I don’t know what is it is with the Chinese, that they love to use numbers in their branding. Ezbuy was 65daigou previously, and they had to undertake a labourious re-branding exercize. Now we have 86OF, also a parcel forwarding company. In case you’re interested, here are some articles that explain why the Chinese love to use numbers in their URLs and branding. By the way, 65 is the phone number country code for Singapore, and 86 is for China. Sorry for the sarcasm, but how creative is that!
Moving on to 86OF, i’ve been wanting to give them a go, and i finally did. The main attraction is the price. Typically, ocean freight shipment requires that you take up at least 1 cubic metre (CBM) of volume each time, which is hard to achieve for retail consumers, unless a few people pool together to do the shipping. Enter 86OF. They let you ship a minimum of 0.1 CBM, which is a lot easier to attain for retail customers. 0.1 CBM of volume is roughly equivalent to 5 rice cookers. The price for shipping 0.1 CBM is S$11.50, which is a lot cheaper than what it will cost if you used ezbuy (it will cost you S$120 and ezbuy no longer does sea freight). Update: price for 0.1 CBM is now increased to S$13, still cheap.
There is a limit as to how many separate parcels you can consolidate at a time. Every parcel will be counted as taking up a minimum of 0.01 CBM regardless of its actual size. This means you can consolidate up to 10 parcels each time when you ship 0.1 CBM. Update: there used to be a limit of 10 parcels when shipping up to 0.5 CBM but this limit has been removed.
Take note also that shipping via ocean freight means GST will be incurred always, but you will probably save from the lower shipping fee despite paying GST anyway.
If you ship 0.5 CBM or more of goods, you get free home delivery. Do note that if your parcels exceed 0.5 CBM, you will be charged the 1 CBM shipping fee, which means you should either try to avoid hitting 0.5 CBM, or ship as much as you can. If your goods are under 0.5 CBM, you have the choice of paying for 0.5 CBM (S$59) to get the free home delivery. Which means, if your goods are above 0.3 CBM (which costs $39), you might want to just pay for 0.5 CBM and get free home delivery.
It is a no-brainer to ship all your bulky goods through 86OF, including furniture and such.
My very first shipment through 86OF worked pretty well, and these are the plus points:
- Instant SMS notification (update: this is no longer done as it is obviously too costly) for every parcel that arrives at the warehouse in China (Update: they no longer send any SMS, which is expected since it is costly)
- Shipment to Singapore took place within 2 days after submission to ship
- Arrival in Singapore was 14 days from date of submission to ship, as promised
- Friendly and responsive (Update: response time varies, and the Chinese way of communication may not come across as friendly to many people) customer service
Here are things that are not so impressive:
- Broken English in their communication
- Website not as intuitive (as compared to Ezbuy) (Update: there has been improvements in this area)
- I’m not sure what went wrong but the status was stuck in “Arrived in Singapore (到达新加坡)” for quite a few days. When i called to check, i was told my goods were ready for collection. I suspect they might have forgotten to update the status. Anyway, i think this was probably a one-off event, but i do worry about their ability to scale when they get more business.
For the low price and reliability demonstrated, I highly recommend 86OF. Here are the various self-collection points (choose the one nearest to you).