Spread the Love – March 2014

I had three sessions of food photography with the team of ChefatWork. Edwin didn’t fail to give the entire team a good treat at the end of the day. I felt guilty because I was not used to eat good food and could not really appreciate them. He was too generous.

Tze Khit started joining us for Sunday beach volleyball again. Each time, he came over to the NTUC at my place to buy bottles of isotonic drinks for everyone. It was very thoughtful of him.

My team of volunteers had a gathering at Nancy’s place again. She took the trouble to prepare all the food by herself and presented them in a classy manner on the table. She hosted us well. Her effort was stunning.

Spread the Love – February 2014

I had a couple shoot with Derrick and Peisee. ET, my younger brother and mum tagged along since we had a gathering over Derrick’s place at night. Together we managed to create some nice photos. Derrick had the steamboat dinner prepared with the help of his family and he refused when we offered to share the cost of the food. He and his dad drove and sent all of us home at night from the West to Central of Singapore. I felt the love from everyone who had spent their time with me on that day.

I was still trying hard to upgrade my camera gears and finally decided to go all the way for it. As there was a daily limit in withdrawing money from the ATM, I was short of cash. Gilbert didn’t hesitate to loan a thousand bucks to me immediately. I appreciated his trust in me.

Spread the Love – January 2014

In the process of upgrading my photography equipments to do better photography, I was kind of being conned to buy a super over-valued second hand lens by a very good (in skill) salesman who took advantage of my softness. This guy simply played hard with words and rushed me to buy his old lens without detailed checking. He kept asking me to take photos and look at the result through the small LCD screen at the back of my camera instead of checking the quality of lens. The greatest trick of his was to arrive late and behave like as if he was in a bad rush.

Eventually I went to my favourite camera shop at Funan Centre – John 3:16. Samuel and Steven helped me to look at the lens, which I felt so uncomfortable purchasing and they verified that the lens had been badly abused before. Samuel gave it a 4/10 rating and Steven said 5/10, while the joker earlier mentioned 9/10. They showed me a second hand same model lens and I was devastated. At the rate my tuition agency was going, I would need more than a month to earn the money back.

There was a black particle, which was much larger than normal dust, inside the glasses that was not very easy to be seen without being guided by experienced users. Apart from that, there was dust inside. There were countless tiny scratch marks on the front of the lens, which could be caused by wrong wiping tool. At the back of the lens where it was supposed to be connected to the camera body, there was fungus. The turning of the zoom ring was unusually rough at certain focus distance. The external body was quite badly scratched as well – I didn’t mind the ugliness but I recalled that he told me the condition was 9/10, which made me feel very cheated (I was too soft at first). Anyway, he told me he had just sent the lens to Malaysia’s Canon for servicing and thus there should not be any problem with the dark particle, dust and especially fungus. Unfortunately, the result (photo) due to these problems would not be seen easily, unless by professional or being put under a test with the exact same model of lens.

To put it simple, the lens that was sold to me at $1180 could probably worth $600 or less. It required servicing from the manufacturer – Canon. The front glass with countless of tiny scratches would cost hundreds of dollars to be replaced. Overall, the scratches on the external part made the lens unappealing and it would definitely cost more than a hundred dollars to replace it. The lifespan of the lens was definitely going to be shorter than others’.

After being persuaded by the two heroes, I tried hard to refund the lens. I spoke to the joker professionally and told him that I looked up to him as an honest seller and I had bought the lens in a rush all because of him. Eventually, I took the pain to go to his place and had to meet him up again on the next day to get back my money. If he had not returned me my money, I would have made him famous online. There were many reasons to believe he had made numerous lies during the entire process and I would write a detailed story about it in my photography website when I had the time.

I did my first ever couple shoot with David and Michelle. They didn’t mind being my “guinea pigs”. Apart from gaining the experience of shooting couple, I tried a different style of shooting. David was an observer and Michelle was a happy-go-lucky kind girl, and it was really great to use them as models to try my first shoot with less pressure. Apart from having limitation with my equipments – lack of sharpness and wrong auto focusing – the quality was quite decent. We had a fun day together and they insisted to treat me to dinner.

