Parcel forwarding from the US – vPost vs ezbuy

So, i just shipped two Amazon parcels from the US, using vPost and ezbuy respectively. I’ve been shipping parcels from the US using ezbuy exclusively for years, but was forced to look for an alternative recently.

You might be wondering, why would i need to ship Amazon parcels through a third party forwarder if there is Amazon Prime in Singapore that offers free shipping. The reason is, prices found on Amazon Prime are much higher than that on the Amazon US website. Either that, or the product is not available. There are categories of goods that you will not find on Amazon Prime, such as Coffee Beans and other imported food. Continue reading Parcel forwarding from the US – vPost vs ezbuy

Ezbuy hits another wall

Apparently, Ezbuy is now blocked from forwarding Amazon purchases (for selected items). I turn to vPost for now, but i hope Ezbuy will be back in action (Update: i shipped another Amazon order to ezbuy warehouse and it worked). I believe they’re still the cheapest around.

Amazon product recommendation – Philips Sonicare 3 Series

I have used a sonic toothbrush for quite a few years by now, and i will not settle for less. I have been quite happy with the Arm and Hammer Sonic toothbrush. Me and my wife, we share the toothbrush by swapping the brush head. Even though the battery’s retention of charge has deteriorated, it is good for 4 days’ usage per charge, which is still decent actually. However, due to wear and tear, there is now a hole in the flap that covers the on/off switch, and this could be dangerous, so it is high time for an upgrade.

Time for retirement

Continue reading Amazon product recommendation – Philips Sonicare 3 Series

Amazon product recommendation – GermGuardian AC4825 Air Cleaning System

I have had the GermGuardian AC4825 for a few months now, but have not written a review on it, because it’s really hard to assess the effectiveness of such a product. Well, i now have evidence that it really works.

One of my better half’s student has acute nasal allergy. She would be sneezy for 5 minutes when she enters the room, possibly due to dust. Yesterday, we tried turning on the GermGuardian, and within a few minutes, she was relieved of her runny nose. Her mum was so impressed that she wanted to get the GermGuardian too. Continue reading Amazon product recommendation – GermGuardian AC4825 Air Cleaning System

Amazon product recommendation – bread knife

I bought the Update International (KP-05) 9″ German Steel Offset Bread Knife for slicing bread (obviously). If you used a chopper knife, you’ll end up squashing the bread. I haven’t used any other bread knife before, so i don’t know how this particular one from Update International compares with other brands and makes, but it works very well for me.

If you read the reviews in the Amazon product page, you’ll notice that some of the reviews tell you that this knife not only slices bread, but also many other things. How true it is. Continue reading Amazon product recommendation – bread knife

Amazon product recommendation – Lodge pan scraper

This was one of those suggested items that appeared when i was browsing on Amazon. I was skeptical, but the price was just right to make up the minimum total amount required for free shipping on Amazon, so I went ahead and ordered one, since, for some time, I have been frustrated with cleaning the post-cooking residue stuck on a pan.

The reviews for the pan scraper on Amazon are stellar, and turns out, they are true! It is strong and durable enough to remove the residue without damaging the pan. Being flat and even, it removes more residue than a sponge does in a single pass. You’ll still need to use some form of sponge to clean spots you’ll inevitably miss, but still, this pan scraper is much quicker and easier in removing the bulk of the residue.

I don’t use the scraper on a non-stick pan, even though it is stated to be safe to do so, but otherwise, it is a liberating feeling to be able to scrape my cast iron or stainless steel pans as hard as I want to. It has become an indispensable part of my kitchen arsenal, and I wholeheartedly recommend that you get one of these!

Great for scraping the residue left on the side of the pot after cooking broth. You won't miss anything like you always do with a sponge!
Great for scraping the residue left on the side of the pot after cooking broth. You won’t miss anything like you always do with a sponge!

Win, lose or draw

My car started showing hesitation when moving off recently. In lay man language, it felt jerky. Brought the car to a garage and the problem was traced to faulty ignition coils and spark plugs, as pictured above.

Here’s the thing: I bought the spark plugs from Amazon about 2 years back. These were aggressive spark plugs that were supposed to improve power, which they did for my car. Unfortunately, it was likely too aggressive and may have damaged the ignition coils. So here’s the perennial lesson: in decision making, consider that there is always the possibility of a trade-off for your choice. In my case, I had no idea a high-power spark plug may affect the reliability of the ignition coil, but I learnt today that you can’t always win all the time.

Anyway, I will continue to source for automotive parts from Amazon. This truly helps me save bundles, and it really isn’t that difficult, even for a car idiot like me. Automotive spare parts do cost an arm and a leg, especially when you look like a car idiot.

Amazon product recommendation – Thermos water bottle

Most people don’t care much about the bottles from which they drink water, if they use one in the first place. Until they have kids, that is. Yes, then, you’ll be careful to choose BPA free, non-leaking, shatterproof bottles that are easy to clean. Plus, the bottle needs to look pretty. Continue reading Amazon product recommendation – Thermos water bottle

Amazon product recommendation – beer kit

This is my second time buying the Coopers beer kit from Amazon. As expected, I received a dented can. This is the price you pay in exchange for a 25% discount. This time round, the sachet of yeast was missing as well, which was what also happened to some other Amazon product reviewers. Thankfully the yeast and the instructions sheet wasn’t missing when I received my very first beer kit. Why did I buy a second time from Amazon, you might ask, if I knew I was going to get a dented can and possibly missing yeast? Mainly because it is cheaper, even if only so by a small margin.

Continue reading Amazon product recommendation – beer kit

Sourcing for coffee beans

Some time back i wrote about buying coffee beans on Amazon. Well, if you did a little more homework, you would have realized that, unless you’re buying coffee beans sold by Amazon themselves, buying on Amazon might mean paying a premium over the seller’s actual pricing to cover the transaction fee Amazon charges the seller. Some of the sellers actually host their own website to sell their products, but also sell on the Amazon platform as an additional sales channel. The customers are the ones paying the additional cost anyway.

For example, this Kona Coffee cost a total of US$38.50 on Amazon, inclusive of shipping, but only US$35 with free shipping on the seller’s own website. By the way, this was a very fragrant coffee, though not that spectacular in terms of taste. On the other hand, the Dark Guatemalan i recommended in my earlier posting is the same price on the seller – Fresh Roasted Coffee’s website. In this case, buying from Amazon presents the advantage of choice to purchase items other than coffee to make up the total of $49 required to get free domestic shipping (whereas you need to buy $35 worth of coffee i.e. at least 4 X 12 oz to get free shipping from Fresh Roasted Coffee). Continue reading Sourcing for coffee beans