What better way to spend your free time than shopping in air conditioned malls in a tropical country with your friends? Even without anything specific in mind, Malaysians love a good window shopping every once in a while. Unfortunately, since the pandemic started, movements are restricted and people are extra cautious to go outdoors.
As much as we want to stay indoors safe and sound, it is a necessary trip to fetch groceries and get home supplies. With the virus possibly everywhere, civilians found an alternative and leaned more into online shopping. Popular online shopping sites like Shopee and Lazada have thrived further since the pandemic and it will most likely continue to grow through the years.
Study conducted by GlobalWebIndex shows that 80% of Malaysians from age 16 to 65 are already shopping online. Although it is convenient and really easy, there are still scams out in the market if you are unaware how to check properly before purchasing. Fortunately, you do not have to experience it to learn, we will give you the tips and tricks you need to enjoy online shopping and get your money’s worth!
It is important to know which site you should shop at. Just like physical window shopping, you could check different sites and different shops to find which one best fits your needs. Here are some of the most popular Malaysian Online Shopping Sites you can look into!
Shopee tops Southeast Asia’s most visited e-commerce platform ranking. It is known for having slightly cheaper prices for small and general products. They also offer a lot of discounts and reward programs like Shopee coins that you acquire for every purchase in eligible stores or by playing their games.
Lazada started three years earlier than Shopee and has previously dominated the local online shopping market. With the tight competition now, this site is preferred for its organized and aesthetic user interface. They offer lower prices for big purchases like gadgets and equipment.
Perhaps you are searching to buy second hand items from a safe site, Carousell would be the one to look into since they offer a wide variety of new and used units. Some listings have Carousell protection tags which let you release payment upon confirming receipt of complete and working items. But if you are buying big electronics, or properties you should set a meet up with the seller first to check personally before paying anything.
eBay is the perfect site for unique items you cannot find in local stores. This online shopping site is one of the first successful e-commerce platforms globally. You could find exclusive items or collectible items from overseas sellers on eBay which could mean higher courier fees and longer delivery time.
This website has been around since 2007 and is composed of both business and individual sellers. However, it is more of an online classified marketplace where you can also see job listings, properties for sale, and second-hand items. We have to warn you though that there is no payment protection in the site so it is best to pay Cash on Delivery to avoid fraudulent transactions.
If you are more confident in purchasing online, you can brave the Facebook Marketplace for items closer to your location. If you prefer same day deliveries for groceries, you can also check with the nearest supermarkets and malls to you. Some have adapted to the situation and started taking orders online or via phone, preparing your groceries, and delivering them right at your doorstep.
First, always go to the store’s profile and see if they are a local or overseas seller. There are stores with “preferred” tags on them which you could buy from without having to explore so much. These preferred stores are selected by the platform team based on their high sales performance, satisfactory shop ratings, quick and efficient shipping, and good customer service.
If you prefer to purchase directly from an authentic mall or brand, big brands have their flagship store in Shopee Mall or LazMall. It is easy to distinguish since they have “Shopee Mall” or “LazMall” tags by the store name. Buying from official stores is recommended when looking for equipment, gadgets, or furniture to ensure the quality and it is usually covered under warranty in case there are damages.
One of the perks in online shopping is the thousands of independent and overseas shops you can buy from. If you want to buy from stores without any tags on them, look for their shop ratings, this would show the overall rating they received from previous transactions. Aim for at least 4.5 or 90% ratings to make sure you will not encounter any hindrances.
Is it really shopping if you do not haggle or look for the lowest price? There are instances where stores have different accounts on different websites but still sell the same products, and sometimes the item you’re looking at has a lower price on their other site. We recommend you check all sites especially when buying from branded stores.
In comparing prices for general products, you can see a lot of listings through the website and some are a bit too good to be true. If the price is too low compared to the range in the market with no reviews, this is most likely a scam. Unfortunately, some of these would only send you a package of tissue or random objects that is not what you paid for.
A tip for checking the lowest price is heading to checkout so you can see the shipping fees as well, apply the available vouchers or discounts, and take note of the amount. Try this with the other prospective stores too. Doing this would help you see how much you would actually pay for instead of just basing on the lowest price available.
It should be a hobby to read the reviews before adding items to your cart. Even if the store and product has a decent rating, you still should see what the previous customers have to say so you could prepare your expectations.
Be objective in reading the reviews, and see if there are any comments regarding damages or defects, however, be fair with the seller and keep in mind that damages could happen in transit so check whether they are safely packed or if there is lack thereof. You should also look for comments if the seller is responsive when previous customers had concerns. And most importantly, read the reviews for the quality of the products when they arrived so you would know it matches what you are looking for.
Transferring payment finalizes the sale of the item, so most prefer their mode of payment as Cash on Delivery. Choosing this lets you check if the items are complete and working before paying anything. However, for those who cannot personally claim their parcels and pay online for convenience, you may need to be more cautious.
Always avoid transactions outside of the website as this makes you vulnerable to scams. Staying on the platform is also an assurance that you can get a refund in case an item is missing or damaged. Also, do not click “Order Received” if you haven’t opened your package yet since this remits the payment already and would waive any refund.
If you are transacting online with an independent shop site, choose Cash on Delivery if available, and if not, double check the links if it is credible, do a research on the merchant, and make sure the feedbacks you have read are legitimate and not sketchy sounding, then you can make your payment.
In online shops like Shopee and Lazada, there are shop vouchers and promotional vouchers. If you are keen on saving more, you can find shops that offer special codes to reduce the amount due. Most appear on the check out page but sometimes there are hidden codes in the store’s post or profile that you may miss.
This is a specific Shopee trick that may be a secret to some but you can actually send an offer to the seller. You thought you could only haggle in person but you can do it online too! You just have to open the product you want to purchase, find the chat box, click on the “Send Offer” button, type in your requested price, and just wait for the seller’s feedback.
There are endless promotional sales in these shopping platforms like payday sales, monthly repeating-digit date sales, holiday sales, and so on. There are also flash sales which feature different products for a limited amount of time. If you are dedicated to saving, you could always wait for the sale before proceeding with your purchase. Although, you should expect that ordering during big time sales may cause minor delays on delivery due to bulk purchases.
For refund purposes, you should start videoing your parcel openings as proof in case some items are missing. It is a reasonable request from sellers since some buyers intentionally hide an item, take a picture, and report it as an incomplete order. Not every shop requires a video but it is better to be prepared, right?
There you have it! All the tips and tricks you could use to fully experience safe and convenient online shopping. Have you decided which and where to buy your stuff? Let us know!