Right before Chinese New Year, Meifeng took time out to have a cheongsam shoot with me. She had been working overtime for almost every weekday and had her church commitment during weekends. Thus, she took great effort to spend the day with me. Unfortunately, renovation work, new year decoration and early campers spoiled my planned shoot at Chinatown. I could have recce the location a few days before the shoot. Nevertheless, I had a great day out with her.

Fake Friends

The feeling of people ignoring your texts and festival greetings, and only return to you when they need help is bad. Would you consider them as your friends?

How about someone who spams you to LIKE certain photo for a Facebook competition and becomes hibernate when you ask for a return favour to LIKE yours?

They are lower-grade than hi-bye friends.

If you have met such people, don’t bother to get angry because they are just everywhere. Nevertheless, they do give you the assurance that they are not worth much of your time. Skip them and spend your time on better people.

Ridiculous After-Sales Service from Gain City

I purchased a front-loading washing machine (brand Electrolux) from the Gain City fair at EXPO on 1st November 2013. The order number was SORCS-80050274.

The salesman, Gary Kee, from the Elextrolux booth was very approachable and with the information given, we chose the brand despite there were quite a number of cheaper alternatives for the same basic specifications.

My family was in need of a washing machine badly to replace our spoiled one and thus we got the earliest delivery appointment, which happened to be on 5th November 2013 in between 4-7pm. The old washing machine had caused quite a big dispute among my family. The urgency was the reason why my mum and I had rushed down to the fair on its very first day.

On the delivery day itself, the delivery-man (phone number 93847140) called me at 12.19pm and said that he would reach my place at 1.30pm, which was a few hours earlier than the scheduled time (4-7pm). I thought it would be good for my side since we could use the machine earlier to clear the days of unwashed clothes and I gladly agreed. I changed my personal plan in order to receive them at the amended timing.

Two Malay men arrived at around 1.30pm to clear my old washing machine and fixed up the new one fast. Since I thought Gain City was a big company and that Electrolux was an old brand, I did not do thorough checking. Besides I was also not familiar with washing machine since I had not even used my old one. I played a good host to the two gentlemen and even offered them packet drinks before they left.

Earlier on during the purchasing day, despite repeated prompts from us, the salesman insisted the wasted water release hose that was routed upwards and clipped on the top corner could not be detached. Since we had been using top-loading washing machine all along, we were totally clueless about the system of front-loaders. We were shocked but glad when the delivery-men detached the hose from the corner of the new washing machine, such that the hose was long enough to be dragged into my bathroom, which also meant that my mum had wasted her effort and money to purchase a hose extender. It seemed that the salesman had given us a silly wrong information (he was right actually – read on to find out why).

The nightmare came right after the delivery-men left. We tried using the new washing machine by pouring detergent in and we realised the compartment could not be closed fully. We were told by the salesman that water would be splashed into the compartment to load the detergent into the main compartment, and logically thinking, the detergent compartment had to be closed fully if we did not want any water to spill out.

We tried calling Gain City but nobody picked up the phone. After some trying, I decided to contact the delivery-man who called me earlier instead. It was 2pm and just less than half an hour upon the delivery time. The man told me he was already at Bukit Merah – my location was Tanjong Pagar. I told him the problem of the detergent compartment and he insisted the washing machine was designed this way. As I insisted, the delivery-man promised to return.

My family (mum, sister-in-law and I) waited at home for the delivery-men until 6pm. Then, we called Gain City directly again and managed to get through. The staff helped us to arrange with the same delivery-men to return at around 7.30pm, which they did. After some reasoning with the delivery-men, they finally admitted it was a defect. One of them made a phone call (probably back to his office) and he claimed the product was perfect during delivery just because I had signed the paper to verify that I had received it. He also told the person over the phone that we had contacted him over the defect an hour later (it was definitely less than half an hour, inclusive of the time we had tried to contact Gain City directly).

Logically and obviously, the product arrived with the detergent compartment not able to be closed completely and the delivery-men had initially claimed it was designed to be that way. By insisting that the washing machine was built that way (“spoiled”) as it arrived, the delivery-men had indirectly admitted that it arrived as a defected product. It was stupid for them to point fingers at us just to get away with it.

