Sunday, 22 November 2015

Man Seeing Girlfriend Off at Japan Train Station 日本の鉄道駅の眺め (ガールフレンドを見て男性が電車の中で残します。)

This guy saw his girlfriend to the train. She gave a pat on the base his back before she got on the train. Clearly there is love. Yet they never kissed. If they were Caucasians, they would kiss horridly in public. Not in Japan.

The train captain was standing some distance away, waiting for the last passengers. They were the last.

It seems to be a regular "boyfriend-seeing-girlfriend-to-the-train" scene. But it does not seem so. Could be she is leaving for some place. He stood outside & kept talking to her while she stood at the train door.

When the train captain looked out the window & waved for him to stand clear, he reverently stepped back, back & back all the way to the pillar. Well beyond the yellow line & looked down at the floor.

As the train started moving off, he waved & even leaped with a leg out.  He kept waving even as the train went out of sight.

Even when the train was gone, he stood there. Strange.  Is he crazy?

He stands there looking reluctant, despondent. Then he turns & starts walking towards the camera direction, his face looking as if not knowing what to do. As if he should do something.

He's quite a tall man. Well, I wonder if he really loves her that much. 

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Dirty Bitter Watermelons @ Meidi-ya Supermarket Liang Court SG ダーティ苦いスイカ シンガポール明治屋

Even after 2 years, the management is still poor, negligent & sloppy.  Sloppy management, sloppy staff.

明治屋で購入することが良いもの。」、聞かないでください。問う: 明治屋で購入しても安全とは何でしょうか?

Today 21 Nov 2.20 p.m.. 1 bought a quarter slice cut watermelon.  Even the shelf in their fridge is dirty. The staff didn't even bother to clean. The amount scum and dirt on the watermelon racks. Wow. As you choose the watermelons, the accumulated layers of scum falls off the racks.

Some of the watermelons were wrapped with black bits of dirt on the watermelon flesh. I don't know what that dirt is.  Unclean knife? Dirt from where?

I chose one without dirt. $3.60.

When I came home, discovered the watermelon was bitter. As if the knife had previously cut bitter gourd. However, the supermarket does not sell cut bitter gourd. So where does the bitter taste come from?

I purchased watermelon from the same section just a few days ago & there was no bitter taste. It was not sweet, but not bitter. The supermarket sells poor tasting watermelons.

This time, I had to throw away the watermelon because I don't know what the heck is wrong with it. Why is it bitter?

Meidi-ya has increased the number of products it sells, but even the way they stack them is sloppy. The whole place has a sloppy appearance.  It just keeps looking worse.

In 2013, I reported on the spoiled chicken breast & sour-smelling salmon. Twice, the "fresh" salmon slab had a sour-smell. Once the "fresh" chicken breast smelled sour.  I should have reported to NEA.

Recently, they sold expired potato chips & other food that I discovered on their shelves.

Today, their expensive quarter slices of watermelon have a "special" bitter taste with dirty black bits.  At $3.60 per quarter cut, and 60 cents more, the price can buy a whole watermelon.

To think at $3.60, they can't even cut a nice, clean watermelon? Bad.

First, their meat & fish are spoiled. Now their watermelons have problem. Don't ask, "What is good to buy at Meidi-ya.".  Ask: What is safe to buy at Meidi-ya?

Saturday, 14 November 2015

常に、日本のあなたを見て私を許して。Forgive me For Always Watching You, Japan.

When I miss Japan too much, I become a voyeur. Watching from afar.  私はあまり日本見たいとき、私は盗撮になります。遠くから見て長距離視聴のために、あなたに日本に感謝

Japan has very sexy & handsome train captains. They are tall. Their uniform is very stylish & impressive. Sexy captain's hat. 彼らは背が高いです日本は非常にセクシーとハンサムな列車のキャプテンを持っています。彼らの均一な、非常にスタイリッシュで印象的です, そしてセクシー船長の帽子私は大好きです。


Raining. Not yet snow. Autumn. Winter is coming. Days have become very short.
雨が降りますまだ雪 秋。冬が来ています。日は非常に短くなってきています

3:37p.m. Singapore time (4.37p.m. Japan time Sat Nov 14 2015). Sky is beautiful cold, light blue. 

3:53 p.m.  Singapore time (almost 5 p.m. Japan time Sat 14 Nov 2015).  Notice the sky turns dark very fast within a few minutes.  

