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Everything you should know about 11.11, China’s answer to Black Friday

November 10th, 2016 at 2:40 PM
11.11 China Sale

While we’re all running around getting hot and bothered about leaked Black Friday ads, China is preparing for the world’s biggest online shopping day, which happens tomorrow. Singles’ Day, or 11.11, started as a kind of anti-Valentine’s Day, but it has been taken over by online retailers.

Most importantly for you, it means that massive online Chinese retailers like AliExpress will be having blowout sales across every single product category. If you look carefully, you can find some truly stupid bargains.

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AliExpress is like the Chinese version of Amazon, but it’s surprisingly useful even if you’re located in the US. The site offers free shipping on most goods, but it takes 2-3 weeks for most things, rather than 2-3 days.

I know what you’re thinking: what could I possibly want from a Chinese e-commerce site? That’s a foolish question, because AliExpress does have some genuinely useful stuff at genuinely low prices. For example, you can pick up (non-certified) Lightning cables with braided sheaths and metal connectors for about $3 a pop.

Want a battery pack to go with that? Try an official Xiaomi-branded version with a 10,000mAh battery, good for about 2-3 smartphone charges, on sale for $15. And, of course, there’s the drones. This knock-off DJI Phantom won’t be nearly as good as the real thing, but for $70 on sale, do you really care?

Something else I’ve personally bought is a wireless camera for checking on my dog when I’m not at home. Sure, you could spend $200 on a Dropcam, but this $30 version from AliExpress has day and night vision modes, full ability to pan and zoom from the mobile app, and surprisingly good video quality. Just remember to change the default password if you’re setting it up in your bedroom.

The self-described “global shopping festival” begins at 2AM ET on Friday morning. You can (and should) check out the full range of best deals here. If you’re in desperate need of more phone cables, or just enjoy incredibly cheap tat, this is the real shopping event this month.

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