I received a call from Electrolux (phone number 65078699) on the next morning (Wednesday) and was informed that the technician could only drop by my place on the next day. This means that if it happened that the defected washing machine had to be replaced (which we hoped), it would take more days for the new one to come.

Gain City could have replaced the new washing machine and settled the defected product with Electrolux directly. Eventually, the problem was pushed to Electrolux and we had to wait for Electrolux’s technician, who happened to be so busy that we had to wait until the third day.

If you were the consumer who had to waste so much time in order to get a proper washing machine, such that your household laundry could not be done for days, how would you feel?

These were the initial conclusions I had drawn from the entire incident:
- Gain City’s salesmen did not know their products well (I was wrong)
- Gain City’s delivery-men did not know their products well
- Gain City’s staffs would try all ways to push away their responsibility, inclusive of insisting defected products were designed the way
- Electrolux’s products were not as great as I had heard, such that their technicians were overloaded with servicing of their customers’ problems with the products

I was furious when I realised I had to wait for another day for the technician to come over. The thought of the blaming game forced me to email both Gain City and Electrolux to get advice whether there was any way I could get my new washing machine ready/fixed sooner than the next (third) day and if Gain City or Electrolux would send manpower down to hand-wash my clothes before the new machine was settled (sarcasm of course!).

I attached four images:

1. Phone log from my phone. The delivery-man arrived at around 1.30pm and I managed to contact them in less than half an hour upon they left, inclusive of the time I tried to contact Gain City directly. It was never as claimed by them that I contacted them about the defect after more than an hour.

2. The back of the washing machine. The salesman gave us the wrong information that the hose could not be detached from the back where there’s a screw (top left of photo). If the hose has to be routed from bottom to the screw part, it would not be long enough to be pulled to the bathroom to release the dirty water, and thus my mum had bought an extender.

3. Side view of the washing machine. This is the main problem. The detergent compartment cannot be closed completely and the delivery-men initially insisted it was meant to be like that.

4. Front view of the washing machine. Obviously, no designer would design the compartment to be not aligned with the main body when closed.

Gain City ignored my email but a gentleman from Electrolux called me directly to assure me that his technician would fix all the problems. Furthermore, he told me that the delivery-men from Gain City should not have detached the hose behind – the salesman was right after all.

Electrolux’s technician arrived as scheduled. He was a very friendly man around my age who helped to entertain my mum while he worked. He opened up the washing machine and hammered something inside to loosen the detergent compartment. He said one possible cause was that the washing machine was knocked during delivery. Then, he also attached the hose at the back, telling us that the water might flow out continuously if the hose was not placed at a higher place. He brought along a very hard hose to extend the existing one for us. Things were sweetened by the gentleman.

A week later, my mum noticed that the pail she placed besides the washing machine was filled with water. There was a few times when the floor was wet as well. It happened that all of us had used the washing machine during that period of time. We were all wondering if one of us had been forgetting to place the end of the hose to the bathroom while using it. After some inspections, we realised the hose attached to the tap was not properly joined by the Gain City delivery-men and thus some water was dripping.

Eventually, I could only conclude that the Gain City’s delivery-men knew nothing about their products. After sales service was disgustingly terrible. They did not even care to apologise for the problem they had caused.

My advice for all customers of Gain City is to make the delivery-men stay behind during the delivery to make sure the process of washing the clothes by the new washing machine is completed without any problem before signing any document to acknowledge receiving the product before “releasing” them.

Year 2013 – Year of Stagnant & Frustration

My year 2013 was full of downs. It was a year when things were not moving fast enough.

Family

My elder brother finally got married. There was not much difference since his wife aka my sister-in-law had been staying with us for more than half of the weeks for many years. A joy for my mum was that she needed not be working super hard to find out if both my elder brother and his wife would be joining us for dinner everyday. There was less grumble about this and thus relieving some stress from me.

