Spend-thrift

The word “spendthrift” has always been confusing to me. It describes a person who is the exact opposite of “thrifty”. Without further investigation one would not know that the meaning of “thrift”, as used in the word “spendthrift”, was prosperity or wealth, which is to say that a spendthrift is someone who spends all his wealth.

I’m going to hijack this word for my blog to share what i spend money on, and how i try to be thrifty while spending. You get double the thrill when you spend, while being convinced you’ve spent the least amount possible, right? It sounds ironic, but, spend to save!

Taobao product recommendation – home surveillance camera

From where would you source for a home surveillance camera? There was a time when the only practical solution was to engage contractors specializing in CCTV system installation, due to limitations in hardware capability – you had to wire up the house, since, back then, the Wifi transfer speed was not quick enough, and video compression was not advanced enough. You had to do video recording onto a harddisk using a customized PC system, because there was no such thing as cloud services, nor was the SD card capacity and speed up to the task. Both the harddisk and the customized PC system are highly prone to breakdown, so, you might be left with a white elephant in just a short period of time after shelling out a huge sum on a home surveillance system installation. Continue reading Taobao product recommendation – home surveillance camera

Review of 86OF Air Shipping

Timeliness is sometimes the deciding factor for making a purchase. With the possibility of receiving your goods roughly one week from the time you order from Taobao, there’s no reason to shop from elsewhere. This is made possible with air shipping.

There are many options available when it comes to choosing the air shipping forwarder, and for the Singapore market, there are practically 3 options available – Taobao Consolidate and Shipping (to be referred to as simply Taobao henceforth), ezbuy and 86OF.

I have used Taobao and ezbuy air shipping regularly, and this time round, I had a go with 86OF. They have just revamped their offering and it is quite competitive. However, they are not the winner, not yet. Here is how the three compare: Continue reading Review of 86OF Air Shipping

Shopback $750 milestone

I have just collected the cashback for my Hokkaido trip hotel stays, and this propels me past $750 in total cashback earned!

If you haven’t been earning cashback for your online purchases, now is a good time to get started. Why wait? –> Sign up link <–

Bye Bye ANZ Optimum, Hello OCBC 365

Well, as expected, the ANZ Optimum World Mastercard is no more with effect from 5 Aug 2017 (you cannot make any further transactions with the Credit Card). Of importance to note is the announcement on rewards redemption, which i quote:

Rewards redemptions: All unused ANZ Rewards Points/Travel$/Optimum$ will be transferredto your existing or new DBS/POSB credit card for redemption. ANZ Rewards Redemptions will cease prior to the transfer date as outlined below:

  1. 17 July 2017 – All Rewards redemptions excluding KrisFlyer Miles and Cash Credits
  2. 24 July 2017 – KrisFlyer Miles and Cash Credits redemptions

Thankfully i was able to make my very last Optimum$ redemption on 18 July. I am quite sure that DBS will not be as generous as ANZ. I reckon that you may not get the dollar equivalent rewards transferred to the new DBS Credit Card you will be getting.

Another charity program bites the dust. Thank you ANZ, and farewell. Continue reading Bye Bye ANZ Optimum, Hello OCBC 365

86OF bulky goods sea freight shipping

It’s been some time since I found time to blog. Meanwhile, I’ve been busy shipping Taobao stuff. Lots of stuff. For home renovation. All in all I shipped more than 2 CBM of goods, with more to come.

This would be my third time shipping via 86OF, but only the first time I shipped more than 0.5 CBM to qualify for free home delivery. With free home delivery, it is a good deal. There’s no way I can self-collect a full CBM worth of goods (see above), and some items won’t even fit into my car.

I received a call to confirm the delivery timing (apparently it was a logistics company that is a separate entity from 86OF). The delivery went well, and all goods were accounted for. There was just one item that was slightly damaged, but it has more to do with the seller not packing the item more securely. Continue reading 86OF bulky goods sea freight shipping

Taobao product recommendation – Self inflating sleeping mats

In preparation for my one month Europe trip, i got these sleeping mats. I would attempt to book twin or double hotel rooms without adding on extra bed for my kids, who are at age 4 and 5 respectively. As you can imagine, doing so saves me a lot of money and pays for the sleeping mats after just 2 hotel bookings. Continue reading Taobao product recommendation – Self inflating sleeping mats

Shopback $500 milestone

It’s been almost two years since I have used Shopback and I am happy to announce that I have just crossed the S$500 milestone!

Most of the cashback were accumulated from hotel bookings. Yes, I travel a lot, but most of us do travel every now and then and there’s no reason why anyone should miss out on rebates for hotel bookings. Hotel stays don’t normally come cheap, and the 6% you earn in cashback is very significant.

Earning cashback through Shopback is one of the few things that defy the saying “if it’s too good to be true, it probably is”. All it takes is a few clicks to get back a little of what you paid for online purchases.

If you haven’t signed up, you really should do it now! Free money, people.

The end of ANZ Optimum Credit Card is in sight

Received the mailer as pictured above today. ANZ Retail business taken over by DBS, and that would include the Credit Card business. It can only mean one thing – all ANZ Credit Cards will go.

As the saying goes, all good things come to an end. Also, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. You could say the 5% cashback without minimum spend and practically without cap was a dream. I am quite sure DBS will clamp down on this money losing business.

For those of us holding the ANZ Optimum card, we could probably continue to enjoy the benefits until June or so. Next best Credit Card? Well i guess, for me it will be UOB Visa Signature for overseas and foreign currency spend, and possibly OCBC 365, which gives cashback for a very wide range of spending categories. Once ANZ is no more, i will probably have to get this card.

86OF revamps website, sort of

86OF has launched a revamped website. What they’ve done is basically putting up a company website proper. The current website at www.86of.com showcases the company business and is not aimed at end consumers who want to do parcel forwarding. I wonder what’s the point.

The original website with the “Member Centre” for managing parcels is still around and is now moved to the website address amk.86of.com. Not surprisingly, this annoucement is only made in the Chinese version of their website. I’m sure some customers would have panicked when they were not able to find the “Member Centre”.

The new website reveals that they have opened up 5 other branches around the island – Woodlands, Clementi, Hougang (in the Chinese version of website it is said to be Kovan), Tampinee and Boonlay (*facepalm* they are still not bothered about using proper English for their website and don’t even care if the names are spelt wrongly).

This is probably good news to those customers who stay far away from Ang Mo Kio. What i found puzzling is the way they have organized their operation. Every of these branches operate independently of each other with a different company name and website address. Also, with the exception of the Tramlines branch (called TPparcel), neither the company name nor the website address give you any clue that it serves a specific region. For example, the Clementi website address is www.taobao2SG.com (or cm.86of.com – is cm a good abbreviation of Clementi?) while the Woodlands website address is www.888ocean.com (or wl.86of.com – i’ve never seen Woodlands abbreviated as wl). They are operating in a franchising model, but i seriously think the execution is not briliant at all. All the franchising businesses I have seen operate as if they are the same and one entity.

Anyway, what’s most important for us consumers is that we can ship our Taobao goods at rock bottom prices, and i will continue using 86OF until they fail me. If you’re new to 86OF (do read my reviews on them), here are the sign up links for the various self-collection points – Ang Mo KioClementiWoodlands, Hougang and Tampines.

86OF second review

I have just collected my second round of shipment through 86OF parcel forwarding, and generally speaking, you could say it turned out just fine.

My bounty this time, amounting to 0.24 CBM

Here are some details of note during the course of engagement with 86OF for the shipment. Continue reading 86OF second review