Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Update on 65daigou (Review)

2016 review:

(Update Wed 22 Jul 2015: Check out my guide on how to pick good Taobao sellers!


Have they improved since my last reviews 3 years ago?  Not much.

Their speed has always been the same.  So, this is not a factor for consideration in this updated review. The difference now is that they also proxy for Taiwan and USA.

Even after 3 years, they still piss me off.

Due to negative changes in Peeka recently, I had to switch to 65daigou for the first time in 3 years.  Since then, I have continued to purchase 7 times through 65daigou.  So, can't say that I didn't give them chance.

This 7th time, I went to collect my sandals from Tanjong Pagar "warehouse" and this fat woman who looks like a housewife with acne scars, black-rimmed glasses and tied hair was rude.

It's always different people at the counter and usually they don't ask for handphone number.  I just need to tell them my username and it's fine. Also, with other people around, customers should not be made to say out their handphone numbers (this is customers' right to privacy).

This time, the moment I told this woman my username, she insisted on having my handphone number. I said I can't quite remember (it's an old number that I don't use anymore). She sunk her chin down to three layers thick, making a shitty face of doubt while looking at her ipad.

I said I had already paid for the remainder amount (I usually don't pay first but there was excess in my prepay and 65daigou automatically deducted).

It took her longer before she finally moved to get my item while saying, "That's not the point.".  Then what is the point, shithead?  Are you implying that for just a pair of sandals, I am pretending to collect someone's item? Don't be stupid.

When she got it out, her face showed that she knew I was super unhappy. What should have been a quick and easy collection became so shitty.

If 65daigou wants customers' to announce their phone numbers to everybody, it should always be done. Why does it fluctuate depending on the staff at the counter? Second, why in the first place should customers have to announce their phone numbers? Since username is acceptable, then this is enough.

A customer should not have to jump through hoops, even a little one, to get their already paid-for items. It's sickening.

Furthermore, if it weren't for their mess up regarding a 2nd item I wanted, I wouldn't even have ordered this pair of sandals.

This rudeness was on top of a wrong handling that they had earlier done. Therefore, I am fed up again with them.

I had originally wanted to order this pair of sandals together with a 2nd item. But 65daigou sent this message in lousy English without even a "Hi" or capital letter at the start (reflecting the sloppy and disrespectful attitude despite the "Pls" and "TKS").

electronics it's cannot be shipped via express/economy air shipment.You can choose sea or Sensitive air shipment instead.  Pls let us know your choice. TKS.
This 2nd item has an electric pump (that I chose forgetting that batteries and anything electrical can't be airmailed out of China). It's not "electronics". It's an electrical device.

Their so-called Sensitive air shipment is actually very expensive, as I discovered earlier when ordering a pair of Nike shoes. So, I didn't want to use Sensitive air.  Neither did I want to use Sea since it's slow.

So, I said I change it to hand pump. And since the hand pump version is cheaper than the electrical pump version, I told the person to refund the difference into my prepay.

The next message I received:
 Cancelled as requested
At this point, I was pretty shocked. I said change it to a hand pump and refund the remainder/difference. How is that translated as "cancel"?  Moreover, I didn't "request" it.

I checked my prepay. And here's another problem.  The refund was short of $1.06.

I went into chat and Bernard said the cancelled amount had been correctly refunded. The sandals however, are not cancelled.  He was polite but didn't explain or know(?) where that missing $1.06 went. I had to figure it out myself.

Turns out, $1.06 is the domestic delivery cost of the sandals.  Bernard should have said so.

I asked whether economy air was Ok if I got the hand pump version of that cancelled item. Here's his reply:

This shouldn't even be necessary. How can it go back to square one? Bernard should have been able to answer my simple question. Yet he didn't know.

The person placing my order should have done as I requested, that is, change it to a hand pump and refund the difference. Instead my order was cancelled with no information.

The order has not yet been placed. Why can't the person order the hand pump version instead of cancelling? Even if the order is cancelled and I have to re-order again (for the hand pump), why didn't the person say so in the message? Just rudely cancelling the order means that the person don't understand English, or the person is just plain shitty, or both.

With 65daigou having such staff with attitude problem, I didn't re-order.  And therefore, was left with just the sandals.  I wanted to cancel the sandals too, but it had already been sent out by the seller.

