Well, I’ve only recently signed up with Dash, the payment platform by Singtel, mostly out of curiosity. I’ve noticed their ads at Food Republic food courts for the longest time, but never felt any urge to give them a try. I did so recently, just to check if they offered any good deals.
What do you know, they are running a promotion that is actually pretty good, valid till 30 Sep 2019. 5% cashback on Qoo10 and Lazada (capped at $2.50, on top of the usual 1% Shopback cashback), as well as for purchases of groceries at Fairprice and Sheng Siong, among the rest, with no minimum spend requirement. You may shop at each of these merchants once a day and receive the 5% cashback, and it is credited into your Dash account by the very next day, which means the money is practically available for use by your next transaction.
By the way, from 12-15 Jul 2019, there is an additional 10% off with promo code plus 5% cashback on Lazada.
If you’re wondering what Dash is about, it’s like a prepaid credit card account. You get a virtual Visa credit card number every time you need one for a transaction. I didn’t keep track, but you’re probably assigned a new virtual credit card number every time. This is unlike the Youtrip card where you get a permanent Mastercard credit card number. For foreign currency transactions, i think Dash does not offer a better deal than Youtrip though. There is an ongoing 5% cashback deal (max S$5) for overseas spending valid till 30 Sep 2019 as well, might work out better than Youtrip.
No better time to sign up with Dash than now (get up to $3 cashback when you make your 1st transaction)!
Time passes quickly, and what do you know, the last purchase i made on Lazada was two years ago! Somehow, Qoo10 became my go-to shopping platform. I think their coupons, gaming style lucky draw and attendance-based rewards program worked. So, you might ask, what drew me to Lazada this time round? It’s because the item i was looking for wasn’t offered on Qoo10 anymore.
I was going to buy a licensed copy of Microsoft Office 2016 (not for my own use). Now, there is a way to buy this on the cheap – by getting hold of a volume license. Volume licenses are intended for business use, and, for this reason, they can be pretty cheap per license, as they are sold in bundles of 5 or more. A lot of these licenses end up being sold to home users who want to get it for cheap. This sounds a bit shady, which is why sellers who sell them on Qoo10 and Lazada are evasive.
Coming back to the topic of getting a refund from Lazada, well, there was a problem with the Office 2016 license i purchased on Lazada. I sent email to the seller, did not get a response, so i initiated the refund request. Now, any legitimate e-commerce platform has to have a proper refund process in place, and Lazada aces it in this respect. The refund process is well-documented. The return shipping is FREE – either by pick-up or drop-off at a Post Office or Singpost POPStation. There are updates at each stage of the process – email for selection of pick-up schedule, email receipt acknowledgement of returned item, SMS regarding the initiation of the refund and finally, email notification of successful processing of the refund.
I guess those who want to buy Taobao products but are afraid of the risk of receiving broken items can go the Lazada route, given the return policy and program that is in place. Plus, you can also collect cashback from Shopback for Lazada purchases.
I received a mailer from helloPay today. It purports to be giving away $10 for free. The condition is having to top up your helloPay account with S$50. Alright, sounds good. I top up $50 into my helloPay account and they will top it up with another $10 right? That would be perfect.
Moving on to the fine print, it says the $10 is given in the form of a Lazada voucher code. Immediately i sensed something wrong, and i quickly recalled, a Lazada voucher code is nothing but a promo code. I have made 3 purchases on Lazada so far and every time, i have never failed to find (simply by Googling) a promo code FOR FREE, and the discount quantum have always been at least $10 for a minimum purchase amount of $50. If you can almost always get Lazada promo/voucher codes for free, why go through the trouble of spending $50 upfront to top up your helloPay account before you even know if there will be something you need to purchase?
The fine print even says that only the first 100 who does the topping up will get the voucher code. Yeah, right. I’m pretty sure everyone who does the topping up will get it, else they will be generating negative sentiments among their precious and still small customers base.
By the way, you may not have any idea what helloPay is about, and i’m doing them a favour by introducing them to you. They’re essentially a PayPal copycat (if you don’t know what PayPal is about, nevermind). The payment gateway market is getting very crowded these days. So far, Lazada is the only website on which you can utilize a helloPay account (they’re probably under the same parent company, or related at least). I think it is very hard for them to loop in more merchants because everyone wants to be their own payment gateway.
Anyway, i thought this was quite a “creative” marketing approach, which i’m sure will work very well, and i’m just sharing this as a reference for all. Marketing tactics are getting increasingly clever and complex.
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.
Lazada is a relatively newcomer to the online retail platform business, coming at the heels of Qoo10 and other wannabes. Despite seeing promotional ads for the site umpteen times, i never felt there was a reason for me to check out their site. It was while searching for a Hand Blender that a product listing from Lazada showed up in the Google search result, that i decided to take a look.
For the particular Hand Blender, 3 relevant results representing 3 different companies selling the product came up in Lazada’s search. The prices were about the lowest offered in the market (i.e. equal or lower than what you will find in an electrical/electronics departmental store). Obviously, it is cheaper to buy it online because you can apply a few discounts:
Promo codes – there were at least a few promo codes for Lazada available, which gave a minimum of $10 worth of discount. I even saw an ad at a bus stop that offered a $11 discount on Lazada.
helloPay – prior to this i had never heard of helloPay. It was during checkout that i noted using helloPay offers a 15% discount. For an $8 item, a 15% discount ($12.75) is definitely better than the $11 bus ad promo code, so i decided to check out helloPay (by the way, there is supposedly a $15 discount available if you use their app to order, but i didn’t try). Apparently, helloPay works like PayPal. At present though, it seems that no other merchant, other than Lazada, accepts helloPay payments. I proceeded to sign up an account under my wife’s name, since i was going to use her credit card to make payment. Lo and Behold, i got a $5 credit for signing up. I further noted that they had a referral program whereby you earn $10 if someone you referred made a payment through helloPay. I immediately referred myself. I got a $5 credit as well. So for the $85 Hand Blender, i am paying $85 – $12.75 – $5 + $2.5 (delivery charges) = $67.25
Shopback – I made the Lazada purchase by going through Shopback and received a $3.6 cashback (obviously this is not available if you order through their app).
Bank of China Credit Card – 5.5% cashback on online purchases, which is about $3.7. Taking into consideration the Shopback cashback as well, what i really pay for the Hand Blender is $67.25 – $3.6 – $3.7 = $60, which is a $27 discount overall! Not forgetting, my wife received $10 in her helloPay account for the successful referral, which effectively makes it a $37 discount!