Luckie was one of my greatest problems apart from the joy and comfort he had given to me. As I was staying at home most of the time, he had been posing lots of troubles to me. I had to clear his pee and poo and he would pester me to bring him down for a walk every now and then. My elder brother would usually lock him out of the bedroom at night and I would still be the one clearing all the shit since my younger brother was not at home most of the time. Luckie was unofficially an abandoned dog since his daddy had been neglecting him as I could use my fingers to count the number of times my elder brother had brought him out of the house. There was a period of time when I felt so bad for Luckie that I tried to bring him down almost every weekday but I gave up, knowing my elder brother would continue to neglect him if he knew someone was taking good care of Luckie. Whenever I thought of the moment I told my elder brother that I would not be free to help to take care of a dog before we brought Luckie home, I felt stupid.

My younger brother moved over to his good friend Derrick’s place for some months as it was nearer to his school. That was a period of time when I became even more stress since he was the one who would settle everything in my house, including sorting out bills and my mum. I was also worried about his safety, especially his illness, when I could not get to see him during weekdays.

Money was the greatest evil in the universe. My family was plagued with issues with money as usual that often I wished I could just move out of the house to avoid torment of my ears. Basically, my mum continued to grumble at my elder brother frequently for she expected him to help out with the household expenditure, including grocery. My younger brother also joined in to nag over the wastage of electricity. Things got better eventually after some dramas. I felt our relationships had improved a lot and the bond was strong.

My mum gave me one of the greatest headaches as usual, behaving like a child most of the time. It would not going to be fun when you already had big problems with your work and someone kept asking you obvious or stupid questions, grumbling over small things or repeating stories over the phone near you. For example, she would watch her favourite Taiwanese drama and turned over to ask what was happening in the show when obviously I was busy with my stuff to even care about the noisy television.

Friends

As I was stuck with work and photography, and facing financial downtime, I did not get to go out with many friends. At times, I rejected gathering invitations in order to cut down on expenditure and it was difficult to make people believe how bad my situation was – besides, I was really busy, with many non-profitable stuffs though. The person I went out most with was Gilbert. Even for my volleyball gang, there was limited number of beach outing and there were groups within group. I did a few voluntary work with the voluntary gang and the experience with them was fulfilling. The few get-together sessions with my younger brother and our common friends were excellent. I got to meet up with old friends like Hoay Min, Guoxin, Xiuwen, Mike and Wanling etc. There was a rare occasion of meet-up with ex primary school friends and unfortunately I had not been keeping touch with them and could not remember the childhood encounters with most of them. I also attended quite a few wedding dinners and was a loner at a couple of the tables. I got to meet quite a number of new friends through photography but I was not able to keep in touch with most of them. Irwin returned to Singapore a few times but I only managed to meet up with him for once.

I learned to distinguish between net friends and real life friends, as well as true friends and fine weather friends. I was, however, still trying to learn to lower down my expectation for people in order not to torture myself. If you were to treat others very good, do not ever expect them to treat you even half as good. Sometimes, I just felt too guilty when friends like Gilbert treated me too well because there was nothing I could offer to him as a buddy.

Somehow, I felt very isolated sometimes despite I had quite a few groups of caring friends. There was no close friend who stayed near me and shared the same hobby – photography.

Health

Ah Pa introduced her friend, Dickson, to me and with his knowledge and experience in Chinese medication, my back problem improved a lot, even though it was still haunting me. I got sick less frequently than before ever since I started taking manuka honey, keeping the usual sore throat, cough and flu away from me most of the time. However, my right arm gave me pain for many months due to beach volleyball. At the last quarter of the year, I also sprained or slightly dislocated my fingers after holding onto the camera for too long hours without rest.

I rarely exercised. It was the thought that I could have spent the time to bring Luckie down for a stroll that placed me in a deep dilemma. He could not run for long.

Relationship

At the beginning of the year, I got close to a girl but she was too busy to keep in touch with me after a week. Then, I realised she was not the one for me. I was never close to any girl despite getting to know many nice girls, especially through photography; in fact, I was too engrossed in photography that most of my chats were just discussions about the shoots. At least I could stand tall to say that I did not use photography as an excuse to get closer to girls.

No girl was able to spend time with me and I would never want to go into a relationship that I could only get to see my girlfriend once every fortnight.

I was also never anxious about getting a girlfriend given my financial situation. Perhaps, I had become a boring person with the countless numbers of worries and problems in my mind. I agreed that nice girls would not mind about my current financial status but I would mind if I could not give my girl a comfortable life. I would rather let nature take its own course.

The route to starting a family was not within my line of sight. I was, perhaps, depressed over the price of HDB flats. The supposed-to-be public housing to make sure every Singaporean had a roof over his head was more like a money-generating tool to push GDP up, so that the rich could become richer. I was not confident, at the moment, that I could afford a house in future.

Finance

I could hardly sustain my life despite I had been ill-treating myself. Income was at all time low since my NS days while I had to continue to give “protection money” every month, which was much more than I would spend on myself. CPF’s medisave extortion and life insurance added on to my burden. Basically, I was draining my saving every month with my bank account getting lighter. I got some of the cheapest camera gears but they were enough to weigh me down further more – photography was an expensive hobby and trade.

Most people who knew me well would know about my thriftiness but many did not realise that I was actually not earning much income. Almost everyone did not know I was in fact making negative income due to various financial loads as mentioned above. It was a joke when there were people who still tried to borrow money from met. Obviously they knew I was a very soft guy, and thus they would rather approach me than other mutual friends who were doing very well. This had helped me to reflect a lot on myself.

Due to the income problem, I hesitated a lot over to upgrade my photography gears that would bring me to a higher level. It affected me tremendously mentally.

On a better note, I would never get starved because I was thrifty and there were many kind people surrounding me. Before my saving could exhaust, I would have done better.

Work

My tuition agency was in a bad state as a few of the more consistent coordinators had left or taking up fewer assignments, and SEO was not well. ET got into a Taiwanese singing competition, Super Idol 8, and he had less time to help out, which resulted in a great fall of revenue since he was a very good worker. Unfortunately, the business model was more about helping parents than making big bucks – I knew of more ways that was less manpower intensive. Since it was my only source of income, it explained how bad my financial state was at. On a brighter side, I was also able to spend more time on picking up photography. That was because I was too lazy and frustrated to work on more features on my website.

I had to spend hours on my work everyday, including weekends. The workload was never consistent but the administration work had to be done daily. The least I had to do was to go through every new and updated tutors’ profiles, and also their submitted documents. I had to do SEO at least once in a couple of days. I had to be consistent with these because I placed myself in the tutors’ shoes that I would be anxious about my account and documents statuses. As for SEO, it would fall badly and would take many months or even years to pick up. Nobody understood how much effort I had to put in daily in order for my tuition agency to be recognised.

The most frustrating thing was that most people would think that I was very free. My time was very flexible but I was never free. I did not like the feeling of being the default person to handle everything whenever shit happened. If things had to be done, they had to be done and I would suck my thumb to settle them but not if being forced to. In other words, I hated to be taken granted of. This was pushing me to give up and simply get a “8 to 5″ job instead. A pity that I was a very determined person. I had to work smarter but it was never easy to learn.

Photography

I spent most of my time on photography. I went through countless number of Youtube videos and websites. I took lots of time to go through potential models’ photos, discuss with them, shoot and do the post-processing work, which included filtering the photos and photoshopping. Unfortunately, lots of time for pre-shooting was wasted because of “models” who were wasting my time. It was very frustrating when things were confirmed and the other parties called them off out of a sudden or simply went MIA (missing-in-action).

Through photography, I was able to talk to more people but at the same time, I was also distanced away from many people. In fact, I was too focused in photography that I hardly kept in touch with my models after the shoots. Nevertheless, some of them were in relationship and I had to maintain a safe distance with them. I was also able to find out who were my true friends eventually.

Portrait photoshoot was very tough on me since I was too soft when dealing with my models and the shoots usually did not turn up half as good as I had expected. I was never a commanding person – even when I was lecturing in ITE, I would never instruct any student to help me in anything simple. I did learn a lot but the progress was never fast enough as there were too many things to learn at the same time while my gears were limited. In fact, I had to learn how to use the gears, see lighting, get good composition, watch out for model’s appearance and makeup, and pose the model at the same time.

Tricia guided me a lot through her experience but her critics killed my confidence often. I had problems communicating with her at times because of her extremely serious typing errors in Facebook messenger. There were too much expectation on me, pouring pressure and stress over my helplessness. Sometimes I felt like I was trying to fly before I had learned how to even crawl. Throughout the entire year, I spent most of my days in depression because of the photos I owed people despite I had warned them of the long timeframe before the shoot. I was more anxious than the models to get the photos done so that I could move on to other shoots. Tricia was too busy to go through the photos with me but without her catching errors on the photos (mostly due to makeup and hair), the final photos would not turn out to be good.

I got to realise the limitation of my first DSLR camera – Sony NEX F3 mirrorless. The auto focus speed was simply too slow and I could not expect the models to pause their expression, especially during event shoot. It did not come with a hotshoe and I could not attach an external flash without buying an additional costly adapter. I bought my Canon 650D but things did not go smoothly. I realised the cropped factor of the body was 1.6x, which was lousier than Sony NEX F3′s 1.5x – 1x (full frame) was the best. Since Sony was using Carl Zeiss lens, the quality was much better as well. Canon’s 50mm F1.8 lens was far lousier than Sony’s. Therefore, it was actually a downgrade of image quality that I could never get used to and in fact, it was affecting me badly. Instead of working on my creativity during the shoots, I was badly distracted by the quality of images. I lost my confidence ever since the switch. I knew I needed a better camera.

AFter I got both my photography website and Facebook page up, there were more models approaching me for photoshoot. However, most of them were not serious. Unfortunately, I was someone who would be putting in my best effort every time. I was also disappointed by the results of my Facebook marketing, such that the number of fans for a start was far less than what I had expected.

Through photography, I had learned a lot, especially on human. Most people would not bother much if things were to come for free. I had tasted lots of fake enthusiasm. At least, I was comforted by the existence of great friends, especially Tricia.

Spread the Love – December 2013

My Samsung Note 2 was initially accompanied with a bookcase cover, which was rather inconvenient. Moreover, it did not protect the side of the phone. I was lazy and thus repeatedly asked my elder brother to get another one through eBay (I did not have an account there). He told me to do it on my own and eventually, I had forgotten about it. More than a month later, we received a parcel and it was my new handphone cover! It was not an expensive item but it took some effort to purchase it.

Amelia approached me for a photoshoot and I roped Guoxin in so as to catch up and instigate him to go further into photography. Since Amelia had to go to her new school first, Guoxin picked her up before fetching me to Kaplan. Later, he drove us to Lorong Kampong Buang Kok for the kampong shoot and then Woodlands Waterfront. He even sent both of us home after that. Without him, it would be very inconvenient for us to travel to two locations. After that, he had to rush off to fetch his girlfriend.

For my Christmas photo shoot with Tisha and Evelynn, my dad’s youngest brother hosted us for the indoor shoot. My entire gears was near 18kg and luckily they went for breakfast picked me up from Hougang Mall. They even bought breakfast for us. My auntie, Iris, helped me with dolling Tisha up in her outfits and settled my dinner for me. My only blooded cousin, Jocelyn, helped me with blowing of bubbles for one of the sets. I was overwhelmed with the impromptu help.

Sharon sacrificed her time to do voluntary coordinating for a charity organisation who had approached my tuition agency despite her being sick.

NEA Officer Reacted Fast

When I was having lunch with my mum and younger brother on 24th December (Christmas Eve), my brother complained that he was molested by the mosquitoes during the short trip to the nearby coffee shop. I noticed that there was a pool of water being trapped at the construction area of the new lift below my house. I was quite worried about mosquito breeding and thus I decided to inform NEA about it. This time, instead of using email, I used their Android APP to take a photo and submitted my feedback.

Two days later, I received a call from a NEA officer telling me that he had checked the place and assured me that the contractors had poured some oil over it. Even though they took two days to get back to me, it during Christmas period and I was really impressed by their speed of work.

Spread the Love – November 2013

November was the month of my birthday and thus there was no lack of sweet actions from my loved ones.

On my actual birthday, my younger brother, Kaiwei, was out of Singapore. The rest of my family arranged a simple dinner at a nearby coffee shop with me. Initially, I felt something was weird when they took a big round table and I was somehow told to take a seat instead of free seating like usual. Although they almost made a blunder when the waitress was asking for the size of the dishes, I was somehow too tired to notice that. Eventually, ET, Derrick and Peisee turned up to surprise me. They had brought along my present, which was my Thinktank Airport Essentials camera bag. I had also gotten many “vouchers” that I could use for photo shoot. My younger brother had actually planned for it before he went to Philippines for his holidays, which made him the biggest hero for the month. I also felt bad for making his buddies come down after work just to accompany me.

For the previous years, Gilbert had been making great effort to meet up with me and Dexter Peh to celebrate our birthdays together. We were three great army buddies who happened to be born in the same month. This year, Dexter was too busy and hence, we had to do without him; besides, he had already celebrated with Gilbert together with their mutual friends. Titus and Wanling joined us for a special morning. They took a cab in the early morning to pick up Titus and I before we headed to Sentosa. Gilbert prepared the cake and salad, Titus did his famous bread and Wanling made some juices. Although I almost died listening to Gilbert and Titus “arguing” for the entire morning. Sentosa Palawan beach may not be the best place to catch sunrise but it was the company that mattered most.

The month of November had filled me with lots of love by my family and some of my closest friends. I knew they would be there for me whenever I need them.

Bad Encounters with Online Sellers in Singapore

For certain thing such as photography, your skill is restricted to your equipments. I may not be an excellent photographer yet, but I’m already being annoyed by the restriction, such that my full potential cannot be shown. My current camera bodies cannot give me the clarity of photos that I need to impress (to get businesses); my flash is not powerful and has limitation in rotation, and I need at least two of them for portrait photoshoot. Such restrictions can be neglected by playing around, but, at the lost of creativity. Therefore, I have been looking at refurnished (second hand) gears that I can buy at a cheaper price to move further in this trade – photography.

I have so far done three meet-ups and two are disastrous.

http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1343429

Nickname: maxspeed
Name: Lum
Number: 93800867
Email: sugathlum@gmail.com

I saw this advertisement for a Canon 580 EX-ii flash and the owner made it sound like it was a very good bargain. Indeed, for the price ($400) and extra goodies that came along with it, it was a good grab given that the owner was honest about the condition.

I arranged a meet-up with him at Vivocity last week at 6.30pm. I went earlier to look at stuffs and at the meeting time, he replied me that he was still in a meeting and could not turn up. I told him I would wait for him for some time since I had to do some shopping. About an hour later, I had to leave since I had to packet food home for my elder brother and sister-in-law, and thus I dropped him another text politely. He did not reply me since he told me he was held up in his meeting, showing no sense of guilt.

A few days later, I saw in his forum post that he had sold his flash unit away. I would describe him as irresponsible and proud.

http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1346875

Nickname: canonone
Name: Hua
Number: 9six5899one9 (96589919)

My next disappointment came after I saw a canon 24-70mm F2.8L mark i lens on the same forum. The seller insisted to meet at Ang Mo Kio and I made my trip all the way down, thinking it was a good bargain again since it’s written as “good condition and clean”.

The seller turned up earlier than the meeting time and I thought all was good. He started speaking in English and I thought he was an Indonesian Chinese who could not speak well in the language. At certain point of time, I could not figure out what he was talking about. When I noticed that was problem with the lens and was discussing with Gilbert right in front of him, he suddenly started speaking in Chinese and I realised he was a PRC.

When I looked through it at the light, there were something like bubbles. The seller kept insisting his lens was in good condition though. It was obvious that there was a big issue with the glass of the lens at the part where it would fit into the camera, which was very unusual. I was not able to make out what those things were, but they were obviously not dust. I tried asking him to use a spectacle cloth to clean it but he insisted we could only use a blower, which I did not bring along. He was also quick to want to brush off the deal politely, which showed his guilt.

http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1347448

I realised he posted a new advertisement on the same forum a couple of hours later. There differences were:
1. The price was reduced from $1200 to $1100.
2. “good condition and clean” description was removed.
3. Rating of condition was reduced from 9/10 to 8/10.

If he was not guilty of the condition of his lens, he would not have done these. The problem on the lens was definitely not dust, which could easily be blown and wiped off. To put it in simple, the lens was not even 1/10 for the condition – it could not be used at all.

I’m not sure if he is out to cheat.