28 February, 2014

Qoo10 Review: imkStore

I am a big fan of online shopping for many reasons - it's quick, you can do it alone, convenient and may even save you some awkwardness from buying in stores.

Online shopping for me started from blogshops. There were those Taiwan and Korea sprees, and some of you may be familiar with brands like 天猫, which used to sell cheap and comfortable cardigans, etc. Then came a period of "fixed list", meaning that after trying a few blogshops, I figured out which is the cheapest and most reliable, and stuck to them.

Then came the "Bugis era" where blogshops like PaperGirlsShop went on to set up physical outlet. They are usually found in Bugis Village, Haji Lane and even a few in Far East Plaza. As far as I can remember, that was the transition period when sellers started to jack up the retail prices to match the common brand outlets.

Qoo10 also underwent many milestones, and many people today still call it Gmarket. I've missed that part of their past because their choices were limited and more expensive, obviously.

Throughout the years, some blogshops have succeeded beyond their humble beginnings, and I've also seen the closing down of several business when the competition gets tough.

Anyway, I want to share something great that I bought from Qoo10 from a seller named imkStore. They sell electronics and camera stuff, and I bought a authentic Canon camera bag from them at $72.90 (excluding $3 shipping), while the retail price in Singapore is $140+.

The reason I wanted to buy a new camera bag was because the one that came with the DSLR was no longer big enough to hold all my additional equipment, ie.: flashlight, LED light panel, stofen, light tipper.

The original bag was about 27cm in width, but the new one is 30cm, with additional height and external side pockets. It is also usable with either its strap or as hand-carry (with the handles).

PRE-PURCHASE

I was honestly worried, because the shop had only sold one of this bag, presumably because not many people would want such a bulky bag. But the only review was pretty good, so I decided to give it a shot.

PURCHASE

I placed the order on 15 February and the item was posted on 18 February and I received it on 26 FEBRUARY. The item is shipped from overseas (hence cheaper), so any time within two weeks I would consider reasonable. In this case, 11 days is better than what I expected.



*****
Another noteworthy thing is that I noticed some sellers tend to have two bad habits.
(1) Confirming/Accepting your order before they check if they have stock
aka within 24 hours of payment, you receive a note that they are sending the items, when in fact they just want to stop you from cancelling the order. (Qoo10 loophole)

(2) Not using the Shipping Info function
some sellers tell you that the items are "On Delivery" but I notice that the items are not track-able with the Shipping Info link. Chances are, they have NOT sent your order and are just trying to "pretend" like the deal is going on.

What usually follows is if you ask them why the items have not reached, the truth may be that they have not processed your order, but they blame it on delivery courier, who have not even receive any parcel to deliver yet.

If you see this pattern from the same seller, do make a mental note that they are sellers who would not keep to their words with your order. (a nicer way to say irresponsible)
*****

ARRIVAL

I have the habit of checking the Shipping Info every now and then. Because I opted for tracking, of course I would want to check! Why else waste your money? It is also a good indicator as of when the parcel would arrive. 

It is usually delivered to your doorstep ONE day after you see that it has arrived in Singapore. So if you are working/studying, be sure to make necessary arrangements. That is one thing I always read in reviews, where people complain that they did not get any notice that the item was coming. Lazy still scold seller, shame.

Anyway, the bag arrived! ....in a Nikon box. LOL. When I was signing for it, I was sort of panicking. *oh no oh no* did I place the wrong order?!

Then *POOF* It is a Canon bag wrapped nicely! 

Of course this may raise suspicion for people that this is not an authentic bag. But my guess is that Canon packagings are often a waste of space. aka boxes are waaay bigger than the content. So I don't mind that they use Nikon box. 

The bag came with the authenticity tag, but unfortunately was torn off by me by accident. Ooops.




As you can see from above,  the bag is of outstanding quality, and is extremely clean, which indicates that (1) it is new stock; and (2) it is a brand new product.

From the sewing below, you can tell that the workmanship is worth the price too.


I love buying cheap stuff, but bag is an exception. Because bags that are poorly constructed with loose threads and crooked sewing usually mean that the weight distribution is uneven, which result in shorter durability and smaller weight tolerance. (I hope that makes sense to readers)

Okay, now of the interior:




Looks good so far right? But I think what matters most is always what you do not see straightaway. So I lifted the padding at the base of the bag interior.


As you can see, the sewing is straight, symmetrical and there isn't any loose thread. So even if it isn't real Canon bag, I would think that the built and durability are awesome.

The following is to give you an idea the capacity of the bag with additional 3cm in width and a couple more in height.


