Saturday, 22 November 2014

REVIEW: BKK yet again! Hello Kitty House Bangkok

at 10:30:00 am 0 comments
Last month I was back at BKK again for the third time this year but this time alil different because I was with G! This time we had a different agenda as well, instead of shopping, we were there to...

Try BKK's ramenssss.

I know it sounds pretty stupid to go to BKK to eat ramen when the real deal is in japan but we had our fair share of tom yums and pad thais as well. This post will be dedicated to the Hello Kitty House at Siam Square One so the ramen reviews will be in a separate post so keep a lookout for that!

The Hello Kitty House Bangkok was harder to find than we thought probably because it was night time when we were there but if you're looking for the cafe, it is opposite Siam Paragon you'll have to cross over and if you're already opposite, it's near Digital Gateway.
There was no queue to get in at all and it's quite a different experience at night with the orange lights, makes it a really good spot to chill after a long day of shopping and walking.
The side counter is for takeouts and here's what's available:
Walking inside, the only color I saw was pink.
Anything that could be pink, was in the pinkest form you can ever imagine.


Ordering is pretty straightforward, before you enter the cafe, you'll be assigned a seat number and you can then proceed to order at the counter and collect at the side of the counter, pretty much like starbucks.

The smoothies were SOOOOOO pink it looked fake.
Personally I felt that the cakes were pretty expensive because for 150baht I could have so much good street food!! Dessert aside, they also serve savoury food but we just had dinner so we settled for the cakes and drinks.
We got the Strawberry Cheesecake & Rainbow Crepe Cake along with the Very Berry smoothie & Pink Milk Tea! 
The moment G saw the smoothie he was already terrified to start on it because it just looks too pink to drink. While for my pink milk tea, we ordered it with the tumbler at an extra cost because it was too cute to resist *~*
For the cakes, they were medicore, nothing fantastic to rave about but I love how even the tray even has a pink anti slip mat. Wait I just realized they both have no link.

Drinks wise... let's not talk about it.
It was full of artificial flavouring and almost everyone who ordered the smoothies couldn't finish what's in their cup. The milk tea was okay but a little on the sweet side.
After we were done with our dessert we went around exploring the different sides of the cafe, and there are actually 3 levels in the Hello Kitty House.



 We headed down to the Hello Kitty Shop downstairs first where there were alot of Hello Kitty merchandises for the hardcore fans.


If all these girly stuffs is not your thing and you're into sports, fret not because there's Hello Kitty sporting goods as well. LOL seriously sometimes I think this is really too much. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against Hello Kitty and I love pink, maybe I'm just more of overwhelmed how everything can be Hello Kitty.
好看而已~

Moving up to the second floor, there was a huge commotion because there was some recording going on and not sure about who the guy actually is but the woman in pink is the lady boss of Hello Kity House. All her accessories were Hello Kitty!!
There were introducing new items that will be on the new menu for TV3 from 1st Nov onwards because of Hello Kitty's birthday so if you're going there now expect a brand new menu!
We managed to have a short chit chat with the lady boss and was cordially invited by her to join the cafe's celebration on the launch of the new menu and also to celebrate Hello Kitty's birthday but sadly we were flying back a day before ):
Over all, the Hello Kitty House is good to visit for it ambience but not for the food.
Was kinda expecting the cakes to be really yummy but was left disappointed.
The only things that cheered me up was the cute tumbler and the company which was pretty sufficient.

Siam Square One
Pathumwan Rd
Bangkok, Thailand 10330

Opens daily from 1am - 10pm


So other than the Hello Kitty House, we also caught 2 movies while in BKK because we bought groupon vouchers for the movie! YES, one way to know of good deals is to check the groupon of whichever country you are heading to so you can save.

For SF Cinema, it's conveniently located at Central World (beside Platinum Mall) and also MBK, 2 very great locations which is nearby to all the hotels.
Tickets are at 99baht each for the deluxe seat if you buy the groupon here which is only S$4?!?!
Their movie choices are not as bad as you imagine it to be, in fact we caught Best of me before it was even released in Singapore.
Their seats are also way better than what we have here because it reclines and their couple seats are da bomb because it looks like this:
Really makes you feel like you're at home while watching the movie. We managed to sneakily sit at the couple sofa because the theatre was quite empty and nobody really cared.




