My significant other requested that i get her a hair dryer. In the past, i would have just gone to Qoo10 and do the purchase. Now, i will also check with Lazada before making a decision. Lazada uses the more conventional promo code concept, whereby you get a discount when you enter a promo code, whereas Qoo10 uses a combination of loyalty points (sometimes dished out for free), coupon and time sale/group buy concepts. Well, both require you to do a bit of research before you hit the buy button, so it’s hard to say which is better, though a promo code is overall simpler. Lazada has a slight edge over Qoo10 for offering cashback through Shopback, which allows you to get rebates every single time, and also promising you low delivery fees.
Anyway, without having any bias towards any particular brand, i did a general search for hair dryers under S$50 on both Lazada and Qoo10. One thing i noted from Qoo10’s search result was that a lot of the products listed were China-sourced, even if they are well known brands like Philips and Panasonic (i noted from the customer reviews that the item they received came with the two pin plugs used in China). Well, i would rule out the non-branded products immediately (i can get these from Taobao directly if i wanted), and i was not so keen on getting the branded products (especially if they are China-sourced) like Philips and Panasonic, because i know will be paying a premium for the branding and end up getting something with slightly inferior specifications. The middle ground is Korean products. They are less brand-centric, and more confidence-inspiring than generic Chinese products.
I noted that a brand known as JMW showed up quite often in the search result, so i gather that it must be a well-known and reliable Korean brand. Having identified the mid-tier model, i did a search in Lazada. Guess what? It is cheaper on Lazada. I draw a conclusion from this – Lazada pricing is very aggressive.
I was almost going to just go ahead with the purchase on Lazada, but an interesting product suggestion showed up under the column “People Who Viewed Items You Browsed Also Viewed”. It was from another Korean brand, with higher specification (1900W instead of 1300W). I glanced through the product description, and they highlighted how their product maintains the optimum temperature of 57°C during hair drying. I had no idea before this about the optimum temperature, but i was sold anyway. The pricing was equally attractive – S$29.44.
Next comes the search for a promo code i could use on Lazada. A lot of the promo codes that showed up had a minimum purchase amount of S$50, which doesn’t apply to me. One code, however, was perfect for my purchase – 15% off storewide. I gave it a try half thinking it wouldn’t work, and it actually did! The code is GRAB1212 by the way, and i suspect it’ll expire by 31 Dec 2015. So that slashed the price by S$4.42 down to S$25.02. Then I noted that DBS/POSB was running a promotion in conjunction with Lazada, to award 8% cashback every Friday when the payment is made with a DBS/POSB Credit Card. Purely by chance, i was making this purchase on a Friday! That should give me a rebate of S$2. In addition, i was making this purchase by going through Shopback, and i used my wife’s credentials for the Lazada purchase because new Lazada users get 4% cashback instead of 2%. That should give me another S$1 rebate. With all these rebates, i basically got the hair dryer at S$22 instead of the original price of S$29.44, not bad at all.
I seriously think Qoo10 will be losing some business because their prices are not competitive enough.