The Great Singapore Sale (GSS) is starting next month, and I’ve got some tips to help you ride out the storm and come out a better woman; with decent bags in tow. Just follow my to-do checklist and I assure you immediate results that are gratifying.
01. Do Your Research
Start by making a list of brands you like, then start visiting them on a regular basis. Take note of the bags you like (pick three), bags you think you may like (pick another three) and lastly, bags you think your relatives and friends would like (pick three as well). Then when you are done, cross out the ones you think you may like and the ones you think your relatives and friends will like. The keyword here is focus! Very often, during sales we get swept up with so many emotions that we often end up buying anything and everything.
Remember, to succeed you have to focus.
02. Make Friends
Now that you have approximately 30 bags on your list (10 brands x 3 bags each), start observing the shop assistants (SAs) in each boutique. Which ones are friendly? Which ones will even talk to you? Here’s a quick tip: male SAs tend to respond to women better (but if you are a guy, that’s okay too, because male SAs also tend to respond to men as well, if you get my drift). Once you single out your favourite SA, approach with caution and watch his or her response. If targeted SA smiles and starts walking towards you, stay put.
Next, say things like ‘Hello’ or ‘Hi’. Never begin a conversation with ‘Eh, how mud dat ah?’. It will score you instant discrimination points (don’t say I didn’t warn you). From your list, start asking intelligent questions about the make, design and so on. Remember to behave like you are actually interested in the purchase. Finally, ask about the price, then say something along the lines of ‘Oh, that’s a bit over my budget’, and then suggest that if it ever goes on sale, it would be a great buy.
03. Observe & Listen
After your grand statement about discounted prices, the SA will usually tell you right away if the price of the bag will ever go down. If not, move to the next bag on your list. Politely ask if you can leave your contact number with him and request that should it ever go on sale, to put it aside for you. Sale or not, SAs love building relationships with customers, especially the ones that they think will give them more business in the future, so play along and drop hints that you may bring your cousin’s Indonesian in-laws down for a shopping spree in the next few months.
Even if you don’t.
04. Note & Remember
If the SA has already taken your number and promised to call, do ask for his as well. Get the boutique’s business card and jot down his name, model number of the bag in question, and its price.
05. Reap The Rewards
Now if you have followed all the points listed here, just sit back and relax. As soon as anything goes on sale, you should get a call immediately to go down and pick up your envy-worthy steals. If not, tough luck my dear. There is always next year’s sale, or the unthinkable ordeal of joining the rest of Singapore in long maddening queues and rummaging through the bargain bins.
Most importantly, do remember that all SAs are also humans, trying to make a living. Always treat them with utmost respect and never forget your manners. Nothing irks me more than a Singaporean customer thinking he or she is above everyone else just because her card is the platinum kind.
And if you’re thinking this tongue-in-cheek piece looks familiar, you’re right. It’s a revised version of a piece I did for CATALOG last May. Good luck!
Image: Great Singapore Sale