Before this incident, here are other things:

1) They never listen to instruction. I tell them to bubble wrap certain items, but they never do. The items come boxed, but the fact is that they don't bubble wrap for any item unless the sellers do it on their end.

When I used to order from Peeka, every item was very well bubble-wrapped specially by Peeka, even when I didn't tell them to. On Peeka's own discretion, they will bubble-wrap the item if there's a chance of damage.

I don't dare to buy glass objects from 65daigou at all. With 65daigou's shoddy way of handling items, there is a high chance of breakage.

2)  Shoddy, shitty attitude. My first purchase was a pair of authentic Nike running shoes (expensive). I asked them to check that the size was correct. When it arrived, I saw that the wrapping paper had been squashed under the shoes. It looked like the shoes were just dumped or shoved back into the box. Apparently, the size had been checked. Why couldn't they wrap the paper around the shoes nicely back after checking?  It's like, "You want us to check? Sure, we check." Checks and dumps back into the box.

They take no pride in what they do or how they present customers' items.

3)  I ordered a Japanese aquarium filter. Transparent plastic and dome-shaped.  A little gravel at the base with filter material already inside. The box is thin.

I gave instructions to have the item bubble-wrapped to prevent scratches on the filter or breakage. Also, to check that the item is the same as shown in the seller's photos with gravel and filter material already inside.

When it arrived, there was no bubble wrap inside or outside. When I took it out of the box,  the plastic casing was already badly scratched/scrapped down the side. The filter also looked old as if it was a display piece.  Why didn't 65daigou check it first before sending it to me? The seller clearly sent me a bad item and 65daigou accepted it. I was really unhappy.

4) I ordered a pair of sandals (a different one from the one I mentioned earlier). The straps were supposed to be white as shown in the seller's photos. But in a very surprising unprecedented moment, 65daigou took a photo for me without my asking when they received it at their China warehouse and asked if this white color was acceptable. Since it looked the same as the seller's photos, I replied that if the size is correct, I accept it.

When it arrived, the color of the straps was actually dirty yellow off-white. I couldn't wear it out because of such a poor color.  Why didn't 65daigou warehouse staff tell me that it's a dirty yellowish-type of white? Their photo showed white and their message said:  (notice again the horrid English)

hi we received ths items ,be informed the seller now the white color is this pls check it ,kindly advice if you are ok to accept tks 
"the white color is this"?? But it's the same as the seller's photos. If they had said that it was not white at all, I would have requested them to return it.  Can't believe that even sending a simple photo, 65daigou can mess up. 

Latest update Thurs 15 Jan 2015:

Monday, 27 October 2014

Humans are so easy to Con. What's the matter with these people?

Check out this video that I happened to come across. 

Pranksters serve McDonald's to organic food experts.

Two Dutch pranksters fool food experts into believing McDonald’s food is a healthy, organic snack.  Sacha and Cedrique go to a branch of the famous fast food restaurant and stock up on hamburgers and muffins which they carefully prepare to look like canapes. They then head to a health food convention in Houten, the Netherlands where they proffer the snacks to unsuspecting attendees who provide some amusing feedback. “Tastes like fish, reminds me of cod, rolls around the tongue nicely, if it were wine I'd say it's fine” says one man after sampling some Fillet-0-Fish. Summing up their findings at the end of the video, Cedrique exclaims: “If you tell people that something is organic, they'll automatically believe it's organic!”

"The tomato's been here for at least a year.". I don't know if they got the food out of the trash bin or they purchased. If they got it from the trash, they should be brought to court together with the food convention organizer who allowed them on the floor without checking credentials first.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Kuroko's Basketball (Kuroko no Basuke) Season 1/2/3

Ahh... I can't believe I have to wait till next year 2015 to watch the 3rd season of this fabulous, FAbulous anime!!!!!!!!

It's been a long time since I've been this excited over an anime. I want to go Buy a basketball right now and start hooping!!!!!!!  I don't care if I'm not a member of the Generation of Miracles!!!!! I just want to DUNK!!!!  I don't care even if I Can't Dunk!!!!!!! I just want to play!!!!!!!!!!

