Perfectly Imperfect

The goal is not to be perfect; the goal is to be accepted for the imperfections.

Shopping Guide to Buy on Taoba, Tmall, dangdang | via Peeka!sg

I had used Cortry herbal masks when the Chinese brand launched the masks exclusively at Watsons Singapore. Unlike the regular masks, the herbal masks really smell herbal – consider this a warning if you hate Chinese herbs; the upgraded version is less herbal though – and the mask sheet is made of cotton sheet soaked in herbal water. It is really not the sticky essence type, it’s really just watery. (review on the masks coming up on next post!)

I liked it a lot, but I had not been out for too long, and hadn’t the time to care for my skin, until recently.

I went to Watsons in search for the masks only to find that it’s out of Singapore’s market!

I hunted down the manufacturer and they have an online flagship store on TMall.com. Be warned again, if you are like me, can read and understand Chinese, but has gone rusty with the language, the website can be overwhelming for the brain. It’s like a re-learning curve, and since we are not trained to understand the technical terms in Chinese, it can be straining.

Most Chinese websites like Taobao.com and *TMall.com do not ship outside China. This is when the forwarding agent comes into play!

*TMall is similar to Taobao, but it has a more stringent procedure in accepting merchants and products. They explained that Tmall (aka 天猫 – Heaven Cat) is picky (as all cats do) on products, merchants and quality. Taobao is like ebay or Qoo10, whereby individuals can register as sellers. TMall requires official brand certification, company, tax and other official documents to be submitted before being approved as merchant (3 classifications, requiring different sets of supporting documents). Personally, I would buy on TMall for security against fraud and counterfeit products. 

I was determined to get the masks, so I tried Peeka!sg (buy4u.peeka.sg). I can’t compare if this is a better service since I have not used another agent, but I am a satisfied customer.

Go through the images and read the caption for step-by-step photo guide; or the worded version here:

Step 1: Login/Register at Peeka!sg

Step 2: Open a new tab/window. Go to the Chinese shopping website – I shopped at Tmall.com

Step 3: Search for the products – tricky, because you have to search using Chinese. Say, Cortry won’t show in result, must use their Chinese name 可采. Alternatively, you may browse through the website by categories.

Step 4: On Peeka!sg page. Select My Orders -> New Order. Select the shipping method (view their shipping rates before deciding) Basically the economy takes longer and incurs 7% GST regardless of total value; express is faster (courier), and incurs 7% GST only if your order exceeds S$400 (shipping inclusive)

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Step 5: Copy and paste the url of the product you want to buy into box on Peeka!sg add product box (Read the MUST READ notice if you are new to this) Click ‘next’.

Step 6: The system starts to fetch the data of the product. Unless it’s free shipping everywhere, an error message may pop up to remind you to enter the shipping manually.

Step 7: Go back to the product page on Tmall, on shipping, select the Guangdong, then Shenzhen (where Peeka!sg collection center is), check on the shipping rate. Enter this rate (in my case, RMB6) to the box if buying only this time from this vendor.

Step 8: Note, most vendors offer free domestic (within China) for orders above certain value, so if you are going to meet the requirement, 1. enter 0 as shipping on Peeka!sg, and copy/paste the promotion notice (sometimes it’s free gifts etc) into the ‘remarks’ on Peeka!sg order page.

Step 9: IMPORTANT! Paste the promotion notice from Tmall product page, to this box, so that Peeka!sg knows what to expect. For example, some vendors offer free gifts, Peeka!sg might not be aware/notice that, but if you stated that in the comment box, the collection center will look out for the item and match accordingly.

Step 10: After the item is successfully added, you will see the breakdown of the fees – except for shipping. Economy shipping will incur a 7% GST; express incurs the GST only if you exceed S$400 (inclusive of shipping)

Step 11: Continue to add/edit your order.

Step 12: The items will continue to show in the order page and the total recalculated.

Step 13: If you want to find out the shipping estimate before confirming the order (don’t use the ‘estimate shipping charges, it’s useless unless you know the dimension or weight) I sent a message in the order, to ask for an estimate.

Step 14: Peeka!sg staff responded very promptly with the estimate.

Step 15: Once satisfied, simply make payment for the deposit, and follow the instruction to notify Peeka!sg of the payment. The rest is just wait and action. You will be notified every step of the way. I placed the order on 16 Jul, and received the order on 11 Aug. The time frame is considered reasonable, since I have opted for economy.

Step 16: I paid S$66.02 for 1 pack of cortry classic mask (16pcs) + oil control mask pack (7pcs + 1 eye mask) + summer mask pack (7pcs + 1 eye mask) + free gift of 4 classic mask and sample size toner

*Also, you can always buy from different websites, and vendors and just add the order into the same page. The collection center will wait for all the orders to arrive, then advise for final payment.

 

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