IELTS Speaking Section Part 1, 2 and 3 - Shopping

IELTS Speaking Part 1 - Talking about Familiar Topics


Do you like shopping?

Yes, I do. I'm happy that I can buy essential goods that I need. I'm a very frugal person, actually. I don't see shopping as a way of wasting money, but more like a reward for all the hard work that I have done.

How often do you go shopping?

I never buy things that I don't need, so I don't shop very often. I also have a habit of saving up some money before buying things. I don't simply withdraw money from the ATM or use a credit card to buy stuff, because I don't like the idea of impulse buying. It's just so frivolous.

Do you like shopping by yourself or with others?

I would rather shop myself. My girlfriend often asks me to accompany her buying clothes or shoes. She can spend hours just going from one store to another. She often asks questions like 'do you like this?' or 'what do you think of this?' or 'does it look good on me?'. I didn't know how to respond to this because for me, everything looks good on her. I tend to focus more on people rather than what they wear.  Even if she wears a strange clothing made of an old blue tarp, I wouldn't even notice. One time, she asked me if it's better to buy a shirt made of cotton fabric or silk, but I didn't even know what they were. She once asked if it is better to buy a skirt with a color of azure or periwinkle, but I couldn't really tell the difference. 

I like hanging out with her. I just don't have enough strength to wait for hours buying clothes. I'm tired of answering questions and my legs hurt.

Do you think men and women buy things differently?

I don't know if there's any difference between the two when it comes to shopping. It will also be a vast generalization to say that all men have X shopping habit while women have Y shopping habit. But I understand that people, in general, have different shopping habits.

I myself am the kind of person who always does a thorough research before shopping. If I want to buy a gaming laptop, let's say, I'll spend several days reading its specification and watching some reviews on youtube before I actually go to the store. Because I have done a thorough research, it will just take me several minutes to buy the laptop. My girlfriend, on the other hand, would rather explore the entire mall to buy what she wants. It's like a treasure hunt and she likes doing it. But I can't blame her though, it's just a matter of personal preference. 

Which one is the most important consideration for buying a product? Brand, quality or price?

It depends on the product. When I buy a clothing, I don't really care about the brand, as long as it's not ridiculously oversized. I don't mind wearing cheap clothes if the clothes are decent and comfortable. When I buy a gadget, however, brand and specification are the most important considerations. I don't mind spending 3000 dollars on a gaming laptop if it's really worth it.

IELTS Speaking Part 2 - Self-Presentation (Cue Card)

Shopping Centers

Describe one of the shopping centers you often go to

You should say:

Where is the shopping center?

How often do you go to the shopping center?

Why do you often go there?

What makes it particularly special compared to other shopping centers?

Where is the shopping center?

I often go to Tunjungan Plaza, which is one of the biggest malls in Surabaya. It is located on Tunjungan St, the busiest street in the city center. It's very close to where I live, so it always becomes my first go-to shopping center.

How often do you go to the shopping center?

Quite often, I go there at least twice a week. The reason why I frequently go to the mall is because I'm a movie goer. Well, malls now become the main source of entertainment for those who live in the city. It's not just some place where you buy clothing or gadget. It has movie theaters, foodcourt, restaurants, coffee shops, game center, and even beauty salon.

Why do you often go there?

As I said, I go there mostly because I like going to the cinema. I also often go to the foodcourt and coffee shops, spending most of my time there chatting with my friends. It may sound strange that I rarely buy anything in the mall, but again, shopping center has now become a place for all sorts of leisure activities.

What makes it particularly special compared to other shopping centers?

This mall is really huge, it looks more like a giant maze. It's so huge that taxi drivers often ask which part of the mall he should drop me off, TP1, TP3, TP5? I have watched movies in three different movie theaters here. Other malls may only have one movie theater because they are not as big as this one.

IELTS Speaking Part 3 - Discussion
Online Shopping

Will smaller shops survive in the current business system?

As online shopping becomes more and more common, retail industry is now facing a huge challenge. It's not just small shops that may find it hard to survive, even some of the famous brands witness a decline in their sales due to the changing consumption behavior of the newly affluent middle class. These people prefer buying things online, especially now that they become more familiar with e-payment too. So, conventional stores have no choice but to adopt the new business model and sell their products through online platforms. The shifting trend is not entirely bad for their business though, at least in most cases. Some of these conventional stores are closing their shops and thus, the money that used to be allocated for rent can be used to develop their online platform.

What are the characteristics of shopping malls and smaller shops and their difference?

You can find different stores in mall, while small shops usually focus only on certain product like bookstore, electronic store, grocery store. The main difference is the variety of the products that they sell. If you go to small shops to buy shoes, for example, you can probably buy shoes from A, B and C. Some stores even sell products of brand and A brand only. In malls, you have a lot more choices. You can easily compare the price and the quality of shoes from a range of different products.

What is the trend of future shopping centers?

I think there will be a new concept that will be adopted to attract more buyers. There is this idea about a drive thru shopping center. So, people buy things there as usual, only now they do the entire transaction from their car. I'm not really sure how it works. For some people, it may sound strange to buy things this way. But, there have been some shopping centers adopting this concept. So, may be it's not that strange after all.

Is it always convenient to buy things online?
It's not always convenient to buy things online. In fact, I have had a bad experience buying things online. One time, I bought a flannel shirt from an e-commerce platform. The shirt looked so cool in the picture, and it seemed like it would be the best-fit, so I bought it. When I tried it on, it turned out that the product was outrageously oversized. I filed a complaint and returned the product. The seller agreed to pay a refund and apologized for sending me the wrong flannel shirt.

This is a serious problem for many online shoppers.The product is not always the same as the one displayed in the catalogue. The product description won't be so helpful either. This is why I prefer buying clothing in malls or small shops. I can try them on so I won't end up being disappointed.

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