Now Pay Per 100g with Shop & Ship

Post by Mark

Aramex Shop & Ship just launched a new service called Flex in which you pay for your shipments per 100 grams instead of the standard per 500 grams. Usually if you get a package that weighs 300 grams, Aramex would charge you as if it was 500, if your shipment weighed 600 grams then you would get charged for a kilo. By paying per 100 grams instead of 500, you should be able to save on shipping costs.

It would have been a game changer in the US mailbox forwarding market if it wasn’t for the fact that to be eligible for the new pricing structure, you need to pay Aramex KD35 a year. So whatever savings you would accumulate with the Flex pricing structure, you’d most likely end up losing it all with the Flex yearly fee. Not very practical unless you order a lot of items online. If you’re interested to find out more, click [Here]


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The iPhone 8 is Out in Kuwait

Post by Mark

The iPhone 8 just went on sale a few days ago in the States and its already available in Kuwait. Since it hasn’t officially been released in Kuwait yet the prices as expected are pretty ridiculous at the moment. Here are some of the current prices:

Best Electronics
iPhone 8 Plus 256GB: KD400

Blink
iPhone 8 256GB: KD315
iPhone 8 Plus 256GB: KD400

Eureka
iPhone 8 Plus 64GB: KD300

Mobile 2000
iPhone 8 Plus 64GB: KD300

The official Kuwait prices in comparison are as follows:

iPhone 8 64GB: KD245
iPhone 8 256GB: KD297
iPhone 8 Plus 64GB: KD278
iPhone 8 Plus 256GB: KD332

A bunch of places have pre-orders for the official release including Xcite and Jarir. The expected release date is September 30th.

If you’re hoping to get your hands on the iPhone X then you’re going to have to wait a bit longer since the iPhone X is scheduled to be launched in the US on November 3rd.

Thanks Frankom


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The Sultan Center Hiku Shopping Device

Post by Mark

Over the holidays Sultan Center sent me a Hiku device to play around with and try out. The Hiku is a small device that lives in your kitchen and can scan barcodes, recognize your voice and is basically used to create a shopping list. I’m a sucker for kitchen gadgets, even my egg tray connects to the internet so I wasn’t going to say no to adding another gadget in my kitchen. Plus, I enjoy scanning barcodes for some reason, I even owned a CueCat back in 2001 which strangely is considered one of the worst inventions ever. Anyway, enough throwbacks for now.

The Hiku is a pretty tiny device that connects to the internet and the Sultan Center phone app. The way you use it is pretty simple. Say you’re running out of popcorn, instead of opening your notes app or whatever app you use to remind you about what you need from the supermarket, you just take the Hiku device and scan the barcode on the popcorn box. The Hiku automatically recognizes what you just scanned, beeps once letting you know all is ok and then adds that item to your Sultan Center shopping list. If the Hiku doesn’t recognize the item, it will beep three times. Some items like bananas for example don’t have barcodes, so instead of scanning a barcode, you press the button on the Hiku and just say bananas. The Hiku device will recognize your voice and add bananas to your shopping list.

Once you’ve got everything on your list, you can then add the stuff to your shopping cart and purchase them using the Sultan Center app or, you can just open the list the next time you’re shopping and use it as a reminder.

So what do I think of the Hiku? Currently I use the Clear app on my iPhone for my grocery list reminders. It launches instantly and its very easy to add an item to a list and swipe it off once I get it. I don’t think I’ll be changing my habits and start using the Hiku especially since I don’t buy my groceries online. The Hiku makes more sense for people who do order grocerries to their home, by having all the items added to your Sultan Center account, it makes it super practical to just checkout and have the items delivered.

But, the biggest issue I faced is that not all the items I scanned got added to my list even though the Hiku recognized the items. For example the popcorn I used as an example in this post, when I scanned the box the Hiku didn’t add it to my shopping list even though it beeped once to let me know it recognized it. I scanned a different flavored popcorn box and it also didn’t get added to my list. I figured maybe the items were out of stock so I manually checked for the popcorn on their website and one of them wasn’t available, but the other was. Even if both items were out of stock I think they should still get added to my shopping list so that when they’re back in stock I could purchase them. Popcorn wasn’t the only thing it didn’t add to my list, I scanned a bunch of items in one of my kitchen drawers, and in the end it just added two of them to my list even though again the Hiku recognized all the other items. Super annoying.

Another issue I have is with the price of the Hiku. Although the device costs KD12 on Amazon, Sultan Center are selling it for KD25. I don’t know why they’d sell it for double the price, if anything they should be selling it at cost price so that they could get more people to buy it, which in return will lead to more people using their app and website.

With all that being said, the Hiku is a fun little gadget. If you want to find out more about the Hiku, visit the product page on the Sultan Center website [Here]


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Shops that Sell Old Kuwait Memorabilia

Post by Mark

Yesterday I mentioned I found an old copy of a Kuwait TV Guide from 1989, what I failed to mention is that I bought it from an antique shop. I thought I had posted about these antique shops before, but when I searched through my blog, I couldn’t find anything about them. There is a basement in old Salmiya near Marina Mall filled with shops that sell antiques.

