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 – aircond catechin filter

Everyone in this part of the world uses the aircond daily, but I doubt anyone knows what a catechin filter is. It is the little piece of mesh tucked inside a corner of your aircond fan coil unit just in front of the fins. OK, i think most people don’t know what the fan coil unit nor the fin is. Anyway, pictorially it looks like the white piece of fabric (often times it is green instead) in the featured photo above, and you see it when you open up the front panel of your aircond fan coil unit. Continue reading Taobao product recommendation – aircond catechin filter

Taobao product recommendation – Furniture

When doing home renovation, besides LED lighting and bathroom fittings, furniture is the third category of goods which you stand to save lots of money if you sourced from Taobao. When it comes to furniture, i think most people will have doubts about buying from Taobao.

Can the furniture be shipped economically?

Yes, the furniture generally come packed as compact as possible. The sea freight shipping rate of S$90 per cubic meter (86of) is quite affordable. More often than not, the GST (compulsory for sea freight even if goods cost less than $400) will cost more than the shipping, but that just means you’re shipping a worthwhile amount of goods. Continue reading Taobao product recommendation – Furniture

Taobao parcel forwarder review – Ninja Van

It’s been more than a year since i last used Taobao consolidated shipping. The singles day promotion looked tempting, and i gave it a try again. There was a 13 Yuan discount, which halved the first kg cost. At just 13 Yuan (S$2.70) for a 1kg shipment, i felt it would be a waste not to take advantage of it. The singles day promotion for the items i was eyeing were quite attractive too. Continue reading Taobao parcel forwarder review – Ninja Van

Tour of my ancestral land – Part 2 – Dabu and Tulou

While my dad is from Fuqing, my mum is Hakka. Specifically, from Dabu 大埔. I didn’t plan for it initially, but after checking the map, i discovered that Dabu is not too far from the Tulou area. Well, afterall, the Tulou are built by the Hakkas. So, i decided to add on an itinerary to check out Dabu, even though my mum wasn’t so keen.

Dabu is located in Guangdong province, just bordering Fujian. Just so that we could do some sightseeing (because there isn’t much to see in and around Dabu, other than ancient dwellings which does not interest my mum again), i chose to visit the terraced paddy fields of Pingshan (坪山梯田).

Enroute to Pingshan, we passed by Pinghe (平和), and they are famous for Pomelo (蜜柚). I have not seen Pomelo, or anything at all for that matter, grown in such a scale. Continue reading Tour of my ancestral land – Part 2 – Dabu and Tulou

Taobao product recommendation – bathroom fittings

If you’re doing home renovation, besides LED lighting, bathroom fittings is probably the next category of goods that will save you a large sum of money if you sourced from Taobao. Let me warn you upfront though, that there is the risk of receiving malfunctioning or damaged products, which may delay your renovation for a few weeks if you decide to re-purchase the replacement. This actually happened to me, and unbeliveably, the replacement that was shipped also malfunctioned. i had to ship the item for the third time before i finally got a replacement that was working properly. Hence, proceed with buying from Taobao only if you’re willing to put up with such a risk.

All my bathroom fittings, except the toilet bowl and water heater, were sourced from Taobao. Only one out of three wash basins was slightly damaged during shipment, so if you’re worried about whether it is safe to ship these items, I would say it is quite safe.

Actually, besides the cost, I bought from Taobao because I wanted to use stainless steel products exclusively. I’ve become weary of using chrome plated bathroom fittings, which develop permanent watermarks after some time, and becomes rusted in the long run. Stainless steel bathroom fittings are still not so common in Singapore. I reckon it will take years before Singapore catches up with China in this respect.

Here are some products I think are worthwhile buying from Taobao. Continue reading Taobao product recommendation – bathroom fittings

86OF Lost Parcel

And so it happened to me, as predicted by myself. My very first parcel that is nowhere to be found in 86OF’s warehouse.

You may have ended up reading this post because you had the same fate. What I have to say to you is, don’t panic! Most likely, the parcel will be found. Also, don’t get angry nor too worried. It doesn’t help at all. Just take the logical steps toward finding your parcel and hope for the best. That’s all you can do anyway. Yelling at the customer service does nothing to help your cause. Continue reading 86OF Lost Parcel

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