Saturday, May 25, 2013

Cars - High Margin Business

Date:  May 25, 2013

We switch the new car plate to the old car.  And we say good bye to her.  She will not go far, as she will be driven by my sister. :)

We bought this car when my wife is carrying Jay Jay.  So, it is slightly more than 7 years old.  So, it is time for my wife to change car.

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Today, I am going to share a story about the COE in Singapore and the car dealers.

So, few weeks ago, when the government decided to change the law of owning a car, I placed an order to a new car.

Thinking that the COE will drop tremendously after the first 10 weeks after the announcement.

So, AutoFrance was offering a non-guarantee COE of S$48,000 for the new car.  So, I told him, NO, I want to have the non-guarantee COE of S$40,000 instead.  So, they granted me that, so, I placed S$5K for the deposit, and wait.

And guess what?  The COE did not drop at all.

We are not in a hurry to get a car, so we can wait.  So, it is a waiting game.  If we cannot get the COE < 40K, then, we will drive the old car for another 3 years until 10 years. 

So, two weeks ago, the Open Categories for cars < 1600CC is S$62,301.  

You look at this latest COE, it went up again to S$66,701.

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So, after 4 rounds of failed COE.  The 5th round COE is at S$62,301 (May 13).  AutoFrance called me, and asked if I would like to get the car if I can top up S$5K.  I make a simple calculation.

   S$62,301 - S$40,000 (the agreed COE) - S$5,000 (the top up) = S$62,301 - S$45,000 = S$17,301 savings on the COE.

So, my questions is how much margin more that the car dealer actually made???

If any time, they can agreed to my S$45,000 COE while the actual COE is S$62,301, and yet, is it not they are losing S$17,301 of margin?

Yet, if they agree to the price to sell me the car at that price, they must make a lot too.

So I did a quick check.

The OMV (Open Market Value?) is about S$23,972.  So, they have to pay government import tax and so on.  

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I bought the car at S$127,000 (after the $5K top up).  So, you can roughly guess and have an idea of how much these car dealers will make.  :)

Anyway.  I got the car.

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Say hello to my 5th Peugeot???  

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I change the car plate to have all my kids name on it.  They are happy.  Remember, you can ask your car dealer to change it.  What for to advertise AutoFrance for them.  hahaha 

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And of course, my wife is happy!

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Sungei Buloh Wet Lands & Lim Chu Kang Excursion 2013

Date:  May 24, 2013

Happy Wesak Day!

It's a long week end for the kids.

What shall we do?

Let's go to Sungei Buloh Wetlands.

So, all the parents from Jay Jay's K2 classmates quickly exchange a few Whatsapp, and there we decided to go for a walk in Sungei Buloh.  We end up with 19 kids show up yesterday, along with their parents.  :)

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It's been a long time since we last were here.  I remember, I have to carry both of them too.  

The weather is a bit gloomy but we completed one of the trail without the rain.


Got to say sorry to the professional photographers and bird watchers on that day.  Because 19 kids gathered together can be a very noisy bunch.  So, whenever you see all the birds flew away, and lots of chit chatting, yup, that is the 19 kids taking loudly at the Sungei Buloh Wetlands.


It is not a long walk, but it should be fun!

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There are quite a few things to learn.  OK… look ever there, that is JB.  Johor Bahru.


We come here for walk and bird watching too.  Here is a nice kingfisher.


The kids climb 4-5 storey high tower, and stop half way for a snack break.

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A monitor lizard sticking his head out from the water...


You also can see all kinds of weird weird kind of insects.  This is a water skater?


I think Kay Kay's last visit is when he is less than 2 years old.


Beware!  There is really crocodile here at the Wetlands.


Bird watcher society started to show people the birds far far away.  Hey, I also can see it and take picture with my Sony Super Zoom camera.  hahaha Not bad at all.  Here is a bird which is very far away.  It is a small white dots with human eyes.


We end up with taking a great group photos.  (This is not the group photos).  But we are organising every one to stand together to take photos.


There you go… A nice group photos by Chester.  Wow, we have exactly 39 people in this excursion.  (1 not in photos).  Do you know that if you have a group of 40, you will need to register with NParks.

