American Express Points Links Up With Amazon

AmericanExpressPoints

Now this is a match made in heaven, I have been using my American Express card for all Amazon Purchases and other purchases as well. Now American Express & Amazon have teamed up so that you can use your American Express Points towards Amazon Purcahses and the best part is that it automatically gives you the option to purchase with your points.

Amazon

All you have to do is associate your American Express Card with your account and in my case I have two cards even though they combine for one set of points. Surprisingly this has been around for a few months but only recently have I had a chance to look at the details and associate my account. After going through the process I had about $1700 worth of points that I can redeem so I just piled up on the Amazon Cart and purchased a lot of things that I want and don’t need, and ended up only paying $400. Its just all the things that have piled up from adding items from my Amazon App on the iPad and a few things that I have saved for later.

MyUS – Personal Shopper Service Experience

MyUS

I tend to buy a lot of things online, and recently I have purchased items which aren’t readily available on Amazon or Ebay and the website has issues with a billing address which is different then a shipping address. When that is the case I have reverted to MyUS Personal Shopping Service a few times now. Sometimes they have been the best option and the best service to go with it.

I have done several orders with them, some normal value and some very high value and they have been excellent in handling complex orders such as custom computer gaming machines to ordering furniture. I wanted to get some items and I wasn’t able to personally order them so they were able to do order it for me.

Keep in mind that they charge a flat 6% fee on the final amount be it large or small. I think it is an acceptable fee because of the quality of their service when going through the process and their feedback.

Before The Order:

  • They send you an email verifying your order before making it
  • They clearly show you all the details and all the different options you have to ordering the product
  • You can write all the customizations you want in the note box

After The Order:

  • You get notification that you have been charged for the amount once the order goes through
  • They get back to you with details of the order, and they reply quickly to your questions
  • Once the order is received in your mailbox you are notified like always and they take multiple pictures which is fantastic
  • They quickly ship it out and you get your order

Overall a very smooth service and highly recommend if you are looking for highquality service, and its worth since sometimes I order heavy items and turns out to be cheaper to get it from the US then it is to buy it locally.

Link: MyUS

Below Zero

The weather in London the last few days I was there it kept dropping below zero and popping back up, floating between two and three degrees, and I would still sleep with the window a bit open at night. The one thing about London is that I always feel like walking around from place to place, I loved that I had gloves, my beanie on and enough clothing to keep me warm while I’m walking. As I was walking home I spotted a Lamborghini LP-560 Roadster parked up front, and I have to say that there was something very sexy about that machine in this weather, and it looked nice and clean, I knew the guy was just visiting because I didn’t see him earlier in the day. I loved the exhaust note when he started it up, I could hear it from the living room, and off he went in the lovely cold weather.


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Liesure Experience or Tangible Items?

People work for different reasons, and some people save to buy things and some for other reasons. Now in the article linked below from Luxist they are saying spending patterns of the rich and affluent have changed the last few years. From spending money on tangible goods such as cars, jewelry, art, homes, large yachts, and private jets. Now they are moving to more experience type items such as:

  • Taking exotic vacations
  • Vacation home in the mountains or at the beach
  • Extended time off work
  • Freedom to work from home

“The human need to seek approval through visible displays of our status is as primordial as ever. What may be changing, however, is how and what we choose to display. The top-rated goods and experiences are reflective of primarily private pleasures and point to a strong aspiration for leisure time, which can also be conspicuous. The shift away from conspicuous consumption from goods to services and experiences can also make luxury more exclusive,”

Personally I have an obsession with electronics and items I enjoy, its not always a necessity but something I enjoy. Working these days isn’t too much of an issue but I know later on I would want more time off. Truth be told we all want a hell of a lot of time off but as long as I am busy, I’m enjoying my work currently even if takes up a lot of time, its satisfying and I work with good people. We all have goals, and its true that sometimes you want to have these special experiences, some are closer then others.

Link: Luxist

Kuwait – Price Savvy?

While walking around in the Dubai Mall I saw the Cinema 1 shop which sells cool movie memorabilia, right next to the movie theater. They have a lot of Star Wars items, G I Joe, Predators, and other cool movie items. Then I see the War Machine Bust above, I have the Iron Man Bust so I thought to complete the team. I asked for the price and they told its 1500 Dirhams which is insane, it costs $80-$90 with shipping to Kuwait probably around $150 but they were asking $410 for the same product. I always thought that certain items they have over priced in Dubai, it might be the same in Kuwait, but in Kuwait it wouldn’t sell. Because of the way the customs operate in Kuwait they make it difficult to import items for companies to sell so we get annoyed and that created the market for forwarding companies such as UShopWeShip and Aramex, I’m not sure if that service is available in the UAE but for us who live off ordering online its an amazing service. So ridiculously priced items in Kuwait or any other country for that matter isn’t accepted, we try to find the best deal we can.

This is just one simple example, when the iPad and iPhone 4 came out we got it the same time if not earlier then Dubai. We had insane pricing when it first came out but prices dropped quickly as competition grew, at first they were more then double or triple the price and it drops like a rock within a few weeks. Dubai usually hovers a little above us when it comes to Apple products for some reason, when the first wave came in they were about 20% more then the prices in Kuwait and they were selling like crazy. Overall Apple products are more expensive in Dubai but other consumer electronics such as TVs are cheaper in Dubai. I think in this matter people in Kuwait are always looking for a better deal.