Handsome train captain with his hat on right side. He was doing leg exercises. Bending his legs & straightening while waiting for the train to come. In Japan, train captains wait for their train to arrive, wait for passengers to board, blow their whistle, then they board & go with the train. Unlike bus & train captains in Singapore, Japanese train captains take pride in their trains & their job.]


4.10p.m. Singapore time (5.10 p.m. Japan time Sat 14 Nov 2015). Sky has become dark. Night. Train captain waiting for last passengers. Sexy man. Who is he?  

[4.10p.m.シンガポール時間(5.10午後日本時間土曜2015年11月14日)。空が暗くなってきています夜。最後の乗客を待っている列車のキャプテン。セクシーな男。 彼は誰?]


Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Can Carousell SG Be Used To Do Business (To make Money/Profit)?

Update 10.46am Sat 5 Aug 2017:  After so long, my conclusion is the same.

Carousell buyers make very bad buyers.  One word: Price.

It has nothing to do with whether you've "in stock" or "pre-order". Don't be fooled into thinking that you must have stock. I've tested it often enough.

Even if you've stock, but the price is high, they will not buy. But if you have pre-order & the price is low, they will buy, they will wait & they don't even care if it's authentic so long as it's of reasonable quality.

Somehow, Carousell buyers know at what point you will not make profit. They will buy only when the price is so low that you can't make much profit if any. They want cost price. At the same time, they are themselves not smart enough to source for the products.  Carousell buyers are stinks like that.

The stock you have will sell eventually. But if what you want is daily sales, you will need to suffer losses, be willing to earn less per item. And if it's less profit per item (like $8 per piece), then you better make sure it's bulk sales. A lot of sales to make a profitable amount at the end of the month. And the traffic at Carousell is a desert.

One example: I had a rack that due to the damn weight, had a high shipping cost. A buyer had ordered & paid but when the shipping cost was known after I ordered it for him, I realized I made a small loss.  If he got it, he would be getting it even cheaper than if he had ordered it himself.

It was a disaster for me.

When it arrived, I still agreed to let him collect it because after all, it was my mistake at under-estimating the shipping cost. However, in his stupidity, he failed to see me to collect. And even wanted to schedule another meet up outside of convenient location even knowing it was too heavy for me to carry around. Inconsiderate, crazy man.

So, I refunded his money & listed it for sale. I would rather make even a little profit from this item than make a loss.

The item itself was cheap. The total price ended up high. I couldn't price it any higher. After shifting the price around, I decided to see if it could get out of my hands for just $15 profit.  Took 2 weeks when a buyer finally sent message to buy.  2 weeks for a very popular rack (based on number of likes).

And when he collected, he even wanted to further cut the price by $5.

This is what I mean by Carousell buyers being very bad buyers.

Of course, I told him "no". I really hate it when buyers suddenly ask for price reduction at meet up. Very dishonourable. We agreed to deal at the listed price.  So, don't waste time negotiating on meet up. I was mentally willing to haul back the heavy item if he didn't want to pay the original price that we agreed on.  It would be a pain hauling it back but I would rather not sell to him if I have to cut my little profit even more.  If I sold it to him, it meant I'm doing everything for free. No.

He bought it.  After all that shit, I made just $15.  Very poor item to sell despite the number of likes.


No.   (update here:

I've been there for 2 weeks or so. Looking around, initial impression was good. It's as if all the flea markets in Singapore have consolidated onto this 1 spot. All the stuff never seen before & more. Fascinating & quite impressive what some sellers are selling. Vintage stuff & stuff that people have bought from their travels that you can't get in shops here.

But as many sellers' blogs have said, the problem is not the platform. It's the users (buyers). Also, one website listed 3 flaws why Carousell cannot be used to do business.

The university guys who came up with this idea are smart enough to leave it as free & easy as possible. Maybe everyone should have a university degree before being hired. This level of intelligence for this level of Laissez-faire thinking that is rare in Singapore & which I like.

The only flaws in their system is just technical & can be fixed in an instant. I can recommend at least 2 fixes. However, shitty, immature, unreasonable, spoilt, stupid & insane buyers cannot be fixed.

Based on the reports, the majority of the buyers are youngsters. Youngsters mean little spending power with little maturity, no experience in online purchasing & irresponsible.

