Category Archives: General

2 must-try things in Hanoi, Vietnam

Big question to any wanderlusts who are coming to a strange land is “What to eat there?” as the culture differences can be distinguished in the way locals enjoy their meals and others can’t get used to it. But when you drop a visit to a rich food paradise like Hanoi then choosing the best dish maybe should be taken into consideration. Pho (Noodles) to eat and Beer to drink, does it make sense to you? Let’s check out!

Pho (Noodles)

In Vietnam, eating Pho is considered the tradition when it is enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, dinner, in a restaurant, from high tables to street vendors, etc. But it is heard that Hanoians are the one to give birth of all types of Pho so it seems that eating Pho in the capital is something more special than other places.

All-kind-of-pho

Can you name these types of noodles?

Pho actually is made of pristine white rice flour noodles that are made daily and sold in markets; however, in my opinion, the thing making Pho so unique is its broth which is particularly boiled from pig or cow bones. The herbs and vegetables used to eat together are available and always fresh, adding to the food art as well.

Not only traditional Beef and Chicken Noodles, Hanoians have varied a wider range of Pho including Steamed Rice Crepe Rolls (Pho Cuon), Crispy Fried Noodles (Pho Chien Phong), Mix Noodles (Pho Tron), and so on.

Delicious beef noodles

Delicious beef noodles

Beer (Bia Hoi, Bia Rau)

Just ask your friends who have been to Vietnam, pretty sure they will recommend you to try the best and cheapest drinks on Earth! “Bia Hoi” is a draght beer, made with no preservatives and delivered in kegs to all bar in Hanoi. Called “bars” but sometimes they are just simple with plastic chairs, no counter, on the pavements full of beer lovers from all walks of life.

Drinking beer is somehow part of local citizens

Drinking beer is somehow part of local citizens

Although there are lots of beer breweries in Hanoi such as Carlsberg, Hanoi, Tiger, 333 but clearly Bia Hoi is the most popular drink because it cost about 7,000 VND for a cup of beer only.

Beer

 

Drop by Ta Hien Str., the noisiest street for foreigners to enjoy beer as well as other specialties of Hanoi here. And don’t be surprise when you are passing groups of men or young boys “yo…yo…yo” or “Bottoms up!!!” They are having so much fun after work then J

Notice: Hanoi is always attractive as the way it appeals visitors, and if you fall in love with Hanoi food and drinks, just take a flight!!! The paper documents are so much easier that you can get Vietnam visa online and get it stamped at the arrival airport then welcome to this wonderful land of scrumptious dishes.

DealStove – A Daily Deal Aggregation App for your Android

If there’s anywhere in the crowded daily deals market where one would argue there is room for growth, it would certainly be in the mobile space.  It was not long ago when we were all still busy playing Centipede on our clam-shell flip phones and walkie-talkie Blackberries.  Nowadays we cannot go a few minutes without checking Android notifications and Whatsapp messages on our smartphones.  So, what is the best way to clearly present daily deals and discounts to Android users on the go?  One app that does it right is DealStove’s daily deal aggregator.

New Deals Everyday

The first thing that DealStove does well is publishing timely and accurate info about the deals that come out every day.  On top of presenting the deals that are new every morning, the DealStove app further helps us find what we’re looking for by categorizing the offers into expandable drop-downs.  The New Deals section of the app makes for a great companion with that morning coffee, breakfast, or commute.  The app gives everyone a great a way to start the day, by being one of the first people to buy that great deal.  It’s also extremely useful for those popular deals that have a limited number of vouchers available.

DealStove New Deals Screen

DealStove New Deals Screen

The Public Has Voted – Top Deals

Probably the next most embarrassing thing to overpaying for something is to miss out on underpaying for it.  Well the DealStove app has you covered here as well.  With their Top Deals screen, we can easily see what the hottest deals are at the very moment, based on the number of people that have bought them.  You can be sure a discount at a popular merchant such as Tim Hortons or Starbucks will be at the top of this list.  By checking this list regularly, the avid shopper will be sure to own the moniker of being the best deal seeker among family & friends.

DealStove Top Deals Screen

DealStove Top Deals Screen

Clean & Easy Interface

No matter what screen you’re looking at, all the important information we need to make a smart buying decision is presented clearly on the interface.  The app also makes it easy for us to share a deal because if a deal is that good, we really ought to let others know about it.  The filtering by category, deal provider and free-text search functions are just the icing on the cake for an app that arms your mobile with the ability to go deal hunting wherever you are.