I passed by there last week since I needed to pick up a few items to use as props for a clients photoshoot, and thats when I got the old TV guide and a few other things. The shop I was in actually had a whole bunch of old TV guides along with a whole lot of old magazines and newspapers (even books) from the 50s and 60s all the way up to the 90s. I ended up buying a few things, a copy of “Majala Al Kuwait” from 1975, two 8-track tapes, the old TV guide and most importantly, a 7-inch vinyl record for the song “Haydoo – Our Camel, Lovely Camel”. If you aren’t familiar with the history of this song, I posted about it back in 2006 and its still an interesting read today. Here is the [Post]

Off of my head I think there are around 8 shops located in that basement all of which sell old memorabilia. There is one store that specializes in old records and another in old coins and rare bank notes, but most sell stuff you grew up with as a kid. In between all this randomness you’ll also find some super odd things like Nazi memorabilia.

The opening hours of the shops are pretty random since from my experience the owners are rarely there. But the building caretaker has the keys and will let you in if the shops are closed. If you find something you like he can take a photo and whatsapp it to the owner to get you a price but it also makes haggling more difficult. If you’re interested in checking these places out, the shops are located in the basement of a corner building near Marina Mall. The ground floor has shops that sell hair products but the basement is all antique stores. Here is the location on [Google Maps]


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ORP’s 4×4 Shop Now Online

Post by Mark

Off Road Performance (ORP) is a 4×4 aftermarket parts specialist that’s located right here in Kuwait. They are my go-to place whenever I need to upgrade anything in my FJ Cruiser and I’ve been using them ever since I found out about them back in 2010. They carry a bunch of popular 4×4 brands like FOX, Warn, Teraflex, KC Hilites, Bushwacker, Fabtech, Mickey Thompson and a lot more.

A couple of weeks ago, ORP launched an online shop which I found out about over the weekend and I’m in love with it. I also hate it a bit since I’m now worried I’m going to be on the website all the time looking for items to buy.

The website is clean looking and easy to flip through but my favorite aspect of it is that once you choose one of the sections (pictured above), you can then choose your car from a dropdown menu and the website will only show you parts that are compatible with your car. This small feature makes flipping through all the items a lot more efficient.

I’m so glad they setup a full fledged online store instead of going with the easier route of just turning their instagram account into a shop which is what a lot businesses tend to do. So if you’ve got a 4×4 and are looking for parts for it, check out their website [orp.com.kw]


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PostaPlus MyBox iPhone App

Post by Mark

If you’re a PostaPlus MyBox user then here’s two pieces of good news:

1) They now have an iPhone app that will allow you to track your packages without having to log in every time to the app
2) You can now pay for your packages online (website and app)

The online payment is what I’m the most excited about since they’ve been promising it for a few years now. I hate carrying cash and if I’m not in the office when the delivery guy comes, it always meant someone else had to pay for the package on my behalf. Now at least I can get the payment sorted and just have the delivery guy drop off the package.

If you’re interested in downloading the app, here is the [Link]


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Pick & Adidas Originals Now Open at Al Hamra

Post by Mark

Pick opened up in Al Hamra Tower last week and I personally think this is their best location yet due to the amount of people who work in the tower. Currently there seems to be a queue all day long during office working hours but I overheard they’re getting a second cashier to cope with the high demand.

A standalone Adidas Originals also opened up in the basement of Al Hamra. Previously Adidas Originals was part of the regular Adidas store in the basement, but that location got shut down and they opened up this new Adidas Originals shop next to the old one. The mall is finally turning into a much more interesting place, even WH Smith Bookshop is opening up in the basement.


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Shop & Ship vs MyBox Cost

Post by Mark

I currently mostly use Aramex’s Shop & Ship service as well as Posta Plus’s MyBox when ordering items online from abroad. I tend to use Posta Plus for all my US and UK shopping and Shop & Ship for all the other countries. The reason I use Posta Plus for my US and UK shopping is because its cheaper than Shop & Ship and just as fast. How much cheaper? Generally not that much, but recently me and my brother ordered the exact same item, a Nintendo Switch case from Waterfield and decided to compare the difference in shipping cost. He shipped the case to his Shop & Ship mailbox while I shipped it to my Posta Plus mailbox. So how much did we each pay for the exact same item?

Aramex: KD 8.4
PostaPlus: KD 3.5

That’s a pretty huge difference, more than double actually. Aramex for some reason listed the weight of the shipment at 0.52KG which automatically means the package gets charged as if its 1KG since it exceeded 0.5KG, while PostaPlus on the other hand have the package listed at under 0.5KG (400g) since the actual weight of the case is just 0.21KG. Ouch.


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Kuwait Online Shopping Websites (Updated List)

Post by Mark

mrbabu

A couple of years back I put together a list of local online shopping stores and ever since I’ve been quietly updating it. But now it got to the point where I also felt I needed to organize the list properly which is why I decided to create a new updated list.

Below are all the local online shopping websites I am aware of. If there are any missing let me know in the comments, the websites have to be based in Kuwait and allow you to purchase items directly from it.

Read the rest of this entry »


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Sultan Center Now Online

Post by Mark

Sultan Center have finally launched their online shop so you can order your groceries online and have them deliver it to your home. Their delivery charges aren’t that bad either:

The minimum order value is 10KD per order Charges: Delivery charges differs with respect to the type of delivery whether express or next day delivery. Express delivery: We charge 1.5 KD for the express delivery, if the order is 40KD or above the delivery will be free. Next day delivery: This delivery is Free of charge.

I live right next to like four Sultan Centers so I’ll always prefer to stop by my local branch but I’ll definitely start checking their website whenever there is an item I can’t find. Actually, maybe you guys can help, right now I’m having trouble finding Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa Light which seems to be out of stock everywhere. It’s delicious hot chocolate and just 25 calories!

Anyway, their website is still in beta so there might be a few issues here and there but you can check it out right now by visiting [sultan-center.com]


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