That's how crazy excited I have been feeling ever since I started watching Kuroko no Basuke!! I take it that for Season 3 now, I have to read the Shonen Jump manga?  aAHhhhhh.... what a long wait for the anime!!!  I can't wait. Draw faster. Ink faster. QUICKER!!!! While it's still a hot, Hot game playing in my head!!!!

Bro asked earlier tonight while we were playing on my bed, "Why you suddenly want a basketball?".  He glances at the anime opening playing on my laptop. "It's because of that anime. If you didn't watch it, you wouldn't need to buy one.".

I don't care!! I want one! "The only problem is... I'm afraid I might play a bit and then stop." I said.

"Not 'might'. You will.". he replied.

Ah, damn. He has a high possibility of being right. I lose interest very quickly. That's why the price of a basketball at $24+ (that he helped me to check at Giant Supermarket) is slightly expensive... He's already foreseen it. "When you don't want it anymore, where are we going to put that ball?".

I don't care. Right now, I want a basketball. I intend to try hooping it alone in the nearby basketball court when it's empty... although it's surrounded by housing flats and it would be embarrassing if I practiced and missed... that's the part that I'm afraid might stop me from continuing.

Well, I don't care. Not for now.

"Basketball is boring." Bro said.

"No, it's not. I played before. It's fun.". I said.

KUROKO no BASUKE!!!!!!!!! I LUV you!!! I love Kuroko!!! The excitement, the tension, the unexpected every time they play!!! The close calls!!!! Unbelievable.

The artwork is superb, the characters' faces at every angle are consistent, the fast movements are drawn so well and clear.  The anime must have cost a lot to make.

I love the details in the plotting, no holes. Nothing left out. Amazing.

The only flaw ... is that it pushes the limits of normal basketball rather much, more and more towards the realm of anime towards the end of season 2.

I don't watch real basketball, but Ignite Pass? Vanishing Drive. Overflow? Meteor Jam? The Zone with sparks coming out of their eyes and strange aura radiating off their bodies. Ball and players that appear to vanish due to "mis-direction"?

Is that humanly possible? 

I do know that it is possible to shoot and goal from behind the board.  Could it be he had watched this anime??

With a great anime like this, it's hard not to grab pics!!  I've overloaded my desktop by saving these:

From Season 2:

Last episode:  With his hair tied (I've been wondering why don't he tie up that messy purple hair), Murasakibara in a bad mood looks like Hijikata-san. ^_^ So sexyy...  

I don't get why they draw these unattractive marks on his face. Wrinkles while he's crying? Dirt?

I love his crying voice. Seiyuu? *checks* Ah! Kenichi Suzumura. Married to Maaya Sakamoto. I know him from Maji Love.  I know Maaya Sakamoto from Wolf's Rain in which I loved her voice singing the theme songs.

I love this part.  He smacks away his captain's hand (behind) and waves him off while crying. I really love his voice when he's crying here. It's so full of bitter, painful hurt. For such a prideful man, it's surprising that he should cry like this.

Episode 21:  See how Murasakibara towers over Kuroko: One-on-one.


To be continued...

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Let's Take the Wind (Arrogance) Out of China's Sails! US Taking Back Manufacturing!

At last! The moment that I've been wanting! That actually, has been going on quietly for a while already. The US is switching things back to the US.

As everyone already knows, China is only good for... nothing. They used to be great at making clothes that last and toys. Back then, nobody knew about lead-painted toys. Now, they are even bad at what they used to be good at.

Bro always says China can't even make a light bulb that meets standards. They don't take instructions and do whatever they like. "How can companies even trust them to make airplanes??!".

China has nothing to be proud of.  Their glory days of the Tang dynasty are over. When their ideas and inventions used to inspire the world, are over.  Bro says, "Now, they make garbage and send them all over the world.".
More than 70 percent cited better access to skilled labor as a reason to move production to the US, more than four times as many who cited it for moving production away from the US.
about 75 percent said the move provided local control over manufacturing processes and improved quality and yield.
Even according to their own China designer based in Italy, they don't have the technology to make fine fabrics. They can sew but that's about it.

