International Trading

Where is Singapore?

Here’s a map. Why am I based here? That’s a long story … so let’s not go that way. Anyway, Singapore is a pretty decent, albeit expensive, place to live. It is the modern metropolis, as the cliché goes. Sure, it’s clean and safe but, as with most cities, there is always the darker underbelly lurking from around the edges. Unfortunately, the dark fringe is neither dark enough, nor is the fringe marginal enough to breed (a) a live music scene or (b) good music (exceptions occur, of course).

Why this should be so hardly remains a mystery. The life of the average teen here is fairly comfortable, and signs of incipient consumerism are everywhere. The rage is for MTV skateboard culture, Taiwanese boy-bands and shopping. For one thing, this contrasts with Minneapolis where the winters are so cold, the only thing left to do is play in a band. And for the most part, there is a dearth of creativity here.

How to pack your CDs

Nothing special is required in this regard. Just pack as you would normally do. The one big difference is that you have to fill in a customs form. No, its not a real form. In fact, it is so small (the size of a large matchbox), its more like a pseudo-form and the fact that its green disqualifies it from being even that.

How to complete those sexy little Green customs forms …

Easy. First of all, never make the mistake of allowing yourself to be intimidated by bureaucracy, in whatever form it takes. The Little Green Customs Form (LGCF™) is but one manifestation of the urge to complicate. Anyway, the LGCF™ requires that you furnish the authorities with 4 bits of information:

1. “Description of contents”
Write something along the lines of “Used data discs” or “Used music CD”

2. “Value of contents”
As a rule, I value each disc at US$1. Write the total value of the discs (5 discs = US$5).

3. Is the content of the package a gift or merchandise with commercial value?
Tick the box to indicate that it is a gift.

4. Finally, it requires your signature.
Honestly, I never use my real signature here but insert the name of some cartoon character. My favourite is Daffy although I’m also partial to Scooby and any one of the three Power-Puff girls.

How long does it take and how much does it cost?

As you can see, sending packages from the States to Singapore is not a big deal once you overcome your fear of the LGCF™
Delivery time is usually between 4 to 10 days. That’s right, thanks to the USPS and Singapore Post, there’s no mountain high, ocean deep, or river wide that can stop your parcel reaching me (and vice versa). In the hundred or so trades that have helped build this list, not one package has been lost in transit.

I can’t comment about the comparative costs between trading internationally and solely within the States, though. As for the cost of sending a package to Singapore, here’s a guideline –

1-2 discs: US$1.55
3-4 discs: US$2.75
5-6 discs: US$3.80
7-8 discs: US$4.55
10 or more: US$7.85

Now that that has been cleared up, send me an email with your list (or site) and your choices from my list.


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