6 Rakuten Shopping Hacks for Ultimate Value!

Kit Kat Baked Cheesecake

I have been fascinated with Rakuten ever since a friend of mine told me that she got a pack of Kit Kat that’s exclusive to Japan from the site. These are the awesome bakeable (!!!) Kit Kat bars from the Land of the Rising Sun. They’re actually called Baked Cheesecake Kit Kats and they’re mini Kit Kat bars you can bake in the oven!

Snickers Square

You actually have to put them in the oven before you can eat them. I bought a pack for my better half to try.

Taiwan Apple Milk Tea

There’s all sorts of wonderful discoveries to be had on Rakuten. In a sense, their tagline “Shopping is Entertainment” holds very true for people like me who likes to discover new snacks which can only be purchased in certain countries.

Ritz Smoky Bacon

There are specialized shops in Rakuten that offers Japan exclusive products. You don’t have to fly over there to get something which is localized in Japan anymore, for example their Rose Wine Pocky, which is only available in Kobe. You can find it on Rakuten within a click of a mouse or a search string, which brings me to my first hack:

1. Browse often for the best deals

You have to go through your favorite category (mine is Food & Drink) to discover the latest exotic Japanese products. They have a lot of seasonal, limited edition and new items being listed all the time so if you miss going on for a week, you might completely miss out on a certain limited edition item.

2. Become a member and shop for free

Signing up as a member on Rakuten is free. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t become a member since you get rewarded with Rakuten Super Points. Rakuten Super Points is an alternate payment method in Rakuten – it is equivalent to cold hard cash so if you accumulate enough, you’ll be able to buy (redeem) something for free using your Rakuten Super Points!

3. Take advantage of the 5X Rakuten Super Points Giveaway

Rakuten is now giving away Super Points in the form of a 5% rebate! This is equivalent to 5% of your purchase being given back in the form of Rakuten Super Points. 1 Super Point is worth RM 1 and these points are available 24/7 – there’s no limit on the amount of rebate you can get. Yes, you can use this like cash to offset your next purchase!

4. Get additional 5% discount on Wednesdays with Mastercard

Wednesday is the new shopping day coz you’ll get an additional 5% off if you use Mastercard to make your purchases! This little known trick will allow you to stretch your budget further. Here’s a tip for you – hold off your purchases until Wednesday, just remember what you planned to get and pay for your shopping cart when the next Wednesday rolls along for maximum value.
For example, you can get this limited edition Japan exclusive Nestle Kit Kat Red Pepper for RM 69 from Okashi World.

Nestle Kit Kat Japan Red Pepper

You need to pay RM 69 usually but after Mastercard 5% discount on Wednesday, you just need to pay RM 65.55.

You also get 3.45 points from that via 5x points!

5. Grab their weekend coupons

Rakuten gives out coupons every weekend and this is a great way to get more value out of your purchases. Each weekend comes with a different coupon value so check in every weekend and claim your coupon for discounts on top of your purchases.

6. Save on shipping

Look at the shipping options closely. Some shops have free shipping built in, others have a minimum spend, some have free shipping for certain couriers, while some have multiple courier service providers which vary in price for the same product.

Pringles Multi Grain

Do you have any more Rakuten Shopping Hacks? Let me know in the comments and we’ll see how well it works. The best ones going around now are the 5X Rakuten Super Points giveaway!

Cadbury Shortcake

Have fun while shopping for the latest stuff from Japan, whatever your interests are in Rakuten!

Julie’s x LINE Limited Edition Cookies Media Launch

julies girls

You remember the Julie’s biscuits that we all grew up with? I fondly remember eating lots of these when I was a kid, it was one of the staples of growing up. I absolutely *loved* their Cheese Sandwich back then, I couldn’t have enough when it came out. It was revolutionary at the time. Absolutely fabulous!

julies cheese sandwich

This is what it looked like! This is the box with 18 convenient individually wrapped packs which wasn’t available back in the early 90’s, but I would have happily eaten the entire box when I was a still growing boy! :) There was a media launch event for the unveiling of a new product dubbed Julie’s x LINE on the 4th of July and true to the name, it’s a collaboration between Julie’s and LINE (the app).

