It’s been a year since we stepped foot in Johor Bahru (JB), much less shopped, dined or enjoyed the 3x SGD to MYR exchange rate.
So we were intrigued when we heard of Buy JB, an e-marketplace that offers groceries at “very attractive prices & with a wide and growing range of products everyday.”
As we recall, some items in JB tend to be cheaper than Singapore, but how much cheaper are they exactly at this e-commerce store?
And does the fact that they get shipped directly to us sound like a better deal than being stuck in a traffic jam on the Causeway?
We find out.
Buy JB: Is it really cheaper than other online stores?
For the sake of this article, we considered the following:
- We assumed the persona of an adult shopping for her family with children and an elderly.
- We only compared the same items that can be found in all e-commerce stores.
- Prices taken from the e-commerce stores are their original prices and do not include timed discounts.
Note: Shopping from Buy JB’s website comes with a S$20 shipping fee as well, which seems like a deterrent when you’re used to enjoying free shipping by local e-marketplaces.
That said, the shipping fee is a flat rate no matter how much you purchase or how heavy your items are, so it might be worth it after all. Especially if you tend to buy in bulk.
For now, let’s deep dive into products across different categories, such as food, household and personal care products, and baby items.
|Product FOOD||Buy JB||Lazada|
|Ayam Brand Sardines in Tomato Sauce (425g)||S$3.32||S$3.95||S$3.95||S$3.95||S$3.95|
|Nescafe Classic Jar (100g)||S$4.90||S$5.50||S$5.50||S$5.50||S$5.50|
|Milo Cereal (330g)||S$4.20||S$5.65||S$5.65||S$5.65||S$5.70|
|Maggi Chilli Sauce (500g)||S$1.90||S$2.35||S$2.30||S$2.35||S$2.30|
|Habhal’s Kicap Kipas Udang Masin (345ml)||S$2.20||S$2.70||S$2.71||S$2.60||S$3.35|
|Mak Nyonya Instant Chicken Curry Sauce (200g)||S$2.50||S$2.45||S$2.45||S$2.45||S$1.80|
|Indomie Mi Goreng Special (5 x 85g)||S$1.90||S$2.00||S$3.25||S$2.10||S$2.10|
|Maggi 2-Min Curry Noodles (5 x 79g)||S$1.90||S$2.20||S$2.20||S$2.20||S$2.20|
|Naturel Extra Virgin Olive Oil (500ml)||S$8.50||S$8.90||S$8.90||S$8.90||S$8.90|
|Teapot Evaporated Creamer (390g)||S$1.50||S$1.15||S$1.35||S$1.15||S$1.25|
Some of the products that we usually grab off the shelves mindlessly in JB such as Maggi and Indomie instant noodles are not much cheaper than we expected. Most of the items are only a few cents cheaper, so they suddenly don’t look that attractive anymore.
However, you could certainly stack up savings if you buy the items in bulk. That said, we discovered a couple of surprises that are cheaper in SG – the Mak Nyonya Instant Chicken Curry Sauce and Teapot Evaporated Creamer.
Household and Personal Care items
|Product HOUSEHOLD||Buy JB||Lazada|
|Harpic Cleaning Gel Lavender (500ml)||S$2.90||S$3.80||S$3.80||S$3.80||S$3.80|
|Dettol 4 in 1 Multi Surface Cleaner – Citrus (1.5L)||S$5.90||S$8.45||S$8.45||S$8.45||S$8.45|
|Fabric Refresher Spray Downy Scent (800ml)||S$2.20||S$2.70||S$2.71||S$2.60||S$3.35|
|2 Ply Extra Regular Toilet Rolls (20s)||S$6.90||S$6.15||S$6.95||S$6.15||S$6.15|
|Fab Laundry Powder – Anti-Bacterial (2.1kg)||S$5.90||S$6.50||~S$7.50 (S$15 for 2)||S$6.50||S$6.50|
|Glo Dishwashing Liquid – Lime (900ml)||S$2.50||~S$2.40 (S$3.60 for 1.35L)||S$2.75||S$2.75||S$2.85|
Similarly, prices for household products do not differ all that much if we were to purchase them from Buy JB website. Total savings average about S$4, which isn’t something to shout about.
|Product personal care||Buy JB||Lazada|
|Darlie Double Action Toothpaste (250g)||S$4.50||S$4.40||S$4.40||S$4.40||S$4.40|
|Dettol Anti-bacterial Hand Wash (250ml)||S$2.90||S$3.90||S$3.90||S$3.90||S$3.90|
|TENA Adult Diapers – XL (12s)||S$15.90||S$26.90||S$26.90||S$26.90||S$26.95|
|Dettol Hand Sanitizer (50ml)||S$2.50||S$3.30||S$3.30||S$3.30||S$3.30|
|Head & Shoulders Shampoo (480ml)||$8.90||~$9.73 ($14.60 for 720ml)||~$8.63 ($12.95 for 720ml)||~$9.73 ($14.60 for 720ml)||~$9.73 ($14.60 for 720ml)|
This is where we start to see a big jump in savings, but that is contributed largely in part by the TENA Adult Diapers, which cost about 40% cheaper on the Buy JB website.
Granted, adult diapers are not a common item in every family’s shopping cart. Put that back to shelf and the price difference is once again negligible.
|Product BABY care||Buy JB||Lazada|
|Mamypoko Pants Extra Dry L (38s)||S$16.90||~S$19.40 (S$77.60 for 4 pack)||S$19.40||S$16.70||S$19.40|
|Johnson’s Baby Bath – Regular (1L)||S$7.50||S$8.55||S$8.55||S$6.975 (2 for S$13.95)||S$8.55|
|Enfagrow A+ Step 3 Original (1.8kg)||S$57.90||S$85.65||S$85.65||S$85.65||S$85.65|
|S26 Gold Progress (1.8kg)||S$55.90||~S$82.35 (S$73.20 for 1.6kg)||~S$82.35 (S$73.20 for 1.6kg)||~S$82.35 (S$73.20 for 1.6kg)||~S$82.35 (S$73.20 for 1.6kg)|
|Similac Gold Gain Plus (1.8kg)||S$50.90||S$88||S$89.60||S$89.60||~S$79 (2 for S$158)|
Now this is where we can see the largest difference by far. As expected, baby essentials are way cheaper across the Causeway and it looks like that is the case on Buy JB’s website as well.
The prices for milk powder are about 38% cheaper on Buy JB, but if your child drinks Similac, you could potentially look at savings of up to 55%. *mindblown*
So, is shopping on Buy JB worth it?
Cost of goods aside, there is also that S$20 delivery fee.
According to Buy JB, the delivery fee will cover 7% GST, customs and shipping and petrol that you would spend to drive over. Not to mention time and energy spent going to and fro JB.
When we really think about it, S$20 is a small sum compared to all other expenses made on any JB trip.
However, we also can’t seem to shake off the negligible price differences of the products we observed above.
Furthermore, the range of items on Buy JB website is currently not as comprehensive as our local stores which makes searching for some items very frustrating.
Would we shop on Buy JB? Probably not. But if you’re a parent shopping for milk powder, let us know, please. We’d love to tompang some items.