THAT'S ABOUT IT!
Keep a lookout for my ramen post next!


xoxo,
tris

Saturday, 15 November 2014

THE ONLY GUIDE YOU NEED on how to shop on taobao via 65daigou!

at 1:00:00 pm 0 comments
This is a highly anticipated post because as the taobao queen alot of my friends always come to me for help on taobao related stuffs and this time I'm gonna share with you guys how I usually shop and find all the things I need and want. In this post I will try to make your life as easy as possible to make shopping on taobao a breeze even if you don't understand chinese because after this post you can ching chang chong your way through.


TAO WHAT BAO?
I hope you've already heard of taobao.com, if you haven't, let me summarize taobao in 2 words - SHOPPING HEAVEN. Everything you can ever need you find it there. From fresh vegetables to live pets you name it they have it. (But of course you can't import them :p) That aside, you can also find alot of accessories and clothes which lots of blogshop offer but over at taobao you can probably get them at up to 50% off the price. They also have makeup and skincare products (3CE, Benefit etc) with prices which are lower than Singapore retail stores. Not forgetting furnitures, electronic parts, toys, phone cases, house decorations etc etc etc...



WHY SHOULD I USE AN AGENT?
Because I said so! Trust me. I know taobao now accepts credit card payment and e-nets but other than that there's really more cons:

Pros
Cons
Using 65daigou.com
Products are checked for you before mailing out

If item has any defects, 65daigou will do an exchange with the seller in china for you

Multiple products from different merchants will be re-packed to minimize your shipping costs

If you have any questions, 65daigou customer support officers speak English and they are very responsive

SMS service on approximate timing on parcel delivery to your doorstep (Usually after working hours)

TONS of locations for you to self collect your items
Agent fee
Straight from taobao.com
Convenient payment
If item is broken along the way, they send it to you anyway

Items are not repacked, causing shipping weight to be heavy with all the unnecessary boxes

If your shipment is stuck, forwarding company usually don’t response or gives you an automated reply

If you don’t know chinese, you might not know what is happening to your package, nor can you contact the sellers because majority only speaks chinese

No self collection, delivery timing is based on THEIR convenience 
 Similar to my previous post on USA shopping with 65daigou, I will give you 2 cases which I encountered and you can be the judge.

Case 1:
First time I ordered straight from taobao.com and it was my worst experience. Made my payment to this forwarding company offered by taobao.com and it took ALMOST 1 MONTH for my items to reach me.
I was literally raging with the other forumers at hardwarezone because I found out that alot of other people who used the forwarding service also had their parcels stuck and it's not even sea shipping!!! There were people in the forum who got stuffs for their wedding but because of this delay, so much unhappiness was caused. 
And you know what's the best part? When my items came, they came in a sack.
A FREAKING SACK.

Case 2:
In comparison to the forwarding company's brief update, 65daigou offers a more detailed update on your shipping and in english. Here's 1 example:
Got my items in 11 days excl weekends!! And my items came packed in a carton box, all well protected unlike the sack above... Don't you guys think the sack looks like something you dump dead bodies in?!?!?!!? Shock of my life.



HOW TO SEARCH ON TAOBAO
When you reach the homepage and get bombarded by chinese, CALM DOWNNN.
I found that while using google chrome, I will have the google translate dropdown menu which allows me to translate the whole site to english but that doesn't always work. 
Another method is to key in the english term for what you're looking in the search bar.

Then you'll arrive at this page:
And you'll see this below the search bar:
You can refine your search according to what you are looking for be it based on popularity or based on most sold, I'd usually not touch this part because taobao will already place the most popular/most sold results at the top.
You can see how many recent purchases were made in the past 30 days just beside the price.
This can be really helpful in determining which seller to purchase from if they are selling the same things. On several occasions I would click on 价格 so the lowest priced item would show up first. #cheapo

Here are some search terms in chinese which would be really helpful, you're welcome :D
Clothing
Material & Prints & Terms
T-Shirt   T
Long /Short Sleeve/Sleeveless   长袖/短袖/无袖
Bell Sleeve/Batwing Sleeve   喇叭袖/蝙蝠袖
Singlet/Spaghetti Strap   背心/吊带
Blouse   衬衫
Collar/Off Shoulder   翻领/露肩
Outer wear/Jacket   外套/夹克
Knitwear   针织衫
Pullover   卫衣
Dress   连衣裙 
Maxi Dress  超长裙
Romper   连衣裤
Denim Pants   牛仔
Short   短裤热裤
Skort   裤裙
Skirt   半身裙
Midi Skirt   
Pencil Skirt   铅笔裙
Bra  内衣
Underwear  内裤
Socks   袜子
Leggings   打底裤 
Pajamas   睡衣
Couple Wear   情侣装 
Chiffon   雪纺
Lace   蕾丝
Embroidery   刺绣
Leather   真皮
Faux Leather/PU   仿皮/人造皮
Cotton/Pure cotton   棉/纯棉
Knitted   针织
Denim   牛仔
Canvas   帆布
Wool   毛呢
Camouflage   迷彩
Stripes   线条
Polka Dots   泼点
Checkered   格子
Galaxy   星空
Tribal   民主风
Punk/Studs/Cross   朋克/铆钉/十字架
Fringe   流苏
Thick/Thin   厚/薄
Baggy   宽松
Bodycon   紧身
High Waist   高腰
High Collar   高领