From the sellers' profile descriptions & items, I would add that the sellers themselves are also inexperienced youngsters.

Traffic is however good & alive. Better than Ebay SG which is quite dead.

I wanted to find out: Are there any buyers at all?

Yes. Buyers with no money. Buyers stingy with their money. [Update 9 Dec Wed: Carousell needs to attract buyers with spending power. ]

[Update 10 Dec Thurs: It's been more than a month. I still haven't seen my first $50 profit from a single item or even multiple items. ]

#1  "Likes" is useless. 

Easily, I had placed more than 100 new items that require ordering as well as used in-stock. I know these items are popular & attractive because they have received many "likes". However, "likes" does not equate to sale/money.

"Likes" however, may seem to indicate level of interest from potential buyers for an item. It may seem to say that people are interested but price is too high to buy. It can cause a seller to lower the price until someone actually buys. But considering the type of buyers on Carousell, the price will then become too low to sell profitably.

(Update Friday 20 Nov) In just this morning between 2a.m. to 10.30a.m.., I had 35 "likes" (the most I ever got) from 11 persons for different items in my listing & not a single one bought a single thing. Zero interest in zero messages.

(Update 30 Dec Wed) I just discovered that "likes" is not entirely useless. It is actually bumping up posts. So items get seen rather than buried. Therefore, "likes" is actually important.

#2  I've noticed majority of the buyers do not have the courtesy of starting with a "Hi". This is not just about a word, but reflects the person's attitude & mindset.

When speaking to someone for the first time, is it not natural to address the person with a "Hi"? Even in physical (offline) situations, we start with "Excuse me" or "Hi".

It is worse when the person starts without a "Hi", without capitalizing the first word, misspell words & ask questions that lack common sense. I recommend dropping this order if this person were to try to purchase something.

Saying "Hi" is a social interaction etiquette.  If a person ignores this etiquette, be prepared the transaction may not be smooth.

Buyers, if you don't say "Hi" first thing, don't expect any politeness or smiles from me. I will treat you with suspicion & caution & suspect you are a nutcase.

#3 Quite a number of foreigners & Malays. Little spending power.

I just received a message from a foreigner woman who asked 2 questions that have already been answered in the item title & item description. Can't read? If she can't read, how is she going to read my reply message?

Not just her. There are also young Singaporean guys who ask stupid questions even when information is stated in the item title. What is wrong with them?

Turns out the review reports of such people are true.  Not an exaggeration. How do such people live? How come natural selection didn't kill them off?

#4  Messages are precious because they don't come by often.  These days (25 Nov Wed), when I see a red "1" symbol on my message icon at a glance, I thought I am hallucinating.  Look properly & I see that yes, there really is a message waiting there.

Unfortunately, it's from someone stupid every time.  It's very annoying & I start to get quite fed up.  Although it's hard not to tell the person off,  I have to tell the person that the information is already stated.  Indirectly telling the person that he/she didn't read.

I don't need the money from such stupid people.  Why do these people even bother sending a message?  Such persons who don't read, it's better they don't buy. Otherwise, will cause problems later.

Sometimes I wonder. Maybe there's something wrong with the Carousell app? Maybe the item description don't show up?  Maybe the item title is cut off after certain number of words on the phone? Maybe the app only shows the first photo?

Maybe this, maybe that. Maybe they are just stupid.

Messages are of 3 types: a) asking for price reduction. b) Low offer made without even knowing market prices. c) asking for information already provided in the listing.  Rarely message is about purchase at listed price.  Out of 10 messages, 2 from genuine buyers who purchase easily without any of the above shit.

#5  What can you sell?

Fashion? Adult Clothes? Kids' Clothes? Sunglasses? Shoes? Toys? Decorative? Gadgets?

The key is to make money. No point selling something for peanuts. Not worth the time & effort.

Looking for items to sell & posting them up is very time-consuming. Delivering or mailing the item is also tedious & time-consuming.

After doing some checking on what is popular & what buyers ask for, I have selected items accordingly. Prices are reasonable & affordable. If these items were sold in any of the malls/supermarkets, people will buy.

However on Carousell, potential buyers offer very unrealistically low prices. This point was mentioned in the review site as one of the flaws for sellers.

The items I selected for sale are not available in Singapore. Moreover,  my prices are lower than what's available on the market. Even if the malls had these items, it would be much higher than what I offer. Yet Carousell buyers ask for lower price. Very strange. 

