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

Deciphering 86OF’s website

Owing to Ming’s comments about having to decipher 86OF’s website, I felt I could help some readers out there who may be confused 86OF’s workflow and website. As of now, 86OF’s website is still a mix of English and Chinese, and the terminology they have adopted can be incomprehensible to even novice users of ezbuy.

Customer service and business development contact numbers listed on the website in Chinese

Continue reading Deciphering 86OF’s website

Review of 86OF – Ocean freight to Singapore for Taobao and China goods

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.

Continue reading Review of 86OF – Ocean freight to Singapore for Taobao and China goods

Parcel forwarding from Germany

You must be wondering if there is anything worth buying from Germany. Well, not for me, but my wife has tried and would like to continue using some German branded beauty products. As with products from China and USA, you get lower prices if you source from the source. Even when the shipping cost is significantly higher for Germany as compared to shipping from China and USA. Continue reading Parcel forwarding from Germany

Taobao Global Direct Shipping review

This is my maiden attempt at using Taobao Global Direct Shipping. Yes, it’s almost just for the sake of trying out Global Direct Shipping that i did it, and with this, i have tried all modes of shipping goods from Taobao, namely, Global Direct Shipping, Global Consolidate and Shipping as well as third party (including cubic metre sea freight).

The shipping was truly fuss free – check out on Taobao and you’re done. It took only 8 days from the day i placed the order (with 3 different sellers) to the day i received the goods. The actual international shipping and customs clearance took 5 days.

Continue reading Taobao Global Direct Shipping review

Taobao parcel forwarder review – DEX/MSC

Bottom line: Not recommended.

Parcel status update

First and probably the last time trying DEX/MSC. According to the status update, my parcel took 10 days to clear customs and be put on a flight, and 2 weeks to be delivered. There are 2 notifications telling me they’re out on delivery, but the first one was just a false alarm. Finally, I received an SMS saying they may arrive “any time now”, but they came almost 2 hours later. To the credit of the delivery men though, they bothered to answer my SMS asking about time of arrival. Continue reading Taobao parcel forwarder review – DEX/MSC

Making sense of Taobao shipping options

To a newbie, i think Taobao shipping options is too hard to comprehend. To simplify things, Taobao has come up with Taobao Global Direct Shipping, which probably works well for newbies. In this posting, i discuss the pros and cons of each method of shipping based on what i’ve learned through experience.

Taobao Global Direct Shipping

This is the default choice and the one Taobao tries to recommend you take up. No further action is required to arrange for the delivery of goods beyond the point of sale.

Pros – payment for shipping is made at the same time when doing check out, which relieves customers from having to monitor and consolidate the shipment.

Cons – the local courier company handling the delivery in Singapore is DPEX, with which i have had a bad experience. Sensitive items such as battery, cosmetics and food are not allowed. This option is most probably more expensive than the rest.

When to choose Taobao Global Direct Shipping – for newbies. Continue reading Making sense of Taobao shipping options