Skull   咕噜头
Baseball   棒球



Styles
Colors 
Korean   韩版
Harajuku   原宿
American   欧美
Punk   朋克
Sweety   甜美
Lady/OL   淑女
Vintage   复古
Streetwear   街头
British   英伦 
Club  夜店
Autumn Winter   秋冬
Rock & Roll   摇滚
White/Off-white   白色/米色
Nude   褐色
Black   黑色
Blue/Navy   蓝色/深蓝色
Red/Maroon   红色/酒红色
Pink/Dark Pink   粉红色/梅红
Yellow   黄色
Grey   灰色

Orange   橙色

Green   绿色

Purple/Light Purple   紫色/浅紫色

Kaki   卡其色



Bags
Shoes
Clutch   手拿包
Satchel   剑桥包
Shoulder Bag   单肩包
Backpack   双肩包/背包
Sling Bag   斜挎包
Briefcase   公文包
Handbag   手提包
Wallet   钱包
Heels   高跟鞋
Thick Heels   粗跟鞋
Flats   平底鞋
Sandals   凉鞋
Canvas shoes   帆布鞋
Sneakers   低帮鞋
Flatforms   松糕鞋
Wedges   坡跟
Dr Marten Boots   马丁
Peeptoes   鱼嘴鞋 

Accessories
Makeup
Necklace   项链
Earring/Ear Studs   耳环/耳
Chocker   项圈
Bracelet   手链
Ring   戒指
Headband   头带
Bandana   方巾
Hair Tie   发圈/发线
Hair Clip   发夹
Spectacles   眼镜
Shades   墨镜
Watch   手表
Phone Case   手机壳/手机套
Screen Protector   手机
Stationaries   文具
Keychain   挂件
Handphone Keychain   手机挂件
Primer   打底液妆前乳
Foundation   粉底
Bronzer   修容粉
Eyeliner  眼线
Mascara   睫毛膏
Blusher   腮红
Eyebrow Pencil   眉毛笔/眉毛膏
Lipstick/Lip Gloss   口红唇蜜
Lip Balm   唇膏
Double Eyelid Tape   双眼皮贴
Eye Lash Curler   睫毛夹 
Fake Eyelash   假睫毛
Makeup Brushes   化妆刷
Nail Polish   指甲油

This is just a basic list, if you have a particular item you wish to find, do leave a comment or email triissy@hotmail.com (:


Most of the time, typing just the english term will give you results but here are a few more tips to get the most bang for your buck and also not to get cheated.

Whenever you see this word 此宝贝已下架 it means the item is no longer in stock so one thing you can do is to copy and paste the item name into the search bar to look for the same item.
The same could be done if you wanna compare prices.
When you see the same item, rollover the picture and click on 找同款
In this picture you'll see that this particular result is already cheaper than the original link I had and has 22 recent purchases. So if you're happy with this seller you can skip the next step.
But if you're still not satisfied, after clicking on 找同款 you'll see a list of different sellers selling the same item
So from the list, you can see that the first result has the highest purchase number and the highest number of comments left by buyers. Not forgetting the rating of the seller is 2 gold crowns.
Here's how the rating system ranks different sellers:
Gold crowns are of the highest rank and you'll see that everything sold in the shop will have a really high buying and comment rate. So you're safe buying from the shop. Not saying that heart/diamond sellers are bad sellers because everyone has to start somewhere right? Just go with your gut feeling or read up reviews left by past buyers.
I usually would click on 图片 so I can see real pictures of the items which was purchased by other buyers to have a good idea of sizing and material because sometimes pictures shown in their description may not be true to the item. If there's no photo reviews, you can always just read all the other reviews and do a quick google translate to have an idea of what they are talking about. This is important as sometimes sizing may run bigger or smaller or if there are no measurements provided. 