If you have an Android device handy, give this free app a try and see how it can help you save tons of dollars by getting into the daily deal frenzy.  The DealStove app is actually a descendant of the Deals Singapore app, and previously the Deals Hong Kong app, so be sure to give those a try if you are in those regions.

What do you think about the Deals Aggregation app?  Is there something that you think can be improved?  Feel free to post about it in the comments.

In Hong Kong, less Group Buying websites lead to more Aggregators

More and more daily deal aggregators are popping up, despite the lack of emerging key players in the market

Hong Kong skylineThe number of websites offering group buy or daily deals in Hong Kong is shrinking. In fact this trend is not only true for the financial hub of Asia, but worldwide as well. Industry experts are predicting a period of consolidation, where it is expected that only a handful of major players will emerge as sustainable businesses. Even though the number of Groupon clones has been dwindling, somehow there seems to be more and more deal aggregators as of late.

Algar Yeung, co-founder of one of the first group buying aggregators Deals Hong Kong provides insight into this phenomenon, stating that a successful daily deal site is still a lucrative and profitable business.

“We believe that many of these companies are indeed making money, and lots of it. With these businesses taking in anywhere between 30-60% of each deal voucher sold, it becomes a numbers game. As long as daily deal sites are willing to spend money to market to the masses, they should be able to reap the benefits from those generous margins,” Algar said.

As for the rising number of aggregators, he explains it as a result of a maturing industry that is always in need of a place for users to consolidate and disseminate information.

“In Hong Kong, the number of total players in the industry is decreasing, while the number of key players remains the same. We are also seeing an increase in the number of high quality deals that are offered by these key players. Deal seekers will always appreciate a place where they can save money more quickly and effectively,” he continued.

Group buying has always been a hot topic with its share of naysayers and doomsday predictions. Carefully looking into the actual data reveals that it if run properly, it can be a viable and sustainable business. Through its first years of inception, many start-ups have haplessly jumped into the fray, looking to make a quick buck. What we are seeing now is not a shrinking market, but a weeding out of the pretenders; where daily deals sites that are willing to invest in the right leadership, marketing, and deal sourcing are outlasting the ones that are not.

For more information or insight on the group buying/daily deals industry, please e-mail enquiries@dealshongkong.com

Review: German Pool halogen pot CKY-282 from BEECRAZY

Easy To Redeem (4/5)

The pot was very easy to redeem. All I had to do was buy the pot from BEECRAZY and pay an extra $60 for delivery. The day before delivery I received a notification, and a delivery-man rang my door bell the next day as promised. He made me initial some receipt and went on his merry way and there I was standing in the doorway, the proud owner of an extremely large cardboard box. The only negative is that this pot is very popular, so I actually ordered it back in July knowing it wouldn’t be delivered until August.

Quality of Good or Service (5/5)

While the box was a little dinged up, the pot inside was in tip-top shape. It’s protected with lots of styrofoam in the packaging, and was actually a little hard to pull the pot out of the box. The pot comes with lots of little extras such as a mini cookbook (supposedly worth $188hkd as printed on the cover although I don’t think anyone would actually pay for it), instructional DVD, pot extender to make the pot even bigger/taller, some metal grills and tongs. My friends told me that German Pool makes quality appliances, and I felt that the pot is sturdily built and will probably last for years.

Overall Bargain & Savings (5/5)

Total savings for this is pretty huge, as I’ve seen Halogen pots being sold for $1,000+ at department stores like JUSCO and SOGO. For $699hkd, not only are you getting a halogen pot but a pretty darn good one. I actually thought this was just a glorified microwave until I saw one in action at my friend’s house. It’s able to cook meat to a juicy flavour in very little time. The best part about it is that all the oil and gunk you normally get from grilling or pan-frying is contained within the pot, so it makes for a much easier clean-up; while the end result of the food is not much different.

Of course your interest in this appliance is mostly based on your cooking skill.. if you’re a masterchef you probably wouldn’t be looking at using a halogen pot. Most of my friends are just regular gals who like to cook, so I’ve recommended this pot to all of them. BEECRAZY still sells this but for an inflated price of $880hkd where they include a pair of poultry shears. It makes sense for the shears as one of the first things you’ll cook when you get this pot is Chicken (soooo juicy and soooo tender!), but that’s adding $180hkd for a pair of scissors! If you can read Chinese, Funshare has this deal at the price of $699hkd for just the pot itself at the time of writing.