juliesxline art

I was quite surprised coz this isn’t a usual collaboration – there’s not much in common between a confectionery manufacturer and the developer of a communications app for smartphones – at least that’s what I thought at first.

juliesxline mascot

It turns out that the popular characters from LINE – Brown and Cony – is a collaboration between Julie’s and LINE for this season’s Oat 25 cookies range.

cony brown cookies

The first collaboration came out with Brown, the popular character from LINE and this second launch is to add one new character – Cony!

juliesxline registration

Interestingly, we received instructions to either dress in brown or pink. I didn’t quite get it at first until I realized that they were the colors of the popular LINE characters!

juliesxline me

Brown is the color of the the LINE character Brown (the bear) and Cony the rabbit/bunny is the pink bit! I have a pink shirt, which I don’t wear a lot (but I hear looks good on me), so I thought I’ll go with that to the launch of Julie’s x LINE.

juliesxline cookies

The Julie’s x LINE OAT 25 Cookies are limited edition. It’s available in these cute little metal boxes which has Julie’s oat biscuits inside and either Brown or Cony from LINE on the cover.

juliesxline

The Cony and Brown variations aren’t purely superficial though – the chocolate and strawberry flavors in Julie’s x LINE Limited Edition cookies are specifically chosen to match Brown’s peculiar characteristics and Cony’s sweet attributes. On top of that, Brown is known for his love for chocolate cookies while Cony looks adorable in pink.

juliesxline cony brown

I thought it was a stroke of pure genius, at least when the Julie’s mascot came out with both LINE’s popular Cony and Brown! You can get the limited edition Julie’s x LINE Oat 25 Cookies in any AEON, The Store, selected Popular outlets and many more hyper/supermarkets nationwide!

juliesxline media launch

There’s also a Snap, Tag & Win photo contest going on with the hashtag #JuliesLINEcookies, so if you’re a fan of both LINE’s cute characters and Julie’s biscuits, head on over to the Julie’s Facebook page for more information about this Facebook and Instagram contest! :)

juliesxline event

Nite Devil and Spooky Halloween Limited Editions

nite halloween

I was at Ta Kiong (the local import specialist shop) today buying avocado (tell you about it tomorrow) when I stumbled upon nite
[sixthseal.com]. I remember Cherie getting it in KL and now it seems
like there are two new limited edition Halloween bottles. The two
Limited Edition Halloween bottles complement each other – hot and cool.

Nite Spooky Cool

nite spooky

Experience the deadly chills of citrus flavored blend with a shadow of lemon juice.

Nite Devil Hot

nite devil

Unleash the beast with a fiery mix of playful exotic fruit flavors.

nite spooky devil

Nite Devil and Spooky tastes a lot like the Pepsi Fire and Ice
[sixthseal.com] concoction. Nite Devil “feels” warm to the mouth but
has an intense fruity flavor. Nite Spooky on the other hand is very
cold and refreshing. It is interesting to note that Nite Devil has “Warm agent” and Nite Spooky has “Cooling agent” listed as its ingredients.

It tastes great and I like seasonal promotions so I got a couple of them to keep.

Nestle Kit Kat Strawberry Limited Edition (Japan)

kit kat strawberry japan

Nestle came out with a limited edition strawberry flavored Kit Kat in Japan. fish fish
[blogspot.com] kindly brought it back for me but I forgot to take it
the first time and only managed to get it when I went out for dinner
with her a couple of days ago. The Japanese Kit Kat box is very well
designed with images of strawberries and a photo of the actual Kit Kat
Strawberry bar printed in front.

kit kat strawberry japan box

Nestle Kit Kat Strawberry Limited Edition is
packaged in the specially designed cardboard box pioneered by Japan
that has evolved into the standard limited edition Kit Kat packaging
now. The distinctive packaging is filled with kanji and hiragana
characters and has a side perforation which opens up to reveal the
individually wrapped twin bars that has become the benchmark for
limited edition Kit Kats around the world.