If in any case, the seller is new with no reviews but the item is unique / only that seller offers it and you really really really love it, BUY IT if you feel it's right! There's no harm in taking a little risk ;)


CALCULATING THE TOTAL COST
For all taobao items, you're usually required to pay a local postage fee for your item to reach 65daigou's warehouse in China, just like our local singpost.
When you see a slashed price and the word 促销 it means the item is on sale (though only 2cents in my case LOL) then you will see the word 快递 which means postage. If it says 免运费 means shipping is free!!!! But if you see an amount instead means it isn't, but don't worry because for each shop you buy from you only need to pay the 快递 once. Yes, once!

So in my case, the top would cost 16.98/4.5*1.06(this is the 6% agent fee) = S$3.99
$4 for a top guys!!!! Even bugis street offer also won't go till $4 please. Even if there is, it would be old fashioned ones. I always take 4.5 as the base exchange rate for a rough guide because the rate changes but don't worry as 65daigou will automatically calculate it for you.

BONUS
65daigou has recently partnered with several popular shops on taobao to offer us discounts or 快递 waiver so if you don't know where to start or just want to shop around you can check out the shops that they have partnered with.


USING 65DAIGOU FOR TAOBAO
The process is similar to the USA purchasing service as mentioned in my previous post here.
But I'll walk you guys through again!

1. Create an account (click here)
Once you have finished the procedure, log in and you're ready to start shopping!

2. Choose which region you wish to shop at

3. Copy & paste the URL of the product

4. Add to cart! 
Once you haves pasted the URL you'll be required to choose the color, size, quantity,  which warehouse you want to send your items to and your shipping method.
65daigou will let you know which warehouse your item is closer to so that you can expect lesser waiting time for your items. But if all your items come from different locations leave “Warehouse” blank when adding items into shopping cart. Upon checkout, 65daigou will estimate total domestic shipping fee & duration for you. The best arrangement is shortest duration with lowest domestic shipping fee if items are shipped from various sellers to a nearer warehouse accordingly. You can make this SMART arrangement by just one click during checkout. 

PS: Shipping to different warehouse doesn't mean higher international shipping fee, because 65daigou charges based on a flat rate per 500g (no more base charge)! This means your items reach you cheaper and faster!

I always choose Economy Air because it's really reasonably priced, and I don't need my items in too much of a hurry. 
Sea shipping is recommended for nail polishes or really heavy and bulky items like furniture as this mode is the cheapest but also the longest. 
Express Air if you need your items in a hurry. Sensitive air is for liquids, batteries and branded items.

5. Check out once you're done with selecting your items
You can make payment via various methods:

6. Wait for your items to reach the warehouse
If any of your items happen to be out of stock, the amount will be refunded into your balance(aka pre-pay) which can be used for the second payment. If there's any problems with your item, an email will be sent to prompt you to give advice on how you wish to proceed (i.e seller sent wrong color/item came spoilt) so you don't have to deal with the china side directly by yourself. You have 30 days to leave your items in the warehouse while waiting for other items to arrive so you still can add on items after checking out in a new order so they can be all shipped together.

7. Arrange for delivery
Once they have all reached the warehouse, they will be shipped to Singapore and when items have arrived in Singapore, you'll be required to pay for the shipping and agent fees before your items will be out for delivery. You have up to 14 days to make your payment else you'll be charged $1 per day for every 10kg. Usually I try to make my payment before 1pm so that the parcel can be delivered on the same day at night. 

There are also other ways of collection - MRT pickup / Self Collection / Neighborhood Collection
There are SOOOO many pickup locations making it really convenient for everyone and you can check them up here.


PHEW, there you have it! How I usually shop on taobao, all my tips and tricks shared to all of you~
I hope you'll find this guide helpful and comprehensive enough, if you wish to know how I shop directly on taobao (which I highly don't recommend) or you're looking for a particular item you can email me and I'll try my best to reply you ^^ 
Always remember to check on reviews if the price is ridiculously cheap because you pay what you get, if you pay peanuts you get monkeys.

With all that being said, here's some of the items which I got on taobao via 65daigou!
(Click on item name to go to item page on taobao!)





Daisy Long Sleeved Top
(Unfortunately this was a one piece vintage top so it's no longer available)

What are you waiting for? Start shopping on taobao now!
Especially since the christmas period is coming, it's a great excuse to start :p

Don't forget to like 65daigou's facebook & instagram for latest updates and promotions!



xoxo,
tris