Sunday, May 13, 2007

1st Online Shopping Experience

Made my first ever online purchase sometime ago. The package was delivered to my door step a couple of days ago, after 14-long-awaited days from the initial order date during which, I’ve lost some sleep worrying whether my prized purchase had got lost along the way, sent to the wrong address, got swapped, etc. ~ $$ down the drain? Thankfully it arrived in one piece ~ in immaculate condition. Having heard of countless of online purchase horror stories – getting conned into buying counterfeit products, to receiving defective products/damaged packaging or actual product that is inferior as to what was described in the initial pre-order specification; I decided to stick with the bigger & more reputable online retail sites ~ Global in this case to source for a foreign audio CD release, dating back to 2005. It may not be the cheapest bargain on the net, but the offered prices are relatively comparable (just don’t compare the local bargains at Kenyalang Park).

Most of the Japan music releases of the current years come in different versions; the Japan version for the domestic Japanese market (which, costs an arm & a leg) & the Overseas version for the general foreign audience. Opted for the premium Japan version, priced at whooping USD25.49 (x 3.402 exchange rate) over the USD17.99 Overseas version (is also no way cheap by local standards), because it qualifies for the free shipping that the latter does not. Standard shipping (6 – 14 days) would have costs USD4.99. With a few bucks difference, going for the premium is a no brainer.

Some cite that the Overseas version is inferior in terms of quality compared to the more expensive Japan version; though the only difference is usually in the printings, booklets ~ some extra stuff, & rarely in some cases extra song tracks, for audio CD. One thing to note is that when it comes to DVDs, there are fundamental differences: Japan uses DVD2 encoding format, whereas the rest of the SEA uses DVD3. So you definitely don’t want to buy a Japan version DVD release which will not be compatible with our DVD player, though both regions are sharing the same NTSC TV broadcast standard. Overseas version are usually manufactured, marketed & distributed by licensed regional recording companies to provide a more competent localized pricing. So it is definitely cheaper, but is quality compromised? Maybe, or maybe not.

An authentic Japan version ~ ¥2667 tag is quite unnerving…

Time to sit back & enjoy the tunes of my latest musical fad collection. I just dig contemporary classical music =)

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