"The quality, for making the clothes, the basic sewing, is no problem in China," she says.
"But for the fabric it is 100 percent from Italy. For the material I have to say that China is not yet at the level. 
One Italian guy says:  "In these things, it takes centuries to arrive at a certain level.".

China wants to make everything for money, but they are nowhere anywhere. Why do companies even bother giving anything to China to make?

Monday, 20 October 2014

Fur Farms, Fox Fur, Burberry

I had to check the date of the article three times to make sure it was 2014 (yes, 20 October 2014, today's date). Didn't they ban real fur in the fashion industry years ago?  The ad where a model wearing fur trailed blood down the fashion runway?

2014 and still at it?? So primitive, this EU.

Good thing I don't like Burberry. So boring. Still checkered all these years.

The article does not state which markets the finished products or fur are being sent to. The largest importer?

When it comes to stopping such companies and farms, there is only 1 quicker way.  Don't bother writing petitions, don't bother discussing.  While petitioning, discussing or creating awareness, these farms are killing.

Just get assassins, remove key personnel. Or get guns & do like what Greenpeace does with illegal whaling vessels.  Terrorism should be put to better use here.


Thursday, 16 October 2014

Why I Won't Buy from Tokyu Hands SG (Westgate Review)


I have been to Tokyu Hands in Japan (Shibuya) & it's 3 or 4 floors. Very big & sells almost everything including DIY pieces of wood (like Daiso) & hardware items (at rather expensive prices).  At that time, I never heard of Tokyu Hands.  I was desperately looking for a bag/luggage & happened to see the store. 

Bought a black, business-like haversack that cost around SGD 80, the cheapest among the several black bags available there at the time & it's been excellent quality. Very soft material yet firm with many useful & easy compartments.  Definitely a man's bag. No frills, just simple & stylish practicality.  Just the right size and surprisingly spacious and flexible when things inside expand it.

In Singapore however, Tokyu Hands has only been small, limited-time floor spaces that sell very expensive cosmetics, skincare, unimportant personal care & household items.

So when I finally saw that they were going to open at Westgate, I waited to see how small it was going to be & what they were going to sell. The single floor didn't look promising.

About 2 weeks after they opened (I wanted to be there when they opened but missed it), I dropped by & selected some soap. Total = $43. But I never bought them because of the very rude cashier. An old man called Mak with strange skin (I was a little concerned about him handling my items).

Last I saw, he is still cashier there (even though I phone-called the Japanese manager to complain).  If he happens to be rude to you or disrespectful to your purchases, by all means, tell him off on the spot & inform the manager.

As long as he is still a cashier there, I won't be stepping into the store. Tokyu Hands can forget about getting a cent from me.

As I told the Japanese manager on the phone, there are many people they could have hired. Why hire such a rude old man? (My thoughts: Did he pull strings to get in? Is he related to them in some way? Is it that hard to find better Singaporean applicants?).

After calling the manager, I let it pass. But every time I pass by there after that, I feel quite upset.  I didn't get the bars of soap that I wanted. And that man is still there.

I kept telling myself I have to talk about it here, but I always let it pass.

Before they opened, I already knew of these soap bars and was considering buying them online. But once shipping fee is added, the total price is unreasonably high.  So when I saw Tokyu Hands carried the soap bars that I have been wanting, I was really happy & put a few into my basket.  But ended up upset at  the cashier counter & had to let them all go. All because they hired the wrong person to stand at the cashier counter.

He does nothing but talk to the young cashiers there. And speaks rudely to customers.

While being rude to me, he went on being rude to a male customer who was holding a tap. As that male customer was unsure where to queue, he stood ahead of us & very gently placed his tap on the counter. (I was wondering why don't he buy it from a regular store that would be cheaper?).

That old man Mak said to him in a rude and loud tone, "Are you buying? Are you buying?".

For a moment, the customer seemed rather taken aback and didn't know what to say. But then he spoke quietly, "Yes.".   (He should have scolded that man.).

The Japs in Singapore have very poor hiring ability. Daiso, Japanese restaurants (example: CocoIchibanya) & now Tokyu Hands. They seem to hire anyone who drops by.

For the bars of soap I wanted, the moment I saw that old man cashier,  I was reluctant to go to the counter.  Just a feeling from the look of his face.  Turned out I was right.

