11/11 is a blessing and curse

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/11/12 17:33:39

Double 11 day has come and gone and, like most of you, my pockets are now empty. Last year it was reported that between Alibaba and JD.com, $45 billion was spent on this new corporate-created shopping holiday!

The reason why singles day was originally celebrated on November 11 is because the digit "1" resembles an individual who is alone. Knowing that so many of us are single and alone, China's e-retailer giants turned it into a nationwide opportunity for singles to purchase things we don't need to drown out our sorrows.

There are in fact many theories as to how Double 11 originated, the most common belief coming from Nanjing University's dorm. It was there in 1993 where four students planned campus-wide events and parties in an effort to break the monotony of being single. The idea stuck and spread to more universities and eventually made its way into wider society, with the help of social media fueling its popularity. But when did this turn into a shopping extravaganza that would quickly become the world's largest online and offline shopping day? How much money do we really save?

After speaking with some Chinese students, I found out that most didn't even save that much money on their Double 11 purchases; they were simply excited to participate in the world's largest shopping day.

But this doesn't make much sense, because everyone knows that when you order something online on Double 11 day, it takes even longer for your package to arrive, due to the sheer quantity of purchases the post office has to sort and deliver. So if you aren't saving a lot of money, then why order something in the midst of all this hustle and bustle? That's like planning to visit the Great Wall during a national holiday week when you already live in Beijing.

Back in the US, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two huge shopping days occurring right after Thanksgiving, which fall on November 23 and 26 this year respectively. We can expect tons of online sales from Amazon as well as physical stores. Black Friday is the craziest shopping day, where customers have been known to sleep outside of Wal-Mart waiting in line to get those coveted sales items in order to fulfill their children's Christmas lists.

Makes you more grateful for the internet and Taobao now, right?

This article was published on the Global Times Metropolitan section Two Cents page, a space for reader submissions, including opinion, humor and satire. The ideas expressed are those of the author alone, and do not represent the position of the Global Times.


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