The Best and Worst Times to Buy a Smartphone, For Your Wallet's Sake

The monthly sales are a ruse.
Photo/s: shutterstock

Contrary to what they promise, monthly online sales such as 10.10 and 11.11 are actually not the best time to buy a smartphone, research by data aggregator iPrice Group said. 

Having analyzed historical prices of nearly two thousand smartphone products across E-commerce sites in Southeast Asia from July 16, 2021 to Dec. 31, 2021, iPrice found that the cheapest deals generally fall on regular days, instead of much-hyped online sale periods. 

Taking Nov. 17, 2021 as an example, it observed how "the median price of smartphones in the Philippines was at its cheapest just a few days after the big 11.11 sale" at P17.2k, noting how smartphone prices during all of the sale days were higher than this particular day.

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Flagging October as the "worst time to buy a smartphone", iPrice study showed how starting end of September, the medium price climbed up to P22,100 on Oct. 2. It then dropped by 8% during the 10.10 sale at P20,500, which seemed like a good deal except that it was actually 15% more expensive than on Sept. 25, when the median price was at P18,300. 

This pattern of prices receiving mark ups at the end of each month before dropping on online sales day, the aggregator says, can also be seen during succeeding sales like 11.11 and 12.12, suggesting that such events may be more of a tactic by sellers to drive more sales and traffic.

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It is worth noting though, how this study failed to include in its analysis some other highlights of online sale events other than price mark downs, such as free shipping and discount vouchers, which could've added more insight. 

With its clearance and holiday sales, December on the other hand remains to be the best time to buy a smartphone, iPrice added.

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Overall, the Philippines had the second-highest smartphone prices among other Southeast Asian countries observed, next to Singapore.

Given how the country has one of the lowest wages in the region, Filipinos need all the best deals they could get, iPrice said, noting how the average monthly salary of Filipinos (at P15,900 after-tax, according to Numbeo) is not enough to cover the country’s median price of smartphones. 

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