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Since it is a holiday yesterday.  Some of the parents continue on with the Lim Chu Kang visiting.  The first stop is Hays Goat Farm.  Some of the kids never saw the goat milking before, they watch it with amaze.

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Of course, you cannot leave there without grabbing a bottle of goat milk.

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Next, we went next door to feed the Koi fishes.

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OK.  May be is a big mistake to give one box of fish food for every kids.  We got 12 kids here.  So, we end up seeing a lot of fish food floating in the pond. HaHaHaHa 


The kids create their own laughter feeding the fishes.


Come let's see who can throw the farther?


The koi fish later end up eating too full.  They not interested in food any more.  hahaha


Sitting on a swing is a must.  You see lesser of this kind of swing in Singapore.

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There is nice restaurant in D'Kranji Farm Resort.  I been there 4-5 years ago, when I hold my sales meeting there during my Mediaring days.  And it is still there.  So, we shall eat there.  

The kids all eating in the same table.  We ordered fried rice, fried bee hoon, sweet sour pork, Fuyong eggs, prawn paste chicken wings, tofu for the kids table.  And the kids must be very hungry!  And they finished all their food.  And because this place is big, so, they end up running around, playing and chit chatting with each other while the adults can quietly enjoys our fantastic food.

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We almost miss ordering this.  This is so good, it is the 招牌菜。

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The bamboo clams is very nice too.

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We have a great fun and a great day.  

Happy Wesak day!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Cold Storage Kids Run 2013

Date:  May 21, 2013

Last Sunday, we went for the Cold Storage Kid's Run 2013.

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This is the first time we participate in the Kids run.

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Both Jay and Kay have their own run.  Jay is with me in Happy Green Family Chase.  And Kay is with mommy in the Singapore Finance Blue Sky Chase.

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8am in the morning, we already geared up.

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The elder kids and the dashing competitions are on the way. 

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Don't know what they are looking… Must be something amazing in each directions… haha

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This is like a reunion for these kids… Jay is running together with his K2 friends… That is Royston, Conrad, Caleb, Jessica & Lukas (heads down).  Of course there are Riyandi, Isabella, Bradyen, Cheryl, Justin Yoon, Louis  running in other categories.   

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Almost ready to run… Get set… 

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I must say, it is a very successful event from Cold Storage.

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At the end of the day, you get the medal, a certificate, and a happy face.

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All are junior Champs!

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Yes… Bite the medal… hahaha

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We will come back again next year!

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Chester took some nice photos..

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Although is an 800 meter run, we all are happy with our kids accomplishing the run!

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We will be back next year!

Taking Airport Link to MRT (Subway) in Bangkok

Date:  May 21, 2013

Most of the time when I visit Bangkok, I am like fly in fly out, light backpack, no luggage.

So, it is important to schedule meetings and schedule your way to the airport.

Taking Taxi/Limousine will always have a risk, so you always end up reaching the Airport more than 2 hours earlier.

What I did is I take the Airport Link from the airport.  (not the Old Airport).

It is located at the basement, and look for RED SIGN to Makkasan.  RED means EXPRESS.  There are two types of train.  NON-EXPRESS and EXPRESS.

The EXPRESS train is non-stop reaching Makkasan station.  It cost 90Baht to take this express train.  It takes about 15 minutes to reach Makkasan.


The NON-EXPRESS train will stop 4 stops before it reach Makkasan.  I takes about slightly less than 25 minutes to reach Makkasan.  But it cost 4 times cheaper, I think.  That is why I think why the locals don't usually take the express train.  Because it is 4 times more expensive.  As you can see in the picture, The train I am taking around 9 plus at night is almost empty front and back.

The blue color NON-Express train is called City Line Service.

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When you reach Makkasan station, the station is huge and empty.

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Once you reach Makkasan, there is a 3-5 minutes walk from the station to cross the road to Phetchaburi MRT station.  It is just come out from the building, and then walk to the edge, and cross  the road, and the take escalator down to the MRT station.

Of course, you can pay more to get to Phaya Thai Station (next stop to Makkasan) and there it interconnect with BTS sky train.


Once you are in Phetchaburi MRT, you can reach almost any named hotel destinations that you want to go.  Very convenient, and you know you will not miss your flight by taking the MRT.


So, next time when you are in Bangkok, try this!