Delivery Holds

FEDEXPlane

Recently I have gone on a little online shopping spree getting a variety of items, from electronics to books. I sent some to Aramex and some to MyUS account, and even from MyUS I shipped some items through FedEx and some through DHL. I basically broke down the shipments to see what would get caught and who would get through.

It seems that people aren’t working in Customs currently because its too hot, so they are leaving the containers outside and still fully packed. All my items arrived in Kuwait but nothing was being delivered, I spoke to Aramex, DHL, and FedEX and they all gave me the same reason, currently nobody is looking at the containers and we have to wait for them to clear it. A day later a few items were cleared such as toys, video games, and print work.

Now what got caught was based on these details:

  • Anything heavier then 10 KG – (Netgear Server)
  • Electronics – (A Shaver)
  • Books – (Comic Book Art & Halo Art)

In Kuwait they are unpredictable and lazy, we have become even worse then Saudi. All the shipping people say its a nightmare to ship to Kuwait when even Saudi is getting more organized then us.

Pottery Barn @ The Avenues

Now this was a surprise that I wasn’t expecting, I went to the Avenues to pick some Pinkberry since its been a long hot day. I completely forgot that they opened up Pottery Barn in the Avenues so I decided to go check it out. I know that in the states its in almost every major mall, and a few other locations as well but I always loved Pottery Barn. Half of my furniture in my apartment in the states was from Pottery Barn and the other half was from Crate and Barrel. As soon as I walked in I got this odd feeling, something I liked but I wasn’t sure what, I got reminded of my old apartment and I missed it a lot, I just love going back to the states as much as possible.

They built the Pottery Barn store in the first half of the Avenues right next to Zara, and it is a pretty good size. Right away there is a large selection of items and you don’t have to follow the arrows on the floor like Ikea to find your way out. Its built on 2.25 Floors, and the layout is very easy to walk around, a lot of nice things to see. The furniture is all spread out, you have normal living room furniture, dining room furniture, outdoor furniture, plates, throws, and a lot of other accessories. What I like about Pottery Barn is the amount of accessories that they have and all the different kinds, I’m not too fond of their couches even though they look really good. Pricing is a bit on the high side, just as it is with The One in Marina Mall, but I’m assuming that the pricing will drop in due time for the major furniture items, and some items are pretty reasonable. I took a walk around the area and saw some interesting items, and lots of people buying items from the store.

*All Pictures were taken with Google Android Nexus One


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In Singapore

There is always a lot to do in Singapore during a visit, I didn’t have enough time to go to all the places I wanted to this time around but we still managed to squeeze a lot into our schedule in 2.5 days. The perfect amount of time is 4 to 5 days and you get to see a lot in the city. The best part is the public transportation, I honestly enjoyed getting into their cabs, the older the better, the older ones are really clean and spacious, there are a lot of new ones and many of them are Mercedes C/E class but the old cabs are worth enjoying. Walking around is just so refreshing, and I love all the udner ground walkways, you literally find so much around these underground malls, to say that Singapore is space efficient is an understatement. This is just a short list of places to go to and where to stay in Singapore, and there is always a new development, and I love that the it is so clean.

Restaurants

  • Long Beach Seafood @ Dempsey Road
  • Ooch @ Dempsey Road
  • Min Chang – Chinese Food @ Goodwood Park
  • Tatsu Sushi – Amazing Japanese & Tapenyaki @ Chijmes

Where To Stay:

  • St. Regis – Right In the Main Shopping Area
  • Ritz Carlton – A Bit far but very nice hotel
  • Marina Bay Sands- Amazing hotel in the new Marina Bay Project but also a bit far

Have To See It Once

  • Night Safari – Lots of Animals to See, and fun show
  • Jurong Bird Park – Every kind of bird you can imagine
  • Orchard Road – All the shopping Area
  • Takashimaya – Like Harrods but a Japanese Chain
  • Cineliesure – All the movies in one building, lots of screens and great popcorn


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Old Bond Street

This is one of my favorite streets to walk around while in London, it is also one of the most insanely expensive streets in London. The list of expensive boutiques on this street would scare anyone’s savings away. But I just love this street, its so authentic and pure British high end streets, and Europe’s high end luxury jewelry and boutiques. There are a couple of restaurants on the street over which are pretty good, and a couple of good places around the corner to check out. Window shopping at some of these stores would require you to sell your car, but there is always something good to look at. The best part is the walk and taking a look around, then continue to New Bond street which does have some nice stores as well. London is a city that is made for walking, I really do love walking around there.


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MOC Stopped It

HaloLegendsBD

I have a package from MyUS shipped through DHL which came in with 4 Hard Drives, a motherboard, some ram, and 4 Blu Rays. All the Blu Rays are animated movies, Green Lantern, Dante’s Inferno, Halo Legends, and Justice League Crisis On Two Earths. I have come to the conclusion that you can only buy cartoons on Blu-Ray or DVD into Kuwait so they won’t stop it. Bt I was wrong, it has been two days since they said they would get clearance and I told them its only a cartoon why would you stop it. They really drive me nuts, and they wonder why there is so much torrent downloads in Kuwait, people are honestly willing to purchase but if you make it this much of a headache then they won’t buy online. Put a 5% tax that has to be paid and that is it, no inspection nothing, Customs is supposed to make money for the country rather then waste time inspecting toys and other items. It will probably be clear in a day or two but this is seriously very annoying, and I just bought these because I like these animated movies so much that I decided to buy them. They don’t care about the other items, I have had more electronics shipped in in one box before without it being stopped at all but for movies they stop it.