For the first time in my life, I tried buying CDs from an online source instead of over the shelf at Music CD shops in Singapore. The reason is simple, and one of practicality. Japanese singer’s CDs are quite rare in Singapore if they are not very famous. At different HMVs in Singapore, I find only a limited number of CDs by the singer that I wanted, and the CDs are expensive. Around 10 tracks for $84? When normal Mandarin CDs cost $19 for 10 tracks!
So I went to search online about the different sites that I can use to buy CDs, and I stumbled upon YesAsia, which offered free shipping if I met the criteria. If I remember correctly, if I spend more than USD$39, then they will provide free shipping. Buying the two CDs would definitely be over USD$39, hence I was entitled to free shipping.
Anyway the two CDs that I bought can be seen below:
The “Best of Ueto Aya” cd is a compilation cd of her four earlier CDs, and I guess it would make sense to buy the compilation since it is the best songs that make it into the CD.
The “Happy Magic: Smile Project” is her latest album in 2009, and was not in the compilation because the compilation cd was in 2006. So I got both the compilation and the latest album as an early birthday present to myself.
Ok, excitement about the CD aside, I shall narrate my experience so that people know what happened when I bought my cds.
I went to YesAsia and added both items to my cart. That was on Feb 7. They told me the expected ship out date was 13th. A few days later, the ship out date was changed to the 15th due to the fact that they are unable to get authorization from my debit card company. That was fine by me. They said their items would ship in 7 days, so 15 sounds like a great timing.
On Feb 17, that’s 2 days after the expected ship out date, YesAsia emailed me to tell me that the “Best of Ueto Aya” cd is not available from any of their suppliers and I had two options. The first is to cancel the cd and let the remaining items ship. The second is to wait another 5 days to see if they could get the source, failing which they will ship the remaining items to me.
Hence the next few days saw an exchange of emails asking if the free shipping would still be on. Naturally I would want to get both cds, but now I had to find another source for my compilation cd! And what about shipping costs? I was unhappy because I feared that if I bought a single cd elsewhere I would be charged for shipping.
Luckily, YesAsia does not charge me for shipping because I had met the criteria originally and it was their mistake that resulted in me not being able to get my cd. Hence I immediately cancelled the compilation cd on Feb 18. On the same day, I went to PlayAsia, and to my delight, they had the compilation cd, and even the edition with the DVDs. And they know the quantity that they have. They have only 4 more, and so I bought it. Especially after knowing that the requirement for my purchase to have free shipping was if my bill was above USD$10, which it already was. Plus it ships in 24 hours.
On Feb 19, I received an email from PlayAsia saying that my cd was shipped. Wow. Fast. I love it. On Feb 19, I received an email from YesAsia confirming my cancellation of the compilation cd. Only on Feb 22 did my CD ship. I had bought the CD from YesAsia 11 days earlier than PlayAsia and PlayAsia actually shipped first.
Last Friday, 26th Feb, I received my compilation cd at home. I only received my “Happy Magic” cd today on 2nd February. I am quite happy to have them with me, but this experience had told me that perhaps it would be wiser to buy from PlayAsia in the future. They even gave me a coupon code if I wanted to buy USD$50 worth of items before the 18th of April. If anyone needs that coupon code, I would be happy to give it to you.
Anyway, PlayAsia’s cd came in the small box, and the cd was inside the bubble thingie. It’s the plastic where you have many bubbles and its nice to pop them? The CD is inside one bubble thingie, and the whole thing was inside a small box. Nice and compact.
YesAsia’s cd came in a big envelope. The envelope is already lined with the bubble thingie inside, and they used two more bubble thingies (ok this is getting irritating..lol) to cushion the CD. Well, my CD got the royal treatment, but I guess it was unnecessary. I got this Haruhi keychain thingie since I was originally purchasing two CDs from YesAsia. They still gave it to me even though I only paid for one in the end.
Anyway, I’m very happy with my purchase even though it took almost a month for the original order to arrive at my mailbox. I think I saved at least S$60 buying the cds online. PlayAsia really made my experience enjoyable. However please do not expect such service. The CD I bought was under the “Ships in 24 hours” status whilst the others are mainly “Ships in 5 – 7” days. But I guess you can expect them to have the stock when they allow you to add it to the cart. I saw that the Hong Kong version of the compilation cd (No DVD) was out of print. Yes, they actually write it on the website.
Guess what version I bought? If you know me well, yes, I got the Japanese version. Might as well right? It’s my first two Japanese songs CD and they are both Japan versions. 😀
Am too happy now. I listened to the compilation many times already, and it’s great. There are 18 songs inside compared to 11 for the “Happy Magic” cd. The songs are great and I love them. It is quite rare for me to love all the songs in the CD when I start to listen. Usually I will only start liking songs once I have heard them for a few times.
I’m not opening the second cd till a few days later. Maybe on Thursday. 🙂 Think I will enjoy it too.
Happy birthday to me. Too early though. It’s in June and its only March now. 3 months and 5 days early!