the best sales we’re seeing.

Best Singles Day 2019 deals available now

Whether you call them sneakers, running shoes or tennis shoes, you can get 20% off plenty of styles at Nike.com. The same goes for jackets, athletic wear and more.

Casper is the big dog in the online mattress arena, and the company is offering a full 10% off any order that includes a mattress. Use code COZY10.

Offer good now through Nov. 11.

Reebok has set carved out a special “Singles Day Collection,” and it’s offering up to 60% off the items therein with code SINGLE.

Offer good now through Nov. 11. 

OK, this one is labeled on their site as an “early Black Friday sale.” But either way, it looks like you get 11% off any stationery bike, treadmill, elliptical machine or anything else in Horizon’s inventory. 

Offer good now through Nov. 11. 

As you can tell from the discount code, this is really a Veterans Day sale doing double duty for Singles Day. But note that Isotoner isn’t just gloves — the site offers plenty of other clothing and accessory options for men and women.

Offer good now through Nov. 11. 

Jurlique has a wide range of skin care, bath soaps and body lotion products, and the boutique is leaning in to the Singles Day with 30% or more off orders of $45 and up with code GLOWING. 

Offer valid now through Nov. 12.

Starting Sunday, Nov. 10

Looking for sheets, bed and bath accessories or other homewears? Get 15% off anything at Brooklinen, with no minimum to buy.

Starts Sunday, 10 a.m. ET (7 a.m. ET), ends Monday, 11:59 p.m. ET (8:59 p.m. PT).

If you’re looking for American made soaps and bath supplies for men and women, Spongelle is the place. Look for items discounted to as low as $11. 

48-hour sale starts early Sunday, ends late Monday.

Starting Monday, Nov. 11

Check back soon for more sales. 

How Singles Day became so big in China

Like many holidays whose noncommercial origins have since been co-opted by the retail industry, however, the marketing potential of Singles Day didn’t go untapped for long. In 2009, Daniel Zhang, CEO of Chinese e-commerce behemoth Alibaba, sparked what would soon become a raging inferno of consumer demanded when he rebranded Singles Day as the 11/11 Global Shopping Festival. By slashing prices on everything from clothes and jewelry to appliances and electronics for just 24 hours — and getting over two dozen other eretailers to do the same — Zhang transformed Singles Day from a relatively obscure campus tradition into a revenue-generating juggernaut almost overnight.
 
Now, a decade later, the number of participating vendors has increased from the original 27 merchants to include over 180,000 Chinese and international brands. Assuming the event continues its trend of double-digit year-over-year growth, this Singles Day will set yet another world record for same-day sales, possibly nearing or even exceeding the $40 billion mark.

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Online Black Friday sales reached $6.22 billion in 2018, but Singles Day tallied almost $31 billion in sales.


James Martin/CNET

By way of comparison, last year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday drove $6.22 billion and $7.8 billion in online sales respectively. Amazon doesn’t disclose precise Prime Day sales figures, but the company did report that gross revenue from 2019’s 48-hour event exceeded the retailer’s numbers for 2018’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined. Even still, it’s hard to compete with the buying power China’s 1.4 billion citizens bring to Singles Day.

The biggest sale that nobody’s heard of

Yet despite Single’s Day status as the reigning king of single-day shopping events, remarkably few of the over 1.5 billion sales transactions processed on Singles Day originate outside of Asia. Despite the Alibaba CEO having expressed a desire in recent years to expand participation globally, western merchants and consumers haven’t been quick to jump onboard. According to Adobe Analytics, only about 24% of US retailers say they’re planning to run Singles Day promotions this year. 

One possible hurdle in the US at least is that Singles Day falls on an already deeply entrenched US holiday: Veterans Day. Not only do some US retailers already hold Veterans Day-themed sales, the solemnity and patriotism most Americans associate with Veterans Day don’t exactly jibe with the 11/11 Global Shopping Festival’s rampant consumerism and Sinocentric origins. (The same is true in Europe where the day is commemorated as Armistice Day, the end of the First World War.)