kit kat strawberry japan bars

The Japanese Nestle Kit Kat Strawberry Limited Edition cardboard box
contains 2 x 2 wafer bars in a nicely designed wrapper which features a
pink color scheme and strawberry outlines in bright aluminum foil
interspaced throughout the wrapper. The back of the individually
wrapped twin bars is inscribed with “Have a break, have a KitKit” and
it’s really nicely designed compared to Malaysian efforts.

kit kat strawberry japan open

Nestle Kit Kat Strawberry Limited Edition (Japan) opens up to reveal
the familiar Kit Kat layout with a distinctive strawberry scent wafting
out as soon as the foil is perforated. It’s amazing…they got the
strawberry fragrance spot on, and I immediately felt like eating it!
The bars are nicely pressed too, with speckles of bright red containing
bits of strawberry pieces in a pink strawberry flavored coating.

kit kat strawberry japan bite

Nestle Japan Kit Kat Strawberry Limited Edition
tastes great! The taste test does not disappoint – it seems that the
wafers in the Japanese edition of Kit Kat is much better than the ones
we get over here…it has an almost melt-in-the-mouth texture and the
middle of the wafers is coated with strawberry paste too, making this
one extremely strawberry-licious Kit Kat! :)

Nestle Kit Kat Limited Edition X1 Cappuccino Flavor

kitkat limited edition cappuccino jusco

Nestle Kit Kat Cappuccino Flavour Limited Edition X1
is the first one in the new line of Malaysian Kit Kat limited edition
series. I have only seen the other one (Nestle Kit Kat Lemon Cheesecake
Flavor Limited Edition 02) on the shelves and it seems that Nestle Kit
Kat Cappuccino Flavor Limited Edition X1 is a Jusco (the hypermarket)
exclusive.

kitkat limited edition cappuccino stand

I was walking around in Jusco when I saw this rack
of Nestle Kit Kat Cappuccino Flavor Limited Edition X1 on a promotional
stand. The normal box (2 x 2 finger wafer) retails for RM 2.29 and the
new larger format box goes for RM 4.29. This batch of Malaysian Limited
Edition KitKat runs seems to have only two flavors in the lineup.

kitkat limited edition cappuccino size

The packaging looks impeccable – the new line of limited edition Kit
Kat cardboard boxes are done well, much like its Japanese counterpart.
It is indeed a leap from the simple design of the first Malaysian foray
into the limited edition Kit Kat market. The normal 2 x 17 g box and
the larger 4 x 17g box have similar side perforations to open up the
box.

kitkat limited edition cappuccino box

Nestle Kit Kat Cappuccino Flavor Limited Edition X1 has a more
elaborate design compared to the minimalist Nestle Kit Kat Lemon
Cheesecake Flavor Limited Edition 02 – there are intricate swirls and
symmetrical patterns adorning the cardboard box with a cup of frothy
cappuccino in the form of a raised imprint as the centerpiece.

kitkat limited edition cappuccino bars

Nestle Kit Kat Cappuccino Flavor comes in individually wrapped 2 x 2
wafer packs with KitKat logo and the words “Cappuccino Flavor” on the
right extreme tapering into a pure brown color palate to the left, much
like the other limited edition KitKat in this series.

kitkat limited edition cappuccino open

Nestle Kit Kat Limited Edition X1 Cappuccino Flavor opens up to
reveal dark brown twin Kit Kat wafers. The chocolate coating is
slightly darker than the standard Kit Kat bars.

kitkat limited edition cappuccino bite

The Kit Kat Cappuccino Flavor tastes like coffee flavored Kit Kat bars. The official description is printed as “Wafer fingers in milk chocolate – Cappuccino Flavor“. It tasted alright, but it’s too plain compared to the Cheesecake Flavored Kit Kat.

kitkat limited edition cappuccino end

Nestle Kit Kat Limited Edition X1 Cappuccino Flavor can be found at Jusco hypermarkets on cardboard stands printed with “It’s out there – ENJOY The rarest of breaks“.