1) He handled the soap bars without looking at how he was handling them. To him, they are just soap bars, even though they are expensive.  He impacted them against the counter-top, dropped them rather carelessly into the bag.

2)  When there was a problem swiping our card, he said that it was our fault. I said, "We just came from Tim Ho Wan and it was fine.".  He argued that his machine has been doing fine.

3) When Bro said he will go to withdraw from the ATM and I said I will remain at the counter, he stretched out his hand and demanded in the rudest voice that I return the bag of soap bars.

4) When I gave it, he took it from me and set it aside on the other side of the counter and kept watching it while I stood there. 

5)  After a while of watching him with displeasure, he seemed to realize it and was red-faced for whatever reason.  The more I stood there, the more it became meaningless to buy.  So I walked off.  $43 saved while Tokyu Hands lost $43.

When I returned home, I called the Japanese manager to the phone. He seemed to politely understand my English and said he will speak to the man.  But nothing seems to have been done since that man is still there behaving as if nothing happened whenever I look in while passing by. (I don't expect him to be fired, but I won't be stepping in either).

That man should be thankful he has this job at his age.  Yet he is rude and has no respect for customers' expensive purchases.  As he is old, such things are just things to him, as if he is bagging items in a market.

At $43 for just a few bars of soap,  I expect the cashiers to handle my purchases well. Even if it's just a $1 item, I want respect for my purchase.  If you cannot do that, then you don't deserve my money. Tokyu Hands.

(Anyway, bro says the household things they sell can be found at other places for cheaper.  As for my soap... I have to give them up, even though the Japanese manager apologized and said in English on the phone at the end, "Please come back again.").

It doesn't matter anymore, Tokyu Hands. Keep that man Mak. Whether he is there or not,  I think I'm not going to care anymore.  I just won't be stepping into your store. 

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Is an ADA tank perfect?

I thought it was. But no.  Fed up of seeing 5mm, 6mm & thicker glass from China websites,  I was looking for an answer on how thick an ADA tank glass is when I came upon this online review:

I've read of the perfection of the seams/silicon (some guy on a forum said the Japanese ADA has a man removing excess silicon by hand/razor & that's why the high cost),  but this is the first time I am reading that  "almost all of the ADA cube gardens" bows.

From the photos, you can see the ADA tank glass has a blue side rather than green. It's not completely white as many China tanks that try to copy ADA. If it's all white, the tank will have a dead plastic look (from China reviewers' photos). So far, I've not seen a China tank glass look close to this blue:

Incidentally, the link that the writer gives for where he gets his "ADA planted aquarium supplies" doesn't work.

Flower Grandpa Investigative Team/Grandpas over Flowers (Korean Drama) & Kuroko's Basketball

I'm only watching it because of this guy:

Looking good in white gloves here.  Looks like Sebastian (Black Butler anime).  Sexxyy...  But apart from this shot, the hair doesn't match well with his face.

Unfortunately... he & the other young guys turn into old men right into episode 1.

Well, then nothing left to watch, right? Who wants to watch old men? As usual with many Korean dramas, it starts out interesting but falls apart at the start with too much irrelevant jarring family arguments & talk.  Not enough main action. Too loose.

The reasons for the successes of Faith & My love from Another Star, are their attractive characters, tight plotting, surprising events & interesting situations.

Grandpas over Flowers is boring.  I don't think I can continue with Ep 2...

Actually, come to think... they should have done it the other way. Start out as old men but end as young men. So viewers will be held in suspense to know how handsome they really are. Which means, the story should start ... where they fall into that tank... 

Nahhh... it still means viewers end up watching a lot of the old men.  Therefore, this drama actually can't be done.  Yes I know Hollywood picked it up (?) but these days they pick up anything.

It's comedic in a way, but there's a limit to how far it can go.  I thought they would overlap the young faces over the old men so the viewer will know who is who. But so far, nothing. It's just elderly men.

*goes back to watching Kuroko no Basuke*    [I didn't think I would be interested in an anime about basketball & with so many episodes (there's even a season 2) ... but turns out to be good so far. I got to know this anime by accident.  Saw their handsome faces on the Gatcha machine that sells their keychain figurines at Toys R Us Vivocity. Wondered which anime it was.  Clearly it had something to do with basketball... went home to check online under images for "basketball anime". Viola! Found it.

