Shoppers wait up to 3½ hours to get into warehouse sale

SINGAPORE - A warehouse in an usually quiet industrial estate at Greenwich Drive was abuzz with bargain hunters on Friday (Feb 17), as online shopping site Ezbuy held its first clearance sale.

A queue - and a line of illegally parked cars - had formed at least an hour before the sale started at 11am.

By afternoon, the queue had extended to the road outside, with shoppers having to wait as long as three-and-a-half hours to get in.

By 3pm, over a thousand people had turned up.

"It's been really overwhelming," Ezbuy's head of warehouse sale Stella Ooi told The Straits Times.

But she assured shoppers that there was sufficient stock to last the weekend.

"Stock will be replenished two to three times a day," she added.

Items available at the three-day sale, which started on Friday and ends on Sunday (Feb 19), range from household items and apparel to furniture and electrical appliances.

They were divided into four sections: Bulky items and items priced at $1, $5 or $12.

The items were shipped from China and were "excess" products ordered by Ezbuy.

Ezbuy is a platform that allows shoppers to ship purchases from global online sites such as China's Taobao.

Shoppers were divided into groups of about 150 each, and each batch had 30 minutes to make their purchases.

Priority was given to the elderly, the pregnant and those with young children.

There was also a water dispenser nearby for thirsty shoppers.

University student Nidia Peradi, 23, waited an hour and a half to get in - and left with a $1 tote bag.

She had no complaints about the long wait, but regretted reaching the warehouse only around 1pm.

"If I came earlier, I would have bought more. There were probably more items earlier in the day," said Ms Peradi, who was there with a friend.

Physical education teacher Rayson Soh, 26, bought a bicycle for $150, which he estimated was half the usual price.

When asked if he was surprised that so many people turned up for the sale, he quipped: "No lah, Singaporeans are all like that."

This article was first published on Feb 17, 2017.
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