#6  Buyers don't know what is a reasonable discount. Buyer, put yourself in the seller's shoes. Will you cut $50? Isn't that too much? All your prices have been calculated to factor in shipping costs etc.. As a buyer, you cannot take $50 off from a selling price of $100+.

Even if you walk into a physical shop, the seller will not cut $50 because it's too much. At most, a buyer can ask for $20 discount. And maybe the seller might consider.

Also, in any shopping mall, unless there is a sale going on, there is no way buyers can get a discount. So don't make it a habit of cutting $50 or more off a selling price on Carousell just because it isn't a mall.

(Update 26 Nov Thurs) I just received message from a buyer who offered to cut $140 off my listed price. No "hi", no nothing.  How "nice" of such sellers to cut a seller's price to whatever value they think an item should cost.

I  deleted his "offer".  This is a very, very, poor buyer. I can profile him as a young fellow who don't even know market prices & what shops are selling.  His price that he "offered" isn't even enough to ship the item into Singapore.

#7  How much money can you make?

One female blogger foolishly said it was commendable her boyfriend "made" more than $100 selling his junk in the house. That is not making money. That is a loss.

Making money = making profit. If you bought a shirt for $30 but sell it for $12.90. That is a loss of $17.10.  What people are doing when selling their things below value is making an "exchange". Not making money.

Looking at seller's profiles, I see that even the best isn't making money. For instance, a toy seller prices his/her items at $12.90 each. Sold 300 items in 2 years since joining Carousell. Assuming he/she is able to make even a $5 profit on each item, he has made just $750/year. That is very poor sales.

Not only that, he keeps stock of the items. To clear it, price has to be lowered even further. Even if he had ordered the items in bulk (which is even worse), difference between cost price & his low selling price is too small.  Unless, he got the stock for free. Even so, $12.90 full profit is still low for the number items he has sold.  Some items are even sold for less.

It seems more of getting rid of the stock, rather than making a profit.

The sellers are not making profit or making only very little. Majority of sellers manage to sell only a few items in a whole year at too low prices.

I found 1 person who sold 722 items in 22 months. Unfortunately, she/he prices each item at just $14.50 with postage.  If the person can even make $5/item, this cheap strategy makes only $164/month. Normal Singapore post alone will cost $1.15 for such items. So the selling price of $14.50 is reduced to $13.35. Further reduced if paying for shipping into Singapore. Even if made in Singapore, there is still a cost price.  Question is, how low can the cost price be?

Also, the type of item & the price appeal to youngsters who have little disposable income. 722 items sold implies that there are this many youngsters on Carousell. 

#8  Every seller lists terms & conditions of sale that I feel are unnecessary & amateurish. However, this also reflects on the immaturity & inexperience of the buyers who require such terms & conditions to be listed.

I've done online buying & selling as a business for enough time to be tired of it. Many aspects I have learnt and accepted as part of the process. I've even had to train people online to do the things that are necessary for a partnership across countries. You don't know the amount of patience required for this.

However, Carousell sellers & buyers seem to be so new at selling & buying that they have to list everything & complain about everything.

In ordering a product, there is always the possibility of unforeseen delays. Successful business transactions is mostly based on trust. I have done deals & partnerships with people I've never met & established trust on both sides for years. It's simply a matter of procedures.

As long as a product is delivered to you in a reasonable amount of time, that is good enough. Even when ordering something yourself, you will also encounter unexpected delays.

#9  During this time, I've only sold 1 used item for below purchase price. However, the buyer didn't leave a review. That's fine.

Frankly, I don't really care for buyers leaving reviews. As long as they are good buyers & I know I am a good seller, transaction goes through smoothly, that's fine. After all, what I want is sale & profit.  Reviews are double-edged swords that I don't need.

Second sale has led to this post being typed now. This guy started out without a "Hi". He couldn't spell & asked questions that showed a lack of common sense. Now he turns round demanding his money back.

Frankly, I don't care if he leaves a negative review. As I said, I'm tired. He on the other hand has the energy of his madness.

I suspect he wants his money back because he suddenly found himself in need of cash. Since the item has not yet been delivered to him, he used it as an excuse to demand a refund. He is just making noise for the sake of making noise.