Usually seiyuus come first for me: I'll only watch if the seiyuus I like are in an anime. But this time, the handsome characters & story are great even with seiyuus that I don't know for many of the main cast & don't really wish to check-and-match seiyuu to character.  Shinichiro Miki is there but minor character only. When I hear his voice, I need to watch Hakuoki.  I can't get past him playing Hijikata-san.  His voice so perfect.]

By the wayy.... Jimmy Lin is looking good here even after so many years! Pretty damn amazing! How ... What... did he do with his skin?? It's positively glowing like those Koreans! (Korean make-up artist?).  It's impossible. (Wait, how old is he in this photo? Checking... Wiki... 38. Oh.. married... to ... Kelly Chen? The Kelly Chen? The one who sang Eyes on Me?... *checks out her pic* It's another Kelly Chen...not pretty. Who is she?)

Wasn't he scruffy in Wolf (movie with the fabulous-looking-at-that-time Ambrose Xu)??

Well now (2012 Asian Idols), he looks like this: (unfortunately, very small-sized. I didn't know he was so small-sized. But at least he's still famous or even more famous/popular than the vanished Ambrose Xu who is/was my favourite guy of all time for the longest time.)

I love the first pic the most. He always had this sideways smile that he tried making it look sexy on screen... but here, he looks good with it. Very nice. I also didn't know he was so ... talented (from what Felix Wong said in the Asian Idols video.) .  He has become good-looking over the years while it's the reverse for many actors.

From the video, I see he has become natural, at ease & smooth in front of the camera compared to the past.... But when he later sings, his voice cannot match Jay Chou's.  His voice is still nice, nostalgic quality, but... hollow.


Sunday, 12 October 2014

Aquatic Avenue - The Aquarium Specialist (Review) (Redhill SG)

Dishonest. Untrustworthy.

If you are new, don't be tempted to buy. If you have been buying, beware:  when you meet with their dishonesty, you'll kick yourself for having bought from them so many times.

On separate occasions:  2 instances of absurd pricing methods that no other shop does. 1 instance of attempted con. 1 instance of successful deceit & con.

For the sake of gaining $1 or $2, they deceive & offend the customer.  Not only do they lose the customer, they lose their reputation.  Not smart.

We predict the shop will last only 1 year or less. I give them a year. Bro says "less than", "a few months". This prediction hasn't changed since the beginning when we first went to check out the place.

1) Dishonest
2) Money first, even if it means losing customers.
3) Disrespect for customers
4) The business owners have no interest in what they are selling 
5) Internal conflict. Divided interests.
6) Don't know how to do real, practical business.
7) Don't know how other aquarium shops do their business.

It's good I see their ugly side earlier so that I can stop buying sooner.  I won't go into their shop again.

Luckily, I didn't order any aquarium tank from them.  Almost tempted to, but their price is high for ordinary-looking "crystal" glass. Their glass imported from Taiwan has a strong green tint.  It is clear & transparent but not low-iron. Definitely nothing near ADA.  It's a lie that "customers come here admiring the quality of our tanks.".  If it's not a lie, then these customers aren't well-informed & therefore susceptible to con.

Since the beginning, I noticed another thing. It seemed rather minor at first but it kept bugging me.  Regarding customer service. I won't elaborate so the shop will remain disadvantaged.

Additionally,  their aquatic plants have snails. Surprising since I expected their plants to be better than the C328 shop at Clementi (The plants I bought from the lady have no snails).

Bro says Aquatic Avenue is a combination of "green and greed". Green because they don't know what they are doing.


There are 3 owners:

Gabriel: Beady eyes, glasses.  28 or 29 years old.  Looks like a China man.  Immature mentality & small-minded. Dishonest face.  The first time we saw him, we guessed he was dishonest. This has been proven. A person's character is written on the face. This was true during Shakespeare's time & still holds true now.

He sets the prices (improvises whenever he likes) & acquires the stock for the shop.  

In his own words, he is not interested in what they are selling. Has no respect or love for the aquatic life he is selling. He's only selling them because they are popular.  Has no patience at all with what he calls the "livestock".  Very rough handling of the fishes & finds it a chore.

To him, shrimps & cultivated fishes are "bastards".

Only interested in being at the cash register where he can improvise his prices.

If an item costs less than a rounded amount of currency given to him, he will improvise to avoid giving change. The same as some hawkers who take $50 but don't come back with the change & pretend to forget or deny they received $50 (there used to be many complaints about them).   

I was very shocked by the way he handled the fishes that I asked him to catch for me.

He used a big net, chased the fishes, scooped them together with another species of fish together with moss and duckweeds. Then he lifted the net out of the water & under the blindingly white light over the tank, used his fingers to carelessly throw out those not needed.  This means the fishes were unnecessarily exposed to dry conditions & very bright light for a rather long time.  His fingers then held the net surrounding the remaining fish that was dropped into the pot of water.

(I have never seen anyone use such a destructive method towards their own fishes & shrimps in any shop I went.).

By then, the fishes were so stressed after being caught that they floated upside down & appeared dead in the pot of water.  I was very concerned that being so stressed, the fishes would die when I brought them home.  Also, I am paying for these fishes. Therefore, he should be careful with the customer's purchase. Yet his behavior was appallingly immature.

When I mentioned their stress level, he joked, "I want them to fear me.".  This is greatly different from when I talked to Ronnie at Green Chapter.  Ronnie told me, "I take effort to keep them alive." & he wants customers to be able to enjoy the fishes & shrimps for as long as possible. 

Jaryl: The guy behind the Facebook replies.  But he won't take the effort to correct you if you mistake him for any of the other 2 guys (dishonest). Neither does he reveal his name when posting in their Facebook.  Only comes into the shop at night (after 8pm) "to count money".  21~23 years old.   Just a student. NUS business course.  He can use his own shop as example for his classroom case-study on "How not to do business.".

Eugene:   Well-liked by kids & adults.  Mr Nice Guy? Not at all. Birds of the same feather flock together. He can't be any better to have joined up with the other 2.

Stiff robotic voice.  Looks like a fish & is somewhat nerdy.  25 or 26 years old.  Spineless. Has no say in the running of the business & is fine with it. Even when he knows that a tank of shrimps has been wrongly labelled, he just lets it be: "they don't want to change it".  His financial contribution to the shop must be the least or zero.

His knowledge is based on reading up (something that anyone can do online & from books). Minimal experience.  The only one genuinely interested in what they are selling. As we already guessed when we first saw him, he is more honest than Gabriel. More often seen in the shop than the other 2.

Absurd pricing methods:

1) I was interested in an aquatic plant. Asked price. Gabriel used scissors to snip about 2.5cm of the plant with only 1 strand of root & said $1.50. I said that's absurd. He said that's the way it's sold. I said how can you sell it like this? He refused to admit that it shouldn't be done this way.

Nobody sells a plant like this. It's either a whole plant or nothing. Which shop sells it by a snip? The food & gutter oil in China must have messed up his brains (he goes there to acquire fishes & shrimps).  Or he was already messed up in the first place.

2) A handwritten piece of paper affixed below the Vietnam Bee shrimps tank says "$3.00 XL/L". Which shop sells it like this?  He thinks he's selling supermarket grey prawns, tiger prawns?

All shops sell aquarium shrimps at 1 price for any size. Even Eugene admitted it since size pricing can be confusing. He said Gabriel refuses to listen & has no interest in shrimps.

In fact, it is unfair to price based on size. The seller can take advantage of any size difference to quote a higher price, which is what Gabriel is doing & did.

Attempted con:

I wanted to buy 1 aquatic plant. The price said $3 and there were 2 pots in the row labelled "Rotala Indica".

When I gave a $5 note, Gabriel said $5. I said the sign says $3. Strangely, he refused to look & insisted it's $5.

I pointed to the sign until he looked. He said it's the wrong plant, it should be the one above which costs $4 (Rotala Macrandra). But above, I saw it was an empty row, just the name of a plant.

If it belonged in the upper tank, why was the plant in the lower tank priced at $3? If it was really a mistake, why didn't they move the plant into the right tank? To this day, the remaining pot of plant is still in the same $3 row.

