Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Online Shopping: Qoo10

Back in the day, Qoo10 was known as G-Market and it was my first brush with online shopping. Someone may correct me if I am wrong, but they started out in Korea and re-branded themselves later on.

As a natural born skeptic, I was a bit dubious about online shopping. Like many people, I've heard horror stories of credit card fraud, or even worse, identity theft. I had always been put off by online shopping until I actually stumbled upon the website (through a recommendation of some female friends).

Once I started browsing, I was hooked. There are certain items you just know are commodities. This is especially so when it comes to technology and branded goods. You know that it doesn't matter which retailer you buy it from, as long as you have faith in the branding and quality of the good that you are buying. It's like deciding to buy the same branded TV between Best, Harvey Norman or Courts. Who wins? The retailer with the cheaper price, that's all. Of course, the biggest worry to that would be if you receive fake goods, which is actually fairly easily to mitigate by avoiding sellers who have not been tried and tested.

Personally, I mainly buy consumer electronics from brands that I know and trust. From Qoo10, I've bought Samsung, Xiaomi, Fujifilm products from reputable sellers. You would think that I'm lying, but prices are WAY cheaper than what are listed at physical retailers.

For example, I am quite a fan of the Fujifilm Instax camera series. When it first launched, physical retailers were selling a pack of film for about $15. I remember buying a batch of film online for just $9 a pack. Finding a pack of film for $10 was unheard of at that time! Ever since then, Instax became more popular and prices drifted downwards a lot. I think at the peak of its popularity, it was possible to get packs under $7! However, I don't snap that many polaroids these days, so I usually only buy a few packs of film, as opposed to the 200 pieces that I have ever shipped for in the past! My cost per pack is about $8, which really isn't too shabby considering that most shops still sell them for around $10-12.

Qoo10 is also great for small, trinkety junk. You know those cube shops that sell the most random things? Almost anything you find there can be found on Qoo10 and it would be cheaper! Phone / computer cables, power banks, screen protectors... you can easily find whatever you're looking for online!

Another great thing about Qoo10 is the discounts that they offer. In turn for being a registered user that shops, you frequently get coupons to offset your shopping cart or for individual items. You also accumulate points from purchases to offset your cart. Even sellers will offer you coupon codes if you purchase enough from their "shop". There are also frequent sales and deals and you can see the savings compared to normal times! These amount of discounts and savings adds up quickly and becomes substantial. And all of this is already on top of the already cheap prices.

In fact, I just purchased some stuff off Qoo10 today. On top of already finding fantastic prices (especially when compared to physical retail stores!), the discounts from coupons, sales and points quickly added up to give me a very cool 19% off my purchase!

And if you count credit card rebates, the savings become even more substantial! I used my OCBC 365 card for my purchase, so I get 3% off while my purchases counts towards hitting my $600 monthly target for the rebate and the $500 monthly target for my OCBC 360 account bonus interest. Multiple birds with one stone!

Actually, I applied for and I am waiting for my SCB Singpost credit card which offers 7% discount from online purchases, so that would have greatly brought down my costs even more! I'll probably use this card next time when I buy stuff online.

When it comes to small consumer electronic gadgets, these days I don't even bother going to the store unless I feel like scoffing at how ridiculous the prices are and feel good about me saving money through online shopping.

Online shopping hasn't become a revolution because of inertia. Many people feel that it is very unsafe to shop online, plus they enjoy the retail experience of going to the store. However, I think if people knew that shopping online could save them routinely between 20-40% of retail prices, people would be more receptive of trying and using online shopping. Even for someone with friends that are familiar and comfortable with tech, I feel that not as many of my friends do online shopping as I would have imagined.

As long as you practice good computer and web surfing safety tips, online shopping can be a simple and cheap way to purchase things.

What's there not to like about that?

Btw, this post isn't sponsored by Qoo10 or SCB credit cards. I'm just sharing this because I've saved tons of money buying stuff that I wanted in a very convenient and stress-free way and I thought it might be something interesting.

I've yet to use Taobao, but I think I might do so soon! Any recommendations for other online shopping sites to check out? Lazada has fallen out of favour because I have not seen a single item yet that is also sold on Qoo10 but has a more competitive price.


  1. Hi GMGH,

    Agree that lazada is priced higher usually than Qoo10. Qoo10 is usually my default option haha

    If you want tech gadgets, you can try dx extreme:

    It costs very low, and I've bought a couple of small items from them before. Shipping takes longer though, maybe up to 1 month. Then again, it's free, so no complains.

    1. Hi LP,

      I have tried DX extreme before! They are really really insanely cheap for all those small little tech nonsense, haha! They are mostly for no-frills stuff though.

      I've become addicted to qoo10 and I log in everyday to do the daily wheel!

  2. Taobao used to have fake stuffs but now lesser. Of course fake stuffs are way to cheap. But I still buy from Taobao, the comments are very useful if you can read Chinese. You can also try Tmail too. The great discount period are double 11. (11th Nov) and during the festive season holiday like labour day. Just dont buy during Chinese New Years,,,no one works.

    1. Hi Anon,

      The language barrier is hard for me, but I'd heard quite a number of good things from friends that have used taobao before. I tried searching for Tmail, but I couldn't mind anything. Is the name right?

      Thanks for the tip about the holidays!

    2. Did you mean Tmall?

      I found it, haha!

  3. I buy a lot of stuff from Ebay. In fact many of the items on qoo10 can be found cheaper on Ebay. However most of them are from China and Hong Kong and their standard free shipping takes a few weeks. Taobao is usually cheaper but I find it a bit of a hassle since the forwarding agent is separate and everything is great if things go smooth but a true pain if something goes south.

    1. Hi owq,

      I generally find that ebay shipping fees can vary quite a bit. It is also lacking the "game" aspect of coupons and discounts that qoo10 does very well, so that your shopping experience is on your cart of items, as opposed to individual items from individual sellers.

      I haven't checked out ebay in a while, but I think I will give it a go and compare stuff the next time I do my rounds of online shopping. The last time I bought something off from ebay, it was a camera from hong kong and I saved $300!

  4. for variety, Qoo10 wins. but their sellers are not so reliable. (had bad experience, from a reputable seller. once, my cc was charged for a porduct that was shipped from korea. shipping code for tracking is received, but when the product arrives in singapore ready to be dispatched. the seller said it was out of stock? duhh... )

    for reliability and fast shipping, lazada wins. but their prices slightly higher. only by a mere bit. some times, there is free shipping too.

    1. Hi foolish chameleon,

      Qoo10 really has a ton of stuff, but quite a number of their listings have no reviews at all, so I am usually wary if they seller has not sold much of the item.

      Lazada is slightly more expensive, but perhaps I'd consider it if the item in question is more high value, so I don't have to worry so much!

  5. I have purchased lot of products from other site while i was in Singapore. Qoo10 have lots of category with price ,it is right place to buy products.

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