Singaporeans are no strangers to e-commerce and group-buying, especially with the emergence of startups such as Groupon. But what if we told you that you could enjoy cost savings just by shopping online with strangers? That’s where Spreesgalore comes in!
What is Spreesgalore?
Spreesgalore is an online community where registered organisers consolidate orders from anyone who is interested in purchasing from the website of a selected international merchant. The organiser places the order and waits for the parcel to arrive in Singapore, before distributing the different items to participants. This is known as a “spree”.
Popular sprees on Spreesgalore include those from Forever 21, Amazon, Gmarket, Old Navy and Drugstore.com.
1. You can save on shipping costs
By ordering in bulk, shipping charges are usually lower and can be shared among all participants of the spree.
For example, New Look offers free international shipping only for orders above £55. If I were to order a necklace that costs only £5, I would have to pay an additional shipping fee of £10. But in a New Look spree, I can combine orders with other people to reach the £55 minimum. It’s a great way for everyone to save on shipping charges without having to buy extra.
2. You can get your hands on a wider variety of items, some of which are not found in Singapore
This might come as a surprise, considering the number of shopping malls sprouting up all around Singapore. But believe it or not, there are existing brands which may not be available here. Some products, while available, may not be easily accessible and you’d have to spend quite a bit of effort hunting them down.
Case in point: Maybelline products are everywhere in major departmental stores and chains like Watsons and Guardian. But the brand also offers product ranges that are not carried locally, and can only be found in the US or ordered from online retailers.
3. It’s cheaper if you order it online
International merchants often hold sales on their websites. With a sharp eye and a dash of luck, you might be able to score some really good deals. There are few things as satisfying as snagging something from the online store for much less than its retail price in Singapore.
How does a spree work?
Firstly, a spree organiser posts on the Livejournal page that she has opened a spree.
If there’s something you have been dying to get from Forever 21, this is the moment you have been waiting for!
Participants transfer the cost of their total order to the organiser’s bank account, either via iBanking or ATM transfer.
Afterwards, post a comment with your order in the format stated. The organiser will either reply with an acknowledgement or “freeze” your comment.
Once the spree closes and orders have been placed, the organiser will send an email to all participants. Thereafter, some organisers will update you regularly, while others will only contact you when they have received the package.
Participants may be required to transfer a second payment for shipping charges and local postage. The usual collection options are SingPost’s normal mail, registered mail and TA-Q-BIN, but one or two organisers do offer meetups as well.
What’s the catch?
Spree organisers usually wait until a certain date or when the maximum order amount is reached before closing the spree. After factoring in the time taken for ordering, shipping and then local postage, you can expect to wait up to 3-4 weeks. That can be off-putting for those who urgently need the items.
That said, more well-known spree organisers are rather efficient and sprees are usually closed within a few days, especially for more well-known brands. So if there are any delays, the issue most likely lies with the retailer or shipment itself.
Another issue might be how some people may not be comfortable with transferring money to a complete stranger without receiving their items right away. There have been a few cases in the past where spree organisers made headlines for running away with the participants’ money.
As a precaution, check the feedback that participants of previous sprees have left for the organiser. From what I see, most (if not all) of the feedback are positive, especially for the few organisers who have already completed hundreds of sprees. Some Spreesgalore organisers I have spree-ed with before include Yanting Spree and Cxtina.
Having taken part in many sprees from Spreesgalore, I’ve found that the experience is always pleasant and hassle-free. My items have always arrived in good condition, and the savings certainly make the wait worthwhile.
Would you participate in a spree? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments!