Confession of a shopaholic

So here’s my confession as a shopaholic who try to write a blog:

1. blogging about my shopaholic activity,thought and tips is not as easy as swapping my credit card

Yes, now i give all of my respect to bloggers who consistently write on their blog and come with original idea. seriously, for me, to come up with a fresh idea about something to write is not easy. To review some new stuff is also a hard task for me as my review can be biased with my own personal opinion, not to forget that finding the new stuff itself is a challenge, i relied too much on other blogs. To blog frequently is really really a challenge for me, i don’t know why shopping is easy, but write about shopping is hard lol. and to maintain my blog to attract my niche audiences, i almost fail this one! so please accept my apology if you think i don’t deserve to call myself a shopaholic since my blog is so awful and don’t reflect a true shopaholic.

2. I did more crime than a serial shoplifter!

By this i mean…how many image theft i did before (with help of mr. Google)?how many illegal download i did before (again, mr. Google is my ‘personal buying assistance’ here)? how many intellectual property i stole before? i am definitely worse than a shoplifter!

3. receive a comment about my blog is like receiving a comment of whether  a dress is nice on me or not, some people are just lying about it (especially the shop assistant!)

most of my friends will say “it’s good” but i don’t know whether it’s good enough. and probably some other friends prefer to keep silence rather than commenting “it’s a total crap” because they don’t want to hurt my feeling.

4. there are people that should be paid as much as those fashion designers

web designer should! designing a template for a blog is certainly as difficult as designing new fashion outfit. and yet many of them create and share it for free (i don’t know if it’s really free or whether they get some money from somewhere else, but many of those nice templates are available for free, i am amazed). so i give all of my respect to those who are able to design a web, and especially to one whose template i use right now. thank you!

5. I may experience bankruptcy (worse than if you are on credit card debt) because of copyright infringement if i misuse people’s intellectual property.

6. finding shopaholics who want to read my blog is as difficult as trying to sell products to customers

i believe shopaholics are everywhere, but they may just not aware of my blog existence, my blog’s popularity is not that high thay it won’t appear on the first page of google finder when someone type ‘shopaholic blog’. I should keep fighting, in the era of long tail, everything could happen, right? i just need to find the right method to secure a place for my blog in this kind of ‘competition’.

7. I might have fallen in love with this blog and continue writing on it to share my experience with fellow shopaholics out there

so stay tune, i will be back, telling more of my shopaholic experience. Mid year sale is now coming, i’m ready to shop and will be back with lots and lots shopping bags and stories to share :P

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(my own list of) things to buy in winter

It’s June already!

time for seasonal buying… i can’t really decide whether i love it or not when the season changes and you feel that you need  to buy new things because last year’s winter stuffs is ‘outdated’.

so here’s my list of things to buy on winter 2010:

1. New nice coat

I originally lived in a tropical country where a coat is not needed (who wants to wear a thick coat in a humid 30 celcius day?). so when i moved to Melbourne 3 years ago, in July 2007, i  only brought some jackets. and i don’t know why, i love seeing people wear nice coats, i think i have a coat-fettish!lol so that’s why i reallyyyy want a new coat. in fact i seldom wear coat even when weather is freaking cold, the coat i bought last year was only worn about 3-4 times. here i show you the coat (brand: blessed are the meek), it’s still in really nice condition, and believe it or not, it was only $16! ( RRP $200) (don’t envy me, i found this one in a hidden factory outlet that not open for public, thank to my friend that worked there ;P)

$16 for blessed are the meek coat?yes it is!

2.Ugg boots and/or slippers

Ugg boots

to be honest, i don’t know whether i am suitable to wear ugg boots, some people wear them and didn’t look so nice on them. i might give them a try first since they are quite pricey and i will feel guilty if i buy them but not even wear them more than once. and as for slipper…i actually have a pair of cute and warm warner brothers’ tasmanian devil slippers ( i am a huge fan of Tazzie devil). but i still one the new one (remember, i am a bit shopaholic by nature, so one is not enough lol)

my cute fluffy tazzie slippers

3. electric blanket/ new portable heaters

Heater has already included as my apartment facilities, but the thing is…it consumes too much energy. hence i need the portable one with less energy consumption. or…an electric blanket (yeah yeah, i have a warm doona, just want to know how it feels using the electric one ;D )

4. leather gloves

again, i don’t know whether in the end i will even wear this or not. I’m going to have a 4-days vacation to tasmania this winter, and in my mind, it will be colder there so i need to keep myself warm.

5. DJ-style headphones

i want headphones because i’m not confidence enough to wear earmuffs, they makes me look like 15years old girl. so i don’t need the headphones for listening to the music (i prefer the original earphones from my apple iPod), but i need one to protect my ears from cold :D

Audio technica-ath fw3. source: itechnews.net

and the one i want is this cute button headphones from audio-technica brand (RRP $99) but i don’t know where to find it outside eBay (i’m afraid those on eBay will be fake!it’s only $24.99 on eBay!could you believe that?), may check electronics shop soon.

so there goes my list…how about yours?

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iPad Fever…Who’s in?

Finally, iPad has been launched in Australia this week… so June 2010 will be the month of  iPad frenzy! Electronic and gadget shops like JB Hi-Fi and  Dick Smith Electronics are now promoting iPad everywhere.

iPad is here!

Now let me give my personal review on iPad. I haven’t seen the actual iPad yet but been planning to see it tomorrow. but from many online reviews and from apple website itself, I found that iPad is actually a…. HUGE iPOD TOUCH!

Well, before you accuse me of being an Apple hater, let me explain my ‘history’ with Apple products. I’m not a mac user, but I’m not a mac/Apple hater as well (last week I just bought a 8GB iPod Touch to replace my iPod Nano 3rd gen, and i previously owned iPod shuffle 1st gen and iPod Nano 2nd gen as well. And I’m already planning to buy a macbook if I need to replace my current HP notebook).

It just…it just that iPad offers very limited features… For me, iPad can’t even be called a netbook yet (I remember that I promised myself to get a ‘mac netbook’ as soon as it’s available about a year ago. and I know iPad is not really categorized as netbook (more like an eBook reader, maybe? enemy of Kindle?? But with limited choices of Australian books, sadly…), but please, allow me to compare it with netbooks, as I don’t know what other product should be compared with iPad.

Honestly, after seeing what iPad offers…… a chance that I’ll grab this “mac netbook” now is about 0.01%… Yeah, I don’t think I’ll get one).

WHY?

Here’s my personal view about iPad (trying to be as objective as possible, even that I already told you that I’m not really impressed):

1. Design

The design is quite nice, lightweight and handy. 10Hours battery seems  nice. Touchscreen tech by apple is, as always, incredible (I own a tablet PC of another computer brand, and to be honest, my tablet PC’s touchscreen sensitivity is worse than my iPod touch). But, yet again, touchscreen is not everyone’s fave.  And one thing bothers me, we need to hold it all the time we use it if we don’t have a dock or iPad case, totally a let down for me….(that’s why, if you grab your iPad today, I strongly recommend to buy an iPad keyboard dock for A$89, so it will solve the problem for a ‘not touchscreen lover’ person, and an A$48 iPad case to protect and becomes a stand of your iPad).

iPad Keyboard Dock

iPad case

2. Features

What could I say? it’s 90% the same as an iPod touch! mail, youtube, safari, notes, maps, video, etc, are also the basic features of an iPod touch/iPhone. The only different features that iPad provide are an application to read eBook and iWork (again, I’m not a mac user, I don’t know what iWork does, I assume it’s like Microsoft Office. CMIIW, but I think not many people familiar with this iWork. And for the moment, we cannot install Microsoft Office on iPad, so how a ‘totally not tech savvy’ and ‘not a mac user’ like me will survive with iPad, I need something Windows!).

The only extra feature will be those ‘over 1000 applications specially designed only for iPad’ that Apple claims (together with 150,000 iPod touch applications) which means more entertainments and games are available.It’s quite a nice offer, I love game applications for iPod (if you haven’t tried playing Angry Bird or Doodle Jump, beware! They are addictive!),  so i assume the one for iPad will be nicer. But IMHO,  for gaming, I prefer smaller gadget like iPod touch, or Nintendo DSi or PSP, not a bulky 9.7inch iPad, it will torture my hand to hold it while I’m playing with it…well, again, you can disagree with me.

3. Overall value

With A$629 attached as its price for 16GB one (A$799 for 16GB with 3G tech), and A$ 1,048 for the 64GB with 3G…it’s not worth the money. The memory capacity is too small. and if you argue that ‘ I need a netbook’, trust me, you’d better grab a A$400-A$500 netbook from other brands (you can even have a nice brand new notebook with A$1,000!). One main reason to not buy an iPad for me:  AFAIK, iPad DOES NOT have USB 2.0 port, you can’t connect any of your external memory device. if you want an entertainment gadget, grab an iPod touch. And if you are an iPhone/iPod touch owner already (unless you are an Apple freak and MUST have every apple product,), you’d better spend your money on something else and wait until Apple releases 2nd/3rd generation of iPad which offers greater features and specs.

