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The Ultimate Online Shopping Guide In Malaysia

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Chapter 3

What To Buy Online And Where To Find Them

We are in a time where you can find almost anything online. Therefore, every e-commerce platform tries to cater to different needs. You may want to visit certain sites to buy clothes, but others for arts and crafts.

We’ve compiled the most popular online destinations for the most popular shopping categories to help you find what you are looking for.

According to Hootsuite’s Digital 2020 Report, here is a list of the most popular online shopping categories among Malaysians:

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  • Travel (including accommodations)
  • Electronics and physical media
  • Fashion and beauty
  • Furniture and appliances
  • Food and personal care
  • Toys, DIY and hobbies
  • Video games
  • Digital music

Electronics

For the most part, it’s still safer to buy consumer electronics from brick and mortar stores. There is nothing like being able to test the device before taking it home. However, there is no beating online sales for bargain hunting.

Which site you should be looking at depends on what exactly you’re looking for:

Smartphone /
Tablet /
Smartwatch /
Fitness band
Shopee
Lazada
DirectD
Apple (only for iPhone and iPad)
Laptop /
Desktop computer
Shopee
Lazada
Manufacturer’s own online store (Dell, HP, Lenovo, Apple, etc)
Illegear (gaming laptops only)
TV /
Home appliances /
Home Electronics
Shopee
Lazada
Senheng

Fashion, Beauty

Buying clothes online is always a challenge. You never know if something will fit, even if it lists the size and measurements. For the most part, people will try something on in the store and then head to the internet to find it for a lower price.

It should be noted that a massive portion of fashion e-commerce is directed towards women. Men’s clothes tend to be an afterthought, unless it’s sportswear or brand specific merchandise. As such, the list below is also focused on women’s fashion.

Fashion ValetHomegrown e-commerce site offering a wide range of local fashion brands.
NaelofaThe most popular place to start looking for hijabster fashion.
UniqloAlso offers men’s wear and special edition partnerships with Japanese pop culture brands.
ZaloraThe biggest and most well-known regional fashion retailer.
SephoraOne of the most popular stores for beauty products is also available online. Best used if you already know what you want as there is no way to test products over the internet.

Grocery shopping

The importance of being able to order groceries cannot be understated. Due to this, many supermarket chains offer delivery services, while e-commerce sites also feature numerous small vendors that provide the similar products.

LazadaThese e-commerce platforms are mainly populated by smaller grocery vendors. However, they offer extremely deep discounts during online sales.
Shopee
TescoOffers some of the lowest prices when it comes to home delivery. However, the volume of orders can sometimes result in long wait times.
HappyFreshOffers delivery services for supermarket chains like Giant, Aeon and Village Grocer.
Jaya GrocerA slightly more upscale service than the others. However, it also offers brands that may not be available from other sites.

Sports

Shopping for this category depends entirely on what kind of sport you’re in. Less popular sports may need more specialised vendors, which makes them more difficult to list. However, all online shopping platforms cater to most mainstream sporting goods like badminton racquets, footballs, sports shoes, and exercise equipment.

Al-IkhsanLocal retailer that largely offers sportswear.
DecathlonFrench brand Decathlon offers one of the widest ranges of sports equipment available in Malaysia.
JD SportsCaters towards sports-fashion more than sporting goods.
SportsDirectAlso offers equipment for a wide range of popular sports.
LazadaLess specialised but offer lower budget options for sporting gear.
Shopee

Toys, Hobbies

Whether it’s for a child’s birthday or your own collection, everyone dips into the world of buying toys and hobby supplies at one point or another. In general, it’s easy enough to find what you want on the bigger e-commerce platforms. Sometimes though, you are looking for something more specific or out of production.

LazadaFor your mainstream needs. Be warned that there are many overseas sellers on the platforms that overcharge for commonly found toys and materials.
Shopee
EtsyFilled with small, home businesses and freelancers. This is the place to find more specialised items.
AmazonSome higher end toys and collectibles tend to only be found in western markets. However, some locally available toys - like Lego - tend to be cheaper overseas (even after accounting for shipping).
eBayAuction style sites are a good place to find items that may have gone out of production many years ago. These sites are suitable for collectors who are looking for more obscure pieces.
Carousell

DIY, Furniture, Home Improvement

You should not – by any means – try to buy tools and hardware over the internet. In most cases, it’s far better to visit one of your local neighbourhood hardware stores for advice. This also goes for furniture. There’s nothing like trying out a couch or bed before buying it.

If you know exactly what you want or need, then there are some online options for making your house a home.

Mr DIYMalaysia’s premier budget hardware store sells almost anything you need. Best used for bathroom fittings, nails, tools, and simple electrical work.
IKEAFlat packed furniture that isn’t too expensive and can fit in any modern home.
Maju Home ConceptTraditional furniture stores. They offer free delivery to West Malaysia.
Lavino
Cassa

This is by no means an exhaustive list. It only covers the most popular and easy to navigate e-commerce options. If what you want is more specialised, you may have to dig a little deeper into the activity. Social media groups and online forums – like Reddit and Lowyat.NET forum – are likely a good place to start asking around for where to buy things.

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