“Wanna ThreePpy with me?” Your hot colleague asks you over lunch at KopiTech, making your heart skip a beat.
Whoa, whoa, just wait a minute – get your mind out of the gutter! This is a family-friendly personal finance blog. All I’m referring to is the new ThreePpy by Daiso store, which opened its doors at Funan Mall last week.
CHEY! BUT WHAT’S THREEPPY BY DAISO ALL ABOUT?
“ThreePpy” is supposed to be short for “300 (yen) and Happy”. It’s the more expensive counterpart to Daiso, the famous 100 yen Japanese budget store.
But while Daiso sells all kinds of useful everyday products like storage boxes and craft/DIY supplies (alongside a few not-so-worth-it items), ThreePpy is more like a gift shop along the lines of Miniso and The Green Party.
In other words, you won’t find a single cable tie here – ThreePpy only sells things like pretty desktop mugs and plush toys.
Also, unlike Daiso, where every item is “always S$2” in Singapore, ThreePpy’s stuff isn’t all the same price.
Most items at ThreePpy Singapore cost S$5.80 (applies to items with no label or a 300 yen sticker), but I also saw a whole lot of $8.80 stickers, while a few items were priced at S$15.80. Yikes!
Now that it’s so easy to get hold of similar cheap items on Lazada or Qoo10, I struggled to see the point of ThreePpy. But let’s have a look at what ThreePpy sells anyway. (It’s a really tiny store, so it’s gonna be a short read.)
JEWELLERY AND HAIR ACCESSORIES (S$5.80)
As you can see even from the outside of ThreePpy, the store sells a lot of girly trinkets like earrings, necklaces and hair bobbles at a cheap price (S$5.80 for most items), similar to heartland accessories stores like Chameleon or Montip.
I can’t comment much on the quality-to-price ratio, but I think S$5.80 for costume jewellery is reasonably affordable.
The range seems kind of bland to me though – mostly very delicate, very feminine styles, which is what you’d expect at a Japanese store, I guess.
The only thing I liked in this section were these understated watches, which are slightly more expensive at $8.80. The faux leather strap looks like it might peel after a few wears, though.
STORAGE BOXES (S$5.80)
I love Daiso’s astounding range of storage boxes and organisers, so I was a bit disappointed at the very small range of boxes at ThreePpy.
I liked these minimalist white storage boxes, but at $5.80 a piece, they’re near twice the price of IKEA’s Samla boxes, so I wouldn’t rush to buy 25 of them for the whole house. Besides, I’m quite sure I saw them at one of the (regular) Daisos in JB.
These fully transparent boxes are reminiscent of Muji’s acrylic storage series, except much cheaper, so might be worth buying if you have to have the coordinated look. They do make good display boxes for one’s sneaker collection.
ThreePpy also sells soft storage boxes for clothes, which are a much cheaper alternative to Muji’s polyester/cotton/linen soft boxes. They fulfil the same function but of course, fall very short in terms of chio-ness.
PLUSH TOYS (S$8.80)
It seems that Singaporeans can’t get enough of cutesy plush toys, so I wasn’t at all surprised to see that the back wall of ThreePpy was lined with these things.
Thanks to China and globalisation, the market rate for ultra-soft plush toys is now well under S$10, and ThreePpy’s S$8.80 price tag for their plushies seems about right.
Apart from the wallet-friendly price, I don’t have that much to say about these. The designs are safe – cats and bears, of course – and nothing stood out as something I haven’t seen at Miniso or The Green Party before.
ASSORTED KITCHEN THINGS (S$5.80)
If I had to identify a target demographic for ThreePpy, I’d say it’s definitely aunties because this place sells tons of kitchenware at S$5.80 a piece.
Bonus points if you’re a cat lady.
Having been burned by badly-designed Daiso kitchen tools – think spatulas with weird, impossible-to-clean corners, and tongs that melt upon contact – I do think the materials used here are a lot more premium and probably worth paying for.
These Muji-alike wooden bowls and plates are really worth it if they are all $5.80 each! The Muji ones start from S$5.90 for a teeny tiny bowl and go all the way up to S$79.
Another item that I really liked was this microwaveable rice cooking mug for one. Now, this is classic Daiso – just like their single-serving spaghetti maker, it truly solves one of the biggest problems in life as a single person.
These salt, sugar and tea canisters aren’t that cheap since you can find similar products at Daiso, so you’re paying a premium to pretty up the kitchen here. Not that there’s anything wrong with that…
CLEANING TOOLS (S$5.8)
Naturally, there was also a small section of cleaning tools that are way too good-looking to truly be practical.
Before you come after me with a pitchfork, I am personally not opposed to the idea at all. On the contrary, my position is that: Cleaning is already a pain in the a**, so there’s no reason to inflict even more pain on yourself with ugly-as-sin cleaning tools (e.g. neon green toilet brushes).
But apart from the chio factor, these brushes, dusters and squeegees don’t really seem all that useful. ThreePpy, I’ll be back if you ever decide to bring in some Nordic-style brooms and mops.
HOME FRAGRANCES (S$5.80 TO S$8.80)
If your bathroom is smelling a little… dank, you might want to check out the selection of reed diffusers at ThreePpy before rushing to buy Aesop scented candles.
There’s not a lot of scent options here, but ThreePpy’s S$5.80 diffusers are quite nicely packaged and would be nice as a small token gift or door gift.
Alternatively, these S$8.80 room sprays – choose from geranium and lavender or lemongrass and tea tree – might be better for those who hate fake-fruity scents. The sprays are made in Japan, so there’s that bit of quality assurance.
There’s a big barrier to purchase, though, and that’s the lack of testers. Can’t hurt to ask the staff if you can open one to sniff it though.
VERDICT: THREEPPY ISN’T WORTH A SPECIAL TRIP
I’m a complete Daiso freak and would never turn down the chance to visit my favourite S$2 store to look at wacky Japanese gadgets.
Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for ThreePpy’s first store in Singapore. It’s a sad, tiny little store with an extremely limited inventory. It’s so unlike Daiso – which is like the Cave of Wonders in Aladdin – that I can’t believe they’re even related.
The thing is, ThreePpy would have been a lot better if it had opened its doors here 3 or 4 years ago.
But in 2019, Singaporeans are already desensitised to plush toys and pretty household goods because we’re exposed to them at every shopping mall and on every online shopping site. Plus, we’re so used to Taobao prices that S$5.80 to S$15.80 no longer seems like such an amazing steal.
If you happen to be visiting Funan Mall, by all means, feel free to drop by ThreePpy at #B1-17. Otherwise, I don’t think it’s worth a special trip down.
This article was first published in MoneySmart.
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