I agree it looks nice and you probably feel you are part of the ‘cool’ generation if you own iPad now, but from my experience, it’s always better to wait until the 2nd/3rd generation of Apple product comes out (remember iPhone 3G?iPod Nano?) because the product will be slightly improved. Well still, in the end, you are the one who decide.

To make my review unbiased, just watch this CNET review on iPad and hopefully you’ll find something interesting about iPad (yet, the guy also said that it looks like a huge iPod touch, so it’s not only me!lol)

So, iPad fever! Who’s in…?

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the (dis)satisfaction of online shopping

I am addicted to online shopping!

until now, i have bought online: several clothes, shoes, plush toy, books, CDs, small goods (accessories, sunnies, etc), birthday gifts for my friends who live interstate/abroad, even i bought my $1000 laptop, $500 camera and the latest one… iPod touch online.

without doubt, i am highly addicted to online shopping >.<

if you ask me the reason why i became addicted to online shopping, i don’t have any particular reason.

hang on, let me think for a sec… here’s my answer:

1. i have 24 hours internet connection at home

2. i have my debit mastercard with me (i hate using credit card for shopping since it gets me uncontrolled of my money)

3. i seldom have a chance to go out shopping

4. i can’t describe it, but there is something thrills me everytime i finally received the items that i bought online (this one is the one that makes me addicted!)

so, do i always love what i bought online? ermmm, not really. i often:

1. get pissed off because of the quality is not like what i expected, some items were extremely rubbish T.T

2. especially for clothes and shoes, they often don’t fit me well!

3. expected to get my item on a certain day because i want to use/wear it on an event, but then i got the item reaaallly late so i couldn’t use it on that day.

do these reason make me stop? NO

i admit i was often disappointed by my online shopping experience, but most of the time, i found real bargain from online shopping. For example, the laptop i bought for $1000 from an American seller was actually about $2000 in Australia. so i save 50% off the RRP! so does with my camera (i found it better to buy electronics from foreign country, i don’t know why, but electronics are much more expensive in Australia)

and my latest 8GB iPod touch! i bought it from Dick Smith Electronics website when they have 2-days special deals last month for iPod touch. so the RRP shown in Apple website for 8GB iPod touch is $268 (although you can get it cheaper from some electronics shop like JB Hi-Fi or Dick Smith), and i got it for…..$218 including free delivery and bonus wall charger and mobile charger! a real bargain!

$218 8GB iPod touch package-online deal only from Dick Smith

so here’s some tips from me (i hope it’ll help, i have bought things online since 2008):

1. if you are buying from eBay or similar sites, look at seller’s reputation and feedback, make sure other previous buyers didn’t have any hassle dealing with this seller. pay more attention on seller’s term and condition and any other policy such as refund and return policy.

2. beware of knock-off and fake products! especially if you buy things like electronics or designer’s handbags. Usually the seller will put more than 1 picture of the item, if it’s only one, and not from the actual product (so it might be taken from somewhere else) beware! for handbags, i found a forum which can help you authenticate and make sure the bag you are about to buy is genuine: The Purse Forum

Here’s a nice video about knock-off ipod:

3. As you pay online, make sure the web is secured (look at the web address, it should start with https instead of http), use paypal is better than exposing your credit card number online.

4. if you never purchased anything onnline before, try by buying some cheap item first before buying something expensive (who knows that your address is hard to find).

5. lastly, beware! online shopping may be addicted!

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Because….uh…because it’s nice!

(This one is gonna be my short post to fill this week blog entry, well i need to update my blog, right?)

so, my friend confessed, “i once bought a $1000 coat and i haven’t even worn it.” and i asked,”then why did you buy it?”, he answered,” because it’s really nice!and it’s Ralph Lauren!” (to the friend i cite here, high-five if you read this! *wink*)

sometimes we don’t need strong reason for why we bought something (or we try to ‘validate’ our action).

i can’t remember how many times i went home with one or more purchased item(s) that half of them i actually don’t need, don’t have confidence to wear, or don’t really fit me. and whenever i tried to remember the reason i bought it, the answer will always be:

1. because it looks nice (even that nice boots actually hurts your feet like hell)

2. because it’s heavily discounted and just one left!i need to buy it before someone else grab it

3. it’s a ‘must-have’ item this season (even if it makes me look fat!lol)

looking at my wardrobe, i find many outfits that i never have a chance to wear or just worn once because they actually don’t look good on me.

here is one of the example:

a gorgeous shocking pink mini dress that i bought last year. it still has the tag attached! the reason i haven’t worn it because pink isn;t really a color i would wear, and i was buying it just because it was 50% off. oh well….

look!pricetag still there!