I was dissatisfied & returned the next day to copy down the scientific names of the $3, $4 & $5 plants & returned home to check online for their photos. It seemed that the plant I chose is Rotala Macrandra (Variegated) & should belong in the upper tank at $4.

It is possible he had mistaken it for the $5 Ludwigia repens "Rubin" (as they look rather alike when bagged).  So, I gave him the benefit of the doubt. However, it was strange that he firmly insisted it was $5 even without looking or checking. Suspiciously, he appeared to be purposely not wanting to look until I insisted. And when he finally looked, said that it was $4.

Just because he saw I held a $5 note in my hand, he wanted it all.  In any case, a $3 labelled plant now became $4.

Successful deceit & con:      Sun 12  5.12 pm

I chose 2 shrimps at $5 each ($10) + 4 Vietnam bee shrimps.

I saw the handwritten note in blue pen below the Vietnam Bee shrimps tank "$3.00 XL/L" & asked Eugene about it. He said he already told Gabriel not to price it like this but that guy wouldn't listen. I said if you guys price it like this, you'll be the only shop to do so. Every shop sets 1 price for a tank of shrimps. Nobody sets a price by size.

Eugene agreed & said he'll just charge me $2 for each.

I chose 4 Vietnam Bee shrimps. Therefore, the total price for the 6 shrimps should be $18.

But at that moment, Gabriel entered the shop. When I was done choosing & asked how much, he said it was $22 (meaning $3 each for the Vietnam Bee shrimp).

I said it's $2x4 Vietnam Bee + $10 for the 2 other shrimps = $18. Eugene who was standing beside him, said to him in Chinese, "I already said you can't do this.".

Gabriel looked unhappy, but told me "$18". I said I will go to withdraw from the nearby ATM (since they don't have NETs).

Just 2 mins later when I returned & handed Gabriel 2 red notes ($20), he said it's $20 if I chose another shrimp. I knew he had overridden Eugene's opinion & had improvised in my absence.

Having agreed on the price of $18, now he's saying it's $20. Just because he saw 2 red notes, he wanted all of it. And despite knowing that I was in a hurry to go & a male customer was choosing from the same small tank, he wanted me to get another shrimp.

When I said I didn't want to spend time choosing another as I was in a hurry, he said, "Are you sure? It's $10 for 5. Only for today. I'll be increasing the price.". What a fraud. 2 minutes ago, he had agreed on the price that Eugene promised me. Now he improvises within 2 minutes. Meanwhile, Eugene was silently attending to a tank, his back facing us with nothing to say.

When I was sure I didn't want anymore shrimps, he said, "Then it'll be $20.". I said, "It's $18, right?". He gave a stinking look & said, "It's $10 for 5." (referring to the Vietnam Bee shrimps).

Unfortunately, as I had handed him the $20, I couldn't walk out. I went to get another shrimp.

Where there should have been $2 change ($18 versus $20), there was now none.

Anyone would have insisted that he honour Eugene's promise of $2 per Vietnam Bee shrimp. From his own agreed price of $18, it became $20 just after I returned from the ATM. (Earlier, it was even $22).

How can this be called an honest business? For the sake of 2 extra dollars, they do this to a regular customer.

Gabriel wanted to price the shrimps to the utmost advantage by charging by size. So, supposedly smaller ones would be $2 each, XL/L would be $3 each. However, this is not how it's normally done in other shops. Knowing this, Eugene said he would charge only $2 each. This price was promised me.

However, Gabriel couldn't accept this. The only way he can accept it, is if he cooks up an impromptu "discount" to make it $2 each. (But "only for today"). If I reject, he would earn an extra dollar each (each would then be $3 as he wanted).

I would say his "only for today" is a lie. As there was only the male customer & myself in the shop, the "discount" would apply only to us. After we leave, the price would increase & nobody would know.

I didn't want to argue with him. Since he wanted the extra $2 so much, fine, take it.   He sounded so pleased that he won.

What a stupid man.

[Compared to Aquatic Avenue's meanness & dishonesty, Polyart uncle at C328 was so nice and generous. When I chose 1 shrimp with eggs for $6, he told me there were baby shrimps in the same tank and caught them for me as well. For $6, I got 1 shrimp with eggs and 6 baby shrimps. Wow.]