It's possible he is only 12 years old because he doesn't even know how long normal SG mail takes or what ordering a product means. He said he has made many purchases before (From where? Supermarkets?). I doubt he has even once purchased from overseas.

The third sale, is still in process & hope it will not be a repeat of the 2nd.

At the same time, I have no intention or desire to list terms & conditions in my profile.

(Update 25 Nov Wed):  During this 1 month, I sold only 4 items.  2 positive reviews.  First sale buyer didn't leave a review because she didn't make an offer.

And that horrible buyer who didn't dare leave a review because he knows I'll shoot him with very good reasons on his page. He wants a pristine record, so do I. Even though I sent the item to him beautifully, he didn't even say thanks. Just kept complaining about nothing.  I made only less than $10 off him (a mistake due to unexpectedly high shipping from item packaging). That shit head.  He don't deserve such a beautiful item.

#10  People tend to blame the seller when reading negative reviews on Carousell. But I think buyers there are at fault.

Ebay SG is quite dead with regards to the traffic, but at least the buyers are more mature when I do manage to sell something to them. There are of course also immature youngsters on Ebay SG, but they are only just rude with offering low prices.  On Carousell, they aren't just rude with low offers, they go crazy on you after purchase.

So between Ebay & Carousell, I would prefer the former for peace of mind. But again, Ebay SG is really quite dead. No views of the items.

#11  Does having thousands of "Followers" & "Following" make any difference to sales? No.

Followers means people who are following your page. Following means you have followed other people's pages.  

From my observations of sellers, some sellers still make more than 100 sales/feedback even with zero "following". They do however, have thousands of followers. It just means people like the seller's products.

Having thousands of "followers" & "following" does not equate to sales.

I have also found that people can "un" follow your page, from the drop in the "followers" number. Clearly, these people had "followed" my page expecting me to follow theirs. They then realized I wasn't following their page & then "un" followed mine. This shows how petty they are. No sense at all.

There is no correlation between sales & having many "followers" &/or "following". These 2 things might serve to direct customers to your page but because there are so many "followers" & "following" in other people's pages, the chances of people clicking on your profile icon is slim to non-existent.

"Followers" & "following" become just decorations. Meaningless in terms of actual sales. Just like the "likes".

#12 After monitoring the site everyday, I found that Carousell is alive only for 2 to 3 hours at night. From 9 to 11 p.m. on weekdays.  This is when traffic peaks, "activity" peaks, number of "likes" peaks & people send messages about items they are interested in. This is also when Carousell jams up & takes a long time to load.

The site is not maintained.  And there is no improvement.

What did the university guys (who built this thing) did with the investors' US$6 million? US$6 mil is a lot of tempting money.

Morning to evening, there isn't anything except maybe a few "likes".  After midnight or even before midnight, traffic stops suddenly & completely. Zero activity.

On weekends, zero traffic the whole day.

This is not the way for generating money. Not going to be rich this way.

Basically,  Carousell is quite useless.

#13  Scam? What scam?  Stupid & greedy people are scammed everywhere, not just on Carousell.

I don't know how people can get scammed on Carousell.  Just so boring & simple transactions full of the same boring procedures. How can you possibly get scammed?

(Update 3 Dec Thurs): Even when item measurements are in the photos, buyers still ask for dimensions/size.  There are only 3 or 4 photos for heaven's sake. How can they miss such big photos with such clear measurements shown??? You tell me how can such stupid people not get scammed?  It would be amazing if they don't get scammed.

#14   I suspect Carousell used to have a heyday back when it first started. But now that heyday has passed. A lot of sellers who started in 2014 had pretty good sales (based on number of reviews) that seem to have stopped.

#15 Update 11 Dec Fri:  Not only do I have to put up with stingy people, I have to put up with nutcases too. They sign up under different accounts. One of them always starts with, "I'm interested!".  Just 1 message.

When asked to make payment, he disappears.  Oddly, he has positive buyer feedback for 2 accounts (zero feedback for another 3 accounts).  One of his account even has a profile photo.

The first time was suspicious. Second time, I guessed it could be the same person, but played along. 3rd time, I knew it was the same person but still played along.  Boring nutcase.  Tonight he sent another "I'm interested!". I deleted it without bothering to reply. Waste of time.

Another nutcase is a foreigner with bad English & bad manners.  He also sent a meaningless message tonight with just 1 word. "There".

"There" what? Goddamn nutcase.