Check out a video of the German Pool Halogen Pot unboxed: Cantonese version | English version

Deals Hong Kong is Expanding

Since our last blog posting before the holidays, Deals Hong Kong has added many features and functionality to please our ever growing user base. Deal Reviews allows consumers to rate deals that they bought based on easiness to redeem, quality of good or service, and overall bargain and savings. The reviews are sure to keep the deals offered by merchants to a high standard, and at the same time help other consumers who are teetering on the edge of a buying decision.

The Today’s Deals list allows non newsletter subscribers to have a quick glance of deals that are published daily. The Popular Deals listing shows the hottest deals in the marketplace, in case you are missing out. Users also have the ability to log on to their My Deals panel where they can set deal preferences for categories of offers that they wish to see, as well as track and maintain reselling of coupons. The Bring it Back feature is also available in My Deals and individual deal details page. This is a new way for users to voice their interest for deals that are expired. Based on this info Deals Hong Kong will try our best to bring the most sought after deals back to you.

Finally look out in the near future for deals offered directly by our merchant partners. As experts in the Daily Deals industry, we hope we are able to bring you the most relevant deals with the biggest savings soon!

Group Buying: The New Lifestyle in Asia?

The new buzz in e-commerce, group buying, should be a familiar household term at this point in time. In Asia, this group shopping is growing in popularity at an immense rate. It has become a lifestyle – a main method for Hong Kong residents to purchase everything from household items, gifts, activities, dining, and services at a discount they could never obtain otherwise. Most Asian countries are communitarian, so the Groupon model seems fit for most of their markets.

This popularity of group buying in Hong Kong has even spread to include grocery items. Price-sensitive citizens are able to purchase products and services they would normally never be able to buy. The area is becoming so clogged with daily-deal sites, that new sites are forming in attempt to aggregate sites from around the region. Once a trend, this method of buying is now becoming a norm, a lifestyle.

hong kong crazy group buyingGroup buying websites elicit deep discounts on lifestyle services ranging from restaurants, family outings, travel deals, and salons in dedicated cities everywhere. People are desiring to experiment with new restaurants and activities, and they can now do so with little commitment. Local merchants, on the other hand, are now able to reach out to a larger base of clientele and are seeing huge spikes in their profits. In fact, it is estimated that more than 5 out of 10 businesses are seeking to be featured on one of the many deal websites. Most businesses are beginning to include this type of advertising in their business plans.

Because this trend of group buying is becoming the norm in Hong Kong, we are left to wonder if consumers will buy anything unless it comes at a discounted price. People who are too busy to hunt down discounts or visit physical stores for gifts, are helping this way of shopping escalate in popularity. Online shopping has risen in Asia, most likely due to these hundreds of deal websites. Additionally, most of these Hong Kong websites focus on attracting consumers aged from 18 to 34, 77% of them being femaie. Unlike the US, the dining and beauty experiences are better-received in the Asian marketplaces.

In summation, the practice of group buying has been in place in the Asian culture for 50 to 60 years already. So, it is not a far off prediction that the Hong Kong and other markets will openly accept this way of shopping for years to come. Online portals will have to be sure to offer exclusive and premium products and services to maintain their customer base.

To Bee or Not to Bee: BeeCrazy vs. Groupon

Setting a new online record, BeeCrazy has become one of Hong Kong’s most popular online group buying brands in the city. Similar to Groupon and other Hong Kong deals websites, BeeCrazy offers consumers deals from 40 to 90 percent off. This website has sold over 40,000 coupons, which equals millions of dollars of savings for consumers. Each day, there are up to four new deals for coupon-crazed users to get excited over. Similar to Groupon and Hong Kong’s deal sites, BeeCrazy’s deals include restaurant merchants, spas, and local activities. Even better, BeeCrazy offers deals on health care check-ups, war games, and more practical, everyday useful deals.

groupon vs beecrazyBeeCrazy has helped merchants in Hong Kong reach numbers they have not seen in close to 100 years. Their clientele has greatly improved – and people are saving money in return. They claim BeeCrazy is the best marketing campaign they have had in the history of their business. BeeCrazy is a sister site of YiYi Hong Kong Limited, a mobile location based service which offers mobile coupon-ing to consumers. This site has also taken Hong Kong by storm and helped elevate the popularity of BeeCrazy. Businesses are incorporating BeeCrazy in their business plans and using it to market new products. With bargaining and coupon-ing becoming the latest worldwide trend, BeeCrazy and Groupon are just a few of the group deal websites to sweep Hong Kong, but may be the largest.

