When migrating over to any country, the first instinct might be to try to ship all of one’s possessions over to the new location. Until, of course, the cost of shipping starts to outweigh the inherent value of the used items.
We took a good hard look at our worldly possessions a few months before our migratory flight to Melbourne and very wisely (on hindsight), decided to forgo shipping of our existing furniture and household appliances. We brought over mainly clothing and items of sentimental value. Everything else we either sold or gave away in Singapore.
We still remember the day we landed in Melbourne. We had our accommodation sorted out but it wasn’t furnished one bit. After a quick lunch, we headed off to the nearest Kmart to buy an inflatable queen sized mattress, crockery and small appliances like a kettle and a toaster. After the first few nights piled on the air mattress that did not offer much back support, we made up our minds pretty quickly that a proper bed with a firm mattress was what we needed and in a hurry too. So off to a nearby Harvey Norman we went.
Harvey Norman stores in Australia carry pretty much the same ranges of goods as in Singapore, from furniture to electrical & electronic goods. However, one major difference is that the displayed prices are not fixed like in Singapore, but slightly negotiable! This is also same with other appliances mega stores such as JB Hifi and The Good Guys.
There are also online home appliances sellers such as Bing Lee, Appliances Online and Billy Guyatts. There are good deals to be found in such sites. Hence, it does pay to compare prices and when ready to purchase, ask for price matching.
Our bed and mattress buying experience was quite an eye opener in a few ways. There are different mattress sizes in Australia and some are not found in Singapore. Single, Long Single, King Single, Double, Queen, King and Super King size mattresses are available here. It validated our decision not to bring our old bed linen over as they would not fit an Australian Long Single mattress, for example.
The other eye opener was the relatively higher prices of mattresses here compared to, say, Robinsons in Singapore. We bought Queen and King Size beds and firm body support mattresses and collectively, they set us back a pretty penny. King Koil brand mattresses are what we have been used to and trust. It is good to know that the brand has a ten year warranty against manufacturing defects.
The consumer law in Australia spells out clearly the rights of consumers when buying goods and services. Dodgy practices like “Goods once sold are not refundable or exchangeable” common in Singapore are in fact, illegal here.
One day, the springs inside our Queen sized mattress started to creak. It was about 8 years old then and I made an enquiry with Harvey Norman regarding the issue. I honestly was not expecting much in terms of recourse (maybe get a small store credit to buy a new mattress) but I was pleasantly surprised.
I was put in touch with the mattress manufacturer which sent a technician to inspect the mattress. Upon ascertaining that it was a manufacturing defect that happened within the warranty period, I simply had to pay for steam cleaning of the mattress (about $200) before it was taken back to the factory for the internal springs to be replaced. It came back to me pretty much good as new!
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