If you are looking to buy camera/laptop bags or camera-related stuff, give this shop a chance.

There's seriously a lot of crap sellers in Qoo10 (more reviews to come), but I think imkStore is worth all the money, faith and applause.

Note: All the photos used in this blogpost are originals and all rights reserved to Yingsphere.blogspot.com, which are not suppose to be duplicated or used anywhere else without prior written permission.

14 February, 2014

Religion is about reassurance, peace and values.

Had a debate with someone about religion and sexual orientation yesterday.

Some years back when I was still working, there was a conversation about my idol. I was told that he may be gay, and my reaction was "oh what a pity". Why did I say that? Not because it's a pity to be gay, but because, as any fan would tell you, it means that we don't stand a chance. XD

The argument yesterday was about the various degrees of acceptance of people who are not "normal" in different religions.

As a debater would say, how do you define "normal"? Normal is having two eyes, one nose, one mouth, one heart, two arms, two legs... "normal" sexual orientation? Straight, because it's the way nature made us, because it is the majority.

The thing is, all the rules, norms, official recognition and approval aside, I respect them for who they are.

Gay or straight, if you are my friend, I like you for your personality - bubbly, friendly, motivating.
Gay or straight, if you are my coworker, I respect you for your experience, talent and helpfulness.
Gay or straight, if you are my relative, I love you for our blood ties and your support.

My point is, it's your choice.

Sure, I still feel uncomfortable when two people of the same gender behave intimately together. I still feel a certain degree of weirdness. But I think it's also another issue - PDA in public. Gay or straight, keep your touching and kissing at home. Or in private. Like you're a Hollywood celebrity and paparazzi is everywhere.

I have gay friends.

But that doesn't influence me. Because sexual orientation is not smoking or drinking. You can't just get influenced. It is an instinct. I often hear people saying they try to "change" the person they like. But isn't that what straight people are trying to do to gay people too? I think it is wrong either way. Because? There's no respect either way. And what matters is mutual respect in the society.

Religion has nothing to do with it.

I was taught in a Christian kindergarten but I'm still a Buddhist. I've encountered extremists from both ends and more often than not, the spiritual leaders have the least to do with it all. I am glad and proud and reassured to have a religion when, honestly speaking, I am getting a tooth extraction procedure.

Religion is about reassurance, peace and values.

You can argue that so-and-so has said that religion is about doing what is morally right. But - what is morally right? It's similar to what the "norm" people have been talking about. Who created morals? Who created right and wrong? If right and wrong are so important, you wouldn't jaywalk. You wouldn't steal fruits from your neighbourhood garden. You wouldn't backstab your friends. Values. I'd accept values like honesty and integrity, but I don't think any leader ever specifically said,"I do not accept people who are not attracted to the opposite gender".

I am more inclined to believe that religion is about peace. Inner peace. Harmonious society.

Sexual orientation should be regarded like the color of your underwear - it shouldn't be anyone else's decision but yours. But also, keep it to yourself. You don't need to announce the color of your underwear as much as you don't need to announce you're gay to the world.

People need to learn to respect.

Respect differences. It's what they call 不同而和in the olden days. We accept that we're all different and we can still live in harmony. That's what society should be about. Just because I think that riding a bike is wrong doesn't mean that I should fight for bikes to be banned. Just because I don't think that you should wear red top with green pants,  doesn't mean I have to insult you for it. Respect.

Unless it is doing harm to yourself or others.

Like casual sex. But that applies to straight relationships too. If it doesn't hurt you or harm others physically, mentally, psychologically, I respect you. In fact, I think alcoholism and smoking are worse. Because you are shortening your lifespan, and you stink in public.

Let them be.

I do not advocate any form of conversion. You should be who you feel comfortable being. No one should be forcing you to change. And you shouldn't force anyone to change either. As much as you should respect me if I decide to use purple and blue and orange eyeshadow colors all over my eyelids. Tell me that it looks bad, but don't force me to remove it and to never do it again just to make you happy. Same for the much talked about "gayness".

I once read in a local anchor's book - news is always happening and the reason we feel that the world is getting worse is only because the situations are now more accessible to the journalists and the world.

I think it's true in sexual orientation too. People got to be kidding themselves to think that there are more gays in the world now because there's approval in some areas. They are always there. Just because they are silent doesn't mean that they don't exist.

I've had my fair share of debates about whether gay is right/morally right/acceptable/acceptable by religions.

And it should only matter in your judgment of people, on the day when I publicly let people decide the color of my underwear. (Never gonna happen.)