Imagine if i weren’t buy them, i would have used my money on something more useful. oh well… can shopaholic fight against impulse buying?i don’t think so…

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choosing the ‘outfit’ of my blog is like choosing the right shoes

I was a little bit disappointed when knowing that i couldn’t use template other than the one provided by wordpress without upgrading the service. that means that i can only use limited choices of templates that provided by wordpress while i actually find a ‘cute’ shopping theme template available for free.

hence, i use this one. I’ve been changing my blog template and headers several times. i couldn’t decide which one i should use. It’s really like choosing the right shoes. New shoes always hurt my feet and finding perfect shoes is really difficult task, even for a shopaholic (well all of my friend usually have the same problem with shoes). no matter how cute they are, sometimes they just don’t fit!

some of my shoes collections, half of them hurt my feet!

So does choosing my blog design!

Like Alan Lui (2004: 206) said:

“Style is a transmission code, a means of signaling that a certain message is intended for specific audience.”

So choosing the right design for myy blog is important to connect to my audiences. The first hard task is choosing header! It was really a time consuming task for me. one of the reason is because I grow my awareness of copyrighted picture that makes me hesitated to use picture i found using google. I’ve just realized that most of the pictures i found on google are actually copyrighted and need license to use it , especially if the pictures were cartoons or digitalized image. We need to purchase the license, which worth from as cheap as around 10$ per year to more than 100$ per year (OMG! before this time, i just copied and pasted images i found on google the way i like even though i’ve read the word ‘picture may be subject to copyright. blame my ignorance!)

current image on the header that i’m using now is the one i found on google too, so i have to admit and acknowledge where i found it(before someone sue me). It’s featured in New York Times article about the  new Saks Avenue shopping bags ( the first time i saw the shopping bags, i wish i were in US so i could have one too!). and please note: no copyright infringement intended (want to know more about copyright and creative commons, click here )

The saks avenue shopping bags picture is chosen because it fits my blog theme. about shopping… the word ‘want it’ on the bag connected to my blog address ‘grabmeplease’. hence i use this one for now. I want the readers who visit my blog know right away that this blog is about shop, shopaholic, buying and anything related to consumer behavior. The colours also fit my black-and-white theme.

as for the layout, i am using two column themes with white background. the reason: I imagine this blog as ‘a shop’ and if i go shopping, i will prefer to enter a shop with enough lighting, bright and simple (hence the white background). and I choose two-column style because i don’t want ‘the shop’ will be too crowded with stuffs (so i don’t want my blog to be too crowded with many unnecessary details and i found three-column style too crowded). OK, call me cheesy, but that’s the only reason i really feel about my decision to use this current theme.

So for an illustration, here i also include a pic of a nice shop (again, i am using Google!). This is the role model of how my shop blog looks like.

Anteprima Plastiq shop interior design showcase at Festival Walk, Hong Kong

I would like to post many entries with plenty of pictures in it since it will be boring to read a blog with not enough picture, and again, my stupid and naive philosophy of  ‘my blog is a shop’, shop should have things to look at, we are buying things, we need to see it. so, you should expect at least one picture per blog post here.

Okay, that’s all about my blog design. i hope i won’t change my mind again or i need to re-write this post to explain the new design. I feel comfortable with my current shoes blog design right now. Adios!

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(re)introducing: Unuseless

I first heard of the unuseless inventions from my friend who takes product design management as her study. and i found it really funny and i think it’s worthy enough to share.

Unuseless (aka Chindogu) is the term for the intention first introduced in Japan. The term is for the stuff that is not useless, can be useful…but…can be pointless or become very ridiculous as well that no one will want to wear it wihout the fear of being laughed at. There is a book by Kenji Murakami: A  Big Bento Box of Unuseless Japanese Invention that explain more about these strange inventions

the first example (as you can see, it’s featured in the cover of chindogu book) is this noodle eater’s hair guard (picture). it’s very usefull to cover your hair when you are eating noodle. but will you wear this? personally, i will say ‘hell no!’ i will never wear something like this in front of the public (but it’s ok tho to wear this when no one is looking haha).

another one (well in fact, for this one, i want to have one, it’s handy and useful IMHO): butterstick

Having a baby? You can use your baby to clean the floor while s/he’s crawling all over your house.

and many more…if you are interesting you can buy the book i mentioned above.

so, even if these items are meaningless and in fact none (or very very few people) will use it for everyday use (even in Japan), Chindogu has influenced people to create invention and it also being an annual unuseless invention competition in MIT! check it out!

the winner of MIT unuseless competition

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