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Most of the action on Black Friday is in brick-and-mortar stores, but Singles Day, like Cyber Monday, is primarily an online shopping event.


Alina Bradford/CNET

How to find Singles Day deals in the US

That said, participation is slowly expanding, and several companies either based or doing business in the US are already advertising Singles Day-themed discounts and sales. Unlike many merchants offering Black Friday deals, retailers offering Singles Day sales often start advertising discounted prices in advance of the day of the sale, so you can browse in the days and weeks leading up to Singles Day, then complete your purchase on Nov. 11.

Note that some of the sales hosted by retailers based in China may be limited to the 24-hour period beginning at midnight Nov. 11 Beijing time, which is 8 a.m. PT on Nov. 10.

eBay’s Brand Outlet offering 20% off

Earlier this year, eBay launched a store-within-a-store concept it’s calling the Brand Outlet. It features big-name brands like Adidas, Cuisinart, Dyson, Ray-Ban and more. Now through Nov. 11, the promo code JUMBO20 will apply a 20% discount to any items added to your cart from the Brand Outlet.

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AliExpress is an English-language shopping site run by the Chinese retailer Alibaba, whose CEO started the 11/11 Global Shopping Festival in 2009.


AliExpress/Screenshot by Dale Smith/CNET

The store that started it all: AliExpress

The vast majority of Singles Day discounts available to stateside shoppers will be offered by two outlets, one of which is AliExpress, the English-language site run by Chinese retailer Alibaba. Its sale begins at midnight PT on Nov. 11. 

Aside from a few well-known manufacturers like Huawei, SanDisk and Anker, most of the brand names you’ll see on AliExpress will be unfamiliar to Americans. But if you’re OK taking a chance on products made by companies with names like Yi, Bluedio, Mifa and Amazfit — and have the patience to wait a few weeks for a shipment originating half a world away to arrive — you can score deals like wireless earbuds for under $13, 4K action cameras for less than $32 or video doorbells under $22 — and those are just the regular, everyday prices. Expect even deeper discounts on Singles Day.

China’s biggest seller, English edition: Joybuy

China’s biggest retailer, JD.com, was the second company to join with Alibaba in promoting Singles Day as the 11/11 Global Shopping Festival and is the second of the two primary catalogues offering Singles Day sales to American consumers through its English-language site Joybuy. Joybuy is sticking to Beijing time, so its sale will begin at 8 a.m. PT on Nov. 10 and run through 7:59 a.m. PT on Nov. 11 in the US.

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JoyBuy.com, an English-language commerce site run by Chinese mega-retailer JD.com, is advertising Singles Day sale prices ahead of the Nov. 11 event.


Screenshot by Dale Smith/CNET

Compared to AliExpress, JoyBuy tends to stock a few more familiar brands, like Phillips, Whirlpool and Lenovo, and generally the merchandise available on the site seems to be of slightly higher quality, but the prices reflect this difference, skewing much closer to that of similar items available on Amazon or eBay. Singles Day discounts, however, may alter that equation, so it’s worth keeping your eye on JoyBuy.com as Singles Day approaches. 

Late to the game, but still a key player: Amazon

Although Amazon has set up a landing page for Singles Day that specifically mentions clothing, shoes and jewelry, the self-proclaimed “everything store” has yet to populate it with any actual Singles Day-specific deals. Currently if you click on the Amazon Singles Day link all you’ll see is a list of products “Related to items you’ve viewed” and “Gift ideas inspired by your shopping history,” presumably this is where Amazon will highlight Singles Day deals when they become available.

Last year’s Singles Day deals we may see again 

  • Happy Socks: Last year offered 30% off gift boxes and free shipping on any order that included a gift box.
  • L’Occitane: Last year offered $11 beauty duos and a free 11-piece makeup set with any purchase of $111 or more.
  • Urban Outfitters: Last year offered 11% everything on the site.
  • Totokaelo: Last year offered 11% on select items. 

Originally posted earlier, updated with a full slate of new sales.

https://www.witwiw.com/


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