I’ve always been on the lookout for back issues of the Classical Collection and in my earlier post regarding the collection, I’ve lamented the fact that obtaining back issues proved elusive, even with the advent of the internet and the vast opportunities that would be available. (Aside + by way of update – for more information on the Classical Collection by Orbis Publishing, do make it a point to also visit Steve Woolley’s website. Avid collectors, treasure-hunters looking for the elusive back issue, and newcomers to the Collection alike would be pleased to learn that Steve has painstakingly prepared an Excel spreadsheet which documents every issue in this rather massive series).
With a little luck but some effort, though, all that could change.
About two weekends or so back, I was idly surfing the net with no particular objective in mind and I randomly googled ‘Grieg – Sprit of Norway’ in reference to one of the many taglines used in the Classical Collection magazine for one of its issues (i.e. no.9) . When the images’ search results have generated on Google, I arbitrarily clicked on one of the loaded images. One of these links brought me to this Singaporean website – My CD Place.com which is a subsidiary of Cash Converters Singapore. You can read more about them on this page.
This place sure sounded good
I think that almost everything sold on this site are used (2nd hand or whatever) items, so be absolutely sure as to what you’re looking for – especially with older items being generally subject to more abuse and the regular wear and tear.
What I particularly liked about this site was its powerful search engine – even as you were typing your query, the corresponding entries would be generated simultaneously and allowing you to see thumbnails of the products which match your query almost instantly. If you were looking for bits and pieces of the Classical Collection like I was doing, you’d be grateful for this unique feature as the catalogue is extensive (with a library of over 10,000 titles) and saving a bit of time here and there makes shopping easier.
If you’re worried that (in your eagerness to click ‘add’ on every interesting item that you come across) the delivery charges would blow a large hole in your pocket, you could check the estimated delivery charges before you click on the ‘checkout’ button and calculate the potential damage.
However, you may well be stumped at the lack of information ascribed to the item(s) which you would be buying. Most of the items only have a single photo indexed to it without any description whatsoever. I was quite certain that Cash Converters are rather quality-discriminating in the used products that they cash in that I sanctioned my purchases without thinking too much. For my case, the Classical Collection is 90s stuff and we are already more than a decade over those times and to expect the CDs to come in pristine condition is far-fetched.
Checking out on the website requires that you register for an account with MyCD Place first before you could proceed to make your payment for the goods that you would like to order. You could make payment for your order via Paypal or by credit card (as a guest of Paypal).
I chose the most expedient and safest delivery method of the two available (i.e. by registered mail which I could expect to receive at my doorstep in 1 week) to my Petaling Jaya address. While it didn’t reach my house in exactly a week, it did arrive last Friday and I’ve no reason to nitpick on such service. Singpost handled the 1st half of the postal duties and thence to its Malaysian counterparts, where it is far more notorious for missing parcels and late deliveries (I can recall about 2 of my Play-Asia.com parcels which were lost by these idiots).
Anyway, the unboxing pics are as follows-
Quite an inconspicuous packaging. The less the Pos Malaysia trolls know what’s inside, the better. My Hobby Link Japan stash were carried by these postmen and they slyly asked my dad (who normally receives my consignments on my behalf at home) what was inside. Wouldn’t you like to know…
Yea, I could see Liberty leading the People already!
The first package contained the CDs for issues 1 (Tchaikovsky), 4 (Beethoven, which is almost totally obscured) and 8 (Johann Strauss II)
The second package was duly unwrapped to reveal the issues (from left to right): 34 (Mozart), 43 (Paganini), 40 (Tchaikovsky), 10 (Johann Sebastian Bach). As you can see, all the CDs arrived in excellent shape and in playable condition.
(i) Service – Excellent. My email queries were replied within 24 hours, the fastest being about within 2 hours. I was also given a ‘special incentive’ to make my first purchase with.
(ii) Website – Easy to maneuver and key search terms instantly generate results. Registration for an account is also a breeze (as it should be!) and making payment didn’t pose a significant problem. As for the security of the website (and protection of your credit card information), please refer your queries directly to the administrators of the site. The only quibble came with the somewhat poor quality photographs for a small percentage of the products. Of course, there’s no fixed benchmark as to what qualifies as an acceptable product description but I believe that you may certainly make email enquiries about the said item before committing.
(iii) Selection variety – I’m quite impressed with the CDs that they have for sale, more so for the classical department where some CDs from the ‘Great Composers’ series and the ‘Music for the Millions’ catalogue are also for sale. I couldn’t really comment on the other genres but with 10,000 titles in stock, I think that you might be spoiled for choice.
(iv) Quality of items received – I’m overall quite pleased with the quality of the CDs which I’ve received. Two of the CD plastic covers were smeared with cellophane tape near the opening which I found strange since the plastic covers appeared to be serviceable. However, all of the playing surfaces of all 7 CDs that I’ve ordered came without scratches or evidence of warping + none of the CDs or covers came cracked / hairline splits.
Hell, yeah I’d buy again from My CD Place.com – there are a few more (no, make that a lot more) CDs I need to complete the Classical Collection.