Getting crazy on Black Friday & Cyber Monday – Bargain hunting for upcoming sparring rounds
In general I am not a big shopper. I do the occasional shopping trips with the missus to update my wardrobe, usually roaming around department stores in Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay shopping district. I also love bargain hunting on trips to international destinations. Other than that, I don’t do much to stimulate the retail sector.
I am generally not too prone to impulse purchases, but if I get weak I mostly fall for (potentially) awesome Kickstarter projects. You can expect a blog on travelling hacks, once I receive my “BAUBAX travel hoodie,” the self-proclaimed best travel jacket in the world.
As a heavy Internet user I also have hard time escaping the pull of Internet shopping frenzies. How could you not get excited about Jack Ma’s Single Day on November 11? Seeing Alibaba moving their control center for the event to Beijing’s Olympic swimming center, ringing the bell of the New York Stock Exchange remotely definitely made my finger itch. Conveniently I was even in China on that day. However, Single Day is still largely a domestic Chinese activity; without decent command of the Chinese language, bargain hunting on Single Day remains relatively difficult. I was briefly looking at Xiaomi products, but decided I did not really need anything. Obviously Alibaba did decently without my contribution, raking in RMB 91.2 billion (US$ 14.3 billion) within 24 hours.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are a bit more accessible, and it should be possible to find some nice bargains, even though there are still the nasty logistics of shipping the plunder to Hong Kong.
Earlier this year I started using a drop shipping service. There are plenty of services out there, I did a bit of research and finally settled for Borderlinx. Borderlinx ships out of the USA, UK, and recently out of Hong Kong to almost all destinations in the world that are not subject to a US embargo. You receive a personal address at their logistical center and, if you choose to allow it, they open your received packages and repack the goods before sending them out to save courier costs.
My first shipment contained a bunch of hiking products and two 23andme gene test kits (another post in the making) that were not for shipping to Hong Kong. I paid US$40 to receive the three-kilogram parcel within four days and was overall quite happy with the service. (Due to the small sample size, don’t treat this as a full service endorsement.)
For the upcoming Black Friday/Cyber Monday madness, I have prepared a wish list with gizmos and items I can’t get in Hong Kong or that would be significantly more expensive here.
For a planned experiment with breathing techniques and blood saturation, I am going to buy in to the fad and get an Elevation Training Mask 2.0 (yes, I am aware that it does not really simulate training in height) and a fingertip Pulse Oximeter. Expect a post around this experiment somewhat down the road, maybe early 2016.
My other planned purchase is a combined blood glucose/ketone monitor. Don’t worry, I am not diabetic, but I have a large interest in the quantified self (QS) movement. Why rely purely on doctors who will spend just a few minutes with you, if you can collect and analyze meaningful data over long periods of time in the safe environment of your home?
With the blood glucose/ketone monitor I want to dive a bit deeper into some nutritional experiments. During my MBA exchange to the US, I experimented with a low-carb diet and had some good results, lowering my body fat significantly within a short time. However, since coming back to Hong Kong my weight and body composition has bounced back badly. Time to pick up with my experiments and back my anecdotal evidence in favor for low-carb up with some real data.
How about you? Are you planning any purchases during Black Friday? Do you have any experience with international forwarding services?