Travel: Samsonite Firelite

The Mrs and I have always been travelling with the same Samsonite and Timberland luggages for over 10 years. We got those when we haven’t gotten married and they have lasted quite a while. Both are soft suitcase, i.e. the materials are fabric types.

For my Timberland that I got, I even had Scotch Guard sprayed on it so that it’s waterproof. After years of travelling and also the rough handling, the wheels on the luggage and the leather bits on the luggage are all disintegrating. You can feel that the whole luggage is wobbly as you push it around. The wheel has in fact have layers dropping off parts in London,  part of it in Paris for our trip last year. As  we got to Australia this time, more bits of it came out and we thought it would probably only last 1 more trip to Europe that we are planning this year.

The Mrs’ Samsonite has plastic sides, and after each trip, bits of it have been falling off after retrieval from the airport carousel. We have been looking for luggage in the recent sale in Singapore. Our parents have gotten free luggages from paying using certain credit cards during the NATAS fair.

I have been eyeing the Samsonite Firelite / Cosmolite over the last few months and have been googling to see where can I get it cheaply. The Firelite Spinner 55: SGD760,  Firelite Spinner 69: SGD880 ,  Firelite Spinner 75:  SGD 930!!!

You can verify that price by going to the Samsonite shops in Singapore or their online store.

Samsonite Firelite

Here’s the photo of our recent purchase, but not at the ridiculous pricing that you get in Singapore.
We have checked out the pricing of these luggage when we were in Hong Kong last year too. It’s cheaper by $100 or so in Hong Kong Airport. At Changi Airport Duty Free, it’s also cheaper than buying it at the down town stores.

When we recently booked a holiday to Australia, I googled again, and realise the prices of the same luggage in Australia is almost half the price, even after the conversion to SGD from AUD.

Samsonite Firelite

The 3 luggage above, we got it at 3 different places. The smallest, I bought it online at www.bagworld.com.au it only delivers to Australian address, so I asked a friend if I can use her address for delivery and she said yes. (I did check out some Aussie Forum sites to see if they are reputable) It’s sold for AUD329.40 and that’s already like SGD380. That’s exactly 50% off the price at retail stores.

The large red one, that’s the Mrs’ luggage. We were walking at the outlet store in Perth and we saw the same luggage, it had a sale and it was on sale at AUD478.99 (SGD550) at the Victoria Station outlet shop. We were told it’s the same price if you buy it outside the outlet. Samsonite pricing don’t get any cheaper anywhere. We pondered, and after we finished walking the mall, we got itchy because of the savings. The wife bought it!

For the medium size white one, we were walking at Garden City Mall and walked past a Victoria Station. I saw the medium white one that matches my little one. We saw the price and hesitated. We had our lunch, walked around and when we were leaving the mall, we walked past the shop again. I succumb to temptation. The price is the same as online shops or outlet shop. AUD448.99 (SGD518).

No, we are not kiasu Singapore people. We are just beaming at the discount we got.

Samsonite Firelite

Since I think some of you are like me, love to do online search and compare, the Mrs and I discovered some other things that you won’t find online. We have been to Samsonite at Tangs and thought of getting it there during the 12% off sale days, so we inspected the luggage. It says Made in India. We also went to the Samsonite retail store at JEM and the sticker like the one you see above says, Designed in Europe. When we opened the luggage and see the flap it says Made in India.

The ones we got in Australia, it says Made in Europe. Notice the difference? When we got back to our hotel and did an inspection, our luggage was made in Hungary. So there’s a difference when you buy the luggage in Singapore too. That made the wife even more satisfied with her purchase.

It’s hard to think how a luggage made in nearby India and sold in Singapore is more expensive than the one made in Hungary and shipped and sold in Australia? The rent in Singapore to blame? Or like many people, the more expensive it is, the better the perceived quality is.

Guess what? When you purchase the luggage in Australia, you are eligible for the Tourist Refund Scheme. Thats about 10% back in your credit card when you leave Australia and fly back to Singapore. You just need to present your bags to the custom officer before you check in your luggage. The custom office outside will stamp a ‘sighted’ on your receipts first. Then claim it when you pass immigration. Very simple process.

This post is for many who have also been eyeing the Firelite. We got this because we also travel budget and it enables us to skip buying luggage on some trips nearby. The carry on size is only 1.9 kg, we can pack 10kg if we travel Jetstar or 7kg when we travel AirAsia. Scoot allows 7kg without notebook, 3 kg extra if you have a notebook computer with you.

For reviews and those nice photos, you can visit the many travel forums or hardwarezone where people have tonnes of reading materials for you to compare. (I was comparing Cosmolite and Firelite too)

Just to add too, we usually buy stuff from supermarkets back and this time we bought boxes of biscuits and they all remained brand new! Usually the boxes get slightly crushed. So we are quite pleased with our purchase. It’s also probably the way we packed our stuff. Maybe when I am free next time, I shall put up a post about it too. It’s something I learned from watching various youtube on how people pack. Some works and some don’t work. Now we know what works!

Oh, what happened to our old luggage? We left a note at the hotel asking them to dispose the luggage for us. We also told the check out person we left it in the room for disposal.

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Discuss - 2 Comments

  1. Kevin says:

    Hi keropok,

    Nice review, and it seems like Samsonite is much cheaper in Australia, especially with the lower australian dollar now days. White looks good. I am thinking of getting one too, but was concerned with scuff marks from travelling being more noticeable on white suitcase compare to red, blue or black. Have you noticed any marks on your white suitcases?

  2. Qisiang Ruyi says:

    Thanks for your great insight into buying Samsonite in Australia and YES, it is very cheap in Australia. I know you are from Singapore, but would you be able to point out specifically where is the custom office before you check-in at the departure area? I check the map and all it has is an area where you need to enter into after you have gone through the security screening gates,by that stage you will not be able to bring the check-in luggage with you.
    (http://melbourneairport.com.au/docs/141103-t2-and-t3-departures-level-1-v2-copy-1.pdf)

    Thanks for the great post

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