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 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

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

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

Taobao product recommendation – vacumm food sealer

As with the Airfryer, this was a product that took a bit of deliberation before a decision was made to buy. Not that it is expensive, but I wouldn’t buy something I don’t need just because it’s cheap. And it is actually quite cheap for what it is, setting me back by 118 Yuan (S$24). This was the cheapest price i found on Taobao, from this seller. I also bought pouches for vacuum sealing from the same seller. Continue reading Taobao product recommendation – vacumm food sealer

Product recommendation – Kuissential Evengrind coffee bean grinder

I’ve finally received the coffee bean grinder i ordered from Kickstarter last year, after a delay for more than half a year, plus another half a year wait for friends from the US to bring it over. Continue reading Product recommendation – Kuissential Evengrind coffee bean grinder

Taobao product recommendation – cooking torch

This is the most badass kitchen equipment I own. Well, Kenji says it’s badass. I bought a cooking torch for the sole purpose of charring steak. I can probably use it for other meat preparation as well I suppose, but like Kenji said, there may be a lingering smell of the fuel if not used in conjunction with cooking on a pan. I know that is true because i’ve seen the torch being used at some restaurant and thereafter there was a noticeable smell of the fuel.

The Iwatani cooking torch is a popular cooking torch sold on Amazon and it is made in Japan. Iwatani makes the cooking torch (probably the exact same design but with a different model name of course) in China as well and obviously you can find it on Taobao. At 110 Yuan (S$23), it is cheaper than the one on Amazon (US$23.95 or S$32.30). Besides, the item is not eligible for free AmazonGlobal shipping, so shipping will be additional cost. Continue reading Taobao product recommendation – cooking torch

Taobao product recommendation – Sous Vide temperature controller

As promised, I bring you a report of the temperature controller i have purchased from Taobao for doing Sous Vide. It costs only 40 Yuan (S$8.30) including the domestic delivery. I bought this out of anger that the Anova Precision Cooker broke down the very first time i used it. Continue reading Taobao product recommendation – Sous Vide temperature controller

Taobao product recommendation – Airfryer

I’ve debated with myself over the need to get an Airfryer for a long time, since i generally don’t eat deep fried stuff much, and knowing that an Airfryer is nothing but a mini oven with a turbo fan, but all along, I’ve pictured a scene in mind – eating home-made cheese fries with fried chicken wings while sipping home-made beer. Yes, I dream of recreating a cafe/bar at home. I finally succumbed and bought an Airfryer to see if this would bring me one step closer to my dream.

Deep frying is quite a hassle, everyone knows that. I should say that is the main reason i avoid doing it. You need to use a lot of oil, and often bits of the food stays in the oil until they’re burnt, rendering the oil useless for further use. Not to mention, your kitchen gets greasy after doing just very little deep frying. Using an automatic fryer would help, but that usually means using even more oil, and it takes a lot of justification to get such a machine (eating deep fried stuff every day isn’t a good excuse). That’s where an Airfryer fits in i guess. I’ve gone through enough reviews of the Airfryer to be convinced that the result it produces is close enough to real deep fried food. Continue reading Taobao product recommendation – Airfryer

iHerb product recommendation – supplements

I know it sounds lame, recommending supplements from iHerb. Supplements is almost entirely what iHerb is about. I suppose when iHerb started, they were selling mostly supplements, from which they probably derived the name iHerb, rather than the literal herbs (for cooking). Well, they’ve expanded their product offering a lot since then, selling toiletries, snacks and even toys.

Well, i have recommended getting fish oil from iHerb, and to date i am still taking fish oil as supplements everyday. No harm since it’s a very small cost. We (my wife and myself) have slowly expanded our daily supplement intake to include other things now, which is probably needful as we age. The other supplements that i have felt helpful are the ones for joint (knee) support. Continue reading iHerb product recommendation – supplements