I need to get writing again before this initiative becomes yet another impulse project of mine. Over the past month after my keys collection and the restart of my delayed renovation, we were just visiting vendors week in week out shopping for our new home. And of course when mentioning shopping, we cannot ignore the shopping craze over 11.11 and Black Friday promotions all over the internet and even spreading to local brick and mortar stores.
Robinsons are having their annual Black Friday sales and having heard about the promotion last year, I decided to join in the fun this year (and I took leave for it, yes you have to be committed haha!) In the youtube video below, see if you can spot me at the 40 sec mark. HI MUM I AM ON TV!!! It was actually a last minute decision for me to join the queue at 10pm and I will share with you guys the tips and tricks to secure yourselves the goodies.
Before I get on with the preparation and tips to ensure that you GET what you came for, here are some factors to consider:
- I started queuing at around 10pm the night before, and I was about 50th in the queue by then (first guy started queuing 11am, talk about commitment!)
- There were estimated to be 50 gifts per tier (50 ipads, 50 iphone 8+ and 50 iphone X) and this seemed to be consistent with prior year
- There are 3 Robinsons outlets in Singapore being JEM, Raffles City and Heeren. You are only allowed to make your payment with the same outlet you pre-ordered your purchases (i.e. cannot place deposit with Heeren but queue at JEM)
- Choose your location wisely, as mentioned above (means making your deposits too at same outlet). For this year, I heard that the Raffles City crowd control was much better than that of Heeren, with the queue being orderly and goodies all redeemed and people leaving the premises by 830am. All these while I am still stuck in the queue at Heeren at 930am. However do take into consideration that most of the customers are here to make payment for their mattress purchases and Heeren’s bedshop does have the most extensive range of products
- Bring along a sleeping bag / ground sheet as the night can get quite chilly and the hard concrete floor is hardly forgiving
- Bring along ear plugs or eye mask if you are intending to sleep
- Bring along a backpack (not handbags/totes)
- Some food and drinks
- Ensure you have entertainment if you are not intending to sleep. Management will switch off their free Wi-fi after closing hours so do be prepared to use data, especially so when there’s alot of shopping to do online
- Making new friend(s) if you are there queuing alone like me. The night is very long. You will need a buddy to keep you awake throughout the night and also to jagar your spot when you make toilet runs.
- A backpack will ensure that your personal belongings are zipped up and less prone to theft. You can also use the backpack as a pillow during the night. Most importantly if you are there alone and expecting a friend or family member to join you in the morning, the backpack will serve its purpose to occupy space so that they will be able to join you without looking out of place.
- Make sure you bring along your SO/family member. The layout at Heeren is such that payment and redemption is split up into different queues. You have 2 queues for payment and 1 queue for redemption. Only upon making payment you will then be able to redeem the gift. This is where it gets really ugly for those who are queuing solo. Many of those who came in pairs or more, one of them can join the redemption queue while the other makes the payment, effectively choping the all important spot to get the gifts. I did mention earlier that I was in the first 50 in line, but after queuing for payment, suddenly there are at least 100 people in line in front of me for redemption. You get the idea, many of those had not even made their payment and management was not doing anything to ensure proper procedures (I’m doubting there’s even any). It was utterly chaotic with people everywhere complaining to the ushers and staff.
- If you are able to talk to your sales rep before the doors open, confirm with him/her the location of cashier and redemption queue so you are able to plan accordingly your optimal route.
- If you are intending to get any PWP items, be ready to show the brochure to the cashier when making your purchases. Do note that the longer you spend at the cashier, the redemption queue will continue to get longer.
What to expect
- The doors will open at 7am sharp. You will be expected to rush up the escalators to fifth floor where the cashier and redemption counter are located.
- You will be released in batches, similar to detailing for IPPT.
- Take extra care when running up the moving escalators as the steps are higher than normal steps.
- Do not make the mistake I did when I assume that people will be orderly. People will just take any opportunity to cut you if you slow down just a wee bit.
- Top tier goodies like Iphone X will be the first to be fully redeemed. So if you are there solely for the top prize, do strategize accordingly.
I wish you guys all the best for your quest for the black friday gifts. If you missed out on the gifts, you can still take heart that there will be a 5% + 10% additional rebate promotion for all purchases on Black Friday. That aside, any spendings in a single receipt will be entitled to cashback depending on the amount. I got an additional $200 off from $2800 spending.
For this Black Friday, I only made 2 other purchases excluding my Robinsons’ loots.