Nestle Kit Kat Lemon Cheesecake Flavor Limited Edition 02

kitkat limited edition cheesecake shelf

Nestle KitKat Lemon Cheesecake Flavour Limited Edition 02
is the latest promotion of the Kit Kat line of chocolate wafers. I have
no idea where Limited Edition 01 is – I only saw Limited Edition 02 in
the Kuching airport before I took a flight to KL. Perhaps the numbering
is just arbitrary. *shrugs*

kitkat limited edition cheesecake size

The Nestle Kit Kat Lemon Cheesecake Flavor Limited Edition 02 comes
in two sizes – the standard 2 x 2 finger format we’re all familiar with
(RM 4.50) and a larger 4 x 2 finger format that I’ve never seen Kit Kat
being packaged in, which was what caught my eye in the first place.

kitkat limited edition cheesecake design

The packaging looks great – the Kit Kat cardboard box is light
yellow and has a lemon slice imprinted on one side of the box and
random see-through holes to allow the individually wrapped yellow wafer
fingers inside to be visible through the plastic window. There is also
a perforation on the right which opens up like a flip-tip cigarette box.

kitkat limited edition cheesecake box

This Nestle Kit Kat Limited Edition is only available in Malaysia.
It marks the first time Malaysia has its own individually wrapped and
boxed Kit Kat Limited Edition runs, which are very popular in Japan.
Nestle Kit Kat Lemon Cheesecake Flavour Limited Edition 02 is
officially dubbed “Wafer fingers in Lemon Cheesecake Flavored Confectionary“.

kitkat limited edition cheesecake bars

Nestle Kit Kat Lemon Cheesecake Flavour Limited Edition 02 comes in
individually wrapped 2 x 2 wafer packs with words on one side tapering
into a pure yellow color scheme. The design looks good and it marks a
nice debut for Malaysian Limited Edition Kit Kat confectionary.

kitkat limited edition cheesecake open

Kit Kat Lemon Cheesecake Flavour opens up to reveal a whitish yellow Kit Kat wafer in the dual wafer format. The consistent color scheme is great!

kitkat limited edition cheesecake bite

Nestle Kit Kat Lemon Cheesecake Flavor tastes like cheesecake on the
inside with the lemon flavor coming from the coating. It really tastes
like cheesecake! I was amazed at the taste and texture, which resembles
a cheesecake (a good one to boot) so closely. The wonders of modern
artificial food flavoring! ;)

kitkat limited edition cheesecake end

Nestle Kit Kat Lemon Cheesecake Flavor Limited Edition 02 tastes great! Get it while you can…it is limited edition after all.

P/S – I wrote this before I found the Nestle Kit
Kat Limited Edition 01 in KL. The review of the other limited edition
Kit Kat in the series is coming up in the next post.

Marlboro Limited Edition Zippo style pack

marlboro zippo limited edition

Marlboro came out with a Limited Edition Zippo
style pack for all three of their product lines – Marlboro, Marlboro
Menthol and Marlboro Lights. It comes in a sleek silver pack instead of
the usual flip-top box, and it opens like a Zippo. The packs have a
minimalist yet elegant design with mostly silver tints with the
Marlboro logo and the words “Special Edition”.

marlboro zippo special edition

I managed to snag a couple of packs of the Marlboro and Marlboro
Menthol packs when I was in KL. The places I went to all ran out of the
limited edition Zippo style Marlboro Lights packs. I figured I would
complete the collection in Sarawak, but alas, weeks have passed and
there’s no sign of the limited edition Zippo style packs here. It seems
that the product test market is in KL.

marlboro zippo front

This is the front of the Marlboro Special Edition pack – it is
dominated by silver with gradients into monotone at the side encasing
the letter “M“. The top part of the box has the
Marlboro logo on it (without the text) and is color coded e.g. Marlboro
has a red imprint, Marlboro Menthol has a green one and Marlboro Lights
is embossed with a yellow logo. It is all done very elegantly, sleek is
the word of the day here…

marlboro zippo open

However, the most interesting thing about the Marlboro Special
Edition packs is the opening mechanism. It opens up like a Zippo (the
lighter) to reveal two separate foil wrappers enfolding 10 cigarettes
each. This preserves the freshness of the cigarette as it can be opened
separately. The other noteworthy bit is the sealing mechanism – there
is an indentation at the side (squint to see detail) which the
semi-circle on the top of the pack goes into to “lock” the pack.

marlboro zippo sleek

The Marlboro Special Edition Zippo style pack is a
great branding experiment in marketing Marlboro as an ultra premium
cigarette. The design is impeccable and the elegant color scheme and
features makes this one of the best Marlboro limited edition packs to
come out in recent memory. Philip Morris moves away from the
traditional “Marlboro Man” style design and did a total facelift to
repackage Marlboro as an elegant and sleek cigarette.

