The Great Singapore Sale (GSS) frenzy has officially kicked off Friday (May 29), but judging by the crowds being drawn to early sales around our city, shoppers and shops alike are already proving their true-blue Singaporean "kiasu-ness".
The GSS, which this year runs to July 26, can be a fantastic time to bag some great deals without maxing out your credit cards - but only if you know where to look. Here's a complete cheat sheet to shopping till you drop for the savvy Singaporean.
1. Shop online to beat the crowds
The glittering malls that make up Singapore's town area - and even those in the neighbourhoods - get legendarily packed around the GSS period. Squeezing with the crowds is never a pleasant prospect, but fortunately, the advent of online shopping sites means we can now indulge in as much shopping as we need want without leaving the comfort of our homes.
Here're some prime online shopping destinations to get you started, all gearing up to join in the GSS fun: Amazon-like e-commerce giant Lazada; popular online marketplace Qoo10; Zalora, a favourite with local fashionistas; HipVan, a home furnishings e-retailer which stocks everything from bed linen to refrigerators.
2. Check for promotions before leaving the house
What with the barrage of red "SALE" signs that swamp every mall come GSS time, you're sure to end up spending a lot more than you intended to if you window-shop without clear goals in mind.
To safeguard your wallet from those tempting impulse buys, you might want to make a shopping plan (and keep to it!).
But how to plan if you don't know what the sales are? That's where apps like GssGo! come in: GssGo!, available for both Android and iOS, is a free app which allows you to discover all the GSS sales going on in malls throughout Singapore.
You won't even need to step away from your house to check on the promotions taking place at your favourite brands, giving you the breathing space you need to appraise each bargain and reducing the risk of being momentarily hypnotised by those potent "50 per cent OFF" signs.
On a related note, there's really no need to do any legwork to find the best deals: By harnessing the power of social media, you can save your energy for carrying home those laden shopping bags instead.
It's testament to Singaporeans' impressive dedication to shopping that in addition to a GSS website, there's also an official Great Singapore Sale Facebook page covering GSS promotions.
Aside from checking the Twitter hashtag #GreatSingaporeSale every now and then, the feed The Hidden Dollars (@hiddendollars) is another gem that's a must-follow for savvy shoppers - it's updated on a daily basis with bargains both well-known and obscure.
3. Collect extra deals wherever possible
While we'll never be short of amazing bargains during the GSS period, time and kiasu-ness wait for no one. If you don't already obsessively stalk deal portals like SG Coupon Code, Deal.com.sg, OfferStation, All Deals Asia, and iprice, there's no better time than the present to start.
These sites can get you in the know about great sales that you might have missed, as well as redeem coupon or promo codes to make your dollars go that bit further.
Besides these deal sites, there's an assortment of other ways by which you can placate your inner, bargain-hungry auntie. If you haven't already heard, ION Orchard has specially created a GSS Deals tab in their free mobile app - users can receive daily exclusive deals through the app at 11am sharp during the GSS period.
And if competitive shopping runs in your blood, the Great Singapore Sale Match & Win challenge might just win you a S$100 Prepaid MasterCard Card via a simple memory game.