Lim: The sale

Melanie T. Lim
·3 min read

WHAT did I say four weeks ago? We flattened the curve but let’s not celebrate. Not just yet. But what did people do? They knocked themselves out — holding parties, getting together with friends and family, gathering to celebrate.

The evidence is plastered all over social media.

Worse, some couldn’t resist a shoe sale. Imagine three pairs of shoes for P998? It was a steal many people could not pass up. The store was set to open at nine but as early as five in the morning, a queue had already started forming.

I have to admit I’m a sucker for sale events. But I didn’t lose my mind. No, not this time. This time, I used my head. I still went shopping. But I did it online.

The IATF should regulate two aspects of all in-store sale events: one, the duration of the sale which should be set longer than the usual to avoid crowding and two, the number of people allowed inside store premises which should be based on total selling area.

Ideally, all sale events should be held online to stop people from converging. It’s not just a stampede we fear. It’s also a second wave of infections. Because while regulations are easy to formulate, they are hard to enforce. And ugly altercations often result.

People can shop till they drop in the safety of their homes.

That’s what I did. Truth be told, it was my first time to shop at the largest shopping event of the year — the Singles’ Day 11/11 sale which, according to Alibaba, raked in over US$100 billion of shopping revenues from Chinese shoppers alone.

I was new at this. Several days before 11/11, I went through hundreds of items, pages, sites — filtering, curating, filling my carts up and even though I knew that a second after the strike of midnight, prices would drop, I foolishly took my time. By the time I checked out, a few of the items I had spent several days selecting had already been taken.

I will be wiser next year.

I’ve always subscribed to the mantra, “Do something new each year.”

Well, for the first time in my life — I did my Christmas shopping online. Not all of it but I would say some 80% of it. And that percentage could grow in the next week or so. And for the first time ever, I shopped at the 11/11 sale. Two firsts accomplished in 24 hours.

What did I say four weeks ago? We flattened the curve but let’s not celebrate. Not just yet. Well, the curve is back up. Why? Because we let our guard down and knocked ourselves out with our new-found freedoms.

No one wants to spend Christmas in restrictive quarantine. Yes, not even me, the part-time contemplative. But I am 100% behind IATF. Cry and criticize all you want. But our lives must come before anything else — including our economy.

I want everyone to be alive and well this Christmas.