Twisties Fizz (Limited Edition)

twisties fizz display

Twisties just came out with a limited edition (oh, these magical
words ;)) flavor to add to the existing Twisties line of snacks.
There’s a huge rack promoting the new Twisties Fizz in supermarkets.

twisties fizz display close

I don’t really like eating Twisties, but what got my attention was the Fizz
bit…it seems that this snack is effervescent! I couldn’t help it –
the unusual nature of the snack coupled with the “Limited Edition” tag
compelled me to purchase one.

twisties fizz pack

This is what Twisties Fizz looks like – it has a blue motif and
bubbles all around. There’s even a red mouth and tongue with
effervescent (excuse me, it’s the word of the day ;)) fizzy bubbles all
around it. To top it off, there’s a speech bubble going “aaaah…”,
with four (4) a’s.

twisties fizz howto

It must be good, I thought. It even has a how to guide at the back
to explain to the less intellectual ones amongst us the methodology
involved in enjoying this effervescent (sorry, I can’t help myself)
snack.

twisties fizz fizzzz

The actual implementation was rather disappointing though…I had to
finish the whole pack coz no one else would eat it – descriptions
ranged from “strange” to “Twisties are not supposed to taste like
that”. Twisties Fizz is actually orange flavored, with fizzing bits (look at the crystals).

It’s definitely an acquired taste and I can see why it’s Limited
Edition – I don’t think it would sell. It’s more of a novelty snack.

Dunhill 40th Anniversary Limited Edition Pack

dunhill 40 pack

Dunhill is producing elegantly designed limited edition packs for
its 40th anniversary. The interesting twist about this is that it
retails for 50 cents less than the usual price. The limited edition “40
Years of Dunhill” packs goes for a special price for RM 6.00 instead of
the usual RM 6.50.

dunhill 40 pack 1

These limited run packs to commemorate Dunhill’s 40th year of
production in Malaysia features a well-designed and stylish pack, a
nice aesthetic change from the usual bland Dunhill packs. There is the
familiar Dunhill crest spanning part of the front of the pack…

dunhill 40 pack 2

…continuing through the side…

dunhill 40 pack 3

…and ending at the back of the Dunhill 40th anniversary back. It’s very artistically done.

dunhill 40 pack back

The back of the pack is also different from the usual Dunhill packs.

dunhill 40 pack sig

There is a script in the bottom left corner that inscribes the 40th anniversary of Dunhill text and the accompanying signature.

dunhill 40 pack top

The same “40 Years of Dunhill” celebratory message is also imprinted on the top…

dunhill 40 pack bottom

…and the bottom of the pack.

dunhill 40 pack open

I proceeded to take off the wrap (the flip-top box also has a 40 Years of Dunhill text) and was surprised to find…

dunhill 40 pack wow

…this beautiful foil which features and intricate design with the red and golf motif! I started to pull at the “foil”…

dunhill 40 pack revealed

…which disappointingly reveals that it’s a card insert.

dunhill 40 card front

The front of the card details this limited edition run as a “only
while stocks lasts” item to commemorate 40 years of causing cancer and
heart disease to Malaysians. ;)

dunhill 40 card back

The back of the card states the same thing in three different languages, just to rub it in.

dunhill 40 pack sticks

Unwrapping the normal foil reveals that the cigarettes are the same as the Dunhill ones, the changes are just aesthetic.

dunhill 40 pack norm

The cigarettes are no different from the usual ones but this 40th
anniversary limited edition Dunhill packs is going to sell fast for one
simple reason:

dunhill 40 pack end

It’s 50 cents cheaper to celebrate 40 years of causing cancer and
coronary problems to Malaysians. It goes for RM 6.00 instead of RM
6.50. Grab it while stocks last!

Dunhill – 40 years of providing cancer. ;)

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