Friday, July 3, 2015

Sale Shopping in the Philippines

What have I been doing that I've been missing the mid-year sale?

While not as phenomenally marked down as the January end of the year sales, the mid-year sale (which lasts for most June and parts of July) is one of the best times to shop in the Philippines (a place without Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Yes, I believe that Black Friday and Cyber Monday should be capitalized. In the Philippines, where businesses do NOT believe in stacked discounts (coupons, discount vouchers etc. disclaiming their validity for regular items only) and international shipping (costing at least 100% more than the product itself in "taxes" if you are lucky enough to get the item), the end of the year and mid-year sale are the best time to find good deals on clothes and shoes.

Always look closely at what you're buying. You're buying not only old stock, but products that may have been manhandled a thousand times. Correct me if I'm wrong, but there are no "lemon" laws for wearable items on sale, not in the Philippines. Recent trips to an international clothing chain and shoe chain have told me that all these transactions, being sale items, were final.

Now, this may be obvious and more helpful next year since it's already July, and most stores are already on the tail end of their sales, but items that are still in store at the end of a sale are probably undesirable (whether innate or acquired). It may still be too expensive for the audience it's catering to, in a size too small or too large (advantageous if you go to an international store with non-average sizing), or have a defect you can't see at first glance. You may be able to haggle the price down (if you really want the item) in small businesses, but most stores in malls will not allow further reductions for even glaringly inferior products (such as stains, tears, etc.).

On the other hand, be prepared for LARGE crowds, especially at the start of the sale. Wherever malls are built in Manila, the people flock and traffic slows to a crawl. This is a hundred times worse during big sales and some major malls become so crowded that it becomes impossible to try on items in a dressing room, pay without queueing for hours, use the public restroom, eat in a decently-priced restaurant, park inside the building, or even move without hitting another person.

I know a mall, which I will not name, that I refuse to step into when it's on sale for reasons of preserving my sanity and my ability to breathe. If you do decide to go to such a sale, eat well, empty your bladder before hand, wear something you can easily put clothes over (shorts, spaghetti strap and slippers) and gird your loins… maybe bring a lemming if your morals allow you to: I have seen women have children, SO's and service personnel line up at the cashier while they shop.

As someone who has been in the poor soul's position, unless the other offers to save you a spot, don't. I generally prefer going to smaller malls with less traffic, if I go at all. While the selection is not as varied,  I end up being able to do more and even enjoy the experience.

However, if you do like seeing people losing their temper to get a "must have,"mall sales are the place to be. Also, if you like stealing stuff (theft done by both shoppers and pickpockets). Watch all your things, and people too (because, kidnap does happen here). Note that the mall is not a place for infants and young children that tend to cry, get hungry and get lost. However, if you're lucky, you might find a place for some of your youngsters: While there are few actual day care centers in Manila, I've seen a revival of the "mall playcare centers." Slots may be enough for regular days, but not during big sales.

This post is incomplete and may be edited in the future!

Hopefully, this will be helpful for future shoppers.

Not sorry for the semi-long post.

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting post! well-written and easy to understand. Great job! That's why many Filipinos are called SALE Hunters. Thanks for sharing. Check my site Wholesale Streetwear