Groupon was the initiator of this latest deal craze, mixing the words “group” and “coupon” years ago and offering services and products at huge discounts. Internet portals are even sprouting up to combine these over 900 group buying websites. But they are still unable to gain the popularity that Groupon and BeeCrazy have accumulated. All in all, these sites are enabling residents of Hong Kong to experience their city and do things they would never be able to do prior to the discounts. These sites claim that nearly 80 percent of their consumers are female with over 50 percent of them being single. Some of these sites wisely offer deals to local nightclubs and for haircuts and hairstyles. The sites gain more popularity as these users “like” them on their Facebook pages and suggest the deals electronically to their friends.

Daily Deals: Worth the Rage, a Personal Encounter

For my day off from work, I decided to cash in on a manicure/pedicure deal I purchased for a local spa in Central Hong Kong. Not only was the experience relaxing in itself, but even more rewarding because I remembered I just paid less than half of the spa’s everyday price for this service. When I bought this deal, I was given the option to suggest it to two friends to be rewarded with $50 worth of credit. I turned around and put that credit towards $150 worth of food at my favorite eatery. And on and on and on…..

hong kong manicure pedicureOnce scrutinized for turning to the web for Christmas gifts, birthday gifts, and ideas for family activities, my family and friends have now all joined in the group buying movement. In exchange for discounts, sites such as Groupon and LivingSocial promise merchants to deliver spikes in clientele. Being skeptical at first, I only bought local restaurant deals for my family to use. After having nothing but positive results and customer service, I now wake up awaiting delivery of these daily deals in my Inbox. I have bought everything from deep discounts on vacation spots, passes to rides at the local city park, clothing boutique deals, and gun range vouchers for my husband. I have yet to be disappointed.

But the huge discounts aren’t where the sites stop. Some of these group buying sites make it possible to go coupon-free. I can actually display the coupon on my phone at the establishment, and leave the hassle of printing out a coupon at home. There are, however minor, downsides to these deals. First, most of them come with an expiration date of about six months from the purchase date. Second, some deals restrict the number of coupons purchased per person. For example, if you bought more than two coupons for a certain salon, you were required to use them all on the same visit.

With the rewards system a majority of these sites provide (i.e., crediting you $100 for recommending two friends), the positives definitely outweigh the negatives. LivingSocial, for example, gives you the entire deal for FREE if you encourage three friends to sign up for the site and buy that deal. Moreover, the site also gives you $40 credit towards any future deals just for having friends sign up for the site (which is free!).

This has become one of the hottest trends online, and is made even more so by the rise in social media. I definitely use my personal networks to clue friends in on the latest deals. We also have seen a rise in our social lives, getting together to partake in our great discounts.

Tips & Tricks for Group Buying

Maximize your daily deal shopping experience by following some of the tips below:

  • See how many people have purchased the deal so far. Popular deals will have hundreds of purchases within the first few hours.
  • Have a look in our deals archive. Has this deal been offered before? What was the price? What about other similar deals in the past?
  • If you are unsure about a deal, hold your purchase decision until the deal is almost over. Use our homepage to help you keep track of the remaining expiry time for multiple deals.
  • Visit the deal near the expiry time to see how many people have bought it, view the comments that have been left by other buyers.
  • Ring up the vendor to confirm that the deal is actually being offered as advertised.
  • The vendor will know the most about the deal (if they know what’s good for them) and should be happy to answer your questions.
  • Confirm the redeem by date and find out if there are any special conditions, a deal is as good as wasted cash if you can’t redeem it.
  • Ring up the deal provider to confirm purchasing and groupon delivery details. The delivery method can vary between e-mail/web/mobile or in-person pick up.
  • Don’t be afraid to give feedback to the deal provider about vendors who have problems honoring their deals. The deal community needs to know about your experiences to keep the quality high for future deals and discounts.