What do you look forward to most about Chinese New Year? Is it the reunion dinner? Getting to look your best with new clothes? Or perhaps receiving hongbaos? Well, for many in Singapore, it’s the Bak Kwa. In fact, it’s a whole of them. Just like in previous years, lines for Bak Kwa are expected to be long (think hours long) during the festive period. However, for most of us, the famous Singlish phrase applies: “Where got time?”

With majority of our time being occupied by the likes of work and school, being able to get your hands on premium Bak Kwa may seem unattainable. However, not all hope is lost.

People queue to buy "Bak kwa", a Chinese salty-sweet dried meat product, outside a shop ahead of the Lunar New Year in Singapore on January 24, 2014. Ethnic Chinese will be celebrating the Lunar New Year of the Horse on January 31. AFP PHOTO/ROSLAN RAHMAN

It turns out that those who haven’t got the time to queue for Bak Kwas are starting to get creative by posting their requests on Airfrov. While Airfrov usually works by getting travellers to bring overseas products back to Singapore, there’s a growing trend where requestors are tapping on the “travellers” network to help them queue and purchase Bak Kwa by popular manufacturers such as Lim Chee Guan and Kim Peng Hiang. What a smart way to guarantee that they and their families get Bak Kwa this Chinese New Year, all without needing to take time off school or work!

Lim Chee Guan Bak Kwa requests

So how much are Singaporeans willing to pay for someone to queue for Bak Kwa?

Based on the offers accepted on Airfrov, Singaporeans are willing to pay an average of $15 for others to queue for and purchase Bak Kwa from popular chains on behalf, and those who buy in larger quantities are even willing to pay more than $30!

How do “Travellers” on Airfrov set a price on how much to charge?

We ask Traveller Stitchcr about her experience

Airfrov: How much service fee do you charge for queuing on behalf?
Traveller: The price I charge depends on the meetup location, date and weight of bak kwa. On average about $8-10/kg? The queue is really no joke, and carrying the combined weight can be very exhausting.

Airfrov: How long do you have to queue for the Bak Kwa?
Traveller: It depends on how early I get to the queue. If I start at 7am, I can probably get it by 11am provided people in front did not purchase all and exceed the limit for that day. Last year, I joined the queue at 10+am and had to queue till 4+pm, with a risk of not getting any at all!

Airfrov: How many requests have you taken up so far?
Traveller: Just 2, because I wanted to buy for my family too and picking up these jobs are just “on the way”. Most people also prefer to have it closer to CNY.

Lim Chee Guan Bak Kwa prices for its Signature Sliced Pork Bak Kwa is now $58 as of 22 Jan 2019. Price rises closer to CNY.

Are you one of those in need of your annual Bak Kwa fix but have no time to join the snaking queues? Do you think its worth it to pay someone to queue on your behalf?

kim peng hiang bak kwa Lim chee guan bak kwa

Have some extra time during this festive period and interested to make an easy buck? Download the Airfrov app and sign up as a traveller today!

airfrov app