11.11 – Two Holidays in One

China Holidays

What do you get when you combine the craziness of Black Friday with the online ease of Cyber Monday? China’s November 11 e-shopping holiday! After starting in 2009 with only 27 participating stores, there are now over 40,000 merchants who participate and sell millions of products. Product offerings continue to increase every year as more international products are added to the mix due to Chinese consumers becoming more interested in global products.

A famous Chinese company called Alibaba created this shopping holiday for its equally as famous website portal, Taobao. Taobao is most similar to Amazon in other countries. In addition to Taobao, other popular portal websites such as Tmall.com and JD.com also participate in the 11.11 shopping bonanza. However, you don’t need to be a shopping portal to get in on the action. Pretty much every major retailer who has an online presence will take advantage of this holiday to move a ton of merchandise. Sales for just this one day are expected to be in the tens of billions of dollars! There isn’t a store in China that wants to miss out on that.

Consumers also greatly benefit from this holiday as pretty much every product imaginable is heavily discounted. While most Chinese websites such as Taobao don’t have an English version of their site, it is still possible to shop online and order from Chinese companies. If you don’t have a Chinese friend who can help you, there are several step-by-step English guides like this one which explain how to use popular Chinese websites.

November 11 is also known as a single’s holiday because of the four ones in the date. The normal way to celebrate this holiday is to have a party with all of your single friends as a way to meet someone special or to go out on a blind date. If you don’t feel like partying with friends or romancing a stranger, Alibaba suggests celebrating this special day by buying some gifts for yourself. It’s the single person’s version of Valentine’s Day. Treat yourself to some chocolate and flowers or maybe a new phone or kitchen appliance by taking part in China’s biggest online shopping day of the year.

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