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4 Things to Avoid Buying during the Christmas Season in Singapore

With the prospects of a looming technical recession getting real in the coming year, there is much reason to save that hole from burning further in your pockets. Moreover, it is the time of the year when Secret Santa gift exchanges and bringing a present to a Christmas party are commonplace.

With all that Christmas shopping, especially with retailers rolling out seemingly attractive promotional offerings, here are 4 things to avoid buying during this festive season in Singapore.

Cheap Laptops and Tablets

The daily Qoo10 email newsletter is known to carry the occasional discounted laptop by a reputable brand (such as Asus or HP) but these are often the old, dated laptops belonging to the old stock of brick-and-mortar retailers.

With rising inventory costs in space-constrained Singapore, these laptops are now being sold at steep discounts, despite having made its debut in the market three to four years ago.

While these laptops seem like a lucrative deal, and possibly a cheap thrill of purchase to some, it has to be noted that the in-thing a few years ago is now being dwarfed by newer, updated technology. In the world of innovative technology, these cheap laptops are now seen to be obsolete.

Moreover, what some of these retailers do, in order to entice unsuspecting consumers, is to emphasize certain specifications as a form of compensating factor in the consumer decision-making process, over the other specifications which are seen as unappealing.

For instance, in the image snippet of the email newsletter,  information such as how some laptops running on the Windows operating system have 4GB Ram and 500GB are included while other attributes of the hardware such as the laptop running on an antiquated processor (think: Intel Pentium) or graphic card are conveniently omitted.

Yet Another Starbucks Tumbler

Starbucks tumblers are pretty. There’s no denying that, and they look especially good when they are displayed on the shelves of the cosy, ambient Starbucks outlet.

There is also much difficulty differentiating the tumblers of Starbucks from those of Coffee Bean and other coffee cafes, and it is not surprising to find imprinted somewhere on the bottom of the tumbler that most of them are made in China. Basically, the point is – it is difficult to reconcile the difference in perceived quality and price of these tumblers.

Possibly, one of the rare treats from Starbucks during the festive season is its introduction of Christmas-themed drinks along with a 1-for-1 promotional deal.

For instance, there was a recent 1-for-1 deal for its festive-themed drinks this year, such as the Red Ribbon Green Tea Latte (I found out that it was an exotic mixture of Green Tea latte topped with pomegranate sauce) , that ran from 28 to 30 November – probably to allow Starbucks to gauge the demand of its drinks as part of its market testing effort.

Soft Toys

With the recent Pokemon Go trend which capitalised on the nostalgic memories of Singaporeans, it is not uncommon to see retailers jump on the bandwagon of selling Pokemon-related items at inflated prices.

However, if you really have to buy a Pokemon stuffed toy, you might want to go onto Taobao, a popular online marketplace, to get one. Prices are generally cheaper though delivery may take some time.

An Unwanted Christmas Present  

A present neatly wrapped comes with expectations, and with expectations comes the glimmer of disappointment. Some party hosts have sought to eliminate their disappointment (as well as the waste and uncertainty of dealing with unwanted presents) by jotting down a list of items and posting this list on their Facebook event page for guests to choose from.

Since it is only polite to bring a gift to a Christmas party, why not buy something that the host has some use for?

Such a phenomenon has been around for several years. The Telegraph published an article in December 2015 about how “thousands of unwanted Christmas present will be thrown away in the coming weeks”, with suggestions of the best possible means to get rid of these gifts.

So, what do you do with these unwanted Christmas presents?

  1. Re-gifting these presents and giving them to someone or even a charity who may need it more than you do.
  2. Sell it online. Local company Carousell has carved a stronghold in the local market for being the go-to online marketplace to sell second-hand items.

Conclusion

With all the lucrative deals blasting at your eyes along the streets of Orchard Road, it is important to stay within your budget to avoid any post-holiday hangover. For maximum enjoyment of the holidays, moderation has to be embraced along with celebration.

With all the shopping you will be doing, make sure you spend within your allocated Christmas budget. Use the Seedly app to check if you’ve overspent!

Seedly is an everyday personal finance assistant that aggregates your financial data across up to 6 local bank and card accounts and gives you a complete personal financial picture. We currently serve over 6,000 users and growing in Singapore and are supported by NUS Enterprise, TOP 9 DBS HOTSPOT startup and East Ventures. We aim to become the #1 personal finance management app in Singapore and the region.

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