22 February, 2014

vPOST vs HopShopGo

HopShopGo, 27 Nov 13
Hop Shop Go, 27 Feb 13

I just used vPOST, so I did my best to compare it with HSG. I estimated HSG's charges based on my measurements, and got a surprising result.

So I had 3 packages, with weights 3.2, 0.5 and 0.6 kg (actual or volumetric doesn't matter, whichever is higher). Firstly, HSG would have rounded them up to 3.5, 0.5 and 1 kg.
I tried to describe the charges, but here's another explanation. HSG would have charged for 5 kg. That's a first 500g + 9 more 500g. So that's 11 + 9x2.85 (all in USD), which is 36.65. Subtract 10% PayPal discount and add 10% fuel surcharge (they cancel out), and 0.65% of the value + shipping for insurance, which is roughly USD1.46. The total is USD38.11, or SGD48.40.

vPOST charges a base charge of SGD13.40, which doesn't include any weight. So I have 4.3 kg, which is 43x100g. For each 100g, weight is $0.72 and fuel is $0.19, so the weight and fuel charges are $30.96 and $8.17 respectively. The total is SGD52.53.

WHAT? vPOST costs MORE than HSG?! I used vPOST because I had a $20 discount (not reflected above), so I only paid $32.53, but, if not for the discount, vPOST is MORE EXPENSIVE? What's the point of using vPOST then?

Here are some additional considerations:
HSG includes insurance in the price. For vPOST you have to buy insurance, at about $9.90 per package. That's ridiculously high.

I do not consider vPOST to have tracking. This is all they tell you.
Now, THIS is tracking. vPOST's shipping is so bad, they don't even give an expected delivery date!

I will hand it to vPOST for good notifications. You can log in and see a detailed, itemised invoice. For HSG, you can only see the cost breakdown just before you pay. Once you pay, you can only see the total costs like this:
vPOST also sends you an email when your package arrives in the destination country.

I think this is the only area that vPOST really wins, and that is the POPStation. They deliver your packages into a self-service locker and email/SMS you the password. This is great if you don't have anyone to receive the packages at home, and cannot deliver them to your workplace. However, it's only useful if you have a station nearby.

HSG, on the other hand, uses DHL/FedEx, which means they're more likely to deliver it to you personally. There are many stories of SingPost's "ninja" postmen that manage to deliver a failed delivery notice without being seen or heard.

I have to add this section because comGateway, HSG's parent company, recently leaked credit card info, affecting almost 100,000 cards from several countries (see 27 Nov post above). So minus a point for HSG.

A strong point for HSG. I don't know how vPOST will fare in this, but I suspect not as well. My last order included some dried food, which apparently doesn't clear customs easily. Tracking was saying it was delayed and to call them, so I did. They said customs wanted a list of ingredients for the food, and they were handling it (I can't remember if it was HSG or FedEx). Final outcome was, I didn't have to do anything, just wait a few days, and they handled everything.


I can only recommend vPOST on these conditions:
  • You have a discount, at least 20%
  • You can make use of POPStation. I WOULD NOT use vPOST if not for POPStation
  • Your item is cheap and does not require insurance

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