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Buyers in UK join Nov 11 shopping bonanza

By BO LEUNG in London | Chian Daily | Updated: 2016-11-11 07:50

Shoppers in Britain are taking advantage of the annual shopping extravaganza known as Singles Day-one of China's biggest annual shopping sprees.

What started out as an anti-Valentine's Day event is now better known as an opportunity for massive retail therapy.

And it is not just limited to bachelors and bachelorettes, or to customers in China. Bargain hunters in Britain were also taking advantage as midnight in Beijing-4PM London time on Thursday-marked the start of the Nov 11 shopping bonanza.

Fingers hover over "buy" buttons as consumers head online to the Tmall and Taobao platforms, clicking for huge discounts on goods some had waited until the day to buy.

Twenty-four-year-old Jane Yang, a student in London, started browsing a few days ago. To make sure she gets the best deals, she had already put several items in her virtual shopping basket ready to purchase.

Her list included bags and dresses and some kitchen utensils for her mother.

"I've spent around 1,500 yuan ($220) so far and the best thing about buying from the United Kingdom is that I don't have to stay up till midnight for the start of the event," said Yang.

Also ready for her shopping spree was Yeomy Choi, a 25-year-old student studying at University College London. She had her eyes on a pair of Beats earphones. Comparing UK and Chinese prices, she found it was much cheaper to buy on Singles Day, so she waited.

"The earphones were around 60 pounds ($75). In the shops they would have cost about 200 pounds."

But she did not plan to go too crazy with her shopping. "I'm just going to have a look on the day for bargain items, but I also need to watch my money and not spend too much."

Duanuo Wong, 23, in Coventry, was spending around 200 to 300 pounds on beauty and makeup products and said she was saving about 20 percent.

But not everyone was so caught up in the event. Emily Siu from Hong Kong is in London for work, and only planned to buy two items of clothing.

"I tend to go overboard on 11/11 because I think everything is so cheap, but then I don't end up using most of the items I buy, so I'll try and save some money this year."

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